My Canon R7 Wildlife Setup - The Pink Bits

The pink menus are where many, but not all, of the AF settings are set depending on how the camera is configured. Some settings I configure here, like AF cases and tracking, but activate in custom controls.

Pink 1 has a number of options I change. AF operation, servo of course as I am shooting moving subjects. This leaves AF running whenever the AF is activated. Everything I shoot in wildlife is moving. Even if the subject isn't, I shoot handheld 99.9999% of the time so I am moving in relation to the subject. There is also a one shot mode here, but in my mind this is only really relevant for shooting rocks while the camera is on a tripod. I am sure landscape shooters love it, but even then I use back button focus so essentially I am in one shot mode just by releasing the back button. The next setting dictates the initial number of AF points whether the camera is being use in landscape or portrait mode. This I just have set to full for everything. Subject tracking? On, of course I want my subject tracked, why wouldn't I? Subject to detect, I'm shooting wildlife as people are horrible creatures. As such this is set to animals as that is what I want to track. Eye detection I leave switched off here and switch it on through custom controls for my back button focus configuration. Finally we have Switching tracked subjects which I leave set to 1. This tracks the subject initially determined for AF, to the extent possible. It then switches to other subjects if the camera can no longer determine if the tracked subject is the main subject.

Pink 1

Pink 2 is for configuration of the AF cases. In normal use I would select the case in use here. When using back button focus you can extend things so by using different back buttons you can use a different case. So I may be using case 2 when focusing with the AF-ON button, but case 1 if I focus with the * button. I mainly use case 2 but with the settings below. This makes the AF point a little more sticky on the subject, which for me seems the best option for tracking most moving wildlife.

Pink 2

Pink 3 has an annoying setting for wildlife, especially if I want to use back button focus. That is the Preview AF setting. If enabled, AF runs all the time and all you do is switch detected subjects. At first I thought this was going to be useful, but in practice it drains battery and just becomes annoying. It removes any functionality of BBF. As such I leave it to disabled. The other setting I change in this menu is Lens drive when AF impossible. I want this ON. It means if what you are seeing through the viewfinder is all blurry, the lens will drive until it finds focus on something. I've found that compared to a DSLR, this setting really is needed to help get on subjects quickly. Even then, if the focus is a very long way off a little twist of the focus dial is occasionally needed to get the camera heading in the right direction. This seems to be a trait of all mirrorless cameras I have tried.

Pink 3

Pink 4 has only one setting I am currently using and that is Limit AF areas.

Pink 4

On my old DSLRs I would most often be using the center point plus 8 helpers as my go to setup. When I first switched to the R7 I stuck with my old tried and tested settings. I quickly learned that the AF on this camera is so good that I can almost all the time just use all the AF points and let the cameras animal detection do the heavy lifting. The only exceptions are when shooting flocks of birds, or a single bird when hidden in foliage. Even with the latter, the AF seems to do an amazing job of just working. I still have one of the flexible zones enables so I can if needed use it. I only have setup back buttons for full and spot but I can select the other zone easily using the default setting of the mfn button.

Limit AF areas.

 Pink 5 is a menu I have not setup here. There are some interesting focus aids for manual focus which are great for macro work, but I enable them on a custom button if needed. 

Pink 5

Pink 6 is another page I have not touched. Nothing in there interests me for my current usage.

Pink 6