10 simple AF tips for the Canon 7dii + 70-200mm f4

There are many factors that effect AF in any camera. So here’s my tips for getting the best out of your Canon 7dii for AF:

  1. Remember that shutter speed is the overriding factor for the capture of motion. Slow speeds capturing fast moving subjects create blur, whereas faster shutter speeds freeze the action. For example the pictures below were taken at approx 1/1000th of a sec. If they were taken at 1/30th of a sec then they would be blurred.
  2. IS or imagine stabilisation on lenses or in camera bodies will not help you capture fast moving subjects. They are only useful primarily for lower shutter speeds.
  3. Make sure you’re holding the camera steady and gently squeeze the shutter button – dont hammer it!
  4. Use your back button focus button on the 7dii – it maintains active AF – see manual or google for more info.
  5. Make sure your camera is set to ‘Continuous AF on’ in the menu – see manual or google – very important tip many people forget.
  6. Set the camera to continuous high rather than single shot – use top LCD screen to change. Allows you to shoot many frames as long as your shutter button is pressed so you can later choose the best picture.
  7. Use AI Servo all the time – I’ve found it to be more accurate with back button focus.
  8. As for the AF modes in the menu, most often the default setting (1) will work well, but you can customise any of them if you want to get very technical with your AF settings.
  9. Choose an aperture thats forgiving – f8 is quite forgiving with the 70-200mm.
  10. AF zones – the pictures below where taken with the largest zone (the entire frame) possible to demonstrate that the camera is pretty smart in picking up movement. Smaller zones well tracked by the photographer should increase the hit rate of frames in focus.

Overall the 7dii is a fantastic camera with great image quality and loads of features to suit the family, hobbyist or professional.

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1/1000th, iso 400, f4 with Canon 70-200mm f4 IS raw processed in Lightroom

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