An honest question about Canons

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Ruahrc, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    I was at Best Buy the other day, and usually when I am there, I stop by the DSLR rack just to look at what's there.

    They had the 5DMk2 on display, all locked down obviously. One of the employees came over and asked if I needed help. Hey, he asked, so I said sure, can I look at the 5DMk2 when it has a lens mounted on it? He makes a few calls, gets about 30 screwdrivers out, and 5 minutes later the thing is detatched enough from the security table so that they can mount a lens on it.

    A 17-40L was in the lens case nearby, so I said that will do. Really I wanted to test out the handling and experience the full-frame viewfinder, in contrast to the DX viewfinder on my D80. But as a bonus I got to test the feel of the 17-40L as well hehe.

    Anyways, not being too familiar with Canons (last time I handled one was a 30D a few years back) I tried to operate some of the basic controls. I saw that there was only one rotary switch on the shooting (right) hand, under your index finger. I asked the BB employee how one changed the aperture and SS while in manual mode with only one rotary switch. He thought maybe it was the button with the "*" on it, but when I held it down and rotated the rotary switch, the aperture did not change. Taking a guess from the way Nikons handle, I tried the circular rotary dial on the back, but that did not change it either.

    For the life of us, we could not figure out how to change the aperture setting on the 5DMk2 in full manual mode. Stranger was that the 7D next to the 5DMk2 operated just fine. Hold down the * button, and then the rotary switch controlled aperture. Release the * button, and the switch controlled SS.

    I think at one point there were at least 2 BB employees there, both supposedly the "SLR gurus", and one of the "the Canon guy" and neither could get it to work. We looked in the custom menus, to see if it was a setting, but nothing obvious jumped out at us.

    I'm genuinely curious now, how do you change the SS and aperture in M mode on the 5DMk2? Is it different than the 7D? Is it a customizable setting, that may have been set differently than the 7D? We also tested the lower end Canons that were there, I think one of them (the 60D) worked by using the * button, the other (T2i?) did not, and behaved as the 5DMk2.

    I'm positive that it has to be possible, and relatively easy to do. Changing SS and Aperture in M mode are the two absolutely most important features of the camera (beyond the shutter button), and for any jokes I may make about Canon's ergonomics, I know that it can't be THAT hard to do. It was just us not knowing how to use the camera.

    And yes, we did check several times that the camera was indeed on M and not on Tv or Av :)

  2. Kebabselector, Mar 14, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011

    Kebabselector macrumors 68030


    May 25, 2007
    Birmingham, UK
    In manual Shutter is set via the front control dial, Aperture using the rear control dial.

    Could it be that the rear wheel wasn't switched on (the on switch has 3 positions Off/On and the 3rd enables the rear control).

    The 7D and 60D should have operated in the same way, I'm guessing both cameras didn't have the rear dial turned on (though the rear dial lock is a bit different on the two models) and in the 5D's case someone may have messed around with settings. The T2i doesn't have a rear control wheel so to control Aperture you'd use * and front dial (assumption as I've never held one)

    Doesn't say much about the competency of BB employees if their Canon expert couldn't sort out a system that's been in place for around 20 years on Canon bodies.
  3. MattSepeta macrumors 65816


    Jul 9, 2009
    375th St. Y

    Yeah the huge dial on the back of the body controls the f-stop when in Manual mode.
  4. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

    Apr 26, 2008
    My 40D works the same way :)
  5. Ruahrc thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    Could be right on the rear control dial, I did seem to notice that the on switch had more than 2 places. Why would one ever turn it on and then want to disable the rear control dial though? Especially if it meant you couldn't operate the camera fully in M?

    What doesn't add up still is that on the T2i, the * button was not working in conjunction with the rotary in order to change the f-stop. Is there a custom function setting that regulates this (on the T2i or any Canon?)

  6. dslade09 macrumors member

    Aug 21, 2010
    For the T2i you have a Av button that you hold to change the f/stop while in manual mode and then the dial by the shutter button is shutter speed
  7. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    the switch has two "on" positions, one to turn the camera on, one to turn the rear dial on. the rear dial can be turned off because in every other mode (face it, most people aren't in M) the rear dial is for EC. switching the rear dial off means you can't accidentally change the EC.

    on the 7D and 1-series, the power switch and rear dial lock are separate.
  8. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    I am looking at my 1 series (to make sure what I am saying is accurate) and the shutter dial is parallel with the top LCD screen, just next to the shutter. The control dial (which the Rebel line lacks for some reason) on the back has an on/off button. The on/off button is there so one doesn't inadvertently change the aperture.

    I believe on the 5D/xxD bodies, you can switch what controls what via a CF (custom function) setting. I know you can on a 1 series, and pretty sure you can on these as well.

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