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Canon 1D X – set/recall shooting mode function

The new v2.x firmware (this wasn’t introduced in the recent v2 update, it’s always been available) 1D X has an ability to save and recall a shooting mode for the AF-ON or AE Lock button. While this may not be instantly obvious for how it can be used, for sports photographers this is incredibly useful when shooting in dramatically different lighting conditions. Here are two scenarios: A very sunny day at the football stadium where half the field is in sunshine and the other half is in deep shade; Or a tennis stadium where the player runs in and out of the sun.
A-League 2013 - Rd02 - Heart v Phoenix - 14 Oct 2012
Suppose you’re shooting in Manual mode and have set the exposure correctly for the lit part of the stadium. When the play is in the shade, there’s often a 2-3 f-stop difference in exposure. To expose for the shade you would have to manually turn one of the dials to change the exposure. This is often too slow.
Now. there’s a new custom function called “Register/recall shooting function” (p348 of the revised manual). This allows you to program either the AF-ON or <*> button to an exposure setting which is used when the button you have selected is pressed down. You can set it to a manual exposure setting, change it to Aperture or Shutter speed priority, or other settings. So when the play goes into the other extreme lighting conditions, just press and hold that button and you don’t have to fiddle with any other dials.
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Thanks to Jay Collier at CPS Australia and Scott Barbour from Getty Images for this tip.