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The 60D only lets you select exposure compensation (with the round wheel on the camera back) and AF point (using the 8-way button or the AF point selection button, depending on your settings) only after half-pressing the shutter button.

I would like to be able to adjust exposure and AF point without half-pressing the shutter button to start metering and the AF system, which surely isn't necessary just to set the AF point or exposure...

The half-press is not particularly taxing, but I'd want to skip it if possible for two reasons:

  1. It can add a split second to what can already be a split second decision.
  2. I can't imagine why it's necessary in the hardware, given that there's a longer way to do it that doesn't require the half-press.
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If the problem is that metering shuts down to fast, you can set the Metering timer longer, up to 30 mins IIRC, so you would only have to half-press once every half-hour. –  Itai Nov 22 '12 at 1:05
    
Metering is about exposure though, so adjusting exposure compensation without metering is a rather odd thing to suggest. You might want to look at the exposure lock which, I believe, is the * button on the 60D as when locked you may still be able to adjust. Not shooting Canon, it's just a suggestion. –  John Cavan Nov 22 '12 at 2:42
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Before I shoot, I have an idea of what compensation I might need. The problem is that as far as I can tell, on the 60D, you need to either 1) half-press the shutter before you can adjust exposure using the wheel, or 2) go through the menu on the back LCD, which is slow. This might just be a 60D quirk. I was just wondering whether there's a good reason for the half-press. –  jogloran Nov 22 '12 at 3:38
    
@Itai I adjusted my Metering Timer to whatever settings, and the metering still stops after approximately 4 seconds. Could this be a firmware bug?? –  Gapton Nov 22 '12 at 7:15
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Unfortunately, I do not have a 60D at this time but on the cameras that I do have, extending the timer works. I usually put it at 30s. Are your batteries low? Try disabling power saving options... just guess at this point though. –  Itai Nov 22 '12 at 13:30

2 Answers 2

I'm not sure about your AF issues. If I turn my 60d on I can either use the Q menu to navigate and select my AF points or use the AF point button (the top-right most button the back of the camera) to enter the AF point selection mode (using the AF point button it uses the display on the top to show which points are active, the Q menu uses the LCD).

For the meter... You have to take an initial meter reading, a kind of "wake up" notice. The meter doesn't stay on all the time, but if all you want is the meter reading I believe you can use custom functions to get that assigned to one of the buttons (I personally use the shutter button for meter and the back button for focus).

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I think the OP wants to be able to select AF points with one click, and adjust Exposure Compensation with a single turn of the wheel, without having to half-press the shutter first. I want to be able to do that too! –  Gapton Nov 22 '12 at 2:00
    
Precisely, yes. I can get to the functionality using the menu, but the two shortcuts I mentioned, which allow you to make these adjustments without looking at the screen, only work once you half-press the shutter. –  jogloran Nov 22 '12 at 3:35
    
So, the meter only works once the shutter button is half-pressed once. You can't skip that. For the AF point selection you can do that without any shutter button interaction, most easily by pressing the button next to the + magnification button in the top right. –  tenmiles Nov 22 '12 at 5:21
    
Yep, I'm aware of that. However, there's a setting which maps the eight-direction button (around the wheel) to AF point selection. This, unfortunately, requires the half-press too. If it didn't, I would be able to select an AF point without looking at the screen, which would be useful when anticipating a shot. –  jogloran Nov 22 '12 at 6:19
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@tenmiles There is a custom function which maps the 9 AF points to the 9 positions you can click on the dial. When metering is active, you can single click on one of the 9 positions to select an AF point. The method you mentioned, pressing the AF Selection button first and then pressing the directional buttons, involves two clicks. Your method works without activating the metering, however the one click method that the OP prefers, does require the metering to be active. I wish a future firmware will address this, but its unlikely. –  Gapton Nov 22 '12 at 7:20

I have 40D where I mapped the AF selection to the joystick and it is the same interface (apart from the joystick) but I never experienced it as a hassle. You don't have to look at the screen to do the half press. You can even hold the camera on your back , do the half press and select the af point and turn the compensation wheel the amount of clicks you want, because the interface on the xxD series is amazing.

If your "AF button" function is set to "AF stop" , pressing it will allow you to set the AF point. if it is "AF Start" it will also do focusing as you press it.

You can also set up your camera to decouple AF and metering from the shutter button through user settings if you hate the half press so much. Put AF on "AF-ON" and metering on "*", so they are independent of each other. Then you can spot meter one area of the scene and AF on another - further away than your AF point selection can be.

http://www.learn.usa.canon.com/resources/articles/2011/backbutton_af_article.shtml

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But this does not answer the question. The OP wants to be able to select AF with just one click of a button, at all time. It seems that it is not possible to configure it that way. However I do agree that half pressing the shutter only takes a split of a second and is not a big deal usually. –  Gapton Nov 22 '12 at 8:03
    
Yep, not that big a deal. There probably is an engineering reason for it, just wondered if the community knew of a) a setting to change the behaviour, or b) a good justification for it. –  jogloran Nov 22 '12 at 13:18
    
Engineering choice = Spare battery –  Michael Nielsen Nov 22 '12 at 13:43

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