Help for sports shooting and 7D in general...

Started Feb 20, 2010 | Discussions thread
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slr_SoFL
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Help for sports shooting and 7D in general...
Feb 20, 2010

Hi all,

I just got my 7D this week, and after a day and a half of shooting, I could use some help.

Background - I've had an XTi for over 3 years and have mostly shot my kids sports. The 3fps made me feel like I was missing too many shots between frames and I THOUGHT that the AF was severely lacking. I almost always use my 70-200 f/4 IS, and did so as usual today.

With my XTi I've always shot Av wide open at around 200 to 400 ISO.

First day out - When I went out today, it was bright and sunny, so I went into M mode at 1/4000 and f/4.0 and tried out Auto ISO. I shot AWB JPEG with a touch of sharpness added [5 out of 7], the saturation bumped up 2 notches and saturation and contrast at 0 [same as I've always used on my XTi]. Multiple times through the game I checked to see where the ISO was coming in at, and for the most part it was 250 with some 200 and 320s thrown in, so I figured that there was no problem with potential noise and the such.

As for Af, I set it to auto select for all 19 points.

My results (with some screen shot examples at end of post):

VERY DISAPPOINTING, and I'm hoping its me, and someone here will set me straight.

1. The number of OOF shots was staggering. Even as I was shooting I could see that the points selected by the camera were often odd. Another thing I couldn't figure out was that every time I half pressed the shutter the SAME point showed up (the one just above the middle). Eventually it would change around, but no matter how much I tried to have the object somewhere else, THAT point showed up even if it was on a completely blank area. I am sure that there is a setting I am missing, but I didn't purposely register a focus point, and early on in the shooting I cleared all my custom functions figuring I accidentally registered that point, but it kept happening. Even now as I type this and have pressed the 2 buttons necessary to clear a registered point, it is still going on.

My questions

What do you recommend? AI Servo tracking sensitivity Cfn III-1 Fast or Slow - I started on the middle, but then changed to slow hoping the camera would pick a subject and stay there. What do you use?

Cfn III-2 - I had it set on the default of AF priority/Tracking priority. To me this makes the most sense, and I can't see how the other options would give me more in focus shots or make it more likely to stick with a subject.

Should I have picked a zone AF or single point with expansion? (I know that I need to try and figure out what works best for me, but any suggestions will be appreciated).

2. The shots I did get seemed soft. I can't see how moving up the sharpness could soften the shots. Should I try to calibrate my lenses to the camera? This really scares me, as I didn't get too many with the same crispness and pop I've gotten with my XTi.

Some zoombrowser screenshots per my points (again all shots 1/4000, f/4.0 and ISO at around 250):

Camera picks these 3 focus points????

Camera doesn't see the kid in the middle???

Camera picks a good spot, but at 100% it just seems soft.

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Just a weekend hack...

7D
Rebel XTi
Tamron 17-50 f/2.8
Canon EF 70-200 F/4 IS
430EX

 slr_SoFL's gear list:slr_SoFL's gear list
Canon EOS 7D Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF) Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM +2 more
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