Canon R5 Menu Settings

Several readers have recently bought a Canon R5. Here are my menu settings:

Camera 1

  • Image quality RAW
  • Dual Pixel RAW disable
  • Cropping/aspect ratio FULL

Camera 2

  • Expo.Comp in the middle
  • ISO speed settings100-102400
  • HDR PQ settings OFF
  • Auto Lighting Optimizer Standard
  • Highlight tone priority OFF
  • Anti-flicker shoot Disabled
  • External Speedlight control – I don’t mess with this one

Camera 3

  • White balance AWB
  • Custom White Balance – I don’t mess with this one
  • WB Shift – I don’t mess with this one
  • Color Space – Adobe RGB
  • Picture Style – Standard with a bit of saturation added
  • Clarity – 0
  • Lens aberration correction
    • Peripheral illum corr ON
    • Distortion correction OFF
    • Digital Lens Optimizer – Standard

Camera 4

  • Long exp. Noise reduction OFF
  • High ISO speed NR – Standard
  • Dust Delete Data – haven’t used

Camera 5

  • Multiple exposure – Disabled until I need it
  • HDR Mode OFF – until I need it
  • Focus Bracketing – Disabled until I need it

Camera 6

  • Interval timer – disable
  • Blub timer – Disabled
  • Shutter mode – Elec 1st curtain
  • Release shutter without card – OFF

Camera 7

  • Touch Shutter – Enable
  • Image Review – 2 sec
  • High Speed Display — OFF
  • Metering timer – 8 sec
  • Expo simulation – Enable
  • Shotting info dis – set what I like

Camera 8

  • Viewfinder Display – Display 1
  • Disp Performance – Smooth

Auto Focus 1

  • AF operation – Serve AF
  • AF method – this changes with how you have the focus method set
  • Subject to detect – Animals
  • Eye detection – Enabled
    • Only shows if AF method is set to Eye Detect
  • Continuous AF – Disable
  • Movie Servo AF – Enable
  • Touch & drag AF settings

Auto Focus 2

  • MF peaking settings
    • Peaking ON (When you’re in MF there’s a little guide to help)
    • Level HIGH
    • Color RED
  • Focus guide – off
  • AF-assist beam firing — off

Auto Focus 3

  • Case 1 – Versatile multi purpose
  • Case 2 – Continue to track subjects, ignoring possible obstacles.
  • Case 3 – Instantly focus on subjects suddenly entering AF points
    • Canon Professional Services suggests Case 3 or 4 for moving objects or birds in flight
  • Case 4 – For subjects that accelerate or decelerate quickly

Auto Focus 4

  • Lens electronic MF – Off
  • One-shot AF release prior. – set at Focus
  • Switching Tracked Subjects – 0 or initial priority
  • Lens drive when AF impossible – On
  • Limit AF methods – all mine are active
  • AF method selection control – main dial
  • Orientation linked AF point – Same for both vert/horiz

Auto Focus 5

  • Initial Servo AF pt for – AF pt set for AF point
  • Focus ring rotation – no change
  • RF lens MF focus ring sensitivity – no change
  • Sensitivity AF pt select – 0
  • Electronic full-time MF — Off

Export with Resize in Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw

My photography students and photo friends frequently ask me how to resize a photograph. It’s super easy in Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw.

Why would you need to resize a photograph?

  • A teacher like me asks that you submit homework at a particular size and ppi. (PPI is pixels per inch).
  • A photo contest needs the images to be a particular size.
  • Your camera clubs asks that photo be submitted a certain size.
  • You want to email a photo to someone but the photo out of the camera is too big.
  • You’re building a Powerpoint or Keynote program and a lot of images to be resized so they project well.
  • Photos on your website need to be a particular size.

From Lightroom Library, right click on the image or images, and select Export.

Step #1 select the destination folder, Step #2 select jpeg or tiff, Step #3 select Image Sizing, Step #4 select Export. (Continue reading for tips on Image Sizing.)

In Bridge, select the photo or photos to export (or save), right-click to open in Adobe Camera Raw. Once in Adobe Camera Raw, select the image(s) and select the tiny “save” icon. You’ll see that when you hover your mouse over one photo.

Step #1 select the destination folder, Step #2 select jpeg or tiff, Step #3 select Image Sizing, Step #4 select Save.
This is the tiny Save icon

What size photo do you need?

  • Powerpoint or Keynote images look best when resized to 1280 pixels on the longest side at 96 pixels/inch resolution in jpg
  • Facebook same
  • Email same
  • Instagram likes 500 pixels square at 96 pixels/inch in jpg
  • Printing? Use the sizes recommended by your printer or printing company. You might need a tiff so do some research.
  • Webpage photos vary but jpgs at 800 pixels on the longest side at 96 pixels/inch show well and don’t take too long to load

Short lesson that I hope answers some of your questions. Comments welcome below.

Stealing a Photo: Texas Supreme Court Says It’s Okay

It was just a small article in the June 18th Houston Chronicle. Texas Supreme Court ruled that it was okay for The University of Houston to use Jim Olive‘s photograph of downtown Houston without permission.

Read Gabrielee Banks article for yourself.

The Texas Supreme Court ruled that the University of Houston is protected by “sovereign immunity.” This well-respected university that is charged with teaching our young people is allowed to use something without permission due to “sovereign immunity.”

I’ve followed Jim Olive‘s case since it began back in 2014. It’s made my blood boil and my heart race since day one. As photographers we do everything we can to protect our photos from unauthorized use. We embed metadata, we disable right clicks on our websites, we even pay companies to troll the internet looking for unauthorized use.

Yet, a person or persons affiliated with “Houston’s Public Tier One University” really did right click or screen capture one of Jim’s photos. Then they used it to advertise the Bauer College of Business where “together, we rise together, we soar”.

I suspect those student at Bauer have to take a class in ethics. Years ago I taught an ethics class to freshmen business students at Lone Star College. One of my favorite chapters introduced the concept that something might be legal but its not RIGHT.

Let me give you two examples: In the 1800s slavery was legal in the US but slavery wasn’t right. Before the 1970s, women in the US could be fired from their job because they were pregnant.

It’s Legal but it Ain’t Right published by The University of Michigan Press

Well, It’s Not Illegal! published by the University of Central Florida News

Olive sent the University of Houston a cease-and-desist letter when he found out his photo was being used without his authorization. The university took his photo down from their site. Olive invoiced them for the use . . . and the university essentially said “sue me” versus acknowledging their error and making it RIGHT.

It boils my blood even more that the University of Houston was willing to pay a team of lawyers to defend their stand versus admit they were wrong and pay Jim invoice. I wonder how much the UofH has spent to fight Jim’s claim?

Fellow Photographers: We should all be outraged! Our work is our work. That applies if we are a high-level professional like Jim Olive or a beginning photographer posting our photos on Facebook. Our photos are our property.

Please spread the word about this issue. Share it on social media, at your camera clubs, and in your newsletters. As photographer we should be outraged.

Write a letter to the University of Houston and let them know you disapprove.

Let Dr. Khator and Dr. Pavlou know your thoughts on this issue. I’ve written both to let them know my disapproval.

Maybe you’d like to let the Board of Regents of the University of Houston know your thoughts as well. (Notice they have their Code of Ethics posted on that website.).

I’ve been a professional photographer for the past 26 years. Client pay to use my photos in magazines, books, newspapers, calendars, and websites. Professional editors, graphic designers, book publishers and creatives all know that you have to get permission to use a photograph and there will be a fee involved. That’s the way the business works. Except if you’re the University of Houston.

Thanks for reading and thanks for supporting me in this issue. Jim Olive needs to know the photography community is behind him and his cause.

Warblers with Canon R5 Animal Eye Focus

I started pushing the AF: Eye Detection (Animal Eye Focus) feature on the Canon R5 and R6 cameras this spring. Warblers are fast moving little birds who love to feed in dense foliage. Could the Animal Eye Focus stay with a hyperactive warbler?

Magnolia warbler photographed with Canon R5 set to AF: Eye Detection
Flip through the back of my screen with me. This is a video showing each image I took and where the Canon R5 focused. Watch the red squares to see where the camera focused.

Notice in the above video that the camera focused on the bird most of the time. Things were great once it narrowed down to the eye.

Here’s another series of images. Remember, you’re looking at the back of my camera as I scroll through the images.

The Canon R5 focuses on the bird pretty well. It does very well when the bird turns its face to the camera. Notice that the camera did get confused by the foliage for an instant. Yet, it kept focus when the warbler went behind the leaves.

In this instance of the hooded warbler perched on a branch the Animal Eye Focus did a great job.

I’ve been impressed with the AF: Eye Detection on the Canon R5 and R6. The photographer has to keep the camera on the bird. That’s a skill that has to be developed. The camera does its job and we get the reward of outstanding images.

  • AF Screen 1
    • Select AF Method to Face Tracking
    • Select AF: Eye detection — Animal
  • On the back of the camera while shooting
    • Select AF: Eye detection
Prothonotary warbler you saw on the back of my camera in the video above.

International Travel in the Time of Covid

Two weeks ago I wrote a blog post about getting ready for an international trip in the time of Covid. My group had a wonderful time in Costa Rica so now it’s time for a recap.

Here’s what it’s like to traveling internationally in the time of Covid.

We flew out of Houston’s IAH airport on United. Everyone in the airport was masked and things moved efficiently from check-in to arriving at the gate. A few more precautions but nothing unusual that we haven’t experienced in 2020.

Photographers on the Strabo Photo Tours Collection trip to Costa Rica in March 2021. (Front left to right: Joan Wilson, Ruby Pecot, Kathy Adams Clark, Ed Barrios. Rear left to right: Will Hamilton and Barbara Hamilton.

On the plane, United personnel greeted us and gave us a nice, big alcohol wipe. The United wipes are the best I’ve seen! They are huge and wet enough to clean the entire area around your seat.

United personnel no long open your drink for you and pour into a small cup. That’s a “touch point” that’s been eliminated. We get the entire can of soft drink! Love it!

Once we landed in Costa Rica, we had to follow all local Covid protocols. Masks in pubic and hand washing before entering any public building.

This last one was different for us as Americans. There’s a handwashing station outside every public building — every store, shop, lobby entrance, restaurant, etc. Each handwashing station has a foot operated water dispenser, soap, paper towels, and trash can. We never found one of these handwashing stations that wasn’t working and fully equipped.

Restaurant menus were emailed to our Costa Rican guide or we accessed it through a QR code.

QR codes were used several times. There was a QR code we had to present to the agent in Houston to prove we had Costa Rican travel insurance that would cover us in the event of Covid. We even had a QR code to access our Covid test at departure.

The US requires a negative Covid test within three days of departure for all people flying into the United States. That meant we had to be tested while we were in Costa Rica. Our tour company arranged for lab technicians to arrive at our lodge at an appointed time and administer the tests. The major hotels are offering this service now since all departing tourists need the test.

After our tests, we had to wait 24 hours for the results. Results were emailed to each person. Those results had to be uploaded to the United app for verification.

A person has to have a smartphone to travel today. This is my biggest takeaway from traveling in the time of Covid. QR code at departure, QR code to get a menu, ability to receive an email with an attachment, ability to upload that attachment to an app, ability to have an app on your phone, etc. All this sounds easy in the US but international travel complicates things. It’s interesting how many travelers can’t get emails away from home on their phone or can’t download an app away from home. Traveling with a flip phone is out!

Everyone in my group had been vaccinated. That meant we could take off our masks when it was just us. Around waiters, hotel staff, our guide, or driver we did wear our masks. It became pretty routine.

In conclusion, travel in the time of Covid is pretty easy. The usual complications are still there but only a few minor things added here and there to keep people safe. We followed the established rules and had a great time.

One of the Joys of Going on a Photo Tour . . .

One of the joys of going on a photo tour is you’re with photographers all the time. There’s no one saying it’s time to go — except when the bus is leaving — no one to ask how many times you’re going to photograph the same thing.

During our recent photo tour to Costa Rica, the group noticed a nesting pair of s great kiskadees in the parking area. The birds built their nest in a palm tree right in the main parking area of the lodge. We walked below the nest to meals and returning from meals.

Great kiskadee nesting in a palm tree near the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano in northern Costa Rica.

The nesting kiskadee pair was just part of our day. The pair carried grass and fibers into the nest throughout the day. One bird could spend four or five minutes inside the nest packing the grass in just the right spot. Then that bird would fly out and the other member of the pair would fly in with a beak-full of fibers. That bird would pack their fibers in place, round and round inside the nest, then rest in the opening for a bit, and fly out.

Great kiskadee with a beak-full of nesting material.

Over and over again we watched this pair of birds perfect their messy nest.

Great kiskadee with another load of nesting material.

Finally when the light was lovely on the nest, I suggested we stop and photograph the kiskadees building their nest.

For the next hour, we stood together and photographed the kiskadees.

We compared shutter speeds to see if we stopped the wings of the bird as it left the nest that time. Slight blurring — raise the ISO, get a faster shutter speed and give it a try next time.

Someone got the crown pattern on the top of the kiskadee’s head. It looks like a bulls-eye if you’ve never seen it. “Wow! I need to get that next time!” someone in the group said. And off we’d go again. Waiting for the bird to fly out of the nest and show us its head pattern.

Over and over and over we photographed two birds as they built their nest. Those birds gave us such joy. We learned so much about our cameras and photography thanks to them.

My thoughts go out to that pair of determined birds in Guanacaste Costa Rica. I hope they are sitting on a clutch of heathy eggs that will mature into a nestful of great kiskadees.

My photographer friends at the great kiskadee nest in Costa Rica.

International Travel in the Time of Covid

“My bags are packed and I’m ready to go . . . ” that old song is rolling through my head. My bags are packed and I’m ready to go. Yet, this time is different.

Like many of you, this is my first airline trip since the Covid lockdown. A year ago, my husband and I were leading a photo/birding tour through Costa Rica. When we left the United States there were only one or two cases in our city. The cases increased and big events started to be cancelled. On March 15, 2020 when we flew back to the US, grocery store shelves were empty and people were scared.

A year later we are masked, used to social distancing, and many of us vaccinated. Costa Rica, Mexico, and a few other countries are opening to travelers.

What does it take to travel in March 2021?

Covid testing to re-enter the United States — the rule at this time is that travelers to the US have to show negative on a Covid administered “no more than three days” from the return flight. That means Strabo Tours, the company coordinating all my international trips, had to arrange to have a laboratory technician meet us at our hotel. Many hotels now offer this as a service to their guests.

Negative Covid test to check-in for return flight — The results of our Covid test will be emailed to us. Those emailed test results are entered into the United Airlines app. Yes, there’s now a place for that on the app. People without a smart phone or the United app will show the results to the airline agents.

Certification on the United check-in app that I have no symptoms — The United Airlines app has a place where I have to certify I’m symptom free. That information goes into my travel records. No smart phone? You’d have to verbally do this at the check-in desk.

Acknowledgment of the federal mask mandate — This is also on the United Airlines app. The questions include acknowledging that my mask isn’t a bandana or gater, that my mask doesn’t have any gaps, and that I’ll wear it all the time. I am allowed to lower or raise the mask while sipping liquid or taking a bit of food.

All our paperwork has to be shown to the agent at check-in. That means we can’t get our boarding passes in advance.

Getting Into The Host Country?

My trip is to Costa Rica so that’s the only experience I have right now.

Costa Rica Trip Insurance — Each person has to buy trip insurance from an approved Costa Rican company. We bought the trip insurance months ago. The questions and request for documents were quick and easy. Price was $216 for two people for 10 days. It’s a bit more for seniors and there are family packages.

The insurance provides us with 10-days in a hotel if we test positive for Covid while in the country. The insurance company takes care of getting us to a hotel, etc. Two negative Covid tests in 10-days are needed to get out of quarantine and back on a flight home.

We have to show that insurance certificate when we enter Costa Rica.

Costa Rican Health Pass — 48 hours before departure we have to log-on to a Costa Rican Health Department site and complete a questionnaire. That included the basic questions we are used to — coughing, fever, contact with anyone with Covid, vaccinated, etc. Then we have to add our trip insurance ID number. That gives us a health pass that we present when we leave the US and when we enter Costa Rica.

Is that song rolling through your head?

Did my opening line get that song stuck in your head. “Leaving on a Jet Plane” was written by John Denver. Click the link to hear his version.

Peter, Paul, and Mary sang a lovely version. Click this link to hear their rendition.

I’ll post more as the trip progresses to keep you up-to-date on traveling in the time of Covid.

Star Trail with Canon R5 and R6

I finally got a chance to create a star trail with my Canon R5. The star trails — and night photography in general — I’ve done with mirrorless cameras in the past have been disappointing. Not so with the Canon R5 and R6. The results are just as good as anything I created with my Canon 5D Mark IV.

Star trail, or the light left behind as the Earth rotates, Texas Hill Country on a winter night.

Star trails, like the image above, are fairly easy to do.  You’ll need some equipment to capture the images and Photoshop to blend the images.  You’ll also need a dark sky with an unobstructed view.  The view above is pointing directly north at Polaris.

Equipment: Camera with a bulb setting, sturdy tripod, programmable shutter release like the Vello Shutterboss II, fully charged battery, storage card. The photo above is made up of 20 photos. More time, more photos, better spiral.

Set the programmable shutter release to take 99 or 399 photos at a 4 minute exposure with a 1 second interval. Attach the programmable shutter release to the camera.  (Suggestion: Do this inside in the light because it’s darn hard to read the instruction book in the dark when you’re trying to shoot.)

Before walking outside, set your camera’s focus to infinity. This varies by lens manufacturer so here are some tips.

Outside under a dark sky, put the camera on the tripod and point it at the North Star for a star spiral.  Compose the photo to include some foreground or an interesting subject in the foreground. 

Check your focus to make sure the lens is set to infinity. Take a couple of test shots make sure the stars are in focus.  (Suggestion: take these images at a really high ISO so the exposure is quicker.  Enlarge these photos on the LCD panel to check focus. Delete them when ready to start shooting.)

Set the camera to Bulb, f/3.5 or f/4.0, ISO 800, IS or VR off, MF.  If your lens has 2.8 then ISO 400 might be okay. A lens with 3.5 as the lowest f/stop might mean you’ll need to use ISO 800. Take some test shots to determine what works for your camera.

Make sure the camera is locked down on the tripod.  Press the “Start” button on the Vello Shutterboss II.  Monitor the first couple of shots to make sure the shutter stays open for 4 minutes, closes, and then reopens.  Let the camera keep shooting for at least 30 minutes but hours are better.

To process the images, follow these instructions precisely to create a layer blend in Photoshop. (1) Download the images into Photoshop Bridge or Lightroom. (2) Highlight all the images.(3) Click Tools>Photoshop>Load Files into Photoshop Layers. Photoshop should open with the images in a layer palette. Lightroom users click Photo>Edit>Edit in Photoshop Layers (4) All the photos will open into a layer palette in Photoshop. (5) Highlight all of the photos in the stack and change the blend mode to Lighten.  (6) Viola!! (7) Flatten the image and save.

Make any necessary exposure, contrast or other corrections in Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom.

Canon R5 Failing to Focus

I ordered my Canon R5 when it was announced in February 2020. The camera finally arrived in July 2020 and I was totally excited about the new experience of using this much anticipated camera.

Life was good — but the camera wouldn’t focus. The R5 was amazing 95% of the time. Yet, 5% of the time it just wouldn’t focus. It failed to acquire focus.

I shot some video footage so I could share my experience with others. I played with settings. I figured out workarounds. But, by November 2020 I felt like I was beating my head against the wall. Why wouldn’t this camera acquire focus.

Then, my R6 arrived. The R6 never refused to focus. It might hesitate here and there like the Canon 7D or Canon Rebel but it never refused to focus.

That’s when I realized something was wrong with my Canon R5. I contacted Canon Professional Services. They offered some suggestions to my settings — but nothing I hadn’t already tried.

Finally it was time to send the R5 to the shop. I shared my videos with Canon and talked with the technicians.

Here are changes to my settings recommended by Canon Professional Services:

  • AF Menu –Tab 4 – Lens electronic MF ; this is currently set to OFF.  If you set it to One-Shot-Enabled the lens will manual focus by the focus ring if shutter is half depressed. This will make it behave like a long telephoto on a EOS 1D-X body
  • AF Menu- Tab 5 – Initial Servo AF Point for Tracking;  Suggest second selection Tracking will start with the selected AF point
  • AF Menu – Tab 3  – Case 3 or 4 might work better for birds  in flight or moving objects than Case 1
  • AF Menu – Tab 4  – Switching tracked subjects – might want to try “Initial Priority”

So far, so good! I’ve used the R5 for a week and it’s worked as expected. I’ll keep you posted.