Canon EOS 7D mk2 settings

Hi all!

I found a second hand 7D Mk2 for sale at a reasonable price and it was delivered this morning.

Just scrolling through the menus and there are a whole lot more options than on the Mk1!!

I'd found a blog post for setting up a 7D Mk2 for pictures of birds but the screenshots of the menus don't match what I'm seeing so I guess it's a different firmware version or something.

Any tips for setting up the 7D Mk2 for two main options - birds in flight; and nesting birds in less than ideal light conditions - would be much appreciated!  :)


  • Before you do anything else, reset all the settings to default (yellow spanner, 4th screen, "Clear all camera settings"). While you're there, check you have firmware 1.1.2 and update if necessary. Also "Clear all Custom functions" on the 5th orange screen. That should get you back to standard (in case the previous owner had altered anything from normal.
    The AF settings in the Mk2 have been simplified into a number of cases, basically pre-setting the options to make it easier for you (although you can still tweak them manually, as you do with the original 7D). Which case works for you is personal choice, but I use Case 6 a lot for in-flight, it seems to react faster to changes.
    Leave ISO on Auto, at least until you've learned the new camera. My personal experience is that the sensor is at least a stop better than the Mk1 (eg similar results wrt noise can be had at ISO3200 on the Mk2 when compared with ISO1600 on the Mk1). Again, that's something only you will be able to decide on, so leave on Auto ISO until you've been able to reach an opinion.
    In poor light, once you've left the camera to use as high an ISO as it wants, it's really more about technique and lens choice - a larger aperture lens, used wide open, will help a lot. Better support (whether a tripod or simply resting against a handy fencepost) will help as well.
    What menu options look particularly confusing?
    Oh - and just remembered, turn off the beeps so you don't annoy anyone in the hide :-)

    ETA - Paul A did a thread a while ago on in-flight - it's linked from the Getting off Auto index in my footer, which references all sorts of useful info, but a direct link is...


    Find me on Flickr / All about your camera - The Getting off Auto Index

  • Firstly I would suggest reading the manual for an explanation of how the various settings are supposed to work - eg what the various focus groups do, what the various focus options 1-6 do and how some are better suited to certain focus point groupings, as well as the exposure options - it really is quite a descriptive manual. It will also explain how many focus points will work with whatever lens you plan to use - which lens will you be using.? There is also a section on how to use exposure compensation, which is a very useful feature for birds in flight.
    Then you will be able to work with the various options and see which suits your style better, sometimes you might want to use TV and sometimes AV or even better, use Manual.
    One thing that I would certainly recommend is setting the camera up to take of advantage of Back Button Focusing - again the info is in the Manual.
    If you are going to photograph nesting birds, I hope that you take particular care if you are attempting to photograph them on the nests.




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