Johan Sørensen

Focusing on the Canon 7D

Close to a decade ago I did a lot of photography, mostly black and white since I had free access to a darkroom but also with the one of the first digital flagships, the Nikon D1 with a whooping 2.7 megapixels. Film vs. digital was still a topic then. Then I went and pursued interests and the prosumer part of my photography was put on standby, apart from a short stint with a Konica-Minolta digital body (shortly before Sony bought their SLR division).

Earlier this year I decided to give it another go, bought a Canon 500D and some lenses. Thousands of exposures later (and relearning the tricks of the trade again) I upgraded to the 7D a few weeks ago.

One of the nicer features if the 7D is the focusing system, while it seems Canon is still behind Nikon a bit on this, they’re making progress. My favorite customization of the 7D is moving the half-press-shutter-to-focus to the AF-On button and setting the half-press shutter button to “metering start”. This is done under the “C.Fn IV” screen.
This allows me to stay in the continuous autofocus mode, while still being able to use the classic “focus, then recompose” approach, without losing the ability to quickly move to continuous focus on moving subjects, just by keeping the AF-On button pressed.

The problem I’ve always had is that by the time I’ve changed my camera focus setting from single shot to continuous autofocus whatever action I wanted to capture is long gone. Staying on continuous autofocus and remapping the focus button to the AF-On button allows me to keep the best of both worlds; focus, then recompose for single shots and continuous focus to nail the action, coupled with the 7D’s ~8 fps continuous shooting mode.