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EOS Rebel T7: Zoom settings and modes not working


I recently got my son the T7 Rebel and the Canon EF-S 55-250mm lens. We are to attend an airshow in Hillsboro, OR on the 17th and he seems to be having some issues getting photos. Sometimes the lens zooms in and out but no photo is taken. He keeps changing the setting but sometimes nothing works, and sometimes it does, very sporadically. We have gone to the airport to shoot on ground planes. He tried taking photos of the Aurora Borealis and it just wasn't working on night mode or any other mode, just total blackness.  What setting on this should he have it on for the airshow? Should it be in manual mode, etc. what about fireworks/drone shows? Thank you. I'd rather talk to real people and get feedback than look up so many videos lol. I was getting lost on a previous thread so , thank you for any all tips. 




I already told you to put it in P and Auto ISO.

When the lens "zooms in and  out" it is trying to focus. When it focuses, it will beep and one of the little squares in the viewfinder will blink to show you where it focused.

You also do not want burst mode.

I suggest you reset the camera settings.



Then, put the camera in P mode, go outside and take pictures of things that are standing still. Make some Mother's Day portraits! Make sure to use the viewfinder, the T7 focuses much faster using the viewfinder. At this point the camera is a much better photographer than your son, so it should be making most of the decisions. Note what happens when the camera locks focus with the little light In the viewfinder and the squares lighting up.

Keep taking pictures to get a handle on the way the camera responds when it takes pictures. Review the images and see if they are sharp. If not, the camera may be moving.


I fully agree with kvbarkley.  

Try doing theses things in sequence, slowly and carefully following along.  I'm attaching some pictures of my camera and lens (same camera and lens that you have) for from step #2 forward and hope that helps. 

1)  Follow the instructions that kvbarkley sent you on "Reverting the Camera to the Default Settings".  It very important.


2)  Make sure the lens is set to "AF" and "Stabilizer On"


3) Set the dial on the top right hand side of the camera to "P"


4) Go outside and practice taking picutres of anything.  Start with objects that don't move or move slowly, people, pets, inanimate objects, everything.  The more bright the light is (sunlight preferably), the better.  But but try everything.  Experiment and have fun.  Review your results.  The camera is smart and will figure out exposure and probably focus on the closest object to the camera.  That's OK, just be aware of it.

5) Now try shooting moving objects in "Sports" mode (cars driving down the street, people walking, pets meandering around, people on bicycles, skateboards, scooters, etc.)  Follow the instructions for this mode that can be found on page 70 of the manual.


Please try to get as much practice and review of the images in before you go to the airshow.  

Setting the camera up properly is important as is learning how to use the camera and learning to become a competent photographer. 

6)  Fully charge the camera battery before going to the airshow!

Airshows are a lot of fun and a great multi-sensory experience.  Yes, have your son do his best to capture the best photos he can but he (and you) should just enjoy the experience.  Just take it in and enjoy the airshow even if you have to put the camera down once in a while.  

Good luck!



Have your son check his focus mode. When the lens is zooming in and out, it is trying to achieve focus. If I understand this correctly, and I think I do, when the focus mode is set to AI One shot, the camera will not take a picture if it can't achieve focus. In dim lighting, it may be hard for his camera to achieve that focus.

When he puts the focus mode into AI Servo, the camera will take a picture whether it's in focus or not. The downside here is that, for one reason or another, you may wind up with some blurry pictures (camera moving, etc.).

In One Shot, the camera and lens will only focus once. In AI Servo, the camera and lens will keep focusing as long as you hold down that shutter button half-way. That's why it's more suited to moving subjects like planes.

Down the road, your son can learn how to re-assign the focusing to another button on the back of his camera and separate the focusing from the metering. That's called BBF or back button focusing. You use your thumb to do the focusing. He can put his camera in AI Servo, and hold down that back button and focus continuously while he shoots. 

There's a good article about how to do that here:

But like I said, that's down the road a little.

Steve Thomas