Canon EOS 7D Mark II G Specifications

Canon 7D Mark II Experience
PREVIEW of:
Canon 7D Mark II Experience
The Still Photography Guide to
Operation and Image Creation with the
Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Douglas J. Klostermann
Full Stop. good writing for better photography
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Canon 7D Mark II Experience
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Special thanks to LensProToGo
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And special thanks to Newtonville Camera of Newton, Mass.
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Copyright 2014 Douglas J. Klostermann - all rights reserved
Cover design and photograph by the author.
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Canon 7D Mark II Experience
Canon 7D Mark II Experience - PREVIEW
The Still Photography Guide to Operation and Image Creation with the Canon EOS 7D Mark II
By: Douglas J. Klostermann
PDF Version 1.0e
December 2014
Author’s website: www.dojoklo.com
Author’s blog: http://blog.dojoklo.com/
Published by Full Stop Media, LLC
Full Stop. good writing for better photography
Arlington, Mass. USA
http://www.dojoklo.com/Full_Stop/
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Canon 7D Mark II Experience
CONTENTS
1. INTRODUCTION............................................................................................... 7
1.1 Take Control of Your Camera ................................................................................. 9
1.2 Using This Guide ................................................................................................... 11
1.3 Quick Start for Previous Canon dSLR Users ........................................................ 16
1.4 Batteries and Memory Cards................................................................................. 20
2. CAMERA CONTROLS ................................................................................... 23
2.1 EOS 7D Mark II Camera Controls ......................................................................... 23
2.2 Viewfinder Display and Quick Control Screen ...................................................... 38
3. MENU SETTINGS........................................................................................... 43
3.1 Introduction to Setting Up the 7D Mark II .............................................................. 43
3.2 Shooting Menus..................................................................................................... 45
3.3 Live View Shooting Menus .................................................................................... 67
3.4 Autofocus (AF) Menus........................................................................................... 73
3.5 Playback Menus .................................................................................................... 94
3.6 Set-up Menus ...................................................................................................... 109
3.7 My Menu .............................................................................................................. 129
3.8 Movie Shooting Mode Menus .............................................................................. 131
4. CUSTOM FUNCTIONS MENU SETTINGS .................................................. 132
4.1 C.Fn 1: Exposure................................................................................................. 132
4.2 C.Fn 2: Exposure/Drive ....................................................................................... 138
4.3 C.Fn 3: Display/Operation ................................................................................... 140
4.4 C.Fn 4: Others ..................................................................................................... 145
4.5 C.Fn 5: Clear ....................................................................................................... 147
5. CUSTOM CONTROLS - ADVANCED .......................................................... 148
5.1 Shutter Button Half-Press.................................................................................... 148
5.2 AF-ON Button ...................................................................................................... 150
5.3 AE Lock Button .................................................................................................... 154
5.4 Depth of Field (DOF) Preview Button.................................................................. 155
5.5 Lens AF Stop Button ........................................................................................... 158
5.6 Multi-Function Button........................................................................................... 159
5.7 SET Button .......................................................................................................... 160
5.8 Main Dial.............................................................................................................. 161
5.9 Quick Control Dial................................................................................................ 162
5.10 Multi-Controller .................................................................................................. 162
5.11 AF Area Selection Lever.................................................................................... 163
6. PLAYBACK and IMAGE FILE FORMATS .................................................. 165
6.1 Image Playback ................................................................................................... 165
6.2 Image File Formats - JPEG and RAW ................................................................ 172
6.3 File Sizes and Maximum Burst Rate ................................................................... 176
7. AUTOFOCUSING Part 1 .............................................................................. 178
7.1 Using Autofocus .................................................................................................. 178
7.2 Autofocus - AF Point Selection............................................................................ 181
7.3 Autofocus - AF Modes ......................................................................................... 186
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Canon 7D Mark II Experience
7.4 Autofocus - AF Area Selection Modes ................................................................ 193
7.4a Single-Point AF .............................................................................................. 195
7.4b Spot AF .......................................................................................................... 196
7.4c AF Point Expansion - 4 Adjacent ................................................................... 197
7.4d AF Point Expansion - 8 Adjacent ................................................................... 199
7.4e Zone AF ......................................................................................................... 200
7.4f Large Zone AF ................................................................................................ 202
7.4g Auto Selection - 65-Point AF ......................................................................... 203
7.5 Autofocus - AF Points and Composition ............................................................. 204
8. AUTOFOCUSING Part 2 .............................................................................. 208
8.1 Autofocus - AF Configuration Tool and Autofocus Cases................................... 208
8.2 Autofocus Menu Settings..................................................................................... 213
8.3 Back Button Focusing.......................................................................................... 216
8.4 Live View and Movie Autofocusing...................................................................... 221
9. DRIVE MODES ............................................................................................. 230
10. EXPOSURE Part 1 ..................................................................................... 234
10.1 Intro to Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO ......................................................... 234
10.2 Aperture-Priority AE Mode (Av) and Shutter-Priority AE Mode (Tv) ................. 240
10.3 ISO and Auto ISO.............................................................................................. 246
10.4 Full Stops........................................................................................................... 251
10.5 Manual Exposure Mode (M) .............................................................................. 253
10.6 Additional Zone Shooting Modes ...................................................................... 256
11. METERING MODES ................................................................................... 262
11.1 Evaluative Metering ........................................................................................... 263
11.2 Partial Metering ................................................................................................. 264
11.3 Spot Metering .................................................................................................... 266
11.4 Center-Weighted Average Metering.................................................................. 268
11.5 Manual Metering................................................................................................ 271
11.6 Metering Modes and Exposure ......................................................................... 272
12. EXPOSURE Part 2 ..................................................................................... 275
12.1 Exposure Lock ................................................................................................... 275
12.2 Histograms......................................................................................................... 278
12.3 Exposure Compensation ................................................................................... 283
12.4 Auto Exposure Bracketing ................................................................................. 288
12.5 HDR (High Dynamic Range) Shooting Mode.................................................... 290
12.6 Multiple Exposure Mode .................................................................................... 295
13. ADDITIONAL CAMERA FUNCTIONS ....................................................... 300
13.1 Auto Lighting Optimizer and Highlight Tone Priority ......................................... 300
13.2 White Balance ................................................................................................... 301
13.3 Picture Styles..................................................................................................... 307
13.4 Interval Timer and Time-Lapse Photography Shooting .................................... 312
13.5 Sensor Cleaning ................................................................................................ 314
14. FLASH ........................................................................................................ 316
14.1 Flash Functions and Settings ............................................................................ 316
14.2 External Flash.................................................................................................... 323
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Canon 7D Mark II Experience
14.3 Wireless Flash ................................................................................................... 327
15. THE IMAGE TAKING PROCESS ............................................................... 340
15.1 Still Subjects ...................................................................................................... 340
15.2 Moving Subjects ................................................................................................ 342
15.3 Putting it all into Practice ................................................................................... 344
16. GPS FUNCTIONS....................................................................................... 346
17. VIDEO - AN INTRODUCTION .................................................................... 351
17.1 Movie Shooting Menus ...................................................................................... 352
17.2 Video Settings ................................................................................................... 366
17.3 Manual Exposure Settings for Video ................................................................. 372
18. COMPOSITION........................................................................................... 376
19. LENSES ...................................................................................................... 386
19.1 Lens Notations................................................................................................... 386
19.2 Fixed Maximum Aperture vs. Variable Maximum Aperture Lenses.................. 389
19.3 Which Lens to Buy Next .................................................................................... 390
20. PHOTOGRAPHY ACCESSORIES and BOOKS ....................................... 399
20.1 Canon 7D Mark II Accessories.......................................................................... 399
20.2 Digital SLR Photography Accessories .............................................................. 401
20.3 Digital Photography Books ................................................................................ 405
21. CONCLUSION ............................................................................................ 407
Updates to the Text ................................................................................................... 408
About the Author........................................................................................................ 409
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Canon 7D Mark II Experience
1. INTRODUCTION
The introduction of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II brings about an important and longanticipated update to its popular and powerful predecessor, the original EOS 7D. Nearly
all of the camera’s essential specifications have been improved, including the addition
of Canon’s new 65 point Viewfinder autofocus system, a 20.2 megapixel sensor, faster
10 frames per second continuous shooting speed, dual Digic 6 processors, and built-in
GPS. Plus the 7D Mark II boasts several improvements to its video capabilities,
including the Dual Pixel CMOS AF Live View and movie autofocus system which can
assist in retaining continuous focus on moving subjects.
Figure 1 - The Canon EOS 7D Mark II.
The highly customizable 65 point Viewfinder autofocus system, with all cross-type
points spread widely across the Viewfinder, will allow you to focus exactly where you
desire without necessarily having to lock focus and recompose. And when tracking
moving subjects with AI Servo Autofocus Mode, the 65 AF Points and autofocus
configuration Cases will allow you to more successfully retain focus on a wide variety of
different types of subjects during sports, action, and wildlife shooting. The numerous AF
Area Selection Modes, ranging from a small Spot point, to a Zone of several points, to
all 65 points, will enable you to more easily keep subjects of different sizes and
movements located at the active focus points. And the new AF Area Selection Lever on
the rear of the camera will help you to quickly select your desired AF Area Selection
Mode. The camera’s Custom Controls menu will allow you to assign numerous different
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Canon 7D Mark II Experience
options to various camera buttons, including the ability to temporarily switch to a
completely different autofocusing or shooting set-up with the press of a button.
The new Dual Pixel CMOS AF autofocusing system will enable you to more quickly and
accurately track and focus on a moving subject, using a large central area of the frame,
when working in Live View or shooting video. When combined with one of Canon’s STM
“stepping motor” lenses, this can even be accomplished with considerably reduced lens
operation noise. The increased 10 frames per second (fps) continuous shooting speed
will enable you to capture exactly the right moment, expression, or peak of action, and
the fast frame rate can be maintained for a continuous burst of up to 31 RAW images. A
new 150,000-pixel RGB+IR metering system includes the option of using face
recognition for focusing, plus makes use of color to identify and track subjects, which is
ideal for sports and action situations.
Figure 2 - Duck in Flight, Arlington, Mass. - Captured with AI Servo autofocus mode, AF
Case 1, and Zone AF Area Mode. 7D Mark II, Shutter speed 1/1000, Aperture f/4.0, ISO
200.
The 7D Mark II also includes dual memory card slots (CF and SD), wireless flash
control via the built-in flash, new Silent Shooting Drive Modes for quieter shooting in
sensitive situations, better low-light capabilities at high ISO settings, Interval Timer
shooting, and in-camera processing and lens correction features such as Multiple
Exposures, HDR shooting, and chromatic aberration and distortion corrections.
Expanded Auto ISO capabilities make this feature much more versatile, including when
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Canon 7D Mark II Experience
shooting in Manual (M) Mode for stills or video. And for capturing HD video, the 7D
Mark II offers simultaneous recording to an internal memory card along with
uncompressed output to an external recorder including audio and time codes, a choice
of file formats and compression options, the ability to customize the speed of
autofocusing transitions, and a Silent Control touch dial to quietly change settings while
recording.
With its high-resolution, high-quality image sensor, 65 point autofocus system, 10
frames per second continuous shooting speed, 252-zone exposure metering system,
dual Digic 6 processors, and high ISO capabilities in low light, the Canon 7D Mark II
enables photographers to consistently capture sharp, clean, and well-exposed images.
Borrowing from the improved features of the Canon 6D and 70D, plus several of the
exceptional capabilities of the high-end 5D Mark III, the 7D Mark II also boasts a big and
bright Viewfinder with 100% coverage, a ruggedly built and highly weather-sealed body,
and numerous customization options. The 7D Mark II is clearly a powerful, advanced
tool for digital photography and is fully capable of capturing professional quality images
in most any situation you wish to use it.
But the 7D Mark II is merely a tool. It is up to you to make use of its features and
capabilities to create the images you envision. While the camera’s manual will tell you
about the settings and controls, how to change them, and their intended functions, this
guide will build upon that and explain when and why you may want to use and
customize them. Every button, feature, menu item, and Custom Function setting of the
7D Mark II is there for a reason: to help you capture the images you want. Some of
them are more useful to different types of photographers and shooting situations and
you don’t necessarily need to learn and use them all immediately, but this guide will
help to give you the knowledge to confidently use the ones that turn your Canon 7D
Mark II into an image capturing tool that works best for you and the photography
situations you work in.
1.1 Take Control of Your Camera
Since the Canon 7D Mark II is a tool to take the images you want to take, you obviously
can’t always allow the camera to make decisions for you. You have to take control of
the camera to ensure that you capture exactly the images you intend - by autofocusing
precisely where you want, setting the aperture or shutter speed that you want, and
obtaining the exposure you want. While it is an intelligent camera, the 7D Mark II cannot
read your mind and your intentions and does not know that you wish to focus on and
properly expose the closest leaves, while making the background branches appear out
of focus, and the leaves to be caught still and not blurred from the motion of the wind,
on this bright and sunny day (see Figure 3). You have to tell the camera to do all of this
through the various controls and settings, such as the autofocus AF Mode (focus on the
near leaves), the Exposure Metering Mode (properly expose for the leaves and the
scene), the Aperture setting (the out-of-focus background), the Shutter Speed (freeze
the motion of the leaves), the ISO (bright day) and the White Balance (sunny day).
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Canon 7D Mark II Experience
Figure 3 - Autumn Leaves, Whipple Hill, Lexington, Mass - Autofocus, exposure
metering mode, aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and white balance all considered in
capturing this image. 7D Mark II, Shutter speed 1/800, Aperture f/3.5, ISO 200.
One has to think about all this stuff for every photo? Well, yes, that is what digital SLR
photography is all about! At least if you wish to consistently create the well made,
interesting, and compelling images you envision. And that is why the 7D Mark II has all
the buttons, controls, Custom Functions, and features for you to make use of.
Learning to use and get the most from a highly advanced digital SLR (dSLR) camera
like the 7D Mark II takes time, practice, patience, mistakes, and experimentation. If you
have upgraded from a previous dSLR such as the EOS 70D or one of its predecessors,
or from a Rebel such as the T5i/700D to the 7D Mark II, you are in for a treat. Its
additional features and capabilities will more easily help you to capture images and
photographs that you may have been limited in consistently attaining before. Its
versatile and accurate autofocus system coupled with its rapid continuous shooting
speed, plus its exposure metering system and high ISO capabilities will help you
capture sharp images of subjects and moments that previously you may have missed,
especially in action and in low-light situations.
If you are relatively new to dSLR photography and are still in the process of learning all
the controls of a dSLR and the exposure concepts of digital photography, you have
perhaps ventured towards the proverbial deep end of the pool by choosing the
advanced 7D Mark II! But don’t worry, this book will help guide you through its features,
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Canon 7D Mark II Experience
controls, and capabilities. Be sure to take it slowly and patiently as you learn the
features and concepts that I will explain. With practice and experience you will soon be
shooting with confidence and can begin to take advantage of the camera’s more
advanced functions. Even if you are an intermediate photographer, don’t expect to just
pick up all the new information at once, in one or two readings of a single book. (In fact,
you wouldn’t want to, as the never-ending journey of learning and mastering
photography is a big part of what it’s all about!) Try not to become frustrated if you don’t
quite understand something or aren’t always getting the results you desire. Instead
learn the controls, functions, settings, and concepts bit by bit, try them out in real life
shooting situations, and return to this guide, the manual, and other photography books
to address questions and problems you encounter. Continue to learn and to photograph
often and it should all begin to come together, sometimes slowly and sometimes in rapid
spurts of discovery and understanding.
1.2 Using This Guide
There are many different ways to use a dSLR camera and its controls to capture
images, and many diverse situations in which photographers work. I’m going to
concentrate on the techniques that I believe are the most practical, useful, and effective
for the majority of photographers using the 7D Mark II, while also explaining how
settings can apply to specialized uses. The settings and techniques I discuss will apply
to various types of photography including general photography, action, portrait, and
travel photography. Once you have a firm grasp of the controls, settings, and basic
techniques you will have the tools and knowledge to address different issues, specific
situations, and challenging scenes. I encourage you to then experiment and continue to
learn, and to find the techniques that work best and are most comfortable or intuitive for
you.
The 7D Mark II is a highly sophisticated tool that deserves to be used to its full potential,
and that involves taking control of the camera and its functions, which means taking it
off Auto+ and Program AE Shooting Modes, and off automatically selected autofocus
points (when not needed). While this may be more challenging at first, these are the
techniques that are necessary to take full advantage of the capabilities of any dSLR
including the 7D Mark II, and will lead you to having more control and consistency over
your image making. Hopefully this will inevitably lead to better images!
This guide is intended to be used with the camera in your hands. That is the best way to
directly follow and understand the controls, functions, and settings as they are being
explained. It is also intended to be used in addition to the camera’s manual, not to
completely replace it, so every bit of information in the Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Instruction Manual will not be repeated here. Among the official manual’s often brief
descriptions and sometimes frustratingly incomplete and disjointed explanations, there
is some very valuable information, as well as the basics for buttons, controls, and how
to access and change all the settings. And I will refer to the manual for very specialized
or rarely-used functions that are well-explained there.
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Canon 7D Mark II Experience
Following what seems to be a new trend, the camera does not come with printed
versions of the full Instruction Manual, or the software instruction manuals - only the
PDF versions of them which can be found on the included discs. All of these manuals
can also be obtained as a PDF files from the EOS 7D Mark II page on the Canon
website, under Brochures and Manuals:
http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/cameras/slr_cameras/eos_7d_mark_ii#BrochuresAndManuals
There are two version of the Canon 7D Mark II body, the (G) version with GPS, and the
version without GPS. The references to the page numbers in the Canon EOS 7D Mark
II Instruction Manual found throughout this text will refer to the (G) version of the
manual.
Figure 4 - 1961 Corvette, Larz Anderson Auto Museum, Brookline, Mass. 7D Mark II,
Shutter speed 1/40, Aperture f/4.0, ISO 1600, (converted to black and white in
Photoshop).
If you have an iPad or tablet you will find that it is helpful to download all the manuals
onto your device for reading and reference (along with this e-book). As you can see,
there is a lot to make sense of regarding terminology and controls, so I recommend that
you familiarize yourself with the controls and displays of the camera body, as shown on
pages 22-29 of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II Instruction Manual and explained in the
following chapter of this book, as well as read through the Canon manual at some point
and attempt to understand or absorb as much as possible. Yes, some of it may be
complicated and confusing at first, but this guide will explain and clarify the numerous
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Canon 7D Mark II Experience
buttons, controls, menus, functions, and settings and explain how, when and why you
will want to use them in your photography. Also be sure to read and follow all the official
use, safety, and handling instructions and precautions explained in the manuals
provided with the camera and software, including those on pages 20-21 and pages 523530 of the 7D Mark II Instruction Manual. Additional cautions throughout the Canon
manual are important to read because they explain things such as the high internal
temperature that the camera can reach due to prolonged Live View or movie use, and
how using a non-compatible external flash can cause your camera to malfunction (page
261). Live View cautions are on pages 310-311 of the Canon manual, and numerous
movie shooting cautions are found in pages 315-352. Important lens precautions for the
STM kit lenses are listed on page 523, including how you may hear the lens focus as it
resets when the camera is turned on or when the lens or camera comes out of sleep
mode.
Various settings of the 7D Mark II can be controlled in multiple ways: using the buttons
and dials on the camera body while reading the settings on the top LCD Panel or in the
Viewfinder, through the Quick Control Screen accessed with the [Q] Button and read on
the rear LCD Monitor, in the menus accessed with the Menu Button, or even by
customizing the buttons and controls on the camera body via the Custom Functions.
Explore the options, which will be explained throughout this guide, and find the ways
that work most quickly and intuitively for you.
Figure 5 - Detail of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II.
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Canon 7D Mark II Experience
2. CAMERA CONTROLS
As I spoke about earlier, the 7D Mark II is an image making tool. It is up to you to make
use of its features and capabilities to create the images you envision, so you can’t
typically allow the camera to make decisions for you. You have to take control of the
camera in order to consistently capture the images you intend - by autofocusing where
and how you want, setting the aperture or shutter speed that you want, and obtaining
the exposure you want. Each of these functions, and more, go into the making of most
every image, whether you choose to control them or not, and each should be
understood in order to get the most out of your 7D Mark II and your photography. To
help you accomplish this, the 7D Mark II offers numerous external controls and the
ability to customize them for your shooting needs. Many of the controls are designed to
be easily accessible while the camera is held to your eye and in use, so that you can
quickly adjust settings as you work.
Figure 13 - View of the top controls of the Canon EOS 7D Mk II.
2.1 EOS 7D Mark II Camera Controls
Have a look at your camera and the diagrams below, and I’ll go over the controls on
your camera that you will be learning about and using throughout this guide.
Customizing the various buttons and controls will be discussed in the Custom Controls
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Canon 7D Mark II Experience
- Advanced chapter. The controls will also be discussed in more detail throughout this
text, in conjunction with the functions they perform and control.
On the top of the camera (see Figures 13 and 14), you will find:
Shutter Button - As you know, this is what you press to take a photo or series of
photos. Tapping it half-way will do a few things like wake up the camera if it hasn’t been
used in a few minutes or start the exposure metering. Pressing and holding it half-way
will also perform functions like locking exposure and/ or focus or starting focus tracking
(depending on your Shooting Mode, Focus Mode, and custom settings).
Main Dial - Located near the Shutter Button, this dial changes settings like aperture
size in Aperture-Priority AE Mode (Av) or shutter speed in Shutter-Priority AE Mode
(Tv). It is also used in conjunction with other buttons, such as the ISO Speed Setting
Button to adjust the ISO setting, or to jump ahead/ back a user-determined number of
images during image review.
With the row of buttons along the top LCD Panel, the button’s first setting will always be
changed with rear Quick Control Dial (after pressing the button) and the second setting
will be changed with the top Main Dial (after pressing the button). (For some mysterious
reason, compared to the 7D and other previous cameras, the order of these icons has
been swapped but the dial used to change the function remains the same.) Also, you
can press and release the button, then adjust the setting with one of the dials as you
view them on the top LCD Panel, then press the button again to exit the setting.
With the 7D Mk II, the Main Dial is now also used in conjunction with the Magnify Button
to zoom in and out during image review on the rear LCD Monitor, as will be explained in
the Image Playback section.
M-Fn - AF Area Selection Mode / Multi-Function Button - This button, located just
behind the Shutter Button, is used in conjunction with the AF Point Selection Button to
choose from the multiple autofocus AF Area Selection Modes such as Single-Point AF,
AF Point Expansion, and Zone AF. The 7D Mark II also includes a new thumb switch
surrounding the Multi-Selector, which performs this function.
You can also customize this Multi-Function Button to perform another operation when
used independently (without first pressing the AF Point Selection Button), such as
functioning as the Flash Exposure Lock Button, or allowing simultaneous RAW+JPEG
image capture if you are currently only capturing one format.
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Canon 7D Mark II Experience
Figure 14 - Detail of the controls on the top of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II.
White Balance / Metering Mode Selection Button - Press and release this button
then turn the rear Quick Control Dial to change the White Balance setting (such as
Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent), or turn the top Main Dial to change the Metering Mode
(such as Evaluative, Spot, Partial), (see Figure 15 - left).
Drive Mode / Autofocus (AF) Operation Selection Button - Press and release this
button then turn the rear Quick Control Dial to change the Drive Mode setting (such as
Single Shooting, High Speed or Low Speed Continuous), and the top Main Dial to
change the Autofocus (AF) Mode (such as One-Shot AF or AI Servo AF).
Flash Exposure Compensation / ISO Speed Setting Button - Press and release this
button then turn the Quick Control Dial to change the Flash Exposure Compensation
amount, and turn the Main Dial to change the ISO Speed Setting (such as 100, 400,
12,800). Note that this button is concave and has a small bump on it to allow you to
identify it with your fingertip and change the ISO setting on the fly without your eye
leaving the Viewfinder.
Note that if you first press the INFO Button and access the Shooting Settings screen
and then press any of the above three buttons, you can view and change their settings
on the rear LCD Monitor, also using either the Main Dial or the Quick Control Dial as
you would when changing the function while viewing the top LCD Panel. For example,
both Metering Mode and White Balance options will appear on the rear screen when
pressing that button after the INFO Button, and the top Main Dial will adjust the
Metering Mode while the Quick Control Dial will adjust the White Balance. This will also
25
Canon 7D Mark II Experience
work with the AF Point Selection Button after pressing the INFO Button and accessing
the Shootings Settings screen. That way you can view the AF Points on the rear Monitor
as they are seen in the Viewfinder, or change the AF Area Selection mode by
repeatedly pressing the M-Fn Button. As you can see in Figure 15, icons will indicate
which control is used to change the setting, such as the Main Dial, Quick Control Dial,
AF Area Selection Lever, or M-Fn Button.
Figure 15 - Press the INFO Button to access the Shooting Settings screen then press
the top buttons or the AF Point Selection Button to view and change those settings on
the rear Monitor. Left: Metering Mode and White Balance. Right: AF Point Selection.
LCD Panel Illumination Button - Press this button to turn on or off the illumination of
the top LCD Panel.
LCD Panel - This is the top LCD screen where you can view many of the camera’s
settings, and choose your desired settings when adjusting them with the buttons and
dials.
Focal Plane Mark - The symbol of the circle with the line through it, located on the top
of your camera to the left of the LCD Panel, indicates the focal plane (location of the
sensor) from which the focus distance begins. This can be used to measure focus
distance in very precise macro or scientific photography.
Dioptric Adjustment Knob - This dial located at the top corner of the Viewfinder
eyecup is used to adjust the clarity of the Viewfinder for your own vision. Use the
autofocus system to focus precisely on a nearby object, then turn this dial until the
object looks perfectly clear to your eye in the Viewfinder. Or look at the AF Points in the
Viewfinder and adjust the dial until they are in focus. Remember to check this dial if the
camera does not seem to be focusing well as you look through the Viewfinder, as it can
sometimes be inadvertently moved.
Mode Dial - Located on the left side of the top of the camera is the Mode Dial, used to
change the Shooting Mode such as Aperture-Priority (Av) or Shutter-Priority (Tv) Mode.
Press and hold the Mode Dial Lock Release Button then turn the dial to the desired
setting. The 7D Mk II includes the lock release button, which is available as a
modification from Canon for older 7D and 5D Mk II bodies.
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Canon 7D Mark II Experience
Shooting 2 Menu
Figure 41 - Shooting 2 Menu.
Exposure Compensation/AEB
Exposure Compensation allows you to change the exposure from what the camera has
determined, to make subsequent images darker or brighter. While you can use this
menu to change the Exposure Compensation amount (see Figure 42 - left), you can
more easily use the Quick Control Dial for directly changing Exposure Compensation as
you shoot, while monitoring the setting in the Viewfinder or on the top LCD Panel. If you
wish to set Exposure Compensation greater than +/-3 stops (up to +/-5 stops) you will
need to use this menu item or the [Q] Button and Quick Control Screen rather than just
turning the Quick Control Dial, as the top LCD Panel and Viewfinder only display up to
+/-3 stops.
And you need to access this menu item (or the Quick Control Screen) for Auto
Exposure Bracketing (AEB). Bracketing is when you take a series of the same image
using different camera settings, in order to ensure that at least one of the images is
correct, or to experiment, or for HDR purposes. You can manually change the exposure
settings yourself in order to bracket, or you can set up the camera to do it for you. Auto
Exposure Bracketing (AEB) is when the camera automatically changes the settings and
takes this series of shots, according to your user-determined settings.
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Canon 7D Mark II Experience
Figure 42 - Access the Exposure Compensation / Auto Exposure Bracketing menu to
set the exposure compensation (left) and / or bracketing amount (right).
To make use of these functions, turn the rear Quick Control Dial to adjust the Exposure
Compensation amount, and turn the top Main Dial to enable and set Auto Exposure
Bracketing, as indicated by the icons on the screen (see Figure 42 - right). Both
Exposure Compensation and Auto Exposure Bracketing will be explained in the
Exposure Part 2 chapter.
ISO Speed Settings
Using this menu item you can set the ISO speed setting as well as limit the ISO speed
range that is available for you and for the camera to select (see Figure 43). For setting
the first option, ISO speed, you can more easily use the ISO Speed Setting Button on
the top of the camera or use the Quick Control Screen. But you will need to access this
menu to initially set up the other ISO related settings.
ISO speed determines the sensitivity of the sensor to light, and will be discussed
in the Exposure Part 1 chapter.
ISO speed range will determine what minimum and maximum ISO settings are
available for you to choose when not using Auto ISO, ranging from ISO 100 to
H2 (ISO 51,200). This allows you to determine if you want the low and the
extremely high ISO settings available to select. If you have determined that
images beyond a certain ISO range are unacceptable to you or you don’t wish to
make use of them, limit the camera from accessing these settings (see Figure
43). I suggest that you take test images to determine the highest ISO setting that
you find acceptable in the situations you shoot, and limit the Maximum ISO to
that amount. That will ensure that, when photographing, you don’t accidentally
set the camera to an exceptionally high ISO setting that you do not wish to use.
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Canon 7D Mark II Experience
Figure 43 - ISO Speed Settings Menu (left), including the ISO Speed Range menu item
used to set the Minimum and Maximum ISO settings that you will be able to select when
shooting (right). The Auto ISO Range sub-menu is similar to ISO Speed Range submenu, and applies when using Auto ISO rather than manually selecting an ISO setting.
Auto ISO range is similar, except that it is for when the camera is selecting the
ISO setting itself, when you are using Auto ISO or when using Safety Shift (with
certain exceptions as described in the Safety Shift menu item a little later). It is
limited at 100 to 16,000 ISO.
As will be noted, there are certain situations where the camera will over-ride
these settings, such as during movie shooting, in certain shooting modes, and
during flash photography. So, for example, when using a flash you will still need
to keep your eye on the exposure settings.
Minimum shutter speed is used in conjunction with Auto ISO, and is to ensure
that the shutter speed does not become too slow for hand-holding. This will only
apply when the camera is set for Auto ISO and you are working in Av or P
Shooting Mode. (In Tv and M modes it does not apply because then you are
setting the shutter speed). You can set this for Auto, and then the camera will
select an appropriate minimum shutter speed based on the lens and focal length
being used. It will follow the “1 / lens focal length” rule, for example if you are
using a 200mm focal length, the camera will select 1/200 as the minimum shutter
speed.
A new feature of the 7D Mark II is that if you select the Auto option for the
Minimum Shutter Speed setting, then you can also tweak this setting if you want
the camera to use a faster or slower Auto minimum shutter speed (see Figure 44
- left). Use the top Main Dial to change this setting, where each increment will
adjust by one stop (1 EV).
If you choose the Manual setting for Minimum Shutter Speed, set this for the
slowest setting you believe you can hand-hold and still obtain a sharp image (see
Figure 44 - right). Since you may not always be paying attention to the shutter
speed that the camera selects during a shooting situation, you may want to limit
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Canon 7D Mark II Experience
this to perhaps 1/60 or 1/125. The camera may still drop to a slower shutter
speed if it reaches the maximum ISO setting that you just set above and the
exposure still cannot be obtained. Note that this minimum shutter speed setting
will not be applicable when using a flash.
ISO settings and Auto ISO will be further explained in the Exposure, Part 1 chapter.
Figure 44 - Minimum Shutter Speed menu item, to specify the slowest shutter speed
that the camera will select when also making use of Auto ISO. Auto setting (left), and
Manual setting (right).
Auto Lighting Optimizer
This feature automatically adjusts contrast and brightness of an image and helps to
maintain detail in both the shadows and highlights of images with a wide contrast range
(ones containing very bright areas and very dark areas, such as a backlit subject). It
affects JPEG images only, and not RAW images. Auto Lighting Optimizer (ALO) works
by applying a tone curve to the images as they are being processed in-camera, similar
to an Adjustment Curve you might apply in Photoshop. If you are shooting scenes with a
wide range of contrast, you may want to experiment with this setting and its different
levels (Low, Standard, High) to see if it gives you desirable results (see Figure 45 - left).
However, if you prefer full control of your camera and your exposures through metering,
reading the Histogram, and making use of Exposure Compensation (all explained in
detail throughout this text), you may want to Disable this setting so that the camera isn't
doing something with your exposures without you having control over it.
If you enable ALO, I suggest that you check the Disabled in M or B modes box (by
pressing the INFO Button) to disable this feature when working in Manual (M) or Bulb
(B) Shooting Mode so that the camera doesn’t override your careful settings. You will
typically also want to disable it when using a flash, otherwise it may drive you crazy
wondering why the image results don’t seem to be responding to your settings changes
- because the ALO is compensating for your changes.
Note that if Highlight Tone Priority is enabled (Shooting 3 Menu), then ALO will be
automatically disabled. It will also be temporarily disabled when using the HDR and
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Canon 7D Mark II Experience
7.4 Autofocus - AF Area Selection Modes
Figure 208 - Autofocus AF Area Selection Mode options of the 7D Mark II. Press the
INFO Button until the Shooting Settings screen is displayed on the rear LCD Monitor,
then press the AF Point Selection Button to display the “AF Point Selection” Quick
Control Screen. Change the AF Area Selection Mode by pressing the M-Fn Button or
turning the AF Area Selection Lever repeatedly, as indicated by the icons on the screen.
To fully take advantage of the 7D Mark II autofocus system you have to understand not
only the AF Modes (such as One-Shot and AI Servo), but also the AF Area Selection
Modes. These are used to tell the camera where to look to find the subject you wish to
focus on, or to designate where you wish to initiate focus tracking of a moving subject.
The area you select can range from a single, small AF Point, to a group or a Zone, or all
65 AF Points available in the Viewfinder (see Figure 208). The smaller the area the
more accurate your focusing may be (in terms of having the camera focus exactly
where you desire), but the larger areas or Zones will give you the ability to work more
quickly - if slightly less precisely - as well as help remain focused on fast moving
subjects so that you don’t miss a shot. (By “accuracy” and “precision” I do not mean that
the accuracy of the 7D Mark II autofocusing system changes, but rather your accuracy
or precision of being able to focus at exactly the place in the scene or the part of the
subject where you wish to focus.) The optimal way to work is thus to use the smallest
AF Area Selection Mode that still allows you to capture the majority of the images in a
specific shooting situation. So for example with a still subject and no time pressure, you
can easily manually select a single AF Point, but for a fast-moving subject you may
have to make use of larger Zones comprised of several AF Points, or even resort to
using all 65 AF Points where you allow the camera to automatically decide where to
focus.
Remember that you activated all the available AF Area Selection Modes using the AF4
Menu > Select AF area selection mode. To select a specific AF Area Selection Mode
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Canon 7D Mark II Experience
while shooting, turn the shooting Mode Dial to a non-Auto+ mode such as Av, Tv, or M,
and make sure the switch on your lens it set to AF, then:
1. Press the AF Point Selection Button on the rear-top-right of the camera body.
2. Then while looking in the Viewfinder press the M-Fn (Multi-Function) Button
repeatedly (located on the top of the camera near the Shutter Button), or
repeatedly rotate the AF Area Selection Lever, surrounding the Multi-Selector.
You will see the camera cycle through the various options as the AF Points
illuminate in various different ways.
A second way to change the AF Area Selection Mode is to first press the INFO Button
until the Shooting Settings screen is displayed on the rear LCD Monitor, then press the
AF Point Selection Button to display the AF Point Selection screen. You can then easily
view all your available AF Area Selection Modes, and press the M-Fn Button or turn the
AF Area Selection Lever repeatedly to change to the AF Area Selection Mode of your
choice (see Figure 208).
You should practice these methods of selecting the AF Area Selection Mode so that you
can change it without taking your camera from your eye. Remember that you can also
set AF4 > AF area selection method to change this procedure, and instead use the AF
Point Selection Button plus the top Main Dial (rather than the M-Fn Button) to select
your desired AF Area mode.
Based on the lens you are using, the number of available AF Points and their individual
accuracy will vary. See pages 99-107 of the 7D Mark II Instruction Manual to see a
description of the different types of AF Points and full lists of lenses and extenders,
indicating which points are able to be used and selected, and whether or not they will
act as cross-type AF Points. If you are using a lens where some of the points will not be
active or will not be acting as cross-type points, the disabled points will not be
displayed, and the non-cross-type points will blink when you press the AF Point
Selection Button.
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Canon 7D Mark II Experience
Figure 209 - Weeks Bridge in Evening Light, Cambridge, MA - Simulated view of 7D
Mark II Viewfinder, showing the locations of all 65 AF Points and Single-Point AF.
Manually select a single AF Point, and locate it over a detail, a line, or an area of
contrast where you wish to focus. Shutter speed 1/100, Aperture f/4.5, ISO 2500.
Background image shown at 65% opacity to better see Viewfinder elements.
7.4a Single-Point AF
Although Spot AF is listed first in the camera’s menu, I am starting with Single-Point AF
in order to best explain them. Single-Point AF Autofocus Area Mode allows you to select
a single point of your choosing from among the 65 available AF Points (see Figure 209).
This can be one of the most precise AF Area Selection Modes - from a user standpoint in that it allows you to tell the camera exactly where to autofocus. Remember that the
camera needs to see contrast or texture in order to best focus, so avoid placing the AF
Point over an area of solid color, and remember to generally focus on the nearest eye
when photographing people. The area that the camera looks at is larger than the actual
AF Point square you see in the Viewfinder. You can use this with One-Shot AF Mode to
accurately focus on still subjects and to lock focus (with a half-press of the Shutter
Button) at a specific distance and recompose before taking the shot. Or even to perform
these actions and capture moving subjects if you work quickly and if the camera-tosubject distance does not dramatically change between the time you lock focus and
take the image. Single-Point AF is indicated in the Viewfinder by the single larger
square among the smaller squares (see Figure 210).
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Canon 7D Mark II Experience
Remember that you can set the Selectable AF Point setting in the AF4 Menu to limit the
number of selectable points. And you can always press straight in on the MultiController to quickly choose the center point in order to use it or to help jump, for
example, from an extreme left point to the center so that you can then more quickly
select a point on the right side.
Figure 210 - Simulated view of Viewfinder when selecting Single-Point AF Autofocus
Area Selection Mode.
When working in AI Servo AF Mode for moving subjects, you tell the camera what
subject to begin tracking by selecting your desired AF Point, placing it over the subject,
and half-pressing the Shutter Button. The camera will now track the focus distance of a
moving subject as long as it remains under the selected AF Point, but will not pass
focus tracking over to the adjacent AF Points if the subject moves away from the initial
AF Point or you are unable to keep your subject located at that point. For that you will
need to use one of the AF Area Selection Modes other than Single-Point AF or Spot AF.
7.4b Spot AF
If you need to focus on a precise area that is smaller than the Single-Point AF area, you
can make use of Spot AF. This will not necessarily make your focusing more accurate in
general situations just because it is smaller, but rather it is used to address specific
autofocusing challenges. For example if you wish to focus between the parts of a fence
or cage to a subject beyond, you may find that Single-Point AF searches back and forth
between the near fence and the further subject, because the area it is looking at to find
the subject encompasses both potential subjects. Spot AF will allow you to target in on
a more precise area. Although Spot AF is indicated in the Viewfinder by the tiny square
within the larger selected AF Point square (see Figure 211), Spot AF will actually
pinpoint the focus to an area about the size of the larger square.
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Canon 7D Mark II Experience
Figure 211 - Simulated view of Viewfinder when selecting Spot AF Autofocus Area
Selection Mode.
Spot AF is ideal for situations such as focusing on a bird in a tree. Single-Point AF will
likely look at an area that may include surrounding or overlapping leaves, or closer
branches and thus might focus there, but with Spot AF you have a better chance of
focusing precisely on the intended bird. Or it can be used to attempt to focus on an
American football player’s eye, rather than the camera perhaps focusing on a part of the
helmet. While Spot AF will be more accurate in certain situations as described, it should
not be used for general use. Because it is so precise, the area it looks at to find contrast
or a detail on which to focus might be an area of solid color. For example if you used
Spot AF to quickly focus on the general cheek and eye area of a face, it may be aimed
at an area of skin without contrast, whereas the Single-Point AF area might encompass
the cheek and the eye and thus find enough contrast to be able to properly and quickly
focus. Again, the camera will track the focus distance of a moving subject that remains
under the selected AF Point, but will not pass focus tracking over to the adjacent AF
Points if the subject moves away from the initial AF Point or you are unable to keep your
subject located at that point. For that you will need to use one of the AF Area Selection
Modes other than Single-Point AF or Spot AF.
7.4c AF Point Expansion - 4 Adjacent
If it is too difficult to place a single AF point on a subject because you need to work
quickly or the subject is moving too quickly or erratically and may stray from the
selected AF Point, you can focus on your subject using AF Point Expansion, which will
also make use of some or all of the immediate surrounding AF Points to find or retain
focus on your subject if the central point of the group fails to achieve focus. AF Point
Expansion - 4 Adjacent will make use of the 4 points directly above, below, right and left
of the selected point (see Figure 212). AF Point Expansion Surround (explained just
below) will make use of all surrounding 8 points.
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Canon 7D Mark II Experience
Figure 212 - Simulated view of Viewfinder when selecting AF Point Expansion - 4
Adjacent Autofocus Area Selection Mode.
This AF Area Selection Mode allows you to select a single AF Point, and the camera
uses this point first to try to focus, but if the camera is unable to find a subject to focus
on at that AF Point, or if your moving subject moves away from that point, the camera
will use these surrounding points to find or retain focus. So for example if you are
quickly attempting to locate a single AF Point over your subject, you would not have to
be quite as accurate with your aim, and you are still likely to focus on your intended
subject (but perhaps not on the exact part of your subject that you would wish to focus
on). Note that when using AI Servo AF Mode, the selected AF Point still needs to be the
one that initially focuses on the subject (not one of the surrounding “assist” points). But
then if your initially selected AF Point loses track of a moving subject, one of the
surrounding points will help to retain focus on the subject. AF Point Expansion Mode is
indicated in the Viewfinder by the 4 surrounding AF Points also being displayed, in a
cross-type arrangement, around the selected AF Point (see Figures 212 and 213).
There will be fewer surrounding points if your selected main point is at an edge or
corner of the AF Points.
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Canon 7D Mark II Experience
Figure 213 - Simulated view of Viewfinder when using AF Point Expansion - 4 Adjacent
Autofocus Area Selection Mode. The selected AF Point is located at the center of the
group, and will be used to focus on the subject. However, if nothing is found at that
location to focus on, the surrounding 4 points will be used for focusing. Shutter speed
1/800, Aperture f/4.5, ISO 400. Background image shown at 65% opacity to better see
Viewfinder elements.
7.4d AF Point Expansion - 8 Adjacent
This area mode is similar to AF Point Expansion - 4 Adjacent, but includes all 8 of the
surrounding points (see Figure 214). It allows you to select a single AF Point for the
camera to use to focus, but if the camera is unable to find or retain focus on the subject
with the selected point, it will use the immediate surrounding points as well. This is
useful in situations as described above except that you might need a little more
assistance - a larger area - for the autofocus system to look at to find or retain focus on
a subject. AF Point Expansion Surround will give you a little bit more leeway than 4
Adjacent in case you aren’t as precise as you wish. Again, note that when using AI
Servo, the selected AF Point still needs to be the one that initially focuses on the
subject, not one of the surrounding “assist” points. But then if your initially selected AF
Point loses track of a moving subject, one of the 8 surrounding points will likely
immediately pick it back up. AF Point Expansion Surround is indicated in the Viewfinder
by the 8 surrounding AF Points also being displayed around the selected AF Point (see
Figure 214). Again, there will be fewer surrounding points if your selected point is at an
edge or corner point.
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Canon 7D Mark II Experience
Figure 214 - Simulated view of Viewfinder when selecting AF Point Expansion - 8
Adjacent Autofocus Area Selection Mode.
When using either AF Point Expansion Area Mode (4 or 8 point) and working in AI
Servo AF mode for subject tracking, the selected group of points will not move across
the frame to follow a subject. The subject needs to remain at the selected point or the
immediate surrounding points of the expansion group, so you will have to carefully
move or pan the camera to follow the subject. Remember that if you have limited the
available selectable AF points to 21 Points or 9 Points in the AF4 Menu, the camera will
still make use of the immediate surrounding points while using the AF Point Expansion
modes. And the camera will still use all of the points when using the following Zone AF
modes.
7.4e Zone AF
If it is too difficult to place a single AF point on a subject because you need to work
quickly or the subject is moving too quickly or erratically for you to keep it located under
a single point or its surrounding points, you can focus on your subject using a Zone
comprised of several AF Points (see Figure 215). When working in One-Shot AF for still
subjects, the camera will look among the AF Points in the selected Zone and focus on
the nearest object in that area. Or, if you have enabled EOS iTR AF in the AF4 Menu,
the camera will use facial recognition to help identify a subject, rather than simply
focusing on the nearest subject. When working in AI Servo AF for moving subjects, the
camera will also look among the AF Points in the selected Zone and focus on the
nearest object in that area. If you have enabled EOS iTR AF when using AI Servo, then
the camera will also make use of facial recognition to identify a subject, as well as make
use of subject color, size, and shape information to help track and retain focus on a
moving subject. (EOS iTR AF applies to Large Zone AF and Auto Selection AF Area
Modes as well, both described next.) This iTR AF can greatly assist the camera in
successfully tracking the initial subject, and I recommend that you enable it when using
Zone, Large Zone, or 65-Point AF Area Modes.
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Canon 7D Mark II Experience
Just as with the other AF Area modes, use the Multi-controller to select your desired
Zone. Zone AF is indicated in the Viewfinder by the cluster of 15 or 12 points,
depending on where the zone is located (see Figure 215). Zone AF area mode allows
you to choose among 9 zones.
Figure 215 - Simulated view of Viewfinder when selecting Zone AF Autofocus Area
Selection Mode.
The advantage of Zone AF is that you don’t need to be as accurate and precise in
locating an AF Point exactly on the subject, as you must be when using a single AF
Point, but the drawback is that the camera will decide which of the AF Points within the
Zone to use for focusing (the closest subject or a face). So if you use a Zone AF to
focus on a bird in a tree, the camera may select an AF Point within that Zone that is
located over a closer leaf or branch rather than focusing precisely on the bird. When
tracking a moving subject, the camera will decide which of the individual points within
the Zone to use to initiate focus tracking, so again you sacrifice user-precision (see
Figure 216). When the Shutter Button is pressed and focus is achieved, the active
points of the Zone will appear as large squares only, without the inner smaller squares.
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Canon 7D Mark II Experience
Figure 216 - Simulated view of Viewfinder when selecting Zone AF. The camera will
look for the closest subject located within the AF Points of the selected Zone. When
half-pressing the Shutter Button, the AF Points that achieve focus will be shown as
large squares only. Shutter speed 1/1600, Aperture f/4.0, ISO 200. Background image
shown at 65% opacity to better see Viewfinder elements.
7.4f Large Zone AF
This AF Area Selection Mode is similar to the above Zone AF mode, except that the
zones are larger. You can select among 3 zones, consisting of 20 or 25 AF Points each.
There is a center zone, right zone, and left zone only, which are indicated in the
Viewfinder by vertical brackets (see Figure 217). Use this in situations similar to Zone
AF, except that you wish to use an even larger cluster of AF Points to locate or track a
subject. If a subject is going to be moving about a large area of the frame, or if it will be
extremely difficult to keep a subject located at a smaller Zone of points, you can make
use of Large Zone AF. Again, the camera will focus on the closest object within the
zone, when working in either One-Shot AF or AI Servo AF, or will make use of facial
information for focusing and color information for tracking if you have enabled EOS iTR
AF. When the Shutter Button is pressed and focus is achieved, the active points of the
Large Zone will appear as large squares.
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About the Author
Douglas Klostermann is a travel, culture, and humanitarian photographer as well as
the author and publisher of the bestselling Full Stop e-book camera guides including
Canon 5D Mark III Experience and Canon 70D Experience. He has photographed for
numerous organizations in the United States and Latin America, been recognized by the
United Nations Development Programme for his humanitarian photography, and been
published in magazines and books including Conde Nast Traveler, Sherman's Travel,
South American Explorer, and Viva Travel Guides. He also lectures and gives
instruction on digital photography. Doug is a member of the National Press
Photographers Association (NPPA).
Learn more about photography techniques and equipment on his blog Picturing Change
at http://blog.dojoklo.com/, view his photography and e-books at www.dojoklo.com, and
follow him on Twitter at @dojoklo.
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Canon 7D Mark II Experience
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