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Cheat Sheet

Canon EOS 6D For Dummies

From Canon EOS 6D For Dummies by Doug Sahlin

Your Canon EOS 6D is the latest and greatest digital camera on the market — with a stunning 20.2-megapixel capture, Live View, high-definition video, and much more. But all this technology can be a bit daunting, especially if this is your first real digital SLR (single-lens reflex). Discover how to get the most out of your camera’s shooting and metering modes as well as how to assemble a makeshift tripod. In addition, find out the steps to take after a photo shoot to ensure your camera is ready for the next photo shoot.

Canon EOS 6D Shooting Modes

You can do some pretty amazing things with your Canon EOS 6D. You have lots of control over the digital camera to create awesome pictures. The following explains what each setting on the Shooting Mode dial is used for:

  • SCN: Choose one of the special scene modes that use settings deemed perfect for a specific type of image. You have the following scene modes from which to choose: Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, Night Portrait, Handheld Night Scene, HDR Backlight Control.

  • Scene Intelligent Auto: The camera chooses the shutter speed and aperture needed to properly expose the image.

  • Creative Auto: The camera chooses the shutter speed and aperture needed to properly expose the image. You can control the depth of field, brightness, picture style, and image format by using a menu on the camera LCD monitor.

  • Programmed Auto Exposure: The camera chooses the shutter speed and aperture needed to properly expose the image. You can shift the exposure to change the shutter-speed-and-aperture combination to suit the type of scene you’re photographing.

  • Aperture Priority: You choose the aperture (f-stop value) and the camera provides the shutter speed needed to properly expose the image.

  • Shutter Priority: You choose the shutter speed and the camera provides the aperture (f-stop value) needed to properly expose the image.

  • Manual: You manually choose the shutter speed and aperture.

  • Bulb: The shutter stays open as long as the Shutter button is pressed. You can also use a remote to trigger the Shutter button.

  • C1 and C2: You can apply your own settings to these buttons.

Canon EOS 6D Metering Modes

You can choose how the Canon EOS 6D meters a scene to determine the exposure. Your camera’s metering device examines the scene and determines which shutter speed and f-stop combination will yield a properly exposed image. Your EOS 6D has the following metering modes:

  • Evaluative: This is the default mode for your camera. You can use this mode for most of your work, including backlit scenes. The camera divides the scene into several zones and evaluates the brightness of the scene, direct light, and backlighting, factoring these variables to create the correct exposure for your subject.

  • Partial: This mode meters a small area in the center of the scene. This option is useful when the background is much brighter than your subject. A perfect example of this is a beach scene at sunset when you’re pointing the camera toward the sun and your subject is in front of you.

  • Center-Weighted Average: This metering mode meters the entire scene, but gives more importance to the subject in the center. Use this mode when one part of your scene is significantly brighter than the rest; for example, when the sun is in the picture. If your bright light source is near the center of the scene, this mode prevents it from being overexposed.

  • Spot: This mode meters a small area in the center of the scene. Use this mode when your subject is in the center and is significantly brighter than the rest of your scene. You camera may have the option to spot meter where the autofocus frame is. If your camera can move the autofocus frame to your subject, you can accurately spot meter a subject that isn't in the center of the frame.

Creating a Makeshift Tripod for Your Canon EOS 6D

Your Canon EOS 6D can capture images in very low-light conditions. However, at times, you absolutely can’t do without a tripod. But what do you do when you’ve left home without one? Here are some ways you can steady your camera without a tripod:

  • Switch to Live View mode and place the camera near the edge of a table. If you can see the tabletop in the viewfinder or LCD monitor, move the camera closer to the edge.

  • Hold the camera against a wall. Use this technique when you rotate the camera 90 degrees (also known as Portrait mode).

  • Lean against a wall and spread your legs slightly. This is known as the human tripod. Press the Shutter button gently when you exhale.

  • Use a small beanbag to steady the camera. You can just throw the beanbag in your camera bag; it doesn’t take up much space. Place your camera on the beanbag and move it to achieve the desired composition. You can purchase beanbags at your local camera store.

    As an alternative to the bean bag, you can carry a baggie filled with uncooked rice (cooked rice is messy and will spoil) in your camera bag. Place your camera on the bag and move it until you achieve the desired composition.

In addition to using one of these techniques, use the 2-Second Self-Timer. This gives the camera a chance to stabilize from any vibration that occurs when you press the Shutter button. These techniques are also great when you’re on vacation and don’t have the room to carry a tripod in your baggage.

Your Canon EOS 6D Post-Shoot Checklist

When you grab your camera bag and go out for a photo shoot, always have the camera at its default settings, a formatted memory card, and a battery that is capable of capturing a few hundred images. The best time to make sure your camera is ready for the next photo shoot is after you finish the previous one. After you finish a photo shoot, follow these steps to make sure your camera is ready for the next photo shoot:

  1. Remove the memory card from the camera and download the images to your computer.

  2. Back up your image files to an external hard drive.

  3. Reformat the card. Always reformat the card in the camera.

  4. Check the life of the battery. If the battery has less than 30 percent of its charge remaining, recharge the battery.

  5. Set ISO to 100.

  6. Set Exposure compensation to 0.

  7. Make sure the camera-metering mode is set to Evaluative.

  8. Clean any debris off the camera body. This is especially important if you’ve been shooting at the beach on a windy day.

  9. Clean the lenses you used.

  10. Put everything back in your camera bag or camera case.

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