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Reading the Viewfinder Data on a Canon EOS Rebel T3 Series Camera

When your Canon Rebel T3 or T3i is turned on, you can view critical exposure settings and a few other pieces of information in the viewfinder. Just put your eye to the viewfinder and press the shutter button halfway to activate the display.

The viewfinder data changes depending on what action you’re undertaking and what exposure mode you’re using. For example, if you set the Mode dial to Tv (for shutter-priority autoexposure), you see a basic set of data: shutter speed, f-stop (aperture setting), Exposure Compensation setting, and ISO setting. Additional data displays when you enable certain features, such as flash.

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Here’s the truth behind one often-confused value: The number at the far right end of the viewfinder shows you the number of maximum burst frames. This number relates to shooting in the Continuous capture mode, where the camera fires off multiple shots in rapid succession as long as you hold down the shutter button. Although the highest number that the viewfinder can display is 9, the actual number of maximum burst frames may be higher. At any rate, you don’t really need to pay attention to the number until it starts dropping toward 0, which indicates that the camera’s memory buffer (its temporary internal data-storage tank) is filling up. If that happens, just give the camera a moment to catch up with your shutter-button finger.

While you’re looking through the viewfinder, you can adjust some shooting settings by using the Main dial alone or in conjunction with the function buttons, as you do with the Shooting Settings screen. For example, if you’re working in one of the advanced exposure modes (P, Tv, Av, M, or A-DEP) and press the ISO button, all data but the current ISO setting dims, and you can then rotate the Main dial to change the setting. Press the shutter button halfway to return to the normal viewfinder display after changing the setting.

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