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I sent the video's in the link below to my daughter who was struggling recently with auto focus for fast moving subjects. Canon's Rudy Winston who used to be a sports photographer, before being hired by Canon, does a good job in this B+H Photo vid, and I consider it one of the best vids on the subject.
A Look at The Canon Autofocus System
As Rudy says in the video, start with the center (then if necessary let one of the outer focus points pic up the subject) or start with a single outer point, especially with those bodies that have cross hatch outer focus points.
A few guidelines for initial settings for the 7D, subject to change according to your preferences....some like setting the AI servo tracking sensitivity from -2 to +1; depending on the subject and speed, and once they become accustomed to the body...you'll have to see what works best for you. BTW, I use the * button to start and operate AF... And have the AF On button set to handle AE Lock... This is because button closer to where my thumb naturally is for AF operation, and the AE Lock is only needed occasionally...also because older bodies, either do not have the AF On button at all or lack it among the secondary controls on the vertical battery grip, so you have to use * for AF with those models. So I just have it set to use * for focus operation consistently across all the models I use. If only using one camera, in this case the 7D that has both AF On and * buttons on both the body and the grip, use them set up whichever way you prefer.
C.Fn III: Autofocus Drive
1 - AI Servo tracking Sensitivity: Set to -1
2 - AI Servo 1st/2nd img priority - Set to 0 - AF priority/Tracking Priority
3 - AI Servo Tracking Method - Set to 0 - Main Focus point priority (that way the camera focuses on what you want, not what it wants)
4 - Lens Drive when AF impossible - Set to 0
5 - AF Microadjustment - Set to 0 (Most people have said this is ineffective. Even the manual says it needs to be done on location where you are shooting to do any good.)
6 - AF area select mode - I have single point w/expansion selected and single point. Been shooting mostly on single point w/expansion for sports.
7 - AF Manual pt. selection pattern - Set to 1 (Continuous)
8 - VF display illumination - set to 1 (Enable)
9 - Display all AF points - Set to 0
10 - Focus Display in AI Servo/MF - Set to 0
11 - AF-assist beam firing - set to 2 (Enable to external flash only)
12 - Orientation linked AF point - Set to 0
13 - Mirror lockup - Set to 0 (Disable)
C.FN IV: Operations/Others
Shutter button is set to Meter only
AF-ON button is turned OFF (too easy to hit accidentally)
AE lock button (*) is set for metering and AF Start
The following PDF though for the 1D3 which has a different custom function menu settings, are a good guideline for settings of various sports.
Guide to AI servo and AF custom functions
The Canon 1D4 has an excellent AI Servo Custom Function Guide as well. A lot of insight can be gained reading it...40D, 50D, 7D, 5D3 and 1D/1Ds series shooters would do well to examine it.
1D4 Guide to AI servo and AF Custom Functions
Edited on Jun 17, 2013 at 02:50 AM · View previous versions