I would love if I could set the default of "Portait" and "Flower" mode on my T6i to have the flash set to off. Is this possible?

Every time I turn the camera on to take a photo, I have to go to the "Quick Menu" to turn off the flash. Several clicks. It would be quicker to just change the default of this mode. I feel like I'm missing a lot of good shots – I almost never want to to use the flash. In some cases (e.g., photos of babies), I absolutely don't want to use the flash.

  • If you're comfortable with technology and don't mind the risk of bricking your camera, you could try alternative firmware such as Magic Lantern. – André Borie Dec 26 '16 at 14:30
  • @AndréBorie Thanks for the advice. Maybe you'd like to answer the question with something like "No, you can't change the settings. However, if you are willing to install Magic Lantern..." One question: Do you think it will actually let me change the presets? I mainly want shortcuts to my own version of portrait, flower, etc. – pixelfairy Dec 27 '16 at 2:00
  • @inkista Thanks for the edits. Why does is say "dRebel" instead of "Rebel" in the more concise title? – pixelfairy Dec 28 '16 at 22:08
  • @pixelfairy it's short for "digital Rebel"--Canon made both film and digital SLRs that were called Rebels. – inkista Dec 28 '16 at 22:09

Get out of the preset Scene modes and into the creative modes.

The preset Scene modes are just that: Preset. The settings are intended to make the camera "mistake proof" by making all of the decisions for you.

If you are ready to make those decisions yourself, it is time to go to the exposure modes designed to let you make those decisions (and mistakes if you are not paying attention to what you are doing) more easily.

With P, Tv, Av, and M modes the camera remembers the settings from the last time you used that mode.

  • A compromise is to set the flash off on P mode and either auto ISO or something like 400 that should work for many shots, then treat P mode as "no flash" mode. This works well for us on a family compact, where auto and scene modes can be quite useful, even though we don't tend to use these modes on SLRs. (+1 btw) – Chris H Dec 26 '16 at 8:04
  • The T6i already has a "no flash" mode, so if that's all you want, just use that. – Philip Kendall Dec 28 '16 at 21:52

This sort of customization isn't possible on low-end Canon SLRs - you'd need to move to something like the 80D with its "custom modes" to get this kind of ability.

That said, if you're trying to override the defaults of the scene modes, it's probably time to take the training wheels off and use Program Mode (or maybe Aperture Priority) instead: then control over the flash is just one button push away.

  • 1
    I know there are higher-end cameras but I don't really think of this camera as low-end, especially since I spent close to $800 on it. – pixelfairy Dec 25 '16 at 22:02
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    It's low end in terms of SLRs, being just one up from Canon's entry level model, the T6. But it doesn't really matter what we call it, the fact remains that you need to move higher up the range for custom modes. – Philip Kendall Dec 25 '16 at 22:11
  • Thank you for this answer. I've started shooting in P mode like you and others have recommended. I'm still a little bummed that I can't mod the presets, but c'est la vie. I wish Canon had a way to set a flash preference. – pixelfairy Dec 28 '16 at 21:46

I'm sure you've moved on with your life but this question saved me time on my search for the exact same fix. (Namely, the answer that there isn't one.)

BUT, I've just discovered that the camera has a tiny black button that tells it if there's an external flash plugged in. (Literally like a mini version of the button on your refrigerator that lets you turn off the light without closing the door.) Wad up a piece of paper in there to depress the button and it won't use the built in flash.

Right side of where you attach the external flash.

  • Some "level" accessories that slide into the hot shoe do exactly that. The better ones are not supposed to act like a flash, so get a bad one that presses that button.. – Jeroen van Duyn Aug 19 '19 at 9:39

I'm posting an answer to my own question (but I won't mark it as the official answer because that would be rude) to sum up what others have said and also what I heard from Canon when I called technical support.

As others have mentioned, the answer is, "No." The presets are not modifiable and the camera will not remember the last used sub-settings (such as flash-off) once it gets turned off and then on again.

Using P and Av are the best work around for this. In my case, I'm using P with ISO:Auto as my default shooting mode and then switching to Av if I want control over depth of field.

I have also started shooting in RAW + JPEG (RAW + L) instead of just JPEG (L) so that I can fix white balance and other things that a preset might adjust for me in post.

I hope Canon will offer a setting in the customization menu (in entry level, lighter body models) that lets the owner of the camera prefer available light over using light from the flash. I let them know my thoughts. Maybe maybe they'll take my suggestion and put the preference setting next to the no-beeping setting.

  • It's not rude to mark your own answer as accepted, if you feel like it's the most helpful. If you mark someone else's answer as accepted, it will be pinned to the top regardless of votes, but if you mark your own answer, it will be sorted regularly — so the rest of the community can help decide. – mattdm Dec 28 '16 at 21:59
  • I think the other answers are good and they were very helpful. I didn't get the answer I wanted but I think I'll take better photos with my Canon now. – pixelfairy Dec 28 '16 at 22:06

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