Canon 7D, Focusing

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Focusing for video is a little bit different than still-image focusing since you can’t look through the viewfi nder to set focus, and all of it is done on the Live View screen. However, some things are the same—just like with still photography, you can either manually focus or autofocus your lens. The 7D makes it easy to autofocus and gives you three different settings to choose from (Figure 9.10):

The 7D offers three autofocus modes for video recording.
FIGURE 9.10 The 7D offers three autofocus modes for video recording.

  • Live mode: With Live mode, the image sensor is used to focus. This method can take longer than focusing through the viewfi nder (which uses the dedicated AF sensor).
  • Face detection Live mode: This is the same as Live mode focusing, but it detects and focuses human faces.
  • Quick mode: With this setting, the dedicated AF sensor is used to set the focus; however, the Live View image is momentarily interrupted for this to take place. This is the fastest method of focusing when in Live View or video mode.

To use these focusing modes, just point the camera at your subject, use the Multi-Controller to select your focus point, and press the shutter down halfway. The focus point will fl ash green and you’ll hear a beep when the camera fi nds the focus.

Using autofocus is easy, but if you ask me, the best way to set focus in Live View or video mode is to manually focus the lens. I actually fi nd it to be much quicker and more accurate than relying on the camera’s autofocus. The great thing about setting focus using the LCD Monitor on the back of the camera is the ability to zoom in to your subject. This feature allows you to compose your shot and use the same buttons you would use to preview your images at 100 percent in Playback mode, but in Live View you are viewing the subject that you are about to photograph or record.



  1. Set the camera to video mode using the Movie shooting switch.
  2. Use the Multi-Controller to select the area you want to focus on (A). When you have it set, press the Magnify button once to zoom in (B). Pressing it once will magnify your image by a factor of 5 (5x) and pressing it twice will magnify it by a factor of 10 (10x).
  3. Set the focusing switch on your lens to MF, and then turn the front part of the lens until your image is in focus.
  4. Press the Magnify button until the image on the LCD Monitor is back to Normal view.


As you may have already guessed, many of the techniques used in this chapter to set focus and exposure for recording videos can also be applied to shooting still images in Live View mode.


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