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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EOS Digital Cameras 
Thread started 14 Feb 2012 (Tuesday) 14:55
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7D backbuttons 101

 
mpstan
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Feb 14, 2012 14:55 |  #1

Trying to learn some new tricks to me, namely Flash Exposure Lock, and exposure lock.

When I first got my camera I changed the * button to autofocus. At that time I thought I was metering with the shutter button 1/2 way down, then hitting my * button to focus prior to taking my exposure.

Now I'm seeing that my * button also meters as well as focuses. Not what I thought I was doing.

This brings up a straw poll question: How do you have your buttons assigned? Do you meter and focus using separate buttons, and if so how?

This is what I'm considering:

AF-on --- Flash exposure Lock
* ---- focus/meter
Shutter --- AE Lock
M-Fn --- Leaving alone, currently FEL


Am I the only one on the planet that uses the * button to autofocus/meter?


5D Mk 3/// Canon 70-200 f/4L /// Canon 24mm 2.8 ///Sigma 85 1.4 ART ///Sigma 35 1.4 ART/// Godox AD360/// Flashpoint Li-Ion x 2
//Manfrotto 055XPRO /// Manfrotto 498 RC2 Ballhead///Jinbei HD-600///

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Snydremark
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Feb 14, 2012 15:07 |  #2

mpstan wrote in post #13897429 (external link)
...


Am I the only one on the planet that uses the * button to autofocus/meter?

Heh...not even remotely! :) There are many, many of us that use that function (usually termed "back button focus", "back button AF", etc).

The settings you describe are pretty close to how I run my 7D. AF-ON is set to meter/AF and the * button is Exposure Lock, though.


- Eric S.: My Birds/Wildlife (external link) (7D MkII/5D IV, Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, Canon 24-105L f/4 IS, Canon 70-200L f/2.8 IS MkII, Canon 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 IS I/II)
"The easiest way to improve your photos is to adjust the loose nut between the shutter release and the ground."

  
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eosphotomanoftennessee
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Feb 14, 2012 16:38 |  #3

I find it convenient to use Back AF for AF ON and Meter with Shutter Button.


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rral22
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Feb 14, 2012 17:34 |  #4

Hmm..... Finally read the manual? ;)

Separating focus and metering is vital to the way I use my cameras. I'm glad you have "discovered" the possibilities.




  
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talbot_sunbeam
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Feb 14, 2012 18:09 |  #5

I just reversed the AF-On and * buttons - it's easier for my fingers to use the * for back button focus than stretch for the AF-On button (considering how much focus is used in photography versus exposure lock, they should imo move the AF-On to the position of the * in general).

So, metering on shutter, focus on * and exposure lock on AF-On - but I really find very little use for exposure lock in general. I also upped the metering timeout value as well.



7D, 450D | 17-55, 10-22, 55-250, 50 1.8, 580EXII | YN568II | YN622 x3 | Magic Lantern | (Still) Jonesing for a 70-200 2.8...
Turns out a gripped 7D + 622 + 580exII + 70-200 2.8 IS MK2 is BLOODY HEAVY! Who knew?!!

  
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mpstan
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Feb 14, 2012 18:10 as a reply to  @ rral22's post |  #6

Eos you say you use Back AF for AF On..... when you say Back AF do you mean AF with the meter icon with it? I don't see an option for focus only for the AF-ON button. That's what I'm trying to say; isn't this AF option with the metering icon mean that you are metering AND autofocusing with this backbutton?

Sorry if I'm being dense..... just want to get it straight.


5D Mk 3/// Canon 70-200 f/4L /// Canon 24mm 2.8 ///Sigma 85 1.4 ART ///Sigma 35 1.4 ART/// Godox AD360/// Flashpoint Li-Ion x 2
//Manfrotto 055XPRO /// Manfrotto 498 RC2 Ballhead///Jinbei HD-600///

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mpstan
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Feb 14, 2012 18:17 as a reply to  @ talbot_sunbeam's post |  #7


So, metering on shutter, focus on * and exposure lock on AF-On - [/QUOTE
wrote:

=
So, metering on shutter, focus on * and exposure lock on AF-On -

Thank you Talbot........... so just to beat a dead horse a little further, for your * button you are using the selection labeled "metering and AF Start"? And again, this selection does not meter, but just focuses?

That's where I am confused....


5D Mk 3/// Canon 70-200 f/4L /// Canon 24mm 2.8 ///Sigma 85 1.4 ART ///Sigma 35 1.4 ART/// Godox AD360/// Flashpoint Li-Ion x 2
//Manfrotto 055XPRO /// Manfrotto 498 RC2 Ballhead///Jinbei HD-600///

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Snydremark
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Feb 14, 2012 18:37 |  #8

No, you have it straight :) You can't set any of the buttons to AF only


- Eric S.: My Birds/Wildlife (external link) (7D MkII/5D IV, Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, Canon 24-105L f/4 IS, Canon 70-200L f/2.8 IS MkII, Canon 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 IS I/II)
"The easiest way to improve your photos is to adjust the loose nut between the shutter release and the ground."

  
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mpstan
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Feb 14, 2012 19:22 |  #9

rral22 wrote in post #13898290 (external link)
Separating focus and metering is vital to the way I use my cameras.

Are you seeing my issue? I'm not seeing the 7D truly separating focus and metering like you think you are doing.......


5D Mk 3/// Canon 70-200 f/4L /// Canon 24mm 2.8 ///Sigma 85 1.4 ART ///Sigma 35 1.4 ART/// Godox AD360/// Flashpoint Li-Ion x 2
//Manfrotto 055XPRO /// Manfrotto 498 RC2 Ballhead///Jinbei HD-600///

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talbot_sunbeam
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Feb 14, 2012 20:22 |  #10

mpstan wrote in post #13898503 (external link)
Thank you Talbot........... so just to beat a dead horse a little further, for your * button you are using the selection labeled "metering and AF Start"?

Yes. For me:

Button AF-ON: * AE Lock
Button *: Metering and AF start
Button Shutter: Metering Start



7D, 450D | 17-55, 10-22, 55-250, 50 1.8, 580EXII | YN568II | YN622 x3 | Magic Lantern | (Still) Jonesing for a 70-200 2.8...
Turns out a gripped 7D + 622 + 580exII + 70-200 2.8 IS MK2 is BLOODY HEAVY! Who knew?!!

  
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mpstan
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Feb 15, 2012 15:11 |  #11

Thank you Talbot.

From checking around it's common for folks to dedicate the focus function to the * backbutton because it is used more commonly than AE lock, and it is a bigger and easier to reach button compared to the AF-On button. I'm also gathering that many people did not realize that this same button activates the metering also, unless the use AE lock.

The other thing I learned is that some people like to define both buttons as focus buttons, but assign both of these buttons to different focus points, which I didn't consider. For AE Lock they just use the shutter. That way you can bounce to three different focus points..... two of them via the backbuttons, and the other using the center joystick button. When I tried this the shutter wouldn't lock AE unless I kept the button down, so I don't think that is for me. Plus I couldn't figure out how to assign the backbuttons to focus points :)

If you are using AE Lock prior to recomposing, focusing and shooting, do you use a more specific metering pattern like center or center weighted? Or just zoom into the area you want to meter using Evaluative?

I'm curious to know how often people use AE Lock with their photography, For the past year I have not used AE Lock once. I plan to change that. However I think I've been fooling myself that my exposures have been taken differently than if I had left the shutter button do everything like the factory settings. Unless I'm missing something......

Thank you everyone!


5D Mk 3/// Canon 70-200 f/4L /// Canon 24mm 2.8 ///Sigma 85 1.4 ART ///Sigma 35 1.4 ART/// Godox AD360/// Flashpoint Li-Ion x 2
//Manfrotto 055XPRO /// Manfrotto 498 RC2 Ballhead///Jinbei HD-600///

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talbot_sunbeam
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Feb 15, 2012 16:24 |  #12

mpstan wrote in post #13903639 (external link)
I'm also gathering that many people did not realize that this same button activates the metering also, unless the use AE lock.

It does meter, but I don't find this to be a problem in practice - largely because you're going to meter before taking a shot anyway, and the focus happens pre-shutter (single shot) or during the shutter (ai servo), so it doesn't really affect things - in many ways, it's desirable so you can see your readings the second you focus long before you decide to take a shot and hit the shutter.

mpstan wrote in post #13903639 (external link)
The other thing I learned is that some people like to define both buttons as focus buttons, but assign both of these buttons to different focus points, which I didn't consider. For AE Lock they just use the shutter. That way you can bounce to three different focus points..... two of them via the backbuttons, and the other using the center joystick button. When I tried this the shutter wouldn't lock AE unless I kept the button down, so I don't think that is for me. Plus I couldn't figure out how to assign the backbuttons to focus points :)

The thing I found is that it's easy for the focus points to become a little overwhelming. For instance, you basically have two focus points immediately available - one you move to, and the centre point, which you can flip between (I use the center joystick for this). Multiply that by two when you have set up independent focus points for portrait and landscape (and actually, it's not just focus points, but also focus *modes* which can be independent), and it's easy to get a little lost as your focus oints jump around. Adding more complexity on this would make my head spin ( ! ) until I got 100% muscle memory familiar with everything (I'm not there yet).

mpstan wrote in post #13903639 (external link)
If you are using AE Lock prior to recomposing, focusing and shooting, do you use a more specific metering pattern like center or center weighted? Or just zoom into the area you want to meter using Evaluative?

I don't tend to use AE Lock for me, I've never found it particularly useful, or at least got the hang of where it would be good to use it. I will on occasion, and for video it often makes sense as you are moving the camera around but want the exposure to remain constant (although usually here I'm in manual mode anyway).

mpstan wrote in post #13903639 (external link)
I'm curious to know how often people use AE Lock with their photography, For the past year I have not used AE Lock once.

Like I say, fairly rarely (ie, almost never). If I want a static exposure for some reason, I'll usually take a reading and then flip into manual and set up that exposure manually. However, I can see in run and gun situations where you don't have time to set up manual, it could be a useful feature. On my old XSi, the default AE lock time was very short, so I always used to get frustrated when trying to lock an exposure, because it would be forgotten moments later. At least on the 7D you can increase that metering timeout, which helps.

I'm also curious as to how people use the AE lock feature as well - I might learn something too...! :)



7D, 450D | 17-55, 10-22, 55-250, 50 1.8, 580EXII | YN568II | YN622 x3 | Magic Lantern | (Still) Jonesing for a 70-200 2.8...
Turns out a gripped 7D + 622 + 580exII + 70-200 2.8 IS MK2 is BLOODY HEAVY! Who knew?!!

  
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7D backbuttons 101
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