Canon Rebel T3 Series Cameras: Taking Photos in Live View Mode

The steps involved in taking a picture with a Canon EOS Rebel T3 or T3i digital SLR in Live View mode are essentially the same as for viewfinder photography. However, a few differences occur. As far as adjusting camera settings, these additional rules govern the Live View road:

  • The cross keys don’t access their usual settings. Instead, the cross keys move the autofocus point or the magnification frame, depending on your focusing mode. So to change the White Balance, AF mode, Picture Style, and Drive mode, use the Quick Control screen or the menus.

  • The AF Point Selection button also doesn’t function as it does for viewfinder photography. The AF Point Selection button magnifies the display. You can select a different AF Selection Point setting only in the Quick AF mode.

  • ISO button (on the T3i): This one works as it usually does. Press the ISO button to display a screen showing all the available ISO settings. Select the setting you want to use and press Set. Remember, though, that you can control ISO only in the P, Tv, Av, M, and A-DEP exposure modes.

  • The following settings are either disabled or limited:

    • Flash: Flash Exposure Lock is disabled. Additionally, non-Canon flash units don’t work in Live View mode. And here’s one more quirk: When you take a flash shot in Live View mode, the camera’s shutter sound leads you to believe that two shots have been recorded; in reality, though, only one photo is captured.

    • Continuous shooting: You can use Continuous Drive mode, but the camera uses the exposure settings chosen for the first frame for all images. And as with flash shots, you hear two shutter sounds for the first frame in the continuous sequence.

    • A-DEP exposure mode: When Live View is enabled, A-DEP exposure mode loses its automatic depth-of-field calculation feature and operates just like P exposure mode.

    • Metering mode: You cannot use center-weighted average, partial, or spot exposure metering; the camera always uses evaluative metering in Live View mode.

    • Mirror Lock-Up and Set button functions (on the T3i): You can’t use mirror lock-up in Live View mode. Also, if you select the Custom Function option that enables you to use the Set button to turn the monitor on and off, that feature doesn't work in Live View mode.

After you digest all the details about this shooting feature, follow these steps to take a picture.

  1. Turn the Mode dial (on top of the camera) to select an exposure mode.

  2. Set the Enable Live View menu option to Enable.

  3. Set the lens switch to your desired focusing method.

  4. For handheld shots, also enable Image Stabilization by setting the Stabilizer switch to On.

  5. Press the Live View button to switch to Live View mode.

  6. Review and adjust picture settings.

  7. If you're autofocusing, position the focus point(s) over your subject, following the guidelines for your selected AF mode.

  8. Set focus.

  9. Press the shutter button fully to take the shot.

    You see your just-captured image on the monitor for a few seconds before the Live View preview returns.

  10. To exit the Live View preview, press the Live View button.

    You see the standard Shooting Settings screen. You can then return to framing your images through the viewfinder.

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