Other Settings For The DSLR


William Lulow

The Lighting Optimizer:

The Lighting Optimizer setting on most higher end Canon DSLRs and others as well, is designed to assist the exposure when you are shooting in low contrast lighting situations. It’s another one of those settings designed to help the average camera enthusiast get better looking images. It only works on JPEG images. Most such adjustments can be accomplished in post processing with Lightroom or Photoshop but these settings can be used in the camera. Again, this is a way to set the camera so that it will compensate, or try to compensate for less than optimal lighting conditions, if the user doesn’t really know anything about lighting.

Lens Peripheral Illumination:

There is a setting that helps the DSLR’s sensor illuminate the edges of its image properly. According to my manual, sometimes the four corners of the sensor suffer from what they call “illumination fall-off.” Depending on the size of the sensor and the lens you are using, you might experience more or less of this phenomenon. But, again, the manufacturer builds in an automatic self-correction whose default setting is “enable.”

Wireless Flash:

This is a very useful setting for many DSLRs because it uses the camera’s built-in flash’s infrared beam to fire a portable flash off camera. As long as the camera and flash unit are compatible (usually must be the same brand), this works very nicely and it can fire several off-camera portable strobes at the same time. All have to be compatible and set to the correct channel. I have used this occasionally when I don’t have my regular studio strobes with me, nor my portable strobes which are all linked via radio.

This is one of my regular portable strobe units, fitted with a radio receiver and battery:


This is my specially built transmitter which sits on top of the camera and has a hot-shoe mounted on it. This will fire my on-camera portable strobe as well as any other units that are connected via radio:


So, there are all sorts of ways to fire your flash units wirelessly.

Live-View Shooting:

This is a handy setting on many DSLRs. It allows you to preview exactly what the camera sees on its LCD screen. This has come in quite handy if I’m doing a product shot and I’d like to compose and focus it without actually looking in the viewfinder itself. It works well with my Canon 60D, because the LCD swivels so that I can view the image when the camera is above my head. I no longer have to climb a ladder to peer into the viewfinder.

These are just a few more settings on today’s modern DSLRs. As I have stated in previous articles, it is important to read thoroughly your camera manuals. The DSLR is not just a simple way to make images. You need to learn about its intricacies.