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Shooting with the Canon Rebel T3i (600D and Kiss X5) details the features, controls, and options in the Canon Rebel T3i camera. Author Ben Long provides an overview of a digital single lens reflex (SLR) camera and reviews the Canon Rebel T3i camera's components and basics of operation, including changing lenses, navigating the menus, shooting in Auto mode, and reviewing and managing photos on the camera’s LCD screen. The course also covers white balance options, advanced metering and autofocus controls, flash, and shooting HD video, and includes a chapter on sensor and camera maintenance.
One of the great advantages of digital cameras over film is that you can change the ISO from shot to shot with your digital camera. As you increase ISO, you can use faster shutter speeds and smaller apertures. You will most often increase ISO when light levels drop low enough that your shutter speeds go too low for handheld shooting. But you might also increase ISO, if you want to use smaller apertures to capture deeper depth of field. If you're not clear on when and how to effectively use ISO, check out my Foundations of Photography: Exposure course.
Changing ISO on the Rebel is very simple and you can see here on the LCD screen what my current ISO setting is. I'm at Auto. If I half-press to meter, you are going to see this change. It changed to 100. That's to let me know that Auto mode has automatically selected an ISO of 100 and now the metering just timed out, so it's gone back to Auto. If I want to change it to something other than Auto, my ISO button up here, I just press that, I don't have to hold it down, I press that and I get this Auto menu and now I can use either the left and right buttons here or the dial up here.
So I'm going to skip on over here to say ISO 400. Now I can half-press the Shutter button and you can see that I have locked ISO in at 400. I can, as I mentioned also use this style up here. This is probably what you will want to use when you're looking through the viewfinder. That gives you a very easy kind of finding your ISO control just by touch thing. I can go straight back from the shutter button, press my ISO button, and then just turn this and watch the status update inside my viewfinder.
When you're in Auto ISO mode by default the maximum ISO that the camera will ever pick is ISO 3200. Now ISO 3200 on this camera is good, but it's pretty noisy and you may decide that you don't like ISO 3200 images, because they're simply too noisy, so when you get into lower light you may not want Auto to go that high. You can change the maximum ISO setting that auto will use by going into the menus and going here to the third shooting menu, ISO Auto, which is the second item, I am going to hit Set, and now I can fix the maximum ISO.
Personally, I find ISO 1600 to be very usable. I am going to hit Set and now Auto ISO will never go about 1600. Now conversely if you're in a situation where you're shooting at low light, you want to use Auto, because you don't want to have to be thinking about your ISO and you don't mind noise, you wanted to go as fast as possible just to ensure that you can get the shot, then you can bump maximum ISO all the way up to 6400. So if you're going to stay in Auto ISO think about what the maximum you want to use is. I would recommend before relying too much on ISO, start controlling ISO manually just to give yourself better understanding of it and to start thinking of ISO as an exposure parameters that you can control.
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