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Control dials

The 7D has two control dials which are used to adjust exposure or settings after a button has been pressed. The "front control dial" is mounted in front of the shutter release button and the "rear control dial" is mounted horizontally on the rear right corner of the camera just under your thumb. In certain exposure modes the rear dial is used to adjust aperture, the front dial is used to adjust shutter speed.

Top of camera controls (right)

Wow it's a button-and-dial-fest! If you love you controls on the outside of the camera you'll love the 7D, and to be honest although it's a little intimidating the controls don't take long to grasp and you soon become thankful that you can (for example) change white balance mode with a switch. Note that the exposure mode dial can only be turned while the release button in the center of the dial is held down, this avoids accidental mode change.

Exposure Mode Dial

Position
 
Mode
 
Full-Auto Program Exposure

This is essentially the camera's "point and shoot" mode (as close as you can get with an SLR). When you switch to this mode various settings reset back to their defaults and some settings can not be changed. Some dial settings may not reflect the current camera setting which is shown on the LCD monitor.

Program Exposure (with shift)

Program exposure mode on the 7D can be shifted, this means that you can select one of a variety of equal exposures by turning the control dials, turn the front dial to shift by shutter speed, the rear dial to shift by aperture. In program shift the LCD monitor displays either PA or PS depending on the type of shift selected. *

Aperture Priority

In this mode you select the aperture and the camera will calculate the shutter speed for the exposure (depending on metered value; metering mode, ISO). Aperture is displayed on the viewfinder status bar and the LCD monitor (if recording display is enabled), turn either control dial to select different apertures. *

Shutter Priority

In this mode you select the shutter speed and the camera will calculate the correct aperture for the exposure (depending on metered value; metering mode, ISO). Shutter speed is displayed on the viewfinder status bar and the LCD monitor (if recording display is enabled), turn either control dial to select different shutter speeds. *

Full Manual Exposure

In this mode you select the aperture and the shutter speed f (and additionally Bulb shutter). Turn the front control dial to select shutter speed, rear control dial to select aperture. As you turn the dials the EV scale on the recording display and the viewfinder status line indicates how close the selected exposure is to the metered exposure (+/-3 EV). *

Memory Recall

In any of the P, A, S or M exposure modes you can press the MSET button and record the current settings to one of three memory banks. Turn the exposure mode dial to numbers 1, 2 or 3 to recall these settings.

* Exposure steps (0.5 / 0.3 EV) depend on the position of the exposure compensation dial.

White Balance Dial

Position
 
Mode
 
AWB Auto white balance

The camera will attempt to automatically detect the temperature of light used in the scene and adjust white balance accordingly. When using the flash, the white balance is set for flash color temperature.
PWB

Preset white balance

Select one of the preset white balances. Press the WB button then use the front control dial to select the preset, the rear control dial to adjust white balance fine tuning for the preset. The selected preset is also repeated on the viewfinder status line.

 • Daylight
 • Shade
 • Cloudy
 • Tungsten
 • Fluorescent
 • Flash

Custom white balance

Select a custom white balance from one of the three custom white balance memory banks. Press the WB button to select the bank or SET a new custom white balance.

K

Color temperature (Kelvin)

Select a custom color temperature white balance on the Kelvin scale. Press the WB button and rotate the front control dial to adjust in 1000 K steps, rotate the rear control dial to adjust in 100 K steps.

 • 2500 - 9900 K
 • 100 K steps (rear control dial)
 • 1)00 K steps (front control dial)

Drive Mode Dial

Position
 
Mode
 
S Single-frame bracketing

Take a series of images in a bracket sequence with single frame advance.
C Continuous bracketing

Take a series of images in a bracket sequence in a continuous sequence.
Single-frame advance

Normal shooting mode, take a single shot for a single depression of the shutter release.
Continuous advance

Continuous shooting drive mode, take images sequentially as long as the shutter release is depressed (and buffer space allows).
10 10 second self-timer

Take a shot after a ten second delay.
2 2 second self-timer

Take a shot after a two second delay.

Metering Mode Dial

Position
 
Mode
 
14-segment honeycomb-pattern metering

Uses a honeycomb-pattern with fourteen segments to calculate the best possible exposure. Described in the user manual as "By combining information on
the subject’s distance and position from the autofocus system, this mode is less
influenced by spot lighting or backlighting."
Center weighted metering

Measures light over the entire area of the image extra emphasis given to the center area.
Spot metering

Uses a circular area in the center of the frame (as indicated in the viewfinder) to calculate the light value. This is used to meter individual subjects in the frame.

Buttons

Button
 
Function
 
WB White Balance

Pressing the WB button has different functions depending on the position of the White Balance dial which surrounds it. Note that when changing white balance the current setting is shown on the LCD monitor and repeated on the viewfinder status line.

 • AWB: No function (other than display Auto in viewfinder)
 • PWB: Select preset white balance (front dial change preset, rear dial change fine tuning)
 • Custom: Recall custom 1, 2, 3 or Set new custom (then take gray card shot)
 • Kelvin: Set Kelvin temperature: 2500 - 9900 K
AEL

Auto Exposure Lock

When you press the AEL button the camera takes a meter reading and locks it, the exposure will be locked as long as you hold the AEL button (even over multiple shots). In Program or Aperture Priority exposure modes with the flash up the AEL button will activate slow sync flash with a locked exposure. (The action of the AEL button can be changed in section 1 or the custom menu).

AF/MF Auto Focus / Manual Focus

Press and hold the AF/MF button to disable the camera's AF system and allow you to manually focus the lens (the focus ring can be turned freely). (The action of the AF/MF button can be changed in section 1 of the custom menu).
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