canon rebel t3i camera

Working with quick control menus

When you turn on the Canon Rebel T3i and switch it to any particular mode using the main mode dial, the LCD on the back of the camera will turn on and display information regarding that mode. This menu is useful for adjusting more nuanced settings within each mode. But if you wish to turn this menu off, you can do so by pressing the DISP button at the top of the camera near the main shutter button.

Turn off LCD display on Canon T3i

The DISP button will toggle the display on or off.

Navigating the 'quick control' menus

To navigate the menus on the back LCD screen, you should press the 'Q' button on the back of the camera. The Q-button will enable you to navigate among the different options on the back of the camera to adjust the options.

Q button on the back of the T3i

After pressing the Q button, use the cross keys to move between the various menu options. When using the basic modes, only a few options are avilable for adjustments. Let's take a look at the options presented in Creative Auto mode.

Creative Auto mode options on Rebel T3i

Creative Auto allows you to change the color saturation of the photos (Standard setting); allows you to adjust the depth of field (Background blur); change the drive speed (indicated by a square) and adjust the flash settings.

Standard Setting

The Canon Rebel T3i allows you to adjust the level of color saturation in your photos in most of the basic modes. While this may seem like a good idea on a consumer level, we recommend to never change from the standard setting because changes to the colors is a very simple process to do in Photoshop. You should always bring in the most basic image in the camera, and make adjustments in post production rather than in the camera.

Always use standard setting on Canon T3i

Adjusting background blur

Creative auto mode allows you to adjust the amount of background blur in the photos you take. The blur is not an effect that is added to the photo, but a result of using wide aperture settings in the lens that creates a shallow depth of field. Blurry backgrounds are a great way to bring out the subjects in your photos, but they are difficult to achieve in certain lighting situations with certain lenses.

Blur adjustment in Canon T3i

Select the blur slider, and press the left or right buttons on the cross keys to adjust the amount of blur the camera will attempt to use when taking pictures.

Drive setting

The next option available in some of the basic modes like Creative Auto, is to change the drive setting. The drive setting refers to the ability of the camera to take pictures continously as you hold down the shutter button.

Drive mode on Canon T3i

The single square option refers to single shots. If you hold down the shutter button in this mode, the camera will only take one picture until the button is released. TThe multiple squares option is for continuous shooting of photos. Press the shutter and the camera will take a rapid series of photos as long as you hold down the shutter button. The other two options are for delay timers (in situations where you might want take a photo of yourself.)

Flash settings

The next options are the various flash settings. Creative auto and other modes allow you to change the flash options.

Flash options in creative auto on Canon T3i

The lightning bolt with the 'A' means automatic flash. This setting will let the camera use the flash only if it is necessary due to dim lighting conditions. The lightning bolt option, will force the camera to use flash, even if it doesn't need it. This is useful in daylight for filling in shadows. The no-flash option will prevent the flash from firing, even if the scene is too dark.