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How do I keep the light meter display on in the view finder while using manual mode? I find that the display only stays on for a short while which is annoying when trying to set aperture and shutter speed. I have to keep pressing the shooting button to bring it back on. (This is on a Canon EOS 1100D?)

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I'm afraid you can't change this, it's a battery saving feature. Most cameras allow you to change how long (or if) the LCD displays the image once taken, but few seem to allow you to change the length of time the viewfinder display stays active.

My Nikon viewfinder will stay active as long as I half press the shutter, or adjust the aperture or exposure dials.

  • Pentax DSLRs have options, but they're all short. (Off the top of my head, 30 seconds is the longest.) – Please Read Profile Jan 26 '12 at 12:00
  • Upper tier Canon bodies (mostly 1-series) allow some user selectable settings for viewfinder shooting. If using Live View, most Canon EOS cameras will allow setting metering to be active for much longer - several selections between 4 seconds to 30 minutes are available. – Michael C Mar 23 '19 at 5:31

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