donwag wrote in post #14375556
AF-ON button is turned OFF (too easy to hit accidentally).
AE lock button (*) is set for metering and AF Start.
I disagree. First, I don't consider the AF-ON button too easy to hit accidentally, and even if you do, it's usually no big issue.
Instead, set AF-ON to do AF/metering with the selected AF point (which is the normal mode), and set the * button to do the same with the home point (registered AF point).
I use this to register an AF-point (HP) high up in the image, where the face tends to be if the athlete is coming close. I also set orientation linked point to active, so that this can be done for both landscape and portrait modes.
Thus I can track AF with the normally selected point (often center point, or a bit to one side, depending upon composition) and immediately shift to a point higher up, when the composition asks for that. Remember that you can't focus and recompose when you are tracking with Servo AF.
I also have the DOF button set to activate zone AF. This is to use if the athlete comes so close, that the whole shirt or track suit or whatever may fill one or more AF points. If it's like a black, tight suit, there may be no contrast for one point to find. Having nine points active, the camera can pick one that finds a contrast. At these ranges, I can just as well let the camera do the job. Perhaps it comes up with a result I like, and if it doesn't, I'm not fast enough to do it properly myself anyway.
I use the joystick to select the AF point, and set it to return to center if I press it instead of moving it to a side. The drawback with the 7D is that there is now joystick on the grip, like they finally designed on the grip for the 5D Mark III, and on the 1D X body. But you can use the AF selection button on the grip, then roll the dials to move the AF point, so you aren't completely out in the blue anyway. For single runners, taking verticals often makes more sense, since people in general and athletes in particular tend to be taller than wide. Photographing football (soccer in the US) I can imagine that it's probably more interesting to shoot horisontal images, since there are more often other players nearby the main target, and these other players may be interesting to understand the whole situation.
I also store settings like these under the custom positions on the mode dial. I have one setup that's for automatic exposure (sunlight in some areas, shadow in other areas is one typical example) and one for manual exposure (bright and dark suits treated the same).
An example of a picture of a runner in decent light.
In very low light it's more difficult, and some deviations from the recommended settings are useful. Especially when you need to include one or more flash units to get a picture.