How to Enable and Disable the Flash on the Canon Rebel T5/1200D Camera - dummies

How to Enable and Disable the Flash on the Canon Rebel T5/1200D Camera

By Julie Adair King, Robert Correll

Whether you can use flash or control its firing depends on the exposure mode. The Canon Rebel T5/1200D camera offers the following settings:

  • Scene Intelligent Auto, Portrait, Close-Up, and Night Portrait: If the camera thinks extra light is needed, it automatically raises and fires the built-in flash. Otherwise the flash remains closed.

  • Landscape, Sports, and Flash Off modes: Flash is disabled.

  • Creative Auto mode: You can choose from three flash modes:

    • Auto Flash: The camera decides when to fire the flash, basing its decision on the lighting conditions.

    • On: The flash pops up and fires regardless of the lighting conditions. Using a fill flash is an effective way to light people’s faces even in bright conditions.

    • Off: The flash does not fire, no way, no how, even if the flash is raised because you used it on the previous shot.

    You can view the current flash setting in the Shooting Settings and Live View displays, which appear in Creative Auto mode as shown in figure below.


    To set the flash mode, press the Q button to activate the Quick Control screen. Then use the cross keys to highlight the flash setting and rotate the Main dial to cycle through the three flash settings. You also can press the Set button to display a selection screen showing all the available flash settings.

  • P, Tv, Av, and M modes: If you want to use the built-in flash, press the Flash button on top of the camera. The flash pops up and fires on your next shot. Don’t want flash? Just close the flash unit. There is no such thing as auto flash in these exposure modes — but don’t worry, because using flash is one picture-taking setting you definitely want to control.

    Remember your flash results depend in part on the shutter speed and the range of available shutter speeds for flash photography depends on which of the four exposure modes you use:

    • P mode: The camera selects a shutter speed ranging from 1/60 to 1/200 second.

    • Av mode: By default, the camera selects a shutter speed ranging from 1/200 to 30 seconds when you use flash in Av mode. However, if you want to avoid the potential problems that can arise with a slow shutter — camera shake and blurred moving subjects — you can bump up the slow limit of this range via Custom Function 3, Flash Sync Speed in Av Mode, shown below.


      The default setting is Auto, which uses the 1/200-to-30 seconds range. At setting 2, the shutter speed range is 1/200 to 1/60 second; and at setting 3, the camera always sets the shutter speed to 1/200 second.

    • Tv mode: You can select a shutter speed from 1/200 to 30 seconds. Remember that at slow shutter speeds, you need to use a tripod and tell your subject to remain still to avoid a blurry photo.

    • M mode: You can access the same range as in Tv mode, but with one additional setting available: Bulb, which keeps the shutter open as long as you keep the shutter button pressed, however. By default, the flash fires at the beginning of the exposure. If you want it to fire at the end of the exposure, make the change via the Shutter Sync setting.