Magic Lantern Feature: The Shoot Panel

on November 24, 2014

This panel is mostly for tweaking your settings while shooting stills, but the principles here are important to know you want to extract the most usability out of your DSLR.

Advanced Bracketing

If you are in MANUAL MODE, it will do exposure, or ISO, bracketing. If you are in any other mode (Av, Tv) it does exposure compensation bracketing.

This is different than the exposure bracketing function in your Canon menu in that you only need to TAKE 1 PICTURE, and ML will take the rest automagically.

You can also preview your HDR by setting:

PREFERENCES PANEL —> IMAGE REVIEW —> PLAY MODE ACTIONS—> EXPOSURE FUSION

When you are reviewing, HOLD SET and scroll the Main Dial: VOILA, your final image as a preview.

Intervalometer

This lets you take pictures at fixed intervals much like what you would get with a wired remote unit. THIS WILL INCREASE THE SHUTTER COUNT OF YOUR CAMERA. To avoid this, use the FPS override as previously mentioned.

To STOP the intervalometer, press EITHER:

MENU

PLAY

ROTATE MODE DIAL, or simply shut off your camera.

Intervalometer Settings

Take a pic every– You should know what this means.

Start Trigger- What you want to use to start the timelapse.

Start After- You can delay the START of your intervalometer by up to 8 hours. This is VERY useful for sunrise shots where you just DON’T want to get up at 5:00am to see the sunrise. Set it the night before and wake up to a timelapse in your camera.

Stop After-This is so you don’t burn out your shutter actuation. Figure out how many shots you need and enter the value here.

Manual FocusRamp: OK- forget everything I said about not using LIVEVIEW for intervalometer timelapse. This is an exception that is very cool if used sparingly. If you have a lens with autofocus, you can have the FOCUS POINT change during your timelapse. If you were, say, shooting a timelapse of the sun breaking over the mountains, and there flowers in the foreground, you could start on the mountains where the light breaks, and then slowly rack focus towards the flowers as the dawn light hits it. Thats a very cool effect for not having to even touch the camera.

NB The most common sin in shooting timelapse is the “Flickering frame”. This is due to the camera exposing one shot differently than the rest due to the lighting conditions at that particular moment To avoid this Magic Lantern recommends:

SHOOTING IN MANUAL

USE MANUAL WHITE BALANCE

AVOID SHOIRT EXPOSURE SETTINGS

And shooting with a MANUAL LENS. If you have a CANON lens, you can lock the aperture and unscrew the lens.

Other important Notes

If you are using LIVE VIEW with “noisy” mode, you will wear out your shutter twice as fast. You are taking a picture of the noise for every picture you take of the image. As well as every Live view actuation is MECHANICALLY a shutter actuation. Just turn LIVEVIEW off and do noise reduction in post. Your camera will thank you.

When not in LIVE VIEW (which you shouldn’t be in ayway) press DISP or INFO to turn off the display and save your battery life.

BULB TIMER

This is for night  or long exposure photography and is a very cool way of getting star trails or seeing the milky way in your photos. The camera as it is, requires you to hold down the shutter and release it when you are ready. Remote shutter and IR shutter releases let you get around this. If you have lost yours, you can use this to work around it.

AUDIO REMOTE SHOT

This lets you use a LOUD NOISE like a clap from your hands to take a picture. If you are trying to do some high speed photography and what to catch a board breaking or something else percussive, this can be your solution. Just remember that ANY sound that will trigger a spike in your waveform will enact this function- including the beeps from autofocus or a Pocketwizard.

MOTION DETECT

This is for use in LIVE VIEW MODE. It can be triggered one of two different ways:

Exposure Change– When a large object crosses your frame, there is a significant change in exposure. This is great if you want to leave your camera out and wait for a mountain lion to cross your path.

Frame Difference- This is for when you need to detect even the most minute changes in the frame. It calculates the difference between the last two frames and uses that as a trigger.

MIRROR LOCKUP

You can do Mirror Lockup inside your Canon Menu, but it’s kind of hidden away, and it’s difficult to navigate.  This also give you a little more flexibility on how you use it.  In general, I have found mirror Lockup useful when shooting between 1/125 to 1/2 second.  Anything longer or shorter and you’re not really going to notice the difference. 

MLU Mode- You can set the trigger to be: Always On, set off by the Self Timer, or use the Handheld limits.

Handheld Shutter- This is where you can set the MLU to always be active or just when the shutter speed values are with in the range listed: 1/2 sec – 1/125 sec.

Handheld Delay- This is the delay between the mirror flipping up and the shutter actuating in handheld mode, giving your camera enough time to recover from the vibrations of the mirror moving.

Normal MLU Delay- What your default shutter delay will be.

FLASH TWEAKS

Flash Exposure Compensation- From -10 to +3. Now heres a cool trick- if you are using an external flash in OPTICAL slave mode and you have it set up off camera, you can trigger the OPTICAL flash to fire without affecting your scene from your on board camera flash by SETTING YOUR FLASH EXPO COMPENSATION to -10. This is very cool if you want directional light and don’t want any fill coming in from the camera. This is the kind of functionality you get with the more expensive Canon Wireless TTL ratio system- but now with manual flashes. This is great in the studio or even out in the field. Old School flashes can be found VERY cheap at garage sales, and they almost all have optical slave modes. However- DO NOT CONNECT AN ANALOG FLASH TO YOUR DIGITAL CAMERA- EVEN IF IT IS THE SAME BRAND. These older flashes have a lot more juice than their modern day counterparts and you can fry your camera. They are perfectly safe to use with a radio trigger or as an optical slave off camera. (The older flashes often have a higher guide number than their modern day brethren- a great reason to get used to shooting in manual.)

Flash / No Flash- This lets you do split testing for whether you want to use a flash or not. It will take one shot with flash, and then another one without. This is great for A/B split testing if you’re not sure if you want to use flash or not. (Some of my favorite shots in dark bars at higher ISOs and wide open. It’s a specific look, though, and not great for event photography.)

3RD PARTY FLASH IN LV-this is for the Rebel line- and for those that like to shoot flash in Live View. You can still trigger the flash in live view by enabling this which shuts off the display temporarily as soon as you half-depress the shutter. There is no real advantage to this in any other situation though, so- use accordingly.

SHOOT PREFERENCES

Here you can some of your preference from the other modes-

Pics at Once- This sets how many pics will be taken based on your trigger event (intervalometer, motion detect, trap focus, and audio remote).

Use Autofocus- If your lens has autofocus and you want to use it for the intervalometer, audio remote, or motion detect

Post Scripts- These are post processing scripts to use if you are doing bracketing or focus stacking.  Again- wait to do it on your computer at home.

Intervalometer Script- Post-processing script for your timelapse.  You know how i feel about this.

Snap Simulation- THIS is funny.  If you ever want to make it look like you are taking a picture but actually NOT- this mode will blink and beep to simulate a picture.

EYE-FI TRICK

This is a very cool little workaround the guys at ML did. As you may know- only the more expensive PRO series of Eye-Fi cards will transfer RAW images. If you have a different model of Eye-fi card, you can simply RENAME your raw files as “AVI”, and then transfer them via wifi. Once you get back to your computer- don’t forget to change their name back to cr2!