I was wondering if Canon has been able to fix the AF point illumination in the 7D to allow the selected points to remain on permanently. This is one of the big weak points in my 5D MK III. The original 7D had fewer AF points, and they were easier to see. Now, with 75 AF points, I'd think that continuous illumination would be a requirement.
Apparently, Canon has been unable to solve the issue, the AF points only flash briefly when you press a button assigned to that function, or when AF has been achieved.
Since I use my 5D MK III in near darkness, its a pain to try and get the focus point on the subject, and often takes a couple of tries.
Below is what I found on a canon web site. I added the red highlight. The AF first just to determine if your focus point is on the subject is a trial and error process, and with 75 points, I'd think it would be difficult to do if a subject is moving. Viewfinder illumination
Information on the focus screen can be set to illuminate briefly in certain conditions for better viewing in low light. This is actually set in the EOS 7D Mark II’s AF menu: 5th AF menu screen > VF display illumination: Auto
Red illumination of AF points, Grid Lines, or any other viewfinder info on the focus screen when the camera detects low-light conditions (there’s no way to change the factory-set cut-off point for illuminating vs. not illuminating).
- Enable (ON)
Red illumination is always active, regardless of ambient light level. Illumination is limited to when AF is actually being activated; it does not simply constantly illuminate.
No illumination of viewfinder info that’s over the focus screen, regardless of ambient light level.
An important aspect of viewfinder illumination in the EOS 7D Mark II is that if active, it’ll appear differently in One-Shot AF vs. AI Servo AF. In One-Shot AF, when you press whichever button activates AF, it’ll flash briefly upon completion of AF
, so you can visually confirm which point(s) are active and where they fall in the scene. In AI Servo AF, it behaves like the EOS-1D X with version 2.0 or higher firmware installed — during continuous AI Servo focus-tracking, the red illumination flashes on every second or so, briefly, then goes off
. Again, there’s no way to have it simply illuminate constantly, regardless of the light level.
What about if you’re using Manual focus? If you’ve got the lens set to MF and press actively on whichever button would have been your AF activation button, you’ll get focus confirmation in the viewfinder when you do achieve sharp focus and the red illumination will flash briefly (as in One-Shot AF) when that happens. But again, it won’t illuminate continuously, even if the menu for illumination is set to ON.