Become a Pro Photographer: Learn How to Change Aperture Settings on Your Canon Camera

Mastering the art of photography requires understanding and adjusting various camera settings, with aperture being one of the most crucial elements. This blog post will guide you on how to change aperture on your Canon camera, ensuring that you capture breathtaking images every time.

Cannon Camera
Cannon Camera

Key Takeaways

  • Aperture is the opening in a camera lens that controls the amount of light entering through it, and can be adjusted manually or automatically on Canon cameras.
  • By adjusting aperture settings, photographers can improve their photo composition by manipulating depth-of-field and creating stunning visual effects for their subjects.
  • There are three methods to change aperture settings on Canon cameras: Automatic Aperture Control, Manual Aperture Control, and Aperture Priority Mode. Each method offers its unique advantages depending on shooting conditions.
  • For beginners and professionals alike, mastering aperture control is essential for taking photos with creative control over lighting conditions.

Understanding Aperture And Its Importance

Aperture refers to the opening in a camera’s lens that determines how much light passes through to the sensor, and it is crucial for controlling depth of field and achieving sharp, well-exposed photos.

how to change aperture on canon
how to change aperture on canon

What Is Aperture?

Aperture is a fundamental aspect of photography that refers to the opening within your camera’s lens through which light passes. Imagine it as an adjustable eye inside your camera, widening or narrowing to control how much light enters and hits the image sensor.

For car lovers who enjoy capturing images of their prized vehicles, understanding aperture is essential for producing stunning photographs in various conditions. For instance, using a wide aperture can create beautifully blurred backgrounds while keeping every detail of the automobile in sharp focus.

How Does Aperture Affect Your Photos?

The aperture of a camera lens determines how much light enters the camera and hits the sensor. It also affects the depth of field in your photos, or how blurry or sharp the background is compared to your subject.

A wider aperture (lower f-stop number) will create a shallower depth of field, perfect for portraits where you want your subject to stand out from a blurred background. A narrower aperture (higher f-stop number) will create a deeper depth of field, ideal for landscapes where you want everything in focus from foreground to background.

Importance Of Aperture In Photography

Aperture is a crucial aspect of photography that determines the amount of light entering the camera lens. It plays a significant role in creating sharp, high-quality images and producing stunning visual effects.

Additionally, adjusting your camera’s aperture settings affects depth-of-field, which refers to how much of an image is in focus.

Understanding aperture gives you creative control over how your photos turn out – whether it’s capturing fast-moving objects by using faster shutter speeds or choosing to create bokeh art for portraits when there are interesting lights around at night.

Methods To Change Aperture On Canon Cameras

There are three ways to change aperture on Canon cameras: Automatic Aperture Control, Manual Aperture Control, and Aperture Priority Mode.

Aperture Control

Automatic Aperture Control

When using automatic aperture control on your Canon camera, the camera will adjust the aperture automatically depending on the lighting conditions in your surroundings.

This is a great option for those who are just starting out in photography or when you need to take quick shots without worrying about adjusting settings manually. However, keep in mind that this mode may not always produce the ideal results if you’re looking for specific creative effects in your photos.

For example, if you want a shallow depth of field and blurry background, shooting wide open with a low F-stop number would usually be preferable.

Manual Aperture Control

Another way to change the aperture on a Canon camera is through manual aperture control, which gives you full control over how much light enters your camera.

To use this mode, switch your camera to Manual Exposure mode or any shooting mode that allows you to adjust the aperture manually.

Manual aperture control can be particularly useful in situations where lighting conditions are constantly changing, such as at a car racing event with cars moving at high speed.

By adjusting your aperture manually, you can ensure that all shots have consistent depth of field regardless of lighting changes.

Aperture Priority Mode

Another way to change the aperture on your Canon camera is by using Aperture Priority mode (Av). This mode allows you to choose the desired aperture, and the camera will automatically adjust the shutter speed for proper exposure.

On some Canon cameras like EOS Rebel T6 or T7, Av mode can be activated by turning the dial to “Av” on top of the camera body and then pressing down the AV +/- button located near your right thumb as you use either wheel for adjusting aperture settings while framing your shot.

Steps To Change Aperture On Canon Cameras

To change the aperture on a Canon camera, select the shooting mode that allows for manual aperture control, locate the aperture button, hold it down, use the main dial to adjust aperture, and confirm your settings before taking your shot.

Step 1: Select The Shooting Mode

Before you can change the aperture on your Canon camera, it’s important to select the right shooting mode. Depending on your model of camera, this may include Manual mode, Aperture Priority (Av) mode, or Programmed Automatic (P) mode.

In Manual mode, you have full control over both aperture and shutter speed settings. In Av mode, you set the aperture and let the camera automatically adjust the shutter speed for proper exposure.

For example, if you’re photographing a car race and want to freeze motion blur while still capturing detail in the cars’ paint jobs, using Shutter Priority (Tv) might be best; here you’ll choose a faster shutter speed that will capture fast movement without blurring so much as to make all features unrecognizable.

Step 2: Locate The Aperture Button

Once you have selected the appropriate shooting mode on your Canon camera, you need to locate the aperture button. On most Canon cameras, this button is labeled as AV or AV+/- and can be found near the back of the camera close to where your right thumb rests.

When you locate it, press and hold down this button while turning either the main dial or rear dial to adjust your aperture setting accordingly. As mentioned earlier, using a wide aperture (lower f-stop number) will create a shallow depth of field effect that blurs out background details while keeping your subject sharp in focus.

Meanwhile, smaller apertures (higher f-stop number) will keep more elements in focus from foreground to background.

Step 3: Hold Down The Aperture Button

Once you’ve located the aperture button on your Canon camera, it’s time to hold it down. Holding down the aperture button allows you to adjust the aperture with ease. Simply use the main dial on your camera to increase or decrease the aperture size until you reach your desired settings.

It’s important to note that as you adjust the aperture, other exposure elements such as shutter speed and ISO may also change automatically depending on your camera mode.

Experimenting with different apertures can significantly improve your photography skills and bring out unique features in each shot.

Step 4: Use The Main Dial To Adjust Aperture

Once you’ve held down the aperture button on your Canon camera, it’s time to use the main dial to adjust the aperture setting. The main dial is typically located near your thumb or index finger and can be easily rotated to increase or decrease the F-stop value.

Keep in mind that a larger F-stop (such as f/16) will result in a deeper depth of field, while a smaller F-stop (such as f/2.8) will create more blur and background separation.

To ensure that you’re getting the desired effect, take test shots at different aperture settings and compare them to see which one works best for your subject matter and lighting conditions.

Step 5: Confirm Aperture Settings

After adjusting the aperture on your Canon camera, it is important to confirm your settings before you start shooting. To do this, simply look through the viewfinder or at the camera’s display screen and check that the aperture value matches what you intended to set it to.

It’s worth noting that aperture values may not always be exact due to rounding or other factors, but as long as they are close enough to achieve your desired depth of field effect, you should be good to go.

Tips For Choosing The Right Aperture Setting

Consider the depth of field you want to achieve, the lighting conditions you’re shooting in, and the subject matter when choosing your aperture setting.

Depth Of Field

Depth of field is an important aspect to consider when adjusting the aperture on your Canon camera. It refers to the range of distance in a shot that appears acceptably sharp, or in focus.

Understanding how to adjust aperture can help you achieve various depths of field and enhance your photography. For example, if you want to isolate your subject from its surroundings with a blurred background, use a wider aperture (lower f-number).

On the other hand, if you want everything in your scene to be in focus, choose a narrower aperture (higher f-number).

Lighting Conditions

Proper lighting is crucial when adjusting the aperture on your Canon camera. The amount of light in your environment can affect the aperture settings you choose, as well as the shutter speed and ISO.

For example, if you’re shooting in low light conditions, you may need to open up your aperture (use a lower f-stop number) to allow more light into the camera and avoid underexposing your subject.

Conversely, if you are shooting in bright sunlight, a smaller aperture (higher f-stop number) will ensure that your photo isn’t overexposed. Keep in mind that different types of subjects require different lighting adjustments – be it indoors or outdoors- so take time to experiment with various settings until you find what works best for each individual situation.

Subject Matter

Choosing the right aperture setting is crucial to getting great shots of your favorite car. Depth of field plays a huge role in the final outcome, especially when shooting close-up photos.

A larger aperture will produce a shallower depth of field, allowing you to create selective focus and blur out distracting backgrounds. In contrast, a smaller aperture produces more depth of field which would be ideal for capturing wider shots where everything needs to be in focus.

Adjusting these settings allows you to highlight specific features like wheels or bodywork while blurring out other parts that may not look as impressive. Additionally, lighting conditions can play an important role when selecting the appropriate aperture setting as well.

ISO And Shutter Speed Adjustment

Adjusting the ISO and shutter speed on your Canon camera can greatly impact the quality of your photos. ISO refers to the sensitivity of your camera’s sensor to light, with higher numbers being more sensitive.

For example, if you’re taking a photo of a car driving down the highway at high speeds, you’ll want a fast shutter speed (such as 1/1000th of a second) to freeze motion and prevent blur.

However, this may require increasing your ISO to maintain proper exposure in lower light conditions.

By adjusting both ISO and shutter speed settings on your Canon camera according to lighting conditions and subject matter, you’ll be able to take stunning photos that truly showcase the beauty of cars.

Lens Capabilities

Understanding the capabilities of your lens is an important factor when adjusting aperture settings on your Canon camera. Different lenses have different maximum and minimum apertures and these can significantly impact the outcome of your photos.

Additionally, some lenses may be better suited for certain types of photography due to their optical characteristics. For instance, macro lenses are designed for close-up shots and have a shallow depth of field while telephoto lenses are ideal for capturing distant objects or portraits with pleasing bokeh effects.

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Changing Aperture On Canon Cameras

Avoid overlooking the shutter speed, forgetting to adjust ISO, neglecting lens capabilities, and not using a tripod when changing aperture on Canon cameras.

Overlooking Shutter Speed

One common mistake when changing the aperture on a Canon camera is overlooking the shutter speed. The shutter speed determines how long the camera’s sensor will be exposed to light, and it plays a critical role in creating sharp, focused images.

If you’re shooting in low-light conditions or using a slow lens, you may need to use slower shutter speeds to allow more light into your camera. However, if you’re photographing fast-moving subjects like cars, sports action scenes or wildlife, then having fast shutter speeds is vital to getting sharp shots without blur.

It’s important not to overlook the relationship between aperture and shutter speed since they work together to control exposure levels and determine image quality.

Some cameras have settings that can help with this – for example, many Canon models have a “Tv” setting that adjusts only the shutter speed while keeping everything else automatic.

In addition to this, another solution for avoiding incorrect exposures would be practicing with manual mode until you get comfortable with making both these adjustments on your own so that nothing gets overlooked!

Forgetting To Adjust ISO

Another common mistake when changing aperture on a Canon camera is forgetting to adjust ISO. ISO measures the light sensitivity of your camera’s sensor and can dramatically affect the brightness of your photos.

For example, if you’re shooting in low-light conditions and have a wide-open aperture, you’ll need to compensate by increasing your ISO setting to achieve proper exposure.

Conversely, if you’re shooting in bright sunlight and want a shallow depth of field with a small aperture opening, you’ll need to lower your ISO setting appropriately.

Neglecting Lens Capabilities

It’s important to pay attention to the capabilities of your lens when adjusting aperture on your Canon camera. Different lenses have different maximum apertures, which can affect the overall exposure and depth of field in your photos.

Neglecting these differences can result in poorly exposed or blurry images that don’t do justice to your subject matter. It’s worth taking some time to learn about the specific capabilities of your lenses and how they can affect aperture settings for best results.

Not Using A Tripod

One common mistake that photographers make when adjusting aperture on a Canon camera is not using a tripod. Tripods are essential for achieving crisp and sharp images, especially in low light situations where longer shutter speeds may be necessary.

Without a tripod, even the slightest movement can cause blur or softness in the final image.

Using a tripod also allows you to take more time composing your shots and adjusting other settings like ISO and shutter speed without worrying about shaky hands or blurry photos.

Even if you think you have steady hands, investing in a good quality tripod will greatly improve the overall quality of your photos.

Conclusion And Final Thoughts For Using Aperture In Photography

In conclusion, adjusting the aperture on your Canon camera is a simple yet very important step in capturing amazing photos. By understanding aperture and its impact on your photography, you can take total control over how much light enters the camera lens to create stunning effects.

Whether you choose automatic or manual mode, don’t forget to consider other crucial factors such as shutter speed, ISO settings, and the subject matter itself for perfectly exposed shots every time.


1. How do I change the aperture on my Canon camera?

To change the aperture on a Canon camera, you need to adjust the settings in manual mode or use aperture priority mode. In manual mode, turn the dial until you reach your desired f-stop. In aperture priority mode, simply select your desired f-stop and allow your camera’s auto-exposure feature to determine the shutter speed.

2. What is an aperture and why should I make changes to it?

The aperture controls how much light enters through your lens and affects depth of field which determines how blurry or sharp objects appear outside of your focal point. By changing the size of the opening (aperture), you can control both bright/dark lighting situations as well as manipulate focus for unique creative effects.

3. Can I adjust other settings besides aperture to improve my photos?

Yes, there are several other important settings that can be adjusted including ISO, shutter speed, focus points/modes & white balance among others which all help influence overall exposure and brightness while taking pictures – experimentation & learning from mistakes will guide one towards mastering these skills over time with practice!

4. Which lenses are compatible with canon cameras for changing apertures?

Most Canon EF/EF-S lenses come with adjustable apertures allowing photographers more flexibility when composing shots but any advanced series such as L-Series models provide superior optical performance compared cheaper versions allowing greater control over characteristics like bokeh (i.e., blurriness) depending upon specific needs/preferences prioritized by individual users without sacrificing durability/reliability associated with higher grade optics commonly used by professionals in various fields of photography/videography work- particularly those requiring high definition capabilities; Including sports journalism/documentary films/interviews etc..

Addition Questions and Troubleshooting

What is aperture and why is it so important?Aperture refers to the opening in your camera lens that allows light to enter. It is important because it controls the depth of field of your photo, which affects the sharpness of your subject and the blurriness of your background and foreground.
How do I change the aperture on my Canon camera?If you are using a Canon EOS Rebel, you can change the aperture by first switching your camera to manual mode. Then, adjust the aperture by turning the control dial while holding down the AV button on the back of your camera.
Can I adjust the aperture in auto mode?Yes, you can adjust the aperture in auto mode by using the scene intelligent mode or the semi-automatic modes such as AV or TV. However, if you want to take manual control of your camera and set your own aperture, you need to switch to manual mode.
How does adjusting the aperture affect my photos?Adjusting the aperture can affect the depth of field in your photos, which impacts the sharpness of your subject and the blur in your background and foreground. Opening up your aperture (using a lower f-stop) lets in more light and creates a shallower depth of field, while closing down your aperture (using a higher f-stop) lets in less light and creates a deeper depth of field.
What is the control dial and shutter button used for when adjusting aperture?The control dial is used to adjust the aperture, while the shutter button is used to take the photo once you have set your desired aperture. Keep in mind that adjusting the aperture can also impact the shutter speed that you need to use to get a correct exposure.
How do I know what f-stops to use?The f-stops available on your camera will vary, but generally range from f/1.4 to f/22. A lower f-stop number (like f/1.4) lets in more light and creates a shallower depth of field, while a higher f-stop number (like f/22) lets in less light and creates a deeper depth of field. It is important to experiment with different f-stops to achieve your desired effect.
What is the meter and how does it help me when adjusting aperture?The meter is a tool on your camera that measures the brightness of your subject. When adjusting your aperture, the meter will help you determine if your photo is overexposed (letting in too much light) or underexposed (letting in too little light).
Can I adjust the aperture while using a flash?Yes, you can adjust the aperture while using a flash. Keep in mind that if you are using a flash, it will emit its own light, so you may need to adjust your aperture accordingly to get the desired exposure.
What is auto ISO and when would I want to use it?Auto ISO is a feature on most DSLR cameras that automatically adjusts the ISO settings based on what your camera thinks is best for the scene. You may want to use it in situations where the lighting conditions are constantly changing or if you want to take photos quickly without worrying about adjusting your ISO settings.
What is bulb mode and how do I use it to take long exposures?Bulb mode is a feature on most DSLR cameras that allows you to keep the shutter open for as long as you want, even beyond the standard 30 seconds. To use it, simply switch your camera to manual mode and adjust your shutter speed to “bulb”. Then, press and hold the shutter button to let in more light for long exposures.

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