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.
- Open the box, find the battery, place it in the charger and plug it in.
- While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box. This is a good time to install the neck strap.
- 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.
- Insert the battery (after charging completes) and power the camera on.
- 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.
- Insert a memory card (don't forget to format the card via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
- Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv or M (some modes provide only a small subset of available menu options).
- Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
- Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use top dial to set RAW to "RAW" and Rear Control dial to set JPEG to "-"
- 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)
- 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)
- Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Shooting information display: Histogram display: RGB
- Shooting Menu, Tab 2: Image review: Off (without a review display being shown and cleared, the viewfinder becomes ready-for-shooting faster)
- Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Continuous AF: Off (increases battery life)
- Shooting Menu, Tab 4: MF Peaking Settings: Peaking: On
- 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.)
- Shooting Menu, Tab 5: Auto Lighting Optimizer: Off (again, those shooting in JPG mode might want to explore the results of this option)
- 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.)
- Shooting Menu, Tab 6: Long exp. noise reduction: Auto
- 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).
- Tools Menu, Tab 3: Beep: Off
- Tools Menu, Tab 3: Hints & Tips: Off
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- To get to the Playback Menu, take a picture, playback the picture and while it is displayed, press the Menu button.
- Playback Menu, Tab 4: Highlight Alert: Enable
- Playback Menu, Tab 4: Auto Rotate: Off (always uses full LCD for display)
- Playback Menu, Tab 5: * resize: Enable
- 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.
Canon EOS M6
The Canon EOS M6
is in stock at B&H