7D, live view and bird photography

Started Jan 13, 2013 | Questions thread
antoineb Veteran Member • Posts: 6,624
Live View AF is way too slow for this!

yehudakgtbnet wrote:

Hi there,

I'm shooting static (or just beginning to take off) birds from a tripod. I'm using 7D.

Will I have any advantage by using the camera in live view over "normal" shooting? Will it take faster bursts? Will it follow normally the taking off bird?

Thank you,


Hello Yehuda,

DSLRs are very slow at focusing in the AF method, called "contrast detect AF" (CDAF for short) used in Live View.  They can easily need 1 second or more to do so, putting them on par with the cheaper compact cameras of 5 years ago, and far behind modern compacts.

Therefore if your aim is to photograph birds, you should use the viewfinder and the DSLR's "native" AF method, called "phase detect AF" (PDAF for short).

The downside of PDAF, is that it rests on making two different optical paths coincide - and thus it can sometimes be a bit off (not in perfect focus) unless you have checked this.  I'm sure you are aware that the 7D allows you to "micro-adjust" the focus, i.e. check focus and make tiny adjustments if required.  You can find various suggested ways to test and adjust by googling "7D AF micro adjust"

Good luck

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