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

Canon DSLR Tips 36-41

Canon DSLR Tips predictive AF Canon DSLR Tips predictive AF Canon DSLR Tips predictive AF Canon DSLR Tips predictive AF

36 Predictive AF
One-Shot autofocus struggles with capturing moving subjects, so switch to the AI Servo mode instead. This not only keeps adjusting focus as you press your finger lightly on the trigger, it will continue to adjust focus during the split-second delay between pressing the trigger and the shutter opening. Perfect for action events...

37 Perfect fill-in flash
Your built-in flash is not just designed for use after dark; it's extremely useful during daylight, too. It can banish ugly shadows from faces on a sunny day and can add colour to people's cheeks on grey afternoons.

However, if you use the wrong exposure settings the flash can be overpowering, making the background look unnaturally dark. The answer is to switch your camera to Av mode and then use the flash. The flash is only effective over a couple of metres, so get closer to the subject to make this trick work.

For more, see our step-by-step tutorial on how to master fill flash in 4 easy steps.

38 High-speed sync
Using an add-on flash doesn't just give you more power, it brings other benefits too. High-speed sync enables you to use flash with any shutter speed (usually you need to keep the speed to 1/200 sec or below). Using flash at, say, 1/4000 sec is very useful with fill-flash as it means you can use your lens's widest apertures to blur the background. Great for portraits!

Canon DSLR Tips exposure compensation

39 Get darker
Use normal Exposure Compensation with flash to darken the background - ideal for moody fill-in flash with richly coloured backdrops. Set the Exposure Compensation to around -1 and see what the shots look like.

[caption id="attachment_539641" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Canon DSLR Tips flash exposure compensation -1 exposure compensation & no flash exposure compensation[/caption]

40 Flash Exposure Compensation
Flash can sometimes be overpowering in a shot. Set Flash Exposure Compensation to a negative amount (say, -1) for a more subtle fill-in effect.

[caption id="attachment_539629" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Canon DSLR Tips flash exposure compensation -1 exposure compensation & +1 flash exposure compensation[/caption]

If fill-flash is not spotlighting your subject, try the reverse and dial in a positive amount of Exposure Compensation.

41 Benefits of Bulb
This variable shutter speed setting is designed for when you want exposures of more than 30 seconds long. You press the shutter release and the exposure continues until you release your finger. To cut out camera vibration, however, a cable release must be used. With most EOS cameras, you need to switch to Manual (M) exposure mode to access the Bulb, or 'B' mode.


Download free photography cheat sheets
99 common photography problems (and how to solve them)
Famous Photographers: 225 tips to inspire you
44 essential digital camera tips and tricks
10 rules of photo composition (and why they work)