49 seriously good Canon DSLR tips, tricks, time savers and shortcuts

49 seriously good Canon DSLR tips, tricks, time savers and shortcuts

Canon DSLR Tips 29-35


Canon DSLR Tips: AE Lock

29 AE Lock

A disadvantage of Focus Lock is that by default it locks exposure as well as focus. This can lead to inaccurate exposures. You can avoid this by using the Exposure Lock button at the back of your camera (marked with a star). Use the Focus Lock, as above, then when the shot is recomposed, use the Exposure Lock button to reset the exposure before firing.

For more on this, check out our step-by-step tutorial on how to use AE Lock to control exposure.

Canon DSLR Tips: Automatic Depth of Field

Without A-DEP

30 Use Automatic Depth of Field (A-DEP)

A-DEP mode is the easy way to maximise depth of field, so all key areas in the image stay sharp. It works using the seven or nine AF points found on consumer SLRs, so the lens must be switched to AF.

Canon DSLR Tips: Automatic Depth of Field

With A-DEP

Point the lens and the camera adjusts both the aperture and the focus to maximise depth of field (as well as setting the shutter speed).

31 A-DEP tips
A-DEP can only make use of those AF points it can get a reading on straight away. Check which it is using. Keep half-pressing the trigger until it uses all the focus points that you require.

Canon DSLR Tips: manual focus

32 Try manual focus

AF is useful, but in low light (or with some action subjects) it’s more accurate to focus manually. Switch the lens from AF to MF, then turn the focus ring on the lens until the subject looks sharp in the viewfinder (for more on focusing manually, check out our in-depth guide to Manual Focus: what you need to know to get sharp images).

33 Love Live View
Checking the accuracy of manual focusing is not as easy as it sounds. Use Live View for more accurate results. The zoom option in Live View gives a 10x magnification and a panning option, so you can then focus precisely on any point in the frame.

34 Zoom effect

If you don’t have Live View, zoom in with the lens and focus, then zoom out to reframe the shot and press the shutter to capture it.

35 Focus check

You can also use the LCD screen 
to check the focus on shots you’ve taken. Press the magnifying glass button several times to zoom into your shots, then use the cursor controls to check different areas.


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  • Dimitri_K

    A few “tips” are really bad advice. Do NOT change your color space to Adobe RGB (ARGB) unless you are familiar with color management from camera to post-processing to printing, and if you don’t instantly recognize what it means to convert your color space to sRGB in post-processing software for printing at any lab/print service, then you don’t want to use Adobe RGB color space in your camera. If you don’t properly handle ARGB files at every step, your colors will be worse than the default setting of sRGB, which is what 99.9% of the photos you see use. Also, using the Av priority mode with flash is strange; you can easily exceed your maximum flash sync speed. Use shutter priority when using flash to set your shutter speed at an acceptable speed, then modify your ISO if needed to get the aperture or background lighting level where you want it.