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Chapter 3. Setting Up Your Canon EOS 40D > Defining Picture Styles

Defining Picture Styles

Canon makes interpreting current Picture Style settings and applying changes very easy. The current settings are shown as numeric values on the menu screen shown in Figure 3.13. Some camera vendors use word descriptions, like Sharp, Extra Sharp, or Vivid, More Vivid that are difficult to relate to. The 40D’s settings, on the other hand, are values on uniform scales, with seven steps (from 1 to 7) for sharpness, and plus/minus four steps clustered around a zero (no change) value for contrast and saturation (so you can change from low contrast/low saturation, –4, to high contrast/high saturation, +4), as well as color tone (–4/reddish to +4/yellowish). (EOS 20D veterans will note that the earlier camera used coarser –2/+2 steps for all these, including sharpness.) The individual icons represent (left to right) Sharpness, Contrast, Saturation, and Color Tone. To change one of the existing Picture Styles, or to define your own, just follow these steps:

1.
Access the Picture Style menu (pressing the Picture Style button under the LCD is the fastest way) and use the Quick Command Dial to scroll to the style you’d like to adjust.

2.
Press the INFO. button to choose Detail set. and produce the screen shown in Figure 3.14. The Quick Command Dial can scroll among the four parameters, plus Default set. at the bottom of the screen, which restores the values to the preset numbers.



Figure 3.14. Each parameter can be changed separately.


3.
Press Set to change the values of one of the four parameters. If you’re redefining one of the default presets, the menu screen will look like the figure, which represents the Landscape Picture Style.

4.
Use the Quick Command Dial or multi-controller to move the triangle to the value you want to use. Note that the previous value remains on the scale, represented by a gray triangle. This makes it easy to return to the original setting if you want.

5.
Press the Set button to lock in that value, then press the Menu button three times to back out of the menu system.

Any Picture Style that has been changed from its defaults will be shown in the Picture Style menu with blue highlighting the altered parameter. You don’t have to worry about changing a Picture Style and then forgetting that you’ve modified it. A quick glance at the Picture Style menu will show you which styles and parameters have been changed.

Making changes in the Monochrome Picture Style is slightly different, as the Saturation and Color Tone parameters are replaced with Filter Effect and Toning Effect options. (Keep in mind that once you’ve taken a photo using a Monochrome Picture Style, you can’t convert the image back to full color.) You can choose from Yellow, Orange, Red, Green filters, or None, and specify Sepia, Blue, Purple or Green toning, or None. You can still set the Sharpness and Contrast parameters that are available with the other Picture Styles. Figure 3.15 shows filter effects being applied to the Monochrome Picture Style.

Figure 3.15. Select from among four color filters in the Monochrome Picture Style.


Filters Vs. Toning

Although some of the color choices overlap, you’ll get very different looks when choosing between Filter Effects and Toning Effects. Filter Effects add no color to the monochrome image. Instead, they reproduce the look of black-and-white film that has been shot through a color filter. That is, Yellow will make the sky darker and the clouds will stand out more, while Orange makes the sky even darker and sunsets more full of detail. The Red filter produces the darkest sky of all and darkens green objects, such as leaves. Human skin may appear lighter than normal. The Green filter has the opposite effect on leaves, making them appear lighter in tone. Figure 3.16 shows the same scene shot with no filter, then Yellow, Green, and Red filters.

Figure 3.16. No filter (upper left); yellow filter (upper right); green filter (lower left); and red filter (lower right).


The Sepia, Blue, Purple, and Green toning effects, on the other hand, all add a color cast to your monochrome image. Use these when you want an old-time look or a special effect, without bothering to recolor your shots in an image editor.


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