How to Choose an Exposure Mode on the Rebel T6i/750D

By Julie Adair King, Robert Correll

Adjusting a few options on your Rebel T6i/750D can help turn that decent portrait into a stunning one. The first picture‐taking setting to consider is the exposure mode, which you select via the Mode dial, shown here.

Settings on the Mode dial determine the exposure mode.

Settings on the Mode dial determine the exposure mode.

For still photography, exposure modes are grouped into two categories, Basic Zone and Creative Zone, labeled in the figure. Your choice determines how much control you have over two critical exposure settings — ­aperture and shutter speed — as well as many other options, including those related to color and flash ­photography.

Here’s a look at your options:

  • Basic Zone: Includes the following point‐and‐shoot modes, represented on the Mode dial with the icons shown:

    • Scene Intelligent Auto: The most basic mode; the camera analyzes the scene and selects the settings it thinks would best capture the subject.

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    • Flash Off: Works just like Scene Intelligent Auto except that flash is disabled.

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    • Creative Auto: This mode is like Scene Intelligent Auto but with some manual override. You can exercise a little creative control by tweaking some picture qualities, such as how much the background blurs.

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    • Portrait: For taking traditional portraits.

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    • Landscape: For capturing scenic vistas.

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    • Closeup: For shooting flowers and other subjects at close range.

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    • Sports: For capturing moving subjects (whether they happen to be playing a sport or not, and actually works well when youre moving, too).

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    • Special Scene Modes: Several specialized scenes are grouped together in the Special Scenes Mode on the Mode dial. All are fully automatic. They are:

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      Kids, when you want rapid‐fire photographs of active children using continuous focus.

      Food, for those times when you want to photograph what you cooked for dinner. The JPEG is processed to look bright and colorful.

      Candlelight, for those special, candlelit scenes.

      Night Portrait, for outdoor photographs of people at night.

      Handheld Night Scene, for taking pictures in dim lighting without a tripod.

      HDR Backlight Control, for getting better results with high‐contrast scenes, such as a dark subject set against a bright background. (The HDR stands for high dynamic range; dynamic range refers to the range of brightness values in an image.)

    To remain easy to use, all these modes prevent you from taking advantage of advanced exposure, color, and autofocusing features. You can adjust options, but the camera controls most everything else.

  • Creative Zone: When you’re ready to take more control over the camera, step up to one of these modes, which include P (programmed autoexposure), Tv (shutter‐priority autoexposure), Av (aperture‐priority autoexposure), and M (manual exposure) modes.

One often‐misunderstood aspect about exposure modes: Although your choice determines access to exposure and color controls, as well as to some other advanced camera features, it has no bearing on your focusing choices. You can choose from manual focusing or autofocusing in any mode, assuming that your lens offers autofocusing. However, access to options that modify how the autofocus system works is limited to P, Tv, Av, and M modes.