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Canon EOS 6D: The Guide to Understanding and Using Your Camera

Canon EOS 6D: The Guide to Understanding and Using Your Camera

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Canon EOS 6D: The Guide to Understanding and Using Your Camera

620 pagine
4 ore
Aug 14, 2013


The Canon EOS 6D is the latest of Canon's full-frame DSLR cameras. Its impressive array of advanced capabilities allows the photographer more influence over the final image.

This book's exploration of the EOS 6D goes beyond that of the user's manual. It provides illustrations, step-by-step setting adjustments, helpful suggestions for setup, and detailed explanations for each of the camera's many features and menu configurations. The text is illustrated with easy-to-follow screenshots and example images. This book will also introduce intermediate-level camera users to DSLR model-differentiating features: built-in GPS and Wi-Fi. The content covers effective use of the camera's hardware (and some software) as well as certain related accessories, with little emphasis on general photography.

Author James Johnson covers everything from basic camera features to advanced photographic options. With this book as your guide, you'll learn to successfully use this powerful camera.

Aug 14, 2013

Informazioni sull'autore

When James (Jim) Johnson retired from a 25-year career as a software developer for IBM, he had already been working as a contract technical editor for Microsoft. After his retirement, technical editing and writing became his primary source of income to cover the cost of his "toys" - most of which were computer and photographic equipment. Jim's involvement with cameras began in the mid '50s when he needed to record the interior of caves in Kentucky. At the time, the greatest challenge was to provide adequate illumination, so he purchased a Leica 3F camera (which was the norm at that time) and experimented with numerous lighting sources. He was later able to add a nice piece of brass-and-glass that had been manufactured by Canon during the post-war occupation. That 100 mm telephoto was every bit as sharp and capable as the Leica lenses. Such began Jim's appreciation for Japanese camera equipment. Jim and his wife Heather live on the California coast in a home that overlooks the Morro Bay estuary. The coast, the bays, and the mountains combine to host a vast array of botanical subjects, which are the focus of Jim's current photographic interest.

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Canon EOS 6D - James Johnson



I find James (Jim) Johnson to be unique and unparalleled among technical writers. His complete, detailed description of every feature of the Canon 6D truly makes you feel as though he is right there with you, guiding you step by step, anticipating your every question. A teaching term used to describe the best possible learning environment an instructor can provide a student for maximum understanding and retention applies here: Jim is truly the guide by your side.

So why do you need this guide to the Canon 6D? If you own or intend to purchase the 6D, you have, or will have, the Canon 6D Instruction Manual. Perhaps you already have a Canon 6D technical guide written by another author. So why buy another? What makes this text unique and more valuable to your learning curve?

Jim’s writing style is efficient and thorough. For an example of the ease with which you are guided through this Canon 6D book, look at the information pertaining to the Quick Control button. If you look in the index for this feature, you’ll note that Jim first explains its use and benefit in chapter 2. He clearly describes how to locate and identify the button and introduces its operation. There is further explanation in chapters 3 and 4. In addition, other buttons and dials that affect the use of this control are thoroughly explained. When you are ready to shoot, you don’t want to be bogged down by searching through menus; after reading this guide, you will be able, with practice, to use the Quick Control button, and any other control on your 6D camera, in a quick and confident manner.

Jim meets the criteria for being a quality educator and instructor: he is completely knowledgeable about his subject, and he is able to effectively communicate that knowledge to the learner. In a classroom, checking for understanding can be accomplished by quizzing the students. In the case of this guide, where learning is a very personal endeavor, thoroughness of understanding and ease of application are important, so every function of the EOS 6D is explained and then cross-referenced with other interrelated functions and buttons. A good approach is to sit with your camera and follow along step by step, chapter by chapter, completely immersing yourself in information about every feature as Jim sits over your shoulder and helps you learn the power of the Canon 6D.

Bob Canepa

Chapter One: The Equipment

Checking Out the New Package

As of December 2012, Canon has made the Canon EOS 6D camera available in two different packages.

Figure 1-1. The contents of the Canon 8035B002 package

The Body-Only Package

The first package, designated by Canon’s item code 8035B002, provides the EOS 6D body without a lens, plus:

Eyecup Eb. This is the standard rubber eyecup designed to fit around the viewfinder’s viewing window. Removal (required only if you wish to install one of the dioptric adjustment lenses or to use the eyepiece cover) involves simply pressing the left and right sides of the eyecup, then lifting it straight up.

Eyepiece cover. Many Canon camera owners are not aware this piece exists. It’s a soft rubber rectangle that comes attached to the standard wide camera strap. Its purpose is to completely block ambient light from entering the viewfinder’s eyepiece. This is useful if you’re capturing an image when you don’t have your eye at the viewfinder. Such instances would include any kind of remote triggering, most long-exposure shots, and delayed exposures. Ambient light entering through the viewfinder can influence exposure metering, resulting in underexposed photos. To use this accessory, remove the viewfinder’s eyecup and slide the eyepiece cover (still attached to the camera strap) over the now-exposed viewfinder rails. Page 166 of the Instruction Manual describes and illustrates the process.

Battery Pack LP-E6. This is the same lithium ion battery used in the EOS 5D Mark II, EOS 5D Mark III (but not the EOS 5D), EOS 60D, EOS 60Da, and EOS 7D. That can be a real advantage if you’re using one of those models as a second camera: with three batteries, you have a battery in each camera body and another ready to go in either body as needed. The downside is that multiplebody compatibility makes this particular battery a very popular purchase, and it seems every shyster, using every imaginable means of deception and misrepresentation, has a Genuine Canon LP-E6 battery on the Internet market. Note that this is a battery Canon lists for $100, so when you find it on the Internet at $14.95 plus $11.00 for shipping and handling, you should immediately leave that web page and seek your battery elsewhere. You can certainly find better deals than the Canon list price online, but you should expect to pay $60 or so for a real Canon battery that doesn’t pose any risks.

Body Cap RF-3. This particular item is generally removed from a new camera, replaced with a lens, and relegated to some forgotten drawer or shoe box. The body cap’s role actually extends well beyond protecting the hole in the front of the camera during the sales process. Today’s DSLRs are complex electromechanical wonders that demand you protect them from dust, moisture, shock, and temperature extremes. The body cap assists greatly in the case of dust-protection, some in moisture protection, and even a bit in extreme temperature protection. A DSLR’s greatest feature—the wide selection of sophisticated lenses that can be easily interchanged—is also its weakest point. Changing lenses provides a significant opportunity for particle intrusion. A particle inside your camera may simply be a nuisance, such as a speck of dust on the image sensor that creates a gray spot you have to remove from your photo during post-processing. But it can also be as disastrous as a hard granule of sand that scratches whatever internal components it comes in contact with, or totally binds some mechanical operations, rendering the camera useless until professional repair.

There will always be some degree of risk that we simply accept in order to make lens changes. It’s still prudent to eliminate as many risk factors as possible by reducing the amount of time in which the camera’s internal parts are exposed to an absolute minimum. For any period of time longer than a few seconds, use of the body cap is highly recommended. Those of you who have multiple DSLR bodies that you take out for serious shoots should certainly never stuff an open DSLR body in your camera bag. If there’s not a lens on the camera, there should be a body cap.

Battery Charger LC-E6. Canon makes two versions of the battery charger for the LP-E6 battery. The LC-E6E has a four-foot-long power cord attached. The standard LC-E6, which is provided with the camera, has no power cord, and instead uses a swiveling male plug that folds into the body of the charger. It’s designed to plug directly into a wall outlet or power strip, with no associated power cord to trip over. I keep a four-foot single-ended extension cord on my desk that can provide temporary service to any of a number of short-term-use devices, including this charger.

Wide Strap EW-EOS 6D. This neck strap is reasonably comfortable, with pretty good high-friction rubber on the underside to assist in holding it on your shoulder. Note, though, that the rubber doesn’t give any softness or elasticity to the strap. The strap seems quite capable of supporting the camera and lenses up to about 300mm in focal length. Of course, any lens is going to add weight to the camera body, so the ability of the body’s strap mounts must also be considered when you’re determining just how much weight can be suspended by any strap.

Aside from being very capable, the red, black, and silver strap is embroidered with a readily recognized Canon logo and camera identifier. That has to be considered an asset: anyone who spends this kind of money on a camera is entitled to brag a bit.

My greatest frustration with this strap is that it doesn’t provide any form of quick-disconnect couplers. When I shoot tripod-mounted macro images of wildflowers, the strap is often in the way, and frequently gets entangled in the greenery surrounding my subject. To address that problem, I’ve evaluated an UPstrap SLR-QR-V and an OP/TECH Pro Loop Strap 1501372. The UPstrap seems to have a far superior grip from the pad, which many users claim simply prevents the strap from slipping off your shoulder. The OP/TECH has a shaped, wide pad that better distributes the suspended weight of the camera, lens, battery grip, flash, and whatever else you assemble as a luggable unit. At the moment, I’m using the OP/TECH strap. This particular OP/TECH strap appears to be the same one provided by Canon to CPS (Canon Professional Services) members.

Stereo AV Cable AVC-DC400ST. Though Canon put an HDMI-out port on the camera body, the camera doesn’t come with an HDMI cable. Canon apparently determined that most of today’s TV sets are still not high definition, so this cable lets you connect the EOS 6D to a television’s RCA inputs. On one end of the cable there’s a USB Mini-B connector that plugs into the camera’s A/V OUT/DIGITAL terminal, and on the other end there are three RCA plugs: red and white ones for the right and left audio channels, respectively, and a yellow plug for the video-in signal. If at all possible, buy an HDMI cable and use an HDTV; it will provide a far superior viewing experience.

USB Interface Cable IFC-200U. Be careful with this term. Personally, I feel it’s correct, but I find Canon uses the term primarily online and in printed promotional material. The Instruction Manual simply calls it the Interface Cable, and the camera port it plugs into is identified as the A/V OUT/DIGITAL terminal. The purpose of the cable is to allow the camera to be connected directly to a computer, under the control of the EOS Utility (one of the software products on the EOS DIGITAL Solution Disk), or to a PictBridge-compliant printer. This type of connection is useful for moving photos and movies from the camera to a computer, without using an external memory card reader, as well as for copying firmware-update code to a memory card in the camera. However, I strongly recommend you always use an external card reader. That approach is safer, since you’re less likely to lose power during a transfer, and it significantly reduces the amount of battery charge required.

EOS DIGITAL Solution Disk. This disk contains the Digital Photo Professional, EOS Utility, ImageBrowser EX, PhotoStitch, and Picture Style Editor software products. Before spending a significant amount of money on additional software, you might want to become familiar with these programs. You’ll gain a better understanding of which features you want in your editing software and utilities. Some folks never use any other software. However, it seems that most of us eventually bite the bullet and spend some real money for the extended capabilities available in Adobe’s Photoshop and Lightroom or, for Mac users, Apple’s Aperture photo editing and management software.

EOS DIGITAL Software Instruction Manual Disk. The EOS DIGITAL Solution Disk provides some pretty comprehensive and sophisticated programs. To derive the maximum benefit from them, copy the instruction manuals on this disk to your computer for fast and easy access.

Canon EOS 6D Basic Instruction Manual. This may present one of the most challenging aspects of exploiting the camera’s extensive list of features. The manual, provided in English and Spanish, is printed in 141-page, 4⅛ × 5⅞ booklets. If you’re over 40 years of age, you may need a magnifying glass.

Canon EOS 6D Wi-Fi Function Basic Instruction Manual and GPS Function Instruction Manual. This manual introduces the Wi-Fi features of the EOS 6D and provides full coverage of the camera’s GPS feature.

Pocket Guide. The Pocket Guide is a small, eight-panel, fan-folded document that provides 15 pages of quick-reference information. Though not nearly as comprehensive as the Instruction Manual, it is—as the name implies—designed to be small enough to always be with you, especially during your early experiences with the camera.

Canon EOS 6D Camera Instruction Manual is a CD containing PDF versions of the full camera Instruction Manual and the full Wi-Fi Function Instruction Manual.

You should also be aware that these documents are available for download from the Canon website:

• EOS 6D (WG) EOS 6D (N) Basic Instruction Manual (148 pages)

• EOS 6D (WG) EOS 6D (N) Instruction Manual (404 pages)

• EOS 6D (WG) EOS 6D (N) Pocket Guide (16 pages)

• EOS 6D (WG) Wi-Fi Function Basic Instruction Manual and GPS Instruction Manual (51 pages)

• EOS 6D (WG) Wi-Fi Function Instruction Manual (173 pages)

The website always provides access to the very latest versions of these manuals, but when you print downloaded manuals, a diagonal watermark reading COPY appears on each page. The camera manuals are designed to cover both the Wi-Fi and GPS-enabled cameras (indicated by the (WG) in the name) as well as the non-Wi-Fi and GPS-enabled cameras (indicated by the (N) in the name), which are intended for delivery in countries that have not approved the use of radio frequencies required by those features.

Canon EOS 6D camera body. The EOS 6D has an aluminum body except for the top, which is polycarbonate. This makes the body of the EOS 6D a little over six ounces lighter than the EOS 5D Mark III. Though not as rugged and weather-tight as the all-magnesium bodies of the EOS-1D X and EOS 5D Mark III, the EOS 6D has inherited a great deal of the water and dust sealing ability from its big brothers.

Figure 1-2. The naked EOS 6D

The Body and Lens Kit

The second package, designated by Canon’s item code 8035B009, contains all the components of the body-only package (8035B002) plus the Canon EF 24–105mm f/4L IS USM lens and its accompanying accessories.

This lens is from Canon’s extensive line of very high-quality lenses. The L in its name indicates that it is a member of the Luxury group of Canon lenses (also denoted by that bright red ring around the lens barrel, close to the front end). Unlike many zoom lenses, this one maintains the same maximum aperture (f/4) throughout its entire zoom range. It’s also equipped with image stabilization (IS) to compensate for camera shake and Canon’s Ultrasonic Motor (USM) for fast, silent autofocusing. Combined, its features make it a very good general-purpose lens.

Figure 1-3. The contents of the Canon 8035B009 package

Along with the lens come:

Lens Cap E-77U. The sole purpose of a lens cap is to protect the front lens element. The integrity of the lens is compromised whenever that front element, the glass surface you see when you remove the cap, accumulates fingerprints, raindrops, mud spatters, or wind-blown detritus. Even worse, the lens can be rendered useless if that front element is cracked or broken. The lens cap can go a long way toward reducing or eliminating those kinds of problems—if it is in place on the front of the lens.

Rear lens cap. While the front lens cap is extremely important, the rear lens cap is no less so. In addition to protecting the rearmost lens element, the rear lens cap covers the gold contacts and the lens-mounting lugs. The gold contacts are the means by which the camera and the lens communicate, whether it’s the lens telling the camera the current focal length, the Image Stabilizer switch settings, or the focus mode switch settings; or it’s the camera instructing the lens to rotate the internal focusing mechanism or dictating the aperture to be used. Obviously, if the contacts are dirty or damaged, some part of that communication will be seriously compromised. The very sharp, precisely cut mounting lugs are used to securely attach the lens to the camera body in a consistent position. The rear lens cap protects them from damage as well.

Lens Hood EW-83H. Any lens hood serves at least two purposes: it helps reduce lens flare when the lens is pointed close to the sun, and it provides some degree of impact protection for the front lens element, especially when the lens cap has been removed.

Being a Canon product, this lens hood is quite durable, fits snugly, and does not intrude on the lens image to cause vignetting. If you need to replace this lens hood, there are many less-expensive options available, all claiming to be either a Canon product or for Canon lenses, but they are often badly designed, badly manufactured, or both.

Lens Case LP1219. This soft bag won’t provide much in the way of impact protection for the lens, but it is a very good first level of protection from dust and other forms of external contamination, and will certainly reduce any damage or deterioration caused by abrasion from neighboring camera parts in your camera bag.

What Else Do I Need?

Memory Cards

There was a time when digital cameras, including DSLRs, came with a memory card. The included card had a very limited capacity, but it was enough to let you check out the camera rather thoroughly.

Today, there is such a wide array of memory card types, and an even larger spread of specifications within memory card types, that most manufacturers leave the memory card selection to the photographer. The EOS 6D accepts the following SD (Secure Digital) memory cards: SD, SDHC, SDXC.

Among memory cards, the major variables you need to consider are memory capacity and data-transfer rate. It’s becoming difficult to find new memory cards smaller than 4 gigabytes (GB), but there are some as large as 256 GB. The real question, though, is how large a memory card you should buy. Most of us would like to have a memory card large enough to contain a day’s shooting, but there’s another option to consider. Some photographers believe it better to use four 4 GB memory cards rather than a single 16 GB memory card since a failure on the latter would result in losing all 16 GB of photos, but only a maximum of 4 GB of photos would be lost in the case of the former. Fortunately, the quality of today’s memory cards is high enough that it’s increasingly rare that anyone suffers such a hardware failure.

You should select the capacity of your memory cards according to which image quality settings you select, which file types you choose for saving photos, how many photos you typically shoot in a session, and how often you transfer your photos from the camera to a computer. When you select the highest image-quality option, an image saved as a JPEG file will require about 6 megabytes (MB) of memory card space, giving you the ability to store about 1,250 photos on an 8 GB memory card. If you save images as RAW files, each image will require just over 23.5 MB of memory card space, reducing the number of photos you can store on an 8 GB memory card to about 300. If you want to save each image as both a JPEG and a RAW file, saving an image as both file types will require about 29.5 (6 + 23.5) MB of memory card space, allowing you to store only 240 photos on that 8 GB memory card. Movies can consume huge quantities of space on a memory card. Shooting at the highest resolution in ALL-I mode requires 685 MB of memory card space per minute of recorded video. That rate allows 11 minutes of video to be recorded on an 8 GB memory card. Hopefully, this information will help you determine the storage capacity you need, regardless of how many memory cards you spread it over.

The other major consideration in choosing a memory card is its data-transfer rate. If you take but a single photo at a time, and your shots are spaced a minute apart, the slowest memory card you can find will serve you well. But if you take a number of photos in a very short time, use multiple-image bracketing, play with HDR photos, or simply use the high-speed drive mode, you’ll find that you need some pretty fast data-transfer rates to get your images out of the camera’s internal systems and onto the memory card. This is especially true when shooting high-resolution movies. The camera’s internal systems are able to handle anything the camera was designed to do; the hitch is generally the low data-transfer rate of the photographer’s memory card. A note on data-transfer speeds: SD memory cards utilize some form of the numeric-X designation. Strangely enough, this data-transfer rate designation started with CDs. In their first manifestation, CD drives could read as fast as 150 kilobytes (KB) per second. Subsequent generations of CD drives, rather than stating an absolute data-transfer speed, simply provided an integermultiple of that original CD data-transfer speed. Thus, an 8X CD drive was capable of 8 × 150 KB/s, or 1,200 KB/s. Exactly the same calculation is used in specifying memory card data-transfer rates.

SD Memory Cards

SD memory cards measure 32mm × 24mm × 2.1mm, which is quite small. They have evolved from the SD card to the SDHC card to the SDXC card. (Be aware that all three types are generally referred to simply as SD memory cards unless there is a need for a specific qualification.) As a result, nearly all SD cards are designed to work in cameras that support SDHC and SDXC cards, and all SDHC cards are designed to work in all cameras that support SDXC cards. However, any camera that supports only SD and SDHC cards will not be able to use an SDXC card. This same consideration applies to external memory card readers. Many older readers (including the ones built into the front panels of many personal computers) are not compatible with SDXC memory cards. If you load an SDXC card into an external reader and the computer doesn’t acknowledge its presence, the problem is most likely that the memory card reader is not new enough to recognize or support the SDXC memory card type.

Figure 1-4. Front and back of a typical SD memory card


• Secure Digital, also known as SDSC (for Secure Digital Standard Capacity)

• Maximum capacity: 2 GB


• Secure Digital High Capacity

• Capacity range: 4 GB through 32 GB


• Secure Digital eXtended Capacity

• Capacity range: 64 GB through 2 terabytes (TB) or 2,000 GB

Though the architecture allows a very high capacity, the largest SDXC card I find available at the moment is 256 GB.

Speed-Class Ratings

Inexpensive memory chips simply don’t operate as quickly as more expensive chips. This can become significant when recording high-quality video or a long burst of images: the amount of data simply overruns the chip’s ability to accept and store it. This results in missed photos or video drop-out.

Early in the life of the SD architecture, data-transfer speeds were expressed in comparison to the original CD data-transfer speed of 150 KB/s. However, SD memory card manufacturers now also use a speed-class rating, which establishes a minimum rate at which data can be written to a memory card. Data rates for reading from a memory card are always equal to or higher than the writing rates.

The class number, encircled by the capital letter C, indicates the number of MB/s the memory card can write. Class 10 is currently the fastest class rating on the market. Table 1–1 shows the possible SD memory card speed ratings expressed as X values, data-transfer speeds, and speed-class ratings.

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