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What 7D autofocus settings for birding / to photograph flying birds ?




What kind of autofous settings do you prefer to photograph flying birds with Canon EOS 7D ?


There are plenty of options there...what do you use ? What do you recommend to try ?


What kind of metering modes do you suggest for flying birds ?  Center-Weighted ?, Partial Metering Mode ?, Spot Metering Mode ? or Evaluative Mode ?



Hi, I've had my 7D for a year and a half, and I like to shoot birds.  I'm no expert mind you!  I always use AV set around f6.3 to 8, on Evaluative Metering, AI Servo, Single point AF, and I go into the Custom Function menu and turn on the "AF-On" in the C.FnIV  (operations/others) that way I use the AF-ON button on the back of the camera for tracking.  I don't know why, but I get better results this way.  But if anyone else can help with a good way of birding with the 7D, I would love to hear as well!  Happy Birding


Smiley Happy


I do not have my camera with me right now, yet I have a copy of the settings I had found long ago that I use as a basis for sports/bird photography. Hopefully this will help guide you in the right direction! It is a great starting point, but I encourage you to change one thing at a time and shoot to see how it affects the outcome and/or process!


Picture Style - Standard (but sharpness upped to 4)

C.Fn III: Autofocus Drive
1 - AI Servo tracking Sensitivity: Set to -1
2 - AI Servo 1st/2nd img priority - Set to 0 - AF priority/Tracking Priority
3 - AI Servo Tracking Method - Set to 0 - Main Focus point priority (that way the camera focuses on what you want, not what it wants)
4 - Lens Drive when AF impossible - Set to 0
5 - AF Microadjustment - Set to 0 (Most people have said this is ineffective. Even the manual says it needs to be done on location where you are shooting to do any good.)
6 - AF area select mode - I have single point w/expansion selected and single point. Been shooting mostly on single point w/expansion for sports.
7 - AF Manual pt. selection pattern - Set to 1 (Continuous)
8 - VF display illumination - set to 1 (Enable)
9 - Display all AF points - Set to 0
10 - Focus Display in AI Servo/MF - Set to 0
11 - AF-assist beam firing - set to 2 (Enable to external flash only)
12 - Orientation linked AF point - Set to 0
13 - Mirror lockup - Set to 0 (Disable)

C.FN IV: Operations/Others

Shutter button is set to Meter only
AF-ON button is turned OFF (too easy to hit accidentally)
AE lock button (*) is set for metering and AF Start

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