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1DX low light AI Servo problem

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Thread started 13 Nov 2012 (Tuesday) 16:15   
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baybud
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Good evening all.
I purchased a 1DX on Monday, have found it to be utterly terrific, however I have noticed someone odd, and just wondered if other 1dx or maybe even 5dMKiii owners might be able to chime in.

I'm having serious hunting or full out focus failing whilst using Ai servo when the light level is less than ideal (for example a light reading of 1.5s @2.8 @ ISO 100) in one shot it seems to focus fine in even darker situations, but with servo it just seems to die.
I'm using it with a 300mm 2.8, the situation occurs on at least cases 1 and 4 (haven't tried the others yet) its also repeatable at the standard setting without me having changed any peculiar function.

In daylight and good light it's just been wicked fast and accurate but this low level phenomena has me kinda flummoxed. Hoping any 1dx owners out there may be ale to confirm a similar situation, hopefully this is just a firmware issue that might be able to be ironed out. Forgot to mention I'm also running FW 1.1.1 ( I think that's it's number, I downloaded it yesterday so I think it's the most recent)

Thanks for the help in advance :)

Post #1, Nov 13, 2012 16:15:51




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lannes
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My !dx behaves in the same way in low light, what AF mode are you using single spot ?
I've had more luck with zone or surround

Post #2, Nov 13, 2012 17:44:09


1Dx, 1DM4, 5DM2, 7D, EOS-M, 8-15L, 17-40L, 24 TSE II, 24-105L, 50L, 85L II, 100L, 135L, 200L f/2.8, 300L f/4, 70-200L II, 70-300L, 400Lf/5.6

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bobbyz
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what you trying to shoot at those levels in AI servo? I did try my 5dmk3 when I had it and it could focus With some effort at ISO12800, f2, 1/30 sec or so.

Post #3, Nov 13, 2012 22:10:08


5dmk3, Sigma Art 35mm f1.4, 35L, 85L II, 24-70mm f2.8 II, 70-200mm f2.8 IS II
Fuji XT-1, 14mm f2.8, 23mm f1.4, 35mm f1.4, 56mm f1.2

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apersson850
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It seems you've confirmed the old truth that One Shot AF is more efficient in low light, due to the camera allowing more exposure time for the AF sensors. Usually, there's not too much point in using Servo AF in these light levels, since if the subject is moving, it will suffer from motion blur anyway. But with the crazy ISO values possible with the newest cameras, the 1DX being one of them, then I agree it's a different game, to some extent.

Have you tried prioritizing focus as much as possible, instead of shooting speed?

Post #4, Nov 14, 2012 03:26:25 as a reply to bobbyz's post 5 hours earlier.


Anders

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baybud
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Hi.
Thanks for all the replies so far, My main concern was that i bought the camera froma shop i don't entirely trust, the reason simply is that the saving was literally astronomical.

Its for that reason i have been ultra sensitive and wanting to check if this 1d is behaving ina similar way to its peers.
Its reassuring to here that at least one other 1dx is exhibiting similar behaviour, this makes me think IF it is indeed a problem at all it could probably be some firmware rectified fault?

In all reality i wouldn't actually shoot AI servo in those situations, i just happened to be fiddling with it at night whilst watching fringe and though, hang on whats going on here.

My fear was that it was a symptom of damage, but if it is how it is it doesnt really bother me, in al fairness my 1dMKIIN couldn't focus in AI in those situations either.

One shot of course seems lethally good; i see to be able to shoot almost in the dark, i can well believe Canons claim about it being able to shoot under the light of a full moon.

In response to a previous poster this was shot with AI servo using zone, single (not spot) and auto selection. neither seemed to be more reliable than the other tbh.

Well i shall try shooting some badminton tonight, also shall try and bag my brothers 5dMKIII and see if a similar situation occurs; if his 5d is better i shall have to reinvestigate, if the 1d is same or better i shall just forget the whole issue.

In good light i have to say so far it just seems unreal, im also astounded by how good the auto AF point selection is, the auto iso seems outrageous too, i normally shoot in AV mode but ive been just using manual with Auto iso for a kind of AV+TV priority and its just been blazingly good.

Post #5, Nov 14, 2012 04:46:42 as a reply to apersson850's post 1 hour earlier.




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umphotography
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Funny

I found the exact opposite to be true with the 5D3 and the 1Dx. I find that one shot is actually slow to lock in low light where as servo gets it every time. My 5D2 and the 1DMKIII locked quicker on the center point then the 5D3 and 1Dx does. Several others are also reporting slow locking in very low light in one shot with the 1Dx and 5D3

I think servo is bulletproof with the 1Dx system. Its the primary reason you would buy it over the 5D3 in my opinion. To be frank, i was disappointed how slow one shot locked with the 1Dx. but I have not used the 1Dx enough so i will reserve judgement as i dont plan on buying the camera. I bought 2 5D3's instead. When i compared these bodies side by side, i was actually surprised at how good this 5D3 performs.

Post #6, Nov 14, 2012 08:04:56 as a reply to baybud's post 3 hours earlier.


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lannes
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umphotography wrote in post #15244201external link
Funny

I found the exact opposite to be true with the 5D3 and the 1Dx. I find that one shot is actually slow to lock in low light where as servo gets it every time. My 5D2 and the 1DMKIII locked quicker on the center point then the 5D3 and 1Dx does. Several others are also reporting slow locking in very low light in one shot with the 1Dx and 5D3

I think servo is bulletproof with the 1Dx system. Its the primary reason you would buy it over the 5D3 in my opinion. To be frank, i was disappointed how slow one shot locked with the 1Dx. but I have not used the 1Dx enough so i will reserve judgement as i dont plan on buying the camera. I bought 2 5D3's instead. When i compared these bodies side by side, i was actually surprised at how good this 5D3 performs.

It's definitely the other way for me. single shot is faster to snap to it, servo hunts a bit then locks
But sometimes you can't tell with servo if it's in focus as it's too dark in the viewfinder

Post #7, Nov 14, 2012 08:28:20


1Dx, 1DM4, 5DM2, 7D, EOS-M, 8-15L, 17-40L, 24 TSE II, 24-105L, 50L, 85L II, 100L, 135L, 200L f/2.8, 300L f/4, 70-200L II, 70-300L, 400Lf/5.6

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bobbyz
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I would shoot regular things in low light say a night game and then look at the shots to see how well the camera did. Just beacuse I can focus or not in completely dark room doesn't tell if camera works as advertised.

Low light focussing is hard and tracking is even harder in that situation. But 5dmk3/1dx seem much better than previous cameras.

Post #8, Nov 14, 2012 08:50:39


5dmk3, Sigma Art 35mm f1.4, 35L, 85L II, 24-70mm f2.8 II, 70-200mm f2.8 IS II
Fuji XT-1, 14mm f2.8, 23mm f1.4, 35mm f1.4, 56mm f1.2

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PhotoGeek
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This does not indicate a problem with the camera, in my opinion. I would be surprised if the design brief for the camera contemplated shooting in AI Servo at 1.5 sec. shutter speed . Try bumping up your ISO to the point where you get a respectable shutter speed for something that moves, perhaps 1/30 or so at minimum, and see if there is any problem focusing. Also, what are you focusing on? Is there enough contrast at that low of a light level to allow focus or are you trying to focus on a dark brown piece of furniture in a dimly lit room?

My 1DX has no trouble focusing or tracking in light levels requiring ISO 12,800 to get 1/640 at f2.8.

It's now Wednesday, go shoot some real stuff and let us know how it works. It's a great camera.

Post #9, Nov 14, 2012 09:15:23


1DX, 1DIII, lenses, flashes, wires and stuff
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baybud
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PhotoGeek wrote in post #15244401external link
This does not indicate a problem with the camera, in my opinion. I would be surprised if the design brief for the camera contemplated shooting in AI Servo at 1.5 sec. shutter speed . Try bumping up your ISO to the point where you get a respectable shutter speed for something that moves, perhaps 1/30 or so at minimum, and see if there is any problem focusing. Also, what are you focusing on? Is there enough contrast at that low of a light level to allow focus or are you trying to focus on a dark brown piece of furniture in a dimly lit room?

My 1DX has no trouble focusing or tracking in light levels requiring ISO 12,800 to get 1/640 at f2.8.

It's now Wednesday, go shoot some real stuff and let us know how it works. It's a great camera.

Hi.
It was an exceptionally dimly lit room, energy saving bulbs no less.
As i say it doesn't bother me at all tbh, every legitimate shooting situation ive done with the camera has produced nothing but gold so far. My fear was purely whether this was normal, after reading a few replies here and on other forums i think its me expecting too much out of the system.
But that doesn;t bother me :) it is a fantastic cam and TBH even if i did ever shoot in situations like that id never go to AI Servo because my own past experience has shown it not to be as reliable in low light as one shot lol, i guess i just worried that the 1dx WAS meant to be different in this regard.

Im still astounded by the camera though tbh. Im using it atm with a 300 2.8 II + 2xTC.
The 1dx focuses that combo quicker without distance limiter than my 7d did with the bare lens and 6m-infinity :O it just boggles my brain still how quickly it moves that weighty glass. slightly off topic but also wondering if the 1dx has a less severe anti aliasing filter over the sensor? The images are just biting sharp wide open even with the extender on, ont he 7d i was impressed but this is just another universe more impressive.

Sorry im going on :D i have to say i am just much impressed with the beast! Well, ill try my hand at a bit of badminton tonight and see if i can get a feel for more of the AF cases :)

thanks again for the time people have taken to reply, its been very helpful :)_
xx

Post #10, Nov 14, 2012 09:42:12




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PhotoGeek
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You might try Case 6 to see how that does with badminton if you experience difficulties with others. It's worked well for me in volleyball, and I'd imagine the accel/decel, and erratic player movement will be similar.

Post some pics and let us know how it goes.

Good luck.

Post #11, Nov 14, 2012 10:16:47


1DX, 1DIII, lenses, flashes, wires and stuff
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baybud
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PhotoGeek wrote in post #15244615external link
You might try Case 6 to see how that does with badminton if you experience difficulties with others. It's worked well for me in volleyball, and I'd imagine the accel/decel, and erratic player movement will be similar.

Post some pics and let us know how it goes.

Good luck.

lol, ill give it a go. Its only our local club so i might have to divide time between playing and shooting, but i shall certainly give case 6 a whizz :) Still itching to find an actual use for the 14fps option, im sure the novelty will wear off but atm im wanting to see its use.

Post #12, Nov 14, 2012 10:19:20




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Primes
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Hi Baybud,

I chanced upon this forum while searching about the same issue. My 1D X will track focus and then suddenly rack out to infinity, shooting netball players in low-light.

The only place I could find online where other users were talking about was this one thread on the Canon Rumors forumexternal link. Apparently it has something to do with how the 1D X's ability to focus in low-light drops to EV-0.5 if shooting at 12fps:

"On the first issue of AF tracking in low light. Everything you found was correct and the camera needs to be dropped back to 10fps to AF in the lowest light conditions. At 10fps the camera can focus fast and effectively @ -2 Ev Level but at 12fps the Ev Level is changed to -0.5 Ev. This is because of the light reduction when the mirror moves at that speed. The camera does this automatically. This is what you were experiencing under the conditions of the cat walk. This is comparable to all professional 35mm products out there on the market"

This was the only possible explanation I've found for the problem, but I haven't had the chance to head out and try shooting with the limit set to 10fps instead.

Post #13, Dec 05, 2012 02:50:29




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