A lot of photographers who use Canon Rebel cameras like the Canon T7i (AKA the Canon 800D) worry about setting their camera correctly. Even though these are “entry level” DSLRs, they still have a complex menu system for photographers who have never seen it before. So, in this article, I have gone over every camera setting on the Canon T7i to explain my recommendations. This way, you will make sure your camera is set correctly for whatever type of photography you want to do.
First, as you are probably aware, the Canon Rebel T7i / Canon 800D is arranged with a few different types of menus: shooting, playback, setup, display, and a custom “My Menu.” I’ll go through each one in order below:
Shooting Menu 1
- Image Quality: RAW (though many photographers in the target audience of the Canon T7i will shoot JPEG; see RAW vs JPEG for more)
- Image Review: 4 seconds (personal preference)
- Release Shutter Without Card: Off
- Lens Aberration Correction: Off for everything (assuming you are shooting RAW; if shooting JPEG, all On)
- Lens Electronic MF: Enable after One-Shot AF (lets you override focus manually on some lenses even when autofocus is engaged, which is useful)
Shooting Menu 2
- Expo.Comp./AEB: Default (you can change exposure compensation via buttons instead. But this is the only place to change bracketing settings, so keep it in mind if that’s something you see yourself changing)
- Flash Control options
- Flash Firing: Enable (so the flash actually fires when you pop it up)
- E-TTL II Meter: Evaluative
- Flash Sync Speed in Av Mode: Auto (don’t use Av mode if you need a more specific flash sync speed; use manual instead)
- Built-in Flash Settings
- Built-in Flash: NormalFiring
- Flash Mode: E-TTL II
- Shutter Sync: Second Curtain (to capture motion prior to the flash properly)
- Exposure Compensation: Varies, but leave at 0 by default
- Red-eye Reduc: Disable (enabling doesn’t help redeye much; post-processing correction is more effective)
- ISO Speed: Matches whatever ISO you’ve set already, via the ISO button on the top of the camera
- ISO Auto: ISO 1600, or ISO 3200 if you are willing to accept a bit more noise
- Auto Lighting Optimizer: Off
Shooting Menu 3
- Metering Mode: Evaluative
- Color Space: sRGB if you’re a JPEG shooter; doesn’t affect the photo itself if you’re a RAW shooter, but AdobeRGB for slightly more accurate in-camera histogram
- Picture Style: Standard, default values, unless you have a specific reason to change it (doesn’t affect the photo itself if you’re a RAW shooter)
- White Balance: Auto, White Priority (accessed by pressing the “Info” button)
- WB Shift/Bkt: 0,0/+-0
Shooting Menu 4
- Long Exp. Noise Reduction: Off, unless you are taking especially long exposures (20-30 seconds) and you don’t mind waiting twice as long to capture the photo. This one does affect RAW photos (see a list here of which settings do and do not affect RAW photos)
- High ISO Speed NR: Off (doesn’t affect RAW photos)
Shooting Menu 5
- Anti-Flicker Shoot: Disabled, unless you are taking pictures under fluorescent light and getting uneven exposures
- Aspect ratio: 3:2
- Live View Shoot: Enabled
Playback Menu 1
- No settings here to worry about
Playback Menu 2
- Only “Image Jump w/ Main Dial” matters here, and it’s a personal choice for how you want the T7i’s main dial to work in playback mode. How many photos do you want to jump across when you scroll the wheel once? I leave it at “Jump 10 Images” so I can scroll through large volumes of photos quickly. I then click the left and right arrows on the direction pad when I want to go one-by-one.
Playback Menu 3
- AF Point Disp: Disable (though this is another case of personal preference)
- Histogram Disp: RGB (more data)
- Ctrl over HDMI: Enable when you plan to review photos directly from the T7i on a TV screen or other HDMI medium
Set Up Menu 1
- Auto Rotate: On, Computer only (avoiding the “On, Camera and Computer” option, since it will make the photos too narrow on your camera and complicate taking vertical pictures on a tripod)
- Wireless communication settings: All disabled unless you’re actively using them due to potential battery life concerns
Set Up Menu 2
- Auto Power Off: 1 minute (another personal preference; how long do you want the monitor to wait without action before turning off?)
- LCD Brightness: Centered
- LCD Off/On Btn: Shutter/DISP (which lets you turn on the LCD info by pressing the “DISP” button, and turn it off via the DISP button or the shutter button. The other options make it harder to turn off the LCD more quickly, but this is still a personal preference.)
- Viewfinder Display: Hide all (personal preference)
Set Up Menu 3
- Video System: For NTSC
- Touch Control: Personally, I prefer “Disable” because I don’t like using camera touchscreens, but most photographers will prefer “Standard”
- Beep: Disable
Set Up Menu 4
- Custom Functions(C.Fn)
- Exposure Level Increments: 1/3 stop
- ISO Expansion: Off (no need for it, since the image quality is so bad)
- Exposure Comp. Auto Cancel: Enable (this resets your exposure compensation when you turn off the camera, which is generally useful to avoid shooting sunrise at last night’s settings; but also is a personal preference if you frequently turn on and off the camera and prefer your exposure compensation information to be saved)
- Highlight tone priority: Disable
- AF-Assist Beam Firing: Disable (personal preference, it can be obtrusive)
- AF Area selection method: AF Area Selection Button
- Auto AF Pt Sel.: Color Tracking: Enable
- AF Point Display During Focus: Selected, Constant (personal preference, but I like having this info)
- VF Display Illumination: Enable
- Mirror Lockup: Disable, although enabled if I’m shooting on a tripod with a 2 second self timer
- Warnings in Viewfinder: None selected
- Shutter/AE Lock Button: AE/AF, no AE lock – This one is crucial. It decouples focusing from your shutter button and puts it on the * button instead (the one with the de-magnifying glass). This make take a moment to get used to, but decoupling autofocus from the shutter button, also known as back button focusing, is extremely useful, and once you try it, you won’t go back.
- Assign SET Button: Flash exposure compensation, since this is the quickest way to set it if you use a flash (I occasionally do for macro work)
- LCD Display When Power ON: Display On
- Retract Lens on Power Off: Enable (though irrelevant for a majority of lenses)
Display Level Menu
- Shooting Screen: Standard (personal preference)
- Menu Display: Standard (personal preference)
- Mode Guide: Disable (but can help if you’re trying to learn how to use the T7i initially)
- Feature Guide: Disable (same, though – can help if you’re just learning the T7i)
- A good place to group together all the menu settings you plan to change frequently, such as Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB), ISO Auto, Long Exposure Noise Reduction, and Custom Functions
Movie Mode Settings (Same Menu Categories, but New Options)
The Canon Rebel T7i is set up so that you see a different menu depending upon whether you are shooting photos or videos, which you change by flipping the main switch on top of the T7i. Below, I will cover the menu settings that are most important while shooting video.
Shooting Menu 1, Movie Settings
- Movie Rec. Size: FHD 29.97P, unless your output requirements specify 23.98 FPS. Use FHD 59.94P if you need slow motion.
- Digital Zoom: Disable
- Sound Recording: Auto (this only controls the in-camera microphone regardless)
- Wind Filter: Auto
- Attenuator: Disable
- Lens aberration correction
- Peripheral illum corr: On
- Chromatic aberr correction: On
Shooting Menu 2, Movie Settings
- ISO Speed: Matches whatever ISO you’ve set already, via the ISO button on the top of the camera
- ISO Auto: Max 6400
Shooting Menu 3, Movie Settings
- Picture Style: Being video, this decision is hard to undo in post-processing, especially if you choose a more vibrant and contrasty Picture Style. When in doubt, opt for something subtle like Faithful, Neutral, Portrait, or Standard
- White Balance: Auto, White Priority (accessed by pressing the INFO button)
Shooting Menu 4, Movie Settings
- Movie Servo AF: Disable (unless filming a subject with unpredictable movement requiring faster focus than you can keep up with manually)
- AF method: Live 1-point AF, or Face + Tracking if you’re filming a person’s face
- Metering timer: 1 minute (personal preference)
- Grid Display: Off
- Shutter Button Function: Personal preference, but I like the last option: Half-Press for Metering Only, Fully-Press for Start/Stop Mov Rec (which starts filming when I press the shutter button in movie mode)
Shooting Menu 5, Movie Settings
- All Disabled
I hope that the recommended camera settings in this article will help you select the best possible menu options for your Canon Rebel T7i! If you have any questions about the reasons why I recommended one camera setting rather than another, or if you want clarification on something else about the Canon T7i, feel free to comment below.
I have a specific question. I have a Canon T7i and I am attempting to take my son’s senior photos. The compositions are great but I am having major issues with my photos turning out slightly blurry. i.e. my son is sitting with his hands on his knees. I focus on his eyes with a 1-point focus area but the photos seem to be more focused on his hands when I review the photo on my computer. My autofocus doesn’t seem to be calibrated correctly and all videos on YouTube are for more “pro” type cameras. I can’t seem to find any AF fine-tuning on my camera. Am I up a creek without a paddle or can you help me calibrate my lenses?
The T7i doesn’t have autofocus microadjustment capabilities, unfortunately.
Still, it would be pretty unusual for the lens to be so severely front-focused that, with the kit lens at apertures like f/5.6, his hands rather than face would be in focus. Not impossible, but that’s at the point where the lens might need to be returned because the error is so significant.
However, the critical question is: Are you only getting photos that are front focused? Or are you instead getting photos that are badly focused, without a consistent pattern of focusing too close or too far away?
If it’s the latter, it is unlikely to be a problem that AF microadjustment would solve anyway, and is likely either user error or potentially a broken AF mechanism. Without using the camera in person, I can’t really offer more of an explanation than that.
One quick fix you can use at the moment is to focus in live view rather than via the viewfinder. Live view uses contrast-detect AF rather than phase detect and isn’t prone to microadjustment errors. If you get totally sharp photos in live view, and only run into issues when focusing through the viewfinder, that implies the phase detect system may be at fault.
Hope this helps!
Hello Spencer, thank you for your time on the T7i settings.
one Questions please. I’ve started to do tons of 1:1 photos (1:1 is needed to fit the program I upload the photos too) with white backdrop of clothing, do you have any tips for black and white – really light colored clothing. Also some suits and Shirts that have pinstrips start to show fuzzy lines in the actual photo, any Idea how to get better shots of those types
Thank you so much for your time in advance if you have any tips.
Thank you so much for putting it all together for everyone. I received the T7i for Christmas and although I’m taking a photography class, and have joined a photography group — I haven’t had anyone to specifically go through each menu item on my particular camera.
Great post — again – thank you.
Please can you do this for the 90D
So we have recommended Canon 90D settings please?
Very helpful! Thanks so much!
I just bought the Canon T7i and have a problem. When I take a picture, the little boxes for the focus come on which is ok. However, when I play back the picture the boxes are still on the picture. What setting do I go to in order for them to not be on my final picture? Help! Thanks
Sure thing! The good news is that the focus points aren’t burned into the images; it’s only when you review images in-camera that they will appear. This menu setting should disable it: Playback menu 3 – AF point Disable.
Hope this helps!
Spencer. I thank you for your informative comments and explanations re camera settings.
I have recently bought a Canon D700 DSLR and would appreciate it if you could advise the best settings for this camera. I have looked at your suggestions for the Rebel T7i but found that it was not always the same controls as my camera.
Thank you for the informative article. I have a 77D, for which many, if not all, of these settings will be help[ful. I especially your stating which of these settings are your personal preference, and also a brief description of your rationale for the settings you recommend.
meant to say “I especially appreciate your stating which …”
Happy to hear you liked it! Absolutely, there’s a reason why cameras have so many settings, and few (if any) of the menu recommendations above are without exception for at least some photographers. Nevertheless, it is always good to have a place to start.
Thank you for your suggestions Spencer. I have a question that maybe you can help with.
I shoot some photos where the red metering lines appear on the photo itself. LIttle red lines..how is that possible?
It happens with different lenses and different shutter speeds, F stop, ISO and always with the T7i body. If anyone has any ideas please let me know! [email protected]
What do you mean about red lines appearing on the photo itself? Is this when you review the photo in-camera, or on your computer – and if the latter, what software are you using? Or am I misunderstanding, and this is while you’re taking the photo, and it doesn’t appear on the actual finalized image? Also, is this something that appears in every single photo you take? Hopefully I can help but I don’t fully understand your issue yet.
Spencer —- thanks so much for the time and effort you took to write this. It is super helpful!
I am glad you found it useful, thank you, Michele!