Canon 7D Quirk

Saturday was a very foggy day on Canada’s West Coast. I still went to hand feed the sandhill cranes and see if there is any way to improve my BIF skills. There is BIF, Bird In Flight, there is BOG, Bird On the Ground, there is BIT, Bird In Tree… Very few people make photos of BIF, most people talk BIF but they don’t do BIF, they do BOG or BIT. I’m mostly a BOG/BIT guy, but that’s OK since I do not claim to do BIF. So I decided this year to make thousands upon thousands of BIF and eventually they will be good. So I started with one of the most difficult subject for BIF, the ducks! They are fairly small and they are extremely quick. Easy to find but very hard to photograph in flight.

Please note the underexposure from the Canon 7D quirk.

Flying Mallard

Underexposed Flying Mallard  Canon 7D, Aperture Priority f/6.3, AutoISO: 160, 1/320s, Evaluative metering, Canon 70-200 IS f/4L @160mm

I needed to “over-expose” by a full stop. That’s why there is the Quick Control Dial, the big wheel at the back. It didn’t work! Is the camera getting old? Is there something wrong? The Quick Control Dial didn’t work. Actually, the situation wasn’t too bad, since I was using raw, I fixed it in Lightroom (at the bottom of the post), but that’s not “the right way” of doing it.

  • Quick control screen to check my settings, nothing wrong with them, I reset a couple of setting with the Quick Control Dial, no problem.
  • Check the battery charge with the Menu > Battery by moving the Main Dial and the Quick Control Dial, no problem…
  • Playback, no problem the Quick Control Dial moves between the reviews.

So what’s wrong? I was hit by a Canon 7D design quirk! The lock/Quick Control Dial switch was in the lock position, which lock the Quick Control Dial during the shooting, but not in any other mode.

Page 37 of the manual for the Canon 7D firmware v2:

(1) When you press a button, its function remains selected for 6 seconds. During this time, you can turn the dial to set the desired setting. When you press a button, its function remains selected for 6 seconds. During this time, you can turn the dial to set the desired setting.

and almost at the bottom of the page

You can do step (1) even when the Quick Control Dial switch is set to <Lock>

It’s not that I completely forgot about it, I didn’t know about it, I never use the lock. That’s one more reason to make photos in raw. Here’s the same Mallard after the Lightroom rescue:

Flying Mallard, corrected in Lightroom

Flying Mallard, corrected in Lightroom


What makes the ducks so difficult to photograph? Ducks are fast and they are very close. This photo was taken 4.5 meters / 15 feet away.

Written by Syv Ritch in Cameras Tags: Canon, 7D,

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