After looking online for an answer to a pretty basic question about a very basic camera function -- how to set the self-timer -- I was more then a little annoyed to find no help. Instead, I immediately found my FAVORITE answer to a question on a forum where someone else had asked the same question of “did you try the manual?”. If this snarky commenter had ever been to art school, they would know that even the greatest photographers who deal with cameras every single day ask the same questions over and over and over again! In this day and age of looking up everything on google, you’d figure that looking for a quick response like this would be a no-brainer and wouldn’t warrant such annoying responses to innocent questions. Also, I lost the damn manual, ok??

But anyway enough of my rant, I wanted to clarify this issue even if it is super specific to my camera. Every single time I try to change the shooting mode, called the “drive mode” within the camera and guide, (I’m old-school… still not used to referring to mode as to whether your camera is on manual or not) I forget how to do it. I rarely ever use this mode, but it definitely has its uses in what are called continuous shooting and self-timed shooting. Continuous shooting allows the photographer to press and hold the shutter button to take a stream of images which keeps the shots coming until the shutter is released again. This can be very useful when taking photos of an event that’s happening very quickly, like a race or a fast paced sports game or when bracketing your images. I won’t get into bracketing in this blog post, suffice to say that it’s a way to take a single shot of several of the same image, all with different exposures. The self-timer is a way to set your camera’s shutter to delay going off for an interval of time, usually a few seconds. While this can be handy for taking self-portraits or family portraits, it’s also a great tool for low lighting situations which, when coupled with a slow shutter speed and tripod, you can use the self timer to absorb all possible light without also creating camera shake and the grainy image that would result with using a higher shutter speed and ISO.

So lets talk about this rather complex method for finding this mode in the 5D, shall we?? Ok it’s really quite simple, but lives under “Creative Auto” which I never use. All you have to do is set the mode dial to “CA” and then press “AF-drive”. Under drive mode select your desired “shooting mode”. And that’s it! I guess it wouldn’t have inspired a blog post without my friend the snarky commenter, so my hat goes off to you!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published