36 Steps to the Perfect Canon EOS 90D Setup

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.

Posted: 9/6/2019 10:09:02 AM ET   Posted By: Bryan
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