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Friday, December 12, 2014

Canon EOS-7D Mk II Camera Tips And Tricks

Canon EOS-7D Mk II APS-C DSLR camera

Canon announced the EOS-7D Mk II on September 15, 2015. I have owned it now for about a month and a half and have taken the camera on real world photo shoots to the sub Arctic under extremely harsh environment. You can read my review and see many more photos on

I have chosen the EOS-7D as the best APS-C camera 4 years in a row and have high hopes for the Series II successor. Canon has issued some quick tips and tricks below and tutorial videos on how to get the most out of this new camera. Take a look because it will be worth your while.

Capturing stills in Movie mode

Usually when shooting Movies on an EOS camera, it is possible to capture a still image at the same time simply by pressing the shutter button. This causes the movie to pause for about a second and then continue. If you find you can’t capture a still image while shooting movies on the EOS 7D Mark II, it is most likely due to your frame rate settings. If you are shooting at 59.94fps or 50fps, the camera is unable to capture a still and so the shutter will not be released. If you need to capture a still, change the frame rate to one of the other settings.

Frame rate options

The EOS 7D Mark II offers a range of frame rate options when shooting Full HD movies, including 59.94fps and 50fps for slow-motion effects. When setting either 59.94 or 50fps in Full HD Movie shooting, you will find that the Movie Servo AF using the Dual Pixel CMOS AF system no longer functions and the camera makes use of contrast detection AF instead. This may result in either jumpy or slow AF in Movie mode. To avoid unnatural AF switch instead to using manual focus at those frame rates.

Movie recording formats

When shooting HD movies on the EOS 7D Mark II, there are two options for recording format – either MOV or MP4. Previous EOS cameras produce MOV based movie files and these are the best option if you want to edit your footage afterwards and produce the highest video quality. If you want to share your videos with a wider range of devices, the MP4 format is a better choice, as it is a more widely accepted format on devices like mobile phones, tablets and smart televisions.

iTR AF and focus point selection

The EOS iTR AF system in the EOS 7D Mark II allows the camera to track moving subjects more accurately by using data from the metering sensor to track both faces and colours. With the EOS iTR AF setting enabled, you may find the camera is not picking up faces or colours to track. This is most likely due to your AF point selection method. To ensure the EOS iTR AF functions, the camera needs to be set to Zone AF, Large Zone AF or 65-point auto selection. In any of the other focus point selection modes, the EOS iTR AF will not function regardless of the menu setting.


Like the flagship EOS-1D X, the EOS 7D Mark II features EOS iTR AF, which improves autofocus tracking by recognising faces and subject colours in addition to looking for subject contrast. When shooting with the EOS iTR AF function enabled, you may find the AF is actually slightly slower and the maximum shooting speed in continuous high speed AF is slower than expected. This is especially likely in low-light shooting and is due to the extra data being processed from the metering system before a subject can be tracked. If you need the fastest AF possible and want to achieve the maximum frame rate and do not need to make use of the colour and face tracking, switch the EOS iTR AF setting to ‘disable’.

AF point orientation

Using the AF point orientation function allows you to switch quickly and easily from portrait to landscape shooting and vice versa and have the camera automatically change the focus point and even focus point selection method for you. If you’ve set up different settings for landscape and portrait shooting but find that the camera is not switching the AF points or modes for you as you turn the camera, it may be because you have attached a lens from ‘Group G’ – these are lens and extender combinations where the maximum aperture drops to f/8 or lower. Using one of these may clear the orientation linked AF point setting. If you use one of these lenses, remember to re-check your linked orientation point settings prior to shooting again.

AF point selection settings

The EOS 7D Mark II features a large number of AF modes to allow you to choose exactly the right AF points for the subject you are photographing. Within the camera menu you can select exactly which AF modes are selectable based on your personal preferences. If you are shooting and find you are unable to select Zone, Surround Expansion or Auto Select AF points, check your lens. Lenses that belong to Group G can only be used with single point Spot AF, Manual AF point selection and the first of the AF area expansion settings. The Group G lenses are those that when an EF2x Extender is used, it causes the maximum aperture to drop to f/8 or smaller. If in doubt, you check the manual for the camera where a complete list can be found.

AF Tracking sensitivity

If you move to an EOS 7D Mark II from either an EOS 7D or EOS-1D Mark III/IV or EOS-1Ds Mark III, you will find the AF feature for AI Servo tracking sensitivity is no longer there. In the EOS 7D Mark II, the setting has been renamed as simply “Tracking Sensitivity”. Beyond the name change though, the setting has exactly the same function as in the previous models.

Viewfinder information

The viewfinder of the EOS 7D Mark II is able to display a variety of shooting information such as shooting mode, white balance, drive mode and image quality among others. By default, only the flicker detection setting will be displayed. Should you wish to see the extra information, to help you keep on top of the camera settings without taking your eye from the viewfinder, the settings can be enabled from the “Viewfinder display” option in the second yellow menu tab. Even if you leave the displays turned off, when pressing the WB/Metering mode or Drive/AF buttons, or when you change the position of the AF switch on the lens, this information will still be shown in the viewfinder so you can see what is being altered.

Anti-flicker shooting

When shooting with the EOS 7D Mark II in continuous shooting, you may find the frame rate does not sound as fast as you expect it to be. Assuming that the shutter speed is fast enough to enable you to shoot at 10fps, you should check the anti-flicker shooting setting. When anti-flicker shooting is enabled, you may find the frame rate drops slightly as it tries to avoid flicker. If you are not shooting under lighting that flickers, such as a fluorescent tube, simply disable the anti-flicker mode and you will maximise the speed of continuous shooting.

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