Canon 7D, Balancing Your Image with the Electronic Level

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Finding the horizon and making sure your camera is level is sometimes easier said than done. Photographing a fl at landscape is one thing, but when you integrate mountains, rolling hills, and foliage into the image, you might not be able to see where the horizon line is, and you risk tilting your camera in one direction or the other.

Many tripods and tripod heads come with a bubble level, but there will be times that your tripod is propped at a weird angle and you won’t be able to rely on it. The 7D has a really cool feature—called the electronic level—that can help you out with this. When the electronic level is activated, you can set the vertical and horizontal tilt and properly level your camera for landscape photography. You also have the option of viewing this feature either on the LCD Monitor or through the viewfi nder (Figures 5.10 and 5.11). I usually prefer using the LCD Monitor, especially when my camera is on a tripod, but sometimes I don’t want to take my eyes away from the viewfi nder (which could slow down my shooting). In those situations, I use the viewfi nder method.

FIGURE 5.10 You can view the electronic level in the LCD Monitor. This feature is available whether or not Live View is on (in this example, Live View is off).
FIGURE 5.10 You can view the electronic level in the LCD Monitor. This feature is available whether or not Live View is on (in this example, Live View is off).
FIGURE 5.11 You can also view the electronic level through the viewfi nder. In this example, the AF points that you see indicate that the camera is level horizontally and tilted upward vertically.
FIGURE 5.11 You can also view the electronic level through the viewfi nder. In this example, the AF points that you see indicate that the camera is level horizontally and tilted upward vertically.

SETTING THE ELECTRONIC LEVEL IN THE LCD MONITOR

SETTING THE ELECTRONIC LEVEL IN THE LCD MONITOR

  1. First be sure that you have the electronic level set up to display properly. To do so, press the Menu button and
    use the Main dial to select the third setup tab, then scroll down to INFO Button Display Options using the Quick Control dial (A). Press the Set button.
  2. Make sure that there is a check mark next to the Electronic Level setting (B). If there isn’t, use the Quick Control dial to scroll to it and then press the Set button (a check mark should appear). Use the Quick Control dial again to scroll down to OK, and then press Set.
  3. Next, press the INFO button until the electronic level appears in the LCD Monitor. (To view the electronic level when using Live View, press the INFO button until it appears in the LCD Monitor.) You’ll know the horizontal and vertical tilt are leveled when the red lines turn green (C).

SETTING THE ELECTRONIC LEVEL IN THE VIEWFINDER

SETTING THE ELECTRONIC LEVEL IN THE VIEWFINDER

  1. Press the Menu button and use the Main dial to scroll to the Custom Functions tab, and then use the Quick Control dial to highlight the C.Fn IV: Operation/Others item (A). Press the Set button.
  2. Use the Quick Control dial to select C.Fn IV-1 (Custom Controls). Press the Set button and use the Main dial to highlight the M-Fn item (B). Press Set.
  3. Scroll over to the VF Electronic Level item (C). Press Set to lock in your change.SETTING THE ELECTRONIC LEVEL IN THE VIEWFINDER
  4. Now, look through the viewfi nder as if you are going to take a photo. Press the M-Fn button (located next to the Shutter button). A grid will appear and you’ll see black or red squares where your AF points usually appear. You’ll know that the camera is level both vertically and horizontally when the only AF point visible is the one in the center (D). To exit from this mode, just press the Shutter button halfway.

SETTING THE ELECTRONIC LEVEL IN THE VIEWFINDER