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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EOS Digital Cameras 
Thread started 24 Sep 2012 (Monday) 13:43
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Not sure I'm understanding 5D3 AF servo

 
weegee
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Sep 24, 2012 13:43 |  #1

So I was one of the lucky ones to get the 5d3 on that blow out price from Adorama on Ebay last week. :lol::lol::lol:

Played with it all weekend and I understand all the components of the AF set up, i.e. setting the area, tweaking the responsiveness, etc.

What I don't understand is whether I'm doing it right when it actually comes to use.

I have it set up to back button focus with the *. Also have the DOF button switched to go into servo from one shot. I know I have to hit that grid key (farthest right) and then I have it set up to use the dial to choose between area options.

Ok, so now here's what I'm not sure. If I'm using the manual AF options (spot, cluster of 4, cluster of 8, etc.) I need to find my focus point and then manually move the camera around as the subject is moving holding the *, correct? Obviously, the bigger the AF area, the better I can track as I move around the camera. But I might not get the exact spot, i.e. getting nearest eye in focus on a tight shot. Might end up with the eye brow, nose, etc. if not use spot focus.

If I use the last 2 zone options, how does that work? Am I indentifying the focal point and it tracks it for me in frame, or does it automatically pick and I really have no ability to focus on the eye for instance?

The other thing I don't understand is the 6 cases. Is that only working during the automatic (zone) focus areas, or is it still in place on the manual options? How is it affecting the manual since I'm moving the camera around to keep track.

I guess maybe best to give you a real world example.

If I'm trying to shoot my 2 and 4 year old playing. How would you set up the AF? They're bouncing around, sometimes criss crossing in front of each other, sometimes still, sometimes moving forward, sometimes moving backwards, sometimes going slow, sometimes going fast.

I usually get in pretty tight, I would say torso shot, sometimes a real tight head shot. And using 2-8 f/stop range. Obviously I'm trying to nail, bright, crisp eyes.

Some examples below:

IMAGE: http://fotoluigi.zenfolio.com/img/s3/v44/p973720453-10.jpg


IMAGE: http://fotoluigi.zenfolio.com/img/s2/v52/p383805133-10.jpg

IMAGE: http://fotoluigi.zenfolio.com/img/s2/v51/p530319862-10.jpg

My Online Gallery: http://fotoluigi.zenfo​lio.com/ (external link)
Elan II, 5D3, 17-40L f/4, 24-105L f/4, 70-200L f/4, 85 f/1.8, 50 f/1.8

  
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apersson850
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Sep 24, 2012 14:01 |  #2

Now I've not used any 5D Mark III, but several other Canon EOS.

In Zone AF, the camera will pick an AF point it finds interesting to start with. Then it will use the other points within the zone to try to keep the subject in focus. That implies that if the point that's currently tracking looses sight of the subject, either because it's outside the subject's bounds, or because there's no contrast in the subject where it's aimed, then handover to another point, which is in or close to being in focus can happen.

Using all points, you define a starting point, then the camera will use all points trying to keep that subject in focus.

All multi-point options risk focusing on distracting things in the background.

AF cases 5 and 6 work with multiple AF points only. The other cases will work with all AF point selections. Even when you are able to track the subject's movements sideways, there's still different demands on how much the AF system should adjust focus, i.e. with which speed the subjects are approaching or departing from you. There are also different settings for how long the camera will keep the same focusing distance, even if you momentarily aim your point at the background, or something passes between you and the subject.

I recommend reading Canon's AF setting guide for the 1DX (external link). The AF system in the 5D Mark III is so similar that you can use almost all of that guide for your camera too.


Anders

  
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weegee
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Sep 24, 2012 15:32 |  #3

many thanks. I actually had that saved a few months back, thinking someday I might need this : )

I got a much better understanding now.

Sounds like for AF area, the 5th and 6th are the automatic tracking. 5 allows you to set the start point, whereas 6 is basically picking closest thing. These are great probably for whole body shots, less DOF, etc.

I think for shooting my kids at tighter frames, I'm probably going to end up with AF point expansion (3rd and 4th option), hopefully the tighter cluster if I got a steady hand and can predict their movement better.

The 1st and 2nd option seem to be better suited for one shoot AF, but I guess I can pull it off as well. Heck, that's what I had to do with 5dc and 5d2.

Now I guess I really need to figure out which case to use. Probably going to stick with case 1 for now, but I got a feeling 2 or 4 are probably the way to go.

Curious what others are doing when shooting their young, erratic kids at play.


My Online Gallery: http://fotoluigi.zenfo​lio.com/ (external link)
Elan II, 5D3, 17-40L f/4, 24-105L f/4, 70-200L f/4, 85 f/1.8, 50 f/1.8

  
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lannes
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Sep 24, 2012 17:14 |  #4

You could try an AF option with:

lowest "tracking sensitivity"
+1 or +2 for "Accel / Decel tracking"
0 for "AF Point auto switching"

which is pretty close to Case 2 and Case 4, but with adjustments


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apersson850
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Sep 25, 2012 02:06 as a reply to  @ lannes's post |  #5

As far as selecting the AF points, the Zone AF setting allows you to set the region of interest in the viewfinder, but you can't control which point in the zone locks first. The camera usually picks the closest with good contrast.
When selecting all 61 points, you define the starting point, but then the active AF point can walk across the entire range.
Single point with expansions are the same as all 61, except "the walk" is limited to a few points surrounding the starting point.

The cases are not aimed at shooting with One Shot AF. One Shot AF is considered trivial, since you aim at a subject (like a statue), focus, lock focus at the subject and have all the time in the world to take the picture.
The AF cases are intended for moments when you aim at the subject (motor bike), start tracking the subject to which the distance changes all the time, then take a number of pictures where focus setting has to be updated in between every picture. This is when you use AI Servo AF. The cases fine-tune the performance of AI Servo AF to different circumstances.

You are free to select any kind of AF point configuration (Spot, single, all or whatever) with all the cases, except that the last two cases have the settings for AF point auto switching "eagerness" increased. Since no AF point switching can occur if not at least two are selected, these two cases aren't applicable to the Spot and Single point AF settings.
The AF cases are really different combinations of the three settings in them, intended to be best suited to different applications.


Anders

  
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weegee
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Sep 26, 2012 13:49 |  #6

thanks for the info. I have much better understanding now on paper. Now just need to put it to work.


My Online Gallery: http://fotoluigi.zenfo​lio.com/ (external link)
Elan II, 5D3, 17-40L f/4, 24-105L f/4, 70-200L f/4, 85 f/1.8, 50 f/1.8

  
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arbitrage
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Sep 26, 2012 15:02 |  #7

I think you've got a fairly good answer already. I just wanted to add that back when I first got the 5D3 I also looked into this quite thoroughly. The one thing that I found was that the zone modes (61pt and the smaller 9pt zones) will still always focus on the closest object in the zone. The expanded modes don't do this so they are usually better for tracking a specific subject and in my case my usual subjects are BIF and I use the expanded modes most of the time and only the zone mode if shooting against a clear sky. I also sometimes will use spotAF in AI Servo if I can really fill the frame with the subject and want to try to keep the spot point right on the eye.


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weegee
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Sep 26, 2012 15:33 |  #8

yep, that's what I'm thinking. Probably go with expanded for the kids, unless I'm getting in really tight, then will try luck with spot or single point. I did a decent job of it with 5dc and 5d2, so I'm used to the steady hand and predicting movement.


My Online Gallery: http://fotoluigi.zenfo​lio.com/ (external link)
Elan II, 5D3, 17-40L f/4, 24-105L f/4, 70-200L f/4, 85 f/1.8, 50 f/1.8

  
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apersson850
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Sep 27, 2012 03:31 |  #9

arbitrage wrote in post #15046262 (external link)
The one thing that I found was that the zone modes (61pt and the smaller 9pt zones) will still always focus on the closest object in the zone.

This is true for One Shot AF only.
In Servo AF, the all 61 points mode always starts with the point you select as a starting point. Then focus tracking can transfer to other points. But the zone modes do start with the closest that has good contrast in both One Shot AF and Servo AF.

On older or simpler camera models, the all points mode in Servo AF always started with the center point, but since the introduction of the 7D and 1D Mark IV, you can select the starting point on single-digit Canon EOS models.


Anders

  
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Not sure I'm understanding 5D3 AF servo
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