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R7 1-Point AF doesn't let me choose WHERE the AF Point is when using the viewfinder

firstmirrorless
Contributor

So I recently purchased a Canon EOS R7 and I cannot figure out how to get the focus point to stay where I've directed it. My preference has always been to use one focus point, almost always for birding. Coming from various other Canon DSLR's, and always using the optical viewfinder (not the screen), I've always been able to move the focus point wherever I want it, and the focus point will stay where I put it and focus there. Not so with the R7. It pays absolutely no attention to where I move the point to, and it will try to focus on whatever it wants. Just to clarify ahead of time, I have it on One Shot with tracking disabled. If I was using the screen and tap on something, it does just what you would expect- it focuses on that point. Why doesn't this work through the viewfinder? Please, help.

8 REPLIES 8

Try "Touch & Drag". Start at page 472 of your Advanced Users Guide, and see if this method works for you.

Our R5 and R62 have a couple of ways to move and set single or area focus points while using the EVF with a button press (pushing down the joystick) then using the joystick to move the AF point. I don't have the R7, but from sales photos don't see a joystick but I'm guessing the R7 has a similar set of options, maybe with dials?.

Anyway, once you enable Touch & Drag and set up an area to use, you can use the rear LCD as a sort of touch pad to move and set your AF point while using the EVF. Moving the AF point isn't something I do a lot, but when I do, it's usually when shooting macro. But I prefer Touch & Drag over the joystick method.

Newton

EOS R5, R6, R6II. RF 15-35 f/2.8L, 50mm f/1.2L, 85mm f/1.2L, 100mm f/2.8L Macro, 100-400mm, 100-500mm L, 1.4X.

Thank you for that. I guess my headline is not exactly correct, as I can move the focus point, but the camera would not focus on that point. It was like chaos on the viewfinder as focus areas just scattered all over the screen. Even the camera shop couldn't figure out what was going on. They restored the settings and now it seems better, but still not as rock solid as my 5D, which truly only focuses where the single point is. I didn't realize I'd be giving up control of where I want my focus to be by going mirrorless. I saw a similar thread in this forum, so apparently I'm not the only one having this issue.


@firstmirrorless wrote:

Thank you for that. I guess my headline is not exactly correct, as I can move the focus point, but the camera would not focus on that point. (1) It was like chaos on the viewfinder as focus areas just scattered all over the screen. Even the camera shop couldn't figure out what was going on. They restored the settings and now it seems better, but still not as rock solid as my 5D, which truly only focuses where the single point is. (2) I didn't realize I'd be giving up control of where I want my focus to be by going mirrorless. I saw a similar thread in this forum, so apparently I'm not the only one having this issue.


(1) This is baffling to me and I just don't have this problem with our R series cameras (R5, R6, R62). Once we select a focus point or area, that is all that's shown in the EVF, regardless of where it is placed. The only time I see this behavior, points hopping around, is when I'm using tracking and am using the entire sensor as apposed to a single area or zone.

(2) You shouldn't be giving up control of AF point or zone selection and placement, period, which has been my experience using our R's. I came over from the EOS 5D mark IV and 7D mark II, and didn't skip a beat. If this is happening, there are only a few things that could be causing this. As bad as I hate to say it, you could have a lemon... Unfortunately, it happens. No offense, so don't be peeved if I ask (I don't know your experience level, so I have to ask), but are you initiating focus after moving your point/zone by tapping the screen after moving your Touch & Drag FP,  pressing the shutter button halfway, or if you are using BBF pressing that once you've moved the FP to actually initiate focus?. Also, what color are your FP's/zones once moved, white, green, or turquoise (blueish)?. Also, do you have "continuous focus" enabled? I'm not sure the R7 has the latter, but it confused us with the R62 and took some tweaking.

You may end up having to call Canon Support, or heaven forbid, get it replaced or send it to Canon for repair. As mentioned, you should be able to do it just like you do with your 5D 🙂

Newton

EOS R5, R6, R6II. RF 15-35 f/2.8L, 50mm f/1.2L, 85mm f/1.2L, 100mm f/2.8L Macro, 100-400mm, 100-500mm L, 1.4X.

firstmirrorless
Contributor

Hi Newton,

The point stays put now if it's in One Shot mode, but moves, and morphs, a bit in Servo, (unlike my 5D) sometimes missing/avoiding the thing I want to capture at first.

I think the reset fixed the problem, whatever I had changed from watching various tutorials and recommended settings. I played around with it yesterday shooting birds, and it does not grab the bird or eye as quickly as I've been hoping, but maybe with continued use I'll get a better feel.

And to answer your question (no offense taken), I don't use the touch screen (for focus) at all when I'm shooting birds, only the EVF, and I almost always have the focus point in or near the center of the frame, and I use back-button focus. And I use the joystick to move the point. The R7 doesn't have continuous focus, but instead has something called Focus Preview, which I think is almost the same thing. And I have that disabled.

I'm chalking this up to Operator Error, in trying to customize the general settings I must have caused the problem, so much so that the camera shop folks couldn't figure it out either! The same thing was happening to them, and their fix was to reset it, and now it is behaving mostly as expected. So hopefully this is no lemon after all. And you are not wrong to wonder about my experience level. Though I've been using a DSLR for about six years, I still feel like a novice in many ways, and am always looking for ways to improve. Thanks for your thoughts on this matter!

Thank you, firstmirrorless, for getting back with the forum. So many folks leave us hanging. I'm happy that you have at least come close to a resolution.

I wish I could help with the way you are using this for BIF, but that is just not the way I do it. We all have our methods, which is why I like the forum in general, even if my methodology (which is sometimes unorthodox) doesn't follow what some suggest. I like to let tracking keep up with my BIF instead of actually moving the FP. I use servo, H+ continuous, set tracking to Animals, and use Face+tracking, which uses the entire frame. I have my FP's bound to the control ring of my lens so I can switch to Face+ or any other zone I want to go to very quickly. BTW, I don't think the R7 has a Face+tracking selection in the AF point/zone listing, at least they renamed and moved it in the R62 (I was bummed). I do try to keep the BIF as close to center of frame as possible, but at 500mm or farther, it's sometimes tough. I usually reframe and crop (rule of thirds) in post. When I am shooting portraits or static subjects that fill my frame, from tripod, is when I will sometimes move my FP. For perched birds, I just use the fine center FP, no servo, and H+ continuous, but sometime use eye tracking and servo, but that is when I am close to the bird as eye tracking isn't reliable, for me anyway, past a certain distance. As mentioned, there are many ways to do all this, but that's my method.

"And you are not wrong to wonder about my experience level. Though I've been using a DSLR for about six years, I still feel like a novice in many ways, and am always looking for ways to improve."

I hear you brother! I've been behind the camera for 20 years, and spent another 10, part time, before that as an assistant, loading film, changing lenses, having cameras ready when needed, etc., and some dark room work. I've only been using MILC's for roughly 3 years now. I never stop learning and trying new stuff.

Newton

EOS R5, R6, R6II. RF 15-35 f/2.8L, 50mm f/1.2L, 85mm f/1.2L, 100mm f/2.8L Macro, 100-400mm, 100-500mm L, 1.4X.

jasonhoover
Apprentice

I have a very similar issue with my R6 Mark 2. I am using the spot AF or 1-point AF. When I look in the viewfinder the  selection area is usually down at the bottom of the screen. If I  use the joystick to move it or center the selection area it will revert back to the bottom of the screen 80% of the time, and random place near the edge of the screen the other 20% of the time. I was shooting on a tripod and not holding the camera at all, and I would center the selection area and it move immediately back to the bottom of the screen. The selection area would not stay where I placed it.

Settings;

Touch and Drag -- disabled

AF Operation -- One shot  ( I have the same issue in Servo mode)

Whole area tracking -- disabled

Orientation linked AF point -- I have tried all three options  and still have the issue.

I am sure this is some setting that I cannot figure out how to set so the AF selection point stays where I place it.

That's so frustrating! Hopefully you figured out what setting it is that you've turned on or off or changed. But if not, I recommend doing what the camera shop did for me, and just reset everything. Now mine behaves exactly as I would expect. But the servo AF definitely works differently in this mirrorless camera than it ever did in my previous DSLR's when using single point. It's a little too aggressive in my opinion, moving around unhelpfully while I'm trying to lock on my bird. But I'm getting used to that, and it's nothing like my initial problem when the focus points would just be dancing all around the frame. At least the servo single point stays in the general area of where I've put it. Good luck!

Tronhard
Elite
Elite

There are a lot of options in the focus menus that allow you to get the focus point into a location other than the centre, and you have to put your time in to review and digest those.   I have been shooting with single-point AF and single-point metering since those features were available (some date back to the 1980's).  I use those features in conjunction with the back buttons for focus and exposure lock.  I also use eye tracking, but to begin with I start with the focus point in the centre.  I spot focus on a subject's eye, which locks and tracks, locate the object that has the medial tonal value I want and lock exposure on that, recompose and shoot.  It may sound complicated but in fact it is much harder to explain the to execute.  With eye tracking, once I have isolated the eye I want (there may be several and not the one the camera might choose), the tracking works extremely well.
This has worked for me with DSLRs and MILCs and might be a solution for you to consider.


cheers, TREVOR

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