Both the EOS-1D X and EOS 5D Mark III cameras introduce a new feature which allows the video shooter to make changes to exposure or audio settings in-camera, but without the risk of clicking sounds being picked-up as dials are turned during recording. It's Silent Control, and it's available whenever these cameras are recording video.
Canon has engineered "touch-pad" technology into the existing Quick Control Dial on the back of the camera. Without changing any aspect of the dial's normal operation, this new underlying technology makes it possible to use the dial to adjust during video recording – without making a sound. Instead of turning the dial, you literally touch the inner surface of it with a finger. You can tap the dial lightly to move one step at a time, or simply touch and hold your finger lightly on the dial's surface to move a setting continuously for more significant changes to a given setting.
The Silent Control option on these two cameras allows users to make adjustments fundamental exposure settings, as well as to manual audio recording levels. Here's what's available, depending upon the exposure mode the camera is set to for video recording:
Manual exposure mode:
Shutter speed, lens aperture, ISO, Audio Level*
Aperture-priority mode (Av):
Lens aperture, exposure compensation, Audio Level*
Shutter-priority mode (Tv):
Shutter speed, exposure compensation, Audio Level*
Program mode (P):
Exposure compensation, Audio Level*
*If sound recording has been set to Manual on camera's menu
By default, Silent Control of the Quick Control Dial is disabled when either of these cameras is shipped from the factory. Here's what's necessary to activate and use it:
- Set the camera to its video recording mode
- In the red Shooting Menu area, the last two menu screens (4 and 5) are dedicated to video settings, and only appear when the camera has been pre-set to video recording mode. Locate Silent Control in the 5th shooting menu.
- Set Silent Control to "Enable".
- Press the START button and begin video recording.
- While video is running, press the rear "Q" button to call-up the Quick Control Screen on the camera's LCD monitor.
- With the Quick Control Screen visible, lightly tap or touch the TOP or BOTTOM of the inner surface of the Quick Control Dial. (Don't try to rotate or spin it.) This lets you highlight one of the available settings – whatever is highlighted will appear in blue.
- Lightly touch or tap the LEFT or RIGHT of the inner surface of the dial to actually change the setting of whatever item is presently highlighted in blue. Again, don't try to turn the dial.
You'll find you can make adjustments throughout the available range of settings, and do so in virtual silence, even if you're using the camera's built-in microphone for sound recording.
As a practical matter, once you've enabled Silent Control, you can leave it active and apply it by simply beginning to record a video file, and then applying steps 5~7 above.