The Zone AF is very similar to the automatic 19 points select focus point, except for the smaller area in the focusing matrix. The Canon 7D will selected the closest focus point with enough contrast.

There are 5 zones:

  • The center zone with 9 points
  • The top zone with 4 points
  • The bottom zone with 4 points
  • The left zone with 4 points
  • The right zone with 4 points
  • Contrarily to the automatic 19 points select focus point, the Zone AF will use the closest point not only in One-Shot AF but also in AI Servo mode.

The Good

  • Fairly easy to use.
  • Main subject in the center/zone.
  • For wide angle lens and shoot overhead.
  • Busy periphery, allows to isolate the subjects in the center.
  • Fast moving sports and big teles.
  • Don’t have to select which focus point will be used within the selected zone.

The Bad

  • Can’t select which focus point will be used within the selected zone.
  • Big, busy photos like big crowds…
  • Always uses the closest focus point with enough contrast within the zone.
  • It was my second most used mode, and now it’s has become my favorite and most used focusing mode.
  • According to June who uses a Nikon D3, the zone auto focus point selection is similar to the behavior to the famed Nikon CAM 3500 Dynamic-Area AF mode 9-points.