Live View Options on Canon EOS Rebel T3 Series Cameras

Like many newer dSLR cameras, the Canon Rebel T3 and T3i offer Live View, a feature that enables you to use the monitor instead of the viewfinder to compose photos. Turning on Live View is also the first step in recording a movie; using the viewfinder isn't possible when you shoot movies. In many respects, shooting in Live View mode is no different from using the viewfinder. But a few aspects, such as focusing, are quite different.

The basics of taking advantage of Live View are pretty simple:

  • Enabling Live View for still photography: Before you can use Live View for still photography, you must enable the Live View Shooting function. Where you find the option depends on the current exposure mode:

    • Scene Intelligent Auto (or Full Auto on the T3), Flash Off, Creative Auto, and the scene modes: Look for the option on Shooting Menu 2.

    • P, Tv, Av, M, and A-DEP: The setting lives on Shooting Menu 4.

      Enable Live View either on Shooting Menu 2 (left) or 4 (right), depending on your exposure mode.
      Enable Live View either on Shooting Menu 2 (left) or 4 (right), depending on your exposure mode.
  • Switching to Live View: This time, the process depends on whether you want to shoot photographs or record movies:

    • Still photography: Set the Mode dial to one of the still photography settings and then press the Live View button.

    • Movie shooting: Just set the Mode dial to the Movie position.

      For still photography, press the Live View button to engage Live View; for movies, just set the Mod
      For still photography, press the Live View button to engage Live View; for movies, just set the Mode dial to Movie.

    As soon as you take either step, you hear a clicking sound as the internal mirror that normally sends the image from the lens to the viewfinder flips up. Then the scene in front of the lens appears on the monitor, and you no longer can see anything in the viewfinder. Instead of the normal Shooting Settings screen, you see the Live View version, with symbols representing certain camera settings over the live image. If your screen doesn’t show the same data, you can customize this display by pressing the Info button. The onscreen data also depends on whether you’re shooting movies or stills.

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  • Shooting photos: Most steps are the same as for viewfinder photography, although a few advanced shooting options are disabled. Focusing methods, however, are quite different.

  • Recording movies: After setting the Mode dial to Movie, press the Live View button to start and stop recording. Your focusing options are the same as for still photography in Live View mode. But you also encounter lots of movie-specific settings that affect video quality, sound recording, and the like.

  • Viewing photos and movies while in Live View mode: Just press the Playback button to look at your images and movies. To switch back to Live View shooting, give the Playback button another press or give the shutter button a half-press and then release it.

  • Exiting Live View mode: Press the Live View button or, if the Mode dial is set to Movie, select any other exposure mode.

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