How to Use Audio Recording Options on the Canon Rebel T5/1200D

By Julie Adair King, Robert Correll

To control audio recording on the Canon Rebel T5/1200D, select Sound Rec from Movie Menu 2, as shown on the left in the figure below, and then press OK to display the screen shown on the right . At the bottom of this screen, a volume meter appears to guide you in choosing recording levels.


Audio levels are measured in decibels (dB). Levels on the volume meter range from –40 (very, very soft) to 0 (as much as can be measured digitally without running out of room). At the ideal recording level, the sound peaks consistently in the –12 range, as shown in the figure above.

The indicators on the meter turn yellow in this range, which is good. (The extra space beyond that level, called headroom, gives you both a good signal and a comfortable margin of error.) If the sound is too loud, the volume indicators will peak at 0 and appear red — a warning that the audio may sound distorted.

The menu options work as follows:

  • Sound Rec: At the default setting, Auto, sound is recorded, with the camera automatically adjusting recording volume. To record a silent movie, choose Disable.

    If you select Manual, as shown on the left in the figure below, the Rec Level (recording level) option becomes available. Select that option and press Set to activate the Rec Level meter, as shown on the right in the figure.

    Use the right/left cross keys to adjust the setting. As you do, the blue marker shows you the setting the camera suggests; the white marker, your selected volume setting. Again, refer to the volume meter at the bottom of the screen for guidance.


    If you choose the Manual Sound Recording option, a microphone symbol with the letter M appears in the lower-right corner of the live preview, as shown in the figure below. When you go with the Auto setting, the symbol disappears.


  • Wind Filter: Ever seen a newscaster out in the field, carrying a microphone that looks like it’s covered with a big piece of foam (or a large squirrel, depending on the style)? That foam thing is a wind filter. It’s designed to lessen the sounds that the wind makes when it hits the microphone.

    You can enable a digital version of the same thing via the Wind Filter menu option. Essentially, the filter works by reducing the volume of noises that are similar to those made by wind. The problem is that some noises not made by wind can also be muffled when the filter is enabled. So when you’re indoors or shooting on a still day, keep this option set to Disable.