Basics of Viewfinder Focusing on the Canon Rebel T5/1200D

By Julie Adair King, Robert Correll

When you use the viewfinder on the Canon Rebel T5/1200D to compose your image you will have a choice to use autofocus or manual focus as explained below.

  • To autofocus: Frame your subject so that it appears under one of the nine focus points, one of which is labeled in the figure below. Then press and hold the shutter button halfway.

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    What happens next depends on your exposure mode:

    • Scene Intelligent Auto, Auto Flash Off, and Creative Auto: With stationary subjects, one or more of the focus points turn red briefly to indicate the points the camera used to set the focusing distance, as shown in the figure above. Then you see the viewfinder focus light, also labeled in the figure, and you hear a beep. Focus remains locked as long as you hold down the shutter button.

      If the camera detects subject motion, the focus indicators don’t appear; instead focus is continuously adjusted as needed to track the subject until you snap the picture. The beep sounds each time the camera re-establishes focus.

      For continuous autofocusing to work properly, you must adjust framing as necessary to keep the subject under the area covered by the autofocus points.

    • Sports mode: The continuous-autofocusing setup is used.

    • All other Scene modes and P, Tv, Av, and M modes: The camera assumes that you’re shooting a stationary subject and so locks focus when you press the shutter button halfway. In the P, Tv, Av, and M exposure modes, you can vary this autofocusing behavior.

  • To focus manually: After setting the lens switch to the manual focusing position, rotate the focusing ring on the lens. (On many lenses, including the kit lens, you can damage the lens if you rotate the focusing ring with the switch in the AF position.)

    Even when focusing manually, you can confirm focus by pressing the shutter button halfway. The focus point or points that achieve focus flash for a second or two, the viewfinder’s focus lamp lights, and you will hear the focus-achieved beep.

If you find the focusing beep annoying, you can disable it via the Beep option on Shooting Menu 1.