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Going Topside

The top surface of the Canon EOS Rebel T3 has a few frequently accessed controls of its own. The key controls, shown in Figure 3.11, are as follows:

  • Mode Dial. Rotate this dial to switch among Basic Zone, Creative Zone, and Movie modes. You’ll find these modes and options described in more detail in Chapters 4 and 6.

    Figure 3.11.  

  • Sensor focal plane. Precision macro and scientific photography sometimes requires knowing exactly where the focal plane of the sensor is. The symbol on the top side of the camera, to the left of the viewfinder, marks that plane.

  • Flash accessory/hot shoe. Slide an electronic flash into this mount when you need a more powerful Speedlite. A dedicated flash unit, like those from Canon, can use the multiple contact points shown to communicate exposure, zoom setting, white balance information, and other data between the flash and the camera. There’s more on using electronic flash in Chapter 11.

  • Main Dial. This dial is used to make many shooting settings. When settings come in pairs (such as shutter speed/aperture in manual shooting mode), the Main Dial is used for one (for example, shutter speed), while some other control, such as the AV button+Main Dial (when shooting in manual exposure mode) is used for the other (aperture).

  • Shutter release button. Partially depress this button to lock in exposure and focus. Press all the way to take the picture. Tapping the shutter release when the camera has turned off the autoexposure and autofocus mechanisms reactivates both. When a review image is displayed on the back-panel color LCD, tapping this button removes the image from the display and reactivates the autoexposure and autofocus mechanisms.

  • On/Off switch. Flip forward to turn the Rebel T3 on, and back to turn it off again.

  • Flash button. I described this button earlier in the chapter, along with the pop-up flash. As I noted, pressing this button releases the built-in flash in Creative Zone and Creative Auto modes. If you decide you do not want to use the flash, you can turn it off by pressing the flash head back down. This button can be reprogrammed to produce the ISO screen using Custom Function C.Fn. IV-09, as described in Chapter 9. If you redefine this button, you can still raise the built-in flash using the Quick Control screen, described later in this chapter.

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