Saturday, December 29, 2012

Canon Rebel T3i - What Are All These Buttons and What Do They Do?

With a DSLR cameras, you have at your fingertips much more options to choose from to help you get the perfect shot. A better camera doesn't necessarily means that you will automatically take better pictures. You need to understand all the functionality and the capability of your camera in order for you to maximize the quality of your images.

So I'm going to briefly going over the buttons on the Canon Rebel T3i. The first time I got my hands on it, it was a bit intimidating trying to figure out what is what and if you are like me, you probably won't look at your manual, lol, but figure things out through trial and errors.

Even though you don't have this particular model, I think most Canon DSLR cameras have very similar buttons. In future posts, I will go a bit more in depth with the camera settings and give you tips I learned.

On/Off - This is pretty self-explanatory and use to turn on or off your camera.
Shooting Mode - Each of these shooting modes serves as a purpose and you typically would pick the one that works best for you.
DISP. - To turn on and off the display on your LCD screen. I rarely touch this button so I don't know what else it does beside that.
ISO - use this button to select your ISO based on your lighting and camera settings. I use this a lot.
Left/Right Scroll - This is to mainly move your selection left or right on your menu screen.
Shutter - press half way to allow your camera to focus and then completely to take the shot.

MENU - To access your camera's menu
INFO. - gives you several options on what info you want to display your LCD screen
LCD/View Finder Display - allows you chose to view on your LCD screen or through the view finder.
Exposure Lock - I haven't quite played with this feature but it is supposed to lock the exposure on a certain area and allow you to recompose the image and keep that exposure the same. This button will also allow you to zoom out from a picture during preview.
Auto Focus Point Selector - choose which points you want in focus or this can also be used to zoom in our pictures during preview.
AV - allows you to select the aperture
Quick Menu - allows to change some settings quickly without having to go through the MENU.
WB - allows you to select  your white balance.
Drive Mode - single shooting, continuous shooting, or self-timer options.
AF - Auto focus mode
Picture Style - allows you to select a pre-defined picture style, which will alter the color, saturation, contrast, and sharpness of your image.
SET - use to select the settings you want.
Preview - allows you to see the pictures or videos after you have taken them.
Delete - allows you to delete the pictures you don't want.

AF/MF - let's you choose to auto-focus or manual focus.
Image Stabilizer - helps reduce camera shake and blurring in pictures.
Focus Range - let's you know the focusing length that your camera is using.
Flash - This button with force the flash to pop up. Some shooting mode won't allow you to force the flash.
Lens Release - allows you to remove your lens from the camera.
Depth of Field Preview - allows you to view in real time the depth of field of your image.

So this is it for my quick take on the camera buttons. I hope this was helpful in some ways. I think my next project, would be to go over the shooting modes.


  1. Great post! Since I just purchased this camera and am getting familiar with it, your details were very simple and useful.

    1. Thank you. I'm glad it was helpful.

  2. Thank you for posting this, I am ashamed to say that not only did I not know there was a way to see your depth of field in real time, but I didn't even know that the button was there. I had to go get my camera and look. I have had my T3I almost 2 years know and have taken 2 semesters at the community college on Digital Photography. Guess I didn't read the owners manual as well as I thought I had.
    Thankyou again

    1. You're welcome. I'm glad you found this helpful :). I am surprised they didn't teach you about it in Photography class.