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Understanding focusing: enthusiast

Understanding focusing: enthusiast camerasWWT Slimbridge swans

PPractical course  


CAMERA SUITABILITY: EOS R, RP, 6D Mark II, 90D, 80D, 800D, 7D (Mark I)

LOCATIONS: WWT Slimbridge (Gloucestershire), WWT London Barnes, WWT Arundel (West Sussex), Birdworld (Surrey), Trentham Monkey Forest (Stoke-on-Trent), Chester Zoo, Pensthorpe Natural Park (Norfolk)

The focusing system on your Canon EOS camera is a powerful tool. Customising it to get the results you want – whether for moving or static subjects – is not easy. Learn how to configure the focusing system on your EOS for optimal results every time on this one-day practical event, designed specifically for owners of the EOS R and RP mirrorless cameras and the EOS 90D, 80D, 800D, 6D Mark II and 7D (Mark I) DSLR cameras.

With a plethora of subjects to train your camera on at our specially chosen venues and a small group environment of only five delegates, you’ll learn exactly how your focusing system works, how to set it up accurately for action and wildlife photography, and what other settings are needed on your camera. You will find out about the different types of focusing set-up and which autofocus modes work best for different scenarios, plus how to match your focusing mode to your subject.

During the day your tutor will also explain the focusing options available via your custom function menu (on relevant cameras) and how to make use of them to speed up your photography and increase your success rate.

Course includes access to a 45-minute pre-event video tutorial to brush up on some core knowledge before heading out for the day.

Also suitable for owners of Canon EOS 77D, 70D, 760D and 750D, though some features covered in the pre-course tutorial may not be relevant to your camera. Because of the small group your specific camera operation will be fully accommodated during the day.

The small group size of five allows plenty of time for personal attention from your tutor. If you have queries about your camera beyond the focusing system there will be opportunities to ask during the day.


This course is for the enthusiast series of EOS cameras. We have selected cameras with identical or very similar focusing systems so that we can demonstrate consistent techniques across the group. The level identifies the camera grouping, not your level as a photographer. If you own a camera with the advanced focusing menu system (illustrated with a magenta AF tab) – EOS 7D Mark II, 5D Mark III, 5D Mark IV, 5DS / R, 1D X-series – then you need the Advanced camera course


– Focusing point set-up on the camera
– How to choose the right focusing mode
– Focusing patterns and their use
– Other settings that can affect the focusing system
– Factors that can affect the burst rate
– Best settings for action photography
– Optimising your camera for wildlife subjects
– Using the custom modes for fast selection


Bring your EOS camera and telephoto lens of at least 300mm (e.g. a telephoto zoom lens like 70-300mm, 100-400mm, or a prime lens like EF 300mm or 400mm – or a lens with a longer focal length if you have it). If you have extenders then please bring them too.


Pensthorpe – some of the terrain is uneven and it can be muddy when wet. The site is quite large and we will be walking up to three miles during the day.

Chester Zoo – there are good paths throughout the zoo. You're likely to be walking two-three miles throughout the day so a reasonable fitness level is recommended.

WWT Slimbridge Good level paths, accessible to all. The site, however, is large so a good level of fitness is recommended as the distance covered will be up to three-four miles.

WWT Barnes, London  – The majority of paths around the site are flat, typically constructed of compacted gravel. The centre is wheelchair and mobility scooter friendly. We will walk between two and four miles during the event. In poorer weather there may be some muddy patches.

WWT Arundel, Sussex – This is one of the smaller wetlands centres, and like all of the WWT venues it is wheelchair and mobility scooter friendly, including the hides. We'll be walking between two and three miles on the day.

Birdworld, SurreyBirdworld is fully accessible to visitors with disabilities. The site has flat and level paths throughout.

Trentham Monkey ForestWhilst there is a shorter path which is accessible, the site is quite steep and wheelchair users in particular may struggle to navigate around the site.

Advanced level; selected Canon EOS camera models (EOS R, RP, 90D, 80D, 800D, 7D (Mark I), 6D Mark II). Ideally you should have already attended Get off Auto / Mastering your EOS (practicals) or EOS for Beginners / Optimise your EOS (classroom) as a minimum.


– Pre-course video tutorial
– Hands-on tuition

The maximum on this practical course is 5 photographers, meaning you get plenty of opportunities to have your questions answered and the tuition tailored to your camera.

Entry fees and refreshments are not included – course price is for tuition only.


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