Canon Camera is arguably the biggest name on the photography market, and within this bookazine we’ll discover why. Learn about the essential kit, how to clean your camera and the best lenses to use for all sorts of images. We will also take you through the best way to compose your shots, using the flash and some other useful accessories. The How to section will assist you with a variety of shots and the best way to achieve them. Finally, we’ll help you get to grips with Canon’s powerful editing and sharing software.
Attracting enthusiasts through to the world’s top professionals, a Canon DSLR offers something for everyone
Canon’s arsenal of DSLR cameras is something that is ever-growing and ever-improving. Many of the world’s photography elite are proud to own one or several models, and even everyday photography fans can enjoy the product, thanks to the range of DSLRs on offer. The range is helpfully split into three groups; Beginners, Enthusiasts and Professionals.
The beginner models are designed for keen amateurs who want to upgrade from a compact. As such, the DSLRs in this category are more simplistic and offer helpful guides and self- explanatory controls to aid newcomers.
The EOS range for enthusiasts supports those looking to challenge themselves and those who may want to take the next step towards becoming a semi-professional. The cameras feature enhanced technology and provide a wider choice of commands on the camera body.
As well as sporting a steeper price tag, DSLR models in the pro end of the market range deliver expert standards, performance and consistency for creating extreme high-end photography. Canon’s DSLR control layout and general design hasn’t altered much over the years, but its intuitiveness and accessibility are regularly praised by the media and the brand’s legions of fans, Canon groups its DSLR models into three families; Beginners, Enthusiasts and Professionals, The DSLR models sport impressively wide sensitivity ranges with most scaling beyond ISO 12,000 making low-light handheld photography a genuine possibility.
Canon EOS-1DX :
The Canon EOS-1D X’s price tag and high-end feature set are two reasons why this camera suits the professional quarter of the market. Combing speed with image quality, the camera delivers an unrivalled shooting performance, courtesy of its full frame 18.1MP sensor and Dual DIGIC 5+ processor. The result is greater control over depth of field, picture clarity and noise. Elsewhere the camera sports an impressive burst shooting speed of 12fps, or 14fps in High Speed mode with mirror lock up. What’s more, the mode can power out up to a jaw-dropping 180 large jpegs or 38 RAW files, which will undoubtedly excite action, sports and wildlife fanatics. Add this to the native sensitivity gamut of ISO 100-51200, which expands to a colossal ISO 204800, and the 1D X looks to be an enviable contender in this elite echelon of the DSLR market.
The 1D X promotes a superb autofocus, exposes without fault and handles noise like the best of them. Where the full-frame DSLR may cause one niggle is its incredible bulk, which may deter some outdoor and travel photographers. That said, its build quality undeniably assures longevity; this is a camera that is built to last and will provide its owners with years of loyal service.
Canon EOS 7D:
The Canon 7D boasts one of the most impressive feature troves on the pro-enthusiast market. There’s an enhanced 18MP cropped CMOS sensor, 8fps burst mode, Full HD movie-capturing, a 19-point An oldie but a goody, the 7D has a loyal fan base among semi- professionals and serious enthusiasts The 20.2MP full-frame sensor Canon 6D sports a lightweight yet ruggedly strong shell, which has the bonus of also being moisture and dust resistant. Sitting neatly within Canon’s serious enthusiast range of DSLRs, the 6D boasts state-of- the-art technology such as an 11-point AF, GPS, Wi-Fi and an ISO range that expands to a gargantuan ISO 102,400. Proving itself more than capable of achieving well-exposed, colour-rich imagery, the 6D is in the perfect position to aid prosumers pursue a higher pedigree of photography. Sporting a full frame sensor, the 6D produces stunning imagery and handles magnificently.
Canon’s one and only mirrorless interchangeable lens camera is an ideal choice for enthusiasts and prosumers alike The EOS M, like other mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras, was designed to aid enthusiasts to take their first steps into DSLR-style photography; offering the flexibility of lens choice and a full range of manual controls and enhanced technology all within the portable, compact body of a bridge.
As well as attracting photographers looking to step up to a more challenging platform, the EOS M makes for an affordable choice for semi-professionals looking for a sensible back-up model. This has been made even more attractive as owners can purchase an optional mount adaptor (EF-EOS M) to enjoy the full support of the EF and EF-S lens range, meaning they can team the shooter with their existing collection of lenses as well as any new EF-M range products they might like to explore.
Beginner to pro : Whether you’re an enthusiast stepping up from a compact or a semi-professional looking for a reliable backup, the EOS M has something for everyone, Touch screen controls As well as the onbody controls, photographers can use the bright 3” 1040k dot touch screen LCD to make changes.
Image size: The EOS M’s large APS-C size sensor allows photographers to print images as large as A2 and retain sharp and defined details.
Hybrid: The EOS M, like CSCs in general, blends the build quality and ease-of-use of a bridge, with the heightened features, controls and enhanced picture quality of a DSLR.
Lenses galore: As well as accessing the new EF-M range of specific CSC lenses, users can purchase an optional mount adaptor (EF-EOS M) to enjoy the support of the EF and EF-S lens range, too
Movie magic: Like other CSCs on the market, the EOS M offers full HD video recording, but here we see the addition of Video Snapshot where the photographer shoots a series of short clips that can be edited together in-camera.
Canon Camera EOS M
As the first of its kind, the EOS M has set a rather high benchmark for other CSCs set to join Canon’s contingent of hybrid cameras. It promotes an 18MP APS-C CMOS sensor, 3” 1040k dot touch screen LCD, an ISO scale that tops out at ISO 25,600, full 1080p HD recording and a flash hot shoe for enhanced lighting control.
The EOS M’s appearance matches that of the cameras in its EOS DSLR range, just smaller and dare we say, cuter. Available in black, silver, white and red, the EOS M looks more stylish than its bridge counterparts and obviously offers the bonus of a lens mount and the ability to switch lenses to suit the shooter’s purpose.
Unlike some of its competitors, the EOS M’s handling is in keeping with some of Canon’s bridge models and so brand loyalists stepping up from the compact format to the CSC should feel at ease here, and the touch screen LCD is a boon for photography newcomers. In essence, it is the perfect blend of a PowerShot, with its easy-to-use control layout and lightweight nature, matched with the heightened dexterity of its entry-level DSLRs.
Picture quality, as expected, wows. Considering this is Canon’s debut CSC, many expected there to be a few chinks in the model’s armour, but it ticks all the boxes. The EOS M consistently produces balanced exposures, strong punchy colours, richly defined details and well-controlled noise throughout the majority of the sensitivity scale, all at a moderately affordable price. What’s not to like?
Canon’s bridge and superzoom cameras are ideal for zooming across vast distances for the perfect shot Both bridge and superzooms are compact, but they also share one other familiar trait; they provide huge zooms that deliver impressive focal ranges, sometimes in excess of 1000mm (equivalent). This attracts photographers who particularly enjoy shooting at vast distances such as sports, action, wildlife and street photography. Bridge cameras look like mini DSLRs, the main difference being that the big lens doesn’t detach. They only tend to be available in black and are considered larger and bulkier than other compacts, but this is because they usually offer larger focal ranges, like the PowerShot SX50 HS, which provides a jaw-dropping 50x optical zoom. Another draw of this type of shooter is that they normally feature an integrated viewfinder, which some photographers find easier to compose shots with when shooting far into the distance. Superzooms, on the other hand, are smaller than their bridge counterparts, and as such can’t quite match the range of a bridge, but tend to don more stylish, colour-vibrant metal-casings.
Manual mode: Manual and semi-manual modes are regular features of bridge and superzoom models, as the breed of camera tends to attract the more adventurous shooter
Zoom zoom!: Bridge and superzooms tend to offer two types of zoom: optical and digital. Multiplying the two together results in the total combined zoom Superzoom stylish Where bridge cameras are similar in look, superzooms tend to be more stylish, experimental and often are available in a choice of colours Genre happy: As this breed of compact features such a wide focal range, the camera suits photographers who enjoy multiple genres; from landscapes to portraits, wildlife to sports, bridge cameras are an ideal match Bridge vs superzoom Bridge bodies are more reminiscent of DSLRs, whereas superzooms tend to look more like generic compacts, just slightly bigger Focal range: The main draw of bridge and superzoom cameras is their titanic focal range, taking photographers from wide angle (24-25mm) through to its telephoto reach (500mm plus).
Canon’s compact range is plentiful and varied. We explain the differences so you can choose the one for you…
Canon produces two varieties of compact camera: PowerShot and IXUS. The differences between the two families come down to their target audience as the IXUS is aimed at people who simply want to point-and-shoot, whereas the PowerShot branch is intended for those who want to pursue photography. As such, the IXUS compacts tend to be slimmer and less equipped, whereas the PowerShot range incorporate bigger lenses with longer zooms and heartier technology, which results in larger cameras.
Canon segments its collection of compacts from both branches into the following categories: Expert, Bridge, Superzoom, Wi-Fi, Point and Shoot, Underwater and adventure, and finally Low-light cameras. Keen photography enthusiasts should look in particular at the Expert, Bridge, Superzoom and Low-light assortment of compacts as the majority of these models feature manual as well as automatic modes, creative filters, RAW support, bright lenses for low-light shooting and vast focal ranges for exploring photography genres.
Heightened controls Canon’s compacts are designed to be easy to use, but some offer even more control for an enhanced user experience such as the S series, which use a customization Lens Control Ring, and the G series which provide multiple customization front and rear controls
Telescopic lenses: The bridge and super-zoom collections feature cameras that boast huge focal ranges; currently the PowerShot SX50 HS claims the largest zoom (50x optical)
On the go: A growing number of Canon’s compact collection now feature Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity technology which means users can shoot, share and send on the go.
HS System: The majority of the brand’s compacts, especially those that are considered high-end, feature Canon’s HS System, which boasts big high-sensitivity CMOS sensors and the fast DIGIC processors Low-light lenses Canon’s low-light cameras are ideal for shooting when the sun goes down as models like the Canon PowerShot G16 features a superbly wide aperture of f1.8
There are numerous accessories, which compact users can buy to broaden their camera’s scope for creativity, including Speedlites, tele-convertors, viewfinders, underwater housing and remote controls
Set up your Canon Camera:
Whether it’s an upgrade or your first step into the world of photography, a new camera is an exciting purchase. However, a shiny new Canon camera with all its buttons and dials can be a little overwhelming, leaving you wondering how to get started.
In this guide, we will take you through the process of setting up your camera from the moment you take it out of the box. Once it’s ready, continue to the other guides and discover how lenses work, what the modes do, how to take different styles of photos and finally what to do with your shots once you have taken them. So what are you waiting for? Lift the lid and let us help you get started!
What you’ll need Essential extras for your Canon camera
A camera bag helps keep your kit safe and secure on the go. There are many types available, from shoulder bags to backpacks, all of varying sizes.
Dust and smudges on your lens can show up in your photos. Carry a microfibre cloth and use it to keep your LCD screen clear, too.
Check whether your camera requires an SD, SDHC or SDXC card or a micro version, and buy one for your camera to store your photos on.
What’s in the box? Learn about the important bits supplied in the box You should be supplied with cables for connecting your kit to other devices. Keep hold of the manual, as you’ll need it to learn about your specific camera. New cameras usually come with a digital copy of the manual and editing software. Plug your camera into the charger for a few hours before you start setting up. Take off any protective film covering the LCD screen before you get started. If you’ve purchased a CSC or DSLR, then it will probably come with a kit lens. Use the supplied camera strap to reduce the risk of dropping your camera.
Prepare your Canon
Set up your new Canon the right way to start shooting your best-ever shots
- Insert the battery Insert your camera battery into the battery chamber, which is usually found on the bottom of the camera. If your battery is low on power or your camera does not turn on, you will need to charge it up using the supplied charger.
- Attach the lens If you have an interchangeable lens camera, remove the cap on the front of your camera and the cap on the bottom of the lens. Align the markings on the lens and camera and turn the lens clockwise to lock it.
- Attach the strap Feed each end of the strap through the lugs on either side of the camera and then secure it into place. Adjust the length so that it’s comfortable for you to carry around and hold when you are out shooting.
Delve into your Canon’s menu:
- Set the date and time Input the correct time and date so this information will be recorded with your photos, making them easier to organize. You will find this option in the Settings menu.
- Insert the memory card Before you start shooting, insert a memory card to store your photos on. The memory card slot can usually be found on the bottom or side of the camera and will show you which way round to insert it.
- Format the card Formatting your memory card will set it up for your camera and improve performance. It will also delete any content on the card, so back everything up first.
- Adjust the LCD Ensure the LCD screen is bright enough to see your shots. Some cameras adjust brightness automatically, or you can do it from the menu.
- Focus the viewfinder If your camera has an optical viewfinder, then you will need to focus it correctly so that you have a clear view of what you’re shooting. Rotate the dioptre dial next to the viewfinder until the view appears sharp.
- Choose a file type In the Quality section, set the type and size of files. JPEG is standard, but some cameras can shoot RAW, which you have to process.
Pick the right Canon lens
Discover which Canon lenses you need to capture the shots you want, The beauty of DSLRs and CSCs is the ability to change the lens depending on the mood, occasion or subject. For shooting sweeping vistas and landscapes, photographers plump for a focal length of 28mm or lower. For portraiture a standard or ‘normal’ telephoto is required carrying a focal length of between 35 and 85mm because this is what the eye is used to seeing. Medium telephotos of 100 to 300mm are prized by wildlife and action enthusiasts, whereas super-telephotos of 300mm gift sports fans with what they need to reach the heart of the action. In this complete guide to Canon lenses you’ll find everything you need to know about choosing the right lens for the job, as well as tips for getting a perfect shot.
Canon Camera Review
Ultra-wide and wide: To encompass the entirety of the scene before you with the least amount of distortion, you’ll need a wide- or ultra-wide angle lens (16-28mm)
Rule of thirds: Use the viewfinder’s grid display to make captures more interesting. Simply align the focal points of the landscape along the lines or at the four intersecting points.
Take a look Top lenses for flawless landscape shots:
EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM:
Designed for experts and enthusiasts alike, this wide-angle zoom lens is the perfect weapon of choice for any and all landscape lovers, thanks to its suitable and versatile focal range with constant f/4 aperture. The lens, which also happens to be water and dust resistant, offers full-time manual focusing and a fast silent AF, so precision is assured, whichever mode it is that you choose.
A perfect lens for presumes wishing to wield more creativity than is offered from most standard wide- angle lenses, as this ultra-wide angle enters the realms of fisheye focal lengths; suitable for more adventurous landscapes. The magnificently affordable lens features a manual focus ring, circular aperture, Super Spectra Coating and 4-stop optical Image Stabilizer for pin-sharp pictures.
EF-M 22mm f/2 IS STM:
Broadening its lens arsenal for users of its Compact System Camera, the EOS M, Canon’s EF-M 22mm wide-angle prime lens works exceptionally well in low light so is a great choice for dawn, dusk and night photographers. The lens, much like the camera that it supports, is compact and lightweight, with the added bonus of an aspheric lens element that delivers high resolution and high contrast.
Don’t say ‘cheese’:
Getting your subject to say ‘cheese’ will destroy any sincere emotion they have to offer. Aim to capture a variety of moods, from somber to joyful, from stern to silly
Take a look Instantly improve portraits with the right lens
This is a superb multi- functional lens that was introduced in order to appeal to entry-level Canon DSLR photographers.
The versatile focal range makes the lens suitable for several genres but in particular portraiture as it offers the photographer the ability to capture models in an environment or close up; perfectly replicating the subject as the eye would see it.
EF 40mm f/2.8 STM:
A realistically affordable prime lens that is particularly suitable for portraiture. The portable pancake design makes it suitable for location shoots, where its smooth and quiet STM focusing is a boon for shooting movies. The fast f2.8 maximum aperture gifts portrait photographers with the ability to shoot subjects in low-light and still retain high image quality.
EF 35mm f/2 IS USM:
Suited to semi-pros and professionals, the EF 35mm offers first-class optical technology in a compact design. As well as suiting portraiture, the lens lends itself to reportage, landscape and travel photography. Because it borders the realms of wide-angle, it’s a great lens for shooting subjects within a scene or environment, so could also benefit wedding and fashion photographers.
Nothing tells the tale of a place more than its people.
Adopt a stealthy approach, have your settings ready, and either shoot from the hip or be confident and get close
Take a look Quality lenses to deliver optimum travel shots:
EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM:
A lovely little lens that is absolutely perfect for travel photography thanks not only to its compact and lightweight design, but also because it hosts a neat range of focal lengths, allowing travellers to capture landscapes through to portraits. What’s more, the built-in IS increases shot sharpness and as a result, will mean you’re less dependent on using a tripod or boosting the ISO.
EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM:
The EF-S18-135mm offers travellers a versatile focal range for capturing a greater variety of scenes and subjects from wide- roaming landscapes to shooting through crowds for telescopic street candids. What’s more for those with a penchant for movie-making the lens features a Dynamic Image Stabilizer for smoother footage and quiet STM while focusing.
EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM:
Expanding its EOS M lens range, the EF-M 18-55mm is the perfect fit for travellers using Canon’s CSC out and about. The lens is ideal for covering a range of travel photographic remits including landscape, architecture, food, portraiture and street. It provides a fast auto focus for enthusiasts and a full-time manual override for those with slightly more confidence.
Textures, patterns and details
Photographing natural and man-made textures, patterns and details is what lies at the heart of macro shooting. Use a wide aperture to capitalise on these moments from as low as f1.2 through to f4.5
Take a look Capture the tiniest of details using a dedicated macro lens
EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM:
An oldie but a goodie, this macro prime lens was the first Canon lens to feature Hybrid IS. Five years later and it has proven itself as a popular choice amongst macro enthusiasts, particularly because of the integrated image stabilization that enables photographers to get up close and personal without a tripod, but also because it offers a super-wide aperture of f/2.8.
EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro:
This little, light and compact macro prime lens offers photographers a standard 46 degree angle of view, a 23cm closest focusing distance and a thoroughly decent 1:2 life-size image reproduction. But that isn’t all; the Canon EF 50mm lens features six diaphragm blades and Super Spectra coating to reduce ghosting and flare.
EF-S 60mm f2.8 Macro USM
The superior EF-S 60mm f2.8 Macro USM macro lens features a floating optical system that provides macro enthusiasts with the dream of life-size magnification (1:1). As well as being useful for macro images, the lens doubles as a creative portrait lens also. Its near-silent USM means that any skittish wildlife subjects are unlikely to be disturbed.
Short, sharp shots There’s no getting past it, for natural-looking sharp action shots you need a fast shutter speed. Raising the ISO helps you take that speed to the next level Take a look The perfect lenses for freezing the action and getting that shot.
EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM:
A compact, lightweight, yet massively versatile telephoto zoom lens, the EF-S 55-250mm is perfect for getting close to subjects. Ideal for sports, action, wildlife or street, this lens is the first EF-S telephoto zoom to use Canon’s advanced STM technology, which alongside a 3.5-stop optical image stabilizer, helps to create some of the sharpest sport shots possible.
EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM:
The ideal lens for serious sports and wildlife photographers, this is a super-telephoto lens that means business. It features a fixed f/4 aperture, 4-stop optical image stabilizer and for the first time a built-in 1.4x extender. Photographers will also look the part as the product sports a high-end magnesium alloy design for style and robustness substance.
EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM:
The EF 70-300mm was introduced by Canon as a lightweight, compact but professional telephoto zoom lens, designed to answer the growing demand for high-performance zoom lenses which feature outstanding mobility and versatility. Its travel- friendly size also makes this a feasible candidate for those a penchant for travel photography.
Improve and expand your Canon photography experience with these must-have items.
Canon Camera Review
With so much kit to carry it’s wise to invest in a rugged camera bag. The best bags feature removable padded separators for protecting your equipment; they can be pulled out and reattached by their Velcro strips to suit the style and shape or your own equipment. Also look for one that is waterproof, lightweight, has plenty of smaller pockets and a strap for attaching your tripod to.
The wider the selection of lenses a photographer has at their disposal, the more genres of imagery they can produce. As a general rule of thumb use a focal length of less than 28mm for landscapes, 35 to 85mm for portraits, and anything over 100mm for zooming into the action such as sports, wildlife or documentary.
A UV or skylight filter acts as a simple protective piece of transparent glass that safeguards your lens against smears, knocks and smashes. It is widely considered essential, particularly if the lens is expensive. An ND grad is used in landscapes and can help to ‘trick’ the camera’s image sensor when you want to manipulate exposures. A polarizer filter can minimize glare caused by reflections, boost colors and heighten contrast.
A tripod is essential when you want to use a long exposure or focal length and don’t want to risk the camera moving; which would result in camera shake or image blur. This is particularly important for night or low-light photography. Enhance the chances of success by firing the shot with a timer
Lens pen or cloth:
Lens spots and dust motes are an expected annoyance when using lenses on a regular basis. Trust in a reliable make of lens cloth or pen to wipe away marks and stains before you begin capturing your subject. This will save you hours upon hours of time later on, cloning and removing the blemishes in an editing suite
Memory card Unless your camera has a particularly large internal memory you’ll need a memory card to record your images on. The most common formats used today are SD/SDHC and SDXC. Opt for several smaller cards (4-16GB) rather than one large card (32GB) in case that card is lost, stolen or damaged
If you enjoy shooting landscapes, seascapes or nightscapes you may want to invest in a remote control. These type of shots call for longer exposures and as such any movement the camera and tripod experience will be captured in your shot. Using the camera’s self-timer or even better; a tethered or wireless remote control will eradicate this.
A portable flash is a wise investment for anyone shooting above a beginner level. This type of flash grants the photographer more creativity because portrait, fashion, event and wedding photographers can bounce the flash off ceilings and walls to generate softer more flattering effects to illuminate the subjects, which are much more natural than those of the camera’s own pop-up flash. Flash is also useful when it comes to shooting action or sports photography.
Cleaning your Canon:
If you want to keep your Canon camera in pristine condition and working at its best, you need to learn how to clean it Giving your Canon a good clean will help to prolong its life and ensure it is performing to its best ability. Marks on the lens can show up in your shots and general dirt on the camera body can find its way into the inner workings, so it is in your best interest to keep it spotless. The outer body of your camera is easy to clean yourself at home, but when it comes to cleaning the very delicate sensor, it is best to send it away to be dealt with professionally. Here’s how we recommend you go about it…
- Blow away dust First, use a rocket blower to blow away any loose dust and dirt on your camera body and lens. Simply squeeze the device to create a puff of air.
- Apply cleaning solution An alcohol-based lens cleaning fluid will help you remove any stubborn marks and smudges on your lens. Apply to the lens and wipe with a microfiber cloth.
- Use a microfiber cloth A microfiber cloth is the best option for lens cleaning as it will really lift away any dirt. Just make sure you wash your cloth regularly to keep it as clean as possible.