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Thread started 23 Feb 2013 (Saturday) 11:07
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5D MKIII BIF settings?

 
westernminnguy
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Feb 23, 2013 11:07 |  #1

Just a question of curiosity here.

Anybody shooting bird in flight shots with their 5DMKIII? If so, would you care to share AI servo and AF settings?

I've been experimenting with different AI servo and AF settings but haven't really hit upon anything that stands out.

I will say, the AF on the 5DMKIII is really fast...fastest I've experienced in all the Canon bodies I've owned so far.

Tx again.

:)


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Sirrith
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Feb 23, 2013 11:13 |  #2

I used cases 5 & 6 last time, it seemed to work fine.


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westernminnguy
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Feb 23, 2013 12:13 |  #3

Sirrith wrote in post #15643527 (external link)
I used cases 5 & 6 last time, it seemed to work fine.

Thanks for taking the time to reply. Do you use all 61 AF points?


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bobbyz
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Feb 23, 2013 13:43 |  #4

Look at naturescapes. There was a nice article posted. I think it is also posted here on POTN somewhere. Shows what cases to use for different birds etc.


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darosk
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Feb 23, 2013 13:51 |  #5

I can't remember where I got this link (external link), someone posted it here somewhere on the forums.

I'm still in the process of figuring this stuff out myself.


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Sirrith
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Feb 23, 2013 15:51 |  #6

westernminnguy wrote in post #15643713 (external link)
Thanks for taking the time to reply. Do you use all 61 AF points?

No, I used single point expansion (5 points, not 9). But that did prove a problem when shooting large birds as it would focus on the wings rather than the head/eye.


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westernminnguy
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Feb 23, 2013 20:37 |  #7

darosk wrote in post #15644030 (external link)
I can't remember where I got this link (external link), someone posted it here somewhere on the forums.

I'm still in the process of figuring this stuff out myself.

This is good.

And thanks for the help to all of you.

:)


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sheawyatt
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Feb 23, 2013 21:04 |  #8

Usually centre point, case 2 for large birds either solitary or in a flock, case 5 for small birds perching and zipping about.

I have played with the 61 point tracking on birds against an uncluttered, smooth background and it works pretty darn well, although it picks up the wings sometimes more than the head.

Overall I have had more success doing short burst of tracking, ie. follow the bird with it mostly in focus and then push back button to focus, take a few shots, release back button and continue to track. The AF is fast enough to react to spontaneous moments. Holding down the back button and just trying to continuously track at all times tends to result in more not-quite-in-focus shots than not.


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nwlight
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Feb 23, 2013 23:19 |  #9

I usually use zone AF for BIF. Birds zip by too fast for me to use a single focus point, although I try that occasionally as well. Since zone AF can accidentally focus on the wings, I try to lead the bird a bit so that the zone is on the head or slightly in front. However, if I can't keep up (which is most of the time), at least it will focus on some part of the bird. For static shots, I occasionally switch to single point with expansion if I find that zone AF is picking up the wrong target.

The biggest eureka moment for me was realizing what tracking sensitivity really means. In the past, I always held down the focus button and tried to find the bird. In playing around in my house, I realized that holding down the button means that AI Servo will try to stick to the current target. So, if you start your focus on the wrong thing, like the trees in the background, then holding down the button means you are telling the camera to track the trees. With something like Case 1, where tracking sensitivity is set at 0, it will take a second for the camera to switch to something closer like the bird.

With this knowledge, it becomes clear how important it is to get AI Servo locked on the right target. If you realize that you are not focused on the bird, it's important to let go of the focus button and re-initiate focus. Doing this will force the camera to re-evaluate focus and it will switch to whatever is closest, which should be your bird.

To test this out, just use AI Servo at home and switch between any two targets. With tracking sensitivity set at 0, it will take almost a second for focus to change. With it set at 2, it will change much faster, but still not immediately.

Given that, it might sound unintuitive why I set tracking sensitivity to -2. First, I read it as a recommendation from Arthur Morris. More importantly, I tried a bunch of shots and realized that with high tracking sensitivity, if you miss the bird even once, the camera will quickly switch focus to something else like the background or water. With the tracking sensitivity set really low, once I got a lock on the target, focus would stick even if I temporarily lost focus on the bird. That means that I have many shots in focus even when the focus point wasn't on the bird at all momentarily.

Hope that helps.




  
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westernminnguy
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Feb 24, 2013 06:53 as a reply to  @ nwlight's post |  #10

excellent responses.

Tx all.


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5D MKIII BIF settings?
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