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How Much Time to Record Movies on My 7D?

QUESTION “For how long can I record a movie on my Canon 7D? I have a 16 GB CF card.” – Jen (Seattle WA)

ANSWER According to the Canon EOS 7D manual (page 157):

  • if the movie-recoding size is 1920×1080, you can record up to 49 minutes on a 16 GB card
  • if the movie-recoding size is 1280×720, you can record up to 49 minutes on a 16 GB card.
  • if the movie-recoding size is 640×480, you can record up to 1 hour and 39 minutes on a 16 GB card.

Link to 7D manual

Canon EOS 7D Mark II manual

EOS7D-MarkII-Instruction-Manual

Canon EOS 7D Mark II Complete Instruction manual (548 pages)

Canon EOS 7D Mark II Basic Instruction manual (180 pages)

My Canon 7D won’t focus on my car

QUESTION: “I can’t get my 7d to focus on my new car. It was a bright sunny day so there was enough light. What am I doing wrong?” – Brenda, Dallas TX

ANSWER: According to the Canon 7D manual on page 92 one of the conditions under which the camera may fail to autofocus is “Extremely backlit or reflective subjects (Example: Car with a highly reflective body)”

You may choose to photograph the car when the light is not as harsh such as late evening or under partly cloudy skies. Or you may choose to focus manually.

Here is what the manual says on page 92:

Autofocus can fail to achieve focus (the focus confirmation light blinks) with certain subjects such as the following:
– Very low-contrast subjects (Example: Blue sky, solid-color walls, etc.)
– Subjects in very low light
– Extremely backlit or reflective subjects (Example: Car with a highly reflective body)
– Near of far subjects covered by an AF point (Example: Animal in a cage)
– Repetitive patterns (Example: Skycraper windows, computer keyboards, etc)

In such cases, do one of the following:
1. With One-Shot AF, focus an object at the same distance as the subject and lock the focus before recomposing (page 52).
2. Set the lens focus mode switch to <MF> and focus manually.

The Canon EOS 7D manual is available online here.

What is the difference between Spot AF and Single-Point AF?

According to the Canon 7D manual on page 89, “Although this is the same as single-point AF, the selected AF point covers a smaller pinpoint area to focus. Effective for pinpoint focusing of overlapping subjects such as an animal in a cage. Since Spot AF covers a very small area, focusing might be difficult during hand-held shooting or for a moving subject.”

Basically Spot AF covers a smaller area than single-point AF. Many photographers use Spot AF to focus on the eye of a person or animal to get as sharp an image as possible. Spot AF is also used to focus on the most important part of a complex object that must be “critically” sharp.

Displaying the Electronic Level on the LCD Monitor of Canon 7D

Displaying the Electronic Level on the LCD Monitor (Page 48)

The grid and electronic level can be displayed to help keep the camera aimed straight. The grid is displayed in the viewfinder, and the electronic level is displayed on the LCD monitor.

Press the INFO button at the back of the Canon 7D. Keep pressing until the electronic level is displayed.

If the electronic level does not appear, press MENU, use the dial near your index finger to select the 9th option.

Use the rotating wheel (Quick Control Dial) near your thumb to scroll down to “INFO. button display options” and press SET in the middle of the wheel.

Scroll down to “Electronic Level” and press SET. You should see a check mark next to “Electronic Level.”

Scroll down to OK and press SET.

Return to the INFO button and press button until the electronic level is displayed.

Canon 7d electronic level

Displaying the Grid in the Viewfinder of Canon 7D

Displaying the Grid (Page 47)

The grid and electronic level can be displayed to help keep the camera aimed straight. The grid is displayed in the viewfinder, and the electronic level is displayed on the LCD monitor.

Press MENU on back of the Canon 7D button.

Use the Main Dial near your index finger and rotate to the 8th option.

Use the rotating wheel (Quick Control Dial) near your thumb the scroll down to “VF grid display” and press SET in the middle of the round wheel.

Use the Quick Control Dial to select “Enable” and press SET. The grid will be displayed in the viewfinder.

How do I change back to the original Canon 7D settings?

QUESTION: “My friend has been messing around with my Canon 7d and made some changes which I don’t like. How do I change back to the original settings?” – Melanie, Seattle WA

ANSWER: On page 45 and 46 of the Canon 7D manual you will find the instructions for “Reverting the Camera to the Default Settings.”

On the back of the Canon 7D press the Menu button.

Use the “half wheel” (Main Dial) near your index finger and rotate to the 9th option.

Use the rotating wheel (Quick Control Dial) near your thumb to scroll down to “Clear all camera settings” and press SET in the middle of the Dial.

Turn the Quick Control Dial to select OK and then press SET.

Canon 7D "Clear all camera settings"

 

Clear all camera settings

Is Spot AF the same as single-point AF on Canon 7D?

Spot AF is the same as single-point AF. However, the selected AF point for Spot AF covers a smaller pinpoint
area to focus.

Spot AF is best suited for pinpoint focusing of overlapping subjects such as an animal in a cage.

SOURCE: Canon EOS 7D manual page 89

Selecting the AF Modes on Canon 7D

(SOURCE: EOS 7D manual pages 83 – 86)

The 19 AF points in the viewfinder of the Canon EOS 7D make AF shooting suitable for a wide variety of subjects and scenes.

You can also select the AF mode and drive mode best matching the shooting conditions and subject.

PLEASE NOTE: In fully-automatic modes (“Green Box” mode and CA mode) the AF mode, AF point selection and drive mode are set automatically.

To select the AF Mode:
1. Set the focus mode swith on the lens to <AF>
2. Press the <AF DRIVE> button on the top of the camera
3. Turn the main dial to select ONE SHOT, AI FOCUS or AI SERVO mode.

PLEASE NOTE: In fully-automatic modes (“Green Box” mode and CA mode) the AF Mode defaults to AI FOCUS.

One-Shot AF is best suited for stationary subjects. When you press the shutter button halfway, the camera will focus once. When focus is achieved, the AF point that achieved focus will be displayed, and the focus confirmation light in the viewfinder will also light.

AI Servo AF is for moving subjects like a racing car. While you hold down the shutter
button halfway, the subject wil be focused continuously.

AI Focus AF switches the AF Mode from One-Shot to AI Servo AF automatically if the still subject starts to move.

 

 

Using the Quick Control Screen on the Canon 7D

One great feature I enjoy using on my Canon EOS 7D is the Quick Control Screen. The benefits of this screen is described by Canon as:

1. The ability to review major camera settings on one large, easy-to-see screen.

2. The ability to perform a variety of common camera settings and image adjustments on a single screen, without having to sort through multiple menus or press multiple buttons.

To use the Quick Control feature on the 7D follow these steps:

1.  Press the [Q] button found at the top left corner on the back of the camera. The Quick Control screen will appear.

2. Use the [Multi-controller] to navigate to and highlight the feature you want to change. Once the setting is highlighted, use either the front or rear control dial to change the setting.

I find this feature to be very convenient and consider it a time-saver because in a few seconds I can change Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO, AF Mode, AF Point, Metering Pattern, White Balance, Exposure Compensation, Picture Style, File Size and Type, Custom Controls and Drive Mode.

I often use it to change ISO value, AF Point and to change from RAW to MRAW. Once you have tried it you most likely will be hooked on it.

Information about the Quick Control button and screen is provided on pages 38 and 39 of the instruction manual.