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Friday, June 12, 2015

Canon My Menu - How and Why to Use It

The My Menu option is one of my favorite features built into Canon cameras. Over the years, I have used or owned every one of their SLR and DSLR bodies. The following article is written by Michael Sheras from Canon Digital Learning Center. It talks about the advantages and ease of using My Menu.

The EOS-7D Mk II and EOS-5Ds and EOS-5DsR have the added advantage of assigning features and functions to multiple menus, thereby dramatically increasing the customizable options. You can see my equipment bag and works on

Did you know that, instead of scrolling through a ton of menu options, you could personalize it with your favorite commands? In your EOS camera, go to “MY MENU SETTINGS,” hit “REGISTER TO MY MENU,” and select the settings you want. Then exit and press the “SET” button to quickly access your new custom menu. It's as simple as that!"

What to set :

Now that I have explained how to create a “MY MENU” screen, I would like to give you my suggestions for what to put in your “My Menu” screen. Here are my six favorite items that I believe are most important. I will list them in the order I would place them in the “MY MENU” list. Please remember that these are my suggestions and you can use ANY six items you want in any order you wish. That is what makes the “MY MENU” feature so useful. – it’s user customizable.

Format Card : 

The original idea for “MY MENU” was conceived as a quick and easy way to reformat a memory card when you first put it in your camera. If you place it first on your list, leave the green highlight box around it, and set “ENABLE” in the “Display from my menu” option in the “My Menu” setting screen, you will create a quick and easy way to reformat a new memory card when you insert it in your camera. All you will need to do is insert the card, push the “Menu” button once and the “SET” button twice and your new card will be quickly and easily reformatted for use.

Battery Info :

[All cameras that use an LP-E6 or LP-E4 battery] All the current EOS cameras, except the Rebel series, have a “Battery Info” item in the menu list that will show the amount of battery charge as a percentage from 1 to 100. This is a good thing to be able to monitor so you should keep it easily available on your “MY MENU” screen.

Record func+card/folder sel. : 

[All cameras with two memory card slots] This is also an item you will want to have at your fingertips. It allows you to select which of the memory cards is playing back in your camera. It also allows you to choose whether you want to record separate resolutions on the two cards or want to double record your images on both cards simultaneously for back-up purposes. It also allows you to create new folders for your images in case you want to place them in separate folders when you first shoot them. If your camera has only one memory card, then the menu item is called “Select folder.” It is still valuable because it gives you the ability to place your images in separate folders, even if you only have one memory card.

Custom Controls : 

Another valuable option. This item allows you to assign different functions to most of the buttons on your camera. All of the buttons that have assignable features are listed in this item. In addition to being able to assign functions to each button, this feature is also useful so you can easily check what you assigned to each button, in case you forget. It is an option you will tend to use a lot and, therefore, should have a place in your “MY MENU.”

NOTE : The Rebel series cameras do not have a “CUSTOM CONTROLS” item in the menu. Instead, they have two items listed in the “Custom Functions” area. Because Rebels do not have a “Battery Info” tab, you can add both the items that relate to the customizable buttons to your “MY MENU” [See Figure 5].

Highlight Tone Priority :

This is an example of a menu item that you would want to use sometimes, but not all of the time. Because you will be turning it “on” or “off” while you are in the middle of shooting, it would be very convenient to put it in “My Menu” for easy access. Highlight Tone Priority expands the dynamic range of an image from 18% gray to bright highlights and makes the gradations smoother. It is very useful for bright items, such as a bride’s dress against a white background. However, it could result in increased noise in some shadow areas and limits the ISO range to 200-3200, so you do not want to use it all the time. That is why it is useful to put it in the “MY MENU” area so you can switch it “on” or “off” more easily.

External Speedlite Control/Flash Control :

This item gives you easy access to the controls of your Canon external Speedlite by transferring the controls to the rear LCD of the camera for easier setting. If your camera has a built-in flash, it is called “Flash Control.” If your camera does not have a built-in flash, it’s called “External Speedlite Control.” Either way, it always works with an attached Canon Speedlite (Speedlite 580 EX II or newer). It also allows you the ability to have more control over your built-in flash (if equipped) and is an item you would always want to be easily accessible when using flash.

NOTE : Because the EOS 7D Mark II has a special button to bring up the Speedlite menu, it need not be included in “MY MENU.”

Additional "My Menu" features on EOS-7D Mk II & EOS-5Ds and EOS-5DsR cameras

There is one new additional feature added to the “MY MENU” function on the new EOS 7D Mark II and EOS 5DS and 5DS R cameras. Instead of there just being one “MY MENU” screen with six possible items on it, you can expand the green tap up to five “MY MENU” screens, giving you up to 30 possible items in five “MY MENU” screens. There is an additional screen available which gives you the option of adding between 1-5 “MY MENU” screens and naming each one separately. Figure 6 shows how I would configure the “MY MENU” screen if there were only one, while Figure 7 shows the additional menu screen available to set up more “MY MENU” screens, if you want them. I hope I have convinced you that using the “MY MENU” tab on your EOS DSLR will make your camera easier to operate and therefore enhance your photographic experience.  

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