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If you're shooting in a situation that's too hard for the camera's autofocus system to handle, it will use its autofocus assist beam to shine some light into your scene, so that it can focus. There might be times though when that's an appropriate. Maybe you're shooting in a concert or in a museum or something. So if you're going to the Custom Functions menu over here custom function number seven is AF-assist beam firing. By default it's Enabled. If you want you can go down here and Disable it that will keep that bright light from shining into your scene when you least expect it.
If you're using an external flash, you can say well only use the external flash for autofocus assist and a lot of external flashes have an infrared assist beam that you can activate instead which is nice, because that's less visible. So this is just a way to get around that annoying light that can shine in sometimes might be necessary for autofocus, but there might be times when you need to turn it off, so that you don't have your camera acting inappropriately.
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