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Thread started 29 Dec 2014 (Monday) 01:58
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5D3 vs. 7D2 Field Test (Focus, Focus, Focus...)

 
ppmax
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Dec 29, 2014 01:58 |  #1

...Some may recall that I'm on my 3rd 7D2 body. This body is definitely better than the first two...which were total stinkers.

However, being "better" doesn't necessarily mean "good," and over the past few weeks I've taken a boatload of pictures with the 7D2 using Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM, Canon 24-105 f/4 IS USM, Canon 70-200 f/4 IS USM, and the Tokina 11-16 f/2/8. I've also taken a ton of pics with my 5D3...just to calibrate my expectations.

I'm a bit befuddled with my 7D2. It clearly focuses better than the previous two, but every now and then it give me heart attacks because it misses focus on something that should be a can of corn. Here's an example of an inexplicable miss (Tokina 11-16 shot at the extra wide end). Lucky me the puppet was in focus:

IMAGE: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7515/16109694266_e4d1faf4f8_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/qxyo​Rq  (external link)

When I got my first 7D2 body, it happened to snow the next day and I went out to the local dog track ("North Boulder Park" in case any locals are reading this) and took some pics. After taking about 300 I scampered home and found that virtually all of them were OOF...not by a little, but by a longshot. Here's a 100% crop from that day:
IMAGE: https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8643/15513107494_7879399f5e_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/pCQJ​oA  (external link)

...So all this front focusing with the 7D2 has got my panties in a bunch. I was ready to send #3 body back to Adorama, but as luck would have it, we got a good snow the other day and I thought I'd return back to North Boulder Park to do a comparison between these two bodies: How does the 7D2 stand up to my tried and true 5D3? Would the 5D3 miss on shots like those my 7D2 has missed? Is the 7D2 focus system that much better?

Here are my results. I've still got one more test to do tomorrow with the 7D2 to shoot high-speed oncoming traffic (from the sidewalk). Right now my results are a little skewed because shooting oncoming traffic should be a piece of cake for the 7D2...which will boost it's overall keeper rate.

Methodology:
Go out and take some pictures. Come home, review, and tag each photo "Green" "Yellow" or "Red" using this metric:
Green: nailed it
Yellow: looks acceptable when not pixel peeping; slightly out of focus at 100% zoom (1:1 zoom)
Red: total miss

Subjects:
Cross country skiers/skaters (velocity guesstimate 10-20mph; lots of side/side motion);
Oncoming traffic (velocity guesstimate: 35-45mph; no side/side motion)

Environment:
Bright sun; shooting with and into the sun

Cameras:
5D3, 7D2

Lenses:
Most taken with Canon EF70-200 f/4 IS USM
A few taken with Canon EF24-105 f/4 IS USM

Metering:
Evaluative

Exposure Mode:
Tv, Av, Manual, sometimes with +1/3 = +2/3 stop EC (love that feature on the 7D2)

Shutter speed:
1/1250 - 1/2500 (I think a few 1/3000 as well)

Aperture:
Wide open to f/5.6; a few at f/8

ISO:
Mostly full Auto ISO

Focus points used:
Single point AF
AF Point Expansion (4, 6 points)
Zone AF
Large Zone AF
All Points

Focus Cases used:
All cases used; many taken with Case 4, Case 6, Case 5
Case 1, Case 2 couldn't keep up
Some shots with Case 4, and Case 4 Accel/Decel tracking bumped +1 from default

Focus results:
5D3
252 Total
Red: 13 (5.1%)
Yellow: 31 (12.3%)
Green: 208 (82.5%)
Yellow + Green = 31+208=239
Total Keepers: 94.8%

7D2
449 Total
Red: 83 (18.4%)
Yellow: 95 (21.1%)
Green: 271 (60.3%)
Yellow + Green = 95+271=336
Total Keepers: 74.8%

Ouch. To me, it looks like the 5D3 wins big over the 7D2...20% more keepers, although this could be slightly misleading since I haven't taken pics of oncoming traffic with the 7D2 yet, which should boost the keeper ratio.


Anyways, here are some samples from the past two days. We are limited to 8 images so I'll just link to some on Flickr...

7D2 Green, Yellow, and Red samples:
Green (in focus):
IMAGE: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7575/16109440296_e7e1fd86e1_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/qxx6​mC  (external link)

Yellow (slightly off...but not a miss):
IMAGE: https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8583/16134479272_1f2d2b41ce_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/qzKq​z7  (external link)

Yellow full (shows what a slightly OOF image looks like on my monitor):
IMAGE: https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8579/15512894474_f19da7df6d_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/pCPD​4Q  (external link)

Red (total miss):
IMAGE: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7563/15947785798_7658976bb0_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/qifz​77  (external link)

Here's a static focus shot...no problems here...
IMAGE: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7479/15947788278_2fc9081887_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/qifz​QS  (external link)

Here's a link to a 26 shot sequence (gotta love the 10fps and the buffer!) There were 20 keepers (green+yellow), but 6 misses (all misses followed an obstruction of tracked point of focus; Case 4 Zone AF)
https://flic.kr/p/pD41​1x (external link)

Here's a link to a sequence...you can see the 7D2 hits, then misses, then hits, then misses...
https://flic.kr/p/pD3Z​CP (external link)

Here's a link to a sequence where the 7D2 absolutely nails it...a fast moving, panning, challenging focus scenario:
https://flic.kr/p/pCPD​bo (external link)

Here are links to a bunch of screenshots from DPP showing focus points and various hits/misses:
https://flic.kr/p/pD4F​Tt (external link)
https://flic.kr/p/qipS​Tv (external link)

https://flic.kr/p/qzDv​jP (external link)
https://flic.kr/p/qipb​Gt (external link)

https://flic.kr/p/pCPD​9j (external link)
https://flic.kr/p/qzKq​Eh (external link)
https://flic.kr/p/qzPg​DB (external link)
https://flic.kr/p/qzDv​he (external link)
https://flic.kr/p/qifz​7N (external link)

Here's a link to a 5D3 sequence:
https://flic.kr/p/qiof​8R (external link)

...and another 5D3 sequence:
https://flic.kr/p/qigg​d9 (external link)

...and yet another:
https://flic.kr/p/qigg​aU (external link)

...one more:
https://flic.kr/p/pD4F​Kc (external link)

Regarding 7D2 AF performance...some misses were definitely due to user error:
1. I used AF Point Expansion (4 points) paired with Case 5 (should only be used with Zone AF and All Points AF)
2. With my 5D3 I never used Cases other than 1, 2, and 4...so using the other cases with the 7D2 is a learning experience
3. Some misses probably shouldn't be considered "real" misses...perhaps I'm being too critical with slightly soft images...when viewed at full-screen rez (not 100% or 1:1 pixel ratio) they look acceptable.

Anyways, since I've returned several bodies to Adorama and don't want to be labeled a "serial returner" I'm considering sending the 7D2 into Canon for calibration. If bigcountry is reading this thread, how did you go about sending yours in? Did you call someone first or just send it in?

Comments and criticisms welcome. Thanks for your time...
PP

Canon 1DX Mark II, EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 IS USM Mark II, EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, EF 50mm f/1.4
Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 AS IF, 14mm f/2.8 ED AS IF UMC

  
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Nogo
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Dec 29, 2014 02:22 |  #2

Got just one simple question. I see you are shooting in high speed mode. Is there any difference in the number of keepers between first, second, third, etc. shots in the series when you took multiple shots?


Philip

  
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Pixeltoys
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Dec 29, 2014 05:17 |  #3

I've taken many pictures with my 7D2
Red, Green, Blue, and other colors, never missed, even a half shot,
The only thing i deleted my pictures because i don't like the object it self
With almost a half price with 5D Mk3, but only slighty better than 7D2,
7D2 still the best to me ..




  
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huntersdad
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Dec 29, 2014 07:28 as a reply to  @ Pixeltoys's post |  #4

My experience matches yours. It's off just enough that it's irritating. This is my second body and it's going back, this time for refund.


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ppmax
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Dec 29, 2014 09:35 |  #5

Nogo wrote in post #17355345 (external link)
Got just one simple question. I see you are shooting in high speed mode. Is there any difference in the number of keepers between first, second, third, etc. shots in the series when you took multiple shots?

Hi--

Thanks all for the comments.

All sequences were taken in high-speed (10fps) mode. I didn't try slowing it down.

FWIW, I tried to make the AF settings between the camera as close as possible so there would be some consistency in the comparison.

I've taken many pictures with my 7D2
Red, Green, Blue, and other colors, never missed, even a half shot,
The only thing i deleted my pictures because i don't like the object it self
With almost a half price with 5D Mk3, but only slighty better than 7D2,
7D2 still the best to me ..

Compared to your experience it would seem I'm doing something wrong or have a bad body (again).

My experience matches yours. It's off just enough that it's irritating. This is my second body and it's going back, this time for refund.

Sorry to hear that..."irritating" is the perfect word. Can you post some 100% 1:1 crops so I can verify that I'm not going insane? ;) Good luck with your refund...you can get a 70-200 Mark II instead ;)

thx
PP


Canon 1DX Mark II, EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 IS USM Mark II, EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, EF 50mm f/1.4
Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 AS IF, 14mm f/2.8 ED AS IF UMC

  
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ppmax
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Dec 29, 2014 09:42 |  #6

Out of curiosity...these past few days were the first time I've taken pictures of X-country skiers. Some of the situations were definitely challenging for the focus system (like tracking someones feet as they skated by) but otherwise it's not like these folks were coming at me at F1 speeds. Tracking these people seems like more work for the system than (for example) BIF, but not hugely challenging for the camera's focus system.

Anyone have any experience shooting fast moving skiers with a good keeper rate?

thx
PP


Canon 1DX Mark II, EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 IS USM Mark II, EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, EF 50mm f/1.4
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cerett
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Dec 29, 2014 10:50 |  #7

I have posted my 7DII experience elsewhere on this forum. I returned my 7DII (soft focus under the very best conditions) and got a second 5DIII. I think Canon really needs to address this problem. I am not inclined to go through multiple MFAs to try and compensate for a defective AF system. For those of you who have a good 7DII copy, I am truly happy for you. I think it is potentially a great camera.


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NeilB0147
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Dec 29, 2014 11:07 |  #8

Add me to the list of returners, ex 5dmk3 owner and i saw a huge drop in keepers, over priced and overhyped is my opinion.




  
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Dec 29, 2014 13:59 |  #9

First off, kudos to you for taking the time and painstaking efforts to put this in so much detail. I had the same experience with my two 7D2s, second was slightly better than the first but the 5D3 aced most pictures.

Like you, my second body is going back; don't have the patience for a third one and certainly don't want to be labeled as a serial returner. Its unfortunate that people like you, huntersdad and me are having such issues; there are several others on the 7D2 focus issue thread as well. That said I'm happy for those who have a good body; I wish we were one of them.


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Lester ­ Wareham
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Dec 29, 2014 14:29 |  #10

Hi, glancing through it looked like not all shots had an active (red) focus point, specially on missed shots.

Does that agree with your analysis?

Are you using back button focus?


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ppmax
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Dec 29, 2014 15:27 as a reply to  @ Lester Wareham's post |  #11

Hi Lester--

I am using BBF...Some of the images I posted didn't have a red square because it was slightly off screen in my screen capture--but every shot I took had a single or multiple focus points active when the shot was taken.

For nsnqst--

Thanks for the kind words...I'm off work for the holiday break and the devil makes work for idle hands! ;) I'm just hoping to get to some definitive conclusion where I can enjoy this camera...it has so many great features.

PP


Canon 1DX Mark II, EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 IS USM Mark II, EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, EF 50mm f/1.4
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ppmax
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Dec 29, 2014 23:49 |  #12

Not to beat a dead horse, but I did some more analysis on the 7D2 and 5D3 images I took. I used Phil Harvey's ExifTool to do some batch Exif -> Keyword processing and then charted the keeper rate (in my labeling scheme Yellow + Green = Keepers).

Again, the keeper rate for the 7D2 is probably skewed a bit downward since I haven't shot a bunch of high velocity oncoming traffic, which I assume will boost the keeper rate...but who knows.

Anyways, here my charts/graphs. Please note that I should probably remove the "Spot AF" row from my 7D2 chart since I've come to realize that was an error on my part...I shouldn't have been shooting in Spot AF in AI Servo. Whoops!

Also, the 5D3 doesn't offer the Large Zone AF mode...so that row is missing. I didn't shoot any Spot AF with the 5D3.

Next, pending a little shell script-fu with ExifTool, I want to overlay which AF Cases were used within each column of keepers. This will tell me which AF Case was best within each AF selection mode.

Lastly, I should also note that because of a bone-headed addition error, my previously reported keeper rate for the 7D2 was incorrect; I previously posted that the keeper rate was 74.8% but as the chart shows below the overall keeper rate is 81.5%...much better, but still not 5D3 level.


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ppmax
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Dec 30, 2014 00:12 |  #13

Here's a quick chart showing the 5D3 Keeper rate, not including shots of oncoming traffic. Again, my assumption is that the 7D2 keeper rate will go up because these shots should be easy.

As the chart below shows, the keeper rate for the 5D3 dropped when these shots were not included.


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PP

Canon 1DX Mark II, EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 IS USM Mark II, EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, EF 50mm f/1.4
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ppmax
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Jan 01, 2015 20:12 as a reply to  @ ppmax's post |  #14

Just thought I'd post an update...

I got done reviewing my pictures and am pretty confident I have an intermittent front focusing issue. I'm going to send the body to Canon to fix it. In many sequences I locked into the face/chest with AF Point Expansion (4 points) and would see tips of the skis in focus in many shots...and then it would snap into place on the intended target.

Of course, it's also possible that the AF system isn't fast enough to track extreme close up subjects moving at a good clip (lots of fast skiers today, so I estimate velocity to be 20-30mph). On the other hand, I had some front focusing on folks that weren't moving that quickly.

Here's an image from a 7 shot sequence; all were tack sharp except the very last shot (which was only slightly OOF) as the skier blew past me. (AF Point Expansion, top 3rd of the frame):

IMAGE: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7517/15550406013_f5d5f4e062_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/pG8T​Wv  (external link)

Despite the front focusing, I also made a substantial increase to my keeper rate. After going back and reviewing a bunch of pictures from the previous day, and incorporating some advice I shot almost exclusively in Case 5 with the tracking bumped up one from the default. I also turned off iTR and set 1st and 2nd image priority to focus. I think the tracking change contributed to the improvement the most; there were only a few sequences where I heard the camera slow down before capturing the frame. In fact, I rename all my files using the SubSecondTime EXIF tag, and most frames from the sequences I shot were 10ms apart from one another. For my next outing I think I'll disable AF when focus can't be achieved, since some of the bad focus shots may be because it couldn't lock for some reason, but snapped the frame anyways.

More charts and graphs...here are my results:
IMAGE: https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8678/15975846827_1ddbd4a779_o.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/qkJo​EX  (external link)

As noted in the graph, I shot mostly in AF Point Expansion (8 points) and AF Point Expansion (4 points).

thx--
PP

Canon 1DX Mark II, EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 IS USM Mark II, EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, EF 50mm f/1.4
Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 AS IF, 14mm f/2.8 ED AS IF UMC

  
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jhayesvw
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Jan 01, 2015 20:57 |  #15

Looks like the 7d AF is much better in certain cases.

Good to know.



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5D3 vs. 7D2 Field Test (Focus, Focus, Focus...)
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