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Thread started 25 Mar 2010 (Thursday) 21:44
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7D hidden feature - Simultaneous dual AF-point focusing

 
trale
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Mar 25, 2010 21:44 |  #1

That's the best name I could come up with for this, but I tinkered around with the custom controls, and I "discovered" feature if you set it up right.

Imagine that you're framing a scene with two animals squaring off. Each located on a different corners in the viewfinder, and at different distances to the camera. You want to focus and snap each of them in quick, staggered shots, depending on which one is doing something interesting. Traditionally, you would need to turn either the finger-wheel or the thumb-wheel to change AF points, and then focus and take the shot. But with this feature I discovered on the 7D, you can have two AF points, each covering one of the animals, and have two dedicated focus buttons, one for each animal.

This way, when you need to quickly shift focus between the two animals, it's a simple button click instead of turning the dial and then focus.

So the way to set it up is this:

- Go to the Custom Controls menu.
- Set the 1st button <Half shutter> to [Metering Start] only. This will remove the 1/2 press focus function from the Shutter. It will only act as shutter release.
- Set the 2nd button <AF-ON> to [Metering & AF Start]
- Goto the 3d button <*>, and also set it [Metering & AF Start], but at this inner options screen, press the <INFO> button, and it displays one more screen.
- Change to the 2nd option: [Registered AF point]
- Set all that and exit.

Assuming you know how to memorize AF points (see pg 219 on "Registering and using AF point"), all you need to do is to memorize an AF point that covers one subject, and the <*> button will now always focus using that point, no matter where your current AF point is.

You are free to move the current AF point around and use the <AF-ON> button to focus that exclusively. And if you need to quickly switch focus to the other point, just press <*>. So basically, you can toggle focus between two spots instantly! (of course you'll still need to press the actual shutter to take a shot).

I dunno, but this seems revolutionary to me. It would have made for a rather impressive commercial, but they didn't even mention this possibility anywhere. It uses several features that are new to the 7D, but the combined effect is amazing.

I was already impressed with the 7D's "Orientation linked AF point" feature. Combined with the Register AF point feature, and my "Simultaneous dual AF-point focusing" feature, the possibilities are staggering!




  
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bohdank
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Mar 25, 2010 21:46 |  #2

That is really neat.


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Pearlallica
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Mar 25, 2010 21:51 |  #3

i'm at work, but i'll have to check this out tomorrow when I'm at home. I have two sons(2 and 3 year old) and I find myself in situations, quite often, where one kid is turned away, and the other's doing something interesting, or vice-versa. I find I have to toggle my focus back and forth quite quickly depending on their changing activity. Having two switchable focus buttons sounds very useful. If this works, thanks a bunch for the great tip!


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quattroatl
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Mar 25, 2010 22:08 |  #4

trale wrote in post #9872370 (external link)
So the way to set it up is this:

- Go to the Custom Controls menu.
- Set the 1st button <Half shutter> to [Metering Start] only. This will remove the 1/2 press focus function from the Shutter. It will only act as shutter release.
- Set the 2nd button <AF-ON> to [Metering & AF Start]
- Goto the 3d button <*>, and also set it [Metering & AF Start], but at this inner options screen, press the <INFO> button, and it displays one more screen.
- Change to the 2nd option: [Registered AF point]
- Set all that and exit.

Assuming you know how to memorize AF points (see pg 219 on "Registering and using AF point"), all you need to do is to memorize an AF point that covers one subject, and the <*> button will now always focus using that point, no matter where your current AF point is.

You are free to move the current AF point around and use the <AF-ON> button to focus that exclusively. And if you need to quickly switch focus to the other point, just press <*>. So basically, you can toggle focus between two spots instantly! (of course you'll still need to press the actual shutter to take a shot).

I dunno, but this seems revolutionary to me. It would have made for a rather impressive commercial, but they didn't even mention this possibility anywhere. It uses several features that are new to the 7D, but the combined effect is amazing.

I was already impressed with the 7D's "Orientation linked AF point" feature. Combined with the Register AF point feature, and my "Simultaneous dual AF-point focusing" feature, the possibilities are staggering!

You don't have to remove AF on the shutter button to do this. When you memorize an AF point, you are using the back AF button in conjunction with the shutter button.

You actually have 3 focus points with the 7D on the fly because pushing in the directional button once should take you to the center focus point. Push it again, and it should take you to the previous focus point. Then of course you have the memorized AF point using your AF back button.

This feature would be awesome for the 5Dmk2 portrait photographer. Once the next 5D gets this feature, current 5D owners who only use their center focus point will change their shooting style for good. No more focus and recompose. Only 7D users who know how to use this know what we're talking about. This is the main feature of the 7D that to me is truly game changing, or revolutionary.


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DarthVader
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Mar 25, 2010 22:10 |  #5

It's in the B&H/Canon video.


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Gedanken
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Mar 25, 2010 22:21 |  #6

Hey, that's a cool feature. I'll have to check when I get home tonight, but does anybody know if it's available on other models like the the 50D?


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quattroatl
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Mar 25, 2010 23:10 |  #7

^^Not available on the 50D.


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trale
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Mar 25, 2010 23:15 |  #8

quattroatl wrote in post #9872512 (external link)
You actually have 3 focus points with the 7D on the fly because pushing in the directional button once should take you to the center focus point. Push it again, and it should take you to the previous focus point. Then of course you have the memorized AF point using your AF back button.

That's a good point, but quickly traversing between multiple AF points is not the same as focusing using different AF points immediately. Sure the 7D can in fact memorize many AF points like this (especially when you throw in the fact that it can memorize a different point for each camera body orientation), however, what I'm talking about is

- Pushing button A to focus AFpt 1
- Pushing button B to focus AFpt 2

The shutter button itself needs to be stripped of the <AF-start> functionality, or else it will simply refocus the shot and ruin the focus achieved using one of the other buttons.




  
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quattroatl
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Mar 25, 2010 23:52 |  #9

trale wrote in post #9872842 (external link)
The shutter button itself needs to be stripped of the <AF-start> functionality, or else it will simply refocus the shot and ruin the focus achieved using one of the other buttons.

That's not true. I have the AF back button memorized. I hold the back AF button and push the shutter button. It holds focus on the memorized back AF focus point.


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tundraman
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Mar 26, 2010 00:53 |  #10

Cool find. Thanks!


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FatCat0
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Mar 26, 2010 02:08 |  #11

I use this for dance pictures. I have the memorized AF point top and center in both orientations because regardless of what I'm trying for with other AF points it's usually a safe bet that in a pinch a nice composition can be pulled off with that point. I love this feature, especially since I find that I have to occasionally fight with the joystick to get it to move properly.




  
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guru
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Mar 26, 2010 02:55 |  #12

Yes, that's a very nice feature, I've been using it for a few months...




  
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Gedanken
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Mar 26, 2010 05:44 |  #13

quattroatl wrote in post #9872819 (external link)
^^Not available on the 50D.

Crying shame - that would have been ace. :(


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hpulley
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Mar 26, 2010 06:37 |  #14

The 1D has had a registered AF point since 2001 and the film EOS 1V had it before that in 2000... 10 years ago. You can go to it temporarily or make it your current AF point which you can then move and return to the registered point again later. It is an excellent feature but they didn't invent it for the 7D ;-)a


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quattroatl
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Mar 26, 2010 07:08 |  #15

hpulley wrote in post #9873956 (external link)
The 1D has had a registered AF point since 2001 and the film EOS 1V had it before that in 2000... 10 years ago. You can go to it temporarily or make it your current AF point which you can then move and return to the registered point again later. It is an excellent feature but they didn't invent it for the 7D ;-)a

I figured as much that it must be on the 1D series. This is one of the main features that would have convinced me to jump to the 5D if it had this feature. But truth be told if the outer focus points are as weak as some have reported here, then we would have heard tons of complaints about the 5D's inaccurate focusing with this feature.


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7D hidden feature - Simultaneous dual AF-point focusing
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