When I first got my hands on a Canon 7D I was like, "What is this hunk of junk? How do I make magic with this machine? Where is the go button?" But seconds after I threw this seemingly useless piece of technology into the garbage, I found Tyler Ginter 's video, "How to Setup Your 7D." I quickly cleared the banana peels from the camera and got to work setting it up.
The first thing I did was set my photo mode to shoot in RAW format. Shooting in RAW gives you more control over your image in post-processing. Then I adjusted the "beep" setting. I choose to keep it off so I can be as stealth as possible when capturing people sleeping on public transit. Next I adjusted the white balance. Tyler suggests to keep your white balance set to auto while shooting in RAW, however I personally believe that manually setting your white balance against Jon Bon Jovi's smile is the only way to achieve the purest color. Once I had dialed in all of my settings, I saved them into a custom photo preset.
While shooting photos is cool, shooting videos is cooler. Tyler goes on to explain how to set up custom video presets. He demonstrates how to set your picture style to produce a quality filmic look, and how to shoot in 60 frames per second. I loved setting my 7D to shoot in 60fps, it allowed me to capture every motion in EXTREME detail. After finishing Tyler's tutorial I was ready to take this now worthwhile piece of technology and make some magic with it.
Keeping custom presets is very useful when you shoot in a variety of conditions. Instead of arriving at your shoot location and adjusting all of your settings manually, you'll have some general presets that you can quickly default to in any condition. This way you'll spend less time fiddling with your camera, and more time shooting!
A few points to remember about setting up your 7D:
Make sure you are in manual mode when customizing presets
Shooting in RAW allows you to tweak things like white balance later in Lightroom
Set your video picture style in-camera so you don't get really black blacks
Assigning presets is really handy [challenge: Try seting up your 7D and make some magic. Take some photos and videos with your new presets. Make sure to test out some high-action shots using your 60fps setting, then slow it down, man. Slow it down. Have fun!, url: http://vimeo.com/groups/eos7d]