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EOS R7 switch between back button focus and shutter button focus.


On the EOS R7 is there a way to quickly switch between back button focus and shutter button focus. Having started out on cameras with no BBF I find at times shutter button focus more appropriate. Thanks.



Yes it's easy, just leave both buttons able to initiate autofocus, which is the camera default. 

In this way, if you press and hold the back button (AF-ON) then it starts focusing and you can configure a range of settings that can be switched in if needed. If you forget to use the back button then the shutter button will still initiate AF with the settings currently set in the menus. 

The only awkward moment will come when you press the back button to focus, lift off the button once the subject is in focus and then press the shutter button to take a photo, as that would also restart AF. 

Personally I used to use back button AF on my cameras, but when the EOS R arrived it's AF-ON button was in the wrong place, sloped the wrong way and I was not able to consistently feel it was pressed when I used back button AF, so I stopped. Since the arrival of the EOS R5/R6 I found that for me I no longer needed back button AF. This was largely because with servo AF and subject detection I could recompose the frame even in servo AF, with the AF point and focus staying on the subject.

What I now do when using longer lenses and photographing distant subjects is set the AF-ON button to be AF OFF, effectively I have a button to press if I need to stop the camera hunting for focus, or simply stay put. Though for sports I use the AF-ON button to force a change of shutter speed while I'm panning with a subject.


EOS specialist trainer, photographer and author
-- Note: my spell checker is set for EN-GB, not EN-US --

Thanks Brian. In fast moving subjects I find shutter focus gives an edge over BBF. Re servo AF and subject detection I assume you refer to half press recompose which I am comfortable with. I am still trying to understand your last paragraph since this has the most important information. Thanks again.

Yes you are correct with servo AF and subject detection, keeping your finger on the half-press means the camera tracks the detected subject refocusing as needed. For example I might take a portrait and the camera follows the eye while also chasing focus if the subject, or me, moves slightly in any direction. 

The last part about my configuration with the AF-ON button setup to stop AF. With longer lenses if you don't manage to keep a flying bird in the frame, the lens will start to traverse through its focus range to locate the bird and for most of that time the bird might be so out of focus you cannot tell it's even in the frame. By pressing my the back button I interrupt the focus so the lens stays where it was last focused and I have a better chance of seeing if the bird I lost is now in the frame before releasing the AF-ON button to continue focusing. 

EOS specialist trainer, photographer and author
-- Note: my spell checker is set for EN-GB, not EN-US --

Hi Brian. Thank you for the further clarification.

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