Tips: Canon EOS 7D and EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II zoom

After shooting extensively with this incomparable high-performance Canon combo, a seasoned enthusiast and successful part-time professional gives you some helpful hints and tips for getting the most out of this outstanding camera and a lens that sets a new performance standard for premium wide-aperture telephoto zooms.

EOS 7D Camera Tips

1. Exploit the Canon EOS 7D’s amazing range of AF modes by selecting the optimum mode for your subject. For example, using Point Expansion AF mode displays an illuminated 4-point area in the finder that’s helpful when you move the camera to track active subjects, and the 19-point Multi-Zone AF mode works best when subject movement is unpredictable.

2. Do you frequently shoot portraits or other subjects that call for a vertical grip? Consider augmenting your Canon EOS 7D with a great, affordable accessory, the Battery Grip BG-E7. I’ve found that it enhances the camera’s inherently good balance, provides a more convenient control set for shooting vertical pictures, and extends battery life by doubling the camera’s ample battery capacity.

3. Take advantage of the Canon EOS 7D’s well-placed AE Lock and AF Lock buttons on the back to enhance shooting speed, AF and exposure accuracy. Examples: Grab focus at a point, lock AF, recompose and shoot, or take a spot reading off a skin tone, lock exposure, recompose and shoot.

4. Push the Q (Quick Control) button, then scroll to the relevant icon to access frequently used settings like ISO shutter speed, exposure compensation, White Balance, etc. rather than going through menus. It’s a lot faster.

5. When shooting landscapes or architecture, hit the Info button twice to display a precision level. It works with horizontal and vertical subjects to help you achieve precise orientation.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L lens tips

1. Shoot frame-filling portraits, still life, and floral images at maximum aperture (f/2.8) to create dramatic pictorial effects with shallow depth of field and gorgeous_ bokeh._ Also, explore the lens’s enhanced ability to focus down to 1:5 in the near-macro range_._ For maximum AF precision at these times, use Spot AF, focus on an eye or other critical detail, hold focus, recompose, and shoot.

2. Deploy the Focus Limiter for faster AF performance with moving subjects. If you know the main subject will be at 10 feet (about 2.5m) or farther, set the focus limiter to 2.5m-to-infinity rather than full range (1.2m to infinity) to facilitate quicker focus.

3. Take advantage of the class-leading image-stabilization (IS) system of this lens to extend your shake-free handheld shooting range. It provides a 4-stop advantage, enabling you to use slower shutter speeds for creative effects even when you zoom to the longest telephoto settings (320mm equivalent with APS-C format Canons). Impressive.