Canon XTi Review

 
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Canon Rebel XTi Modes and Menus

The mode dial on the right side of the Canon Rebel XTi's top panel lets you select various exposure modes, with the same range of options presented as on the preceding Rebel XT. Canon divides the dial into "Basic" and "Creative" zones, the Basic range encompassing the Full Auto setting and the six scene modes in what Canon refers to as the "Image" zone. The Creative zone includes settings for programmed exposure, shutter priority, aperture priority, full manual control, and the Automatic Depth of Field mode.

 

Here's a description of each of the shooting modes:

Flash Off Mode: The first mode in the Image Zone, Flash Off mode disables both the internal flash head and any external flash unit connected. Focus is set to AI Focus mode, drive mode is set to Single, and metering is set to Evaluative. The camera controls ISO and Auto white balance as well.

Night Portrait Mode: This mode is for taking pictures of people at sunset or at night, letting the flash illuminate the subject, while the longer exposure provides a brighter view of the surroundings. The autofocus mode is automatically set to One Shot. Drive mode is set to Single Shot, and metering mode is set to Evaluative. Since slower shutter speeds will be used, a tripod is recommended to prevent movement from the camera. The built-in flash is automatically enabled and synched with the slower shutter speed, so subjects will need to remain still for a few moments after the flash fires to avoid ghost-like after-images. ISO is automatically adjusted by the camera. (For night exposures without the flash, Canon recommends shooting in Landscape mode.)

Sports Mode: This mode uses a faster shutter speed to capture fast-moving subjects. The autofocus mode is automatically set to AI Servo. Drive mode is set to Continuous Shooting, ISO is set to Auto, and metering mode is set to Evaluative. The onboard flash isn't available in this mode (since it can't cycle fast enough to keep up with the continuous exposure mode).

Close-up Mode (Macro Mode): Turning the Mode dial to the macro flower symbol sets the camera for capturing smaller subjects such as flowers, jewelry, and other small details. The autofocus mode is automatically adjusted to One Shot, the drive mode is set to Single Shot, and the metering mode is set to Evaluative. ISO is set to Auto. Close-up mode takes advantage of the current lens' minimum focal distance. However, an EOS dedicated macro lens and the Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX are recommended for better close-up photography. - In our own testing, the Rebel XT's flash throttled down quite well for close-up shots, but the position of the flash head produced somewhat uneven lighting. Also, note that unlike the macro mode on most consumer digital cameras, Macro mode on the XTi has no effect on lens focusing range, as that parameter is entirely determined by the lens being used.

Landscape Mode: Landscape mode combines slower shutter speeds with smaller aperture settings to increase the depth of field when shooting broad vistas and sweeping landscapes. This mode is also good for night scenes without people in them. The built-in flash is automatically disabled, even if it's already raised. Because this mode uses slower shutter speeds, a tripod may be needed in less-bright lighting conditions. Metering is again set to Evaluative and ISO to Auto.

Portrait Mode: This mode uses a large aperture setting to decrease the depth of field, which blurs the background to emphasize the subject. ISO is set to Auto, metering to Evaluative, and AF mode to One Shot. Drive mode is set to Continuous Shooting.

Full Automatic Mode: The final mode in the Basic Zone, Full Automatic is indicated on the Mode dial by a green rectangular outline. In this mode, the camera makes all exposure decisions with the exception of image quality. Autofocus mode is set to AI Focus. (AI Focus evaluates subject movement, automatically sets either one-shot AF or AI Servo AF automatically.) Drive mode is set to Single Shot, ISO is set to Auto, and the metering mode is set to Evaluative.

Program AE: This is the first mode in the Creative Zone of the Mode Dial. Program AE works similarly to the Full Automatic exposure mode, but allows more control over the exposure variables. Aperture and shutter speed are automatically selected by the camera, but you can bias the exposure to larger or smaller apertures by turning the Main dial, which will change the combination of aperture and shutter speed so as to maintain the same exposure value, but with a different combination of aperture/shutter speed. (Personally, I find this sort of vari-program mode more useful than the usual shutter- or aperture-priority modes when I'm wanting to adjust the aperture or shutter speed to control depth of field or subject motion blur. The camera won't let you select a combination of exposure parameters that doesn't work, but you retain all the flexibility of shutter- or aperture-priority exposure modes.)

Shutter-Priority AE: This mode allows you to manually set the shutter speed anywhere from 1/4,000 to 30 seconds, while the camera chooses the best corresponding aperture setting. You have control over all other exposure variables, including exposure compensation.

Aperture-Priority AE: The opposite of Shutter-Priority mode, Aperture-Priority AE allows you to set the lens aperture (with available apertures depending on the lens in use), while the camera selects the most appropriate shutter speed. Again, you have control over all other exposure variables, including exposure compensation.

Manual Exposure: This mode provides the same range of exposure control as the other Creative Zone exposure modes (except for exposure compensation), but lets you control both shutter speed and lens aperture independently. The shutter speed range is extended to include a Bulb setting, allowing long exposures for as long as you hold the Shutter button down. (The rear display reports the elapsed time, from one to 999 seconds, as the exposure progresses.) A display in the viewfinder reports whether the camera thinks your settings will result in under, over, or correctly exposed photos.

Automatic Depth of Field AE: This is the final mode in the Creative Zone, and is meant for taking pictures of large groups of people, landscapes with foreground detail, or any subject with elements of interest at varying distances from the camera. This mode puts the camera in control of both the shutter speed and aperture values, but you can adjust the other exposure variables. (This mode cannot be used if the lens focus mode is set to manual.) When shooting in Automatic Depth of Field AE, the camera sets both the lens aperture and focus distance to achieve a sharp focus over a wide depth of field. It uses the autofocus system to measure the distance to the subjects covered by each of the nine autofocus zones, and then attempts to set the focusing distance and lens aperture so as to render all subject areas in sharp focus. (This is a really useful mode, I wish other manufacturers would steal a page from Canon's playbook on this one.)

Playback Mode: This mode is entered by pressing the Play button on the back panel. Playback mode lets you erase images, protect them, or set them up for printing on DPOF compatible devices. You can also view images in an index display, enlarge images to 10x, view a slide show of all captured images, or rotate an image. The Info button activates an information display, which reports the exposure settings for the image and graphs the exposure values on a small histogram.

 

Canon Rebel XTi Menu Layout

The Rebel XTi's menus are quite similar to those of the XT, but there are a few changes. Since many readers may already be familiar with the XT's menu system, we'll take a quick look at the primary differences.

Shooting Menu 1
Rebel XTi Rebel XT
Entries for AF mode, Metering mode, ISO speed have been dropped from the XTi, since these all appear on the main shooting screen anyway.

Shooting Menu 2
Rebel XTi Rebel XT
Flash exposure compensation now has a scale displayed, white balance option has been moved to main shooting screen, Picture Style replaces Parameters, and Dust Delete Data has been added.

Playback Menu
Rebel XTi Rebel XT
Transfer order has been added, to support automatic transfers to a host computer. Histogram option added, to select between Brightness and RGB histogram displays.

Setup Menu 1
Rebel XTi Rebel XT
Auto power-off has 30 second option added, which is now the default, to help save power. Options added for Auto Rotate. (You can now choose whether to auto-rotate played-back images both on camera and on the computer, or on the computer only.) LCD auto off option has been added to control LCD illumination via the face sensor in the viewfinder eyepiece. The shoot w/o card option has been removed, to make room.

Setup Menu 2
Rebel XTi Rebel XT
The communication setting option has been removed to make room for option to control built-in sensor cleaning.

Custom Function Menu
Rebel XTi Rebel XT
Two new custom functions added:
  • Magnified View: You can now choose to have the camera's instant review display a magnified image, or have manification apply to playback-mode displays only.

  • LCD display when power ON: You can choose to turn off the main shooting display screen by pressing the DISP button. This custom function setting lets you choose whether or not the camera remembers the prior setting when the camera is turned off and back on again.


Canon Rebel XTi Menu Details

Record Menu 1:

Record Menu Options: Screen 1
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Third-Level
Notes
Quality
- 3,888 x 2,592, Fine
- 3,888 x 2,592 Normal
- 2,816 x 1,880, Fine
- 2,816 x 1,880, Normal
- 1,936 x 1,288, Fine
- 1,936 x 1,288, Normal
- RAW + L/F
- RAW
Select image size and quality combination.
Red-eye On/Off
- On
- Off
If On, Red-eye preflash fires with every flash exposure
Beep
- On
- Off
Turns all camera beep sounds on or off
Shoot w/o Card
- On
- Off
If on, the camera will fire the shutter even without a memory card



Record Menu 2:

Record Menu Options: Screen 2
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Third-Level
Notes
AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing)
- Select EV variable
Step sizes from 0.3 to 2.0 EV, total range covers +/- 4 EV, maximum span for a single series is+/-2 EV.
Flash Exposure Compensation
- Select from -2 to +2 EV
White Balance Shift/BKT
- Set the color shift on a 2-dimensional grid (Green/Magenta, Blue/Amber)

- Choose bracket (+/-3 Magenta and Green, +/-3 Blue and Amber)
Custom WB
- Choose image for reference, then set white balance
Color Space
- sRGB
- Adobe RGB
Picture Style
- Standard
- Portrait
- Landscape
- Neutral
- Faithful
- Monochrome
- User Def. 1
- User Def. 2
- User Def. 3
- Sharpness (arbitrary units from 0 to 7)
- Contrast (9 units from - to +)
- Saturation (9 units from - to +)
- Color Tone (9 units from - to +)
Dust Delete Data
- Cancel
- OK

Captures a reference image for the dust reduction system, showing where dust is present on the sensor. Dust shadows can then be automatically removed from the images when they're processed through Canon's software.



Playback Menu:

Playback Menu Options
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Third-Level
Notes
Protect
- Set
Sets or removes protection mark. Protected images can only be deleted by reformatting the memory card
Rotate
- Set
Rotates selected image clockwise, either 90 or 270 degrees
Print Order
- Order
- Setup
- All
Order:
- Select image
- Set number of copies

Setup:
- Print Type (Standard, Index, Both)
- Date (On, Off)
- File No. (On, Off)

All:
- Cancel
- Mark All
- Clear All

Marks images on the memory card for later printing on a DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) compatible printer.
Transfer Order
- Order
- All
Order:
-Select print

All:
- Cancel
- Mark All
- Clear All

For transferring images to a computer. (Computer must be running Canon's EOS Utility software.)
Auto Play
- Start
Automatically plays back captured images on CF card. (No options for time per picture or transitions, each image is shown for about 4 seconds.)
Review Time
- Off
- 2 sec.
- 4 sec.
- 8 sec.
- Hold
Enables an automatic image review after each shot. "Hold" keeps the image displayed until you half-press the shutter button.
Histogram
- Brightness
- RGB

RGB option displays individual histograms for each color channel, brightness shows only a single graph.



Setup 1:

Setup Menu Options: Screen 1
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Third-Level
Notes
Auto Power Off
- 30 sec.
- 1 min.
- 2 min.
- 4 min.
- 8 min.
- 15 min.
- Off

Auto Rotate
- On (Record, Display)
- On (Display)
- Off
Record,Display - vertical images are rotated on both the camera's LCD and on the computer. (In applications that understand "Rotate" tags in the files' EXIF headers.)

Display - vertical images are only rotated on the computer.
LCD Brightness
- Set brightness level from dark to bright
LCD Auto Off
- Enable
- Disable
Controls the sensor that turns off the LCD display when you bring the camera up to your eye.
Date/Time
- Set Date
- Set Time
- Set Display Format
File Numbering
- Continuous
- Auto Reset
- Manual Reset

Continuous numbers image files sequentially.

Auto Reset resets the numbering every time a card is formatted or a new card inserted.

Manual Reset resets numbering at any time to 0001.

Format
- Cancel
- OK
Erases all files on card, even protected ones



Setup 2:

Setup Menu Options: Screen 2
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Third-Level
Notes
Language
- English
- German
- French
- Dutch
- Danish
- Finnish
- Italian
- Norwegian
- Swedish
- Spanish
- Russian
- Simplified Chinese
- Traditional Chinese
- Korean
- Japanese

Video System
- NTSC
- PAL
Custom Function
- Enables Custom Function menu (See Below)
Clear Settings
- Clear All Camera Settings
- Clear All Custom Functions
- Cancel
Sensor Cleaning: Auto
- Clean Now
- Setup
Setup:
- Enable
- Disable
Setup option determines if sensor cleaning occurs automatically when power switch is turned off or on.
Sensor Cleaning: Manual
- Cancel
- OK
OK triggers mirror to lock up so you can clean the sensor manually
Firmware Version
- Update firmware version

Updates firmware version if a properly-prepared CF card is in place



Custom Functions Sub-Menu:

Custom Functions
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Third-Level
Notes
01: Set button/Cross keys function
- 0: SET: Picture Style
- 1: SET: Quality
- 2: SET: Flash exp. comp
- 3: SET: Playback
- 4: Cross keys: AF frame select

Controls the functions of the Set and arrow buttons

02: Long exp. noise reduction
- 0: Off
- 1: Auto
- 2: On
Controls additional noise-reduction processing for exposures 1 second and longer
03: Flash sync. speed in AV mode
- 0: Auto
- 1: 1/200 sec. (fixed)
Auto: Shutter speed may vary from 10 to 1/200 second

1/200: Shutter speed is fixed at this setting

04: Shutter/AE lock button
- 0: AF/AE lock
- 1: AE lock/AF
- 2: AF/AF lock, no AE lock
- 3: AE/AF, no AE lock
Determines the effect of the Shutter and AE lock buttons:

0: * key locks AF and exposure

1: * key locks exposure, shutter half-press locks AF

2: * key stops AF operation momentarily

3: * key stops/starts AI Servo operation in AI Servo mode, exposure set when the shutter is released.

05: AF assist beam
- 0: Emits
- 1: Does not emit
- 2: Only external flash emits
Turns AF assist beam on or off, determines whether it comes from the built-in flash or from an external strobe unit
06: Exposure level increments
- 0: 1/3 stop
- 1: 1/2 stop
07: Mirror lockup
- 0: Disable
- 1: Enable

Raises the mirror with the first press of the shutter button, releases the shutter with the second. (Useful for reducing mirror shake when using a tripod and remote release with a long telephoto lens.)
08: E-TTL II
- 0: Evaluative
- 1: Average

Sets the type of external flash metering
09: Shutter curtain sync.
- 0: 1st curtain sync.
- 1: 2nd curtain sync.

1st curtain: flash fires as shutter opens

2nd curtain: flash fires as shutter closes

10: Magnified view
- 0: Image Playback only
- 1: Image review and playback

Mode 1 lets you see a magnified view of a just-captured image by pressing the Direct Print and Magnify buttons immediately after shooting.
11: LCD display when power on
- 0: Display
- 1: Retain power OFF status

Updates firmware version if appropriate CF card in place

 

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