How to force AF-assist beam on t3i manual mode?

Started Dec 31, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Mike8813
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How to force AF-assist beam on t3i manual mode?
Dec 31, 2011

Hello, newbie here.

Today was my first day with the t3i. It's the first SLR I've ever used, actually. I love the freedom of manual mode, but I have a question about using the flash with it when necessary.

I know that the exposure meter accurately accounts for the upcoming flash when the AF-assist beam is used, which is nice. But my issue is that it's finicky about when the AF-assist is used. If I have the flash raised in manual mode, that means I'm going to use the flash. So why not give me a burst of the flash so I can adjust my settings accordingly to get the desired exposure?

As it stands now, the AF-assist doesn't go off until it's an extremely dark situation. So if I'm using the flash when the AF-assist isn't automatically used, I'm left to guess which manual settings will give me the right exposure since the exposure meter does not reflect the effect the flash will have on the image. I can't for the life of me find a way to FORCE the AF-assist beam to go off. The manual just says that it will be used "when needed".

Any ideas? Or perhaps a different way for me to take indoor photos with flash and still have it come out alright? I'm using the flash as little as possible, but with kids moving around and dim light it's an easy fix to get an OK picture at the moment.

Thanks for any help you can provide.

-Mike

Canon EOS 600D (EOS Rebel T3i / EOS Kiss X5)
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