Mode Dial

There are 12 different modes to choose from. Six are grouped in the basic zone, and the other six are in the creative zone. The modes with the pictures are defined as basic, and can be used for portraits, landscapes, close-ups, action, night shots, and shots without flash. The creative modes allow you to control the shutter speed, the aperture or both.

Power Switch

This switch turns the camera off and on, and is located to the right of the mode dial.

Main Dial

The main dial is behind the shutter button of the camera. The dial’s main function is to set both the aperture and shutter speed. However, it also works with other buttons of the camera, such as the AF point selection, to control other settings.

Shutter Button

The shutter is the button you push in order to take a picture. If you touch the button lightly, or push it down halfway, the autofocus function is activated.

Red Eye Reduction/Self Timer Lamp

This feature is actually a small light on the front of the camera that serves two different purposes. Its first purpose is to reduce red-eye by emitting a continuous bright light before the picture is taken so that the subject's pupils contract. Its second purpose is to flash a light during the self-timer setting in order to let the subject know how long until the picture will be taken.

Hot Shoe

The hot shoe is where an external flash is attached.

Built-in Flash

The built in flash pops up in low lighting situations in some of the Basic Zone exposure modes. There is also a button you can push to force the flash open that is located near the lens-release button.

Lens Focus Mode

This button is located on the lens and has a switch that you can change from autofocus to manual focus.

Lens Release Button

In order to use the lens release button, hold it down and twist the lens off. This way you can change your lenses.

Menu Button

The menu button controls an extensive amount of settings on your camera, but we will not go into all of them here. When you push the menu button, three main categories will appear: Shooting, Playback and Set-up. The options under the Shooting category include settings that affect the photography like Quality, Red Eye, Beep, Metering Mode and ISO. The options under the Playback category include choices that have to do with viewing pictures, like Protect, Rotate, Print Order, Auto play and Review Time. The options under the Set-up category have to do with the choices made before shooting. They include Auto Power, Auto Rotate, LCD Brightness and Formatting. You can use the Cross Keys and the SET button to make adjustments within the menu.

Info Button

The Info Button allows you retrieve information about the photos you have just taken, including shutter speed, aperture and ISO. If you hit the button twice, you can even see a histogram of the picture, which shows how light or dark the exposure is.

Jump Button

The Jump Button allows you to skip to the front or back of the group of pictures you have just shot. It is a great tool if you are in need of expediency.

Playback Button

This button allows you to view your photographs on the LCD Screen in a variety of different ways. There are three different forms that the information about your photograph can be presented. The first is the photo display with basic information including image number, shutter speed and aperture. The second is the photo display with full shooting information which includes (among many more) ISO Speed, White Balance and exposure. The third is the display with no information. After you initially push the playback button, simply push the Info button, directly above, to change the display mode.

Erase Button

This button provides you with three options: Cancel, Erase and All. Cancel allows you to not erase anything, Erase allows you to erase the image that you are currently viewing and All allows you to erase all of your images.

LCD Panel

This panel shows you your light meter, your aperture, shutter speed, image size selection and AF mode.

Aperture/Exposure compensation

The first and most important function of this button is to set the aperture. By holding down this button and turning the main dial, you can set the aperture on your camera.

The exposure compensation feature of this button helps you to recognize if your frame will be over or underexposed, and seeks to help you correct any problems. First, press the shutter button down halfway to activate the metering system. Then, hold the exposure compensation down and use the main dial to change the compensation amount.

Drive mode selection

The Canon Rebel offers two drive modes and a self-timer option. The first mode is a single shooting mode, where the camera shoots only one image at a time. The second mode is the continuous shooting mode, where the camera shoots up to three frames per second. Finally, there is the option to choose a 10-second self-timer. Every time you press the button, it will cycle the camera through these three modes.

ISO Speed

The ISO speed can be changed in order for the camera to adjust to different lighting situations. The lower the speed, the less light will be let in to the camera, which creates sharper images. The higher the speed, the grainier the image will get. It is best to use the lowest possible ISO speed that you can while still getting a good exposure. An example of a low speed is 100, and a high speed is 1600.

To set the ISO speed, simply push the ISO Up Cross Key. The menu on the LCD screen will display a list of options, where you can then use the up and down buttons to select a speed, and then use the SET button to choose the speed.

Metering Mode

The metering mode helps to produce the most accurate meter possible through the use of microprocessors and special sensors. By pressing the Metering Mode Left Cross Key, a list of three different modes will appear on the LCD screen. Pick one of the modes with the up and down buttons and then push SET to select. The first mode is Evaluative Metering , which divides the image into 35 sections and compares them in order to find the perfect exposure setting. The second mode is Partial Metering. This covers about 9% of the frame, and allows photographers to selectively meter specific parts of a frame. The last mode is Center-Weighted Average Metering. This method takes an average measure of the entire scene.

White Balance Selection

White balance refers to adjusting settings on your camera to compensate for different types of light. All light has different color temperatures, and some lights can give photographs unwanted hues. By adjusting the white balance for a certain subject, you can ensure that your photographs will look true to life.

Simply push the White Balance Down Cross Key. This will lead you to the LCD screen where you have eight options: auto white balance, tungsten light, sunlight, fluorescent light, shade, flash, cloudy or custom. Pick your setting and press the SET button.

AF Mode Selection

There are three different autofocus modes for this camera. The first, One Shot AF, finds and locks focus when the shutter button is pressed. The second, Al Servo AF, is good for action photography. With this setting, you press the shutter button down halfway and follow the subject with your camera. With this mode, the camera continually looks for the best focus as it moves with the subject. The third mode, Al Focus AF, allows the camera to choose between One Shot AF and Al Servo AF. Press the AF Mode Selection Right Cross Key button, and choose whichever setting you want from the LCD screen. Hit the SET button to save.

SET button

The set button simply helps to save any setting changes you wish to make. It is similar to an Okay or Enter button.

AE Lock/FE Lock

This button has several different functions. The first, AE Lock locks the exposure setting on your subject. Simply aim the camera where you want to get the perfect exposure. Push the AE Lock button. Now, instead of the camera updating the exposure as you move, it is locked.

The Flash Exposure Lock does basically the same thing for the flash. It causes the camera to emit a pre-flash to calculate the exposure. To use this feature, turn the flash on, push the shutter halfway down, aim the viewfinder at the subject and push the FE Lock button. Your settings will be saved.

AF Point Selection

The AF point selection allows you to choose where on the frame you want your camera to focus, ie top, bottom, left, right, center.