Using (Face Detection) Live Mode on Your Canon EOS Rebel T6/1300D - dummies

Using (Face Detection) Live Mode on Your Canon EOS Rebel T6/1300D

By Julie Adair King

When you enable this mode, the Rebel T6 searches for faces in the frame. You may need to give the shutter button a quick press and release to wake up the camera before the face-detection feature engages. If a face is detected, the camera displays a focus frame over the face, as shown on the left.

In a group shot where more than one face is recognized by the camera, you see arrows on either side of the focus frame. To choose a different face as the focusing target, press the cross keys to move the target frame over the face.

rebel-t6-1300d-face-detection-live-mode
The white frame represents the face chosen for focusing; the frame turns green when focus is achieved.

To focus, press and hold the shutter button halfway down. When focus is locked, the focus frame turns green, as shown on the right, and the camera emits a tiny beep. If focus isn’t successful, the focus frame turns red.

When the conditions are just right in terms of lighting, composition, and phase of the moon, this setup works fairly well. However, it has a number of issues:

  • People must be facing the camera to be detected — the feature is based on the camera recognizing the pattern created by the eyes, nose, and mouth. So if you’re shooting the subject in profile, don’t expect face detection to work.
  • The camera may mistakenly focus on an object that has a similar shape, color, and contrast to a face.
  • Face detection sometimes gets tripped up if the face isn’t just the right size with respect to the background, is tilted at an angle, is too bright or dark, or is partly obscured.
  • Autofocusing isn’t possible when a subject is very close to the edge of the frame. The camera alerts you to this issue by displaying a gray frame instead of a white one over your subject. You can always temporarily reframe to put the subject within the acceptable autofocus area, press and hold the shutter button halfway to lock focus, and then reframe to your desired composition.

If the camera can’t detect a face, the autofocus system operates as it does when FlexiZone-Single is active. You also can press the Set button to display the FlexiZone-Single focus frame at any time. On occasion, you may need to set initial focus using the focus frame before the camera can detect a face. (This scenario can occur if the subject is seriously out of focus when you switch to the face-detection autofocusing mode.)