Canon 7D: Single Point AF

Talk to anybody who’s claims to be an “expert” in photography / Canon 7D and when you ask any question about focusing you’ll be told that if you knew what you were doing, you’d be using the single point auto-focus mode.

You can select anyone of the 19 points with the joystick and use the single point auto-focus in either One Shot or in AI Servo.

  • In the AI Servo mode, the point will move according to the subject and the contrast.
  • In the One-Shot mode, you select usually the central point, press once and you are done with the focus.

The Good

  • Precise control on where the focus will be happening, such as focusing on the eyes.
  • Allow for the focus on a small subject.
  • Deals very well with slow and medium speed moving subjects in AI Servo mode.
  • Simple to understand.

The Bad

  • Much more complicated in busy scenes, you have to select the “right” focus location.
  • In AI Servo mode, Single Point AF cannot deal with rapidly moving subjects or erratic movements.


According to June who uses a Nikon D3, the single point auto-focus is similar in size and the behavior to the famed Nikon CAM 3500 AF-Single.