Photography by Jim Doty

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Canon 20D Camera Settings
(and other digital cameras)

Part Two - Custom Functions
Jim Doty, Jr.

Most of the custom functions on my 20D are at the default settings. I will comment mostly on the few that I change.

01 SET BUTTON. 0:Default.

02 LONG EXPOSURE NOISE REDUCTION. Usually 0:Off. If I am doing long exposure astrophotography at high ISOs, I turn this to 1:On.

03 FLASH SYNC IN Av MODE. Auto. I usually use flash in MANUAL mode so I control both aperture and shutter speed for the effect that I want. If I am using flash in Av (Aperture Priority) mode, I want the shutter speed to automatically adjust for the ambient light conditions. This will sometimes mean long shutter speeds. If this is not what I want, I go back to MANUAL mode.

04 SHUTTER BUTTON/AE LOCK BUTTON. Usually set to 0:AF/AE lock. Pushing the shutter button half way locks both autofocus and exposure. If I want to separate the two, I set this to 1:AE Lock/AF so the star (asterisk) button on the back of the camera locks focus on the subject, I recompose, and the shutter button locks exposure.

05 AF ASSIST BEAM. Usually 0:Emits. If I am using flash in minimal light conditions, the pre-flash to focus is usually not a problem. If it is, I turn it off.


07 FLASH FIRING. 0:Fires.

08 ISO EXPANSION. 1:On. I try to avoid ISO 3200 due to the digital noise, but if I need it, I want it to be quickly accessible.

09 BRACKET SEQUENCE, AUTO CANCEL.  Default, 0.  I prefer the 0, minus, plus sequence with auto cancel. If I know I will shoot several bracketed sequences, I set this function to 1 which gives me the same sequence order and doesn't turn off bracketing after one sequence. I usually bracket in MANUAL mode rather than using bracketing from the menu.


11 MENU BUTTON DISPLAY.  1:Previous. I want the same menu item to pop up as the last time, whether or not I turned off the camera.

12 MIRROR LOCKUP. For sports and people shooting this is set at default (0:Disable).  For a lot of landscape, nature and closeup work this is turned on. Mirror lockup is one of the most valuable features to have on a camera to prevent mirror vibration when using long lenses or doing macro work at slow shutter speeds.


14 E-TTL II. 0:Evaluative

15 SHUTTER CURTAIN SYNC. For most flash work at flash sync shutter speeds, this is set at 0:1st-curtain sync. For special effects at long shutter speeds, this is sometimes set to 2nd curtain sync.

16 SAFETY SHIFT in AV or TV. 1:Enable, simply as a precaution. I almost never choose Tv. In Av there is almost always a shutter speed available - but not always a good one depending on the lighting situation. In that case I change the ISO. For the kind of shooting I do, I haven't needed the safely shift but I hae it on just in case.

17 LENS AF STOP BUTTON. Default. 0:AF Stop


Part One - 20D Menu Settings
Part Three - 20D Top Deck Controls

April 20, 2005

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