EOS 7D Focusing problems.

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by db_w, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. Is it true that the 7D's got some focusing problems? I've read so many comments about this issue. What could be done to solve this problem? After all it's a flipping expensive camera!
  2. The web is full of focusing problems with every camera. None focusses correctly in complete darkness, or with f/13 lenses.
    Seriously, most cameras focus reliably under normal circumstances. The comments on the internet often relate to user error, or to very critical situations. There are a few focusing issues though, that's why most cameras nowadays offer micro adjustment. I don't have the impression that the 7D is especially prone to focus issues. And of course, some cameras or lenses are offspec, either out of the box or after some use.
  3. No, the 7D focuses just fine.
    Search the web, and you'll find hundreds of well exposed and well focused photos of wildlife in motion, captured with the 7D.
    That said, put a tool in the hands of somebody who doesn't know how to use it, and results will vary.
    As with everything created by people, mistakes will happen. There will always be a minuscule percentage of *all* camera bodies with manufacturing defects, and owners of those are more likely to voice their displeasure. A 7D within Canon's tolerances performs exceptionally well.
  4. The 7D focusing system is way different than the xxDs it replaced, as well as the 5D1/2 and 1D/1Ds. As a result, even experienced EOS users find it difficult to get similar results from similar behavior.
    I had a little trouble at first, but quickly got used to it, and was producing superbly focused imagery w/n a 1/2hr. It takes a smidge of learning to fully realize how good it can be.
  5. Almost all focusing issues are user error or unrealistic user expectations. The simple fact is that used correctly the 7D AF is almost as good as my 1DIIN. The 5DII as similar complaints and I find mine is about as good as the old 1N / 1NRS. If you cannot get good results from the 7D AF than you should take up a different hobby / occupation. In general most AF issues are the result of the following things:
    leaving the AF on auto (all elements) and having the camera focus on an un-intended subject
    not keeping the AF sensor in use on the subject as you track
    using AI Focus for fast moving targets (it has slow response)
    having a very slow lens
    Camera shake mistaken for an AF issue
    In general you find that the people who have AF issues shoot the camera in fully automatic modes. I actually found the 7D AF easier to get up to speed with than it's exposure system. While the AF is different once you get used to it there are no issues (I do not tend to use zone or multi zone AF). The exposure system is slightly trickier as it reacts slightly differently to difficult scenes so the exposure comp that I would dial in on a 5D or 1D differs from the compensation you need on the 7D. I assume that this is the new Canon approach and that the new 1D4 and 1Dx will behave in a similar way.
  6. The 7d's focussing system is superb, but it takes some time to understand the different modes, foci points, etc.
    I'd strongly recommend watching these excellent Canon tutorials:
  7. I've owned a 7D since Oct 2009 and can say it rarely misses focus and is better at AF than all the EOS cameras I've owned: EOS 10S, A2, 1N, 3, Elan 7E, 10D, 20D, 50D, 5D and 5D2. Like others have mentioned, the 5 AF modes are endlessly tweakable and different than prior EOS AF. Most people need a couple weeks of study and practice to figure how things work and which settings to use for their style. I'm pretty sure--save for a QI lemons--most AF problems are between the ears of the photog. They expect to not study the manual and use the 7D in full auto mode like a Rebel... My 7D review:
  8. Thanks guys for your valuable comments.
    This is my dream....hopefully the stores come out with some good X'mas offers! If not I'll have to go with the 60D or the 550D. Hope Santa's kind this year :) Fingers crossed.
  9. I always wonder how the 7D has "focus problems" yet it's one of Canon's most popular bodies among wildlife shooters. The hawk below flew by and I took a couple of bursts of four and had at least six in focus to chose from and that's typical:
  10. Most of any hardware issue has can be attributed to the operator.
    7D's AF is pretty sophisticated and very capable. Please read the manual and watch the many tutorials to understand its capabilities.
    What gets me are folks that set the AF sensitivity to max and then use AI Servo. Then goes on to complain that AF is all out. Gee.... hmm.... I wonder.
  11. Mine focusses just fine. I have heard of no focussing issues with the 7D.
  12. As was found by several well known pros, the 7D's focussing system is superb but images are somewhat soft, probably due to an agressive AA filter. Also, images from the 7D do not crop easily, apparently due to small pixel size. I had a 7D for 6 months and used it in all conditions with top lenses. I enjoyed the built, the ergonomics, the focussing system, the viewfinder. But alas, I could never get used to the softness of the images, which required agressive shrapening. Is it possible that Quality Control at Canon explains why many complained about the 7D's image softness, while others, such as the author of the beautiful eagle shot in this thread, are perfectly happy with this cam? I now am the happy owner of a 5DII. I do miss the 7D's 1.6 factor and its solid build, but man, can I crop now...
  13. HELP...
    I am suddenly having a big problem with focus during action sports shots. No problems before with this issue. Using a 7D with a 70-200 f/2.8, shooting hockey & rodeo. Previously rodeos have turned out fantastic (indoor & outdoor) with same equipment...user error is not ruled out as I'll take blame if it's my mistakes. My son was shooting backup last night at the rodeo with my 50D and new 135 f/2 and his shots turned out great and a novice to DSLR shooting.
    Hockey game last week and now last night's rodeo shots 95% are trashed, used same camera & lens for both. I reset the camera & lens settings...didn't help. This morning I have cleaned off camera & lens contacts and wiped & reformatted the memory card. Going to go play in traffic to see if these corrections helped. Problem tho...different lighting...last night indoors poorly lit arena and today outdoors very bright & sunny.
    Any suggestions?
  14. But what is the problem?
    Happy shooting,
  15. Kris, did you check you AI Servo to make certain that it's still on? Your f/2.8 lens should gather plenty of light for a nice, fast, accurate AF. Also, are you using single-point, or have serveral or all AF points activated?

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