There are so many reasons someone might want to manually set their camera’s ISO. Most often, it’s because they are attempting to take a specialized shot that requires another setting, either the aperture or the shutter speed, to be dialed into something very specific. Or, perhaps the photographer is attempting to take photos in a dark or dimly lit setting and they don’t want to use their flash. That situation would definitely call for some higher ISO settings. I could go on and on about ISO, shutter speed and aperture size, but I’ll save that for later posts. For now, you can read what I’ve already written on the topics in the posts below.
Instead of getting into the theory behind the above three elements of photography, in today’s post, I’d like to stay more on a technical track. I’d like to demonstrate exactly how you can change the ISO settings on your Canon Rebel DSLR camera. I’ll be using the T6i in this post, but what I’m about to share with you can be used on any camera in the Rebel series, including the T2i, T3i, T4i, T5i and the T7i. Also, after I’m finished showing you that, I’m going to show you how you can limit the upper setting of your camera’s Auto ISO operation. This is a really good piece of information to be aware of, so read on below.
How to Manually Adjust the ISO Setting
Changing the ISO on your camera is an extremely simple task. The very first thing you need to concern yourself with, though, is if you’re using one of the camera modes that will allow for a manually altered ISO setting. For example, if you have your camera set to Auto, this option won’t be available. If you’re in one of the creative modes, it most likely won’t be available either. You’ll know this because when you push the button that controls the ISO menu, your camera will pop up a small warning that indicates the lack of availability.
I take a lot of photos in Program mode, so that’s what I’ll be using in this post. Alternatively, I could have used one of the manual modes, but I’ll stick with Program.
To manual set the ISO, I’ll push the button that’s labeled ISO on the top right portion of the camera.
From there, to actually change the ISO setting, I’ll use either the dial that’s located directly in front of the ISO button on the top of the camera or the left and right arrow buttons that are located on the back of the camera. Either one of these options does the exact same thing. I’ll see all the changes I make right on the LCD screen on the rear of the camera.
After changing the ISO setting, I can either half way push the shutter button to accept the change, push the Set button on the back of the camera or simply push the ISO button again. Whatever options I choose, that new setting will have taken hold.
Now, I can go about my shooting.
How to Set an Upper ISO Limit While Shooting in Auto
Most people use the Auto ISO setting much more than any other option. This way, the camera will choose its own ISO setting that works the best with whatever lighting is available. The problem with using auto though, especially when taking advantage of one of the manual modes, such as shutter priority or aperture priority, is that the camera can select an ISO setting that’s far too high for comfort. If you enjoy using high ISO settings and you’re comfortable with that, by all means, leave this setting at 6400, which is currently the highest the Auto setting will bring it to. But if you’re like me and you like to keep the ISO setting in check, you’ll most likely set the limit to 3200 or lower.
To set an upper ISO limit for my camera, I’ll press the Menu button that’s located on the back of it.
Next, I’ll push either the left or the right arrow buttons to navigate to the third panel from the left. After that, I’ll use the down arrow button to navigate to the ISO setting and finally, I’ll use the Set button to enter into the next menu.
After doing all this, I should see a drop-down appear that gives me a few options. Generally, the ISO options will begin at 400 and go all the way to 6400. I’ll set mine to 3200. To accept that, I’ll press Set again.
Finally, to get out of the menu, I’ll press the shutter button half way. That will bring me back to shooting mode. As you can see from the above photo, I changed and the camera accepted the new ISO setting.
That’s all there is to it. I hope I clearly explained how to change the ISO setting on a Canon Rebel digital camera as well as how to set the upper limit of the Auto ISO mode. If you have any questions or comments regarding this post, please let me know in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!