EOS R Exposure Simulation In a Studio

Here is the one setting you need to know in using the EOS R for studio photography.

The question I see asked quite a bit from new EOS R/mirrorless users is how do I achieve focus in a studio setting with the electronic viewfinder?

The problem stems from the electronic viewfinder showing a representation of your exposure settings. This is an awesome feature if you’re shooting outside or in a scenario with continuous lighting, but what about flash or strobes. This wasn’t a problem on mirrored DSLRs as if you have any kind of light like the overhead lights in my small home studio, you can see and focus fine on the traditional optical viewfinder.

In this scenario, I’m taking a photo of this Luke Skywalker Figure. The settings I have chosen is 1/200 of a second, which is the EOS R Sync Speed, ISO 100, and F5.6 to have a little bit of a shallow depth of field, but not as of an extreme fall off if I had it wide open. I’ve already set up my lighting for these settings. Now, if I look through the viewfinder or use the LCD, it is completely black, which is a good thing as it means my overhead lighting in the studio is not affecting my shot and just the flashes/strobes will, but now how do I focus if the screen is black?

The magic setting that you now need is called Exposure Simulation. This can be found by pressing the Menu Button, Selecting the camera icon, and in the 3rd tab over. What you want to do is set it to disable. Once you do this and go back to the viewfinder/LCD, you now can see what you are taking a photo of without the accurate representation. Now you can do your studio shoot as you normally would with the advantages of the EOS R such as EYE detect auto focus. 

One other thing of note is the viewfinder/LCD is showing the white balance of the continuous lighting, so I have my setting for daylight which is using what I use for flash, but the viewfinder is showing everything yellow for the lighting in the room. You just need to ignore that and set the white balance for the lighting in your shot.

That’s it. Just remember to change the setting back to enable when you are using your R outside the studio. One little bonus tip is I added this setting to the My Menu tab, so I can get to it quicker as I use it all the time.

Shawn Kemple
Shawn Kemple
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