With a Canon EOS Rebel T8i
in hand, it is time to set up the camera for use.
Following are the 33 steps I took to make an out-of-the-box T8i ready for use.
- Open the box, find the battery, place it in the charger and plug it in.
- While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box.
- Download and install the
Canon Solution Disk software on your computer, gaining support for the latest camera(s).
Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP) and EOS Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
- Attach the neck strap.
- Insert the battery (after charging completes) and power the camera on.
- Insert a memory card.
- Turn on the camera.
- Adjust the date and time (automatically prompted upon turning the camera on the first time).
- Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv or M (some modes provide only a small subset of available menu options).
- Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
- Shooting settings, Tab 1: Image quality: Use top dial to set RAW to "RAW" and Cross Keys to set JPEG to "-" (RAW image files provide the highest quality and are especially valuable for post processing work)
- Shooting settings, Tab 1: Image review: 4 sec. (or sometimes off to increase shooting speed in the field)
- Shooting settings, Tab 1: Release shutter without card: Disable (only in a retail store do you want to press the shutter release without saving the image file, leaving this option enabled will burn you someday)
- Shooting settings, Tab 1: Lens Aberration Correction: All options "OFF" (though Chromatic Aberration correction is a good option to leave enabled for most)
- Shooting settings, Tab 3: White balance: AWB W (White) (I seldom use another white balance setting while shooting, though I often adjust modestly during post processing)
- Shooting settings, Tab 3: Picture Style: Neutral with Strength = 1 (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram on the back of the camera that most-accurately shows me blown highlights and blocked shadows on the camera LCD. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
- Shooting settings, Tab 4: High ISO speed NR: Off (or Low) (noise reduction is destructive to images details - I prefer to add noise reduction sparingly during post processing)
- Playback settings, Tab 4: Histogram disp: RGB (I want to see the graph for individual color channels)
- Function settings, Tab 1: Auto Rotate: On computer (only) (images are properly rotated when viewed on a computer, but are always oriented to fill the LCD when viewed on the camera)
- Function settings, Tab 1: Format card (always format memory cards in-camera — after all contained images are stored elsewhere of course)
- Function settings, Tab 2: Date/Time/Zone: make correct for your location (if not done at startup)
- Function settings, Tab 3: Beep: Disable (no one wants to hear your camera constantly beeping)
- Function settings, Tab 4: Viewfinder display: Show all
- Function settings, Tab 5: Custom Functions settings(C.Fn): C.Fn I: Exposure: 2: ISO expansion: On (required for setting ISO to 51200)
- Function settings, Tab 5: Custom Functions settings(C.Fn): C.Fn I: Exposure: 5: Exposure comp. auto cancel: Disable (I'll decide when exposure compensation should be canceled)
- Function settings, Tab 5: Custom Functions settings(C.Fn): C.Fn III: Operation/Others: 14: Retract lens on power off (avoids having a carefully-selected focus distance reset when camera auto powers off)
- Function settings, Tab 5: Copyright information: enter as desired
- Display level settings, Tab 1: Shooting screen: Standard (Guided is useful for beginners)
- Display level settings, Tab 1: Menu displaye: Standard (Guided is useful for beginners)
- Display level settings, Tab 1: Mode guide: Disable (Enabled is useful for beginners)
- Display level settings, Tab 1: Feature guide: Disable (Enabled is useful for beginners)
- My Menu: Add the first tab; Register the following options for Tab 1: Format card, Mirror lockup, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring what time it is), Sensor cleaning
(nothing in my My Menu is found on the Quick Control display as those functions are already quickly accessed)
- With a lens mounted and a subject focused on, adjust the viewfinder diopter until the scene is sharp
I of course make additional menu and other setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but this list covers my initial camera setup process.
To copy this configuration would mean that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot – including shooting in RAW-only format.
While my setup works great for me, your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.
If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea.
Anytime your camera is reset-to-factory state for some reason, such as when being serviced, you will be ready to restore your setup quickly while ensuring that you do not miss an important setting.
If you purchase another same or similar camera, you will be able to quickly set it up.
Canon EOS Rebel T8i
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