canon rebel t3i camera

Creative modes

The Canon Rebel T3i's mode dial is separated into two sections: the Basic Zone and Creative Modes. The Creative Modes are for more advanced users familiar with camera functions such as exposure settings. In the creative modes, the camera can still offer some automatic functions, but the photographer is largely given control over various aspects of taking a picture.

Creative modes on the Canon T3i

Here is a general run down of the different creative modes:

Program Mode Auto Exposure (P): In the P mode, the camera will automatically choose the best shutter speed and aperture (size of the lens opening) settings based on the scene. You also can switch through different shutter-aperture combinations in this mode, choosing the best to suit your needs. To do this, press the shutter button half way and use the dial next to it  to scroll through the settings),You can manually set the ISO light sensitivity of the camera's sensor. Finally, this mode also allows you to adjust exposure compensation to over or under expose the scene by +- 3 "stops" by 1/3 stop increments (a stop is a measurement of exposure, measured in increments of "exposure value" or EV). To switch through the different combinations, use the wheel next to the shutter button. All these manual settings can be used in the Tv, Av and M modes described below.

Shutter Priority Auto Exposure (Tv): In the Tv mode (which stands for Time value), you pick the appropriate shutter speed for your picture and the camera will find the corresponding aperture setting. You can set the shutter by clicking the wheel next to the shutter button.

Aperture Priority Auto Exposure (Av): In the Av mode, you pick the appropriate aperture for your picture and the camera will find the corresponding shutter speed. You can set the aperture by clicking the wheel next to the shutter button.

Manual (M): In the M mode, you have to pick both the shutter and aperture settings. The camera does not provide any type of auto exposure adjustment. They camera will display a meter showing whether the current setting is over or under exposed, and by how much. You can change the shutter speed by clicking the wheel next to the shutter button. To change the aperture, hold down the "Av" button on the back of the camera, and click the wheel next to the shutter button.

Auto depth of field (A-Dep): The camera will automatically set the exposure based on the subjects focused on. The camera will attempt to bring all of the subjects into focus by adjusting the aperture setting required to bring them into focus.

Setting Quick Control Menu

In the Creative Mode, there are two ways to display on the LCD screen the options available in the different modes.

First method - Pressing the cross keys

Press the buttons on the cross keys to pull up those corresponding menus.

Pressing the cross keys without the Q button activates menus

Each button has a designation next to it that signifies the menu that will display when pressed, such as for setting white balance or drive mode. Once in the menu, you can use the cross keys to navigate among the different options in each menu.

Second Method - Using the Q button

The LCD screen showing the P  mode

Another way to change the options in a Creative Mode is to press the Q button first. The Q button will highlight one of the options on the back LCD screen. You can now use the cross keys to navigate among the different options. Press set to select one of the options and change its settings. Some of these menu options include setting the ISO, the exposure compensation, the tonal qualties – or "picture style," the drive mode and quality mode.