Canon EOS 5D Mark III Cheat Sheet

November 8, 2013

From Canon EOS 5D Mark III For Dummies by Robert Correll


Your Canon EOS 5D Mark III is an incredible digital camera with a ton of controls and options. Use this Cheat Sheet to quickly review the controls, shooting modes, menus, and picture styles that the EOS 5D Mark III has to offer.

Shooting Mode Quick Reference for the Canon 5D Mark III

The Canon 5D Mark III has enough shooting modes for photographers of all experience levels. For point-and-shoot photography, set the camera to Scene Intelligent Auto mode and let the camera handle most of the work for you. Choose an advanced shooting mode (P, Av, Tv, M, B, or a Custom mode) to take more control for yourself.

This table gives you some information on each mode:

Name Description
Scene Intelligent Auto The 5D Mark III’s fully automatic shooting mode. Use it to turn control over to the camera. Great for when you’re learning about your camera and photography or when you need to transfer the workload to the camera so that you can relax and have fun.
P (Program AE) Think of Program AE (AE stands for auto exposure) mode as a bridge between Scene Intelligent Auto and the more manual shooting modes. Although the camera determines the exposure settings, you have much more control over different functions, such as the AF mode, metering, and so forth. You can also shift the program by changing which combination of aperture and shutter speed the camera uses in a given situation.
Tv (Shutter-Priority AE) In this mode, you set the shutter speed and the camera works around that setting to get the right exposure. In all other aspects, the camera is under your full control. Good for sports, action, and when you are moving.
Av (Aperture-Priority AE) This mode is similar to the Tv Shooting mode except that you set the aperture. Good for portraits, landscapes, and close-ups.
M (Manual exposure) You are responsible for all exposure settings.
B (Bulb) This special shooting mode (known as Bulb) opens the shutter for as long as you hold the Shutter button down.
C1-C3 These are Custom Shooting modes. They enable you to save camera settings in any of the three dial positions for recall later.

Menu Categories on the Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Canon includes a number of important menus in its 5D Mark III digital camera. You use these menus to set up the camera, as well as to configure and customize it to shoot the way you want it to. Here are the major categories of menus and what they do:

  • Shooting: These five menu pages (Shooting Menu 1 through Shooting Menu 5) are dedicated to shooting settings, including image quality, mirror lockup, ISO speed settings, Auto Lighting Optimizer, and Picture Style. Live View and Movie modes each have their own dedicated Shooting menu.
  • AF: The AF (autorfocus) menu has five pages devoted to listing just about every autofocus option that you would ever want to adjust.
  • Playback: Playback has three pages of menus. You protect, rotate, erase, print, copy, resize, and process images here, set up slide shows, and more!
  • Setup: Setup consists of four pages of menus that have various setup options.
  • Custom Functions: The Custom Functions (advanced options) are grouped together in this menu. They are divided into Exposure, Display/Operation, Others, and Clear categories.
  • My Menu: The 5D Mark III enables you to create your own custom menu containing up to six items from the camera’s other menus. Set it up and use it here.

Canon EOS Mark III: Using Picture Styles

The 5D Mark III has a number of Picture Styles that you can use to process your photos in-camera. Each predefined style has different color, saturation contrast, and sharpening settings:

Style Description
Auto In this case, the camera applies the photo style (but not monochrome) it thinks is appropriate to the scene. Mileage may vary from photo to photo.
Standard The default setting, this option promises sharp images with good contrast and strong colors.
Portrait This mode reduces sharpening slightly (compared to Standard) to soften skin textures.
Landscape In a nod to traditions of landscape photography, this Picture Style emphasizes greens and blues and amps up color saturation and sharpness, resulting in bolder images.
Neutral Use the Neutral style if you want to edit your photos yourself. The colors are subdued but natural.
Faithful The Faithful style is designed to render colors as closely as possible to how your eye perceives them in the daylight.
Monochrome This setting produces black-and-white photos. You can also apply four different filters (yellow, orange, red, and green) and four different toning effects (sepia, blue, purple, and green).
User defined 1–3 You have three spaces in which to save your own styles. After you create them, select them here.

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