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How to Set Up Your Canon 7D

Brian Brown
December 16, 2010 by Brian Brown Alum

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:]


Tajette O'Halloran

hi there, whenever i set my camera to shoot RAW in manual mode they just appear as jpegs? Am i doing something wrong? I have RAW set in custom mode but the custom modes retime themselves after a few seconds and i have to keep adjusting the exposure settings. Any tips?

Sean VanDeusen

I had this problem for awhile. I'm not sure if you fixed it. When I first bought the 7D I would set the images to RAW and then link my PC with the camera using a usb chord. Only videos and JPEGs would show up. I then bought a CF/SD card reader and magically they showed up. I upgraded to a Mark 3 and at a similar issue but this time my new PC wouldn't recognize or view the files until I updated Photoshop. Also make sure it's set to RAW. A good thing to do is Reset the camera back to Factory settings if you haven't already made custom settings you don't want to lose. Then chance you image output files to RAW and turn off JPEG. Then try shooting and see what happens.


Hi! Any chance I can get access to this video? looks like it's private. Thanks!

Nina Szeven

Same here! This video seems to be set to private.

supRmen Plus

Hello, is it possible to get acces to this video? Thank you!!

Mark Pittam

Shame the video has been set to private, I watched it ages ago and now I need to watch it again!

Shiply PRO

Can't seem to access the video, such a shame.

Chris Hall

I've watched this video in the past, but now it's marked private......?

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