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Tip of the Month

Locking Button for the Canon 7D

June 2011


Although the Canon 7D is a wonderful camera it has one very serious flaw. And that flaw is the Mode Selection Dial which allows you to switch from Manual to Av (Aperture Priority) or Tv (Shutter Priority) or Bulb or any other mode. This Mode Selection dial can turn VERY, VERY easily, rolling over to Bulb or Av or Manual -- depending upon what mode the dial has been set at.

Both Mary and I have experienced this, so as we shot on Manual we found that the camera was now set on a different mode. Fortunately, since on Manual we're usually checking our meter reading and we caught the error very quickly. However, photo friends of ours who, sadly, shoot almost exclusively on Aperture Priority, the unintentional mode switch was often very destructive. That's because a photographer on Av is prone to ignore the exposure meter since the camera is automatically setting the exposure, and good (or adequate) exposures are assumed and taken for granted. On our recent India Tiger Photo Safaris (one or two) we had photographers blow really wonderful shooting opportunities. In one case, a tiger was walking right down the trail straight at the shooter. He fired away, only discovering after the opportunity passed and he looked at his camera's LCD monitor that the exposures were terrible. The camera dial rolled onto Bulb or Manual -- where the settings were all wrong for the situation -- and he didn't know it happened.

Now there is a fix, and Canon will replace the old, original Mode Dial with a new one that has a locking button in its center. To switch to a different mode one must press that button in while the selector dial is turned, so the switch is an active move on the photographer's part. The conversion is available for the 7D and may also be available for the 5D -- you can check.

The cost is under $125, although everyone I've talked with agrees that this was Canon's mistake and it should be a free upgrade. It is not, so perhaps other companies will begin to produce items that work but create frustrations that, for a fee, can be corrected after the fact!






Previous Tips, July 2009 onward


NIK HDR Program
Silver Efex Pro for Black and White Images

Beware the DELL Software Solution Rip Off
How and What We Pack for Trips

Canon Digital Learning Center

The Movie Mode with the Canon Mark IV
Batch Renaming in Bridge and CS5
Alternate Uses of some Bogen Products

Hoodman Products

Using High ISO and Live View for Focusing in Dim Light

Art Print Scams for Hungry Photographers

Hungry Vultures ruin vehicles in the Everglades

Use a Short Lens for Depth of Field

Get Professional Help!

Mini-Molar Bag
Access America Trip Insurance
Bogen Base for Macro Work

Archived Tips of the Month
prior to July 2009
Most of my original Tips of the Month for the last several
years are available through this link. The 'look' is from my
original web site, although if I ever have enough time I might redo these pages to match the new web site But that's not a high priority.