Canon 30D Custom Functions for Sports Photography

I've known about custom functions since I bought my Canon 30D, but I'm an idiot for not really looking more into them sooner. I guess I was so overwhelmed by how much better the 30D is than a Digital Rebel 300D that I was content with the features I didn't have to dig out documentation to study.

I finally got to perusing through them today using the handy Ken Rockwell 30D guide, which adds some needed editorial to the obtuse custom functions. I won't reproduce his useful guide, but here's what I found most useful (in order):

13 AF Selection Mode: Wow, I can't believe I didn't know about this. This changes everything for me as to how I'll shoot cycling from now on. By changing this to '1: Direct' you can make the little rocker button above the big dial select your autofocus point. Push it to the left, you have the left autofocus point, to the center for center focus, and so on. All other ways of setting the AF point require multiple button pushes, which is hard if you're trying to follow a sprint finish. I should be able to get much better framing with this feature.

15: Shutter Curtain Sync (Flash Mode): 30Ds, by default, fire the flash when the shutter opens. Set to 1st curtain, your subject will have motion trails dancing in front of it (e.g. what you see with most point-and-shoots in 'night' photography mode). Set to rear curtain (2nd curtain), the motion trails will lead to your subject without occluding -- it's a really easy way to do good motion blur shots on a darker day. For cycling, or for most photography for that matter, I can't see why you would ever use anything other than rear curtain (2nd curtain) sync.

08 ISO Expansion (ISO 3200 Enable): why wouldn't you enable this? If you can't figure out that ISO 3200 is going to be very noisy, you shouldn't own a 30D.

01 SET function when shooting: Basically, it makes the SET button actually do something, and I decided to make it jump directly to the Picture Style menu. I don't know if I'll actually use Picture Styles, but this is the easiest way to test them out.

16: Safety Shift in Av or Tv: If your photo is going to under/overexpose, this feature will bump your aperture or shutter speed to compensate and get the correct exposure. I generally don't have this problem, so I don't know if this will be useful or not. What I actually need is a safety shift for camera shake, i.e. something that keeps the shutter speed above 1/250 if I'm shooting in Av mode with my 70-200 f/4.

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