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Canon 7D AF (Wedding)

Robert Medina - South Jersey/Philly , Oct 11, 2009; 09:03 a.m.

Does anyone know how to get the best out of this camera or give me a suggestion as to where I could go (I live in Southern New Jersy- Canon Jamesburg is an hour away) to try and get the right settings for AF accuracy.
I used this camera at a wedding last night and I am not impressed at all. My 40D (when new) out performed this camera hands down.

Responses


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Juergen Sattleru , Oct 11, 2009; 09:28 a.m.

What settings did you use? DId you read the manual? The AF on this camera is VERY different from any previous non 1Dx camera. I use this camera for wildlife photography and use AI Servo with single point AF with expansion and slow AF tracking. My 40D can not hold a candle to the 7Ds AF capabilities - it tracks so well, that almost all my shots are now perfectly focused, even for birds in flight.
There are a numbe of articles on Canon's website to help you chose the right settings.

Robert Medina - South Jersey/Philly , Oct 11, 2009; 09:34 a.m.

I tried zone AF, I tried complete auto , I tried single point, I tried center point- NOTHING works well. Back focusing, maybe I just got a bad copy I don't know. If you have any links could you please post them.

Keith Reeder , Oct 11, 2009; 11:06 a.m.

Lens?

Philip Wilson , Oct 11, 2009; 12:16 p.m.

Robert - I have just bought this body and like Juergen I am impressed with the AF but have yet to determine how to get the best from it. If you read my post on Hockey shots you will get a beter sense of my views. On the AF side my 7D is very good for high contrast, high motion sports - it almost does not matter what setting you use in AI Servo you almost always get the shot (the high ISO performance is a different issue). In one shot the camera is also very well behaved and even in AI Focus (usually a useless setting as it is slow) the 7D still functions well. The area where the AF is weak (no better than the 5DII) is low light, low contrast or both. In my tests against white walls the 7D would hunt like crazy - much like the 5DII. In these circumstances the 1DIIN (and even my old 1V) would have no real problems until the light was very low. Thus the 7D really is a limited use camera in my opinion - great for action sports (the AF seems bettter and faster than either the 1DIIN or 1V although all are so rapid it is not easy to tell - the 7D seems to get almost all shots in focus) but very limited for general use (poor High ISO performance, crop factor and poor AF in low contrast). Is your issue difficulty in getting focus on a white dress?
It is possible you have a bad body but mine is very fast and accurate so long as there is something with contrast for it to lock onto. From brief experimentation the AF system is very accurate - better than the 5DII or 1V. I bought it for sports and will keep it for this purpose at it is very fast. You can shoot RAW in fast bursts (2-5 shots) at 8fps and it writes so fast that you never catch the buffer (the 5DII even with the same UDMA cards and half the frame rate cannot write this fast). The AF is very impressive based on my brief test shooting kids hockey practice but the high ISo performance lets it down. Were I shooting a wedding I would go with the 5DII as the image quality- especially at higher ISOs is in a different league.

Robert Medina - South Jersey/Philly , Oct 11, 2009; 12:23 p.m.

LEnses- 70-200 2.8L IS, 24-70 2.8L

Robert Medina - South Jersey/Philly , Oct 11, 2009; 12:27 p.m.

I used al servo with the 70-200 of the bride and groom walking down the aisle and had OOF shots. Indoors I was shooting the couples first dance with the 24-70 and alot of images are oof and they were not even moving- (no AlServo for the dance) I used my 40D's, 30D' 20D's 10D and even my 1D MKII in the same situations and did not have that problem.
I am going to study the AF more and see if I can get this thing together.

Puppy Face , Oct 11, 2009; 02:12 p.m.

Sounds like you may have a defective sample or all your lenses need MA. I've only been using a 7D for a few days and find it difficult to get an out of focus image. With that said, I found manually selected single point AF the most accurate. Zone AF covers too much area and usually grabs the nearest, brightest detail, often not what you want.

Philip Wilson , Oct 11, 2009; 02:55 p.m.

I would agree with Puppy - looks like you have a defective camera. The zone AF algorithm for selecting a focus point appears to be better than previous Canons at getting the right subject but as will all systems of this type it can choose a subject other than the one intended. Puppy - does yours hunt like a 5D or 5DII on the blank wall test?

Puppy Face , Oct 11, 2009; 03:50 p.m.

Sheesh, I' don't own any smooth white walls. All my white walls have a slight crinkle texture so AF works fine in normal light. I guess I could sub the clear blue sky test. All my cameras fail that one as some contrast or detail is needed for the AF system to work.

My fav test is the lens cap test: photogeeks around the world take pictures of the inside of their lens caps, push them 3 or 4 stops in processing, post on forums and complain about the noise...


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