Brent Ramsey
Brent Ramsey

Brent Ramsey has spent over thirty years in the cinematography field where he has worked on television programs, films and commercials. He is currently a Canon Technical Advisor for our motion picture equipment.

Modify the Cinema EOS LCD Screen to Fit Your Shooting Style

September 17, 2013

The Canon Cinema EOS and XF cameras’ LCD screens load up with a lot of visual information about camera settings. However, you don’t have to shoot with it like that – you can customize the LCD screen and EVF (Electronic Viewfinder) to display only the information you need to see while you’re making a shot. I know that some shooters prefer to just have a red dot appear when the camera goes into record – as total confirmation that the camera is rolling – and I would agree. After all, I want to see the entire screen when I shoot and there is absolutely no worse feeling in the world than thinking you got the shot, only to discover the camera wasn’t rolling afterwards.

I’m using the EOS C100 for this example, but the overall procedure is basically the same for all Canon Cinema EOS and XF cameras. So, here’s a quick setup guide to getting the displays looking the way you want – or more appropriately in this case, the way I like to shoot:

First of all, load and format an SD card into the camera. Here’s what the EOS C100 LCD looks like after a reset and quick white balance adjustment:

Now, many people will be fine with this. Most of the critical camera settings are right there for quick reference and, in fact, you could add even add more – there are a total of 36 display items available and 31 in the Custom Displays submenu alone. You can display any or all of these or you could simply press the DISP./BATT. INFO button on the back of the camera and remove all of them quickly to clear your screen. However, when an unobstructed view of the action is required and you want that all important confidence check that the camera is in fact rolling, you’ll need to dive into the [LCD/VF]>[Custom Display1] and [Custom Display2] submenus:

Now, I’ll turn everything [Off] except [Rec Mode]. This way I’ll have that critical red dot when the camera rolls. My screen now looks like this when I jump out of the menus. There’s only the [STBY] display indicating I have a SD card loaded and ready to go:

Now, we’re almost done. But here’s another thing or two that I personally like to see when I frame a shot: the [Center] marker and an [Aspect Marker]. So, I’ll go back into [LCD/VF Setup] again and enable markers, turn [Center] to [White], and [Aspect Marker] to [White] and select the [Aspect Ratio] I’m going to protect – in this case 2.35:1:

I’m set. I’ve now got framing references and recording assurance:

Just in case I want to get the aspect markers and center cross off and on in a hurry, I’ll assign a button to [Markers] (in my case, I’m assigning that to the fast forward button: Button #3).

Now, when I hit record and press the #3 button on the back of the body, the markers are cleared and I’m left with a perfectly clean LCD display – except for [Rec Mode], the all important red dot:

I can still make changes or check frequently accessed settings using the buttons on the left side of the camera.

Now that I’m in the “clean” display mode, if I want to quickly check or change ISO/Gain settings, all I have to do is press Button #13. While doing this, I can also check White Balance, F-Stop, Exposure and Shutter:

These same quick checks can be accessed and easily adjusted using Button #14 for Shutter:

And if I want to change White Balance, I can press the WB button and the same information appears as before:

As for the aperture displayed in this quick check, I can always change the Iris by rotating the control dial on the Grip Unit or using the Push Auto Iris button #12. If the grip unit isn’t attached to the camera and I want more control than Push Auto Iris, I can always assign a couple of buttons to [+ Iris] and [– Iris] and press one or the other repeatedly until it’s set. This is my preferred LCD setup for the C100. Now, get out there and shoot something.

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