Some technical stuff for you I wrote about this functionality a few weeks ago, and it appears no solution is in sight. I have been given a bit of information as to why it may be difficult to address.
Background For some of us shooting the 5D Mark III, there is an issue that is driving some, not all, photographers bonkers. That is, when shooting in AI Servo mode, the focus point we have selected does not illuminate red, like it does on the EOS-1′s like the 1D Mark IV. The 7D has always had the black focus points in AI Servo and we never really heard many complaints about it. However, since the 5D3 came about, there have been countless complaints about shooting in AI servo mode without the illuminating focus points.
I finally spent a serious amount of time with the 5D Mark III, and I am on the side of it being extremely annoying that I can’t see my AF point in AI servo mode in various situations. Lowlight, black shirts, birds in flight and that sort of thing. With the 61 AF points, I do move the focus point off of center during AI Servo usage.
As mentioned, there have been lots of forum threads on the topic and I have finally heard from a few people what the issue is.
Below is some technical information about why (correct me if we’re wrong). The transmissive LCD is the issue with both the 5D Mark III and the 1D X. Despite greatly improved AF, the exposure is affected by the red light of the AF point. This is why they do not light up in AI servo just prior to the exposure reading being made.
In order to solve the problem, Canon will have to figure a way to turn them on (red), yet adjust for the exposure differential. That isn’t as easy as it sounds, as each focus point will affect exposure slightly differently not to mention it’s also dependant on which exposure mode is active.
Can it happen? It’s possible, because I’m told Canon is working on a solution. They do know a segment of photographer is having trouble with the black AF points. I am told the 1D X will launch with the same functionality as the 5D Mark III.
For some photographers, this is not an issue, or even a minor annoyance.
Finally! We’ve had spottings of the BG-E11 showing up in Australia and the UK. They should make their way around the rest of the planet fairly quickly. I’m told we’ll be able to get them in Canada next week, I assume it’s the same in the United States.
Scheduled There is apparently going to be new 5D Mark III firmware before the end of May. It will address a few bugs, as well as adding some “features”. No mention of what the features might be. It was mentioned there is a possibility of a bug fix firmware update before the “feature” update, a two part strategy if you will.
There have been no mentions of additional features for video.
AI servo A lot of people, myself included are quite annoyed at the black AF points when using AI servo mode on the 5D Mark III. It’s nearly impossible to see in some situations, especially in low light. I think most people would like the ability to turn on the red AF point you see when you lock focus in one shot mode. I’m not sure if this was by design, or if it’s actually something that was overlooked in testing.
Planet5D with Chuck Westfall Chuck Westfall actually talked to Mitch at Planet5D about the two issues above. If I read anything into it, it seems the red AF point illumination is a priority and remapping the zoom button less so.
The issues come up at about the 8:00 minute mark, but the rest of the interview is worth watching too.
From LensRentals.com LensRentals.com has received their first shipment of fixed 5D Mark III bodies. They did what any of us would have done, they disassembled one to see what the fix was. It turns out the fix is two pieces of black tape. I actually joked with a friend that the fix would be “some kind of tape job”. This sort of thing is pretty normal inside electronics, so don’t be worried about tape coming off and that sort of thing. I have seen entire modules held in place by tape inside cameras.
… and again We may finally have some proof the BG-E11 battery grip for the 5D Mark III has been delayed. I was told a few weeks ago from someone at Canon that all was well and they were on schedule. However, it appears we won’t be seeing them until late May, 2012.
Google Translated Page - Late May 2012 at the bottom
To Users of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR Camera Concerning the EOS 5D Mark III digital SLR camera, when the LCD panel illuminates in extremely dark environments, the displayed exposure value may change. Canon has concluded the investigation of this phenomenon, and this announcement informs you of our findings as described below.
In extremely dark environments, if the LCD panel illuminates, the displayed exposure value may change. However, based on the results of extensive testing this change in exposure value will not noticeably affect the captured image.
Affected Product Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR Camera
*Products whose sixth digit in the serial number is 1 or 2 are affected.
For example, “xxxxx1xxxxxx” or “xxxxx2xxxxxx” ([x] represents any optional number.)
Support Under almost all shooting conditions (including dark environments) this phenomenon will not affect your captured images. However, if you would like Canon to inspect your camera, we will provide this service free of charge upon request beginning in mid-May. Please contact Canon using the information below to request service.
This information is for residents of the United States and Puerto Rico only. If you do not reside in the USA or Puerto Rico, please contact the Canon Customer Support Center in your region.
Please register the EOS 5D Mark III. By registering, we will be able to notify you via email when service updates are available. If you already registered, please ensure you are opted-in to receive the notification.