How to Use with Creative Auto Mode on the Canon Rebel T5/1200D

By Julie Adair King, Robert Correll

The Creative Auto mode on the Canon Rebel T5/1200D, represented on the Mode dial by the letters CA, offers a bit more control over the look of your pictures than is possible in the scene modes or Auto and Flash Off modes.

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If you check the monitor after taking a shot and don’t like the results, you can make the following adjustments for your next shot:

  • Adjust color, sharpness, contrast, and exposure through the Shoot by Ambience option, as explained in the preceding few sections.

  • Enable or disable the flash.

  • Manipulate depth of field, or the distance over which focus appears acceptably sharp.

The figure below shows you where to look for the relevant controls in the Shooting Settings and Live View displays. You can adjust all the settings via the Quick Control screen.

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The settings you choose remain in effect from shot to shot. If you turn the camera off or switch to a different exposure mode, though, the settings return to their defaults.

Here’s what you need to know about each option:

  • Shoot by Ambience: This setting enables you to alter how the camera processes the photo, enabling you to tweak color, contrast, and exposure slightly.

  • Flash: You can choose from three flash settings:

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    • On: The flash fires regardless of the ambient light.

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    • Off: The flash doesn’t fire.

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    For the Auto and On settings, you can use the Red-Eye Reduction flash feature, found on Shooting Menu 1.

  • Background Blur: This feature is somewhat mislabeled. You can blur the background by adjusting the setting, but any objects in front of your subject may also become blurry. So apply with caution and do some test shots to find the right amount of blurring.

    Unfortunately, this feature doesn’t play nice with the flash. If you set the flash mode to On, the Background Blur bar becomes dimmed and out of your reach when the flash pops up. Ditto if you set the Flash mode to Auto and the camera sees a need for flash.

    When you select the Background Blur option use the Main dial to move the indicator on the bar to the left to shorten depth of field; shift the indicator to the right to increase depth of field.

    To find out more about depth of field, note these easy ways to tweak depth of field beyond using the Background Blur slider:

    • For blurrier backgrounds, move the subject farther from the background, get closer to the subject, and zoom in to a tighter angle of view, if you use a zoom lens.

    • For sharper backgrounds, do the opposite of the above.