5 Warnings for Using Live View on the Canon EOS Rebel T3/1100D - dummies

5 Warnings for Using Live View on the Canon EOS Rebel T3/1100D

By Julie Adair King, Robert Correll

The Canon EOS Rebel T3/1100D offers 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 because using the viewfinder isn’t possible when you shoot movies. Whether your goal is a still image or a movie, you can inadvertently damage your Canon Rebel 11D when using Live View.

Consider the following:

  • If you don’t cover the viewfinder, your exposure metering can get messed up. You need to prevent light from seeping into the camera; the camera ships with a little cover designed just for this purpose. In fact, it’s conveniently attached to the camera strap. To install the cover, first remove the rubber eyecup that surrounds the viewfinder by sliding it up and out of the groove that holds it in place. Then slide the cover down into the groove and over the viewfinder, as shown in here (orient the cover so that the Canon label faces the viewfinder):


  • Using Live View for an extended period can harm your pictures and the camera. When you work in Live View mode, the camera’s innards heat up more than usual, and that extra heat can create the right electronic conditions for noise, a defect that gives your pictures a speckled look.

    Perhaps more critically, the increased temperatures can damage the camera. When the camera is getting too hot, this thermometer symbol appears on the monitor to warn you:


    Initially, the symbol is white. If you continue shooting and the temperature continues to increase, the symbol turns red and blinks, alerting you that the camera soon will shut off automatically. In extremely warm environments, you may not be able to use Live View mode for very long before the system shuts down.

  • Aiming the lens at the sun or other bright lights also can damage the camera. Of course, you can cause problems doing this even during normal shooting, but the possibilities increase when you use Live View. You not only can harm the camera’s internal components but also the monitor.

  • Live View puts additional strain on the camera battery. The monitor is a big consumer of battery juice, so keep an eye on the battery level icon to avoid running out of power at a critical moment.

  • The risk of camera shake during handheld shots increases. When you use the viewfinder, you can help steady the camera by bracing it against your face. But with Live View, you have to hold the camera away from your body to view the monitor, making it harder to keep the camera absolutely still.

    Any camera movement during the exposure can blur the shot, so using a tripod is the best course of action for Live View photography. If you do hold the camera by hand, enabling Image Stabilization can compensate for a bit of camera shake.

Because of these complications, you may want to think of Live View as a special-purpose tool geared toward situations where framing with the viewfinder is cumbersome. Live View is most helpful for still-life, tabletop photography — especially in cases that require a lot of careful arrangement of the scene and precise focusing (the one area where Live View really stands out).