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Old May 26, 2011, 9:37 AM   #11
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And you are talking mainly about External Speedlight flashes, I'm talking about the camera body itself...

Thanks for your comments,

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Old May 26, 2011, 9:46 AM   #12
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I've never seen a Canon body use the flash to get focus in bad light. But it's been a while since I had a body with a built-in flash.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure that if there was such a feature you would be able to switch it off in the menus, and in fact it's probably switched off by default because I've used friends' XXXD bodies where the camera failed to get a focus lock in poor light and the flash certainly didn't pop up.

Sounds like it only applies to the 270EX to me.

I think we need someone who has a XXXD, XXD or 7D to answer this question definitively.
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Old May 26, 2011, 1:14 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by eugeniogurrea View Post
It is not a major topic, but I think it won't be comfortable to be having the built in flash pop up all the time, just in case you will need the AF assistance...
Using the built in flash for AF assist when no separate AF assist lamp is available is a common feature. You see the same thing with the entry level Sony dSLR models (flash used for AF Assist by default). It can be rather irritating, and I usually disable it immediately when using a camera with that feature (built in flash versus beam used for AF assist when light is low).

IOW, you can disable that feature in Canon and Sony models that have it.

For example, you can control how AF assist works in the Canon T3i you quoted specs from via a custom setting. Here's a screen capture of that setup screen from a T3i:
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Old May 26, 2011, 11:06 PM   #14
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I have two Canon DSLRs that have this feature, the 7D and 350D. My take on this is that usually I don't use the built in flash AF-assist beam feature. (And nearly all my photography is without flash).

However there are times when I use the built in flash strobe to assist with AF. Last Saturday was one example, when I took a group of international student friends 10-pin bowling. It was very dark in the bowling alley. So even my 7D which is pretty good at focussing in low light was struggling where there was a dark background, some of the people were wearing low contrast clothing and the light level was very dim.

So I used the strobe AF-assist for lots of shots that day. Otherwise it at times just couldn't achieve focus or was much slower to eventually get focus. My international friends (all Uni students from SE Asia studying in Australia) quickly got used to the rapid burst of flashes and then knew a second or few later I'd actually take the shot (with flash). I have shared the photos and they commented on many happy memories. So for me, that feature was / is a 'winner' for situations like that.

Sometimes (on the very very rare occasion - not on Saturday) I have also used the AF-assist strobe and then when focus achieved, pushed down the flash and taken the photo. (I use the AF button to achieve focus, and the shutter butten for exposure and actually taking the shot). One can also switch the lens to MF after pushing down the flash too if you have your shutter button configured for AF - otherwise it will try to search for focus again.

At this stage I don't yet own an external flash... but I plan to get one sometime in the near-ish future. Then the IR assist beam would be particularly helpful.

Hope my 2 cents of contribution is worth reading

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Old Jun 8, 2011, 4:05 PM   #15
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Can someone help me here, I like to see if you can give me some insight to the AF-Assist beam on the T3i. I just bought the T3i, everytime I set the Len switch to AF, and swithced to the night portrait mode, and when I use the "viewfinder" and begin to lightly click on the shutter button, the flash pop up and not just that but it flash about 2 to 3 times, but these flashes sounds and feel like electric voltage as if you can get an electric shot. I wondering, is this what you were referring too? If so, I wonder if this is normal? My only concern is if it's normal, will my flash burn out eventually if it keeps on doing these type flashes? The flashes doesn't happen when I use the LCD monitor tho... I don't have any other T3i to compare with, if you happen to see this tread, can you please respond and prehap it will help for other new T3i users down the road.

Huu Lam

Last edited by Huu Lam; Jun 8, 2011 at 5:03 PM.
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