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.