Canon 7D Sports Settings


Trying to determine your Canon 7D sports settings can be challenging at first, but once you figure out each option the 7D is a wonderful sports DSLR. I shoot sports, portrait, and landscapes with a Canon 7D, buy sports are where this body really excels.  It’s a wonderful camera for fast action.  The autofocus system if far and away the best setup for any of the crop bodies.   I used the Canon 7D a lot for football and soccer. Below is my Canon 7D sports settings:

C.Fn III: Autofocus Drive
1 – AI Servo tracking Sensitivity: Set to -1
2 – AI Servo 1st/2nd img priority – Set to 0 – AF priority/Tracking Priority
3 – AI Servo Tracking Method – Set to 1 – Main Focus point priority (that way the camera focuses on what you want, not what it wants)
4 – Lens Drive when AF impossible – Set to 0
5 – AF Microadjustment – Set to 0 (Most people have said this is ineffective. Even the manual says it needs to be done on location where you are shooting to do any good.)
6 – AF area select mode – I have single point w/expansion selected and single point. Been shooting mostly on single point w/expansion for sports.
7 – AF Manual pt. selection pattern – Set to 1 (Continuous)
8 – VF display illumination – set to 1 (Enable)
9 – Display all AF points – Set to 0
10 – Focus Display in AI Servo/MF – Set to 0
11 – AF-assist beam firing – set to 2 (Enable to external flash only)
12 – Orientation linked AF point – Set to 0
13 – Mirror lockup – Set to 0 (Disable)

C.FN IV: Operations/Others

Shutter button is set to Meter only
AF-ON button is turned OFF (too easy to hit accidentally)
AE lock button (*) is set for metering and AF Start

Here are the examples of the Canon 7D focus points.  I prefer expanded center point for sports shooting.


I have also written a more detailed guide on the Canon EOS 7D’s autofocus system that you may want to check out.  Also your setting don’t matter if you lose your photos, so please remember to backup those sports photos.

9 Responses to Canon 7D Sports Settings

  1. I totally agree this really is an awesome camera.
    The Canon 7D really is suited to the semi/ pro photographer due to its amazing amount of new features.
    Their has been talks that 7D is going to be one of the most wanted camera’s for 2013, regardless of the anticipated wait for the new 5D mark 3 due out next year.

  2. Thanks for the info, my wife and I shoot soccer and sometimes the subject is not in focus but other points are. What setting for focus should I use


  3. Good Morning
    I am trying to shoot All youth Rodeo pictures but not for sure what to do with my White Balance button on a 7D canon camera this is all at night. Then I use the 7D Canon for Barrel racing for day and night and not for sure again about the white valance button. Things were going good and a friend of mine barrowed my camera and came back and I don’t remember what the setting were on. Could you help in any way. Plus in some Arenas they are very dark. Do you have any other suggestions to help me out. Thank you!

  4. I got my 7D (and 40D before) mostly for sports. I’m still learning and have an approach that works for me although as I read about sports settings I haven’t seen it elsewhere. I try to stay simple. I have the 80-200 f2.8 IS lens, set the camera to Av, dial the aperture to 2.8, and start ISO at 100 to get a fast shutter speed, then adjust ISO up if the light is poor or fading to keep the shutter speed fast. Also use the AF expanded setting.

    Pics are great (IMO) and the action is stopped really well with blurred or out of focus backgrounds. Also, if I want to take a non- action shot all I have to do is dial the aperture to 6 or 8 and I can do that and then go back in a flash. I’m sure there are many better ways to set up the camera and I’m also sure I don’t even know how much I don’t know but this works great for me.


    • Hi Scott,
      I also have a 7D camera and I shoot fast action but I can only shoot in manual mode, I have tried sports actions but the subject comes out blurry. I also have that lens 70-200 2.8 . Any kind of suggestions would be nice. Thank you Tammy

  5. Trying to shoot high school baseball with the Canon 7D during late evening and night situations. What settings do you recommend?

  6. Thanks man! Im at RIO WCT 2014 and tomorrow I will rock with this settings on my 7D and 70-200mm!!!

    I got Kelly all outa focus today :/


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