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Canon EOS Rebel T6i/750D For Dummies

Visit to view this book's cheat sheet.


In 2003, Canon revolutionized the photography world by introducing the first digital SLR camera (dSLR) to sell for less than $1,000, the EOS Digital Rebel/300D. The camera delivered exceptional performance and picture quality, earning it rave reviews and multiple industry awards. No wonder it quickly became a best seller.

That tradition of excellence and value lives on in the EOS Rebel T6i/750D. Like its ancestors, this baby offers a range of controls for experienced photographers plus an assortment of features and tools designed to help beginners be successful. Adding to the fun, the Rebel T6i/750D also offers the option to record full high-definition video.

About This Book

The T6i/750D is so feature-packed that sorting out everything can be a challenge. For starters, you may not even be sure what SLR means, let alone have a clue about all the other terms you encounter in your camera manual — resolution, aperture, and ISO, for example. And if you’re like many people, you may be so overwhelmed by all the controls on your camera that you haven’t yet ventured beyond fully automatic picture-taking mode. That’s a shame because it’s sort of like buying a Porsche Turbo and never pushing it past 50 miles per hour.

Therein lies the point of Canon EOS Rebel T6i/750D For Dummies. In this book, you can discover not only what each bell and whistle on your camera does but also when, where, why, and how to put it to best use. Unlike many photography books, this one doesn’t require any previous knowledge of photography or digital imaging to make sense of concepts, either. In classic For Dummies style, everything is explained in easy-to-understand language, with lots of illustrations to help clear up any confusion.

In short, what you have in your hands is the paperback version of an in-depth photography workshop tailored specifically to your Canon picture-taking powerhouse. Whether your interests lie in taking family photos, exploring nature and travel photography, or snapping product shots for your business, you’ll get the information you need to capture the images you envision.

This book is organized into four parts, each devoted to a different aspect of using your camera. Although chapters flow in a sequence that’s designed to take you from absolute beginner to experienced user, we also tried to make each chapter as self-standing as possible so that you can explore topics that interest you in any order you please.

Additionally, we need to point out a few other details that will help you use this book:

  • Margin art: Replicas of some of your camera’s buttons and onscreen graphics appear in the margins and in some tables. We include these images to provide quick reminders of the appearance of the button or option being discussed.
  • Camera menu and screen options: In many cases, you can select a camera setting by using the cross keys and then pressing the Set button. To avoid having to spell all that out every time we describe a camera function that can be accessed, we use some verbal shorthand and simply tell you to choose the setting in question.
  • Software menu commands: In sections that cover software, a series of words connected by an arrow indicates commands you choose from the program menus. For example, if a step tells you, “Choose File ⇒ Export,” click the File menu to unfurl it and then click the Export command on the menu.

Foolish Assumptions

Although it’s not possible for us to know everything about you — we’re not sure whether orange or blue is your favorite color or whether you have a penchant for mocha lattes or prefer herbal tea — we do tailor the content of this book around a few assumptions. Namely, we assume that you have little or no experience in photography, digital photography, or both, so we explain everything in beginner’s terms. Our goal is to help you take best advantage of your camera, whether you prefer to use Auto mode or built-in scenes, or decide to take on more creative control for yourself.

However, if you are a photo pro but new to the T6i/750D, this book is for you, too: It’ll help you get up and running with your new gear in no time.

Icons Used in This Book

tip A Tip icon flags information that will make your life easier. You’ll save time, effort, money, or other valuable resources, including your sanity.

remember This icon highlights important information that’s especially worth storing in your brain’s long-term memory or to remind you of a fact that may have been displaced from that memory by another pressing fact.

technicalstuff If we present a detail that’s useful mainly for impressing your geeky friends (but otherwise not critical for you to retain), we mark it with this icon.

warning When you see this icon, look alive. It indicates a potential danger zone that can result in much wailing and teeth-gnashing if it’s ignored.

Beyond the Book

We have snuck a bit of extra content online you may find helpful as you get to know your Rebel T6i/750D.

  • The Cheat Sheet for this book is at

    The Cheat Sheet contains a quick-reference guide to all the buttons, dials, switches, and exposure modes on your camera. Log on, print it out, and tuck it in your camera bag for times when you don’t want to carry this book with you.

  • You can find online articles covering additional topics at

  • Updates to this book, if we have any, are at

Where to Go from Here

To wrap up this preamble, we want to stress that if you initially think that digital photography is too confusing or too technical for you, you’re in very good company. Everyone finds this stuff a little mind-boggling at first. Take it slowly, experimenting with just one or two new camera settings or techniques at first. Then, every time you go on a photo outing, make it a point to add one or two more shooting skills to your repertoire. With some time, patience, and practice, you’ll soon wield your camera like a pro, dialing in the necessary settings to capture your creative vision almost instinctively.

So without further ado, we invite you to grab your camera and a cup of whatever it is you prefer to sip while you read and then start exploring the rest of this book. Your Rebel T6i/750D is the perfect partner for your photographic journey, and we thank you for allowing us, in this book, to serve as your tour guides.

Part I

Fast Track to Super Snaps


webextra Visit for more great For Dummies content online.

In this part …

check.png Familiarize yourself with the basics of using your camera, from attaching lenses to navigating menus.

check.png Try out Live View versus traditional viewfinder photography.

check.png Find out how to select the exposure mode, Drive mode, and Image Quality (resolution and file type), and monitor important settings while shooting.

check.png Discover options available for flash photography.

check.png Get step-by-step help with shooting your first pictures in Scene Intelligent Auto mode.

check.png Take more creative control by using scene modes and Creative Auto mode.

Chapter 1

Getting Up and Running

In This Chapter

arrow Preparing the camera for its first outing

arrow Getting acquainted with camera features

arrow Viewing and adjusting camera settings

arrow Setting a few basic preferences


If you’re like many people, shooting for the first time with an SLR (single-lens reflex) camera produces a blend of excitement and anxiety. On one hand, you can’t wait to start using your new equipment, but on the other, you’re a little intimidated by all its buttons, dials, and menu options.

Well, fear not: This chapter provides the information you need to start getting comfortable with your Rebel T6i/750D. The first section walks you through initial camera setup; following that, you can get an overview of camera controls, discover how to view and adjust camera settings, work with lenses and memory cards, and get our take on some basic setup options.

Preparing the Camera for Initial Use

After unpacking your camera, you have to assemble a few parts. In addition to the camera body and the supplied battery (be sure to charge it before the first use), you need a lens and a memory card. Later sections in this chapter provide details about lenses and memory cards, but here’s what you need to know up front:

  • Lens: Your camera accepts Canon EF and EF-S model lenses; the 18–55mm kit lens sold as a bundle with the camera body falls into the EF-S category. If you want to buy a non-Canon lens, check the lens manufacturer’s website to find out which lenses work with your camera.
  • SD (Secure Digital), SDHC, or SDXC memory card: The SD stands for Secure Digital; the HC and XC for High Capacity and eXtended Capacity. The different labels reflect how many gigabytes (GB) of data the card holds. SD cards hold less than 4GB; SDHC, 4GB to 32GB; and SDXC, greater than 32GB.

With camera, lens, battery, and card within reach, take these steps:

  1. Turn the camera off.
  2. Attach a lens.

    First, remove the caps that cover the front of the camera and the back of the lens. Then locate the proper lens mounting index on the camera body. Your camera has two of these markers, one red and one white, as shown in Figure 1-1. Which marker you use to align your lens depends on the lens type:

    • Canon EF-S lens: The white square is the mounting index.
    • Canon EF lens: The red dot is the mounting index.

    Your lens also has a mounting index; align that mark with the matching one on the camera body, as shown in Figure 1-1. Place the lens on the camera mount and rotate the lens toward the lens-release button, labeled in the figure. You should feel a solid click as the lens locks into place.

  3. Install the battery into the compartment on the bottom of the camera.

    Hold the battery with the contacts down and slide it into the compartment. If you’re using the supplied LP-E17 battery, the Canon imprint faces the front of the camera, and the fine print faces the back. Gently push the battery in until the light gray lock clicks in place, as shown in Figure 1-2.

  4. Make sure the camera is turned off and then insert a memory card into the compartment on the side of the camera.

    Open the memory card door and orient the memory card so that the notched corner is on top and the label faces the back of the camera. Push the card gently into the slot and close the cover. Figure 1-3 shows the door open and card partially inserted into the slot.

    remember Just above the card door is the card-access light, labeled in Figure 1-3, which lights while the camera is accessing the card, either to read existing data or record the last picture you shot. After you take a picture, make sure that the light is off, indicating that the picture data has made its way to the memory card, before you turn the camera off.

  5. Rotate the monitor to the desired viewing position.

    When you first take the camera out of its box, the monitor is positioned with the screen facing inward, protecting it from scratches and smudges, as shown on the left in Figure 1-4. Gently lift the right side of the monitor up and away from the camera back. You can then rotate the monitor to move it into the traditional position on the camera back, as shown on the right in the figure. Or swing the monitor out to get a different viewing angle, as shown in Figure 1-5.

  6. Turn the camera on.
  7. Set the language, time zone, and date.

    When you power up the camera for the first time, the monitor displays a screen asking you to set the date, time, and time zone. The date/time information is included as metadata (hidden data) in the picture file. You can view metadata in some playback display modes (see Chapter 9) and in certain photo programs, including Canon Digital Photo Professional. (Refer to Chapter 10.)

    tip The easiest way to adjust the settings is to use the touch screen, which is enabled by default. Just tap an option to select it and then tap the up/down arrows at the bottom of the screen to set the value for that option. Finally, tap the OK icon to exit the screen. You also can adjust settings by using the Set button and the four keys surrounding it, known as cross keys and labeled in Figure 1-5. Press the left/right cross keys to highlight a setting, press Set to activate the option, press the up/down cross keys to change the value, and then press Set again to finalize the change.

    (You can find details about using the touch screen and adjusting camera settings later in this chapter.)

  8. Adjust the viewfinder to your eyesight.

    warning This step is critical; if you don’t set the viewfinder to your eyesight, subjects that appear out of focus in the viewfinder might actually be in focus, and vice versa. If you wear glasses while shooting, adjust the viewfinder with your glasses on.

    You control viewfinder focus through the dial labeled on the left side of Figure 1-6. (In official lingo, it’s called the diopter adjustment dial.) After taking off the lens cap, follow these steps:

    1. Look through the viewfinder and notice the thin black lines near the center of the frame.

      Labeled in Figure 1-6, the lines represent the boundaries of the autofocus area (the portion of the frame that the camera considers when setting focus). If you can’t make out the lines, point the lens at a light-colored surface so that they’re easier to see.

      You also can press the shutter button halfway to display shooting data at the bottom of the viewfinder, as shown in the figure. In dim lighting, the built-in flash may pop up when you press the shutter button halfway; ignore it for now and close the flash after you adjust the viewfinder.

    2. Rotate the adjustment dial until the viewfinder markings and data appear sharpest.

      Ignore the scene you see through the lens; that won’t change because you’re not actually focusing the camera.

    Can’t get the display sharp enough? You may need an adapter that enables further adjustment of the viewfinder. Look for an E-series dioptric adjustment lens adapter. Prices range from about $15–$30 depending on the magnification you need.


Figure 1-1: Align the mounting index on the lens with the one on the camera body.


Figure 1-2: Push the battery down until it clicks in place.


Figure 1-3: Insert the memory card with the label facing the back of the camera.


Figure 1-4: Here are just two possible monitor positions.


Figure 1-5: You also can rotate the monitor away from the camera to find just the right viewing angle.


Figure 1-6: Use this dial to adjust the viewfinder focus to your eyesight.

That’s all there is to it — the camera is now ready to go. From here, we recommend that you keep reading the rest of this chapter to familiarize yourself with the main camera features, especially the touch screen and menu system. But if you’re anxious to take a picture right away, we won’t think any less of you if you skip to Chapter 3, which guides you through the process of using the camera’s automatic shooting modes. Just promise that at some point, you’ll read the pages in between, because they actually do contain important information.

Using the Touch Screen

Your camera’s touch screen works much like the ones found on smartphones and other touch-based devices, such as an Apple iPad. When the touch screen is enabled, as it is by default, you can simply touch the monitor to choose menu commands, change picture settings, scroll through your pictures, and more.

Throughout the book, we tell you where and how to touch the screen to perform a certain task. For now, just familiarize yourself with these touch screen moves, called gestures by those who feel the need to assign names to things such as this:

  • Tap: Tap your finger on a screen item to select it. Give it a try: First, press the Menu button to display the menu screen on the monitor, as shown on the left in Figure 1-7. Along the top of the screen, you see one highlighted icon, representing the current menu, and a row of dimmed icons representing other menus. On the left side of Figure 1-7, Shooting Menu 1 is the current menu. To switch to another menu, tap its icon. For example, tap the icon for Setup Menu 2, labeled on the left in the figure, and that menu appears, as shown on the right.
  • Drag: Drag your finger up, down, right, or left across the screen, according to our instruction. To try this gesture, first display Setup Menu 2 and tap the LCD Brightness item, shown on the left in Figure 1-8. Now you see the screen shown on the right, with a thumbnail view of the last image you shot. Now drag your finger across the scale at the bottom of the screen to adjust the screen brightness. Reset the marker to the middle of the bar after you’re done playing around — the default brightness setting is best for giving you an accurate indication of picture brightness.

    On this particular screen, you see suns at either end of the scale. You can also tap them to raise or lower the value represented on the scale. Either way, tap the Set icon to implement the setting and return to the menu.

  • Swipe: Drag a finger quickly across the screen. You use this gesture, known in some circles as a flick, to scroll through your pictures in playback mode.
  • Pinch in/pinch out: To pinch in, place your thumb at one edge of the screen and your pointer finger at the other. Then drag both toward the center of the screen. To pinch out, start in the center of the screen and swipe both fingers outward. Pinching is how you zoom in and out on pictures during playback.

Figure 1-7: Tap the Setup Menu 2 icon to display that menu.


Figure 1-8: Tap the LCD Brightness item (left) and then drag left or right across a scale to adjust the setting (right).

tip You can control two aspects of touch screen behavior:

  • Adjust (or disable) the touch screen response: You can choose from three settings, accessed via the Touch Control option, found on Setup Menu 3 and shown in Figure 1-9.

    • Standard: This setting is the default. The touch screen is enabled and is set to respond to a “normal” amount of pressure. (Don’t ask us how the Powers That Be decided what that pressure level is — we don’t get invited to those conferences.)
    • Sensitive: This setting makes the touch screen more, er, touchy. That is, it responds to lighter touch. Oddly, though, Canon says that the camera may be slower to respond to a very quick tap at this setting. Your mileage may vary.
    • Disable: Select this setting to disable the touch screen function.

      remember To restore the touch function, use the alternative menu selection techniques that we explain in the next section to access the Touch Control option and change the setting back to Standard or Sensitive.

    warning According to the manual, the Sensitive setting simply provides a “more reactive touch response than Standard.” Don’t confuse this with pressure sensitivity, which is how hard you press on the screen. Canon explicitly states that the monitor is not pressure sensitive and can be broken by sharp objects such as fingernails and pens.

  • Drive people crazy with touch screen sounds: Here’s an option that you can use when you’re in the mood to annoy people within earshot of your camera: Tell the camera to emit a little “boop” sound every time you tap a touch-controlled setting. To do so, visit Shooting Menu 1, and look for the Beep setting, shown in Figure 1-10. The option that keeps the boop silent is Touch to Silence — silence indicated by a little speaker with a slash through it — as shown in the figure. Change the option to Enable to turn on the sound effect. The Disable setting turns off both the touch screen sound and the normal beep tone that occurs when the camera finds its focus point.

Figure 1-9: Control the touch screen response through this menu item.


Figure 1-10: Set the Beep option to Touch to Silence to prevent the camera from making a sound when you tap a touch-controlled item.

One final point about the touch screen: If you connect the camera to a TV or monitor, the touch screen will still work as long as it’s enabled. Just make sure to touch the camera, not the TV. Don’t fret; if you would rather use the old-fashioned button-push method of selecting menu options and playing back photos or movies, you can.

Ordering from Camera Menus

You access many camera features via menus, which are described briefly in Table 1-1. As the table indicates, though, some menus appear only when you set the Mode dial to one of the advanced exposure modes (P, Tv, Av, and M). Similarly, when you switch to Movie mode, the Live View menu disappears and is replaced by two Movie menus, which offer movie-recording options. Shooting Menu 1 loses a few options as well.

Table 1-1 Rebel T6i/750D Menus


Open This Menu

To Access These Functions


Shooting Menu 1

Image Quality setting, Red-Eye Reduction flash mode, and a few other basic shooting settings


Shooting Menu 2*

Advanced shooting options such as automatic exposure bracketing, metering mode, and color controls


Shooting Menu 3*

Options for enabling the Dust Delete Data, Auto ISO limits, and noise reduction features


Live View Menu***

Live View photography options


Movie Menu 1**

Movie focusing, display, and exposure metering options


Movie Menu 2**

More movie settings, including recording size, sound recording, and video snapshot settings


Playback Menu 1

Basic playback features, including protecting, rotating, and erasing images; also contains the Creative Filters and image-resizing features


Playback Menu 2

Additional playback features, including picture rating, slide shows, histogram display, image jump, and HDMI control


Setup Menu 1

Memory-card formatting, Wi-Fi options, and basic customization options, such as the file-numbering system and automatic image rotation


Setup Menu 2

More customization options, such as power and LCD settings, date/time, and interface language


Setup Menu 3

Touch-control options, battery information, sensor cleaning, and other customization options


Setup Menu 4*

Custom Functions, copyright embedding, firmware information, and options for resetting camera functions to factory defaults


My Menu*

User-customized menu setup

tip In case you didn’t notice, the icons that represent the menus are color-coded. The Shooting, Live View, and Movie menus have red icons; the Setup menus sport yellow icons; the Playback menus have a blue symbol; and the My Menu icon is green. (Chapter 11 explains the My Menu feature, through which you can create your own, custom menu.)

Here are the basics you need to know to navigate menus and select menu options:

  • Display menus: Press the Menu button. A screen similar to the one shown in Figure 1-11 appears. Along the top of the screen, you see the icons shown in Table 1-1, each representing a menu. (Remember that the setting of the Mode dial determines which icons appear.)

    The highlighted icon marks the active menu; options on that menu appear automatically on the main part of the screen. In Figure 1-11, Shooting Menu 1 is active, for example. The number of dots above the icon tells you the menu number — one dot for Shooting Menu 1, two dots for Shooting Menu 2, and so on.

  • Select a different menu: You have these options:
    • Touch screen: Tap the menu icon.
    • Cross keys or Main dial: Press the right or left cross keys or rotate the Main dial to scroll through the menu icons. (Remember, the cross keys are the four keys that surround the Set button. The Main dial is the wheel on top of the camera.)
  • Select and adjust a menu setting: Again, you have a choice of techniques:

    • Touch screen: Tap the menu item to display options related to that item. The current setting is highlighted and shown in blue. Tap the setting you want to use. On some settings screens, you see a Set icon; tap that icon to exit the settings screen and return to the previous menu page.
    • Cross keys and Set button: Press the up or down cross key to highlight the feature you want to adjust. Then press the Set button to display the available options. Use the cross keys to highlight your preferred setting and press the Set button again to lock in your choice.

    tip You can mix and match techniques, by the way: For example, even if you access a menu option via the control keys, you can use the touch screen techniques to select a setting.

  • Navigate Custom Functions: When you select Custom Functions from Setup Menu 4, you delve into four submenus containing advanced settings. Initially, you see a screen similar to the one shown on the left in Figure 1-12. Some explanation may help you make sense of these screens:

    • Custom Functions are grouped into four categories: Exposure, Image, Autofocus/Drive, and Operation/Others. The category number and name appear in the upper-left corner of the screen.
    • The number of the selected function appears in the upper-right corner. Custom Function 1 is indicated in Figure 1-12.
    • Settings for the current function appear in the middle of the screen. The blue text indicates the current setting. The default setting is represented by the number 0.
    • Numbers at the bottom of the screen show you the current setting for all Custom Functions. The top row of numbers represents the Custom Functions, with the currently selected function indicated with a tiny horizontal bar over the number. The lower row shows the number of the current setting for each Custom Function; again, 0 represents the default. So in the figure, all the Custom Functions are currently using the default settings.

    To scroll from one Custom Function to the next, press the left or right cross keys or tap the left or right scroll arrow at the top of the screen (shown on the left in Figure 1-13). When you reach the setting you want to adjust, tap it or press the Set button. Then tap the option you want to use or use the cross keys to highlight it. Finally, tap the Set icon, labeled on the right in Figure 1-13, or press the Set button.

    Note that in some cases, you need to scroll the menu screen to view all the available choices. To do so, press the up/down cross keys or tap the up/down arrows on the right side of the screen. Also check out the Menu symbol at the bottom of the screen on the left in Figure 1-13. You can tap this symbol or press the Menu button to exit the Custom Functions page and return to Setup Menu 4.

  • Exit menus and return to shooting: Press the shutter button halfway and release it or press the Menu button again.

Figure 1-11: You can access all menus only when the Mode dial is set to P, Tv, Av, or M.


Figure 1-12: The Custom Functions menu screens are divided into several important areas.


Figure 1-13: You can use these touch screen features when choosing options from Custom Function screens.

remember To save space in this book, we don’t spell out the button-push and touch screen steps for selecting menu items. Instead, we just tell you to “choose option x” unless there is some special tap or button press involved.