Canon Rebel T3 Series Cameras: How to Change What the Set Button Does - dummies

Canon Rebel T3 Series Cameras: How to Change What the Set Button Does

By Julie Adair King

Normally, the main role of the Set button on the Canon Rebel T3 and T3i is to select items from the camera menus. When you’re in shooting mode pressing the button has no effect.

When you shoot in the P, Tv, Av, M, or A-DEP exposure modes, though, you have the option to assign one of the following additional tasks to the button:

  • Image Quality: Pressing the button displays the screen where you can change the Quality settings.

  • Flash Exposure Compensation: Displays the meter that enables you to adjust flash power.

  • LCD Monitor On/Off. Performs the same monitor on/off function as the Disp button. Note that the Set button won’t perform this chore when you shoot in Live View mode even if you select this option.

  • Menu display: Brings up the menus. After the menus are onscreen, you use the button to select menu options.

  • ISO Speed (T3i only): Displays the screen where you can adjust the ISO Speed setting, just as if you had pressed the ISO button.

  • Depth-of-field preview: Causes the lens to temporarily change the aperture to match the value of the current exposure settings (for example, f/5.6) so you can see what the depth of field will look like when the picture is taken. Normally, the aperture stays wide open until you take the photo so that you can see better through the viewfinder and in Live View. (It’s brighter that way.)

Follow these steps to customize the button:

  1. Set your camera to one of the advanced exposure modes (P, Tv, Av, M, or A-DEP).

    You can’t adjust the performance of the Set button in the other exposure modes. Nor does the button perform whatever alternative function you may assign when the camera is set to those modes.

  2. Display Setup Menu 3 and highlight Custom Functions.


    You use this menu item to customize 11 aspects of the camera’s performance.

  3. Press Set.

    The Custom Functions are grouped into four categories. The category number and name appear in the upper-left corner of the screen; the number of the selected function appears in the upper-right corner. The blue text indicates the current setting of the selected Custom Function. At the bottom of the screen, the top row of numbers represents the 11 Custom Functions, with the currently selected function indicated with a tiny horizontal bar over the number. The lower row shows the number of the current setting for each Custom Function, with 0 always representing the default.

  4. If needed, press the right or left cross key to display Custom Function 8 (T3) or 10 (T3i).

  5. Press the Set button.

    Now the list of options becomes accessible, and a highlight box appears around one option. Again, the option that appears in blue is the current setting.


  6. Press the up or down cross keys to highlight a setting.

  7. Press the Set button.

  8. To adjust another Custom Function setting, repeat Steps 4 through 7.

  9. Press Menu to exit the Custom Function screens and return to Setup Menu 3.

    Or to return to shooting mode, just press the shutter button halfway and release it.

Now whenever you shoot in the advanced exposure modes and press Set while no menus are displayed, the button takes on the function you just assigned to it. To go back to the default setting, repeat these steps and select option 0 in Step 6. The button then reverts to its original single-minded purpose, which is to lock in menu selections.