Camera Setup Instructions RSS Feed for Camera Setup Instructions

 Tuesday, June 7, 2022

The Canon EOS R10 is here, and it is time to set up this camera for use. Following are the 46 steps taken to prepare an out-of-the-box EOS R10 for use.

  1. Open the box, find the battery, place it in the charger, and plug it in.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box.
  3. Not required, but consider downloading and installing the latest Canon imaging software to get support for the latest camera model(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility, and Lens Registration Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  4. Attach the neck strap (if using).
  5. Insert a memory card (we'll format the card in a later step), insert a charged battery, and power the camera on.
  6. The date, time, and time zone setup screen will show at the first startup. Use the rear control dial and set button to update this information.
  7. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv, or M (some modes may provide only a subset of available menu options).
  8. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  9. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use the top control dial to set RAW to "RAW", and use the rear control pad to set JPEG to "-" (RAW image files provide the highest quality and are especially valuable for post-processing work)
  10. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Auto Lighting Optimizer: Off
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: White balance: AWB W (White) (I seldom use another white balance setting while shooting, though I often adjust white balance modestly during post-processing)
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness = 1 (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram that best shows the available dynamic range. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 5: Lens Aberration Correction: All options "OFF" (I suggest that most photographers enable Chromatic Aberration correction)
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 5: High ISO speed NR: Low (noise reduction is destructive to images details - I prefer to add noise reduction sparingly during post-processing)
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 7: Release shutter without card: OFF (only in a retail store would you want to press the shutter release without saving the image file)
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 8: Image review: Review duration: 4 sec. (the Viewfinder review option is disabled by default, speeding the shooting process)
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Shooting info. disp.: Screen info. settings: Enable 1, 2, 3, and 4; edit screen 2 to show only: Basic shooting info and Electronic level; edit screen 3 to show only: Basic shooting info, Histogram, and Electronic level
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Shooting info. disp.: VF info/toggle setting: Enable 1, 2, and 3 (default); edit screen 2 to show only: Electronic level; edit screen 3 to show only: Histogram and Electronic level
  19. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Shooting info. disp.: Grid display: 3x3 (sometimes the 3x3 grid is helpful for alignment checking while not complicating the view)
  20. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Shooting info. disp.: Histogram disp: RGB, Small (show the brightness levels of each channel separately and do not let the graph to take up much space in the display as it can affect the perceived composition)
  21. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Disp performance: * select Smooth if shooting fast action and battery life is not a concern. Select Power saving otherwise.
  22. AF Menu, Tab 1: Subject to detect: Select People, Animals, or No priority as makes sense for your current shooting scenario
  23. AF Menu, Tab 4: Touch & drag AF settings: Touch & drag AF: Enable (allows the thumb drag across the rear LCD to quickly move the AF point while looking through the electronic viewfinder)
  24. AF Menu, Tab 4: Limit AF methods: enable Spot AF, 1-point AF, Whole area AF
  25. AF Menu, Tab 4: Orientation linked AF point: Separate AF pts: Pt only (instructs the camera to individually save the selected AF points for vertical and horizontal orientation)
  26. AF Menu, Tab 5: MF peaking settings: Peaking: On
  27. AF Menu, Tab 6: RF lens MF focus ring sensitivity: Linked to rotation degree
  28. Playback Menu, Tab 4: Magnification (apx): 10x (allows one button press during playback to zoom deeply into the image)
  29. Playback Menu, Tab 5: Playback information display: 1, 2, and 3 only; change view 2 histogram to RGB
  30. Playback Menu, Tab 6: Highlight Alert: Enable (overexposed pixels will blink during image review)
  31. Wireless Menu, Tab 1: Airplane mode: On (turn off wireless when not in use)
  32. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Format card (always format a memory card in-camera before using it - all data on the card will be lost)
  33. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Auto Rotate: On computer (images are properly rotated when viewed on a computer, but are always oriented to fill the LCD when viewed on the camera)
  34. Tools Menu, Tab 2: Mode guide: Disable
  35. Tools Menu, Tab 2: Beep: Disable (probably no one wants to hear your camera's beep)
  36. Tools Menu, Tab 5: Custom shooting mode (C1, C2): Auto update set: Enable (see Configuring Custom Shooting Modes)
  37. Tools Menu, Tab 5: Copyright information: enter as desired
  38. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 1: Bracketing auto cancel: OFF (I want to control when AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing) is enabled and disabled)
  39. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 1: Bracketing sequence: -0+ (if images are captured in brightness sequence, they are easier to work with during post-processing. Capturing the darkest image first means quickly getting the first frame)
  40. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 3: Customize buttons: turn off white balance, turn off flash exposure compensation, enable exposure compensation, enable AF Area
  41. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 3: Customize dials: Control ring: OFF (consider using this dial for a function logical for your needs)
  42. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 4: Default erase option: [Erase] selected (less safe, but one less button press required to delete an image)
  43. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 4: Retract lens on power off: OFF (prevents a carefully-selected focus distance from resetting when the camera auto powers off)
  44. My Menu: Add My Menu 1; Register the following options: Expo.comp./AEB, IS (Image Stabilizer) mode, Expo. simulation, Subject to detect, Format card, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring the time); reorder menu items as desired
  45. My Menu: Add My Menu 2; Register the following options: Anti-flicker shoot., Focus bracketing, Shutter mode, Disp. performance, Sensor cleaning, Number of bracketed shots, RAW burst mode, reorder menu items as desired
  46. With a lens mounted and a subject focused on, adjust the viewfinder diopter until the scene is sharp

I make additional menu and other setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration means you intend to shoot as I do - including in RAW-only format. While this setup works great for me, you should adjust the setup to your needs.

If you can't remember your menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a great idea. Anytime the camera is set to the factory state, such as when being serviced or when acquiring an additonal camera, you will be ready to create your setup quickly, while ensuring that an important setting is not omitted. If you purchase another same or similar camera, setup will be fast and identical.

More Information

Canon EOS R10

Order the Canon EOS R10 at B&H | Adorama | Canon | Amazon | WEX.

Rent the Canon EOS R10 from Lensrentals.

Post Date: 6/7/2022 5:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, June 6, 2022

The Canon EOS R7 is here, and it is time to set up this camera for use. Following are the 48 steps taken to prepare an out-of-the-box EOS R7 for use.

  1. Record serial number and add camera to insurance policy
  2. Open the box, find the battery, place it in the charger, and plug it in.
  3. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box.
  4. Not required, but consider downloading and installing the latest Canon imaging software to get support for the latest camera model(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility, and Lens Registration Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  5. Attach the neck strap (if using).
  6. Insert a memory card (we'll format the card in a later step), insert a charged battery, and power the camera on.
  7. The date, time, and time zone setup screen will show at the first startup. Use the rear control dial and set button to update this information.
  8. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv, or M (some modes may provide only a subset of available menu options).
  9. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  10. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use the top control dial to set RAW to "RAW", and use the rear control dial to set JPEG to "-" (RAW image files provide the highest quality and are especially valuable for post-processing work)
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Auto Lighting Optimizer: Off
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: White balance: AWB W (White) (I seldom use another white balance setting while shooting, though I often adjust white balance modestly during post-processing)
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness = 1 (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram that best shows the available dynamic range. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 5: Lens Aberration Correction: All options "OFF" (I suggest that most photographers enable Chromatic Aberration correction)
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 5: High ISO speed NR: Low (noise reduction is destructive to images details - I prefer to add noise reduction sparingly during post-processing)
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 7: Release shutter without card: OFF (only in a retail store would you want to press the shutter release without saving the image file)
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 8: Auto Level: Enable (rotates the sensor to keep the image level)
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 8: Image review: Review duration: 4 sec. (the Viewfinder review option is disabled by default, speeding the shooting process)
  19. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Shooting info. disp.: Screen info. settings: Enable 1, 2, 3, and 4; edit screen 2 to show only: Basic shooting info and Electronic level; edit screen 3 to show only: Basic shooting info, Histogram, and Electronic level
  20. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Shooting info. disp.: VF info/toggle setting: Enable 1, 2, and 3 (default); edit screen 2 to show only: Electronic level; edit screen 3 to show only: Histogram and Electronic level
  21. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Shooting info. disp.: Grid display: 3x3 (sometimes the 3x3 grid is helpful for alignment checking while not complicating the view)
  22. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Shooting info. disp.: Histogram disp: RGB, Small (show the brightness levels of each channel separately and do not let the graph to take up much space in the display as it can affect the perceived composition)
  23. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Disp performance: * select Smooth if shooting fast action and battery life is not a concern. Select Power saving otherwise.
  24. AF Menu, Tab 1: Subject to detect: Select People, Animals, or No priority as makes sense for your current shooting scenario
  25. AF Menu, Tab 4: Touch & drag AF settings: Touch & drag AF: Enable (allows the thumb drag across the rear LCD to quickly move the AF point while looking through the electronic viewfinder)
  26. AF Menu, Tab 4: Limit AF methods: enable Spot AF, 1-point AF, Whole area AF
  27. AF Menu, Tab 4: Orientation linked AF point: Separate AF pts: Pt only (instructs the camera to individually save the selected AF points for vertical and horizontal orientation)
  28. AF Menu, Tab 5: MF peaking settings: Peaking: On
  29. AF Menu, Tab 6: RF lens MF focus ring sensitivity: Linked to rotation degree
  30. Playback Menu, Tab 5: Magnify (apx): 10x (allows one button press during playback to zoom deeply into the image)
  31. Playback Menu, Tab 6: Playback information display: 1, 2, and 3 only; change view 2 histogram to RGB
  32. Playback Menu, Tab 6: Highlight Alert: Enable (overexposed pixels will blink during image review)
  33. Wireless Menu, Tab 1: Airplane mode: On (turn off wireless when not in use)
  34. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Format card (always format a memory card in-camera before using it - all data on the card will be lost)
  35. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Auto Rotate: On computer (images are properly rotated when viewed on a computer, but are always oriented to fill the LCD when viewed on the camera)
  36. Tools Menu, Tab 2: Mode guide: Disable
  37. Tools Menu, Tab 3: Beep: Disable (probably no one wants to hear your camera's beep)
  38. Tools Menu, Tab 6: Custom shooting mode (C1, C2, C3): Auto update set: Enable (see Configuring Custom Shooting Modes)
  39. Tools Menu, Tab 6: Copyright information: enter as desired
  40. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 1: Bracketing auto cancel: OFF (I want to control when AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing) is enabled and disabled)
  41. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 1: Bracketing sequence: -0+ (if images are captured in brightness sequence, they are easier to work with during post-processing. Capturing the darkest image first means quickly getting the first frame)
  42. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 3: Customize buttons: M-Fn: Dial Function settings (press Info): turn off ISO (there is a dedicated button), turn off white balance, turn off flash exposure compensation, enable exposure compensation, enable AF area
  43. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 3: Customize dials: Control ring: OFF (consider using this dial for a function logical for your needs)
  44. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 4: Default erase option: [Erase] selected (less safe, but one less button press required to delete an image)
  45. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 4: Retract lens on power off: OFF (prevents a carefully-selected focus distance from resetting when the camera auto powers off)
  46. My Menu: Add My Menu 1; Register the following options: Expo.comp./AEB, IS (Image Stabilizer) mode, Display simulation, Subject to detect, Format card, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring the time); reorder menu items as desired
  47. My Menu: Add My Menu 2; Register the following options: Anti-flicker shoot., Focus bracketing, Shutter mode, Disp. performance, Sensor cleaning, Number of bracketed shots, reorder menu items as desired
  48. With a lens mounted and a subject focused on, adjust the viewfinder diopter until the scene is sharp

I make additional menu and other setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration means you intend to shoot as I do - including in RAW-only format. While this setup works great for me, you should adjust the setup to your needs.

If you can't remember your menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a great idea. Anytime the camera is set to the factory state, such as when being serviced or when acquiring an additonal camera, you will be ready to create your setup quickly, while ensuring that an important setting is not omitted. If you purchase another same or similar camera, setup will be fast and identical.

More Information

Canon EOS R7

Order the Canon EOS R7 at B&H | Adorama | Canon | Amazon | WEX.

Rent the Canon EOS R7 from Lensrentals.

Post Date: 6/6/2022 5:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, April 11, 2022

There is a Sony Alpha 9 II in my hands, and it is time to set up this camera for use. Following are the 36 steps taken to prepare an out-of-the-box a9 II for use.

  1. Charge the battery
  2. Record serial number, and add camera to insurance policy
  3. If desired, download and install Capture One (for Sony) and/or Sony Imaging Edge (unless your current favorite RAW image processing software supports this camera)
  4. Insert charged battery, and power on the camera
  5. Set the language, timezone, date, time, timeformat
  6. Insert memory card(s)
  7. Select M mode 1, press the "MENU" button, and configure the camera as follows:
  8. Shooting Menu 1, Tab 1: File Format: RAW, RAW File Type: Lossless Comp (full image quality, reduced file size, ensure your software supports this format)
  9. Shooting Menu 1, Tab 1: RAW File Type: Uncompressed (full image quality)
  10. Shooting Menu 1, Tab 1: JPG File Type: Extra Fine (though I seldom shoot in JPG format)
  11. Shooting Menu 1, Tab 2: Lens Compensation: Shading, Chromatic Aberration, and Distortion Comp: All Off (I use the RAW processing software to enable desired lens compensation, with CA correction frequently selected)
  12. Shooting Menu 1, Tab 3: Bracket Settings: Bracket order: ->0>+ (considerably enhances image selection for HDR processing)
  13. Shooting Menu 1, Tab 4: Focus Area: Flexible Spot S (this selection frequently changes to match the needs of a shoot)
  14. Shooting Menu 1, Tab 5: Priority Set in AF-S: AF
  15. Shooting Menu 1, Tab 5: Priority Set in AF-C: AF
  16. Shooting Menu 1, Tab 5: Switch V/H AF Area: AF Point Only
  17. Shooting Menu 1, Tab 6: Face/Eye AF: Face/Eye Frame Disp: On
  18. Shooting Menu 1, Tab 9: Spot Metering Point: Focus Point Link
  19. Shooting Menu 1, Tab 12: Creative Style: NT (Neutral), Sharpness = 1 (the Neutral setting provides a lower contrast histogram. I usually process with the Natural creative style in Capture One)
  20. Shooting Menu 1, Tab 13: Peaking Setting: On
  21. Shooting Menu 2, Tab 5: Release w/o Lens: Disable
  22. Shooting Menu 2, Tab 5: Release w/o Card: Disable (why is this not the default?)
  23. Shooting Menu 2, Tab 7: Grid Line: Rule of Thirds (aids in composition)
  24. Shooting Menu 2, Tab 7: DISP Button: Monitor: Uncheck For viewfinder, press [enter]
  25. Shooting Menu 2, Tab 9: Dial Setup: TV/Av (I adjust the shutter speed more frequently and urgently than the aperture, and the front dial is easier to access quickly)
  26. Shooting Menu 2, Tab 11: Audio signals: Off (how to turn off the loud and usually-annoying AF beep sound)
  27. Network Menu, Tab 2: Airplane Mode: On
  28. Playback Menu, Tab 4: Display Rotation: Off (image fills LCD)
  29. Setup Menu, Tab 1: Delete confirm.: "Delete" first
  30. Setup Menu, Tab 2: Touch Operations: On
  31. Setup Menu, Tab 2: Touch Panel/Pad: Touch Panel+Pad
  32. Setup Menu, Tab 2: Touch Pad Settings: Touch Position Mode: Relative Position, Operation Area: Right 1/2 (avoids nose touches)
  33. Setup Menu, Tab 5: Copyright Info: Write Copyright Info: On, Set Photographer: [your name], Set Copyright: [as desired], Write Serial Number: On (note: entering this information without a touchscreen may be a painful process)
  34. Setup Menu, Tab 5: Format (ensure that there are no important files on the card(s) prior to formating)
  35. My Menu: Format Steady Shot Anti-flicker Set. Flash Comp. Face/Eye Subject, Bracket Settings
  36. With a lens mounted and a subject in focus, adjust the viewfinder diopter until the scene is sharp

I make additional menu and other setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration means you intend to shoot as I do - including in RAW-only format. While this setup works great for me, you should adjust the setup to your needs.

If you can't remember your menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a great idea. Anytime the camera is set to the factory state, such as when being serviced or when acquiring an additonal camera, you will be ready to create your setup quickly, while ensuring that an important setting is not omitted. If you purchase another same or similar camera, setup will be fast and identical. Consider saving the camera settings to a card (Setup/Tools menu, tab 7, Save/Load Settings on card) for an easy restore.

More Information

Sony Alpha 9 II

Order the Sony Alpha 9 II at B&H | Adorama | Amazon | WEX.

Rent the Sony Alpha 9 II from Lensrentals.

Post Date: 4/11/2022 1:51:00 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, January 6, 2022

The Sony a7 IV is here, and it is time to set up this camera for use. Following are the 34 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box a7 IV ready for use.

  1. Charge battery
  2. Record serial number and add camera to insurance policy
  3. Download and install Capture One (for Sony) and/or Sony Imaging Edge (unless your current favorite RAW image processing software supports this camera)
  4. Insert charged battery, and power on the camera
  5. Set the timezone, date, time, timeformat
  6. insert memory card(s)
  7. Select M mode, press "Menu", and configure the camera as follows:
  8. Shooting Menu, 1 Image Quality: Image Quality Settings: File Format: RAW, RAW File Type: Lossless Comp (full image quality, reduced file size)
  9. Shooting Menu, 1 Image Quality: Long Exposure NR: Off (I'll enable this option for very long exposures)
  10. Shooting Menu, 1 Image Quality: Lens Compensation: Shading, Chromatic Aberration, and Distortion Comp: All Off (I use the RAW processing software to enable any lens compensation, with CA correction frequently selected)
  11. Shooting Menu, 2 Media: Format (ensure there are no important files on the card(s) prior to formating)
  12. Shooting Menu, 3 File: Copyright Info: Write Copyright Info: On, Set Photographer: [your name], Set Copyright: [as desired], Write Serial Number: On (note: entering this information on the touchscreen may be a painful process)
  13. Shooting Menu, 6 Drive Mode: Bracket Settings: Bracket order: ->0>+ (considerably enhances image selection for HDR processing)
  14. Shooting Menu, 7 Shutter/Silent: Release w/o Lens: Disable
  15. Shooting Menu, 7 Shutter/Silent: Release w/o Card: Disable (why is this not the default?)
  16. Shooting Menu, 10 Shooting Display: Grid Line Display: On (Rule of Thirds selected)
  17. Exposure/Color Menu, 6 Color/Tone: D-Range Optimizer: Off
  18. Exposure/Color Menu, 6 Color/Tone: Creative Look: NT (Neutral), Sharpness = 1 (this setting provides a lower contrast histogram. I usually process with the Natural creative style in Capture One)
  19. Focus Menu, 1 AF/MF: Priority Set in AF-S: AF
  20. Focus Menu, 1 AF/MF: Priority Set in AF-C: AF
  21. Focus Menu, 2 Focus Area: Focus Area: Spot: S
  22. Focus Menu, 2 Switch V/H AF Area: AF Point Only
  23. Focus Menu, 3 Face/Eye AF: Face/Eye Frame Disp: On
  24. Focus Menu, 5 Peaking Display: On
  25. Playback Menu, 4 Delete: "Delete" first
  26. Playback Menu, 7 Playback Option: Display Rotation: Off (image fills LCD)
  27. Network Menu: 7 Network Menu: Airplane Mode: On
  28. Setup Menu: 3 Operation Customize: DISP (Screen Disp) Set: Monitor: Uncheck For viewfinder, press [enter]
  29. Setup Menu: 4 Custom Key/Dial Set.: Front Dial: Av/Tv (Tv in M mode) (I adjust the shutter speed more frequently and urgently than aperture and the front dial is easier to access quickly); Rear Dial: Av/Tv (Av in M mode); Rear Control Wheel: Av/Tv (Av in M mode)
  30. Setup Menu: 5 Touch Operations: Touch Panel/Pad: Both Valid
  31. Setup Menu: 5 Touch Operations: Touch Pad Settings: Touch Position Mode: Relative Position, Operation Area: Whole Screen
  32. Setup Menu: 10 Sound Option: Audio signals: Off (how to turn off the loud and usually-annoying AF beep sound)
  33. My Menu: Format; Shutter Type; Steady Shot; Face/Eye Subject; Anti-flicker Set.; Flash Comp.
  34. With a lens mounted and a subject in focus, adjust the viewfinder diopter until the scene is sharp

I make additional menu and other setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration means you intend to shoot as I do - including in RAW-only format. While this setup works great for me, you should adjust your setup as needed.

If you can't remember your menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a great idea. Anytime your camera is reset to factory state for some reason, such as when being serviced or when acquiring an additonal camera, you will be ready to create your setup quickly while ensuring that an important setting is not omitted. If you purchase another same or similar camera, you will be able to set it up quickly. Consider saving the camera settings to a card (Tools menu, tab 2, Save/Load Settings on card) for an easy restore.

More Information

Sony Alpha 7 IV

Order the Sony Alpha 7 IV at B&H | Adorama | Amazon | WEX.

Rent the Sony Alpha 7 IV from Lensrentals.

Post Date: 1/6/2022 12:25:29 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, November 10, 2021

The Canon EOS R3 arrived and needed set up for use. Following are the steps I took to make an out-of-the-box R3 ready for use (subject to change as I acclimate to the camera).

  1. Open the box, record the serial number and add the camera to your insurance policy (you're covered, right?)
  2. find the battery, place it in the charger, and plug it in.
  3. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box.
  4. Not required, but consider downloading and installing the latest Canon imaging software to ensure support for your camera model. Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP) and EOS Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  5. Insert a memory card (we'll format the card in a later step), insert a charged battery, and power the camera on.
  6. The date, time, and time zone setup screen will show at the first startup. Use the rear control dial and set button to update this information.
  7. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  8. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Img type/size: Use the top control dial to set RAW to "RAW", and use the rear control dial to set JPEG to "-" (RAW image files provide the highest quality and are especially valuable for post-processing)
  9. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: White balance: AWB W (White) (I seldom use another white balance setting while shooting, though I often adjust white balance modestly during post-processing)
  10. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness = 1 (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram that best shows the available dynamic range. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: Lens Aberration Correction: All options "OFF" (Includes Peripheral illumination correction, Distortion correction, Digital lens optimizer, Chromatic aberration correction, and Diffraction correction. I suggest that most photographers enable Chromatic Aberration correction)
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 5: High ISO speed NR: Low (or Off) (noise reduction is destructive to images details - I prefer to add noise reduction sparingly during post-processing)
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 7: Release shutter without card: OFF (only in a retail store would you want to press the shutter release without saving the image file)
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 8: Image review: Review duration: 4 sec. (the Viewfinder review option is disabled by default, speeding the shooting process)
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Shooting info. disp.: Screen info. settings: Enable 1, 2, 3, and 4; edit screen 2 to show only: Basic shooting info and Electronic level; edit screen 3 to show only: Basic shooting info, Histogram, and Electronic level
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Shooting info. disp.: VF info/toggle setting: Enable 1, 2, and 3 (default); edit screen 2 to show only: Electronic level; edit screen 3 to show only: Histogram and Electronic level
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Shooting info. disp.: Grid display: 3x3 (sometimes the 3x3 grid is helpful for alignment checking while not complicating the view)
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Shooting info. disp.: Histogram disp: RGB, Small (show the brightness levels of each channel separately and do not let the graph to take up much space in the display as it can affect the perceived composition)
  19. Shooting Menu, Tab 9: Disp performance: select Smooth if shooting fast action and battery life is not a concern. Select Power saving otherwise.
  20. AF Menu, Tab 1: Subject to detect: Select People, Animals, Vehicles, or None as makes sense for your current shooting scenario
  21. AF Menu, Tab 4: Limit AF Areas: Enable Spot AF, 1-point AF, Flexible Zone AF 1, and Whole area AF (along with any others you plan to use)
  22. AF Menu, Tab 4: Orientation linked AF point: Separate AF pts: Pt only (instructs the camera to individually save the selected AF points for vertical and horizontal orientation)
  23. AF Menu, Tab 5: MF peaking settings: On
  24. AF Menu, Tab 6: RF lens MF focus ring sensitivity: Linked to rotation degree
  25. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Magnification: 10x; Maintain position: Enable (allows one button press during playback to zoom deeply into the image and maintains the position within the image when changing images)
  26. Playback Menu, Tab 5: Playback information display: 1, 2, and 3 only; change view 2 histogram to RGB
  27. Playback Menu, Tab 5: Highlight Alert: Enable (overexposed and nearly overexposed pixels will blink during image review)
  28. Networking Menu, Tab 1: Airplane mode: On
  29. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Format card (always format a memory card in-camera before using it — all data on the card will be lost)
  30. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Auto Rotate: On computer (images are properly rotated when viewed on a computer but are always oriented to fill the LCD when viewed on the camera)
  31. Tools Menu, Tab 2: Beep: Disable (probably no one wants to hear your camera's beep)
  32. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Eye control: calibrate (follow instructions to set up this feature)
  33. Tools Menu, Tab 5: Custom shooting mode (C1, C2, C3): Auto update set: Enable (see Configuring Custom Shooting Modes); To use C2 and C3, this setting is required: Custom Functions Menu, Tab 2: Restrict metering modes: Enable C1 and C2
  34. Tools Menu, Tab 5: Copyright information: enter as desired
  35. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 1: Bracketing auto cancel: OFF (I want to control when AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing) is enabled and disabled)
  36. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 1: Bracketing sequence: -0+ (if images are captured in brightness sequence, they are easier to work with during post-processing. Capturing the darkest image first means quickly securing the first frame)
  37. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 4: Customize buttons: Multi-function button: C (toggles between custom mode 1, 2, and 3 and the previously selected mode and settings); Smart controller: Direct AF point selection; AF point button: Direct AF method selection;
  38. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 6: Default erase option: [Erase] selected (less safe, but one less step press required to delete an image)
  39. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 7: Retract lens on power off: OFF (prevents a carefully-selected focus distance from resetting when the camera auto powers off)
  40. My Menu: Add My Menu 1; Register the following options: Expo.comp./AEB, IS (Image Stabilizer) mode, Display (exposure) simulation, Subject to detect, Subject tracking, Format card; reorder menu items as desired
  41. My Menu: Add My Menu 2; Register the following options:, Date/Time/Zone (primarily for monitoring the time), Anti-flicker shooting, Focus bracketing, Shutter mode, Disp. performance, Number of bracketed shots; reorder menu items as desired
  42. With a lens mounted and a subject focused on, adjust the viewfinder diopter until the scene is sharp

I make additional menu and other setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration means you intend to shoot as I do - including in RAW-only format. While this setup works great for me, you should adjust your setup as needed.

If you can't remember your menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a great idea. Anytime your camera is reset to factory state for some reason, such as when being serviced or when acquiring an additonal camera, you will be ready to create your setup quickly while ensuring that an important setting is not omitted. If you purchase another same or similar camera, you will be able to set it up quickly. Consider saving the camera settings to a card (Tools menu, tab 5, Save/load cam settings on card) for an easy restore.

More Information

Canon EOS R3

Get the Canon EOS R3 from B&H | Adorama | Canon USA | Amazon USA | WEX

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Post Date: 11/10/2021 8:21:19 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, March 19, 2021

The Sony Alpha a1 is here, and it is time to set up this camera for use. Following are the 37 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box a1 ready for use.

  1. Charge battery
  2. Record serial number and add camera to insurance policy
  3. Download and install Capture One (for Sony) and/or Sony Imaging Edge (unless your current favorite RAW image processing software supports this camera)
  4. Insert charged battery, and power on the camera
  5. Set the timezone, date, time, timeformat
  6. insert memory card(s)
  7. Select M mode, press "Menu", and configure the camera as follows:
  8. Shooting Menu, 1 Image Quality: Image Quality Settings: File Format: RAW, RAW File Type: Lossless Comp (full image quality, reduced file size, ensure your software supports this format)
  9. Shooting Menu, 1 Image Quality: Long Exposure NR: Off (I'll enable this option for very long exposures)
  10. Shooting Menu, 1 Image Quality: Lens Compensation: Shading, Chromatic Aberration, and Distortion Comp: All Off (I use the RAW processing software to enable any lens compensation, with CA correction frequently selected)
  11. Shooting Menu, 2 Media: Format (ensure there are no important files on the card(s) prior to formating)
  12. Shooting Menu, 3 File: Copyright Info: Write Copyright Info: On, Set Photographer: [your name], Set Copyright: [as desired], Write Serial Number: On (note: entering this information on the touchscreen may be a painful process)
  13. Shooting Menu, 5 Drive Mode: Con. Shooting Speed: Lo(E-Shutter): 10 images/sec (I will use 10 fps more than the default 5 fps)
  14. Shooting Menu, 5 Drive Mode: Bracket Settings: Bracket order: ->0>+ (considerably enhances image selection for HDR processing)
  15. Shooting Menu, 6 Shutter/Silent: Release w/o Lens: Disable
  16. Shooting Menu, 6 Shutter/Silent: Release w/o Card: Disable (why is this not the default?)
  17. Shooting Menu, 9 Shooting Display: Grid Line Display: On (Rule of Thirds selected)
  18. Exposure/Color Menu, 3 Metering: Spot Metering Point: Focus Point Link
  19. Exposure/Color Menu, 6 Color/Tone: D-Range Optimizer: Off
  20. Exposure/Color Menu, 6 Color/Tone: Creative Look: NT (Neutral), Sharpness = 1 (this setting provides a lower contrast histogram. I usually process with the Natural creative style in Capture One)
  21. Focus Menu, 1 AF/MF: Priority Set in AF-S: AF
  22. Focus Menu, 1 AF/MF: Priority Set in AF-C: AF
  23. Focus Menu, 2 Focus Area: Focus Area: Spot
  24. Focus Menu, 2 Switch V/H AF Area: AF Point Only
  25. Focus Menu, 3 Face/Eye AF: Face/Eye Frame Disp: On
  26. Playback Menu, 4 Delete: "Delete" first
  27. Playback Menu, 7 Playback Option: Display Rotation: Off (image fills LCD)
  28. Network Menu: 1 Smartphone Connection: Smartphone Connection: Off
  29. Network Menu: 7 Network Menu: Airplane Mode: Off
  30. Setup Menu: 3 Operation Customize: DISP (Screen Disp) Set: Monitor: Uncheck For viewfinder and Monitor Off, press [enter]
  31. Setup Menu: 3 Operation Customize: Custom Key Setting: Top: 3: Image Quality Settings (allows quick access to the RAW file type, availing the Compressed option access 30 fps)
  32. Setup Menu: 4 Dial Customize: Av/Tv Assign in M: TV/Av (I adjust the shutter speed more frequently and urgently than aperture and the front dial is easier to access quickly)
  33. Setup Menu: 5 Touch Operations: Touch Panel/Pad: Both Valid
  34. Setup Menu: 5 Touch Operations: Touch Pad Settings: Touch Position Mode: Relative Position, Operation Area: Whole Screen
  35. Setup Menu 9, Sound Option: Audio signals: Off (how to turn off the loud and usually-annoying AF beep sound)
  36. My Menu: Format; Px. Shift Multi Shoot; Shutter Type; Anti-flicker Set.; Steady Shot; Flash Comp.; Face/Eye Subject, Bracket Settings
  37. With a lens mounted and a subject in focus, adjust the viewfinder diopter until the scene is sharp

I make additional menu and other setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration means you intend to shoot as I do — including in RAW-only format. While this setup works great for me, you should tweak these steps as needed.

If you can't remember your menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a great idea. Anytime your camera is reset to factory state for some reason, such as when being serviced or when acquiring an additonal camera, you will be ready to create your setup quickly while ensuring that an important setting is not omitted. If you purchase another same or similar camera, you will be able to set it up quickly. Note that the a1 enables camera settings to be saved and loaded, a timesaving feature.

More Information

Sony Alpha a1

The Sony Alpha a1 is available for order at B&H | Adorama | Amazon.
 
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Post Date: 3/19/2021 8:18:33 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, November 10, 2020

With a Sony a7C in hand, it is time to set up the camera for use. Following are the 28 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box Sony a7C ready for use.

  • Charge battery
  • Download and install Capture One (for Sony) and/or Sony Imaging Edge (unless your current favorite RAW image processing software supports this camera)
  • Insert charged battery and power on the camera
  • Set the timezone, date, time, timeformat
  • insert memory card (don't forget to format it)
  • Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 1: Quality: RAW
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 1: RAW File Type: Uncompressed (unless taking advantage of the about-50% smaller RAW file size)
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 2: Long Exposure NR: Off
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 2: Lens Comp.: All Off
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 3: Bracket Settings: ->0>+ (makes selecting images for HDR processing easier)
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 4: Priority Set in AF-S: AF
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 4: Priority Set in AF-C: AF
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 4: Focus Area: Flexible Spot: S
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 4: Swt. V/H AF Area: AF Point Only
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 5: Face/Eye AF Set.: Face Dtct Frame Disp: On
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 8: Spot Metering Point: Focus Point Link
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 11: DRO/Auto HDR: Off
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 11: Creative Style: Neutral, Sharpness = 1 (This provides a lower contrast histogram. I usually process with the Natural creative style in Capture One)
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 5: Release w/o Lens: Disable
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 5: Release w/o Card: Disable (why is this not the default?)
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 7: Grid Line: Rule of 3rds Grid
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 10: Audio signals: Off (How to turn off the loud and usually-annoying AF beep sound)
  • Playback Menu, Tab 3: Display Rotation: Off (use full LCD for image review)
  • Setup Menu, Tab 1: Delete confirm: "Delete" first
  • Setup Menu, Tab 3: Touch Panel/Pad: Touch Panel+Pad
  • Setup Menu, Tab 3: Touch Panel/Pad Settings: Touch Pos. Mode: Relative Position; Operation Area: Whole Screen
  • Setup Menu, Tab 5: Copyright Info: Write Copyright Info: On, Set Photographer: {name}, Set Copyright: {name}
  • My Menu: Format; Silent Shooting; SteadyShot; Face/Eye AF Set; Live View Display

I make additional menu and other setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration means you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot - including in RAW-only format. While my setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.

If you can't remember your menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a great idea. Anytime your camera is reset-to-factory state for some reason, such as when being serviced, you will be ready to restore your setup quickly while ensuring that you do not miss an important setting. If you purchase another same or similar camera, you will be able to set it up quickly.

More Information

Sony a7C

Order the Sony a7C at B&H | Adorama | Amazon | WEX.
 
Rent the Sony a7C from Lensrentals.

Post Date: 11/10/2020 8:09:06 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, July 21, 2020

It was like Christmas in July when the Canon EOS R5 and Canon EOS R6 arrived in the same box. While these two cameras (and most others) come preconfigured for immediate and easy use, serious photographers need to set the camera up for the way they work. Following are the 42 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box R5 and R6 ready for use.

  1. Open the box, find the battery, place it in the charger, and plug it in.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box.
  3. Not required, but consider downloading and installing the latest Canon imaging software to get support for the latest camera model(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility, and Lens Registration Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  4. Attach the neck strap (if using).
  5. Insert a memory card (we'll format the card in a later step), insert a charged battery, and power the camera on.
  6. The date, time, and time zone setup screen will show at the first startup. Use the rear control dial and set button to update this information.
  7. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv, or M (some modes may provide only a subset of available menu options).
  8. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  9. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use the top control dial to set RAW to "RAW", and use the rear control dial to set JPEG to "-" (RAW image files provide the highest quality and are especially valuable for post-processing work)
  10. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: White balance: AWB W (White) (I seldom use another white balance setting while shooting, though I often adjust white balance modestly during post-processing)
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness = 1 (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram that best shows the available dynamic range. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Lens Aberration Correction: All options "OFF" (I suggest that most photographers enable Chromatic Aberration correction)
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: High ISO speed NR: Off (or Low) (noise reduction is destructive to images details — I prefer to add noise reduction sparingly during post-processing)
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 6: Release shutter without card: OFF (only in a retail store would you want to press the shutter release without saving the image file)
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 7: Image review: Review duration: 4 sec. (the Viewfinder review option is disabled by default, speeding the shooting process)
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 7: Shooting info. disp.: Screen info. settings: Enable 1, 2, 3, and 4; edit screen 2 to show only: Basic shooting info and Electronic level; edit screen 3 to show only: Basic shooting info, Histogram, and Electronic level
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 7: Shooting info. disp.: VF info/toggle setting: Enable 1, 2, and 3 (default); edit screen 2 to show only: Electronic level; edit screen 3 to show only: Histogram and Electronic level
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 7: Shooting info. disp.: Grid display: 3x3 (sometimes the 3x3 grid is helpful for alignment checking while not complicating the view)
  19. Shooting Menu, Tab 7: Shooting info. disp.: Histogram disp: RGB, Small (show the brightness levels of each channel separately and do not let the graph to take up much space in the display as it can affect the perceived composition)
  20. Shooting Menu, Tab 8: Disp performance: * select Smooth if shooting fast action and battery life is not a concern. Select Power saving otherwise.
  21. AF Menu, Tab 1: Subject to detect: Select People, Animals, or No priority as makes sense for your current shooting scenario
  22. AF Menu, Tab 1: Touch & drag AF settings: Touch & drag AF: Enable (allows the thumb drag across the rear LCD to quickly move the AF point while looking through the electronic viewfinder)
  23. AF Menu, Tab 4: Orientation linked AF point: Separate AF pts: Pt only (instructs the camera to individually save the selected AF points for vertical and horizontal orientation)
  24. AF Menu, Tab 4: Limit AF methods: enable Face+Tracking, Spot AF, and Single Point
  25. AF Menu, Tab 5: RF lens MF focus ring sensitivity: Linked to rotation degree
  26. Playback Menu, Tab 4: Magnify (apx): 10x (allows one button press during playback to zoom deeply into the image)
  27. Playback Menu, Tab 5: Playback information display: 1, 2, and 3 only; change view 2 histogram to RGB
  28. Playback Menu, Tab 5: Highlight Alert: Enable (overexposed pixels will blink during image review)
  29. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Format card (always format a memory card in-camera before using it — all data on the card will be lost)
  30. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Auto Rotate: On computer (images are properly rotated when viewed on a computer, but are always oriented to fill the LCD when viewed on the camera)
  31. Tools Menu, Tab 2: Beep: Disable (probably no one wants to hear your camera's beep)
  32. Tools Menu, Tab 5: Custom shooting mode (C1, C2, C3): Auto update set: Enable (see Configuring Custom Shooting Modes)
  33. Tools Menu, Tab 6: Copyright information: enter as desired
  34. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 1: Bracketing auto cancel: OFF (I want to control when AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing) is enabled and disabled)
  35. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 1: Bracketing sequence: -0+ (if images are captured in brightness sequence, they are easier to work with during post-processing. Capturing the darkest image first means quickly getting the first frame)
  36. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 3: Customize buttons: AF point button: Direct AF method selection; Set: Magnify; Multicontrollers: Direct AF point selection; Multi-function button: Dial function and press info to set details: turn off ISO (it is readily available on the dial), turn off white balance, turn off flash exposure compensation, enable exposure compensation, turn off AF method
  37. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 3: Customize dials: Control ring: OFF (consider using this dial for a function logical for your needs)
  38. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 4: Default erase option: [Erase] selected (less safe, but one less button press required to delete an image)
  39. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 4: Retract lens on power off: OFF (prevents a carefully-selected focus distance from resetting when the camera auto powers off)
  40. My Menu: Add My Menu 1; Register the following options: Expo.comp./AEB, IS (Image Stabilizer) mode, Expo. simulation, Subject to detect, Format card, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring the time); reorder menu items as desired
  41. My Menu: Add My Menu 2; Register the following options: Anti-flicker shoot., Focus bracketing, Shutter mode, Disp. performance, Sensor cleaning, Number of bracketed shots, reorder menu items as desired
  42. With a lens mounted and a subject focused on, adjust the viewfinder diopter until the scene is sharp

I make additional menu and other setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration means you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot — including in RAW-only format. While my setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.

If you can't remember your menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a great idea. Anytime your camera is reset-to-factory state for some reason, such as when being serviced, you will be ready to restore your setup quickly while ensuring that you do not miss an important setting. If you purchase another same or similar camera, you will be able to set it up quickly.

More Information

Canon EOS R5 | Canon EOS R6

 
Order the Canon EOS R5 from:

Body: B&H | Adorama | Amazon USA | WEX

w/ RF 24-105 L: B&H | Adorama | Amazon USA

Rent the Canon EOS R5 from Lensrentals.

 
Order the Canon EOS R6 from:

Body: B&H | Adorama | Amazon USA | WEX

w/ RF 24-105 STM: B&H | Adorama | Amazon USA | WEX

w/ RF 24-105 L: B&H | Adorama | Amazon USA

Rent the Canon EOS R6 from Lensrentals.

Post Date: 7/21/2020 10:44:29 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, June 11, 2020

With a Canon EOS Rebel T8i in hand, it is time to set up the camera for use. Following are the 33 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box T8i ready for use.

  1. Open the box, find the battery, place it in the charger and plug it in.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box.
  3. Download and install the Canon Solution Disk software on your computer, gaining support for the latest camera(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP) and EOS Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  4. Attach the neck strap.
  5. Insert the battery (after charging completes) and power the camera on.
  6. Insert a memory card.
  7. Turn on the camera.
  8. Adjust the date and time (automatically prompted upon turning the camera on the first time).
  9. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv or M (some modes provide only a small subset of available menu options).
  10. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  11. Shooting settings, Tab 1: Image quality: Use top dial to set RAW to "RAW" and Cross Keys to set JPEG to "-" (RAW image files provide the highest quality and are especially valuable for post processing work)
  12. Shooting settings, Tab 1: Image review: 4 sec. (or sometimes off to increase shooting speed in the field)
  13. Shooting settings, Tab 1: Release shutter without card: Disable (only in a retail store do you want to press the shutter release without saving the image file, leaving this option enabled will burn you someday)
  14. Shooting settings, Tab 1: Lens Aberration Correction: All options "OFF" (though Chromatic Aberration correction is a good option to leave enabled for most)
  15. Shooting settings, Tab 3: White balance: AWB W (White) (I seldom use another white balance setting while shooting, though I often adjust modestly during post processing)
  16. Shooting settings, Tab 3: Picture Style: Neutral with Strength = 1 (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram on the back of the camera that most-accurately shows me blown highlights and blocked shadows on the camera LCD. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  17. Shooting settings, Tab 4: High ISO speed NR: Off (or Low) (noise reduction is destructive to images details - I prefer to add noise reduction sparingly during post processing)
  18. Playback settings, Tab 4: Histogram disp: RGB (I want to see the graph for individual color channels)
  19. Function settings, Tab 1: Auto Rotate: On computer (only) (images are properly rotated when viewed on a computer, but are always oriented to fill the LCD when viewed on the camera)
  20. Function settings, Tab 1: Format card (always format memory cards in-camera — after all contained images are stored elsewhere of course)
  21. Function settings, Tab 2: Date/Time/Zone: make correct for your location (if not done at startup)
  22. Function settings, Tab 3: Beep: Disable (no one wants to hear your camera constantly beeping)
  23. Function settings, Tab 4: Viewfinder display: Show all
  24. Function settings, Tab 5: Custom Functions settings(C.Fn): C.Fn I: Exposure: 2: ISO expansion: On (required for setting ISO to 51200)
  25. Function settings, Tab 5: Custom Functions settings(C.Fn): C.Fn I: Exposure: 5: Exposure comp. auto cancel: Disable (I'll decide when exposure compensation should be canceled)
  26. Function settings, Tab 5: Custom Functions settings(C.Fn): C.Fn III: Operation/Others: 14: Retract lens on power off (avoids having a carefully-selected focus distance reset when camera auto powers off)
  27. Function settings, Tab 5: Copyright information: enter as desired
  28. Display level settings, Tab 1: Shooting screen: Standard (Guided is useful for beginners)
  29. Display level settings, Tab 1: Menu displaye: Standard (Guided is useful for beginners)
  30. Display level settings, Tab 1: Mode guide: Disable (Enabled is useful for beginners)
  31. Display level settings, Tab 1: Feature guide: Disable (Enabled is useful for beginners)
  32. My Menu: Add the first tab; Register the following options for Tab 1: Format card, Mirror lockup, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring what time it is), Sensor cleaning (nothing in my My Menu is found on the Quick Control display as those functions are already quickly accessed)
  33. With a lens mounted and a subject focused on, adjust the viewfinder diopter until the scene is sharp

I of course make additional menu and other setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot – including shooting in RAW-only format. While my setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.

If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. Anytime your camera is reset-to-factory state for some reason, such as when being serviced, you will be ready to restore your setup quickly while ensuring that you do not miss an important setting. If you purchase another same or similar camera, you will be able to quickly set it up.

More Information

Canon EOS Rebel T8i

The Canon EOS Rebel T8i is in stock at B&H | Adorama | Amazon | WEX.

Rent the Canon EOS Rebel T8i from Lensrentals.

Post Date: 6/11/2020 8:05:29 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, February 18, 2020

With a Canon EOS-1D X Mark III in hand, it is time to set up the camera for use. Following are the 46 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box 1D X III ready for use.

  1. Open the box, find the battery and charger and plug it in. If you have another charged Canon LP-E19 (or LP-E4N) battery available, you can continue to the battery-required steps without a wait.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box. For me, this is primarily the camera, the eye cup and the neck strap.
  3. Pause for a moment to grip the camera, taking in the 1-series camera awesomeness (right up there with new car smell) and the new-camera grippyness.
  4. Download the Canon EOS Solution Disk software (download) and install it on your computer. Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility and Lens Registration Utility are the options I install.
  5. Attach the eyecup
  6. Attach the neck strap (unless I am planning to use very large lenses)
  7. Record the camera's serial number and ensure that proper insurance coverage is in place.
  8. Important: Turn the vertical grip on (switch near top of vertical grip — why is this off by default?).
  9. Insert the battery (ideally, after charging completes).
  10. Power the camera on.
  11. The date and time setup screen will show at startup the first time. Use the Rear Control dial and the Set button to update this information.
  12. Insert one (or two) memory card(s) (format them via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  13. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: White balance: AWB-W (Auto: White priority)
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness Strength set to "1" (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram on the back of the camera that most-accurately shows me blown highlights and blocked shadows — I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Lens aberration correction: All disabled (though I suggest leaving CA correction enabled for most uses — all adjustments can be applied in DPP)
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Img type/size: Use top dial to set RAW to "RAW" and Rear Control dial to set JPEG to "—"
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: ISO Speed Settings: ISO Speed range: L(50)-H3(819200) (the defaults may be a better choice for most)
  19. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Auto Lighting Optimizer: Off
  20. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: High ISO speed noise reduction: Off or Low (noise reduction is destructive to images details — I prefer to add NR sparingly in post. Having a noise reduction option enabled will provide a good base starting point for noise reduction settings for post processing in DPP.)
  21. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Image review: 4 sec.
  22. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Release without card: Disable (I highly recommend this setting change — it should be Canon's default)
  23. AF Menu, Tab 2: AI Servo 1st image priority: Focus (I want the images in focus more than I want the time-priority capture)
  24. AF Menu, Tab 2: AI Servo 2nd image priority: Focus +2 (same reason)
  25. AF Menu, Tab 4: Orientation linked AF point: Separate AF pts: Area + pt
  26. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Playback information display: Enable 1 and 3
  27. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Highlight alert: Enable (enable the "blinkies", flash portions of image that are overexposed during image review)
  28. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Playback grid: 3x3
  29. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Histogram disp: RGB (I want to monitor all three color channels for blown or blocked details)
  30. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Magnification (apx): 10x
  31. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Auto rotate: On/Computer only (this provides the always-largest playback image size on the camera LCD)
  32. Tools Menu, Tab 2: Viewfinder display: Viewfinder level: Show, VF grid display: Enable
  33. Tools Menu, Tab 2: Info button display options: Electronic level only
  34. Tools Menu, Tab 3: Beep: Disable
  35. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Custom shooting mode (C1-C3): Auto update set: Enable (see also: Configuring Custom Shooting Modes)
  36. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Copyright information: Enter author's name: [enter name]
  37. Custom Functions, Tab 1: Bracket auto cancel: OFF
  38. Custom Functions, Tab 1: Bracketing sequence: -0+ (captures shortest frames first and sequences images from dark to bright)
  39. Custom Functions, Tab 3: Restrict shooting modes: Enable all (adds C2 and C3)
  40. Custom Functions, Tab 4: Restrict drive modes: Disable: low speed continuous, Silent HS continuous, Silent LS continuous
  41. Custom Functions, Tab 5: Rec card, img size setting: Off (I don't use this button. being able to turn it off prevents inadvertent changes)
  42. Custom Functions, Tab 6: Av setting without lens: On (allows me to prepare the camera for a specific, not-yet-mounted lens)
  43. Custom Functions, Tab 6: Custom Controls: Smart controller: Direct AF point selection, Set: Mag/Reduce; Multicontrollers: Direct AF point selection; M-Fn2: One Shot/AI Servo
  44. Custom Functions, Tab 7: Smart controller: On
  45. Custom Functions, Tab 8: Default erase option: [Erase] selected
  46. My Menu: Add the first tab; Register the following options for Tab 1: Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring what time it is), Format card, Mirror lockup, Anti-flicker shoot, Sensor cleaning
  47. Mount a lens, focus on a subject, and adjust the diopter (remove the eyecup)
I of course make additional menu and other setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot — including shooting in RAW-only format. While my setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.

If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. Anytime your camera is reset-to-factory state for some reason, such as when being serviced, you will be ready to restore your setup quickly while ensuring that you do not miss an important setting. If you purchase another same or similar camera, you will be able to quickly set it up.

More Information

Canon EOS-1D X Mark III

Get your Canon EOS-1D X Mark III from B&H | Adorama | Amazon | WEX.

Rent the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III from Lensrentals.

Post Date: 2/18/2020 8:42:56 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Saturday, February 8, 2020

With a Canon EOS M200 in hand, it is time to set up the camera for use. Following are the 29 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box M200 ready for use.

  1. Open the box, find the battery, place it in the charger and plug it in.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box. This is a good time to install the neck strap.
  3. Download and install the Canon Solution Disk software on your computer to get support for the latest camera(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility, Photostitch and Lens Registration Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  4. Insert the battery (after charging completes) and power the camera on.
  5. The date, time and time zone setup screen will show at the first startup. Use the Rear Control dial and Set button to update this information.
  6. Insert a memory card (don't forget to format the card via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  7. If the lens being used retracts beyond a usable focal length (the EF-M 15-45 for example), unlock and extend the lens.
  8. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv or M (some modes provide only a small subset of available menu options). Use the middle switch setting (Creative Assist by default) and scroll up to the advanced modes.
  9. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  10. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use top dial to set RAW to "RAW" and Rear Control arrow (press left or right) to set JPEG to "-"
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image review: Off (without a review display being shown and cleared, the viewfinder becomes ready-for-shooting faster)
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Lens aberration correction: disable all (I correct lens aberrations during post processing if warranted, though enabling CA correction is usually a good idea and if shooting in JPG mode, consider enabling other options as well.)
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Auto Lighting Optimizer: Off (again, those shooting in JPG mode might want to explore the results of this option)
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness = 1 (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram on the back of the camera that most-accurately shows me blown highlights and blocked shadows on the camera LCD. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture. If shooting in JPG mode, selecting "Standard" is probably a better option.)
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 5: High speed NR: Off (or Low) (Noise reduction is destructive to images details - I prefer to add NR sparingly in post. Select "Low" if shooting in JPG format).
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 5: Touch Shutter: Disable
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 6: Continuous AF: Disable (increases battery life)
  18. Playback Menu, Tab 4: AF point disp.: Disable
  19. Playback Menu, Tab 4: View from last seen: Disable
  20. Wireless Menu, Tab 1: Airplane mode: On (unless using the wireless features)
  21. Set Up Menu, Tab 1: Auto rotate: On, computer only (if I'm shooting vertically, I want the image to also display vertically on the camera, optimally using the full screen)
  22. Set Up Menu, Tab 3: Beep: Disable (no one else wants to hear your camera)
  23. Set Up Menu, Tab 4: Shooting information display: Grid display: 3x3, Histogram: RGB
  24. Set Up Menu, Tab 5: Custom Functions(C.Fn): ISO expansion: On
  25. Set Up Menu, Tab 5: Custom Functions(C.Fn): Shutter release w/o lens (Disable)
  26. Set Up Menu, Tab 5: Copyright information: Enter author's name
  27. Display Level Menu, Tab 1: Menu display: Standard
  28. Display Level Menu, Tab 1: Feature guide: Disable (beginners will want this feature enabled)
  29. My Menu: Set up
I of course make additional menu and other setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot - including shooting in RAW-only format. While my setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.

If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. Anytime your camera is reset-to-factory state for some reason, such as when being serviced, you will be ready to restore your setup quickly while ensuring that you do not miss an important setting. If you purchase another same or similar camera, you will be able to quickly set it up.

More Information

Canon EOS M200

The Canon EOS M200 is in stock at B&H.

Post Date: 2/8/2020 9:53:49 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, November 19, 2019

As with any new camera, the first task with a new Sony a7R IV in hand is to set it up for use. Following are the 39 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box Sony a7R IV ready for use (including tweaks made after roughly 15,000 frames of use).

  • Charge battery
  • Install neck strap (if opting to use one)
  • If your current image processing software does not support the Sony a7R IV, download and install Capture One (for Sony) and/or Sony Imaging Edge
  • Insert charged battery and power on the camera
  • Set the timezone, date, time, timeformat (note that the AM/PM setting is not directly able to be changed – the hour setting must be scrolled 12 hours to change this)
  • insert memory card (don't forget to format it)
  • Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 1: Quality: RAW
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 1: RAW File Type: Uncompressed (unless taking advantage of the about-50% smaller RAW file size)
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 2: Long Exposure NR: Off
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 2: Lens Comp.: All Off
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 3: Bracket Settings: Self-timer during Bracket: 2 Sec
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 3: Bracket Settings: Bracket Order: ->0>+ (makes selecting images for HDR processing easier)
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 3: Memory: I set the 3 Custom dial modes to my standard landscape, sports, and wildlife settings later
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 5: Priority Set in AF-S: AF
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 5: Priority Set in AF-C: AF
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 5: Focus Area: Flexible Spot: S
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 5: Swt. V/H AF Area: AF Point Only
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 6: Face/Eye AF Set.: Face/Eye Frame Display: On
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 6: Aperture Drive in AF: Focus Priority
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 9: Reset EV Comp.: Maintain
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 10: Spot Metering Point: Focus Point Link
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 12: DRO/Auto HDR: Off
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 12: Creative Style: Neutral, Sharpness = 1 (I usually process with the Natural creative style in Capture One)
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 4: Release w/o Lens: Disable
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 4: Release w/o Card: Disable
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 7: Grid Line: Rule of 3rds Grid
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 9: Dial Setup: TV/Av (I adjust Tv while shooting more frequently than I adjust Av and the front dial is easier to access quickly)
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 11: Audio signals: Off (How to turn off the loud and usually-annoying AF beep sound)
  • Network Menu 1, Tab 2: Airplane Mode: On
  • Setup Menu, Tab 1: Delete confirm: "Delete" first
  • Setup Menu, Tab 2: Touch Operation: On
  • Setup Menu, Tab 3: Touch Panel/Pad: Touch Panel+Pad
  • Setup Menu, Tab 3: Touch Panel/Pad Settings: Touch Pos. Mode: Relative Position; Operation Area: Right Half of Screen
  • Setup Menu, Tab 5: Write Serial Number: On
  • Setup Menu, Tab 5: Copyright Info: Write Copyright Info: On, Set Photographer: {name}, Set Copyright: {name}
  • My Menu: Px. Shift Multi Shoot.; Anti-flicker Shoot; Format; Silent Shooting; Steady Shot; Format; Face/Eye AF Set
  • Mount a lens, focus on something with detail, and adjust the viewfinder diopter to your vision
  • Check for sensor dust (this was an issue with the two a7R IV cameras I received).

I of course make additional menu and other setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot – including shooting in RAW-only format. While my setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.

If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. Anytime your camera is reset-to-factory state for some reason, such as when being serviced, you will be ready to restore your setup quickly while ensuring that you do not miss an important setting. If you purchase another same or similar camera, you will be able to quickly set it up.

More Information

Sony a7R IV

The Sony a7R IV is in stock at B&H | Adorama | Amazon | WEX.

Rent the Sony a7R IV from Lensrentals.

Post Date: 11/19/2019 8:03:18 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Saturday, September 7, 2019

With a Canon EOS M6 Mark II in hand, it was time to set up the camera for use. Following are the 36 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box M6 II ready for use.

  1. Open the box, find the battery and charger and plug it in. If you have another charged battery available, you can continue to the battery-required steps without a wait. Or, the supplied battery may have enough charge to take you through these steps if you can't wait.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box. For me, this is primarily the camera, the eye cup, and the neck strap
  3. Install the latest Canon EOS Solution Disk software on your computer to get support for the latest camera(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility, and Lens Registration Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  4. Attach the neck strap.
  5. Insert a sufficiently charged battery.
  6. Power the camera on.
  7. The date and time setup screen will show at startup the first time. Use the Rear Control dial and the Set button to update this information.
  8. Insert a memory card (format them via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  9. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv or M (some modes provide only a small subset of available menu options).
  10. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use top dial to set RAW to "RAW" and Rear Control dial to set JPEG to "-"
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image review: Off
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: ISO Speed Settings: ISO Speed range: 100-H (51200), Auto ISO Speed range: 100-25600
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Lens aberration correction: All disabled (though I suggest leaving CA correction enabled for most uses - all can be applied to a RAW file in DPP)
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: White balance: AWB-W (Auto: White priority)
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness Strength set to "1" (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram on the back of the camera that most-accurately shows me blown highlights and blocked shadows on the camera LCD. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: High ISO speed noise reduction: Low or Off (noise reduction is destructive to image details - I prefer to add NR sparingly in post)
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 7: Eye Detection AF: Enable
  19. Shooting Menu, Tab 7: Touch & drag AF settings: Touch and drag AF: Enable
  20. Playback Menu, Tab 4: Playback information display: Leave options 1 and 2 (only) checked and press info to change option 2's histogram to RGB
  21. Playback Menu, Tab 4: Highlight alert: Enable (flash portions of images that are overexposed)
  22. Playback Menu, Tab 4: Playback grid: 3x3
  23. Playback Menu, Tab 4: Magnificatn (apx): Actual size
  24. Setup Menu, Tab 1: Auto rotate: On/Computer only (this provides the largest playback image size on the camera LCD)
  25. Setup Menu, Tab 1: Mode guide: Disable
  26. Setup Menu, Tab 1: Feature guide: Disable
  27. Setup Menu, Tab 3: Beep: Disable
  28. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Shooting info. display: Screen info. settings: Enable 1, 3, 4
  29. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Shooting info. display: VF info/toggle setting: Enable 1 and 3
  30. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Shooting info. display: Grid display: 3x3 (sometimes helpful for alignment checking)
  31. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Shooting info. display: Histogram disp: RGB, Small (I want to see the brightness levels of each channel separately and don't want the graph to take up much space in the display)
  32. Setup Menu, Tab 5: Custom shooting mode (C1-C3): Auto update set: Enable (see also: Configuring Custom Shooting Modes)
  33. Setup Menu, Tab 5: Copyright information: Type name as desired
  34. Custom Functions, Tab 1: C.Fn II :Autofocus: Orientation linked AF point: Separate AF pts: Pt only
  35. My Menu: Add the first tab; Register the following options for Tab 1: Format card, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring what time it is), Sensor cleaning, Expo.comp./AEB
  36. Mount a lens, focus on a subject and adjust the viewfinder diopter (if necessary)
I of course make additional menu and other setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot - including shooting in RAW-only format. While my setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.

If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. IF your camera is reset-to-factory state for some reason, such as when being serviced, you will be ready to restore your setup quickly while ensuring that you do not miss an important setting. If you purchase another same or similar camera, you will be able to quickly set it up.

More Information

Canon EOS M6 Mark II

Order the Canon EOS M6 Mark II at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX.

Post Date: 9/7/2019 7:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, September 6, 2019

With a Canon EOS 90D in hand, it was time to set up the camera for use. Following are the 36 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box 90D ready for use.

  1. Open the box, find the battery and charger and plug it in. If you have another charged LP-E6/LP-E6N battery available, you can continue to the battery-required steps without a wait. Or, the supplied battery may have enough charge to take you through these steps if you can't wait.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box. For me, this is primarily the camera, the eye cup, and the neck strap
  3. Install the latest Canon EOS Solution Disk software on your computer to get support for the latest camera(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility, and Lens Registration Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  4. Attach the neck strap.
  5. Insert a sufficiently charged battery.
  6. Power the camera on.
  7. The date and time setup screen will show at startup the first time. Use the Rear Control dial and the Set button to update this information.
  8. Insert a memory card (format them via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  9. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv or M (some modes provide only a small subset of available menu options).
  10. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use top dial to set RAW to "RAW" and Rear Control dial to set JPEG to "-"
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image review: 4 sec.
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Release without card: Disable/off (I highly recommend this setting)
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Lens aberration correction: All disabled (though I suggest leaving CA correction enabled for most uses - all can be applied to a RAW file in DPP)
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: ISO Speed Settings: ISO Speed range: 100-H (51200), Auto ISO Speed range: 100-25600
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: White balance: AWB-W (Auto: White priority)
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness Strength set to "1" (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram on the back of the camera that most-accurately shows me blown highlights and blocked shadows on the camera LCD. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: High ISO speed noise reduction: Low or Off (noise reduction is destructive to image details - I prefer to add NR sparingly in post)
  19. Playback Menu, Tab 4: Playback information display: Leave options 1 and 2 (only) checked and press info to change option 2's histogram to RGB
  20. Playback Menu, Tab 4: Highlight alert: Enable (flash portions of images that are overexposed)
  21. Playback Menu, Tab 4: Playback grid: 3x3
  22. Setup Menu, Tab 1: Auto rotate: On/Computer only (this provides the largest playback image size on the camera LCD)
  23. Setup Menu, Tab 3: Beep: Disable
  24. Setup Menu, Tab 4: Mode guide: Disable
  25. Setup Menu, Tab 4: Feature guide: Disable
  26. Setup Menu, Tab 4: Viewfinder display: Select all options
  27. Setup Menu, Tab 5: Custom shooting mode (C1-C3): Auto update set: Enable (see also: Configuring Custom Shooting Modes)
  28. Setup Menu, Tab 5: Copyright information: Type name as desired
  29. Custom Functions, Tab 1: C.Fn I :Exposure: Bracketing auto cancel: Disable
  30. Custom Functions, Tab 1: C.Fn I :Exposure: Bracketing sequence: -, 0, +
  31. Custom Functions, Tab 1: C.Fn II :Autofocus: AI Servo 1st image priority: Focus priority (I want the images in focus more than I want the time-priority capture)
  32. Custom Functions, Tab 1: C.Fn II :Autofocus: Focus priority (same reason)
  33. Custom Functions, Tab 1: C.Fn II :Autofocus: Orientation linked AF point: Separate AF pts: Area + pt
  34. Custom Functions, Tab 1: C.Fn III : Operation/others: Custom controls: AF-ON: One shot AI Servo; Set: Playback; Multicontroller: Direct AF point selection
  35. My Menu: Add the first tab; Register the following options for Tab 1: Mirror lockup, Format card, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring what time it is), Sensor cleaning, Expo.comp./AEB
  36. Mount a lens, focus on a subject and adjust the viewfinder diopter (if necessary)
I of course make additional menu and other setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot - including shooting in RAW-only format. While my setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.

If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. IF your camera is reset-to-factory state for some reason, such as when being serviced, you will be ready to restore your setup quickly while ensuring that you do not miss an important setting. If you purchase another same or similar camera, you will be able to quickly set it up.

More Information

Canon EOS 90D

Order the Canon EOS 90D at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX.

Post Date: 9/6/2019 10:09:02 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, May 13, 2019

With a Canon EOS Rebel SL3 (EOS 250D, EOS Kiss 10, EOS 200D II) in hand, it is time to set up the camera for use. Following are the 32 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box Canon EOS Rebel SL3 ready for use.

  1. Open the box, find the battery, place it in the charger and plug it in.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box.
  3. Download and install the Canon Solution Disk software on your computer, gaining support for the latest camera(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP) and EOS Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  4. Attach the neck strap.
  5. Insert the battery (after charging completes) and power the camera on.
  6. Insert a memory card.
  7. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv or M (some modes provide only a small subset of available menu options).
  8. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  9. Shooting settings, Tab 1: Image quality: Use top dial to set RAW to "RAW" and Cross Keys to set JPEG to "-" (RAW image files provide the highest quality and are especially valuable for post processing work)
  10. Shooting settings, Tab 1: Image review: 4 sec. (or sometimes off to increase shooting speed in the field)
  11. Shooting settings, Tab 1: Release shutter without card: Disable (only in a retail store do you want to press the shutter release without saving the image file, leaving this option enabled will burn you someday)
  12. Shooting settings, Tab 1: Lens Aberration Correction: All options "OFF" (though Chromatic Aberration correction is a good option to leave enabled for most)
  13. Shooting settings, Tab 4: White balance: AWB W (White) (I seldom use another white balance setting while shooting, though I often adjust modestly during post processing)
  14. Shooting settings, Tab 4: Picture Style: Neutral with Strength = 1 (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram on the back of the camera that most-accurately shows me blown highlights and blocked shadows on the camera LCD. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  15. Shooting settings, Tab 5: Long exp. noise reduction: Auto (when active, LENR captures a dark image that is used to correct the long exposure noise in the primary image)
  16. Shooting settings, Tab 5: High ISO speed NR: Off (or Low) (noise reduction is destructive to images details - I prefer to add noise reduction sparingly during post processing)
  17. Playback settings, Tab 1: Histogram disp: RGB (I want to see the graph for individual color channels)
  18. Function settings, Tab 1: Format card (always format memory cards in-camera — after all contained images are stored elsewhere of course)
  19. Function settings, Tab 1: Auto Rotate: On computer (only) (images are properly rotated when viewed on a computer, but are always oriented to fill the LCD when viewed on the camera)
  20. Function settings, Tab 2: Date/Time/Zone: make correct for your location
  21. Function settings, Tab 3: Beep: Disable (no one wants to hear your camera constantly beeping)
  22. Function settings, Tab 5: Copyright information: enter as desired
  23. Function settings, Tab 5: Custom Functions settings(C.Fn): C.Fn I: Exposure: 2: ISO expansion: On (required for setting ISO to 51200)
  24. Shooting settings, Tab 3: Photo ISO speed settings: ISO 51200 (this upper limit is only being used for testing, set to your tolerance)
  25. Function settings, Tab 5: Custom Functions settings(C.Fn): C.Fn I: Exposure: 4: Exposure comp. auto cancel: Disable (I'll decide when exposure compensation should be canceled)
  26. Function settings, Tab 5: Custom Functions settings(C.Fn): C.Fn I: Operation/Others: 11: Retract lens on power off (avoids having a carefully-selected focus distance reset when camera auto powers off)
  27. Display level settings, Tab 1: Shooting screen: Standard (Guided is useful for beginners)
  28. Display level settings, Tab 1: Menu displaye: Standard (Guided is useful for beginners)
  29. Display level settings, Tab 1: Mode guide: Disable (Enabled is useful for beginners)
  30. Display level settings, Tab 1: Feature guide: Disable (Enabled is useful for beginners)
  31. My Menu: Add the first tab; Register the following options for Tab 1: Format card, Mirror lockup, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring what time it is), Expo.comp./AEB, Long exp. noise reduction, Sensor cleaning (nothing in my My Menu is found on the Quick Control display as those functions are already quickly accessed)
  32. With a lens mounted and a subject focused on, adjust the viewfinder diopter until the scene is sharp
I of course make additional menu and other setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot - including shooting in RAW-only format. While my setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.

If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. Anytime your camera is reset-to-factory state for some reason, such as when being serviced, you will be ready to restore your setup quickly while ensuring that you do not miss an important setting. If you purchase another same or similar camera, you will be able to quickly set it up.

More Information

Canon EOS Rebel SL3

The Canon EOS Rebel SL3 is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX.

Post Date: 5/13/2019 7:30:12 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, February 21, 2019

Upon being handed a Canon EOS RP to evaluate, I immediately set up the camera for use. Following are the 42 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box EOS RP ready for use.

  1. Open the box, find the battery, place it in the charger and plug it in.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box.
  3. Download and install the Canon Solution Disk software on your computer, gaining support for the latest camera(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP) and EOS Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  4. Attach the neck strap.
  5. Insert the battery (after charging completes) and power the camera on.
  6. The date, time and timezone setup screen will show at the first startup. Use the rear cross keys and set button to update this information.
  7. Insert a memory card (don't forget to format the card via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  8. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv or M (some modes provide only a small subset of available menu options).
  9. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  10. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use top dial to set RAW to "RAW" and Cross Keys to set JPEG to "-" (RAW image files provide the highest quality and are especially valuable for post processing work)
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image review: 4 sec. (or sometimes off to increase shooting speed in the field)
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Release shutter without card: Disable (only in a retail store do you want to press the shutter release without saving the image file)
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Lens Aberration Correction: All options "OFF" (though Chromatic Aberration correction is a good option to leave enabled for most)
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Photo ISO speed settings: ISO speed range: L(50) – H2(102400) (settings used for testing, adjust to your tolerance)
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: White balance: AWB W (White) (I seldom use another white balance setting while shooting, though I often adjust modestly during post processing)
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: Picture Style: Neutral with Strength = 1 (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram on the back of the camera that most-accurately shows me blown highlights and blocked shadows on the camera LCD. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 5: Long exp. noise reduction: Auto (when active, LENR captures a dark image that is used to correct the long exposure noise in the primary image)
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 5: High ISO speed NR: Off (or Low) (noise reduction is destructive to images details – I prefer to add noise reduction sparingly during post processing)
  19. Shooting Menu, Tab 6: High speed display: ON (note that the camera must be set to Servo AF and high speed continuous frame rate to enable this option)
  20. Shooting Menu, Tab 7: Touch & drag AF settings: Touch & drag AF: Enable (allows a thumb drag across the rear LCD to quickly move the AF point while looking through the electronic viewfinder)
  21. Playback Menu, Tab 4: Playback information display: 1 and 3 enabled (avoids too many playback information options)
  22. Playback Menu, Tab 4: Highlight Alert: Enable (causes overexposed pixels to blink)
  23. Playback Menu, Tab 4: Playback grid: 3x3 (sometimes helps with checking alignment)
  24. Playback Menu, Tab 4: Magnificatn (apx): Actual size (from selected pt) (allows one button press during playback to zoom deeply into the image)
  25. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Auto Rotate: On computer (only) (images are properly rotated when viewed on a computer, but are always oriented to fill the LCD when viewed on the camera)
  26. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Mode guide: Disable (useful for beginners)
  27. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Feature guide: Disable (useful for beginners)
  28. Tools Menu, Tab 3: Beep: Disable (probably no one wants to hear you beeping camera setting changes or focus confirmation)
  29. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Shooting info. display: Screen info. settings: Enable 1 (press Info, disable basic shooting info and enable Electronic level), 3 and 4
  30. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Shooting info. display: VF info/toggle setting: Enable 1, (press Info, disable Detailed shooting info and Histogram disp, enable Electronic level) and 3 (press Info, disable Detailed shooting info, enable Histogram disp and Electronic level)
  31. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Shooting info. display: Grid display: 3x3 (sometimes helpful for alignment checking)
  32. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Shooting info. display: Histogram disp: Brightness/RGB: RGB, Display size: Small (I want to see the brightness levels of each channel separately and don't want the graph to take up much space in the display)
  33. Tools Menu, Tab 6: Custom shooting mode (C1 - C3): Auto update set: Enable (see Configuring Custom Shooting Modes)
  34. Tools Menu, Tab 6: Copyright information: enter as desired
  35. Custom Functions Menu, C.Fn I: Exposure: 3: Bracketing auto cancel: OFF (I want to control when AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing) is enabled and disabled)
  36. Custom Functions Menu, C.Fn I: Exposure: 4: Bracketing sequence: -0+ (if images are captured in brightness sequence, they are easier to work with during post processing. Capturing the darkest image first means that I quickly get at least the first frame)
  37. Custom Functions Menu, C.Fn II: Autofocus: 6: Orientation linked AF point: 1:Separate AF pts: Pt only (instructs camera to individually save the selected AF points for vertical and horizontal orientation)
  38. Custom Functions Menu, C.Fn III: Operation/Others: 4: RF lens MF focus ring sensitivity: Linked to rotation degree (I do not like most variable speed AF rings)
  39. Custom Functions Menu, C.Fn III: Operation/Others: Customize buttons: Up, Down, Left and Right buttons: Direct AF point selection
  40. Custom Functions Menu, C.Fn III: Retract lens on power off: OFF (avoids having a carefully-selected focus distance resetting when camera auto powers off)
  41. My Menu: Add the first tab; Register the following options for Tab 1: Format card, Image review (disable when speed is needed), Expo. simulation, Long exposure noise reduction, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring what time it is), Expo.comp./AEB (found back up near the top of the list) (nothing in my My Menu is found on the Quick Control display as those functions are already quickly accessed)
  42. With a lens mounted and a subject focused on, adjust the viewfinder diopter until the scene is sharp
Many other menu and other setting changes are made based on the current shooting scenario, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot – including shooting in RAW-only format. While my setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.

If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. Anytime your camera is reset-to-factory state for some reason, such as when being serviced, you will be ready to restore your setup quickly while ensuring that you do not miss an important setting. If you purchase another same or similar camera, you will be able to quickly set it up.

More Information

Canon EOS RP

Get the Canon EOS RP at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX

Post Date: 2/21/2019 7:47:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Sunday, February 10, 2019

I have a Nikon D850 in my hands and it is time to set up the camera for use. Following are the 31 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box Nikon D850 ready for use.

  1. Charge battery
  2. Install neck strap
  3. Mount a lens
  4. Insert charged battery and power on the camera
  5. While looking at an in-focus subject through the viewfinder, adjust the viewfinder diopter until the view is sharp. To do this, pull out on the adjustment knob beside the viewfinder and turn it until the view is sharp. Then press it back in to lock the setting.
  6. Download and install any Nikon software you want to have available.
  7. Insert memory card
  8. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  9. Playback Menu: Display Options: RGB Histogram (I want to see the graph of individual channels)
  10. Playback Menu: Image review: On
  11. Photo Shooting Menu: Image Quality: RAW
  12. Photo Shooting Menu: Set Picture Control: Neutral with sharpness set to "1" and all other parameters set to "0" (this option provides a low contrast view and better shows available dynamic in the histogram)
  13. Photo Shooting Menu: High ISO NR: Off (Low is also a good option)
  14. Photo Shooting Menu: Vignette control: Off
  15. Movie Shooting Menu: Frame size/frame rate: 3840x2160; 30p
  16. Movie Shooting Menu: Set Picture Control: Standard with Sharpening = +2
  17. Movie Shooting Menu: High ISO NR: Low
  18. Custom Setting Menu: Autofocus: AF-C priority selection: Focus
  19. Custom Setting Menu: Autofocus: 3D-tracking face-detection: On
  20. Custom Setting Menu: Autofocus: Store by orientation: Focus point
  21. Custom Setting Menu: Shooting/display: ISO display: ON
  22. Custom Setting Menu: Viewfinder grid display: On
  23. Custom Setting Menu: Bracketing/flash: Bracketing order: Under > MTR > over (having my bracketed shots in brightness sequence makes post processing visually easier)
  24. Custom Setting Menu: Controls: Custom control assignment: Fn1: Viewfinder virtual horizon, RESET Select center focus point, Sub-selector: Same as multi selector
  25. Custom Setting Menu: Controls: Custom control assignment: f10: Assign MB-D18 buttons: Fn button: Viewfinder virtual horizon
  26. Setup Menu: Date and time: <use current>
  27. Setup Menu: Format memory card
  28. Setup Menu: Copyright information: <set as desired>, Attach copyright information: selected
  29. Setup Menu: Airplane mode: ON
  30. Setup Menu: Slot empty release lock: Lock (I want the camera to prevent me from taking a picture if a memory card is not installed)
  31. My Menu: Add items: Setup menu: Format memory card, Lock mirror up for cleaning, Focus shift shooting, Shooting menu: Long exposure noise reduction, Flicker reduction; Shooting/display: d5 Exposure delay mode
I of course make other menu and setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot – including shooting in RAW-only format (highly recommended). While my setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.

If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. Anytime your camera goes in for a service visit, the camera will likely be returned in a reset-to-factory state (unless you request otherwise). If your camera ever needs reset to factory settings any reason (or you purchase a second model), you will be ready to restore your setup quickly while ensuring that you do not miss an important setting. Your list will ensure that you do not miss an important setting when putting the camera into service.

More Information

Nikon D850 Review

The Nikon D850 is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX.

Rent the Nikon D850 from Lensrentals.

Post Date: 2/10/2019 7:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, December 5, 2018

I have the Nikon Z 6 and Nikon Z 7 in my hands and it is time to set up the cameras for use. Following are the 31 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box Nikon Z 6/7 ready for use.

  1. Charge battery
  2. Install neck strap
  3. Mount a lens
  4. Insert charged battery and power on the camera
  5. While looking at an in-focus subject through the viewfinder, adjust the viewfinder diopter until the view is sharp. To do this, pull out on the adjustment knob beside the viewfinder and turn it until the view is sharp. Then press it back in to lock in the setting.
  6. Download and install any Nikon software you want to have available.
  7. Insert memory card
  8. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  9. Playback Menu: Display Options: Highlights, RGB Histogram
  10. Playback Menu: Image review: On
  11. Photo Shooting Menu: Image Quality: NEF (RAW)
  12. Photo Shooting Menu: Set Picture Control: Neutral with Sharpening = +1, all other parameters set to 0 (this option provides a low contrast view and better shows available dynamic in the histogram)
  13. Photo Shooting Menu: High ISO NR: OFF (Low is also a good option)
  14. Photo Shooting Menu: Vignette control: OFF
  15. Photo Shooting Menu: Diffraction compensation: OFF
  16. Photo Shooting Menu: Auto distortion control: OFF (* I'm not able to turn this setting off with the Z 24-70 f/4 S Lens mounted)
  17. Movie Shooting Menu: Frame size/frame rate: 3840x2160; 30p
  18. Movie Shooting Menu: Set Picture Control: Standard with Sharpening = +2, Mid-range sharpness = +1, Clarity = +1, all other parameters set to 0
  19. Movie Shooting Menu: High ISO NR: Low
  20. Custom Setting Menu: Auto Focus: AF-C priority selection: Focus
  21. Custom Setting Menu: Auto Focus: AF-S priority selection: Focus
  22. Custom Setting Menu: Auto Focus: Store by orientation: Yes
  23. Custom Setting Menu: Shooting/display: Framing grid display: On
  24. Custom Setting Menu: Bracketing/flash: Bracketing order: Under > MTR > over (having my bracketed shots in brightness sequence makes post processing visually easier)
  25. Custom Setting Menu: Controls: Custom control assignment: Sub-selector: Same as multi selector; Sub-selector center: RESET Select center focus point, Fn1 button: AF lock only
  26. Setup Menu: Format memory card
  27. Setup Menu: Time zone and date: <use current>
  28. Setup Menu: Copyright information: <set as desired>, Attach copyright information: selected
  29. Setup Menu: Airplane mode: ON
  30. Setup Menu: Slot empty release lock: Lock (I want the camera to prevent me from taking a picture if a memory card is not installed)
  31. My Menu: Add items: Shooting/display: d4 Exposure delay mode (great for tripod use); Setup menu: Format memory card, Shooting menu: Vibration reduction, Long exposure noise reduction, Flicker reduction, Silent photography, Focus shift shooting
I of course make other menu and setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot - including shooting in RAW-only format (highly recommended). While my setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.

If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. Anytime your camera goes in for a service visit, the camera will likely be returned in a reset-to-factory state (unless you request otherwise). If your camera ever needs reset to factory settings any reason (or you purchase a second model), having your list available means you will be ready to restore your setup quickly while ensuring that you do not miss an important setting when putting the camera into service.

More Information

Nikon Z 6 | Nikon Z 7

The Nikon Z 6 is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX.

Rent the Nikon Z 6 from Lensrentals.

The Nikon Z 7 is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX.

Rent the Nikon Z 7 from Lensrentals.

Post Date: 12/5/2018 10:37:22 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, October 8, 2018

After opening the Canon EOS R box, it is time to set up the camera for use. Following are the 40 steps I took to make a new EOS R ready for use.

  1. Open the box, find the battery, place it in the charger and plug it in.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box.
  3. Download and install the Canon Solution Disk software on your computer to get support for the latest camera(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility and Lens Registration Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  4. Attach the neck strap.
  5. Insert the battery (after charging completes) and power the camera on.
  6. The date, time and timezone setup screen will show at the first startup. Use the rear Cross Keys and Set button to update this information.
  7. Insert a memory card (don't forget to format the card via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  8. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv or M (some modes provide only a small subset of available menu options).
  9. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  10. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use top dial to set RAW to "RAW" and Cross Keys to set JPEG to "-" (RAW image files provide the highest quality and are especially valuable for post processing work)
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image review: 4 sec. (or sometimes off to increase shooting speed in the field)
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Release shutter without card: Disable (only in a retail store do you want to press the shutter release without saving the image file)
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Lens Aberration Correction: All options "OFF" (though Chromatic Aberration correction is a good option to leave enabled for most)
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Auto Lighting Optimizer: Off (I'll make these adjustments in post if needed)
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: White balance: AWB W (White) (I seldom use another white balance setting while shooting, though I often adjust modestly during post processing)
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness = 2 (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram on the back of the camera that most-accurately shows me blown highlights and blocked shadows on the camera LCD. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 5: Long exp. noise reduction: Auto (when active, LENR captures a dark image that is used to correct the long exposure noise in the primary image)
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 5: High speed NR: Off (or Low) (noise reduction is destructive to images details – I prefer to add noise reduction sparingly during post processing)
  19. Shooting Menu, Tab 6: High speed display: ON (note that the camera must be set to high speed frame rate to enable this option)
  20. AF Menu, Tab 1: AF frame size: Small (this allows me to precisely select the point of focus – I opt for the larger frame size if contrast is not sufficient (seldom) and Face Tracking with Eye AF is usually optimal for photographing people)
  21. AF Menu, Tab 1: Touch & drag AF settings: Touch & drag AF: Enable (allows a thumb drag across the rear LCD to quickly move the AF point while looking through the electronic viewfinder)
  22. AF Menu, Tab 5: Orientation linked AF point: Separate AF pts: Pt only (instructs camera to individually save the selected AF points for vertical and horizontal orientation)
  23. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Highlight Alert: Enable (causes overexposed pixels to blink)
  24. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Magnify (approx.): Actual size (allows one button press during playback to zoom deeply into the image)
  25. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Auto Rotate: On computer (images are properly rotated when viewed on a computer, but are always oriented to fill the LCD when viewed on the camera)
  26. Tools Menu, Tab 3: Beep: Disable (probably no one wants to hear your focus confirmation beep)
  27. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Shooting info. display: Screen info. settings: Enable 1 and 3
  28. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Shooting info. display: VF info/toggle setting: Enable 1 and 3
  29. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Shooting info. display: Grid display: 3x3 (sometimes helpful for alignment checking)
  30. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Shooting info. display: Histogram disp: RGB, Small (I want to see the brightness levels of each channel separately and don't want the graph to take up much space in the display)
  31. Tools Menu, Tab 6: Custom shooting mode (C1, C2): Auto update set: Enable (see Configuring Custom Shooting Modes)
  32. Tools Menu, Tab 6: Copyright information: enter as desired
  33. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 1: Bracketing auto cancel: OFF (I want to control when AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing) is enabled and disabled)
  34. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 1: Bracketing sequence: -0+ (if images are captured in brightness sequence, they are easier to work with during post processing. Capturing the darkest image first means that I quickly get at least the first frame)
  35. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 3: RF lens MF focus ring sensitivity: Linked to rotation degree (I do not like variable speed AF rings)
  36. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 4: Customize buttons: Up, Down, Left and Right buttons: Direct AF point selection
  37. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 4: Customize M-Fn bar: ISO speed, ISO <, ISO >
  38. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 5: Retract lens on power off: OFF (avoids having a carefully-selected focus distance from resetting when camera auto powers off)
  39. My Menu: Add the first tab; Register the following options for Tab 1: Expo. simulation, Long exposure noise reduction, Format card, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring what time it is), Sensor cleaning, Expo.comp./AEB (found back up near the top of the list) (nothing in my My Menu is found on the Quick Control display as those functions are already quickly accessed)
  40. With a lens mounted and a subject focused on, adjust the viewfinder diopter until the scene is sharp
I of course make other menu and setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot – including shooting in RAW-only format. While my setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.

If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. Anytime your camera goes in for a service visit, the camera will be returned in a reset-to-factory state (unless you request otherwise). If your camera ever needs reset to factory settings for other reasons, you will be ready to restore your setup quickly while ensuring that you do not miss an important setting. Your list will ensure that you do not miss an important setting when putting the camera back into service. And, if you purchase another same or similar camera, you will be able to quickly set it up.

More Information

The Canon EOS R is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama

Post Date: 10/8/2018 6:52:18 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The highly-welcomed Sony a7 III is here and I am sharing the 28 steps I took to make it ready for use. This may sound like a repeat of a similar Sony camera setup I shared not too long ago and there is good reason for that. Aside from a significantly lower resolution imaging sensor, it is hard to tell the two cameras apart.

  • Charge battery
  • Install neck strap
  • Download and install Capture One (for Sony) and/or Sony Imaging Edge (unless your current favorite RAW image processing software supports the Sony a7 III)
  • Insert charged battery and power on the camera
  • Set the timezone, date, time, timeformat
  • insert memory card (don't forget to format it)
  • Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 1: Quality: RAW
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 1: RAW File Type: Uncompressed (unless taking advantage of the about-50% smaller RAW file size)
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 2: Lens Comp.: All Off
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 3: Bracket Settings: ->0>+ (makes selecting images for HDR processing easier)
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 5: Priority Set in AF-S: AF
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 5: Priority Set in AF-C: AF
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 5: Focus Area: Flexible Spot
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 5: Swt. V/H AF Area: AF Point Only
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 9: Reset EV Comp.: Maintain
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 10: Spot Metering Point: Focus Point Link
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 12: DRO/Auto HDR: Off
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 12: Creative Style: Neutral, Sharpness = 1 (I usually process with the Natural creative style in Capture One)
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 4: Release w/o Card: Disable
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 6: Grid Line: Rule of 3rds Grid
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 8: Custom Key(Shoot.): Custom Button 1: ISO
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 9: Audio signals: Off (How to turn off the loud and usually-annoying AF beep sound)
  • Setup Menu, Tab 1: Volume Settings: 3
  • Setup Menu, Tab 1: Delete confirm: "Delete" first
  • Setup Menu, Tab 2: Touch Operation: On
  • Setup Menu, Tab 5: Copyright Info: Write Copyright Info: On, Set Photographer: {name}, Set Copyright: {name}
  • My Menu: RAW File Type, Long Exposure NR; Px. Shift Multi Shoot.; Focus Mode; Anti-flicker Shoot.; Silent Shooting; Steady Shot; Format;
I of course make other menu and setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot – including shooting in RAW-only format. While my setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.

If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. If your camera ever needs reset to factory settings, you will be ready to restore your setup quickly while ensuring that you do not miss an important setting. If you purchase another same or similar camera, you will be able to quickly set it up.

More Information

Sony a7 III

Get the Sony a7 III at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.

Post Date: 5/30/2018 11:25:19 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, March 29, 2018

I have a Canon EOS M50 in my hands and just completed preparing the camera for use. Following are the 31 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box M50 ready to use.

  1. Open the box, find the battery, place it in the charger and plug it in.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box.
  3. Download and install the Canon Solution Disk software on your computer to get support for the latest camera(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility, Photostitch and Lens Registration Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  4. Attach the neck strap.
  5. Insert the battery (after charging completes) and power the camera on.
  6. The date, time and time zone setup screen will show at the first startup. Use the rear cross key control and the set button to update this information.
  7. Insert a memory card (don't forget to format the card via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  8. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv or M (some modes provide only a small subset of available menu options).
  9. Press the Menu button and scroll through all of the available tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  10. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use top dial to set RAW to "RAW" and rear cross-keys control to set JPEG to "-"
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image review: 4 sec.
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Lens aberration correction: disable all (I correct lens aberrations during post processing if warranted, but chromatic aberration correction is usually a good option to enable)
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: White balance: AWB W
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness = 1 (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram on the back of the camera that most-accurately shows me blown highlights and blocked shadows on the camera LCD. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 5: Long exp. noise reduction: Auto
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 5: High speed NR: Off (or Low) (noise reduction is destructive to images details - I prefer to add NR sparingly in post)
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 5: Touch & drag AF settings: Touch and drag AF: Enable, Positioning method: Relative
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 6: Continuous AF: Off
  19. Playback Menu, Tab 4: Playback information display: Change #2 to RGB histogram, disable all options except #1 and #2
  20. Function Settings Menu, Tab 1: Auto Rotate: On (computer only)
  21. Function Settings Menu, Tab 3: Beep: Disable
  22. Function Settings Menu, Tab 4: Shooting info. disp.: Screen info/toggle settings: Update #1 to select only basic shooting info, On screen buttons and Electronic level, all options except Detailed shooting info selected for #2 and uncheck #3, #4 and #5 (it takes too long to toggle through all of the available options during use)
  23. Function Settings Menu, Tab 4: Shooting info. disp.: VF info/toggle settings: Uncheck #1, update #2 to select only Electronic level and update #3 to select Histogram disp and Electronic level
  24. Function Settings Menu, Tab 4: Shooting info. disp.: Grid display: 3x3
  25. Function Settings Menu, Tab 4: Shooting information display: Histogram display: RGB
  26. Function Settings Menu, Tab 5: Custom Functions(C.Fn): C.Fn I ISO expansion: 1:On
  27. Function Settings Menu, Tab 5: Copyright information: Enter author's name
  28. Display level settings, Tab 1: Menu display: Standard
  29. Display level settings, Tab 1: Mode guide: Disable
  30. Display level settings, Tab 1: Feature guide: Disable
  31. My Menu: Add the first tab; Register the following options for Tab 1: Long exposure noise reduction, Format card, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring what time it is), Expo. comp./AEB (found back up near the top of the list)
I of course make other menu and setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot - including shooting in RAW-only format. While my setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.

If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. Anytime your camera goes in for a service visit, the camera will be returned in a reset-to-factory state (unless you request otherwise). Your list will ensure that you do not miss an important setting when putting the camera back into service.

More Information

Canon EOS M50

The Canon EOS M50 is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.

Post Date: 3/29/2018 8:04:26 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, December 11, 2017

The highly-anticipated Sony a7R III is here and I am sharing the 28 steps I took to make it ready for use.

  • Charge battery
  • Install neck strap
  • Download and install Capture One (for Sony) and/or Sony Imaging Edge (unless your current favorite RAW image processing software supports the Sony a9)
  • Insert charged battery and power on the camera
  • Set the timezone, date, time, timeformat
  • insert memory card (don't forget to format it)
  • Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 1: Quality: RAW
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 1: RAW File Type: Uncompressed (unless taking advantage of the about-50% smaller RAW file size)
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 2: Lens Comp.: All Off
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 3: Bracket Settings: ->0>+ (makes selecting images for HDR processing easier)
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 5: Priority Set in AF-S: AF
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 5: Priority Set in AF-C: AF
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 5: Focus Area: Flexible Spot
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 5: Swt. V/H AF Area: AF Point Only
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 9: Reset EV Comp.: Maintain
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 10: Spot Metering Point: Focus Point Link
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 12: DRO/Auto HDR: Off
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 12: Creative Style: Neutral, Sharpness = 1 (I usually process with the Natural creative style in Capture One)
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 4: Release w/o Card: Disable
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 6: Grid Line: Rule of 3rds Grid
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 8: Custom Key(Shoot.): Custom Button 1: ISO, Custom Button 4: Focus Magnifier
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 9: Audio signals: Off (How to turn off the loud and usually-annoying AF beep sound)
  • Setup Menu, Tab 1: Volume Settings: 3
  • Setup Menu, Tab 1: Delete confirm: "Delete" first
  • Setup Menu, Tab 2: Touch Operation: On
  • Setup Menu, Tab 5: Copyright Info: Write Copyright Info: On, Set Photographer: {name}, Set Copyright: {name}
  • My Menu: RAW File Type, Long Exposure NR; Px. Shift Multi Shoot.; Focus Mode; Anti-flicker Shoot.; Silent Shooting; Steady Shot; Format;

I of course make other menu and setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot – including shooting in RAW-only format. While my setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.

If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. If your camera ever needs reset to factory settings, you will be ready to restore your setup quickly while ensuring that you do not miss an important setting.

More Information

Sony a7R III

Get the Sony a7R III at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX.

Post Date: 12/11/2017 7:38:52 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, October 27, 2017

I have a Canon EOS M100 in my hands and it is time to set up the camera for use. Following are the 25 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box M100 ready for use.

  1. Open the box, find the battery, place it in the charger and plug it in.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box. This is a good time to install the neck strap.
  3. Download and install the Canon Solution Disk software on your computer to get support for the latest camera(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility, Photostitch and Lens Registration Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  4. Insert the battery (after charging completes) and power the camera on.
  5. The date, time and time zone setup screen will show at the first startup. Use the Rear Control dial and Set button to update this information.
  6. Insert a memory card (don't forget to format the card via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  7. If the lens being used retracts beyond a usable focal length (the EF-M 15-45 for example), unlock and extend the lens.
  8. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv or M (some modes provide only a small subset of available menu options). Use the middle switch setting (Creative Assist by default) and scroll up to the advanced modes.
  9. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  10. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use top dial to set RAW to "RAW" and Rear Control arrow (press left or right) to set JPEG to "-"
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Shooting information display: Grid display: 3x3, Histogram: RGB
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Image review: Off (without a review display being shown and cleared, the viewfinder becomes ready-for-shooting faster)
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Continuous AF: Off (increases battery life)
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: Lens aberration correction: disable all (I correct lens aberrations during post processing if warranted, though enabling CA correction is usually a good idea and if shooting in JPG mode, consider enabling other options as well.)
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 5: Auto Lighting Optimizer: Off (again, those shooting in JPG mode might want to explore the results of this option)
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 6: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness = 1 (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram on the back of the camera that most-accurately shows me blown highlights and blocked shadows on the camera LCD. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture. If shooting in JPG mode, selecting "Standard" is probably a better option.)
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 6: Long exp. noise reduction: Auto
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 6: High speed NR: Off (or Low) (Noise reduction is destructive to images details - I prefer to add NR sparingly in post. Select "Low" if shooting in JPG format).
  19. Tools Menu, Tab 3: Beep: Off
  20. Tools Menu, Tab 3: Hints & Tips: Off
  21. Tools Menu, Tab 3: Mode icon size/info: Small, no info
  22. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Copyright info: Enter Author's Name: [enter name]
  23. Exit the menu, press the playback button and press the Menu button.
  24. Playback Menu, Tab 1: Transition Effect: Off
  25. Playback Menu, Tab 1: Auto Rotate: Off (always uses full LCD for display)
  26. I make other menu and setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

    To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot - including shooting in RAW-only format. While my setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.

    If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. Anytime your camera goes in for a service visit, the camera will be returned in a reset-to-factory state (unless you request otherwise). Your list will ensure that you do not miss an important setting when putting the camera back into service.

    More Information

    Canon EOS M100

    The Canon EOS M100 is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX

Post Date: 10/27/2017 7:41:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, August 1, 2017

I have the much-anticipated Canon EOS 6D Mark II in my hands and it is time to set up the camera for use. Following are the 35 steps I take to make an out-of-the-box 6D II ready for use. While 35 sounds like a large number of steps, nothing here is difficult. Just take one step at a time.

  1. Open the box, find the battery and charger and plug it in. If you have another charged LP-E6/LP-E6N battery available, you can continue to the battery-required steps without a wait.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box. This is also a good time to grip the camera, taking in the new-camera grippyness that is right up there with new car smell.
  3. Download and install the Canon Solution Disk software on your computer to get support for the latest camera(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility, Photostitch and Lens Registration Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  4. Attach the neck strap.
  5. Insert the battery (after charging completes).
  6. Power the camera on.
  7. Insert a memory card (don't forget to format the card via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  8. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv or M (some modes provide only a small subset of available menu options).
  9. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  10. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use top dial to set RAW to "RAW" and Rear Control dial to set JPEG to "-"
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image review: 4 sec.
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Release shutter without card: Disable/off (this should be the default and I highly recommend turning this for-showrooms feature off)
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Lens aberration correction: All disabled (though I suggest leaving CA correction enabled for most uses – all can be applied in DPP)
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: ISO Speed Settings: ISO Speed range: 100-H2(102400), Auto ISO Speed range: 100-40000
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: White balance: AWB-W (Auto: White priority)
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness Strength set to "1" (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram on the back of the camera that most-accurately shows me blown highlights and blocked shadows on the camera LCD. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Long exposure noise reduction: I usually have this option set to "Auto", but my choice varies for the situation.
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: High ISO speed noise reduction: Off (noise reduction is destructive to images details – I prefer to add NR sparingly in post)
  19. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Highlight alert: Enable (flash portions of images that are overexposed)
  20. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Histogram disp: RGB (I want to monitor all three color channels for blown or blocked pixels)
  21. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Magnification (apx): Actual size (from selected AF point)
  22. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Auto rotate: On/Computer only (this provides the largest playback image size on the camera LCD)
  23. Tools Menu, Tab 2: Date/Time/Zone: Use the Rear Control dial and the Set button to update this information.
  24. Tools Menu, Tab 2: Viewfinder display: Viewfinder level: Show, VF grid display: Show, Flicker detection: Show
  25. Tools Menu, Tab 3: Mode guide: Disable
  26. Tools Menu, Tab 3: Feature guide: Disable
  27. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Beep: Disable
  28. Tools Menu, Tab 5: Custom shooting mode (C1-C2): Auto update set: Enable (see also: Configuring Custom Shooting Modes)
  29. Tools Menu, Tab 5: Copyright information: Enter information as desired
  30. Custom Functions: C.Fn I:Exposure: Bracketing auto cancel: Disable
  31. Custom Functions: C.Fn II:Autofocus: AI servo 1st image priority: Focus
  32. Custom Functions: C.Fn II:Autofocus: AI servo 2nd image priority: Focus
  33. Custom Functions: C.Fn II:Autofocus: Orientation linked AF point: Separate AF pts: Pt only
  34. Custom Functions, C.Fn III:Operation/Others: 4 Custom Controls: AF-ON: One shot AI Servo; Multicontroller: Direct AF point selection
  35. My Menu: Add the first tab; Register the following options for Tab 1: Long exposure noise reduction, Mirror lockup, Format card, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring what time it is), Sensor cleaning, Expo.comp./AEB (back up near the top of the list)
I always make additional menu and setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but the above list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration means that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot - including shooting in RAW-only format. My setup works great for me, but your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.

If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. Anytime your camera goes in for a service visit, the camera will be returned in a reset-to-factory state (unless you request otherwise). Your list will ensure that you do not miss an important setting when putting the camera back into service.

More Information

Canon EOS 6D Mark II

The Canon EOS 6D Mark II is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.

Post Date: 8/1/2017 7:43:37 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, July 25, 2017

After using the Sony a9 for nearly two months, I thought I'd share the setup steps I used for this camera. Following are the 27 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box Sony a9 ready for use.

  • Charge battery
  • Install neck strap
  • Download and install Capture One (for Sony) (unless your current favorite image processing software supports the Sony a9)
  • Insert charged battery and power on the camera
  • Set the timezone, date, time, timeformat
  • insert memory card (don't forget to format it)
  • Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 1: Quality: RAW
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 1: RAW File Type: Uncompressed (unless taking advantage of the 20 fps frame rate or wanting an about-50% smaller RAW file size)
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 2: Lens Comp.: All Off
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 4: Priority Set in AF-S: AF
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 4: Priority Set in AF-C: AF
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 4: Focus Area: Flexible Spot
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 7: Reset EV Comp.: Maintain
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 7: Spot Metering Point: Focus Point Link
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 10: DRO/Auto HDR: Off
  • Camera Menu 1, Tab 10: Creative Style: Neutral, Sharpness = 1 (I process with the Natural creative style in Capture One)
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 4: Release w/o Card: Disable
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 6: Grid Line: Rule of 3rds Grid
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 8: Custom Key(Shoot.): Custom Button 1: ISO
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 9: Shutter Type: Electronic Shut. (I sometimes opted for the Auto setting)
  • Camera Menu 2, Tab 9: Audio signals: On:e-shutter only (set to Off if photographing in a quiet setting)
  • Network Menu, Tab 1: Airplane Mode: On
  • Setup Menu, Tab 1: Volume Settings: 3
  • Setup Menu, Tab 1: Delete confirm: "Delete" first
  • Setup Menu, Tab 2: Touch Operation: On
  • Setup Menu, Tab 4: Copyright Info: Write Copyright Info: On, Set Photographer: {name}, Set Copyright: {name}

I of course make other menu and setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my typical camera setup.

To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot - including shooting in RAW-only format. While my setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.

If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. If the camera is ever reset-to-factory state, your list will ensure that you do not miss an important setting when putting the camera back into service.

More Information

Sony a9

The Sony a9 is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX.

Post Date: 7/25/2017 9:08:48 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, July 24, 2017

The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 just showed up and it is time to set up the camera for use. Following are the 27 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box Canon EOS Rebel SL2 ready for use.

  1. Open the box, find the battery and charger and plug it in. If you have another charged LP-E17 battery available, you can continue to the battery-required steps without a wait.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box. This is a good time to install the neck strap.
  3. Download and install the Canon Solution Disk software on your computer to get support for the latest camera(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility, Photostitch and Lens Registration Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  4. Insert the battery (after charging completes, unless you can't wait).
  5. Power the camera on.
  6. The date and time setup screen will show at startup the first time. Use the Rear Control dial and Set button to update this information.
  7. Insert a memory card (don't forget to format the card via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  8. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv or M (some modes provide only a small subset of available menu options).
  9. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  10. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: set to RAW (I highly recommend a RAW workflow)
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image review: 4 sec.
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Release without card: Off/Disable (I highly recommend this setting)
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Lens aberration correction: All disabled (though I suggest leaving CA correction enabled for most uses – all can be applied in DPP)
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: White balance: AWB-W (Auto: White priority)
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness Strength set to "1" (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram on the back of the camera that most-accurately shows me blown highlights and blocked shadows on the camera LCD. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: Long exposure noise reduction: I usually have this option set to "Auto", but my choice varies for the situation.
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: High ISO speed noise reduction: Off (noise reduction is destructive to images details – I prefer to add NR sparingly in post, but "Low" is also a good choice)
  18. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Histogram disp: RGB (I want to monitor all three color channels for blown or blocked pixels)
  19. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Auto rotate: On/Computer only (this provides the largest playback image size on the camera LCD)
  20. Tools Menu, Tab 3: Beep: Disable
  21. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Custom Functions: C.Fn I:ISO expansion: On
  22. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Custom Functions: C.Fn I:Exposure comp. auto cancel: Disable
  23. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Copyright information: Enter author's name: [your name]
  24. Display Level Menu: Menu guide: Standard (required to gain access to My Menu)
  25. Display Level Menu: Mode guide: Disable (novices may appreciate this setting enabled)
  26. Display Level Menu: Feature guide: Disabled (novices may appreciate this setting enabled)
  27. My Menu: Add the first tab; Register the following options for Tab 1: Long exposure noise reduction, Mirror lockup, Format card, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring what time it is), Sensor cleaning, Expo.comp./AEB
I of course make other menu and setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot - including shooting in RAW-only format. My setup is ideal for me, but keep in mind that your needs may differ. The best use of this list may be for tweaking of your own setup.

If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. Anytime your camera goes in for a service visit, the camera will be returned in a reset-to-factory state (unless you request otherwise). Your list will ensure that you do not miss an important setting when putting the camera back into service.

More Information

Canon EOS Rebel SL2

The very inexpensive Canon EOS Rebel SL2 is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.

Post Date: 7/24/2017 9:15:18 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, April 18, 2017

With a brand new Canon EOS M6 (a great little camera) in my possession, it is time to set up the camera for use. Following are the 30 steps I took to make a fresh-out-of-the-box M6 ready for use.

  1. Open the box, find the battery, place it in the charger and plug it in.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box. This is a good time to install the neck strap.
  3. Download and install the Canon Solution Disk software on your computer to get support for the latest camera(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility, Photostitch and Lens Registration Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  4. Insert the battery (after charging completes) and power the camera on.
  5. The date, time and time zone setup screen will show at the first startup. Use the Rear Control dial and Set button to update this information.
  6. Insert a memory card (don't forget to format the card via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  7. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv or M (some modes provide only a small subset of available menu options).
  8. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  9. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use top dial to set RAW to "RAW" and Rear Control dial to set JPEG to "-"
  10. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Shooting information display: Screen info/toggle settings: Update #1 to select only Grid display and Electronic level (all options selected for #2), uncheck #3 and #4 (I may alter these settings later)
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Shooting information display: VF info/toggle settings: Uncheck #1, update #2 to select only Grid display and Electronic level, check all options for #3 (again, I may alter these settings later)
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Shooting information display: Histogram display: RGB
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Image review: Off (without a review display being shown and cleared, the viewfinder becomes ready-for-shooting faster)
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Continuous AF: Off (increases battery life)
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: MF Peaking Settings: Peaking: On
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: Lens aberration correction: disable all (I correct lens aberrations during post processing if warranted, though enabling CA correction is usually a good idea and if shooting in JPG mode, consider enabling other options as well.)
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 5: Auto Lighting Optimizer: Off (again, those shooting in JPG mode might want to explore the results of this option)
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 6: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness = 1 (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram on the back of the camera that most-accurately shows me blown highlights and blocked shadows on the camera LCD. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture. If shooting in JPG mode, selecting "Standard" is probably a better option.)
  19. Shooting Menu, Tab 6: Long exp. noise reduction: Auto
  20. Shooting Menu, Tab 6: High speed NR: Off (or Low) (Noise reduction is destructive to images details - I prefer to add NR sparingly in post. Select "Low" if shooting in JPG format).
  21. Tools Menu, Tab 3: Beep: Off
  22. Tools Menu, Tab 3: Hints & Tips: Off
  23. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Custom shooting mode (C1, C2): Auto update set: Enable (Custom shooting modes are great – see Configuring Custom Shooting Modes for more information)
  24. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 1: C.Fn II: Others: Set M.Fn button to ISO (I may make more changes here after acclimating to this camera)
  25. My Menu: Add the first tab; Register the following options for Tab 1: Long exposure noise reduction, Format, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring what time it is), AEB (found back up near the top of the list)
  26. To get to the Playback Menu, take a picture, playback the picture and while it is displayed, press the Menu button.
  27. Playback Menu, Tab 4: Highlight Alert: Enable
  28. Playback Menu, Tab 4: Auto Rotate: Off (always uses full LCD for display)
  29. Playback Menu, Tab 5: * resize: Enable
  30. Playback Menu, Tab 5: Magnify (approx.): Actual size (zooms to 100% pixel level, ideal for checking sharpness)
I of course make other menu and setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

If you intend to mirror my RAW image capture workflow, this configuration would likely be ideal for you. While my setup is optimal for me, use your judgement to alter this list for your own needs and preferences.

If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. Anytime your camera goes in for a service visit, the camera will be returned in a reset-to-factory state (unless you request otherwise). Your list will ensure that you do not miss an important setting when putting the camera back into service.

More Information

Canon EOS M6

The Canon EOS M6 is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.

Post Date: 4/18/2017 9:23:41 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, April 12, 2017

With a Canon EOS 77D (nearly the same as the Canon EOS Rebel T7i) in my hands, it is time to set up the camera for use. How do I set up a 77D for use? Following are the 27 steps I took to get started with a brand new 77D or T7i.

  1. Open the box, find the battery and charger and plug it in. If you have another charged LP-E6/LP-E6N battery available, you can continue to the battery-required steps without a wait.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box. This is a good time to install the neck strap.
  3. Download and install the Canon Solution Disk software on your computer to get support for the latest camera(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility, Photostitch and Lens Registration Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  4. Insert the battery (after charging completes).
  5. Power the camera on.
  6. The date and time setup screen will show at startup the first time. Use the Rear Control dial and Set button to update this information.
  7. Insert a memory card (don't forget to format the card via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  8. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv or M (some modes provide only a small subset of available menu options).
  9. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  10. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: set RAW to "RAW"
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image review: 4 sec.
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Release without card: Off (highly recommended)
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Lens aberration correction: All disabled (though I suggest leaving CA correction enabled for most uses - all can be applied in DPP)
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness Strength set to "1" (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram on the back of the camera that most-accurately shows me blown highlights and blocked shadows on the camera LCD. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Long exposure noise reduction: I usually have this option set to "Auto", but my choice varies for the situation.
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: High ISO speed noise reduction: Off (noise reduction is destructive to images details - I prefer to add NR sparingly in post)
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: White balance: AWB-W (Auto: White priority)
  18. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Histogram disp: RGB (I want to monitor all three color channels for blown or blocked pixels)
  19. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Auto rotate: On/Computer only (this provides the largest playback image size on the camera LCD)
  20. Tools Menu, Tab 2: Viewfinder display: Viewfinder level: Show, VF grid display: Show, Flicker detection: Show
  21. Tools Menu, Tab 3: Beep: Disable
  22. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Custom Functions: C.Fn I:ISO expansion: On
  23. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Custom Functions: C.Fn I:Exposure comp. auto cancel: Disable
  24. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Copyright information: Enter author's name: [your name]
  25. Display Level Menu: Mode guide: Disable
  26. Display Level Menu: Feature guide: Disable
  27. My Menu: Add the first tab; Register the following options for Tab 1: Long exposure noise reduction, Mirror lockup, Format card, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring what time it is), Sensor cleaning, Expo.comp./AEB (back up near the top of the list)
I make other menu and setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

Using this camera configuration means that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot – including shooting in RAW-only format. While this setup works ideally for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup preferences.

Cameras continue to become more complex and if you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, it is a very good idea to keep an up-to-date list such as this one. If your camera goes off to a service visit, it will be returned in a reset-to-factory state (unless you request otherwise). Your list will ensure that you do not miss an important setting when putting the camera back into service.

More Information

Canon EOS Rebel T7i
Canon EOS 77D

The Canon EOS 77D is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.

The Canon EOS Rebel T7i / 800D is also available at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.

Post Date: 4/12/2017 9:33:17 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, January 18, 2017

I have a Canon EOS M5 in my hands and it is time to set up the camera for use. Following are the 31 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box Canon EOS M5 ready to use (please note that these steps may change slightly as I continue to dial in this camera for my uses).

  1. Open the box, find the battery, place it in the charger and plug it in.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box.
  3. Download and install the Canon Solution Disk software on your computer to get support for the latest camera(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility, Photostitch and Lens Registration Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  4. Attach the neck strap.
  5. Insert the battery (after charging completes) and power the camera on.
  6. The date, time and timezone setup screen will show at the first startup. Use the Rear Control dial and the Set button to update this information.
  7. Insert a memory card (don't forget to format the card via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  8. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv or M (some modes provide only a small subset of available menu options).
  9. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  10. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use top dial to set RAW to "RAW" and Rear Control dial to set JPEG to "-"
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Shooting information display: Screen info/toggle settings: Update #1 to select only Grid display and Electronic level (all options selected for #2), uncheck #3 and #4 (I may alter these settings later)
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Shooting information display: VF info/toggle settings: Uncheck #1, update #2 to select only Grid display and Electronic level, check all options for #3 (again, I may alter these settings later)
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Shooting information display: Histogram dispay: RGB
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Image review: 4 sec.
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Continuous AF: Off
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: MF Peaking Settings: Peaking: On
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: Lens aberration correction: disable all (I correct lens aberrations during post processing if warranted)
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 5: Auto Lighting Optimizer: Off
  19. Shooting Menu, Tab 6: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness = 1 (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram on the back of the camera that most-accurately shows me blown highlights and blocked shadows on the camera LCD. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  20. Shooting Menu, Tab 6: Long exp. noise reduction: Auto
  21. Shooting Menu, Tab 6: High speed NR: Off (or Low) (noise reduction is destructive to images details - I prefer to add NR sparingly in post)
  22. Tools Menu, Tab 3: Beep: Off
  23. Tools Menu, Tab 3: Hints & Tips: Off
  24. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Custom shooting mode (C1, C2): Auto update set: Enable (see also: Configuring Custom Shooting Modes)
  25. Custom Functions Menu, Tab 1: C.Fn II: Others: Set M.Fn button to ISO (I may make more changes here after acclimating to this camera)
  26. My Menu: Add the first tab; Register the following options for Tab 1: Long exposure noise reduction, Format card, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring what time it is), Expo.comp./AEB (found back up near the top of the list)
  27. To get to the Playback Menu, take a picture, playback the picture and while it is displayed, press the Menu button.
  28. Playback Menu, Tab 4: Highlight Alert: Enable
  29. Playback Menu, Tab 4: Auto Rotate: Off
  30. Playback Menu, Tab 5: * resize: Enable
  31. Playback Menu, Tab 5: Magnify (approx.): Actual size
I of course make other menu and setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot - including shooting in RAW-only format. While this setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.

Unless you are certain that you can remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. Anytime your camera goes in for a service visit, the camera will be returned in a reset-to-factory state (unless you request otherwise). Your list will ensure that you do not miss an important setting when putting the camera back into service.

More Information: Canon EOS M5

Post Date: 1/18/2017 11:08:02 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, September 12, 2016

I was not in the habit of sharing my camera setup steps when initially receiving the Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR camera, but by request, I'm sharing them with you now. Here are the 37 steps to how I setup my Canon EOS 5D Mark III.

  1. Open the box, find the battery and charger and plug it in. If you have another charged LP-E6/LP-E6N battery available, you can continue to the battery-required steps without a wait. Or, the supplied battery may have enough charge to take you through these steps if you can't wait.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box. For me, this is primarily the camera, the eye cup, the neck strap and the Canon Solution Disk.
  3. Download and install the latest Canon EOS Solution Disk software on your computer to get support for the latest camera(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility, Photostitch and Lens Registration Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  4. Attach the neck strap.
  5. Insert a sufficiently charged battery.
  6. Power the camera on.
  7. The date and time setup screen will show at startup the first time. Use the Rear Control dial and the Set button to update this information.
  8. Insert one (or two) memory card(s) (format them via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  9. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv or M (some modes provide only a small subset of available menu options).
  10. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the cameras as follows:
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use top dial to set RAW to "RAW" and Rear Control dial to set JPEG to "-"
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image review: 4 sec.
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Beep: Disable
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Release without card: Disable/off (I highly recommend this setting)
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Lens aberration correction: All disabled (though I suggest leaving CA correction enabled for most uses - all can be applied to a RAW file in DPP)
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: ISO Speed Settings: ISO Speed range: L(50)-H1(51200), Auto ISO Speed range: 100-25600
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Auto Lighting Optimizer: Disabled
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness Strength set to "1" (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram on the back of the camera that most-accurately shows me blown highlights and blocked shadows on the camera LCD. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  19. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Long exposure noise reduction: I usually have this option set to "Auto", but my choice varies for the situation.
  20. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: High ISO speed noise reduction: Off (noise reduction is destructive to image details - I prefer to add NR sparingly in post)
  21. AF Menu, Tab 2: AI Servo 1st image priority: Focus priority (I want the images in focus more than I want the time-priority capture)
  22. AF Menu, Tab 2: AI Servo 2nd image priority: Focus priority +2 (same reason)
  23. AF Menu, Tab 3: One-Shot AF release priority: Focus priority (same reason)
  24. AF Menu, Tab 4: Orientation linked AF point: Separate AF pts: Area + pt
  25. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Highlight alert: Enable (flash portions of images that are overexposed)
  26. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Histogram disp: RGB (I want to monitor all three color channels for blown or blocked pixels)
  27. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Magnification (apx): Actual size (from selected AF point)
  28. Setup Menu, Tab 1: Auto rotate: On/Computer only (this provides the largest playback image size on the camera LCD)
  29. Setup Menu, Tab 2: VF grid display: Enable
  30. Setup Menu, Tab 3: Info button display options: Electronic level only
  31. Setup Menu, Tab 4: Custom shooting mode (C1-C3): Auto update set: Enable (see also: Configuring Custom Shooting Modes)
  32. Setup Menu, Tab 4: Copyright information: Type name as desired
  33. Custom Functions, Tab 1: Bracketing auto cancel: [Off] selected
  34. Custom Functions, Tab 2: Custom Controls: Set: Playback; Multicontroller: Direct AF point selection; Default erase option: [Erase] selected
  35. Custom Functions, Tab 3: Default erase option: [Erase] selected
  36. My Menu: Register the following options: Long exposure noise reduction, Mirror lockup, Format card, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring what time it is), Sensor cleaning, Expo.comp./AEB
  37. Mount a lens, focus on a subject and adjust the viewfinder diopter (if necessary)
I of course make other menu and setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot – including shooting in RAW-only format. While my setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.

If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. Anytime your camera goes in for a service visit, the camera will be returned in a reset-to-factory state (unless you request otherwise). Your list will ensure that you do not miss an important setting when putting the camera back into service.

More Information

Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Post Date: 9/12/2016 10:17:32 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Ready for your out of the box experience? Like so many of you, I highly anticipated the arrival of the 5D Mark IV and as has long been my practice, I created a list of setup steps and once again share them with you here. Here are the 41 steps to my Canon EOS 5D Mark IV setup.

  1. Open the box, find the battery and charger and plug it in. If you have another charged LP-E6/LP-E6N battery available, you can continue to the battery-required steps without a wait. Or, the supplied battery may have enough charge to take you through these steps if you can't wait.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box. For me, this is primarily the camera, the eye cup, the neck strap and the Canon Solution Disk.
  3. Download and install the latest Canon EOS Solution Disk software on your computer to get support for the latest camera(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility, Photostitch and Lens Registration Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  4. Attach the neck strap.
  5. Insert a sufficiently charged battery.
  6. Power the camera on.
  7. The date and time setup screen will show at startup the first time. Use the Rear Control dial and the Set button to update this information.
  8. Insert one (or two) memory card(s) (format them via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  9. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv or M (some modes provide only a small subset of available menu options).
  10. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the cameras as follows:
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use top dial to set RAW to "RAW" and Rear Control dial to set JPEG to "-"
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Dual Pixel RAW: Enabled? (this feature awaits testing)
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image review: 4 sec.
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Beep: Disable
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Release without card: Disable/off (I highly recommend this setting)
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Lens aberration correction: All disabled (though I suggest leaving CA correction enabled for most uses - all can be applied to a RAW file in DPP)
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: ISO Speed Settings: ISO Speed range: L(50)-H1(102400), Auto ISO Speed range: 100-32000
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Auto Lighting Optimizer: Disabled
  19. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: White balance: AWB-W (Auto: White priority)
  20. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness Strength set to "1" (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram on the back of the camera that most-accurately shows me blown highlights and blocked shadows on the camera LCD. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  21. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Long exposure noise reduction: I usually have this option set to "Auto", but my choice varies for the situation.
  22. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: High ISO speed noise reduction: Off (noise reduction is destructive to image details - I prefer to add NR sparingly in post)
  23. AF Menu, Tab 2: AI Servo 1st image priority: Focus priority (I want the images in focus more than I want the time-priority capture)
  24. AF Menu, Tab 2: AI Servo 2nd image priority: Focus priority +2 (same reason)
  25. AF Menu, Tab 3: One-Shot AF release priority: Focus priority (same reason)
  26. AF Menu, Tab 4: Orientation linked AF point: Separate AF pts: Area + pt
  27. AF Menu, Tab 4: Auto AF point selection: EOS iTR AF: EOS iTR AF (face priority)
  28. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Highlight alert: Enable (flash portions of images that are overexposed)
  29. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Histogram disp: RGB (I want to monitor all three color channels for blown or blocked pixels)
  30. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Magnification (apx): Actual size (from selected AF point)
  31. Setup Menu, Tab 1: Auto rotate: On/Computer only (this provides the largest playback image size on the camera LCD)
  32. Setup Menu, Tab 2: Viewfinder display: Viewfinder level: Show, VF grid display: Show
  33. Setup Menu, Tab 3: Info button display options: Electronic level only
  34. Setup Menu, Tab 3: Info button LV display options: Options 3 and 4 checked; Histogram disp: RGB
  35. Setup Menu, Tab 5: Custom shooting mode (C1-C3): Auto update set: Enable (see also: Configuring Custom Shooting Modes)
  36. Setup Menu, Tab 5: Copyright information: Type name as desired
  37. Custom Functions, Tab 1: Bracketing auto cancel: [Off] selected
  38. Custom Functions, Tab 3: Custom Controls: AF-ON: One shot AI Servo; Set: Playback; Multicontroller: Direct AF point selection; AF area selection button: ISO
  39. Custom Functions, Tab 4: Default erase option: [Erase] selected
  40. My Menu: Add the first tab; Register the following options for Tab 1: Long exposure noise reduction, Mirror lockup, Format card, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring what time it is), Sensor cleaning, Expo.comp./AEB
  41. Mount a lens, focus on a subject and adjust the viewfinder diopter (if necessary)
I of course make other menu and setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot – including shooting in RAW-only format. While my setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.

If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. Anytime your camera goes in for a service visit, the camera will be returned in a reset-to-factory state (unless you request otherwise). Your list will ensure that you do not miss an important setting when putting the camera back into service.

More Information

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Post Date: 9/7/2016 8:12:10 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, May 16, 2016

As has become my routine, I recorded my initial Canon EOS-1D X Mark II configuration process upon receiving the camera. Following are the 42 steps I took to make the out-of-the-box Canon EOS-1D X Mark II ready for my use. I know, 42 is a big number. But, this camera is extremely configurable.

  1. Open the box, find the battery and charger and plug it in. If you have another charged Canon LP-E19 (or LP-E4N) battery available, you can continue to the battery-required steps without a wait.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box. For me, this is primarily the camera, the eye cup, the neck strap and the Canon Solution Disk (still included in this box). I always take a moment to grip the camera, taking in the new-camera grippyness that is right up there with new car smell.
  3. Find the Canon EOS Solution Disk software (included on a DVD) and install it on your computer. Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility and Lens Registration Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  4. Attach the neck strap (unless I am planning to use very large lenses)
  5. Record the camera's serial number and ensure that proper insurance coverage is in place.
  6. Important: Turn the vertical grip on (switch near top of vertical grip – why is this off by default?).
  7. Insert the battery (ideally, after charging completes).
  8. Power the camera on.
  9. The date and time setup screen will show at startup the first time. Use the Rear Control dial and the Set button to update this information.
  10. Insert one (or two) memory card(s) (format them via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  11. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the cameras as follows:
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness Strength set to "1" (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram on the back of the camera that most-accurately shows me blown highlights and blocked shadows – I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: White balance: AWB-W (Auto: White priority)
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Lens aberration correction: All disabled (though I suggest leaving CA correction enabled for most uses - all can be applied in DPP)
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Img type/size: Use top dial to set RAW to "RAW" and Rear Control dial to set JPEG to "-"
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: ISO Speed Settings: ISO Speed range: L(50)-H3(409600), Auto ISO Speed range: 100-512000
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Auto Lighting Optimizer: Off
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Long exposure noise reduction: I usually have this option set to "Auto", but my choice varies for the situation.
  19. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: High ISO speed noise reduction: Off (noise reduction is destructive to images details – I prefer to add NR sparingly in post)
  20. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Image review: 4 sec.
  21. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Beep: Disable
  22. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Release without card: Disable/off (I highly recommend this setting change – it should be Canon's default)
  23. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: Grid display: 3x3
  24. AF Menu, Tab 2: AI Servo 1st image priority: Focus (I want the images in focus more than I want the time-priority capture)
  25. AF Menu, Tab 2: AI Servo 2nd image priority: Focus +2 (same reason)
  26. AF Menu, Tab 4: Orientation linked AF point: Separate AF pts: Area + pt
  27. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Highlight alert: Enable (enable the "blinkies", flash portions of image that are overexposed during image review)
  28. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Playback grid: 3x3
  29. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Histogram disp: RGB (I want to monitor all three color channels for blown or blocked details)
  30. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Magnification (apx): 1X
  31. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Auto rotate: On/Computer only (this provides the always-largest playback image size on the camera LCD)
  32. Tools Menu, Tab 2: Viewfinder display: Viewfinder level: Show, VF grid display: Enable, Show/hide in viewfinder: Flicker! only
  33. Tools Menu, Tab 2: Info button display options: Electronic level only
  34. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Custom shooting mode (C1-C3): Auto update set: Enable (see also: Configuring Custom Shooting Modes)
  35. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Copyright information: Enter author's name: [enter name]
  36. Custom Functions, Tab 3: Restrict shooting modes: Enable all (adds C2 and C3)
  37. Custom Functions, Tab 4: Restrict drive modes: Disable: low speed continuous, Silent HS continuous, Silent LS continuous (I seldom use theses modes)
  38. Custom Functions, Tab 5: Rec card, img size setting: Off (I don't use this button. being able to turn it off prevents inadvertent changes)
  39. Custom Functions, Tab 6: Av setting without lens: On (allows me to prepare the camera for a specific, not-yet-mounted lens)
  40. Custom Functions, Tab 6: Custom Controls: AF-ON: One shot AI Servo; Set: Mag/Reduce; Multicontroller: Direct AF point selection; M-Fn2: One Shot/AI Servo
  41. Custom Functions, Tab 7: Default erase option: [Erase] selected
  42. My Menu: Add the first tab; Register the following options for Tab 1: Long exposure noise reduction, Mirror lockup, Anti-flicker shoot, Format card, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring what time it is), Sensor cleaning
I of course make other menu and setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot - including shooting in RAW-only format. While my setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.

If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. Anytime your camera goes in for a service visit, the camera will be returned in a reset-to-factory state (unless you request otherwise). Your list will ensure that you do not miss an important setting when putting the camera back into service.

More Information and To Order Your 1D X Mark II

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II

Post Date: 5/16/2016 10:44:05 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, May 4, 2016

As has become my habit when setting up a new DSLR, I recorded my setup steps for the recently-received Canon EOS Rebel T6. Following are the 24 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box Rebel T6 ready for use.

  1. Open the box, find the battery and charger and plug it in. The battery likely comes partially charged, but it is nice to start out with a fully charged battery.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box.
  3. Download the Canon Solution Disk software from Canon's website and install on your computer to get support for the latest camera(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility, Photostitch and Lens Registration Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  4. Attach the neck strap.
  5. Insert the battery (after charging completes – if you can wait that long).
  6. Power the camera on.
  7. The date and time setup screen will show at startup the first time. Use the Rear Control dial and the Set button to update this information.
  8. Insert a memory card (don't forget to format the card via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  9. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv or M (some modes provide only a small subset of available menu options).
  10. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the cameras as follows:
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: "RAW"
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Beep: Disable
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Release without card: Disable/off (I highly recommend this setting)
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image review: 4 sec.
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Peripheral illumination correction: disabled
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness Strength set to "1" (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram on the back of the camera that most-accurately shows me blown highlights and blocked shadows on the camera LCD. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: ISO Auto: 6400
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Grid display: Grid 1 (3x3)
  19. Playback Menu, Tab 2: Histogram disp: RGB (I want to monitor all three color channels for blown or blocked pixels)
  20. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Auto rotate: On/Computer only (this provides the largest playback image size on the camera LCD)
  21. Tools Menu, Tab 3: C.Fn I: Exposure: ISO Expansion: On
  22. Tools Menu, Tab 3: Long exposure noise reduction: I usually have this option set to "Auto", but my choice varies for the situation.
  23. Tools Menu, Tab 3: High ISO speed noise reduction: Off (noise reduction is destructive to images details - I prefer to add NR sparingly in post)
  24. My Menu: Register the following options: Long exposure noise reduction, Format card, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring what time it is), Sensor cleaning (Clean manually), Expo.comp./AEB (back up near the top of the list)
I of course make other menu and setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot - including shooting in RAW-only format. While my setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.

If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. Anytime your camera goes in for a service visit, the camera will be returned in a reset-to-factory state (unless you request otherwise). Your list will ensure that you do not miss an important setting when putting the camera back into service.

More Information

Canon EOS Rebel T6

Post Date: 5/4/2016 10:33:32 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, March 21, 2016

With a Canon EOS 80D in my hands, the first task is to setup the camera for my use. Following are the 32 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box 80D ready for use.

  1. Open the box, find the battery and charger and plug it in. If you have another charged LP-E6/LP-E6N battery available, you can continue to the battery-required steps without a wait.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box. This is also a good time to grip the camera, taking in the new-camera grippyness that is right up there with new car smell.
  3. Download and install the latest Canon EOS Solution Disk software on your computer to get support for the latest camera(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility, Photostitch and Lens Registration Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  4. Attach the neck strap.
  5. Insert the battery (after charging completes).
  6. Power the camera on.
  7. The date and time setup screen will show at startup the first time. Use the Rear Control dial and the Set button to update this information.
  8. Insert a memory card (don't forget to format the card via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  9. Set the camera's mode to one other than fully auto (the GreenSquare A+ mode only provides a small subset of available menu options), C1, C2 or C3 (Custom modes do not retain settings for use in other modes).
  10. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the cameras as follows:
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use top dial to set RAW to "RAW" and Rear Control dial to set JPEG to "–"
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image review: 4 sec.
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Beep: Disable
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Release without card: Disable/off
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Lens aberration correction: All disabled (though I suggest leaving CA correction enabled for most uses – all can be applied in DPP)
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: ISO Speed Settings: ISO Speed range: 100-H(25600), Auto ISO Speed range: 100-6400
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Auto Lighting Optimizer: Off
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: White balance: AWB-W (Auto: White priority)
  19. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness Strength set to "1" (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram on the back of the camera that most-accurately shows me blown highlights and blocked shadows on the camera LCD. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  20. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Long exposure noise reduction: I usually have this option set to "Auto", but my choice varies for the situation.
  21. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: High ISO speed noise reduction: Off (noise reduction is destructive to images details – I prefer to add NR sparingly in post)
  22. Shooting Menu, Tab 5: Grid display: 3x3
  23. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Highlight alert: Enable (flash portions of images that are overexposed)
  24. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Playback grid: 3x3
  25. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Histogram disp: RGB (I want to monitor all three color channels for blown or blocked pixels)
  26. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Auto rotate: On/Computer only (this provides the largest playback image size on the camera LCD)
  27. Tools Menu, Tab 2: Viewfinder display: Viewfinder level: Show, VF grid display: Show, Flicker detection: Show
  28. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Custom shooting mode (C1-C3): Auto update set: Enable (see also: Configuring Custom Shooting Modes)
  29. Custom Functions: C.Fn II:Autofocus: AI servo 1st image priority: Focus
  30. Custom Functions: C.Fn II:Autofocus: AI servo 2nd image priority: Focus
  31. Custom Functions: C.Fn II:Autofocus: Orientation linked AF point: Separate AF pts: Pt only
  32. My Menu: Add the first tab; Register the following options for Tab 1: Long exposure noise reduction, Mirror lockup, Format card, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring what time it is), Sensor cleaning, Expo.comp./AEB (back up near the top of the list)
I of course make other menu and setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot – including shooting in RAW-only format. While my setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.

If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. Anytime your camera goes in for a service visit, the camera will be returned in a reset-to-factory state (unless you request otherwise). Your list will ensure that you do not miss an important setting when putting the camera back into service.

More Information

Canon EOS 80D

Post Date: 3/21/2016 9:19:23 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The definition of "perfect" in regards to T6i/T6s (750D/760D) setup is of course referring to my own preferences. That there are so many setup options shows that not everyone is the same as me.

  1. Open the box, find the battery and battery charger, connect the two and plug the charger in. A charged battery is needed for almost everything going forward.
  2. While the battery is charging, the one step that can be accomplished is software installation. Canon Digital Photo Pro and EOS Utility are the two apps I load.
  3. Another step that can be taken parallel to battery charging is installation of the neck strap.
  4. Install the charged battery and power on the camera. Update the date, time and timezone as prompted.
  5. To enable the full set of menu options, turn mode dial to P, Tv, Av or M. Then begin changes by pressing the Menu button.
  6. Change "Image quality" to "RAW"
  7. "Beep" to "Disable"
  8. "Release shutter without card" to "Disable" (Important)
  9. "Image review" to "4 sec."
  10. Set all "Lens aberration correction" options to "Disable"
  11. "Picture Style" to "Neutral" with "Sharpness" set to "1". Note that I select the Neutral Picture Style for a lower contrast histogram to better show the camera's available dynamic range in-camera. I usually change image to use the "Standard" style in DPP during post processing.
  12. "Long exposure noise reduction" to "Auto". I frequently change this option when shooting, most often to "On".
  13. "High ISO speed NR" to "Off". Noise reduction reduces image sharpness and very potentially destructive to image details. I apply NR to my taste (usually very lightly) during post processing.
  14. Live View "Grid display" to "Grid 1" to get the thirds lines
  15. Histogram disp from "Brightnes" to "RGB"
  16. "Auto rotate" to "On/Computer". This allows images to fill the camera LCD regardless of the orientation they were captured in.
  17. Viewfinder display: Set Electronic level, Grid display and Flicker detection to "Show"
  18. "Feature Guide" to "Disable"
  19. Custom functions: ISO expansion: On,
  20. Setup My Menu to include: Long exp. noise reduction, Anti-flicker shoot, Format card, Date/Time/Zone, Mirror Lockup, Sensor cleaning
Regardless of your setting alignment with mine, I recommend that you maintain your own camera settings list. The list will be helpful if your camera requires reconfiguration (such as after returning from Canon service) or as a basis for configuring your next camera upgrade.

Post Date: 8/18/2015 8:23:16 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, June 25, 2015

My Canon EOS 5Ds and 5Ds R cameras are here and as you expected, they are practically glued to my hands. These cameras are delivering simply amazing image quality.

I will have lots of additional info to share about this camera in the very near future, but once again, I kept notes as I unpacked and configured three copies of the world's highest resolution DSLR. Following are the 36 steps I take to make an out-of-the-box 5Ds / 5Ds R ready for use.

  1. Open the box, find the battery and charger and plug it in. If you have another charged LP-E6/LP-E6N battery available, you can continue to the battery-required steps without a wait.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box. For me, this is primarily the camera, the eye cup, the neck strap and the Canon Solution Disk. This is also a good time to grip the camera, taking in the new-camera grippyness that is right up there with new car smell.
  3. Install Canon Solution Disk software on your computer to get support for the latest camera(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility, Photostitch and Lens Registration Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  4. Attach the neck strap.
  5. Insert the battery (after charging completes).
  6. Power the camera on.
  7. The date and time setup screen will show at startup the first time. Use the Rear Control dial and the Set button to update this information.
  8. Insert one (or two) memory card(s) (format them via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  9. Set the camera's mode to one other than fully auto (the GreenSquare A+ mode only provides a small subset of available menu options), C1, C2 or C3 (Custom modes do not retain settings for use in other modes).
  10. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the cameras as follows:
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use top dial to set RAW to "RAW" and Rear Control dial to set JPEG to "–"
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image review: 4 sec.
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Beep: Disable
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Release without card: Disable/off
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Lens aberration correction: All disabled (though I suggest leaving CA correction enabled for most uses – all can be applied in DPP)
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: ISO Speed Settings: ISO Speed range: L(50)-H1(12800), Auto ISO Speed range: 100-6400
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Auto Lighting Optimizer: Off
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: White balance: AWB-W (Auto: White priority)
  19. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness Strength set to "1" (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram on the back of the camera that most-accurately shows me blown highlights and blocked shadows on the camera LCD. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  20. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Long exposure noise reduction: I usually have this option set to "Auto", but my choice varies for the situation.
  21. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: High ISO speed noise reduction: Off (noise reduction is destructive to images details – I prefer to add NR sparingly in post)
  22. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: Anti-flicker shoot: Enable
  23. Shooting Menu, Tab 5: Grid display: 3x3
  24. AF Menu, Tab 2: AI Servo 1st image priority: Focus (I want the images in focus more than I want the time-priority capture)
  25. AF Menu, Tab 2: AI Servo 2nd image priority: Focus (same reason)
  26. AF Menu, Tab 4: Orientation linked AF point: Separate AF pts: Area + pt
  27. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Highlight alert: Enable (flash portions of images that are overexposed)
  28. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Playback grid: 3x3
  29. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Histogram disp: RGB (I want to monitor all three color channels for blown or blocked pixels)
  30. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Magnification (apx): 1X
  31. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Auto rotate: On/Computer only (this provides the largest playback image size on the camera LCD)
  32. Tools Menu, Tab 2: Viewfinder display: Viewfinder level: Show, VF grid display: Enable
  33. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Custom shooting mode (C1-C3): Auto update set: Enable (see also: Configuring Custom Shooting Modes)
  34. Custom Functions, Tab 3: Custom Controls: AF-ON: One shot AI Servo; Set: Playback; Multicontroller: Direct AF point selection; Default erase option: [Erase] selected
  35. My Menu: Add the first tab; Register the following options for Tab 1: Long exposure noise reduction, Mirror lockup, Format card, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring what time it is), Sensor cleaning, Expo.comp./AEB
I of course make other menu and setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot – including shooting in RAW-only format. While my setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.

If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. Anytime your camera goes in for a service visit, the camera will be returned in a reset-to-factory state. Your list will ensure that you do not miss an important setting when putting the camera back into service.

More Information

Canon EOS 5Ds
Canon EOS 5Ds R

Post Date: 6/25/2015 10:33:19 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, November 5, 2014

My Canon EOS 7D Mark II arrived this week – WOO HOO! I will have lots of information to share about this camera in the very near future, but I kept notes as I unpacked and configured the "Baby 1D X" to the perfect (for me) setup. Following are the 30 (OK, there were initially 30, but I've tweaked the list slightly) steps I take to make an out-of-the-box 7D II ready for use.

  1. Open the box, find the battery and charger and plug it in. If you have another charged battery available, you can continue to the battery-required steps without a wait.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box. For me, this is primarily the camera, the neck strap and the Canon Solution Disk.
  3. Install Canon Solution Disk software to get support for the latest camera(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility, Photostitch and Lens Registration Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  4. Attach the neck strap.
  5. Insert the battery (after charging completes).
  6. Power the camera on.
  7. The date and time setup screen will show at startup the first time. Use the Rear Control dial and the Set button to update this information. The GPS feature, if enabled, should take care of precise date/time maintenance going forward.
  8. Insert one (or two) memory card(s) (format them via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  9. Set the camera's mode to one other than fully auto (the GreenSquare+ mode only provides a small subset of available menu options), C1, C2 or C3 (Custom modes do not retain settings for use in other modes).
  10. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the cameras as follows:
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use top dial to set RAW to "RAW" and Rear Control dial to set JPEG to "–"
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image review: 4 sec.
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Beep: Disable
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Release without card: Disable/off
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Lens aberration correction: All disabled (though I suggest leaving CA correction enabled for most uses – all can be applied in DPP)
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: ISO Speed range: 100-H2(51200)
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Auto Lighting Optimizer: Off
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Picture Style: Neutral with sharpness set to "1" (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram on the back of the camera that accurately shows me blown highlights and blocked shadows on the camera LCD. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  19. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Long exposure noise reduction: I usually have this option set to "Auto", but my choice varies for the situation.
  20. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: High ISO speed noise reduction: Off (noise reduction is destructive to images details – I prefer to add NR sparingly in post)
  21. Shooting Menu, Tab 4: Anti-flicker shoot: Enable
  22. AF Menu, Tab 2: AI Servo 1st image priority: Focus (I want the images in focus more than I want the time-priority capture)
  23. AF Menu, Tab 2: AI Servo 2nd image priority: Focus (same reason)
  24. AF Menu, Tab 4: Orientation linked AF point: Separate AF pts: Area + pt
  25. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Highlight alert: Enable (flash portions of images that are overexposed)
  26. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Playback grid: 3x3
  27. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Histogram disp: RGB (I want to monitor all three color channels for blown or blocked pixels)
  28. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Magnification (apx): 1X
  29. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Auto rotate: On/Computer only (this provides the largest playback image size on the camera LCD)
  30. Tools Menu, Tab 2: Viewfinder display: Viewfinder level: Show, VF grid display: Enable
  31. Custom Functions, Tab 3: Custom Controls: Set: Playback; Multicontroller: Direct AF point selection; AF area select lever: Direct AF area selection
  32. Custom Functions, Tab 4: Default erase option: [Erase] selected
  33. My Menu: Add tab; Register the following options for Tab 1: Long exposure noise reduction, Mirror lockup, Format card, Date/Time/Zone (great for determining what time it is), Sensor cleaning
I of course make other menu and setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.

To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot – including shooting in RAW-only format. While my setup works great for me (and Sean's setup is nearly identical), your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.

If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an update-to-date list such as this is a good idea. Anytime your camera goes in for a service visit, the camera will be returned in a reset-to-factory state. Your list will ensure that you do not miss an important setting while putting the camera back into service.

B&H has the Canon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR Camera with EF-S 18-135mm IS STM Lens in stock and I expect the body-only version to be available soon (preorder for earliest delivery).

Post Date: 11/5/2014 8:51:05 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
   
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