Canon 10D Camera Settings
Part One - Menu Settings
I have received several requests for an article on how I set up my Canon 10D for photography. Although this article is specific to the 10D, it is applicable to more than one model or brand of camera.
I change the menu items less often than the top deck controls. I will cover some menu settings with more depth than others.
QUALITY. This is almost always set to RAW or LARGE FINE JPEG (the highest jpeg setting). I covered the differences between RAW and JPEG settings in another article at this site which I won't repeat here. The points I make are still valid and the article is worth reading. There are several articles on the internet that imply or state that "serious" shooters always shoot in RAW mode. I don't agree. There are good reasons to set your camera to the highest JPEG setting. If you choose to use jpeg, then enjoy it and don't feel guilty because you read somewhere you should always shoot in RAW mode.
RED-EYE. Always set to OFF.
AEB. Sometimes I use bracketing at plus and minus 1/2 or one full stop. I usually bracket in manual mode by setting the aperture (f-stop) for the depth of field that I want and bracket by changing shutter speeds. If your camera is tripod mounted (and it should be as much of the time as possible), this will give you images you can combine later in the computer when the tonal range of the scene is greater than your imaging sensor can handle.
WB-BKT. I don't usually bracket the white balance.
BEEP. Off. I do a lot of natural light shooting in religious ceremonies and the beep would be intrusive.
CUSTOM WB. I use this occasionally in tricky lighting situations when shooting in jpeg mode. Check your camera manual to see how to do this. In RAW mode leave your camera on AWB (auto white balance) and set the color balance after the fact on your computer.
COLOR TEMP. Usually at 5200K. Sometimes I dial this up or down as a digital version of a color compensating filter.
PARAMETERS. This is always set to ADOBE RGB. This gives me the maximum color gamut when I open the images in a color aware program like Photoshop Elements or Photoshop CS (the "working space" in both programs is also set to ADOBE RGB). I do my own printing so the larger color gamut is important. If you shoot only for the web, or have your images printed by someone else, ADOBE RGB may not be as important to you.
ISO EXPANSION. On. I try to avoid using ISO 3200 (too noisy) but I want it available if I really need it.
PROTECT. ROTATE. PRINT ORDER, AUTO PLAY. I don't use these.
AUTO POWER OFF. 30 minutes. When I push the shutter button, I want my camera to be on. It is too slow to wake up (2 seconds) if a grab shot occurs and it has gone to sleep. If I am out shooting, I rarely go 30 minutes without touching the shutter button. If I haven't touched it in 30 minutes, it is ok with me if it goes to sleep on me.
REVIEW. ON (INFO). A quick look at the image tells me if I am getting what I want compositionally. The histogram (info setting) is a very valuable tool in quickly judging the exposure. I want to see both. I don't check the review after every image, especially in fast moving situations like sports, but I do check it periodically.
REVIEW TIME. 4 seconds is enough for me to see what I need to see.
AUTO ROTATE. ON.
LCD BRIGHTNESS. Set according to conditions.
DATE TIME. Set to where I live. I do not reset when crossing time zones since this happens to often to try and keep up. This is simply a personal preference.
FILE NUMBERING. Continuous.
LANGUAGE. VIDEO SYSTEM. COMMUNICATION. Set to default.
FORMAT. Once I have downloaded my memory card to my computer and
AFTER I have burned all images to a back up CD or DVD, I FORMAT the card before using it again. Don't ERASE all the images on the card or you could have problems down the road with the card and its file system. It is
always best to FORMAT rather than ERASE all the images. I do erase individual images as I go along, but that is a different situation.
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