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I'm a rookie and need all the help I can get.

rimshot
Occasional Contributor

Greetings, I too have a Canon T5 Rebel and have a million questions.  I'll start with only one though.  When I have the camera and lens set to auto and I'm shooting indoors with low light, using the screen to see the shot, the square in the screen turns kind of orange and the camera won't focus or shoot. The lens tries to focus by going in and out a couple times then stops and the shutter won't engage. Is this operator error?  Or should I be contacting Canon? ...Thanks for any help. 

8 REPLIES 8

cicopo
Esteemed Contributor

NORMAL. The camera won't take the shot until the AF locks onto something.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."

rimshot
Occasional Contributor

I would think that in fully auto mode it would lock on, just pop the flash up and take the shot.  I'm just now learning SLR's but it seems like I would be missing a lot of shots trying to get it to lock on.  The light wasn't that low either.  I'm determined to learn how to set it manually but I'd like to be able to get shots quickly on auto. I'll be retireing pretty soon and will spend countless hours learning.

cicopo
Esteemed Contributor

Full Auto is not the best mode to start in. The AF however doesn't care which mode you're in but needs something with contrast for it to lock onto. Even outdoors trying to lock focus on a shiny car can be a bit of a task at times. Unless you're intent on natural light in low light situations set the camera to Program mode, enable the flash & set the camera to use the AF Assist beam. Also if you will take my advice learn how to use Exposure Compensation as well as Flash Exposure Compensation which will both make your life much easier when learning how to get better photos. THEY DON'T WORK IN AUTO.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."

RobertTheFat
Honored Contributor

@cicopo wrote:

Full Auto is not the best mode to start in. The AF however doesn't care which mode you're in but needs something with contrast for it to lock onto. Even outdoors trying to lock focus on a shiny car can be a bit of a task at times. Unless you're intent on natural light in low light situations set the camera to Program mode, enable the flash & set the camera to use the AF Assist beam. Also if you will take my advice learn how to use Exposure Compensation as well as Flash Exposure Compensation which will both make your life much easier when learning how to get better photos. THEY DON'T WORK IN AUTO.


Huh?? I thought it was that they work only in auto. Hasn't there been at least one recent thread browbeating Canon for not letting EC work in manual mode on the 5D3? The answer, from those who disagreed, was that EC is superfluous in manual mode.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

amfoto1
Reputable Contributor

@RobertTheFat wrote:

@cicopo wrote:

 Also if you will take my advice learn how to use Exposure Compensation as well as Flash Exposure Compensation which will both make your life much easier when learning how to get better photos. THEY DON'T WORK IN AUTO.


Huh?? I thought it was that they work only in auto. Hasn't there been at least one recent thread browbeating Canon for not letting EC work in manual mode on the 5D3? The answer, from those who disagreed, was that EC is superfluous in manual mode.


Exposure compensation and flash exposure compensation do work in auto exposure modes (Av, Tv, P). Exposure compensation is a means of overriding the auto exposure settings of the camera, to correct for some inherent "errors" that occur with any reflective metering system.

 

They don't work in "full auto" mode (SCN or Scene modes, A+, the "Green box"), which seems to be what the original poster is using.

 

And, yes, they also don't work in manual mode (M and B). EC and FEC are unnecessary because there's nothing to compensate for, when setting the camera manually.

 

Auto focus likely was failing due to too low light conditions. It is possible to use the camera's built-in flash, set to emit  Focus Assist (fast, bright white light flashes), to help out in these situations.  Many accessory flashes or an ST-E2 flash controller also can emit a Focus Assist (near IR light). A "faster" lens... one with a larger aperture (f1.4, f1.8, f2.0, f2.8)... also would likely help. Not sure about the T5 in particular, but on many Canon it also can help to set the focus so that only the center AF point is used. On many Canon models the center point is more sensitive than the others.

 

"Rookie", I would highly recommend you get one of the guide books specifically for your camera. If you search "Rebel T5" on Amazon you should find a number of them. These complement the instruction manual, another good source of info. I always buy a guide book, for any new camera. It just makes getting up to speed with it and using it well a much faster and easier process. Cameras are very complex devices!

 

There are quite likely other good ones, but I read have read and can recommend guide books written by Michael Guncheon, Charlotte Lowry and David Busch. You also can likely find good tutorials on YouTube and on the Canon USA website.

 

An excellent, more general book aobut the basics of photography is Bryan Peterson's "Understanding Exposure." I highly recommend it, too.  

 

I don't have a T5 or the manual for it... but if your camera has a "CA" or "Creative Auto" mode, that can be a good learning tool. Basically, the camera shows a "wizard" on the LCD screen that walks you through making the settings. After you have learned the differences, you can stop using it. But for someone new to photography, CA can be a helpful guide and is built into many reacent Canon models.

 

Hope this helps!

 

***********


Alan Myers
San Jose, Calif., USA
"Walk softly and carry a big lens."
GEAR: 5DII, 7D(x2), 50D(x3), some other cameras, various lenses & accessories
FLICKR & EXPOSUREMANAGER 

ScottyP
Respected Contributor
Focusing indoors in dim light will tend to make the autofocus hunt.

If you are using the screen to shoot, don't do that. You are in Live View mode, and it is not as fast at focusing. Get it out of Live View and shoot the normal way for a DSLR, which is to put your eye to he eyecup/viewfinder. It will help.

People coming from point & shoot cameras or phone cameras get used to shooting with the LCD but there are several reasons not to do this on a DSLR unless you are shooting movies, or unless you are on a tripod doing something fairly unusual.
Putting the camera to your eye and shooting not only makes the camera focus faster but it also steadies the camera a lot better.
It also lets you see the info in the viewfinder.
It also helps you track a moving subject a whole lot easier.
It is practically mandatory when you start using big heavy lenses.
I am probably leaving a few others out.

Good luck with your new hobby, and have fun.
Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?

TCampbell
Esteemed Contributor

You will get better focus performance using the viewfinder.  The camera has two completely different (and independent) focus systems.  One is used when you use the viewfinder ("phase detection auto-focus") and the other is used when you use liveview ("contrast detection auto-focus").  Phase detect is much faster -- and the reason that DSLR shooters prefer to use the viewfinder.

 

If the lighting is poor, any camera can struggle to focus.  Some lenses collect more light which makes it easier for the camera to lock focus in poor lighting.  Those tend to be lenses with lower focal ratios.

 

Some Canon Speedlite flashes have a built-in focus-assist beam.  The flash emits a red light pattern (the red light is in the lower part of the flash unit -- it doesn't use the strobe to do this) which allows the camera's AF system to very quickly lock accurate focus -- even in complete darkness.  The Canon 430EX II Speedlite, for example, has this feature.  You can actually put it in a mode where it only uses the focus-assist beam (if you don't want it to fire the flash.)

 

I'll ignore the discussion about 'auto' mode -- except to say that eventually you'll want to learn how to use the camera in other modes.  Part of the reason that DSLRs can capture images which look so much more interesting than point & shoot cameras is because of the ability to control various aspects of the exposure.  Auto-mode will always just pick a middle-of-the-road "safe" exposure (it doesn't let you get creative.)  As the issue you are experiencing is (a) normal and (b) not really related to the fact that you are using 'auto' mode, we can safely ignore it for now.

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da

ebiggs1
Forum Elite
All camera/lens combo's have a limit. You may have found yours! Doesn't matter M or A or full auto. There is a point it won't fly Orvile.
EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!