Canon Rebel T1i Modes and Menus

The mode dial on the right side of the Canon T1i's top panel lets you select various exposure modes, with the same range of options presented as on the preceding Rebel XSi, but with two additions, and borrowing the black-on-silver color scheme from the EOS-50D. 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 Canon T1i's Creative zone includes the new setting for Creative Auto, plus Programmed exposure, Shutter priority, Aperture priority, full Manual control, and the Automatic Depth of Field mode. The new Movie mode is at the "Basic" end of the mode dial's range, but we'll consider it to be an entirely separate mode, rather than part of the Canon T1i's Basic set.


Here's a description of each of the Canon T1i's shooting modes:

Movie Recording Mode: The first option on the Canon T1i's Mode dial is the new Movie mode. When Movie mode is selected, the camera's mirror and shutter open, as in Live View mode, but the Print/Share/LiveView/Movie button on the camera's back functions as the start/stop button for movie recording. Like other movie-capable SLR cameras on the market, the Canon T1i can't autofocus during movie operation, so you must use the AF/AE lock button on the rear panel to set focus before you begin recording. Movie recording capacity varies based on the size of memory card you're using, but is in all cases limited to a maximum of 29 minutes and 59 seconds. (That's thanks to European tax regulations, but as it turns out, the 4GB limit on video file sizes will in practice restrict you to shorter movie clips anyway.)

Flash Off Mode: Proceeding around the Mode Dial in a clockwise direction, 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. In a nice touch, the ISO that the Canon T1i has chosen is displayed on the rear-panel display, something you don't always see in auto-ISO modes.

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 Canon T1i's 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 Canon T1i's 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 Canon T1i. (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 biased towards higher settings, to give faster shutter speeds), and metering mode is set to Evaluative. The Canon T1i's onboard flash isn't available in this mode because it can't cycle fast enough to keep up with the continuous exposure mode.

Close-up Mode (Macro Mode): Turning the Canon T1i's 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's minimum focal distance. However, an EOS dedicated macro lens and the Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX are recommended for better close-up photography. Also, note that unlike the macro mode on most consumer digicams, Macro mode on the Canon T1i 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 Canon T1i's 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. The Canon T1i's 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 Canon T1i's 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, 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.

Creative Auto Mode: For the first mode in the Creative Zone, Canon borrowed the Creative Auto (or "CA") we first saw on the 50D for the new Canon T1i. The CA mode is something of a cross between the green zone and program mode.

When set to CA mode, the Canon T1i allows the user to adjust the flash mode, picture style, motor drive, and exposure compensation, as well as to use the program shift function and select between RAW or JPEG file formats (including several image size/quality options for JPEGs), but the rest of the more complex features remain under automatic control. The Canon T1i's rear-panel LCD display offers text help for each setting while in CA mode, for example prompting the user as to whether they want to blur the background with program shift, or make the picture brighter / darker with exposure compensation, etc. The exposure steps shown on the rear-panel display appear to represent 1/3-stop increments/decrements.

Program AE: The second mode in the Creative Zone of the Mode Dial, Program AE works similarly to the Full Automatic and Creative Auto exposure modes, but allows more control over the exposure variables than does Auto mode. The Canon T1i's 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 Canon T1i 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 Canon T1i 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 Canon T1i's Shutter button down. (The rear display reports the elapsed time in minutes and seconds as the exposure progresses.) A display in the viewfinder reports whether the Canon T1i 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 Canon T1i in control of both the shutter speed and aperture values, but you can adjust the other exposure variables. (Note that this mode cannot be used if the lens focus mode is set to manual.) When shooting in Automatic Depth of Field AE, the Canon T1i 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.

Playback Mode: Activated 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 and PictBridge-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 Canon T1i's DISP button activates an information display, which reports the exposure settings for the image; a second press graphs the exposure values on a small luminance histogram, and another press displays both the luminance and separate Red, Green, and Blue histograms.


Canon T1i Menu Layout

The Canon T1i's menus are quite similar to those of the XSi, but there are a few changes. Since many readers may already be familiar with the XSi's menu system, we'll take a quick look at the primary differences.

One thing that will be apparent here is that many menus on the Canon T1i have more items on them than we saw on the XSi. Despite the increased density, we found the menus of the Canon T1i to be wonderfully readable: The super-high resolution of its LCD makes even small menu text very crisp.

Shooting Menu 1
Rebel XSi Rebel T1i
Changes here include the addition of Peripheral Illumination Correction (by which the Canon T1i can compensate for shading or vignetting in images), and a flash control sub-menu, which holds an extended range of options for flash operation. The ordering of some items has also been changed.

Shooting Menu 2
Rebel XSi Rebel T1i
Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB) has been changed to Expo.comp./AEB, and Flash exposure compensation is gone (moved to the Flash Control submenu of the first Shooting menu screen). Metering Mode has also been added here.

Playback Menu
Rebel XSi Rebel T1i
The Playback menu on the Canon T1i actually became somewhat simpler, as Histogram, Brightness, and Auto Play functions have been moved elsewhere.

Setup Menu 1
Rebel XSi Rebel T1i
The Canon T1i's Setup Menu 1 is essentially identical, the only difference being that the four color schemes available under the Screen Color option are different from those on the XSi.

Setup Menu 2
Rebel XSi Rebel T1i
The Canon T1i's Setup Menu 2 is also essentially identical, the only obvious change being that Flash Control has moved to the first Shooting Menu screen. A speech bubble graphic now accompanies the Language menu item, making it easier to find if you accidentally change to a language that you cannot read.

Setup Menu 3
Rebel T1i
The Canon T1i's third Setup Menu page is identical to that of the XSi.

Custom Function Menu
Rebel XSi Rebel T1i
The Canon T1i has 13 custom function settings, as did the XSi before it, but the T1i's C.Fn. menu incorporates two changes relative to the earlier model:
  • ISO expansion is now included. The normal ISO range extends to 3,200, with High ISO Expansion enabled, though, options of 6,400 and H are added, the H setting corresponding to an ISO level of 12,800.
  • To make room for the ISO expansion option, the AF during Live View shooting option (previously C.Fn. 8) has been dropped from the C.Fn. menu, and moved instead to the Quick Menu in Live View shooting mode. (Where it makes much more sense, as this a function you'll probably want to change fairly frequently, depending on the type of subject you're shooting.)

My Menu
Rebel XSi
The Canon T1i's My Menu, where you can define and access your own most commonly used settings, is the same as on the XSi.

Canon Rebel T1i Menu Details

Record Menu 1:

Record Menu Options: Screen 1
- 4752 x 3168, Fine
- 4752 x 3168, Normal
- 3456 x 2304, Fine
- 3456 x 2304, Normal
- 2352 x 1568 Fine
- 2352 x 1568, Normal
Select image size and quality combination.
- On
- Off
Turns camera beep sounds on or off.
Release shutter without card
- Enable
- Disable
If enabled, the camera will fire the shutter even without a memory card installed.
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.
Peripheral illumination correction
If on, the camera corrects for corner shading "vignetting" in JPEGs, depending on which lens is detected (therefore, probably won't work with third-party lenses).
Red-eye On/Off
- On
- Off
If On, Red-eye reduction lamp illuminates with every flash exposure.
Flash control
-Flash Firing
- Enable
- Disable

Controls a vast array of flash settings for both the internal flash and any attached external flash unit.
- Built-in Flash Func. Setting
- Flash Mode
- Shutter Sync
- Flash Exp. Comp.
- External Flash Func. Setting

- Flash Mode
- Shutter Sync
- Flash Exp. Comp.
- Zoom

- External Flash C.Fn. Setting
- Enable
- Disable
- Clear Ext. Flash C.Fn. Set

Record Menu 2:

Record Menu Options: Screen 2
Exposure compensation / AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing)
- Select EV variable
+/-2 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 steps; +/-4 EV scale for AEB.
Metering mode
- Evaluative
- Partial
- Spot
- Center-weighted
Custom WB
- Choose image for reference, then set white balance
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)
One level of correction is equal to 5 mireds of a color temperature conversion filter.
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 1:

Playback Menu Options: Screen 1
Protect images
- Set
Sets or removes protection mark. Protected images can only be deleted by reformatting the memory card.
- Set
Rotates selected image clockwise, either 90 or 270 degrees.
Erase images
- Select and erase images
- All images on card
Print order
- Sel. Image
- All image
- Set up
Marks images on the memory card for later printing on a DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) compatible printer.
Transfer order
- Sel. Image
- All image
For transferring images to a computer. (Computer must be running Canon's EOS Utility software.)


Playback Menu 2:

Playback Menu Options: Screen 2
- Brightness

RGB option displays individual histograms for each color channel, brightness shows only a single graph.
Slide show
- Select images
- All images
- Folder
- Date
Sets up Slide Show feature. Users can choose to play all folders, one folder, or just photos taken on a particular date. The Menu button stops playback.
- Setup
- Play time
- Repeat
- Start
Image jump w/ dial
- 1 image
- 10 images
- 100 images
- Date
- Movies
- Stills
Selects how image jump works using the Main Dial.


Setup Menu 1:

Setup Menu Options: Screen 1
Auto power off
- 30 sec.
- 1 min.
- 2 min.
- 4 min.
- 8 min.
- 15 min.
- Off
Amount of time to wait before automatically turning off to save power.
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.

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.
- Cancel
- OK
- option for Low level format
Erases all files on card, even protected ones.
LCD auto off
- Enable
- Disable
Controls the sensor that turns off the LCD display when you bring the camera up to your eye.
Screen color
- Select from 4 screen color schemes
- OK

Setup Menu 2:

Setup Menu Options: Screen 2
LCD brightness
- Set brightness level from darkest to brightest
Seven brightness settings.
- Set Date
- Set Time
- Set Display Format
- English
- German
- French
- Dutch
- Danish
- Portuguese
- Finnish
- Italian
- Norwegian
- Swedish
- Spanish
- Greek
- Russian
- Polish
- Hungarian
- Czech
- Simplified Chinese
- Traditional Chinese
- Korean
- Japanese
- Romanian
- Turkish
- Ukrainian
- Thai

Video system
Sensor cleaning
- Auto cleaning
- Enable
- Disable

Auto cleaning options determines if sensor cleaning occurs automatically when power switch is turned off or on.
- Clean now
- Cancel
- OK
- Clean manually
- Cancel
- OK
OK triggers mirror to lock up so you can clean the sensor manually.
Live View function settings
- Live View shoot
- Enable
- Disable

Along with three types of autofocus ("Live" mode uses contrast-detect AF from image sensor data, "Face detect" mode adds face-detection, while "Quick" mode uses the dedicated phase-detect AF module), you can manually focus in Live View mode. Up to 10x magnification is available to assist in critical manual focusing.
- Grid display
- Off
- Grid 1
- Grid 2
- Metering timer
- 4 sec
- 16 sec
- 30 sec
- 1 min.
- 10 min.
- 30 min.
- AF mode
- Live mode
- Face detect live mode
- Quick mode

Setup Menu 3:

Setup Menu Options: Screen 3
Custom Functions
- Goes to Custom Function menu (See Below)
Clear Settings
- Clear all camera settings
- Clear all Custom Func. (C.Fn)
- Cancel
Firmware Version
- Update firmware version

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

Custom Functions Sub-Menu:

Custom Functions
C.Fn I: Exposure
1: Exposure level increments
- 0: 1/3 stop
- 1: 1/2 stop
C.Fn I: Exposure
2: ISO Expansion
- 0: Off
- 1: On
When enabled, options of 6,400 and H are added, the H setting corresponding to an ISO level of 12,800.
C.Fn I: Exposure
3: Flash sync. speed in AV mode
- 0: Auto
- 1: 1/200-1/60sec Auto
- 2: 1/200 sec. (fixed)
Auto: Shutter speed may vary from 30 to 1/200 second.

1/200: Shutter speed is fixed at this setting.

C.Fn II: Image
4: Long exp. noise reduction
- 0: Off
- 1: Auto
- 2: On
Controls additional noise-reduction processing for exposures 1 second and longer.
C.Fn II: Image
5: High ISO speed noise reduct'n
- 0: Standard
- 1: Low
- 2: Strong
- 3: Disable
Enables additional noise-reduction. Applied at all ISOs, but particularly effective at reducing chroma noise at higher ISOs, or shadow noise at lower ISOs.
C.Fn II: Image
6: Highlight tone priority
- 0: Disable
- 1: Enable
Enables Highlight tone priority, which helps retain highlight detail in JPEGs. ISO range is 200-1600.
C.Fn II: Image
7: Auto Lighting Optimizer
- 0: Standard
- 1: Low
- 2: Strong
- 3: Disable
Enables Auto Lighting Optimizer which optimizes brightness and contrast for JPEGs automatically.
C.Fn III: Auto focus / Drive
8: AF assist beam firing
- 0: Enables
- 1: Disable
- 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.
C.Fn III: Auto focus / Drive
9: 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 or macro lens.)
C.Fn IV: Operation / Others
10: 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: * button locks AF and exposure.

1: * button autofocuses, shutter half-press locks exposure.

2: * button stops AF operation momentarily in AI Servo mode, exposure set when the shutter is released.

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

C.Fn IV: Operation / Others
11: SET button when shooting
- 0: Quick Control Screen
- 1: Image quality
- 2: Flash exposure comp.
- 3: LCD monitor On/Off
- 4: Menu display
- 5: Disabled
Controls the functions of the SET button in record mode.
C.Fn IV: Operation / Others
12: LCD display when power on
- 0: Display
- 1: Retain power OFF status

Controls whether the LCD active state is remembered or forces it on when camera is powered-up.
C.Fn IV: Operation / Others
13: Add original decision data
- 0: Off
- 1: On

Add original decision data On option appends data to verify an original image. Original Data Security Kit (OSK-E3) required to verify image is original is sold separately

My Menu:

My Menu Options
- (Full list of options that can exist in My Menu)
Register your own frequently used menu items and custom functions to appear in My Menu.
Changes the order of registered items in My Menu.
Delete all items
Display from My Menu
- Enable
- Disable
When Enabled, the My Menu tab is displayed first when pressing the Menu button.




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