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EOS 7D Focusing problems.

DB W , Oct 30, 2011; 09:04 a.m.

Is it true that the 7D's got some focusing problems? I've read so many comments about this issue. What could be done to solve this problem? After all it's a flipping expensive camera!


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Jos van Eekelen , Oct 30, 2011; 09:45 a.m.

The web is full of focusing problems with every camera. None focusses correctly in complete darkness, or with f/13 lenses.
Seriously, most cameras focus reliably under normal circumstances. The comments on the internet often relate to user error, or to very critical situations. There are a few focusing issues though, that's why most cameras nowadays offer micro adjustment. I don't have the impression that the 7D is especially prone to focus issues. And of course, some cameras or lenses are offspec, either out of the box or after some use.

Eric Merrill , Oct 30, 2011; 10:16 a.m.

No, the 7D focuses just fine.

Search the web, and you'll find hundreds of well exposed and well focused photos of wildlife in motion, captured with the 7D.

That said, put a tool in the hands of somebody who doesn't know how to use it, and results will vary.

As with everything created by people, mistakes will happen. There will always be a minuscule percentage of *all* camera bodies with manufacturing defects, and owners of those are more likely to voice their displeasure. A 7D within Canon's tolerances performs exceptionally well.


Marcus Ian , Oct 30, 2011; 11:25 a.m.

The 7D focusing system is way different than the xxDs it replaced, as well as the 5D1/2 and 1D/1Ds. As a result, even experienced EOS users find it difficult to get similar results from similar behavior.

I had a little trouble at first, but quickly got used to it, and was producing superbly focused imagery w/n a 1/2hr. It takes a smidge of learning to fully realize how good it can be.

Philip Wilson , Oct 30, 2011; 12:08 p.m.

Almost all focusing issues are user error or unrealistic user expectations. The simple fact is that used correctly the 7D AF is almost as good as my 1DIIN. The 5DII as similar complaints and I find mine is about as good as the old 1N / 1NRS. If you cannot get good results from the 7D AF than you should take up a different hobby / occupation. In general most AF issues are the result of the following things:
leaving the AF on auto (all elements) and having the camera focus on an un-intended subject
not keeping the AF sensor in use on the subject as you track
using AI Focus for fast moving targets (it has slow response)
having a very slow lens
Camera shake mistaken for an AF issue
In general you find that the people who have AF issues shoot the camera in fully automatic modes. I actually found the 7D AF easier to get up to speed with than it's exposure system. While the AF is different once you get used to it there are no issues (I do not tend to use zone or multi zone AF). The exposure system is slightly trickier as it reacts slightly differently to difficult scenes so the exposure comp that I would dial in on a 5D or 1D differs from the compensation you need on the 7D. I assume that this is the new Canon approach and that the new 1D4 and 1Dx will behave in a similar way.

Robert Turner , Oct 30, 2011; 03:08 p.m.

The 7d's focussing system is superb, but it takes some time to understand the different modes, foci points, etc.
I'd strongly recommend watching these excellent Canon tutorials:

Puppy Face , Oct 30, 2011; 04:48 p.m.

I've owned a 7D since Oct 2009 and can say it rarely misses focus and is better at AF than all the EOS cameras I've owned: EOS 10S, A2, 1N, 3, Elan 7E, 10D, 20D, 50D, 5D and 5D2. Like others have mentioned, the 5 AF modes are endlessly tweakable and different than prior EOS AF. Most people need a couple weeks of study and practice to figure how things work and which settings to use for their style. I'm pretty sure--save for a QI lemons--most AF problems are between the ears of the photog. They expect to not study the manual and use the 7D in full auto mode like a Rebel... My 7D review:

DB W , Oct 30, 2011; 06:03 p.m.

Thanks guys for your valuable comments.
This is my dream....hopefully the stores come out with some good X'mas offers! If not I'll have to go with the 60D or the 550D. Hope Santa's kind this year :) Fingers crossed.

David Stephens , Oct 31, 2011; 03:39 p.m.

I always wonder how the 7D has "focus problems" yet it's one of Canon's most popular bodies among wildlife shooters. The hawk below flew by and I took a couple of bursts of four and had at least six in focus to chose from and that's typical:

Juvenile red tail poses for me

Yakim Peled , Nov 01, 2011; 07:08 a.m.

1.5 years and no focusing problems. In fact, it's just the opposite.

Happy shooting,

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