Camera Introduction - Part One

The cameras we will be using for this class is the Canon SX 160 IS. The camera can be set to be totally automatic and it can be run in the manual mode. You will learn how to operate in both settings. Lets first look at the dial wheel on the top of the camera and the choices you have available.

AUTO : Camera has complete control over exposure, point-and-shoot operation, the majority of manual features are disabled, you can't alter white balance, exposure compensation, ISO, metering or use manual focus. You can set flash mode, drive, macro focus and image size.

PROGRAM AUTO EXPOSURE (P) : Very similar to AUTO exposure but you have access to all the normal manual controls such as ISO sensitivity, exposure compensation, white balance, manual focus etc.

SHUTTER PRIORITY AUTO EXPOSURE (Tv) : In this mode you select the shutter speed and the camera will attempt to select the best aperture for a proper exposure. Shutter speed is displayed on the LCD, press the left / right arrows to select different shutter speeds. A half-press of the shutter release causes the cameras exposure system to calculate the aperture, the LCD view changes to reflect the look of the final image. If the exposure is outside the cameras exposure range the aperture will appear in RED.
NOTE APERTURE / SHUTTER SPEED RULE:
1/2000, 1/1600 1/1250, 1/1000, 1/800, 1/640, 1/500, 1/400, 1/320, 1/250, 1/200, 1/160, 1/125, 1/100, 1/80, 1/60, 1/50, 1/40, 1/30, 1/25, 1/20, 1/15, 1/13, 1/10, 1/8, 1/6, 1/5, 1/4, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, 0.6, 0.8, 1, 1.3, 1.6, 2, 2.5, 3.2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15 secs

APERTURE PRIORITY AUTO EXPOSURE (Av) : In this mode you select the aperture and the camera will attempt to select the best shutter speed for a proper exposure. Aperture is displayed on the LCD, press the left / right arrows to select different apertures. A half-press of the shutter release causes the cameras exposure system to calculate the shutter speed, the LCD view changes to reflect the look of the final image. If the exposure is outside the cameras exposure range the shutter speed will appear in RED.
NOTE APERTURE / SHUTTER SPEED RULE:
Wide: F2.8, F3.2, F3.5, F4.0, F4.5, F5.0, F5.6, F6.3, F7.1, F8.0
Telephoto: F4.8, F5.6, F6.3, F7.1, F8.0

FULL MANUAL EXPOSURE (M) : In this mode you select the aperture and the shutter speed from any combination of the above. Left and right arrows change either shutter speed or aperture, press SET to switch between the two. When you half-press the shutter release the camera meters the scene and displays a numeric indication of how far over or underexposed the image is (compared to its metering). This value is in EV's (exposure value / stops), if the exposure is under or overexposed by more than 2 EV's the camera simply displays -2 or +2 in red. During the half-press the LCD view changes to reflect the approximate look of the final image.

PORTRAIT : In this mode apertures are kept as large as possible (small F number) to produce a blurred background to help define the subject in a portrait shot. Note: Macro and manual focus are available in Portrait mode.

LANDSCAPE : In this mode the flash is by default disabled (although you can enable it) and focus is locked at infinity. Apertures are kept as small as possible (large F numbers) to produce the largest possible depth of field. Manual focus is available. Designed to be used for taking landscape shots.

NIGHT SCENE : Known on other cameras as "Slow Sync Flash". Put simply in this mode slow shutter speeds are used to capture a dimly lit background (buildings at night for example) and the flash fires briefly to illuminate a foreground subject.

FAST SHUTTER : Instructs the camera to uses the fastest possible shutter speed for a particular exposure, this often means the largest aperture (F2.8 at Wide, F4.9 at Tele) in combination with ISO 100. Useful for capturing sports events.

SLOW SHUTTER : Instructs the camera to uses the slowest possible shutter speed for a particular exposure, this often means the smallest aperture F8.0. Useful for blurring moving water.

STITCH ASSIST : Designed to make shooting of panorama / stitch shots easier. You have a choice of five different stitch modes: left-right, right-left, down-up, up-down or 4-frames in a square. The display changes to show previously shot frames in the sequence to help alignment of each frame. Exposure and White Balance are locked to the first frame.

Camera Introduction - Part Two

FOUR WAY CONTROLLER : In Auto and P modes the left and right buttons of the four way controller have no function (except in manual focus mode), in Tv (Shutter Priority) and Av (Aperture Priority) the left and right buttons set shutter speed and aperture respectively. The up button is mapped to flash mode (described below) and the down button is mapped to focus mode (described below).

FLASH MODE : Toggles through the flash modes: Flash Auto, Flash On (Fill), Flash Off. You can enable or disable red-eye reduction from the camera menu.

FOCUS MODE : Pressing this button toggles between normal focus (default), macro focus and manual focus. In manual focus mode the left and right buttons of the four way controller are used to set focus position, a ruler indicating the current focus distance is displayed along the bottom of the LCD monitor.

RECORD MENU : Pressing this button in record or play mode enters that mode's settings menu (described in detail on the next pages of this review).

DISPLAY MODE : Toggles between three LCD display modes: LCD off, Image and AF frame, Image and AF frame plus detailed exposure information.

FUNC BUTTON : The FUNC button displays an overlaid menu which provides access to the most often changed photographic settings. In Auto exposure mode you can only modify Drive Mode and Image Size / Quality, in Scene exposure modes the available settings vary. All settings are available in the creative record exposure modes (P, Tv, Av or M). Settings appear in a column down the left side of the display, use the direction buttons on the four way controller to move up and down each option and change an options.

PLAY MODE: