A digital camera is a photographer's tool to create images. It allows us to set exposure, focus, white balance, and more to get the photos we want. Having a ton of buttons and settings isn't always necessary, but if you have them, why not use them? If you own a Canon 7D, I guarantee that there are features on your camera you don't even know exist, and using them might actually improve your photography experiences.
Obviously, you don't have to have a top-of-the-line camera in order to get great photos. I've shot with much older digital (and even film) cameras that produced some awesome shots. But if you have tools that can make things easier, it's good to at least know what they do.
This is where the custom functions on the 7D come into play. By using the custom functions, you can change some of the "buried" features on your camera; for example, micro-adjusting the auto-focus on your lens, or changing some of the button settings on the camera to match the way you work.
One thing that I changed on my camera is the function of the multi-controller (the joystick-like toggle on the back of the camera). By default, the multi-controller doesn't really do anything when you're taking photos, unless you push the AF Point Selection button firstthen you can adjust your focus point. I do that all the time, so I used the Custom Functions menu tab (see Figure 5) to change the multi-controller's setting so that I can use it on the fly to adjust my focus point in-camera (see Figure 6).
Figure 5 Custom Functions menu tab.
Figure 6 By changing one menu setting, I'm able to adjust my focus point with the multi-controller on the fly while looking through the viewfinder.
Many other settings and features are available in the Custom Functions menu. I encourage you to scroll through all of them to see if there's anything that you can adjust to suit your shooting style. You can also view a list of all the custom functions on page 205 of your user's manual.