Tip & How-To about Canon EOS 500D / Digital Rebel T1i Digital Camera
Unfortunately the Canon T1i shoots video in full automatic mode. This means that if you want to change the depth of field...well, you can't. There are many angry T1i owners trying to get Canon to release a firmware update to have it perform like the T2i, but so far that has been fruitless.
So what can a budding videographer do get some artsy-looking footage with his or her T1i? The Band-Aid solution involves fooling the camera into thinking there is a manual lens attached so that the camera will relinquish control. To do this, the communication between the camera and lens has to be severed (don't worry - it doesn't involve modifying anything).
Put the camera into Av or Manual mode.
Select the desired aperture (if the aperture is "wide open" - e.g. F1.8 on the 50mm F1.8 II lens, then skip Step 3).
Press the depth of field preview button on the side of the camera (above the T1i or 500D logo on the curved part of the camera body).
With the DOF preview button still depressed, push the button as if to remove the lens, and turn it very slightly until "F00" shows up on the back display. You may now release the buttons.
Switch the camera to video mode. There will be a warning message, but just do as it says and shoot anyway.
You're now ready shoot some nice shallow DOF shots. Use the manual focus ring on your lens to shift the shallow depth of field around in your shot. Please note that since the camera is no longer communicating with the lens, autofocus will not be available to you. Put the lens in manual mode on the barrel to be safe - many lenses do NOT have manual override and forcing the focus ring while in AF mode can damage the lens.
Good luck and happy film-making!
Posted by Jeff... on
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