Is there a way to save the camera settings of one (say 5D Mark III) in a card or a program on computer and quickly sync those across several bodies through USB or SD card so that one doesn't have to go through each and every option to make sure everything's alike?

Scenario: Weddings. Where saving time is of utmost importance.

  • There are only two Canon bodies that can do this. The bigger question is why do need this. Set up both bodies as part of your wedding prep. There's only so much you can configure on a camera. Should take you 20 minutes tops. Dec 17 '13 at 11:04
  • Not every use-case for a DSLR is as simple as having one or two slung over one's shoulder. We use dozens of DSLRs for aerial imaging system deployments, and the ability to have a single config file - as is available on the Nikons we use - is a great time-saver.
    – Techydude
    Sep 22 '16 at 18:48

Sure, there is:

  1. From the Custom menu, on the fourth page, select Save/Load settings on card.
  2. Select Save and wait for the operation to complete.
  3. Move the card to another camera and select Save/Load settings on card again.
  4. Select Load this time and choose the setting file, it will have a CSD extension.

Oh, just one small detail, make sure your camera is a Canon EOS 1D X.

  • 9
    "Oh, just one small detail, make sure your camera is a Canon EOS 1D X" ... ;-)
    – Micha
    Dec 10 '13 at 6:52
  • Small addition: according to this forum post this function is also present on the 1D(s) Mark II, III, and IV. Dec 15 '13 at 23:22

Very good question (+1), but unfortunately this function is not provided by Canon. Not even alternative firmware like Magic Lantern can do this.

  • I thought Magic Lantern could save settings across bodies. A quick search shows: The Magic Lantern process also allows the saving of the current settings as a repeatable configuration... This is very old information though, and might not apply anymore. Dec 9 '13 at 14:22
  • Ok thats nice to here. Thanks for additional Information.
    – Micha
    Dec 9 '13 at 17:39
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    @BartArondson Repeatable for the serial number on which the settings were initially done only or reproducible on any like body running the same firmware and ML version?
    – Michael C
    Dec 9 '13 at 18:18
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    I don't have multiple camera bodies to test this unfortunately. I know it works with different cards on the same body though. It is just a text file containing ML settings, so I would guess that it should work on different bodies (of the same type, so e.g. two 5D's). I've pasted my config file (MAGIC.CFG) here, so feel free to check if it works with your ML enabled body. Dec 9 '13 at 21:11

Not to my knowledge, at least with Canon 5D Mark III bodies. If they are all the same exact model running the same firmware version it could be theoretically possible to use the SDK to write your own script, but if they are different models then it would be much more difficult since each model often uses different menu structures to accomplish many of the same things.

One option you could do with multiple copies of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III is use the Custom modes, C1, C2, and C3, to set up each camera ahead of time to be identical in each of those three modes. Set up C1 for the ceremony, C2 for the formals, and C3 for the reception. It would change from wedding to wedding as the venue for each segment differed but at least you could have three shooting scenarios covered ahead of time by just the turn of the mode dial.

  • Need it for same bodies. For different ones, I don't think it'd be possibly even by SDK for the reason you stated.
    – Rish
    Dec 9 '13 at 16:56
  • Isn't that what the answer says, Rish?
    – Michael C
    Dec 9 '13 at 18:08
  • Yes. Also, the custom mode method you mentioned is quite a work around but not suitable in this scenario. Let's say I have my camera with me and I borrow yours. Yours arrives just before the ceremony. Now I'd want yours to have exact same settings as mine in one click. That's what I'm searching for.
    – Rish
    Dec 9 '13 at 19:15
  • Trusting a camera that arrives just before the ceremony is a whole different can of worms, and too large risk for an event like a wedding. If it belongs to your second shooter then communicate ahead of time how each Custom Mode should be set up. The same goes for AFMA. It needs to be done ahead of time. How do you do that just before the ceremony?
    – Michael C
    Dec 9 '13 at 20:33
  • Note that models other than the 5DmkIII also have custom modes.
    – Caleb
    Dec 9 '13 at 21:30

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