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Examining Scene (SCN) Mode Settings on a Canon EOS 70D

In Scene Intelligent Auto and Flash Off modes, the Canon EOS 70D tries to figure out what type of picture you want to take. If you don't want to rely on the camera to make that judgment, you can choose from one of seven automatic scene modes that are designed to capture specific subjects using traditional recipes. For example, most people prefer portraits that have softly focused backgrounds, so Portrait mode selects settings that can blur the background. And action shots typically show the subject frozen in time, so that's the route the camera takes in Sports mode.

To select a scene mode, turn the Mode dial to SCN, as shown in Figure 1. Then bring up the Shooting Settings screen, where the current scene mode is indicated by the icon and label at the top of the screen, as shown on the left in Figure 2. To select a different mode, use the Quick Control screen, as shown on the right.

Figure 1 Set the Mode dial to SCN to access the scene modes.
Figure 1 Set the Mode dial to SCN to access the scene modes.
Figure 2: Use the Quick Settings screen to choose your scene mode.
Figure 2: Use the Quick Settings screen to choose your scene mode.

You're pretty limited in access to picture settings in all the scene modes, but depending on the mode, you may be able to adjust the following settings:

  • Shoot by Ambience: This option, available in all the scene modes except HDR Backlight Control, enables you to play with image colors and request a darker or brighter exposure on your next shot. Look for the setting marked by the little triangle symbol, as labeled in Figure 3; adjust the option via the Quick Control screen.

    Figure 3: Whether you can adjust these settings depends on the scene mode.
    Figure 3: Whether you can adjust these settings depends on the scene mode.
  • Shoot by Lighting or Scene Type: This option, also labeled in the figure, is available only in Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, and Sports modes. It manipulates color and is primarily designed to eliminate color casts that can occur in some types of lighting. Again, this setting is accessed by the Quick Control screen.

  • Drive mode: The icon representing this setting appears in the area labeled in Figure 3. To access this setting, press the Drive button or use the Quick Control screen.

  • Flash: Flash is disabled in Sports and Landscape modes; in Night Portrait scene, on the other hand, the flash is locked at Auto mode, which means the camera decides if flash is needed. For Handheld Night Scene mode, you can enable or disable flash; and for the other modes, you can choose from Auto, On, and Off. Adjust the setting via the Quick Control screen. When you do use flash, you can enable Red-Eye Reduction flash via Shooting Menu 2.

  • Image Quality: You can change this setting, which controls resolution and file type, only via Shooting Menu 1. If you're unsure which option to choose, stick with the default (Large/Normal). The symbol next to the menu item should look like the one shown in Figure 3. Note that you can't use the Raw setting for the HDR Backlight Control and Handheld Night Scene modes.

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