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Tips & Tricks

Canon Quick Tips For Beginners: Back Button AF & Dust Delete Data

By Hanssie on August 13th 2014

When I first started in photography, I read the manual that came with it from cover to cover. I retained very little. A quick Google search got me to a few tutorials that helped, but having a short attention span, I found myself daydreaming more often than not, missing most of the content.

Apparently, I am not the only one who needs an intervention. Canon has just released a new video series on their YouTube channel with brief (less than 2 minute) videos of basic camera tips from Canon’s Technical Advisors.

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 9.51.13 PM

The first two installments of the series explains the Back Button AF and the Dust Delete Data feature on a Canon camera. I knew what the Back Button AF was for, thanks to a friend, but never gave the Dust Delete Data feature a thought until now. It’s just tool on a menu that I’ve never stopped to learn about.


The series promises one helpful tip per episode on imaging,  “sharing a unique product insight, or explaining a key technology,” according to Canon’s websiteThe bite sized videos are great for beginners, or those that like me, that daydreamed past some of the features on my Canon 5D Mark II. Just be aware that the man who gives the two tutorials doesn’t blink often, which threw me off a bit, but nevertheless, he gives some useful info.

Watch Canon Quick Tips: Back Button AF

Watch Canon Quick Tips: Dust Delete Data

[Via Canon YouTube]

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Michael Moe

    i’m using the bb-af for a while now and i would never go back! ;)

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  2. Austin Swenson

    Back button focus does take some getting used to though… you have to practice a lot before you ever do it in a real time gig… otherwise you keep counting on that shutter release button…

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  3. Ralph Hightower

    The back focus button is something that I have to get used to and familiar with. After 34 years of using manual focus film cameras, autofocus is a culture-shift for me. But I enjoy the autofocus of the 5D Mk III and 24-105L f4. It is wicked fast; but I have low standards since I can’t focus that fast.

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  4. James Matthews

    I remember reading about the back auto-focus button ages ago, it changed my life forever.

    That guy on the video creeps me out though. His piercing stare straight into my soul as he reads from the teleprompter is a little bit too intense for my liking. It looked strange when he was moving the camera and didn’t take his eyes off the screen. Don’t watch it full-screen or it will give you nightmares :D)

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    • Hanssie

      Tell me about it! That’s why I had to mention it (as nicely as I could) in the article – to warn everyone. O_O

      I almost didn’t share these because I kept getting distracted counting the number of times he blinked. Which meant I ended up watch the videos 3-4 times each so I could write about them AND count :)

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  5. Matthew Saville

    NOTE: As far as I know, the “dust delete” option won’t translate to Adobe RAW, it only works in their software… :-(

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    • Bill Bentley

      It says as much in the video clip. Open files in DPP, apply Dust Delete option, then open in your editor of choice.

      If you only plan to work on a few images, then it might be more trouble than it’s worth. But if you are shooting in a studio setting and frequently batch process, then it’s definitely worth the extra work imo.

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    • Matthew Saville

      If it’s a matter of thousands of images, well, I’d rather just clean my sensor more often. But yeah, it’s a good feature to have.

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  6. Michel Andy

    Is lovin this website.. thanks for the great content

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  7. Rafael Steffen

    Great Idea for grabbing the attention and learning quickly.

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  8. Bill Bentley

    Thanks for sharing this Hanssie. I watched the back-button AF clip and the tech advisor didn’t show how to set it up in camera though. I know it’s probably slightly different for each model but he could have at least shown how to do it on a 6D and 70D maybe. I thought the clip was a bit too short and could have provided a little more depth in how to practically use the feature. Fortunately there are other tutorials out there that show how to implement this feature in more detail.

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    • Hanssie

      You’re welcome :)

      I do agree that he could’ve explained just a bit more, but I also like the fact that it was short and sweet. I’m the type that will half listen and before it’s over, mess with it on the camera till I figure it out.

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  9. Joshua flowers

    When I was first starting out, switching to bb focus was the biggest factor in getting better images. Wish it hadn’t taken me a few months to find it.

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  10. Rui Pinto

    Never saw this “dust delete” function until now ahah =)

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    • Hanssie

      Right??! That’s why I figured I would share that video too!

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