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Canon Rebel T7 Focus Issues


I need help understanding what I’m doing wrong. I can not for the life of me get sharp, crisp photos when I am taking pictures of people. If it’s landscape I can get really nice pictures but with people I can’t seem to get them fully in focus! I have worked my settings on my camera to the point I keep my shutterspeed and Aperture higher and I still can not get the subject fully in focus. I’m thinking it might be my auto focus. I have it on auto servo. I’m not sure if where I move the point of focus is wrong or if the auto focus is just not working. When I take pictures I use the view finder so I can see where my subjects are because using the screen it goes black when you take the picture. But when I do use the view finder holding the button half way doesn’t really seem to be focusing as well as when I have it on the screen. Here is an example of what I mean. If I don’t have a face it is super sharp but the second my subjects turned around they are not sharp and clear. I used a 50mm 





Hi Madi and welcome to the forum:
Generally, by default a camera's focusing system will lock onto the closest object at hand, which is often something you don't want to focus on.  To avoid that you need to be able to set the focus so that it stays when you want it to, and moves with the subject when you don't.   There are several ways of doing this, but the one I have found most effective after decades of shooting, is to use single point focus, with Servo, assigned to the back button and take focus off the shutter button.  I also use the centre single-point exposure for metering.

There is a video from Canon on exactly how to achieve this:

I would suggest giving this a try.  Remember, the trick is that if you prod the rear Focus (AF-ON) button and release, it will stay with that setting, so great if your subject stays in the same place but turns their head.  On the other hand, if you press and hold the AF-ON button, it will then follow the subject if they change distance relative to you.

FWIW, I use the following procedure: note, that I have the * button assigned to centre single point exposure lock!

1. Select my exposure point of something with mid-reflectance (18% 'grey') and press the * button to lock that.
2. Point to the point you want to focus on and tap or press and hold the FL button.
3  Recompose and press the shutter button to take the shot.

Yes, it will take some practice, but it has benefits.  You can precisely choose your exposure and focus points, and don't have the latter tangled up with the act of activating the shutter.  By using single points for both exposure and focus, you are again controlling the locations and the camera should respond faster too - at least that has been my experience.

I recommend giving it a go and see how it works out after some practice.

cheers, TREVOR

"The Amount of Misery expands to fill the space available"
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris

I started using back button focus after reading about it on this forum a couple of month ago and then watching the Youtube video.  

I only wish I would have done so over a year ago when I got my camera.  

It's not that my results were bad, it's just that the number of in-focus shots increased significantly.

I have a T7 and  my current routine is to select "One Shot AF" mode and select the center focus point.  For  moving objects I select all the focus points and select "AI Focus AF" mode.  Then I reverse Trevor's step's 1 and 2.  I focus first, then lock exposure.



Okay great thank you! How do you select all focus points in the T7? 


Take a look at page 99 of the manual.  When you press the appropriate button -


the focus points will be shown on the back display and in the viewfinder.  turning the main dial cycles through the focus points.


Note to Trevor - 

Based on your logical and reasoned advice and experience, I started following your shooting steps and and instead of reversing your steps 1 and 2 (lock exposure first, then lock focus where I was locking focus first then locking exposure).  My results are to sum it up - better!  

Thank you (again) for the advice!

In general, reading the advice and knowledge imparted and so freely given by the experts on this forum have really made a difference for me and (in my opinion) improved the quality of my photos and increased my satisfaction and enjoyment of my photography obsession.

Thank you!


Thank you!! I really appreciate this

Check out the User Guide: eos-rebelt7-1500d-im-en.pdf (

To select an autofocus point see P99 - recommend a Single Centre Focus Point.
Metering modes: P115 - recommend setting to Partial Metering 
Locking the exposure point. P120

There is a specific reason I shoot in the order I do.  By selecting exposure first, I expect that the light will not change in the moments it will take to focus, compose and shoot.  On the other hand focusing first, if you want to use BBF in servo mode means that you have to take your finger off that button to get the exposure locked.  Letting go of the focus button if the subject is changing distance, will mean you lose focus.

cheers, TREVOR

"The Amount of Misery expands to fill the space available"
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris


It is crucial to recognize that using BBF does not improve how well the focuses. Using BBF helps many user acquire subjects for the AF system to lock on. 

"The right mouse button is your friend."

Here's what I think I learned after I started using BFF and going thorugh a 4 step process:

Using BFF and thereby separating the image acquisition process into 4 steps (from maybe 1.5 to 2.5 steps) slows down my brain and makes me think and make a decision prior to each of those steps.  Taking a shot by composing in the viewfinder and pressing the shutter button (and maybe recomposing before taking the shot) delegates some of the thought process to the camera's "brain" and slowing things down and using my brain (more) occasionally works out better for me.