Canon Tips: how to display the histogram on your EOS camera

Get into the habit of viewing your Canon histogram alongside each shot in order to avoid disappointment later. Here’s how…

In previous posts we’ve often talked about why it’s a good idea to take a test shot and then check the image’s histogram on your Canon DSLR. This is because your EOS camera’s histogram display takes the stress out of making good exposures.

A histogram is a small graph that can be viewed alongside the picture during playback, or displayed while you’re taking a shot using Live View, and provides a visual guide to how bright or dark an image is.

It’s a much more accurate way to judge exposure than simply looking at the picture on the LCD screen alone, as the screen’s own brightness level can give a false impression of whether an image is well exposed or not. Below we’ll show you the simple process of setting this up.

How to display your Canon histogram

How to display your Canon histogram: step 1

Display options
When reviewing images on the back of the camera, press the INF0/DISPLAY button to cycle through the options. The default option is a full-screen image with no shooting info.

How to display your Canon histogram: step 2

Depending on the camera, the second or third screen shows the brightness histogram. In bright light you may have to shield the screen to judge where the edges of the graph are.

How to display your Canon histogram: step 3

RGB histograms
Tap INFO/DISPLAY again to see the histograms for the three colour channels. You can set the brightness histogram or the RGB histograms as the default in the Playback menu.

How to display your Canon histogram: step 4

Live View
Pressing INFO/DISPLAY during Live View cycles through various info overlays, including either live brightness or RGB histograms; note that these can obscure picture detail.