Using Full Auto Mode on the Canon EOS 60D - dummies

Using Full Auto Mode on the Canon EOS 60D

By Julie Adair King, Robert Correll

In Full Auto mode, represented on the Mode dial by a rectangle, the Canon 60D selects all settings based on the scene that it detects in front of the lens. Your only job is to lock in focus.

Full Auto mode is great for casual, quick snapshooting. But keep these limitations in mind:

  • Picture Style: Full Auto mode records your photo using the Standard Picture Style setting. The aim of this mode is to produce a crisp, vivid image.

  • Drive mode: The camera selects the Single setting automatically, so you record one image for every press of the shutter button although you can change it to a 10-second self-timer or remote control.

  • Flash: Auto flash is used. That is, the camera fires the flash automatically if the available light is too dim to otherwise expose the picture. You can enable Red-Eye Reduction mode.

  • Autofocusing: In most cases, the camera focuses the closest object that falls under one of the autofocus points. To focus on a different area, the easiest option is to switch to manual focusing.

    If you stick with autofocus, note that the camera adjusts its autofocusing behavior depending on whether it thinks you’re shooting a still or moving subject. For still subjects, the camera locks focus when you press the shutter halfway. If the camera senses motion, it continually adjusts focus from the time you press the shutter button halfway. You must reframe your shot as necessary to keep the subject within one of the nine autofocus points to ensure sharp focus.

  • Color: Color decisions are also handled for you automatically. Normally, the camera’s color brain does a good job of rendering the scene, but if you want to tweak color, you must switch to an advanced exposure mode.

  • Exposure: You also give up total control over exposure to the camera.

  • Quality: You can choose any Quality setting, which determines both the image resolution (or pixel count) and the file format (JPEG or Raw).

    The results that this setting creates vary widely depending on the available light and how well the camera detects whether you’re trying to shoot a portrait, a landscape, an action shot, or whatever. The bottom line is that Full Auto is a one-size-fits-all approach that may not take best advantage of your camera’s capabilities.