Scene Mode Settings on a Canon EOS Rebel T3 Series Camera - dummies

Scene Mode Settings on a Canon EOS Rebel T3 Series Camera

By Julie Adair King

Scene modes on the Canon Rebel T3 and T3i are designed to capture specific scenes using traditional picture “recipes.” For example, most people prefer portraits that have softly focused backgrounds. So in Portrait mode, the camera selects settings that can produce that type of background. And action shots typically show the subject frozen in time, so that’s the route the camera takes when you select Sports mode.

Scene modes also apply color, exposure, contrast, and sharpness adjustments to the picture according to the traditional characteristics of the scene type. Landscape mode produces more vibrant colors, especially in the blue-green range, for example.

To select a scene mode, turn the Mode dial to the icon that represents the type of picture you want to take: Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, or Night Portrait. After you select a scene mode, the Shooting Settings screen displays information. The camera’s selected exposure settings appear briefly on the left side of the screen and then disappear, leaving only information about the ISO setting.


Using the Quick Control screen, you can adjust the following settings:

  • Shoot by Ambience: This option enables you to play with image colors and request a darker or brighter exposure on your next shot.

  • Shoot by Lighting or Scene Type: This option manipulates color only and is primarily designed to eliminate odd color casts that can occur when you shoot in some types of lighting.

  • Drive mode: Close-up, Landscape, and Night Portrait modes set the Drive mode to Single (one shot per each shutter-button press) by default; Portrait and Sports modes use the Continuous Drive mode. (The camera records a burst of images as long as you hold down the shutter button.) All five modes enable you to switch to Self-Timer: 10 Sec/Remote Control or Self-Timer: Continuous modes, however.

You can adjust the Quality setting (resolution and file type) as well, but only via Shooting Menu 1. If you’re unsure of which option to choose, stick with the default (Large/Normal on the T3i and Large/Fine on the T3).