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How to change the Aperture on Canon?

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Top 8 tips and tricks to record cinematic footage from your DSLR

Canon cameras are among the most popular ones on the planet for a number of reasons ranging from the affordable price, accessibility, ease of repair and widespread availability. They’re also fairly easy to use, even if you’re a complete beginner. 

That said, no matter the camera, controlling individual settings is what ultimately makes the difference. In this article, we’re talking about all the different ways you can change the aperture on your Canon DSLR or mirrorless camera. 

Also read: How to change the shutter speed on a Canon DSLR?

Changing the Aperture on Canon cameras

There are two ways you can change the aperture on your Canon camera. 

  • Using the Av button and main camera dial (for Canon EOS Rebel cameras)
  • Using the second, dedicated Aperture dial (for Canon EOS cameras)
Holding down the Av button and rotating the main dial will change your camera’s aperture in Manual mode.

Depending on the specific make and model of your camera, the location of these buttons and dials may vary. If you don’t have a secondary dial, you need to press and hold down the Av button on your camera while rotating the main dial to change the aperture.

If you don’t press the Av button, the dial will default to changing the shutter speed. For cameras that do have a second dial, it’s usually set to changing the aperture by default and you don’t need to press any buttons to make the change. Also, keep in mind that these settings usually only apply in the manual mode as different camera modes tend to map different buttons accordingly.

Setting your camera to Av mode makes the main dial change the aperture.

Alternatively, if you find yourself changing the aperture on your camera by a lot, you can switch to Aperture Priority mode. This is marked with an Av logo on the mode selection dial or screen in your camera and makes the main dial change the aperture without having to hold any extra buttons down. 

Also read: Manual, Aperture Priority, Shutter Speed Priority, Auto Modes explained

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: