Take Photos in Auto, Flash Off, with a Canon EOS Rebel T3 Series Camera

The Canon Rebel T3 and T3i provide a range of powerful controls, offering just about every feature a serious photographer could want. It also offers fully automated exposure modes that enable people with absolutely no experience to capture beautiful images.

For the most automatic of automatic photography, set your camera’s Mode dial to one of the following two settings:

  • Scene Intelligent Auto: The name of this mode (Full Auto on the T3) refers to the fact that the camera analyzes the scene in front of the lens and selects the picture-taking options that it thinks will best capture the subject.

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  • Flash Off: This mode does the exact same thing as Scene Intelligent Auto (or Full Auto, on the T3), except flash is disabled. This mode provides an easy way to ensure that you don’t break the rules when shooting in locations that don’t permit flash.

In either mode, follow these steps to take a picture:

  1. Set the focusing switch on the lens to the AF (autofocus) position.

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    If you own a different lens, the switch may look and operate differently; check your lens manual for details.

  2. Unless you’re using a tripod, set the Stabilizer switch to the On setting.

    If you’re using a tripod, you can save some battery power by turning stabilization off.

  3. Check the Drive mode on the Shooting Settings display.

    By default, the camera sets the Drive mode to Single, which means that you capture one picture with each press of the shutter button. But you can choose the 10-second or continuous self-timer options if you prefer.

  4. Select the Quality setting via Shooting Menu 1.

  5. Looking through the viewfinder, frame the image so that your subject appears under an autofocus point.

    The autofocus points are those nine tiny rectangles clustered in the center of the viewfinder.

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    Framing your subject so that it falls under the center autofocus point typically produces the fastest and most accurate autofocusing.

  6. Press and hold the shutter button halfway down.

    The camera’s autofocus and autoexposure meters begin to do their thing.

  7. Pause to give the camera time to set focus.

    This step is critical! If you simply press the shutter button down in one continuous motion, the camera may not be able to set focus correctly.

    When focus is established, one or more of the autofocus points blink red to indicate which areas of the frame are in focus.

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    In most cases, you also hear a tiny beep, and the focus indicator in the viewfinder lights. Focus is now locked as long as you keep the shutter button halfway down. Typically, the camera focuses on the closest object; if you want to set focus elsewhere, your easiest option is to use manual focusing.

  8. Press the shutter button the rest of the way down to record the image.

    While the camera sends the image data to the camera memory card, the memory card access lamp on the lower-right corner of the camera back lights. Don’t turn off the camera or remove the memory card while the lamp is lit, or you may damage both camera and card.

    When the recording process is finished, the picture appears briefly on the camera monitor. By default, the review period is two seconds; you can adjust the timing via Shooting Menu 1.

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