Hello. I’m using an R7 and 100-500 combo for birds and BIF. It works well except when trying to focus on birds in flight with a busy background. I have tried every combination of auto focus I can think of but can’t get camera to focus on bird. It jumps all over except on bird, even when subject is on focusing area.
Could you post a sample of a bad image with a busy background? Thanks!
What AF point(s) are you using. Which AF Mode, One Shot or Servo, are you using?
The most likely cause of your issue is a perfect storm of camera settings. If you have Eye AF or Animal AF enabled, then I would disable them. Once disabled, the camera should be able to easily lock focus and track the closest subject to the camera, which is hopefully your bird in flight.
I have the EOS R5 instead of R7, but I hope this might be helpful anyway. I expect that others will have better suggestions than mine but I hope you can use these as a starting point.
I use eye detection and animal priority, servo, face+tracking, lens drive when AF impossible on, initial servo pt for AF tracking to single point with that point in the center (but expanded might be better). I try to focus on a large high contrast object at about the same distance as the bird first. I have the EF 100-400 version 2 instead of the RF 100-500 and I find that setting the switch on the lens to mode 3 helps, but I do not know whether that is possible with your lens. I have these settings saved as C1 so that I can get back to them easily.
When closer to the bird, the camera is more likely to find the eye and focus on the eye.
If there is enough light, I use 1/3 stop less aperture than wide open.
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