Thanks for a great post Paul--much appreciated. I'd like to comment on each of the excellent points you made:IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/qCRA8q
>>1) what is interesting is that from your initial pictures, even though the 5D had a higher keeper rate, you actually have more keepers from the 7D2 as it took more pictures (this is either a frame rate thing which in of itself speaks volumes - or you just used it more - my guess is there is some of both)
Indeed--at this point I think I've taken 2x-3x more shots with the 7D2, and the keeper rate with the 5D3 would probably normalize lower, given the increased number of pics.
>>2) as you used the 7D2 more your keepers have gone up
True, and I'm happier than I was initially... however I am still confounded by a few misses, which I'll show below. Any comments on these?
>>3) you are somewhat stacking the % against the 7D2 as you are comparing it at 10fps vs 6FPs with the 5D3 - you can and should / but also shouldn't (if you get my meaning) adjust for this and go into the 7D2's menu and reduce the Low Speed Continuous to 6FPS and my bet is the 7D2 will get even better
True again. Another poster (perhaps in another forum) suggested I retard the 7D2 FPS to 6 to see what I get. This is a good point and I may do so weather permitting. Incidentally, I only noticed the 7D2 slow down once or twice in full auto mode with the 1st and 2nd image priority set to focus priority.
>>4) for hockey, where possible, i have settled on Expanded 4pt (kind of supported by your data) - my mathematical guess is that when humans like us are handholding long lens and filing the frame on a pixel dense camera, you are basically screwing yourself by using Spot Focus when there is any movement at all
Expanded 4pt and Expanded 8pt are great modes...and I also believe that when shooting a zoom and filling the frame there are times when the entire focus target may be filled with a single block of color (e.g. someones chest or back) which may not provide enough contrast for a single point. (For what it's worth I think we are talking about Single Point AF rather than Single Point Spot AF).
In addition, my keeper rate for Expanded 4pt and Expanded 8pt may be lower than it would normally be, since I also used this mode to practice some low shutter-speed panning shots which...which were blurry for some other reasons Bascially I need more practice with high-velocity, low shutter-speed panning. Out of curiosity, when shooting panning (not on a tripod) do you disable IS?
>>5) to have out of the box, once your experience has found the correct settings, of in focus pictures at anything close to 80% using 10fps is about as good as it is going to get on a $1800 camera
I am coming to this conclusion...I don't have any experience with the 1D series so my expectations are based upon what I could achieve with my older 7D and the 5D3
>>6) If you want to get better, you are going to have to really master the setting AND you are going to have to spend the half day required to MFA the lens that you are using at 10fps - this is a must if you really car about getting 80% up to 90%+ (80% is pretty good but 90% is 1Dx territory)
I've MFA'd my 70-200 f/4 IS USM (which took +3 to really nail it)...but as mentioned above am still confounded by some really erratic front focusing now and then. I also found that when shooting the Tokina 11-16 at 11mm I had lots of front focusing (as shown in the picture of my daughter). It may be that this is related to having Lens drive when AF impossible set to on...which I will disable next time to test.
>>7) I think your expanded 8 > expanded 4 > single point - basically confirms what I would contend in pt 4 - especially as YOU are tracking moving skiers - and if you are getting 90% using expanded 8 then this camera is a success
I tend to follow/track the subject as closely as possible regardless of which AF mode I'm in. I never shot Zone AF or All Points AF mode much in the past...so perhaps my technique in these modes is not correct. When shooting Zone AF or All Points AF, do most folks hold the camera steady and let the AF Tracking do the work?
>>8) given what I said in #7 (if it is true), I would like to see you try expanded 8 with CASE 2 (which you contend is too slow) but tracking Cross country skiers with CASE 5 (erratic moving subjects) doesn't 'sound' correct as they are not humming birds - I use Case 2 with adjustments (-2,1,0) for hockey and hockey players are way more erratic than any cross country skier
I chose Case 5 because the skier's heads (my focus target) tends to bob and weave a lot...I will try Expanded with Case 2 again...to be more precise, when I have tried this mode I have been setting the focus point on (or as near as possible) on the skier's head as they skate past me. If you can imagine, I am standing to the side of a race track, I lock focus as the skier approaches, and then pan with them as they approach and skate by. I believe this scenario is challenging for the AF system because for a while the skier's motion is primarily related to changing distance, which then transitions to side-to-side as the frame is filled.
Here are a few shots that I'm trying to analyze to see where the error occurred:
Is this lens shake (I was panning) or perhaps a shift in the lens IS as I snapped the frame? I believe this was 1/3200 SS:
This was shot at 1/1600 and he was going pretty slowly...the camera missed all in a sequence of 3; Expanded 4pt AF:IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/qB9mLh
This one was front focused by about 3 feet (the tips of his skis were in focus). This Expanded 8pt AF and I would have expected focus to be either on the head or the closest hand:IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/qB9vAw
Thanks again for the comments and suggestions--much appreciated