I have a Canon T2i and I am having a hard time figuring out how to change the shutter speed and aperture. I have tried reading the manual but it seems to be a little unclear. Can someone please point me in the right direction?


1 Answer 1


For changing the shutter speed, put the mode dial on Tv (as in the image below: make sure the white line corresponds to the letters Tv ), and turn the wheel high-lighted in red below (excuse my crappy images, I edited all this as something quick and dirty).

enter image description here

On your LCD screen, you can see the below screen (let me know if you don't know how to get to this screen). The 1/200 is in seconds - you can go anywhere between 1/4000th of a second to 30 seconds. When you turn the wheel, the number changes, which indicates the change in shutter speed. Make sure you have enough lighting when you choose a very fast shutter speed.

enter image description here

Similarly, for changing the aperture, put the mode dial on Av (as in the image below: make sure the white line corresponds to the letters Av ), and turn the wheel high-lighted in red below.

enter image description here

On your LCD screen, you can see the below screen. The number you see here is actually the denominator (F2.8 actually means f/2.8) For Aperture, the minimum and maximum varies with the lens you have attached. I have a Sigma 18-50 f/2.8-4.5 lens attached on my camera, so you'll see that my aperture is f/2.8.

enter image description here

There is more to the F numbers, but since I don't want to confuse you with all the jargon, I will keep the things simple.

A smaller f number is also called a wide aperture, and a larger f-number is also called a narrow aperture.

The smaller f number like an F.1.8 or F/2.8 is useful when -

  • If you are shooting in low light - the lower F number allows lots of light to enter into the picture, so that will be useful (that is why it's called wide aperture).
  • If you want a very shallow depth of field (e.g.: foreground in focus, but background blurry - imagine you are taking a picture of a flower, and you want only the flower in focus, and the leaves in background to be out-of-focus).

Choose a higher F number like F8 or F11 -

  • If you want small amount of light to enter (that is why it's called narrow aperture) - for now I would say don't worry about this, you can learn more once you become more familiar with photography.
  • If you want a deep depth of field (e.g.: everything in focus - think of a scenario where you are taking a picture of your friends with a far-way mountain, and you want your friends and also the mountain sharp).

Finally, one thing to keep in mind is the aperture and shutter speed change in effect to one-another. For simplicity (and skipping the jargon), when you select a fast shutter speed, the aperture will change to a higher f-number, and when you select a slow shutter speed, the aperture will change to a smaller f-number.

Similarly, if you select a small f-number (wide aperture), the shutter duration will increase (slower speed), and selecting a high f-number (narrow aperture) will decrease the shutter duration (faster speed).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you sooooo much! I really appreciate it! This was an excellent detailed response! \$\endgroup\$ Jan 16, 2013 at 19:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Great answer. Good to see the beginners getting some love around here. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 17, 2013 at 0:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you but how do I get to that screen? \$\endgroup\$
    – user20983
    Jul 11, 2013 at 16:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is your LCD dark? Hit the "Disp." button to turn it on. This should be the first screen you see when you turn the camera on, assuming you're not set to save power by making it blank. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael H.
    Jul 11, 2013 at 17:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PatrickFrecker to add to khedron's point, if you are on live-view mode, you can press the button on top right that looks like a camera (look above images - there's a red dot near the button). \$\endgroup\$
    – Chait
    Jul 11, 2013 at 19:36

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.