Tutorial: How to custom configure your Canon EOS 7D settings for Photo & Video

7d-custom-settings

Step-by-step tutorial to set your Canon’s C1, C2 and C3 custom modes. One of the 7D’s very useful features is the ability to have custom setups. Your photography setup will most likely not use the same configuration as your video shooting. The 3 custom modes (C1, C2, C3) accessible with the MODE DIAL on top of your camera are very helpful for setting your own configurations. The MODE DIAL will allow you to quickly switch between each. Please note that the settings below are the ones I have configured for my needs but might differ depending on your own needs. My priority is to have one Photo profile and two Video profiles. I use Final Cut Studio Suite for my editing and want to ensure that my footage leaves me enough flexibility in post production. The 7D produces some amazing colours out of the box, but if you want a little more flexibility to colour your footage in post, then you might want to use a much more neutral picture style when shooting to capture the appropriate dynamic range. I have defined the following three profiles:

  • C1 – Photo shooting in RAW mode
  • C2 – Video shooting in 24p Full HD (1920*1080) with an adjusted colour profile to facilitate Colour Correction in post-production
  • C3 – Video shooting in 50p HD (1280*720) for Slow Motion with an adjusted colour profile to facilitate Colour Correction in post-production

As you will notice I have set up my profiles for PAL countries, but if you’re in the States you will most likely choose the NTSC mode. Also note that this tutorial has been written to be carried out SEQUENTIALLY. This means that when configuring the C3 video mode, it uses some of the configurations made in the C2 setup. If you intend to only setup one video mode, pick my C2 description below as it is the most complete. All right, let’s get started… First of all, here’s a reminder of most of the key buttons we will be using:

canon-7d-guide-1

 

canon-7d-guide-2

 

canon-7d-guide-3

 

The first series of settings are being set on the Viewfinder (the big LCD screen) Step 1 – Reset your Custom Settings to their default values

Set MODE DIAL to MANUAL (M) Press MENU Navigate to TAB 11 – CLEAR ALL CAMERA SETTINGS

This will reset all your custom modes (C1, C2, C3) Step 2 – Setting Custom Mode C1: Photo shooting in RAW mode

Set mode MANUAL (M) Press MENU Navigate to TAB 1 QUALITY: set to RAW Navigate to TAB 2 White Balance: set to AWB Picture Style: set to STANDARD Navigate to TAB 4 AF MODE: set to QUICK MODE Grid Display: set to GRID 1 Metering Timer: set to 30 MIN. Navigate to TAB 6 AF POINT DISP: set to DISABLE Navigate to TAB 7 AUTO ROTATE: set to ON (Computer only) Navigate to TAB 8 DATE/TIME: set accurately VIDEO SYSTEM: set to PAL (or NTSC if you’re in the US) Navigate to TAB 10 Navigate to sub-menu C.FN.III – AUTOFOCUS/DRIVE Navigate to sub-setting 6 – SELECT AF AREA TICK all five AF Areas SELECT ENABLE Navigate to sub-menu C.FN.IV – OPERATION/OTHERS Navigate to sub-setting 1 – CUSTOM CONTROLS Press SET A METERING AND AF START menu appears Navigate to AF POINT DIRECT SELECTION (Last item in second column) Press SET Select the AF POINT DIRECT SELECTION Press SET

The next series of settings are being set on the Top LCD screen.

Press the ISO button Select ISO 100 Press AF-DRIVE button Select ONE SHOT Press METERING-WB button Select EVALUATIVE METERING (the first option)

Back to the Viewfinder LCD

Press MENU Navigate to TAB 9 Camera User Setting: select REGISTER, select C1, press SET

Step 3 – Setting Custom Mode C2: Video shooting in 24p Full HD (1920*1080) with Custom Picture Style

Navigate to TAB 2 Select PICTURE STYLE Press SET Scroll down to and highlight USER DEF 1 Press INFO Set PICTURE STYLE to NEUTRAL Set SHARPNESS to 0 Set CONTRAST to -4 Set SATURATION to -2 Set COLOR TONE to 0 Navigate to TAB 10 Navigate to sub-menu C.FN.II – IMAGE Navigate to sub-setting 3 – HIGHLIGHT TONE PRIORITY Set to ENABLE

Note: ISO is now automatically set to a minimum of 200 The D+ next to the ISO setting on the top LCD now indicates that Highlight Tone priority is enabled

Switch from PHOTO MODE to VIDEO MODE Navigate to TAB 4 Set MOVIE REC SIZE to 1920×1080 24p Press MENU

On the TOP LCD

Set the Shutter Speed to 50 (=1/50)

Press MENU

Navigate to TAB 9 Camera User Setting: select REGISTER, select C2, press SET

Step 4 – Setting Custom Mode C3: Video shooting in 50p HD (1280*720) with Custom Picture Style

Switch from PHOTO MODE to VIDEO MODE Navigate to TAB 4 Set MOVIE REC SIZE to 1280×720 50p (if PAL, choose 60p for NTSC) Press MENU

On the TOP LCD

Set the Shutter Speed to 100 (=1/100)

On the Viewfinder LCD

Press MENU Navigate to TAB 9 Camera User Setting: select REGISTER, select C3, press SET

Done! – That’s it… You’re set. You can now switch between your different custom setups using the MODE DIAL and your C1, C2 or C3 programs. A big thank you to all the people on various forums and sites who have come up with these settings. I hope that this transcription will be of use to many of you! :)

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Comments

  1. says

    I set up my 7D exactly like you explained and I quite like it. However, when I’m using Custom Mode C2 the camera is adjusting the ISO automatically to match the light situation. Is this something you guys would want? I find it quite "camcorder" style, which IMHO doesn’t suit the "cinema" style manu of us are pursuing. I could be missing some specific infomation though.

  2. TheSoulhunter says

    Thanks!

    Another part (besides the missing "1280×720 on c3") seems wrong…

    Navigate to sub-menu C.FN.IV – OPERATION/OTHERS
    Navigate to sub-setting 1 – CUSTOM CONTROLS
    Press SET
    A METERING AND AF START menu appears
    Navigate to AF POINT DIRECT SELECTION (Last item in second column)
    Press SET
    Select the AF POINT DIRECT SELECTION
    Press SET

    The button/option you set to "AF POINT DIRECT SELECTION" is called something else (none/not assigned or so)

  3. João Neves says

    To All that can Help Me

    Thanks for an excellent review but i would apreciate if you can help me with these settings(detailled pleaseeeeee ):

    “…you can have one set of setting for shooting long exposure night photography and set it ti C1. Another set of setting for shooting fast action sport and set it to C2 and yet another set of setting for shooting portrait and set it to C3…”

    These will fit my needs.

    Thanks a lot for your reply!
    João Neves

    N.B
    Canon EOS 7D
    EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM
    EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

  4. says

    [...] too much by light levels in your surroundings when looking at the screen. You might also want to setup your Canon with user settings that help take down contrast and sharpness (reducing some aliasing). I would hesitate (a LOT!) to bring this camera on any kind of VFX-shoot [...]

  5. says

    Thank you dude im going tomorrow to sevilla to take some mattresses pictures ill let you know how it went with these settings.
    peace!

  6. amanda says

    hi there. i just bought an used canon 7d, was using nikon d70s the past five years. Anyway, i have been searching for answers through google search but there’s any question similar to solve my current problem. i’ve no idea why i couldn’t set to RAW mode after i click in the ‘QUALITY’, it shows RAW (-) and i realized i only can change the bottom part, JPEG btw L to S, even i click the (-) at the JPEG’s, it still will change back to L(the previous setting that i set) once i click set.
    I tried to set as what you stated above, step by step, but at your STEP 2, QUALITY part i already facing problem. So, what exactly it’s happening or actually this used unit is faulty or something..?

    Please advise. really appreciate your comment and suggestion if there’s any. Thank you very much.

  7. says

    Hi Amanda
    Have you tried resetting your camera? I don’t have my camera with me right now but it’s somewhere in the last tabs of the menus. It should be labeled ‘Clear all settings’ or something like that. Maybe the previous owner has saved some special settings although I can’t image which one would actually remove the RAW setting.
    Anyway, just a thought, maybe that reset will restore that function.

  8. James says

    This is great and helpful. Quick question though. I have settings set up for my menu and custom functions…. can these be different in each of the 3 profiles. I don’t have my 7d on me at the moment but would love to know. My guess is that my menu stays the same no matter what profile but custom fucntions can vary profile to profile (c1, c2 or c3)

    Does anyone know?

    Cheers guys

  9. ANSI says

    Hi, I setup my new Canon EOS 7D according to your "Custom Mode C1" and saved it. Yes, first I cleared all settings. I used canon EF 50mm F1.8 MK1 and also Canon EF 17-40mm F4L lenses but both times I get very dark photos in a good bright light room. However, if I pop up the bulit in flash then I get good images. I thought Canon EF 50mm f1.8 prime lens should give good quality photos even without flash. Any advice? ISO is set to 100 as per your instruction.

  10. says

    I just did everything what you say,
    but I got some problems with my canon 7d ,when shutting (1920/1080 in 24FPS and 30fps)
    the images is not smooth,it have some kind of noise if I move the camera side to side,
    but when sutting in 1280/720 in 60fps then is the image smooth and nice
    if someone could help me I would appreciate.

    • says

      @mrfrancishd1 Ensure that you memory card is fast enough to capture 1080p movies and also test your memory card to see whether it is genuine. Counterfeit cards are slower than what they are being sold for. I recommend you read my two other posts on these exact topics. Hopefully they will help you out.
      Good luck

  11. alex says

    jan, I fixed the movie setting as per your advise , but during day light the exposure is getting automatically high and am getting over exposed footage . Please advise

  12. Sunny karnwal says

    sir, hello
    my camera canon 7d
    i help you on best setting on wedding photographi on my camera thank you sir

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