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.

Adding a Magnification Button location on the EOS-1D C and 5D Mark III with Custom Controls

June 18, 2013

When I first got my EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR, I remember the excitement of taking it out of the box, then attaching a lens, inserting a card and battery , then quickly lining up a shot. I generally always check focus, so I moved my right thumb upwards to where I expected the magnification button to be, based upon my years of working with the EOS 5D Mark II, only to learn quickly that it had been moved to the other side of the camera body, making it almost completely out of the reach for my right thumb while I was hand holding the camera.

When I got my EOS-1D C, getting to the magnification button became even harder. The 1D C’s extra size and weight made me want to keep my left hand on the lens even more and I now found myself gripping the camera body even tighter with my right hand.

I shoot mostly video and I tend to keep my camera in full manual mode, so I like to keep my left hand on the lens at all times for zooming, focusing and basically just to keep it steady. Reluctantly, I kept working with this new magnification button configuration, but I found there was definitely no way my right thumb was ever going to comfortably reach it and I just wasn’t happy about sliding my left hand off the lens. That’s when I started digging into the cameras’ menus.

Fortunately, the perfect solution for me was already planned for in both cameras. The Custom Controls menu allows you to remap the magnification button to a much more convenient location for reaching by thumb with your gripping hand – the SET button. The SET button by default is in the OFF position and generally just used for selecting menu items, but it happens to be in the perfect place to be reached by my right thumb without loosening my grip on the camera. The Custom Controls menu not only allows you to choose a new location to place many often used camera functions, but in the case of magnification, it doesn’t affect the original location and effectively gives you two options.

Instructions for adding magnification functions to the SET button for the 5D Mark III and 1D C: (the location for Custom Controls is slightly different in the two cameras’ menus, but the procedure is the same)

  • Navigate the Menu to Custom Controls

  • Press SET. The Custom Controls screen will appear

  • Turn the dial to select the SET button. Press SET. The assignable functions will be displayed
  • Select Mag/Reduce (magnifying glass icon)

  • Press SET. You should now see the Magifiying glass icon in the Custom Controls screen next to SET

  • Press MENU to reveal that the Custom Controls menu now has a blue check mark indicating that you have a custom control enabled

  • Press MENU again to EXIT

Now get out there and shoot something.

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