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Thread started 12 Jun 2012 (Tuesday) 21:46
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PLEASE bring back eye-control AF!

 
kfreels
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Jun 12, 2012 21:46 |  #1

I was so addicted to this when I had my Elan. Now with these newer bodies coming out with 61AF points and such, it would be terrific to have that back. Imagine that you want to change AF points and rather than pushing the AF selection button and using the scroll wheel and QCD or joystick to change your AF point, you simply look at the point you want to register in the viewfinder and set it. How awesome would that be?

I know some people loved it and lots of people had trouble with it, but hey, that was almost 20 years ago. Now we have more AF points to choose from, people are more technically accepting of new ideas, and those who don't like it can always turn it off. Tech has come a long way since then so it should be faster and more accurate as well.

I previously thought this was left out for technical reasons on DSLRs but I ran across a post that quoted a Canon developer as stating that the reason for not having it was lack of demand, not a technical limitation. I think it's time for Canon to revisit it. It was an idea ahead of its time and its time is NOW. Let's show them some demand!


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FlyingPhotog
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Jun 12, 2012 21:52 |  #2

As long as it doesn't suck the life out of batteries like it used to...


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Jun 12, 2012 22:01 as a reply to  @ FlyingPhotog's post |  #3

Loved it on my Elan IIe,but there was only 3 focus points. I think the problem would be calibrating it to all the focus points that cameras have now.


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rrblint
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Jun 12, 2012 22:05 |  #4

kfreels....You are speaking my language!

I used Eye Control on my EOS-3 which had 45 AF pts. and loved it.

If I remember correctly EC was not considered to be a "professional" feature and never appeared on any 1-series camera...So they never really gave professionals a chance to try it...The 3 came out at the beginning of the digital revolution and by then most pros weren't buying new film cameras anymore.

I see threads all the time with people bemoaning having to focus and recompose or having to manually switch focus points...I remember the ease of composing a portrait perfectly, then looking at the subject's left(or right)eye, half press, full press and voila perfectly focused portrait in less than one second:)

Canon: Please bring back Eye Control!!bw!


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kfreels
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Jun 12, 2012 22:06 |  #5

Eagle wrote in post #14571239 (external link)
Loved it on my Elan IIe,but there was only 3 focus points. I think the problem would be calibrating it to all the focus points that cameras have now.

That should be easier with today's tech. We've come a long way. I would think that a calibration at 4-8 points would be sufficient. The computer could figure out the places in between.

As for batter power, I remember that. It was a bit of a drain, but certainly far less than image stabilization. With the newer batteries that we use now that are designed much better I would think this would be no more of a drain than the LCD screen. Again, that's where the modern tech comes into play. It was just ahead of its time. If they released it for the first time on the 7D I'm betting the result would have been totally different. On the next generation it would be even more compelling.


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kfreels
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Jun 12, 2012 22:08 |  #6

rrblint wrote in post #14571265 (external link)
kfreels....You are speaking my language!

I used Eye Control on my EOS-3 which had 45 AF pts. and loved it.

If I remember correctly EC was not considered to be a "professional" feature and never appeared on any 1-series camera...So they never really gave professionals a chance to try it...The 3 came out at the beginning of the digital revolution and by then most pros weren't buying new film cameras anymore.

I see threads all the time with people bemoaning having to focus and recompose or having to manually switch focus points...I remember the ease of comosing a portrait perfectly, then looking at the subject's left(or right)eye, half press, full press and voila perfectly focused portrait in less than one second:)

Canon: Please bring back Eye Control!!bw

Yeah. So looking at the current environment, I could see them passing on it with the 5D and 1D but the 7D and 70D are just screaming for such a feature. Maybe the new firmware is to hold off the 7D while they get this implemented! I know, wishful thinking but a guy can dream, right?


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rrblint
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Jun 12, 2012 22:19 as a reply to  @ kfreels's post |  #7

The 3 was the first to have 45 densely packed focusing points and I remember thinking that EC couldn't work well with that many closely packed FPs...But it worked marvelously!
It picked the exact FP that I looked at(about 95% of the time).
I don't remember it being a particularly heavy drain on the battery but in any case it can only be better with today's technology as you said.


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rrblint
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Jun 13, 2012 13:00 |  #8

This is a subject that is near and dear to my heart.

I need to emphasize to all of you "Anti-Auto-Everything" guys out there that I am one of you! I grew up in photography with all manual cameras in the 1970s...Up until a few years ago I was still using an all manual Hasselblad film camera when I decided to chuck it all in...But I couldn't stay away...The siren call of the DSLR was singing.

I was using cameras bought in the 1970s until 1996 when I bought an A2E more or less by chance(I didn't know the difference between A2E and A2...A2E cost $100 dollars more...Hmm must be better lol)...This was my first experience with Auto-Focus and I just thought they all did that(eye control).

As I have gotten older, my eyesight is not what it was when I was 17...I found manual focus to be harder as the years passed...When lighting was not good I was missing focus as often as I was nailing it(with 35mm, not with the Hassy, which was still easy to focus, with the magnifier, for static subjects)...But for moving subjects auto-focus really helped me out...And eye control makes the chore of choosing the focus-point much easier.

I can't count how many threads I've read about choosing FPs and focusing and recomposing with all of their associated difficulties. I'm always thinking "Man if they just had eye control!

Please note that "Eye controlled focus point selection" is NOT the same as "Auto focus point selection" where the camera chooses what to focus on.

With Eye-control it really is a simple matter of just looking at the part of the subject you wish to be in best focus and shoot...That's it...No thoughts about which focus point to choose(with densely packed focusing points this can be daunting)...No focusing and recomposing...That is it!(And the camera did NOT choose what to focus on...YOU did.)

As a brother "Anti-Auto-Everything" guy I wouldn't even consider using "Green Rectangle" mode or any other "Auto-Everything" mode...I don't trust the camera to make shutter-speed and aperture decisions for me and certainly not ISO or what to focus on. If I were shooting a race car on a track, for example, and wanted the front bumper to be in focus with focus receding to to rear, I could simply choose shutter speed and aperture to accomplish this then look at the front bumper through the viewfinder and shoot. NOTHING automatic, I chose EVERYTHING, INCLUDING focus point, just by looking at it, not fumbling around trying to find the right focus point by pushing buttons or turning dials, or by focusing and recomposing.

Eye-Controlled focus point selection I have found to be a seriously useful professional tool and I think it worthy of your consideration(If Canon will give you a chance to try it on a DSLR).

Thanks to kfreels for starting this thread!:D


Mark

  
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Jun 13, 2012 13:10 as a reply to  @ rrblint's post |  #9

^ +1

I have to agree with everything above.

I still love my Elan 7E and have sorely missed EC on every DSLR I've bought or used since. It's way more than a 'gimmick' and should be on every 1D, 7D, and 5D .. no question.

BRING BACK EC .. where do we sign up ;)


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Charlie
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Jun 13, 2012 13:11 |  #10

I always thought eye focus would be a future feature, never knew it was a past feature.


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kurt ­ segers
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Jun 13, 2012 13:18 |  #11

Charlie wrote in post #14573955 (external link)
I always thought eye focus would be a future feature, never knew it was a past feature.

I didn't know it has existed either but now that I know it's possible I want it, no more messing with that dial or forgetting I moved it away from center for some reason and wondering why I'm getting OOF shots.


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rrblint
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Jun 13, 2012 13:54 |  #12

One more thing that I have alluded to before but bears repeating:

The 61 AF pt focusing system would be only a small step up from the 45 pt system that the EOS-3 had in 1998...I had one and it worked nearly flawlessly then, so could only be better and faster now.


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Jun 13, 2012 14:09 |  #13

Had this back on my EOS 5 was quite a cool feature, although could be interesting when looking around at composition. :-)

Ian.


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Jun 13, 2012 14:23 |  #14

Ok I will be the hater on this thread. I hated EC both personally and professionally not even considering the battery drain it had at the time, I could never get it to work reliably and I tried it on an Elan IIe, 7e, A2e and EOS 3. I was working for a camera shop at the time and a good 90% of the people who bought them came in with complaints and from what I heard from the Canon reps at the time it was a big flop. It was also completely useless if you had glasses. Perhaps with modern tech they could make it work but I would hope they do what they did in the past and offer both e and non e versions so I don't have to pay for a feature I will never use. OK end of rant. :)


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GregoryF
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Jun 13, 2012 14:37 |  #15

I loved it. Spending the time to fully calibrate it was the key. Too many people would not spend the time setting it up properly. I have a film camera still that has it and I use it with glasses and it works flawlessly.


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