Over the weekend, I learned a huge tip to overcome a significant shutter performance caveat with the Canon 7D. We were on our way home from our family ski trip this weekend and spotted a bald eagle perched on a tree right off the shoulder of the road. I had my Canon 7D setup with my Sigma 120-300mm and 1.4 extender just incase we spotted something of interest on the way home. I quick flipped around and pulled off the side of the road to get a shot of the magnificent bald eagle sitting very calm in a patch of snow covered maple trees. I didn’t have time to use a tripod so I kicked up my ISO 400 to achieve a shutter speed of 1/750th. The 7D was also set to burst mode, spot metering and AI Servo. When I attempted to mash the shutter in hopes one of them would be tack sharp, I noticed the 7D shutter performance was WAY slow. It was performing much like my 5D Mark II not a 8 shots per second 7D. I flipped the lens into manual focus which didn’t help at all. I was stumped.
When I made it home, I started thinking about the situation and remembered that I had left the long exposure noise canceling to ‘strong’ from my recent San Francisco trip when I was shooting long exposures of the Golden Gate Bridge at night. I flipped the long exposure noise setting back to ‘auto’ and it helped my shutter speed a tad but not much. I flipped the camera from AI Servo to One Shot and still no dice even with manual exposure and manual focus enabled with a static shutter speed of 1/1500th sec. Then for grins, I pointed my 7D at the living room TV which rapidly fired 8 shots a second. Then I pointed at a picture above the TV, back to the 2-3 shots a sec performance. To my utter amazement, the 7D performance was still tied to the available light of the subject even with everything in manual!
After some Google, searching, I dug up this thread. The last comment was the secret sauce resolution to the slow shutter even in burst mode – AE lock works to achieve high shutter speed performance. I picked up my 7D held down the ‘depth of field’ button, pointed to the picture above the TV and BOOM! The sweet sound of 8 shots per second! I let go and tried again – right back to the slow shutter performance. Talk about a horrible caveat but at least I finally have a great work around! I can’t wait to get out and try some more action shots with this new tip!
(Above) Photo 261 of 365 photo project.
Canon 7-200mm @175mm
ISO 400, f/2.0=8
1/1500th sec exposure