Canon 7D, Reducing Red-Eye

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When photographing people with an on-camera fl ash, one thing that we’ve all seen and would like to avoid is red-eye. This effect is the result of the light from the fl ash entering the pupil and then refl ecting back as an eerie red glow. This is especially true when it is dark and the subject’s eyes are dilated. It occurs most often when you’re using an on-axis fl ash (a fl ash that’s aligned with the lens of your camera), since most people will be looking at the camera’s lens, and thus very near the fl ash, when their photo is taken.

There are two ways to avoid this problem. The fi rst is to move the fl ash away from the lens, but if you’re using the built-in fl ash that’s not an option. The second is to turn on the 7D’s Red-Eye Reduction feature. This is a simple feature that shines a light from the camera at the subject, causing their pupils to shrink, thus eliminating or reducing the effects of red-eye.

The feature is set to Off by default and needs to be turned on in the shooting menu.


When shooting indoors, another way to reduce red-eye—or just to shorten the length of time that the reduction lamp needs to be shining into your subject’s eyes—is to turn on a lot of lights. The brighter the ambient light levels, the smaller the subject’s pupils will be. This will reduce the time necessary for the red-eye reduction lamp to shine, and it will allow you to take more candid pictures because your subjects won’t be required to stare at the red-eye lamp while waiting for their pupils to reduce.



  1. Press the Menu button and then turn the Main dial to get to the fi rst shooting menu tab.
  2. Use the Quick Control dial to scroll down to Red-eye On/Off (A).
  3. Press the Set button and then, using the Quick Control dial, select On and press the Set button (B).

Press the Menu button or the Shutter button to return to shooting mode.

To get the full benefi t from the Red-Eye Reduction feature, you should hold down the Shutter button halfway, which causes the reduction light to shine into your subject’s eyes. A small scale will appear in the viewfi nder that shows how long to hold the Shutter button before pressing completely. Once the countdown scale has reduced down to nothing, press the Shutter button completely to take the picture.


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