Does the Canon EOS R7 and R10's subject tracking move AF points to follow subjects?

Canon
With more than one bird in the picture, you can use a single AF point to guide the camera to focus on the one you want to track (Image credit: Brian Worley)

The Canon EOS R7 and EOS R10 inherited elements of the AF from the pro EOS R3, and this means that when set to Servo AF, the AF point might move from where the photographer positioned it. 

The reason is that subject tracking is the default setting for these cameras, so the location of the AF point is the initial section of the frame to be examined to locate the subject. Once located, the subject is tracked by moving and changing the AF frame if the subject or camera moves. This is different from the other Canon camera (opens in new tab)s, where a single AF point would not be moved by the camera to track a subject.

This new tracking behavior is extremely useful when photographing groups of similar subjects. When shooting team sports, you can determine which player you want the camera to focus on even if there are others closer to the camera. The multi-controller is used to change the position of the AF point as needed.

It is therefore important that an appropriate priority subject is chosen. People is the default but Animal, Vehicle and No Subject Priority are available. Even if set to Animal Priority, the camera can track people or vehicles, but it’s slower to react to a new subject as it checks for an animal first before switching to other subject types. It can also make the camera focus on the wrong subject if both people and animals are in the frame.

Enable or disable subject tracking

The combination of subject tracking and flexible AF zones makes it possible to define which portion of the frame is used to locate the subject, then once identified, the camera tracks them over the whole frame. You could configure a short but wide slot to track a bird on a lake, avoiding foreground and background elements, but giving freedom of composition.

Deep in the custom button details of the AF-ON button, you will find options to enable or disable subject tracking regardless of the menu setting. Subject tracking can be toggled in the menu, from the AF selection button and via the quick control screen by default.

If regular quick access is needed, you can use a custom-configured button to change it – the Depth Of Field button is a good candidate to be reconfigured for such a purpose.

For close-range flowers and insects, you may get better results turning subject tracking off (Image credit: Brian Worley)
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