Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Canon 7D Settings


I have had several requests for information regarding the settings I use on the 7D. I will gladly detail them here but please bear in mind that what works for me may not for you. Also most of my images are taken with a tripod mounted camera/lens. I have arranged my three custom buttons  as follows:

Custom 1: Birds in Flight with a Cluttered Background
Image Quality: RAW produces the highest quality file.
Single Point AF Manual Selection (If you can keep one point on the bird the AF will not be confused by the background)
Focus Mode: AI Servo AF (for moving subjects)
ISO 400 (just my most common used ISO setting in UK lighting)
Drive Mode: H (High Speed Continuos Drive)
White Balance: AWB ( I just leave in on auto as WB is hardly constant)
Exposure Compensation: + 2/3 (normally the subject is on average darker than the background so this is my starting point, can vary and be adjusted accordinly)
Mode: AV
Metering Mode: Evaluative
Picture Style: Neutral (ideal for processing images on computer)
Custom Settings which I have applied to the Custom 1 position as follows:

Red Menu 1
Quality: RAW
Review Time: OFF
Red Menu 2
Exposure Comp/AEB:  +2/3
Clour Space: Adobe RGB
Blue Menu 2
Highlight Alert: Enable
AF Point Display: Enable
Histogram: RGB
Yellow Menu 1
Auto Power OFF: 1 min
Auto Rotate: On
File Numbering: Continuos

Orange Menu

CFn I: Exposure
4 Exposure Bracketing auto cancel 1: Off

CFn III: Autofocus/Drive AI servo tracking sensitivity

1: Mid position between 0 and Fast
3: 1 continuos AF track priority
4: 1 Focus search off
6: Enabled the following AF Modes, Single Point AF Manual Selection, Manual Select Zone AF and Manual Select Spot AF
7: 1 Continuous
9: Autofocus/drive/ display all AF points: 1 Enable
11: 2 Enable External Flash only
12: 1 Select different AF points

CFn IV: Operations Others
1: I have changed the metering (* Button) to be the AF start/stop button enabling me to start/stop the AF with my thumb

Green Menu:

Histogram: RGB
Quality: RAW
Live View Shoot: Enable
AF mode: Live Mode
My Menu Selection: Histogram, Quality, Live View Shoot, Format, AF Mode and Battery Info

Birds in Flight with a Cluttered Background

Ok so that was the custom setting and details for the custom 1 postion I am now going on to the Custom 2 position this position I use for static subject; ie perched slow moving birds/animals. I am not going to list the whole lot again but only the changes from the custom 1 postion settings.

Custom 2: Static slow/moving birds/animals
Focus Mode: One Shot AF for static subjects
ISO 200 (dropped to ISO 200 )
Drive Mode: L (Low Speed Continuos Drive)
Exposure Compensation: Set to 0 adjust as required
Metering Mode: Spot (handy for focusing on the eye of static subjects)

Custom Settings which I have applied to the Custom 2 position as follows:

Orange Menu

CFn III: Autofocus/Drive AI servo tracking sensitivity
1: Mid position between 0 and Fast
4: 1 Focus search on
6: Enabled the following AF Modes, Single Point AF Manual Selection, AF point expansion (Manual Selection) and Manual Select Spot AF

Example using Settings on Custom 2

Now on to the final set for the custom 3 position I use this for Birds in Flight with a clean background. Again I will only list the changes from the settings at Customs 1 Position

Custom 3: Birds in Flight with a Clean Background

Metering Mode: Manual Select Zone AF

Example Bird in Flight Clean Background

Ok so that is my input, these are the settings I use at present. I welcome feedback and suggestions to changes I could make to my settings hopefully this will be of use to some off you.


swopticsphoto said...

Useful info Bob; very similar settings to my outfit, though I normally use ISO 200 or even lower.

Anonymous said...

Bob, Thank you for your very generous sharing of this information. Could you please clarify which lens image stabilization mode you use for flight shots? Jeff

Bobbster said...

Mode 1 as far as I can remember (now switched to Nikon) Even mounted on a tripod/gimbal there are movements up/down/lateral when following birds so setting tripod mode 2 doesn't make sense! I turn off the IS once I get the shutter speed above 1/1000 sec as it just wastes the batteries and slows the AF.

Sarala Jeevanthi Gamage said...

It is very useful to me. Thank you very much.
Sarala from Sri Lanka

Anonymous said...

Thanks again for sharing your settings and blog and responsiveness as it is invaluable to me. I have been working on my flight shots. I'm just a beginner at this so appreciate any comments or wisdom you might offer as I try to figure this out. It seems that shutter speeds in the 1/1200-1/1600, even faster at a great distance, minimum are needed to avoid blur, which means with your custom settings, I'm dialing up the shutter speed routinely before I shoot. What would be the pros and cons of setting up the custom setting in Tv/shutter priority mode with shutter setting pre-set in this minimum range? Thanks very much, Jeff

Bobbster said...

Hi Jeff,

To do it that way with the poor quality of English lighting, most of the time you would also have to set auto ISO or increase the ISO manually. I nearly always shoot in Aperture Priority this way I will get the fastest shutter speed available for the aperture/iso setting, of course I can increase the ISO to increase the shutter speed here also if there is insufficent light available for to achieve my required shutter speed. Another method is to meter from an area in similar colour to your target bird adjust the ISO until you get your required shutter speed/aperture then dial these settings in with the camera set to manual. This way the bird will be correctly exposed and shot at your required shutter speed regardless of the background. The method does rely on the light being constant!
Aperture priority is the preferred method for most people but nothing wrong with setting up shutter priority if your more comfortable with that method. Hope this has helped and not confused!!