How to Use Advanced Flash Features on the Canon Rebel T5/1200D

By Julie Adair King, Robert Correll

When you use the advanced flash features of the Canon Rebel T5/1200D you have access to some flash features not available in the automatic or Creative Auto modes. You can adjust the flash power, tell the camera to stick with the same flash output for a series of shots, and tweak a few other aspects of flash performance. You can also adjust the flash power with Flash Exposure Compensation.

On some occasions, you may want a little more or less light than the camera thinks is appropriate. If so, you can adjust the flash output by using Flash Exposure Compensation.

Flash Compensation settings are stated in terms of exposure value (EV) numbers. A setting of EV 0.0 indicates no flash adjustment; you can increase the flash power to EV +1.0 or decrease it to EV –2.0.

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Clearly, a little more light was needed, but at normal flash power, the flash was too strong, blowing out the highlights in some areas, as shown in the middle image. Reducing the flash power to EV –1.3, resulted in a softer flash that straddled the line perfectly between no flash and too much flash.

As for boosting the flash output, well, you may find it necessary on some occasions, but don’t expect the built-in flash to work miracles even at a Flash Exposure Compensation of +2.0. Any built-in flash has a limited range, so the light simply can’t reach faraway objects.

Here are the ways you can adjust flash power:

  • Quick Control screen (not available in Live View mode): This path is by far the easiest way to travel. After shifting to the Quick Control display, highlight the Flash Exposure Compensation value, as shown on the left in figure below.

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    Rotate the Main dial to raise or lower the amount of flash adjustment. Or press Set to display the second screen in the figure, which contains a meter along with a text note that tells you that if you use an external flash, any compensation you dial in via the flash itself overrides the on-camera setting. Press the right/left cross keys to adjust the flash power on this screen. Press Set when you finish.

  • Shooting Menu 1: On Shooting Menu 1, select Flash Control and press Set to display the left screen in figure below. Choose Built-in Flash Func Settings to display the right screen. Highlight Flash Exp Comp and press Set to activate the control. Then use the left/right cross keys to adjust the value. Press Set when you finish.

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