How to Use the Auto Lighting Optimizer on Your Canon EOS 7D Mark II

By Doug Sahlin

If you capture images in JPEG mode on your Canon EOS 7DMark II, you can invoke a menu command that gives you better-looking images when you’re shooting in dark conditions. Instead of getting a shot with too much contrast, you end up with a brighter shot. This option may add digital noise to the image. Digital noise comes in two flavors:

  • Color: Shows up as specks of color.

  • Luminance: Shows up as random gray clumps.

Digital noise is most prevalent in areas of solid color, such as the dark shadow areas in your image. If you shoot images in the RAW format, you can adjust image brightness with Canon’s Digital Photo Professional or with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. To enable the Auto Lighting Optimizer:

  1. Press the Menu button.

    The menu displays.

  2. Use the Quick Control button to navigate to the Shoot tab and then use the multi-controller button to navigate to the Shoot2 menu.

  3. Rotate the Quick Control dial to highlight Auto Lighting Optimizer and then press Set.

    The Auto Lighting Optimizer menu displays.

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  4. Rotate the Quick Control dial to highlight one of the following options:

    • Disable: Brightness and contrast isn’t corrected when photographing backlit subjects.

    • Standard: The default option adjusts the lighting to create a picture that brightens backlit subjects.

    • Low: This option adds a minimal amount of brightness to a backlit subject.

    • Strong: This option adds a considerable amount of brightness to a backlit subject.

  5. Press Set.

    The change is applied, and you return to the Shoot2 menu.

  6. Press the shutter button halfway to return to take pictures.

The Auto Lighting Optimizer setting you choose remains in effect until you select a different option. In some cases, digital noise may be apparent when the Auto Lighting Optimizer is used.