7D BIF Settings

Started Mar 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
dave vichich
dave vichich Senior Member • Posts: 2,401
Re: 7D BIF Settings

Steve Balcombe wrote:

phill104 wrote:

Trying to get a good setup for taking pics of birds from below. As I am sure many will have had, the exposure for the sky is great but the bird is often an underexposed mess.

I use centre-weighted average with positive EC, but many of the accomplished bird photographers seem to use manual exposure.

I'm not good enough to correctly set my exposure pre shoot. So I take a few practice shots of the area, and set my camera accordingly.

But as with most photography the real trick is to take charge of the light, not just make the best of a bad job. So:

- Try to avoid shooting from below - birds in flight often look better with trees (or whatever) behind.

I like a cleaner background.

- But if you have to (or want to), blue sky is much better than white sky. This is not just because it's more attractive (though it obviously is), but because blue sky is not as bright, relative to the subject, as white sky. Consequently less EC is needed.

- Shoot with the sun lower in the sky and directly behind you.

This isn't always true either.

So what are your top tips for setting up the 7D in this situation, not just exposure but focus setup etc.

I used to use zone AF, but I switched to single point with AF point expansion. You have to learn to track better, but it's worth the effort.

I don't agree with this if you have a busy background. On all my cameras I use center point only.


C.Fn. III.1 (tracking sensitivity) = slow, so that the camera isn't so quick to snap to the background if my tracking isn't perfect.

C.Fn. III.3 (tracking method) = continuous AF track priority

C.Fn. III.4 (when AF impossible) = focus search off - so if I do lose tracking it doesn't cycle through the whole range.

And lastly - don't forget to switch off IS when chasing moving subjects. You can track much more accurately without the lag caused by IS.

I can't remember ever turning off my i.s. for taking BIF's.

Edit: one more - if your lens has a focus limiter, use it.

I agree.

My big tip, try to get the wind behind you if you're shooting birds of prey.

They like to fly into the wind, if gives they more control of their speed.In this shot, the wind was from the left going to the right. That worked out well for me on this day.

BTW, what kind of birds are you going after?

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