Canon Rebel T3 Series Cameras: Take a Still Photo During Movie Recording

The Canon Rebel T3i allows you to snap a still photo during a recording, and you can interrupt your recording to take a still photo without exiting Movie mode. Just press the shutter button as usual to take the shot. The camera records the still photo as a regular image file, using the same Picture Style, White Balance, and Auto Lighting Optimizer settings you chose for your movie. The Quality setting determines the picture resolution and file format.

There are a few drawbacks to capturing a still photo during a recording:

  • If you’re shooting a movie at one of the two highest size settings, which capture a movie in the 16:9 aspect ratio, the area included in your still photo is different from what’s in the movie shots. All still photos have an aspect ratio of 3:2, so you gain some image area at the top and bottom and lose it from the sides. If the movie size is set to 640 x 480, your still photo still has a 3:2 aspect ratio.

  • You can’t use flash.

  • Perhaps most importantly, your movie will contain a still frame at the point you took the photo; the frame lasts about one second. Ouch. If you’re savvy with a video editor, you can edit each still photo out of the video, but if you shoot 50 stills in 5 minutes of video, editing is going to take a while.

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