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Gear Talk => EOS Bodies - For Stills => Topic started by: gigabellone on November 03, 2013, 10:10:11 AM

Title: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: gigabellone on November 03, 2013, 10:10:11 AM
I'm about to spend a significant (for my finances) amount of money on a new Canon full frame body, it is going to be either a 6D or a 5D3. The plan is to get the camera body and 2 very fast primes: Sigma 35/1.4 and Canon 85/1.2. The 6D has got what i want and costs about 1000€ less than the 5D3, but given the fact that the DoF with fast primes is going to be tiny to say the least, how is the supposedly "simplistic" 6D AF system going to perform? The main fields of application will be travel and street photography, family portraits, some landscapes, the occasional event, and everything will happen just for the sake of it, i'm not trying to make a living out of my hobby (or else i wouldn't have such quantity of money to squander on gear :D ). I just don't want to spend a significant amount of money and be disappointed by a quirky AF behavior. I would like to hear from owners of these cameras and lenses, lots of online researches and reading still aren't enough to make up my mind.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: takesome1 on November 03, 2013, 10:24:55 AM
The main reason the 5D III is more expensive is the better AF system.

The work you describe the 6D will perform fine. The 5D II served people well for years doing the same work.

Personally I would prefer the better AF system. But I could use both and be very satisfied.

Here is a thought for you, just buy the 1D X then you are assured of the best AF system.

What myth were we supposed to bust? That the 6D is quirky? I think not.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Ruined on November 03, 2013, 10:46:51 AM
It depends on your technique for using autofocus. Generally just leaving any camera to do all point full auto is no good as it will sometimes choose the wrong thing to focus on.  So a lot of people just use the center point to pull focus then recompose if needed, this would work fine with 6d.  However, if you are the type that likes to cycle between af points and use the outer ones frequently the 5dmkiii is much better for this.  Or if you use zone/servo af for moving targets 5diii will be a lot better for this.

given your uses the 6d sounds like it will work fine.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: pdirestajr on November 03, 2013, 11:03:53 AM
Since you mentioned you are into super shallow DOF photography, relying on an AF system regardless of how advanced it is, isn't going to be all you need. Manual Focus isn't a dirty word either. The 6D allows you to change focusing screens so you can preview the true DOF at really wide apertures. Which has value to some. I enjoy using a 5DII and 85 1.2II combo with Eg-S focusing screen and back button AF set on my camera, then I just use my left hand to constantly tweak focus (and since the shutter button doesn't control AF now, it's not competing with me!)
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Pi on November 03, 2013, 11:06:41 AM
Even the 5D2 focuses fine with such lenses but in low light, you have to rely on the center AF point only.

Speaking about AF, I would be more concerned about the Sigma lens.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Dick on November 03, 2013, 11:25:07 AM
5D3 + the Sigma 35mm wide open = disappointing AF performance

I would not use servo as it's slow with the Sigma lens. With slow subjects and one shot focus, you get the photos you want. If you take pics of fast moving kids or something similar, you might get better results with the 35L.

The 85 1.2 L is very slow at focusing and the version II is also quite slow.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: StudentOfLight on November 03, 2013, 11:43:52 AM
A bit off subject... On your planned lens purchases

I love the 35mm focal length, although I bought my 35mm f1.4 L before the new Sigma came out so I don't have any hands-on experience with the Sigma.

I'm surprised by your choice of the 85mm f1.2L. Many pros have a love-hate relationship with the lens. I've heard more than one say something on the lines of: "It's expensive, heavy and slow to focus."

Have you already considered the 135mm f2L. The bokeh is beautiful (similar to 85mm) and it's generally a much easier lens to live with. It's lighter, faster-focusing and half the price of the 85mm. Another option to consider is Simga's 85mm f1.4, which has good reviews. I have gone through a similar decision-making process a while back and opted for 135mmL +600EX-RT flash and softbox-setup.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Lenry on November 03, 2013, 11:44:40 AM
Most of the type of photography you mention doesn't really require wide apertures. Landscapes, for example tend to just look out of focus with super wide apertures.

If I was doing "street" photography, I'd want a light, easy to use unobtrusive camera. I used to own an EF 50mm f1.0 and an EF 85mm f1.2 L, the original design. I did theatrical photography at the time. You pre-focus, and the final focus is quite fast with either lens when you are within a few inches of correct focus as you will be when you pre-focus (by holding the shutter button down 1/2 way).

At the time I was using film, and today I have a couple T3i bodies, but I'd probably consider one of the nearly full frame non-reflex cameras for the type of use you describe. I'd want something I'd always have with me. Today this is my cellphone.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: x-vision on November 03, 2013, 01:04:46 PM
I just don't want to spend a significant amount of money and be disappointed by a quirky AF behavior.

Well, the 6D has what is effectively a 1-point AF system.

I haven't heard about any quirks related to the center AF point, which is supposed to be very good.
Lots of quirks, OTOH, when using the outer AF points (e.g. not able to focus).

So, get the 6D and use it in single-AF-point mode only. You surely won't be disappointed. 
Well, except that the 6D doesn't have more AF points like the center one  8).
Good luck.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: bholliman on November 03, 2013, 01:58:59 PM
Well, the 6D has what is effectively a 1-point AF system.

A bit of an exaggeration...  I often use the outer focal points on my 6D.  Yes, the center point is much better, but the outer points are not bad in decent light.  I can nail shallow DOF with the outer points.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Nancy Goodenough on November 03, 2013, 02:07:42 PM
I have both. Got the 6D for Colombia as was lighter and less to lose. Worked great.

I generally carry both when I go out shooting. I keep a longer lens on the 5D3 and ultrawide on the 6D.

It's almost funny to compare the ch-ch-ch when I shoot in a burst as the 5D3 is so fast compared to the slow chunk-chunk-chunk with the 6D. That's where I really notice the difference. BIF=5D3

I use the center point on the 6D and recompose. Not the best situation. But it's great AF in low light.

I use the 5D3 more, if that helps justify it.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: gigabellone on November 04, 2013, 02:29:38 AM
Thank you all for the feedback. :)
I see most of the 6D users here use the center focus point and recompose, which is something i wouldn't like to do. MF could be a better option. Is there any advantage using the viewfinder with a dedicated focusing screen over the live view?
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: AmbientLight on November 04, 2013, 04:37:18 AM
The difference is in how you can use the camera. Just imagine standing with the camera somewhat in front of you for using live view. If you want to do shallow depth of field photography you better put the camera on a tripod or use some other form of support. Using a good dedicated focusing screen you can hold the camera up to your eye and focus, holding the camera steady without requiring extra support.

Although I have been using manual focus for more than two decades, so I guess I am pretty much used to it, I would still prefer using a 5D Mark III to using a 6D with a dedicated focusing screen. The difference is being able to quickly select a focusing point and then to use it effectively to focus the lens without further ado on the 5d Mark III. This is not only much more convenient, but will also allow you to avoid errors.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on November 04, 2013, 05:15:48 AM
I haven't heard about any quirks related to the center AF point, which is supposed to be very good.
The quirk is that for f2.8 lenses the center point _is_not_cross_ to begin with, I just wrote the explanation (again) here: http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=17409.msg331167#msg331167 (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=17409.msg331167#msg331167)

A bit of an exaggeration...  I often use the outer focal points on my 6D.  Yes, the center point is much better, but the outer points are not bad in decent light.  I can nail shallow DOF with the outer points.
Exactly - "can", but not reliably so. I also use the outer points for static subjects to avoid focus shift when recomposing, but I want to be more sure that I end up in focus I use center only. On anything that moves the outer points are near useless though since they are not cross, at least in my experience with the 6d.

MF could be a better option. Is there any advantage using the viewfinder with a dedicated focusing screen over the live view?
No, not if you're using Magic Lantern which has "focus peaking" in live view and shows you _exactly_ what's in focus, I use it all the time for macro, couldn't do without it.

As for the Eg-S screen (though: I'm using the Eg-D with a grid to improve my verticals :-p): It's near-essential for mf with fast lenses, but as far as I've researched it don't expect wonders from it either and it does darken the screen for slower lenses - so you probably have to try for yourself. The option to use Canon screens (and not expensive 3rd party) and quickly exchange them is one of the few advantages of the 6d over the 5d3 though.

Here's a (shaky) demonstration of focus peaking, it's easier to see if you set the lv to black & white as the color dots become more apparent:
Peak Focus (Magic Lantern) on a Canon T3i (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjSEqOUf9PY#ws)
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: AlanF on November 04, 2013, 05:31:55 AM
Neuro has pointed out a problem of using the centre point and then recomposing. It stuck in my mind, and here is a simple explanation. A lens is designed so that everything in a plane perpendicular to the lens is in focus. So, focus on the centre of a brick wall in front of you (flat facing you, of course), and all the bricks are in focus, including the ones at the edges, which are actually farther away. Focus on a brick at the edge, hold the focus and point to the middle, then the focus will actually be behind the wall because the bricks at the end were farther away when you focussed. So, if you focus and recompose, the subject might not be in good focus even if it is in the same plane.

Regarding 1Dx and 5DIII, I thought that they had the same AF system, which was probably the biggest plus of the 5DIII.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Pi on November 04, 2013, 08:22:47 AM
Focus and recompose leads to back focusing if the plane of focus is really a plane. The problem is most noticeable, roughly speaking, with wide primes focused far off center, with a subject close to you. Then you can use the outer points. In good to moderate light, they focus reliably even on my lowly 5D2 with, say, the 50L or the 35L. I still focus and recompose even with those points. In really low light, I would not use them.

About cross or not cross type - the proof is in the pudding. It just works, at least in most cases.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Chosenbydestiny on November 04, 2013, 08:34:22 AM
A friend and I were shooting a model's headshots side by side a couple of days ago at his home studio. He had his 5D Mark III with 70-200mm f/2.8L IS mark 1, and I was using a 6D with 70-200mm f/4L IS. I had zero trouble focusing, but there were a couple of times where the model had to wait for him because he couldn't land focus for some reason. We were both using center point in one shot mode. I am not, in any way, saying the 6D is a better camera. But in that particular situation my center point did great. In fact, I still haven't found a normal situation where I couldn't focus. Then again, I rarely use the outer points on 6D which I do feel are better on my 5D mark IIIs that I use at work. They really are two different bodies for different audiences, but the 6D can pull it's weight in almost every situation that the 5D mark III can and sometimes it actually does better.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: neuroanatomist on November 04, 2013, 08:39:28 AM
Regarding 1Dx and 5DIII, I thought that they had the same AF system, which was probably the biggest plus of the 5DIII.

They are nearly the same.  The difference is that the 1D X AF system receives information from gets its more sophisticated metering sensor, which allows it to perform face recognition and tracking during phase AF.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: bchernicoff on November 04, 2013, 10:50:09 AM
I've had the Mk III since it launched and received a 6D on Friday. I took it on a hike yesterday with the Sigma 35 and Canon 50 1.2. I used both the center point focus recompose technique and the farthest outside point. We got in late last night and I only glanced through the images after importing, but my initial impression was that focus accuracy was fine. I didn't bring the Mk III or do a side-by-side comparison though.

I will comment that I am surprised by how much lighter and more compact the 6D feels. It feels like more of a joy to take out and shoot than the Mk III which sometimes seems like a burden. I plan to sell the Mk III.

I'll do some editing tonight and post some of the images.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Ruined on November 04, 2013, 11:37:40 AM
There is no doubt the 5DMKIII autofocus technically murders the autofocus on the 6D.

But, a similar autofocus system to the 6D (in fact very slightly worse) was in the 5D and 5D MKII - both of which produced tons of stunning pictures over the years.

Will the 6D require somewhat more skill and planning to get the shots you want compared to a 5D MKIII?  Yes.  Is it insurmountable?  No.  If you have the money and want to spend it, by all means the 5DMKIII is a better camera with better autofocus.  But if you are at all budget limited, the autofocus system of the 6D is not a deal breaker for many popular types of photography.  Just don't expect it to be a sports camera.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: sdsr on November 04, 2013, 11:51:15 AM
Well, the 6D has what is effectively a 1-point AF system.

A bit of an exaggeration...  I often use the outer focal points on my 6D.  Yes, the center point is much better, but the outer points are not bad in decent light.  I can nail shallow DOF with the outer points.

I bought a 5DIII after I had owned a 6D (and 5DII) and can't say I noticed much better accuracy in very low light comparing the 6D and 5DIII (I'm referring to static subjects; I hardly ever shoot anything else).  What is nice, though, is having far more AF points to work with.  Too bad they don't cover a larger area on the viewfinder (it's rather a shock switching from my OM-D, with its (highly accurate) focus points over almost all the image area, back to a FF dslr - doesn't matter which - with the small area of AF coverage).  During the week I rented a Sigma 35mm 1.4 I had no problems with it on the 6D (didn't yet have a 5DIII), though of course a week hardly allows for thorough testing.

If the OP is really concerned about the performance of the 6D with one of the lenses mentioned, why not rent one and find out first hand (assuming you live somewhere where that's an option)?
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Lamora on November 04, 2013, 01:39:56 PM
If you buy the 85mm 1.2L you use it to shoot wide open. A 6D will not make you happy as focus recompose doesn't work that well at f1.2 at close to medium working distances.

The main reason I upgraded to the mark iii was the better spread of AF points. I'm happy I did as using the correct AF points as opposed to focus recompose resulted in way more pictures with accurate focus.

Buy the mark iii and you will be happy. Buy the 6d and you will want to upgrade later.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on November 05, 2013, 02:16:52 AM
Will the 6D require somewhat more skill and planning to get the shots you want compared to a 5D MKIII?  Yes.

You're talking of focus & recompose skill with thin dof, I guess?

One thing I'm experiencing with my 100L and the 6D and I have "learned" to circumvent by taking more frames is that the 6D sometimes produces actual af misses, i.e. the focus is completely elsewhere even though the camera did an af confirm (red dot) - I practically never experience this with my 6d af, though the 60d more often has "micro misses" while the 6d is either spot-on or lost in the woods.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: thgmuffin on November 05, 2013, 04:15:50 AM
Focusing and recomposing wide open doesn't shift the plane of focus? I'm a bit confused on this one...
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: candc on November 05, 2013, 06:17:36 AM
there is a small amount of focus shift due to field curvature. the sensor is flat and not curved like our retinas so something in focus at the sensor center will be slightly front focused at the edges. not a big deal in most cases but with a super shallow dof it could be
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: gigabellone on November 09, 2013, 05:04:05 AM
After a lot more reading of both technical reviews and users' opinions, i'm starting to have doubts about my lens choice. I'm considering 2 cheap but good lenses, the 35/2 IS and the 85/1.8. Since DoF will be larger, will i have a higher chance of accurate focus on a 6D?
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: BL on November 09, 2013, 05:24:00 AM
focus recompose with the 85 L @ 1.2, regardless of your AF system, will prove to be frustrating at best. 

If you're going to shoot the 85L wide open with the 6D, just use the center point and crop for the proper orientation in post.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: bholliman on November 09, 2013, 05:25:45 AM
After a lot more reading of both technical reviews and users' opinions, i'm starting to have doubts about my lens choice. I'm considering 2 cheap but good lenses, the 35/2 IS and the 85/1.8. Since DoF will be larger, will i have a higher chance of accurate focus on a 6D?

I enjoy shallow depth of field photography, but try to keep enough DOF so I can keep both of my subjects eyes and entire face in focus.  That means stepping down a little with fast primes, our in your case could mean buying lenses with a smaller maximum aperture.  The additional DOF also gives you some latitude if your focus is off a little.

The 35/2 IS and 85 1.8 are excellent lenses.  If you don't have the funds for the Sigma 35 and 85 1.2, these are great alternatives.  Even if you do have the funds, it may still be a good decision.  The more expensive lenses advantages may not be worth the additional $$$ to you.  One bonus:  The 85 1.8 autofocuses much faster than the 85 1.2!
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: BL on November 09, 2013, 06:01:30 AM
true that, but when you hit it on the head @ 1.2, it's sublime

proper DOF at 1.2 with any sort of consistency takes A LOT of practice, and for me that's meant relying less on AF and pushing my eyeball mk I's to the limit :P
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Dylan777 on November 09, 2013, 09:08:07 AM
After a lot more reading of both technical reviews and users' opinions, i'm starting to have doubts about my lens choice. I'm considering 2 cheap but good lenses, the 35/2 IS and the 85/1.8. Since DoF will be larger, will i have a higher chance of accurate focus on a 6D?

Get a 5D III. I see your case on this forum quite often. 6D sounds great from the begining due to lower price tag. Once the camera is in your hand and crappy AF becomes crappy, then you wish I have purchased 5D III. Keep in mind, 5D III has DUAL-CROSS type in center, therefore, it helps a lot with large prime(50L, 85L II).
Same thing for those bought 24-105, they thought the lens is "good enough" until they hand on 24-70 II.

Get better gear if you can afford it. It will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

Here are some photos 85L II + 5D III,  jpegs straight from camera, zero PP: http://albums.phanfare.com/isolated/oerWLRdp/1/6253867 (http://albums.phanfare.com/isolated/oerWLRdp/1/6253867)

In term of lenses, 85L II is an EXCELLENT lens for portrait. There is no other 85mm out there can really out perform 85L II @ $2000ish. If you want fast AF with decent bokeh, then get 135L.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: TommyLee on November 09, 2013, 09:44:50 AM
had a 5D II and used it with my 35L and 85L II
nice gear all around...

then
when I got the 5D3...the lenses came alive .... all over the place....finally
accurate, more reliably sharper.... all points ar4e now useful....
(both cameras having been set up with MA)

then the sigma 35 replaced the 35L ... wow ...buh bye ...Canon
and the new SYSTEM with these 2  lenses is great... 
I love this pair walking the city as the sun arrives... ...the sigma keeps up with the 85L - IMO
I also carry the 14L.... it is nice...within its own limits

likely.... these two fast primes are the only stuff that works (for me) in low light of a bar / jazz club....
....and at the outer points too.... much better than the 5D II...
my 35 sig DOES work fast accurate and on outer points....

as for the 6D...have not used one... but I 'understand' the centerpoint is the reliable option..

my vote - for you - is for the 5D III

the two primes are the correct ones...
I also have the 135L...lovely,,,, but not the same ability as the 85L II... for what I like...

yes 135 is faster to focus ...and  better for some work... and with a flash ...likely beats the 85L..
but for those very low light ...special shots... the sigma the 35 and 85 and a 5D3  are where it art..

in my opinion

TOM
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Pi on November 09, 2013, 09:49:43 AM
focus recompose with the 85 L @ 1.2, regardless of your AF system, will prove to be frustrating at best. 

If you're going to shoot the 85L wide open with the 6D, just use the center point and crop for the proper orientation in post.

It depends how far you focus. If it is far enough, DOF is deep enough, F&R errors are negligible, and any 5D series camera will do. 

Here is a set shot with the 50L and the 85L with the 5D2, wide open, sometimes focused with an outer AF point. Pixelpeeping reveals no problems with the focus.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/105206784@N04/sets/72157637479450743/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/105206784@N04/sets/72157637479450743/)
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: bholliman on November 09, 2013, 05:05:30 PM

Get a 5D III. I see your case on this forum quite often. 6D sounds great from the begining due to lower price tag. Once the camera is in your hand and crappy AF becomes crappy, then you wish I have purchased 5D III.

I've taken hundreds of great, in-focus, shallow DOF portraits in the past 11 month with my 6D at a very high keeper rate.  I didn't realize until now that wasn't possible with my 6D with its "crappy" AF  ::).  I better put it up for sale now and start looking for a 5D3... ;)

Sorry for the sarcasm, but it really IS possible to take good pictures with something less than a 1Dx or 5D3.  The 6D can handle shallow DOF photography if good technique is used.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: candc on November 09, 2013, 06:54:17 PM
From what I have seen and read the 6d AF is really good in low light but its just the 9 point spread which is okay for most situations. I have been shooting more birds and wildlife lately and using the 70d. I really like the better coverage and the buton to toggle single, zone and area modes.to me the extra cost of the 5diii over the 6d would be worth it for the even better yet AF system
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: BL on November 09, 2013, 10:55:18 PM
From what I have seen and read the 6d AF is really good in low light but its just the 9 point spread which is okay

i believe it's 11 points, but it's a shame those extra 2 points don't make it much of an upgrade over the aging 9pt configuration
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Dylan777 on November 10, 2013, 12:26:35 AM

Get a 5D III. I see your case on this forum quite often. 6D sounds great from the begining due to lower price tag. Once the camera is in your hand and crappy AF becomes crappy, then you wish I have purchased 5D III.

I've taken hundreds of great, in-focus, shallow DOF portraits in the past 11 month with my 6D at a very high keeper rate.  I didn't realize until now that wasn't possible with my 6D with its "crappy" AF  ::).  I better put it up for sale now and start looking for a 5D3... ;)

Sorry for the sarcasm, but it really IS possible to take good pictures with something less than a 1Dx or 5D3.  The 6D can handle shallow DOF photography if good technique is used.

Sorry for the confusion. Yes, I agree 6D is a great camera for still shooting or tracking 90yrs old grandma crossing the street.

I wouldn't buy my 2nd 5D III if 6D is capable doing something like this in AI Servo: http://albums.phanfare.com/isolated/t302HPVC/1/6306064#imageID=201922532 (http://albums.phanfare.com/isolated/t302HPVC/1/6306064#imageID=201922532)

You have anything with 6D in AI servo to share? because I'm not an expert tracking moving subject with just center point.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on November 10, 2013, 01:01:47 AM
I'm about to spend a significant (for my finances) amount of money on a new Canon full frame body, it is going to be either a 6D or a 5D3. The plan is to get the camera body and 2 very fast primes: Sigma 35/1.4 and Canon 85/1.2. The 6D has got what i want and costs about 1000€ less than the 5D3, but given the fact that the DoF with fast primes is going to be tiny to say the least, how is the supposedly "simplistic" 6D AF system going to perform? The main fields of application will be travel and street photography, family portraits, some landscapes, the occasional event, and everything will happen just for the sake of it, i'm not trying to make a living out of my hobby (or else i wouldn't have such quantity of money to squander on gear :D ). I just don't want to spend a significant amount of money and be disappointed by a quirky AF behavior. I would like to hear from owners of these cameras and lenses, lots of online researches and reading still aren't enough to make up my mind.

I've written on this forum extensively about this, and am getting tired of it.  I've tried the 5D3, the 1DX, the 1Ds3, the 1D4, the 5D2...and I recently passed 11,000 shutter count on my 6D.

If you're a perfectionist about razor sharp focus accuracy as many on here claim they are...(but you are somehow also not caring a wit about luminance noise above ISO 1000, because the 5D3 has it in spades and the 6D's is far better)...and you will be spending much of your time using the outer focus points to achieve focus with a fast prime (something that is asking for trouble with the 6D's AF sensor)...then FORGET THE 6D and buy the 5D3.

You claim this is a lot of money for you...it was for me too.  But apparently you're still going to spend more than I did over such a short amount of time.  6D + those two lenses = approx. $4650.  Therefore, you might as well go ahead and get the 5D3, because if you've got the cash to blow on the 85 f/1.2, then you've got plenty of disposable income in my opinion, to spring for the 5D3.  At nearly $5000 spent in one day, what's another grand or so? 

I made the right decision for me, because I didn't need the snob appeal of owning the higher priced body, and I cared more about image quality in the ISO range between 1000 and 10,000...than perhaps a portrait photographer would (who uses a 5D3 in a studio with strobes and fast primes...at ISO's under 1000...where the 5D3's noise level and DR are easily as good or better than the 6D).  I mostly shoot landscape and wildlife, and I get by fine with the 6D.  Frankly if I were a wedding photographer who somehow always wanted to shoot running children at the wedding with only outer AF points on an 85 f/1.2 (you know, so I could get the framing just right along the rule of thirds and blah blah blah), I would have bought the 1DX, and forgot all about the 5D3 (as many have).

I've only used two fast primes on my 6D so far (three actually, but only two of them can autofocus).  The 135 f/2 cannot AF as fast or as accurate as I would like on the 6D, at least in low light.  It works, but servo AF with all points active, is asking for trouble, and results in inaccurate AF at or near wide open aperture.  The reason is the outer points are basically crap, they only sense phase differences in one direction, and are especially upset by a lens whose maximum aperture is wider/faster than f/4. 

Worst of all, the 6D's processing seems to give these outer points priority while in servo mode.  Even though there's plenty of phase to detect at the center point, somehow it's not lighting up.  Eventually Canon or ML will fix this, or they won't...I don't know.

This is one of several reasons that so many people gleefully bash the 6D and/or its autofocus ability.  Another reason is they need to chest thump about how proud they are of themselves for owning the 5D3 and earning $15k a week with it shooting weddings, Vogue covers, and the Miss Universe pageant, etc etc.

The fastest and most accurate AF with my 6D, is achieved with my 70-200 f/4...even in very low light.  Still, about 90% of the time I am in servo AF mode, I leave center point only active (no matter what lens is attached).  The other fast prime I've used, is the much maligned Sigma 24mm f/1.8.  It exhibits similar behavior to the 135.  The biggest difference with this Sigma, is that the autofocus micro adjustment changes every time I use it.  I suspect the focus motor(s) are somehow going askew every time I put the lens cap on...so the solution is to leave it off!  It's not a "usm" motor so I'm sure that is a factor.  It's still a very fun lens to use, though.

My third fast prime is a Cosina Voigtlander 58mm f/1.4 Nokton in Nikon mount, with a chipped adaptor that allows focus confirmation.  All I can say here, is the focus confirmation seems to work very accurately even with the outer points...but the final results are really still not as good as an autofocus lens.  So for critical focus with this lens, I use live view.

If any of this has helped you at all, then you need to lend me those two lenses, one at a time...for three weeks each.  Thanks and you're welcome!   
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on November 10, 2013, 01:14:43 AM

Get a 5D III. I see your case on this forum quite often. 6D sounds great from the begining due to lower price tag. Once the camera is in your hand and crappy AF becomes crappy, then you wish I have purchased 5D III.

I've taken hundreds of great, in-focus, shallow DOF portraits in the past 11 month with my 6D at a very high keeper rate.  I didn't realize until now that wasn't possible with my 6D with its "crappy" AF  ::).  I better put it up for sale now and start looking for a 5D3... ;)

Sorry for the sarcasm, but it really IS possible to take good pictures with something less than a 1Dx or 5D3.  The 6D can handle shallow DOF photography if good technique is used.

I agree, but 1DX and 5D3 owners don't care, not really.  I say if the "1DXi" ("1DX2", or whatever it will be called) and the 5D4 still have as much luminance noise as the current models do in the range between ISO 1000 and 10,000, I'll still be using my 6D, or else have sold it and bought a new 6D by then.  It's amusing to me how these guys claim to be such sharp focus freaks when shooting action, yet somehow the luminance noise that is 5 to 8 pixels diameter on both the 5D3 and 1DX, doesn't seem to bother them.  It's quite ugly when viewing at 1:1, and the only solution is to apply so much NR that your precious 22 MP or 18 MP image, becomes the equal in resolution of an 8 MP image...where's all that "sharpness" then?  It's gone, that's where.  Sure, the 5D3 and 1DX have less chrominance (color) noise than the 6D above ISO 10,000...but who cares?  There's enough of all types of noise above there, along with even less DR, to not brag too much about noise levels from any of these three cameras.  But below 10,000 is where low light (and occasionally high speed in average light)...wildlife photography lives.  Sure the 6D's AF sensor needs vast improvement, but it works far better than the bashers have to keep telling themselves that it does.

Here's another thought.  Rather than always leaving the camera in servo AF mode, why not try single shot mode with multiple half presses of the shutter?  That works fantastic on the 6D, on anything travelling slower than a hummingbird, racecar, or perhaps a radio controlled turbine jet model plane doing a low pass at 300 mph...I like to use the DOF preview button on my 6D, as the shortcut to engage servo AF, for those times when I need it.  The button's placement is ideal for hand-holding a 70-200 lens (or most any lens other than a supertelephoto)... for example.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Pi on November 10, 2013, 01:24:04 AM
You have anything with 6D in AI servo to share? because I'm not an expert tracking moving subject with just center point.

What does AI servo has to do with this thread?
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Dylan777 on November 10, 2013, 01:29:52 AM
You have anything with 6D in AI servo to share? because I'm not an expert tracking moving subject with just center point.

What does AI servo has to do with this thread?

OP asked - " I just don't want to spend a significant amount of money and be disappointed by a quirky AF behavior" - unless you think that is not important.

I want to avoid seeing another thread like this: http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=17492.0 (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=17492.0)
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on November 10, 2013, 01:33:57 AM
You have anything with 6D in AI servo to share? because I'm not an expert tracking moving subject with just center point.

What does AI servo has to do with this thread?

OP asked " I just don't want to spend a significant amount of money and be disappointed by a quirky AF behavior", unless you think that is not important.

I say for anyone about to spend $5000 or $6000 in one day...they're foolish if they don't try both cameras along with those lenses, first.  It's called renting, or maybe go to a photography club meeting and find someone who will let you borrow something for a day or two.

I missed that other thread you're referring to, but I don't feel the need to read it.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Pi on November 10, 2013, 01:51:24 AM
OP asked - " I just don't want to spend a significant amount of money and be disappointed by a quirky AF behavior" - unless you think that is not important.

Yes, I do think that tracking fast moving subjects is not important for most people. I think that if the OP wanted to do that, he would have specifically asked for it. Besides, tracking at f/1.2 or f/1.4 will be frustrating anyway.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on November 10, 2013, 02:06:34 AM
OP asked - " I just don't want to spend a significant amount of money and be disappointed by a quirky AF behavior" - unless you think that is not important.

Yes, I do think that tracking fast moving subjects is not important for most people. I think that if the OP wanted to do that, he would have specifically asked for it. Besides, tracking at f/1.2 or f/1.4 will be frustrating anyway.

Agreed.  Most everybody who really has a need for servo tracking, is using an f/2.8 zoom or prime telephoto lens.  I admit I've not used a 70-200 f/2.8, or a supertelephoto, on my 6D yet.  Certainly the 5D3's autofocus would be better for this.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: bholliman on November 10, 2013, 07:48:32 AM
You have anything with 6D in AI servo to share? because I'm not an expert tracking moving subject with just center point.


Yes, I do think that tracking fast moving subjects is not important for most people. I think that if the OP wanted to do that, he would have specifically asked for it. Besides, tracking at f/1.2 or f/1.4 will be frustrating anyway.

What does AI servo has to do with this thread?

+1  AI servo is not relevant to this thread as the OP is talking about portraits.


I say for anyone about to spend $5000 or $6000 in one day...they're foolish if they don't try both cameras along with those lenses, first.  It's called renting, or maybe go to a photography club meeting and find someone who will let you borrow something for a day or two.

Agreed
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Dylan777 on November 10, 2013, 10:26:37 AM
You have anything with 6D in AI servo to share? because I'm not an expert tracking moving subject with just center point.


Yes, I do think that tracking fast moving subjects is not important for most people. I think that if the OP wanted to do that, he would have specifically asked for it. Besides, tracking at f/1.2 or f/1.4 will be frustrating anyway.

What does AI servo has to do with this thread?

+1  AI servo is not relevant to this thread as the OP is talking about portraits.


I say for anyone about to spend $5000 or $6000 in one day...they're foolish if they don't try both cameras along with those lenses, first.  It's called renting, or maybe go to a photography club meeting and find someone who will let you borrow something for a day or two.

Agreed

Portrait is not the only thing OP does - "The main fields of application will be travel and street photography, family portraits, some landscapes, the occasional event, and everything will happen just for the sake of it, i'm not trying to make a living out of my hobby"
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Dylan777 on November 10, 2013, 10:29:49 AM
OP asked - " I just don't want to spend a significant amount of money and be disappointed by a quirky AF behavior" - unless you think that is not important.

Yes, I do think that tracking fast moving subjects is not important for most people. I think that if the OP wanted to do that, he would have specifically asked for it. Besides, tracking at f/1.2 or f/1.4 will be frustrating anyway.

Where did you get that data from? If tracking fast moving subject is not important, then why settle with big & heavy DSLR. There are FF mirrorless cameras out there.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: bholliman on November 10, 2013, 12:54:02 PM
Portrait is not the only thing OP does - "The main fields of application will be travel and street photography, family portraits, some landscapes, the occasional event, and everything will happen just for the sake of it, i'm not trying to make a living out of my hobby"

Personally, I don't use AI servo for any of these (travel, street, family portraits, landscapes, events).  Maybe others do, it I get along pretty well using single shot for these and AI servo for sports and wildlife.  If I used AI servo more than the 2% of the time I use it now, I would probably be looking for a camera with better AF.  But since I'm using single-shot mode 98% of the time, the 6D is a good fit

The 5D3 is an excellent camera, but not every photographer needs one.  For some the 6D, 70D, T5i, SL1, S120, etc. are all the camera they need.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: gigabellone on November 10, 2013, 02:58:24 PM
Thanks again for all the replies, i really need all the help i can get. But i reckon my first post is somewhat lacking information.
I've been shooting since 2011 with a 550d/t2i with kit lenses, sigma 10-20 and a nifty fifty. I'm overall pleased with the camera (not as much of my pictures, there are only a handful i'm proud to show), i enjoyed using it, and i think it's a lot of bang for the little bucks it costs. Now that i moved away to work i left my gear home for my family to use, and wanted to make myself a cool gift.
I think i used af tracking once just to test it, it wasn't that great, and i never felt the need of it during my shooting sessions. All my subjects are somewhat static and generally willing to be photographed, so speed isn't as important for me as accuracy is. The most challenging situation i could get into would be taking candid portraits in a dimly lit room. I'm also starting to have doubts about my lens choice, maybe my will to get a 85/1.2 could be a severe case of gear lust! :D Do you think that a 6d with a 35/2 IS or a 85/1.8 would have a good keepers rate with the outer focus points?
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Pi on November 10, 2013, 03:04:37 PM
I'm also starting to have doubts about my lens choice, maybe my will to get a 85/1.2 could be a severe case of gear lust! :D Do you think that a 6d with a 35/2 IS or a 85/1.8 would have a good keepers rate with the outer focus points?

85mm might be too long in a room. For "environmental portraits", 35mm or 50mm is better, IMO.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: gigabellone on November 12, 2013, 06:23:23 AM
85mm might be too long in a room. For "environmental portraits", 35mm or 50mm is better, IMO.
I agree on that, that's why the foundation of my lens kit will be a 35mm prime, most probably the Canon 35/2 IS. The Sigma seems the hottest right now, but i'm a little scared about its AF, and i still haven't found a reassuring review of the Sigma USB Dock. I can hold on a bit on the 85, since there's a rumor about lots of lenses to be released during 2014, and i guess there will be a 50 or a 85 (or both) in the bunch.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: bholliman on November 12, 2013, 06:48:10 AM
I agree on that, that's why the foundation of my lens kit will be a 35mm prime, most probably the Canon 35/2 IS. The Sigma seems the hottest right now, but i'm a little scared about its AF, and i still haven't found a reassuring review of the Sigma USB Dock. I can hold on a bit on the 85, since there's a rumor about lots of lenses to be released during 2014, and i guess there will be a 50 or a 85 (or both) in the bunch.

A new 85 could be in the works, only Canon knows for sure.  But, it could be a long wait.  If I was in your situation, I would pick up an 85 1.8 now, equipment prices have been terrific this fall.  You can always sell the 1.8 later and make back 80%+ of what you spent.  And will be able to take some great pictures in the mean time that won't be possible with just a 35mm.

35mm is a nice general purpose focal length, but not ideal for portraits beyond environmental, group shots or full body shots.  For tight portraits you want 85mm plus.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: jeffa4444 on November 12, 2013, 09:16:28 AM
Ive recently bought the 6d and will be retaining my 7d. Firstly Ive not tried the 5dMK3 so cannot comment about it but of the few photographs Ive taken with the 6d Im more than happy with the camera. I mostly shoot landscape in single shot mode and the resolution improvement over the 7d is really noticable. I shot some night shots with the 6d of a street scene with tunsten lighting in the rain at 10,000 ISO I was amazed at the minimum noise and the sharpness of a number plate on a car that was almost black. I agree the AF points at 11 with only the centre a cross point is not the right combination for wildlife, sports etc but then again this is where the 7d still excels by extending the affective focal lengh and its 19 cross point AF tracking.
Right tools for the right job.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: RustyTheGeek on November 12, 2013, 10:05:51 AM
I have a headache this morning but I still read through this thread and agree with what most are saying regarding the 6D.  It's not for sports.  Everything else it shines for.  And why are you only buying two prime lenses?  Get the 24-105 + 6D kit and also buy the primes.  It's a great combo.  I own both the 5D3 and the 6D and all I can say is you won't be disappointed with the 6D for what you want to do with it.  I admit that 99% of the time I shoot center AF point  but it works great with all the lenses I've used it with.  It's a great camera.  With all the deals available right now, what do you have to lose?  Buy it cheap now while you can and rent a 5D3 and see if it really matters.  If the 5D3 is so much better, sell the 6D for a profit in the spring and buy the 5D3.  The profit will pay for your "rental" of the 6D and the rental of the 5D3 if you switch.  If you don't switch, you saved a lot of money to buy another lens.

Heck, maybe buy the 6D and the 70D and increase your reach, video creativity and have sports ability too!

Remember, it's the photographer that takes the picture, not the camera.  I've taken thousands of great images with my 5Dc and I never even bothered to buy the 5D2.  I bought the 5D3 a year after it came out and it sucked at low light AF.  So much so that I bought the 6D which stomped all over the 5D3 in low light.  Finally Canon released a firmware in April that improved the 5D3 AF enough that I use it more now in low light.  But the 6D has never disappointed me.  The one issue I have at the moment with the 6D (that isn't Canon's fault) is that my Sunpak RD2000 flash doesn't do ETTL consistently on the 6D.  That's Sunpak's problem, not Canon's.  Still waiting on Sunpak's firmware update too.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: anthonyd on November 12, 2013, 12:06:25 PM
I've never tried the 5DIII, but I have a hard time seeing how you can be disappointed by the AF in the 6D.  Granted, I don't do sports, and I always use the central point for focusing anyway.  I used a 6D for a wedding after using a 60D for years.  It's not just a step up, but a large step up in every aspect (so it should be a huge leap coming from a Rebel).  The AF was always fast (enough) and accurate.  The only time it was slow enough to be noticed was in very very dark situations, but even then the camera still acquired focus.

Here is a picture I took at a wedding reception (1/160 f/5.0).  There is clearly motion, the ISO is somewhat high (1600) and the light is very dim.  The couple is illuminated by my flash gun, look in the background to assess the ambient light and keep in mind that the flash did not assist during AF. The second image is a 50% detail from the area I was actually focusing on. The third and forth image (1/60 f/5.0 iso1600) is a situation where I could barely see the DJ with my eyes (all the lights are in front of him and all the light in the picture comes from my flash that did not assist AF), but the camera acquired focus anyway! In this case, I have to admit, it took a noticeable amount of time. If I had to give a ballpark number, I would say more than 1/4 sec.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: gigabellone on November 12, 2013, 12:12:56 PM
Ive recently bought the 6d and will be retaining my 7d. Firstly Ive not tried the 5dMK3 so cannot comment about it but of the few photographs Ive taken with the 6d Im more than happy with the camera. I mostly shoot landscape in single shot mode and the resolution improvement over the 7d is really noticable. I shot some night shots with the 6d of a street scene with tunsten lighting in the rain at 10,000 ISO I was amazed at the minimum noise and the sharpness of a number plate on a car that was almost black. I agree the AF points at 11 with only the centre a cross point is not the right combination for wildlife, sports etc but then again this is where the 7d still excels by extending the affective focal lengh and its 19 cross point AF tracking.
Right tools for the right job.

I have a headache this morning but I still read through this thread and agree with what most are saying regarding the 6D.  It's not for sports.  Everything else it shines for.  And why are you only buying two prime lenses?  Get the 24-105 + 6D kit and also buy the primes.  It's a great combo.  I own both the 5D3 and the 6D and all I can say is you won't be disappointed with the 6D for what you want to do with it.  I admit that 99% of the time I shoot center AF point  but it works great with all the lenses I've used it with.  It's a great camera.  With all the deals available right now, what do you have to lose?  Buy it cheap now while you can and rent a 5D3 and see if it really matters.  If the 5D3 is so much better, sell the 6D for a profit in the spring and buy the 5D3.  The profit will pay for your "rental" of the 6D and the rental of the 5D3 if you switch.  If you don't switch, you saved a lot of money to buy another lens.

Heck, maybe buy the 6D and the 70D and increase your reach, video creativity and have sports ability too!

Remember, it's the photographer that takes the picture, not the camera.  I've taken thousands of great images with my 5Dc and I never even bothered to buy the 5D2.  I bought the 5D3 a year after it came out and it sucked at low light AF.  So much so that I bought the 6D which stomped all over the 5D3 in low light.  Finally Canon released a firmware in April that improved the 5D3 AF enough that I use it more now in low light.  But the 6D has never disappointed me.  The one issue I have at the moment with the 6D (that isn't Canon's fault) is that my Sunpak RD2000 flash doesn't do ETTL consistently on the 6D.  That's Sunpak's problem, not Canon's.  Still waiting on Sunpak's firmware update too.

Sadly, renting cameras is not an option here in Italy.
My main problem is that the 5D3 is overkill for me: too many AF points that i won't use, and a hefty price tag which is very hard to swallow. Heck, even the 6D is slightly overkill for me: while the wifi is a cool feature to have, i could live without it, and i don't see myself using the gps. For everything else, i know the 6D is the appropriate camera for me. My only worry is related to its outer AF points. Is it really that bad? This guy loves the camera (http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2013/09/11/review-the-canon-6d-with-sigma-35-1-4-art-and-canon-85-1-2l/), he's even using the ultra-fast 85/1.2 with apparently no issues while many forum users here and elsewhere keep bashing the outer AF points. I'm really confused.

I've never tried the 5DIII, but I have a hard time seeing how you can be disappointed by the AF in the 6D.  Granted, I don't do sports, and I always use the central point for focusing anyway.  I used a 6D for a wedding after using a 60D for years.  It's not just a step up, but a large step up in every aspect (so it should be a huge leap coming from a Rebel).  The AF was always fast (enough) and accurate.  The only time it was slow enough to be noticed was in very very dark situations, but even then the camera still acquired focus.

Here is a picture I took at a wedding reception (1/160 f/5.0).  There is clearly motion, the ISO is somewhat high (1600) and the light is very dim.  The couple is illuminated by my flash gun, look in the background to assess the ambient light and keep in mind that the flash did not assist during AF. The second image is a 50% detail from the area I was actually focusing on. The third and forth image (1/60 f/5.0 iso1600) is a situation where I could barely see the DJ with my eyes (all the lights are in front of him and all the light in the picture comes from my flash that did not assist AF), but the camera acquired focus anyway! In this case, I have to admit, it took a noticeable amount of time. If I had to give a ballpark number, I would say more than 1/4 sec.

Thanks for the feedback. What about the outer AF points? Have you tried to use them with a fast prime? Are they really that bad?
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on November 12, 2013, 12:54:10 PM
My only worry is related to its outer AF points. Is it really that bad?Thanks for the feedback. What about the outer AF points? Have you tried to use them with a fast prime? Are they really that bad?

One slightly "bad" thing about the outer af points is that they only have f5.6 precision, so the faster your lens is the more slightly out of focus images you'll get - but with a really fast prime that probably also happen with the f2.8 center point so you should know something about manual focus. How much this hurts is very depending on what you do.

Two really "bad" things about the outer points are more severe though since you cannot work around these: They only work up to 0.5LV (like my 60d, and this means dim light = no more or incredibly slow af) and they are not cross so they'll often fail to focus on low-contrast surfaces, you still have to focus & recompose on something they can lock on - an then you can simply use the center point to begin with. In good light this often won't be a problem, but in dim light it adds up and the 6d is essentially a one point af camera.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: bholliman on November 12, 2013, 03:20:53 PM
many forum users here and elsewhere keep bashing the outer AF points. I'm really confused.

Many of those bashing the 6D's AF have never used a 6D

What about the outer AF points? Have you tried to use them with a fast prime? Are they really that bad?

I use the outer points with fast primes all the time (50 1.4 and 130 2.0) and they work well in decent light.  In poor light, I use the center point and crop.  That doesn't happen often since I try to take pictures in good light.  Even though the 6D is a premier low-light camera, shots taken at ISO 3200 and up never look as good as those taken a more reasonable ISO's.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: emag on November 12, 2013, 05:31:43 PM
Used my shiny new 6D with a Sigma 70-200/2.8 at a roller derby match a couple nights ago.  No flash, a number of missed shots due to action.  Center point worked quite well.  I got about a 50% keeper rate, not bad for a camera that's really not intended for sports action and an old guy with little experience at this type of shooting.  Did this only because one of my co-workers was playing, if I was planning to do a lot of this type of work I'd have gone with a 5D3 for the AF..........that said, the 6D did well and I'm pleased.  I really couldn't push Tv beyond 1/400, and that was uncommon.  ISO 10,000 and even 12,800 looked good for what it was.  25,600 was a bit too noisy but I'll see how well thay can be cleaned up.  Could not have done it at all with my 60D.  It's a small venue and they have a team photog who gave me a few looks.  I went over to him and told him I was just trying out a new camera, we then yakked cameras for a while, 'twas all cool.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: ashmadux on November 12, 2013, 10:04:32 PM
Will the 6D require somewhat more skill and planning to get the shots you want compared to a 5D MKIII?  Yes.

You're talking of focus & recompose skill with thin dof, I guess?

One thing I'm experiencing with my 100L and the 6D and I have "learned" to circumvent by taking more frames is that the 6D sometimes produces actual af misses, i.e. the focus is completely elsewhere even though the camera did an af confirm (red dot) - I practically never experience this with my 6d af, though the 60d more often has "micro misses" while the 6d is either spot-on or lost in the woods.

This.

I've been testing a refurb 6d for a week now. The AF is abominable. AF misses plenty. This is both after focal calibration - twice - and tuning by hand.

I'm now deciding whether to keep the body and get it repaired, or to return it entirely. Still not sure what to do.

Lastly, I'm pretty disappointed at the 6ds sharpness. Images - when accurate- are pretty soft out of camera. Not one image has any of the clarity from my t2i files. I'm not so sure it's the AF entirely, as I've been viewing raw files from around the net and they all show the same soft, oily looking effects.

 >:( :(

Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Pi on November 12, 2013, 10:07:34 PM
Lastly, I'm pretty disappointed at the 6ds sharpness. Images - when accurate- are pretty soft out of camera. Not one image has any of the clarity from my t2i files. I'm not so sure it's the AF entirely, as I've been viewing raw files from around the net and they all show the same soft, oily looking effects.

How do you view RAW files?
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Janbo Makimbo on November 12, 2013, 10:26:43 PM
Will the 6D require somewhat more skill and planning to get the shots you want compared to a 5D MKIII?  Yes.

You're talking of focus & recompose skill with thin dof, I guess?

One thing I'm experiencing with my 100L and the 6D and I have "learned" to circumvent by taking more frames is that the 6D sometimes produces actual af misses, i.e. the focus is completely elsewhere even though the camera did an af confirm (red dot) - I practically never experience this with my 6d af, though the 60d more often has "micro misses" while the 6d is either spot-on or lost in the woods.

This.

I've been testing a refurb 6d for a week now. The AF is abominable. AF misses plenty. This is both after focal calibration - twice - and tuning by hand.

I'm now deciding whether to keep the body and get it repaired, or to return it entirely. Still not sure what to do.

Lastly, I'm pretty disappointed at the 6ds sharpness. Images - when accurate- are pretty soft out of camera. Not one image has any of the clarity from my t2i files. I'm not so sure it's the AF entirely, as I've been viewing raw files from around the net and they all show the same soft, oily looking effects.

 >:( :(

Perhaps you could look in the 6D Gallery, lots of lovely in focus pictures...either you have a bad copy, bad lens or user error!!
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: ashmadux on November 12, 2013, 10:52:46 PM
Will the 6D require somewhat more skill and planning to get the shots you want compared to a 5D MKIII?  Yes.

You're talking of focus & recompose skill with thin dof, I guess?

One thing I'm experiencing with my 100L and the 6D and I have "learned" to circumvent by taking more frames is that the 6D sometimes produces actual af misses, i.e. the focus is completely elsewhere even though the camera did an af confirm (red dot) - I practically never experience this with my 6d af, though the 60d more often has "micro misses" while the 6d is either spot-on or lost in the woods.

This.

I've been testing a refurb 6d for a week now. The AF is abominable. AF misses plenty. This is both after focal calibration - twice - and tuning by hand.

I'm now deciding whether to keep the body and get it repaired, or to return it entirely. Still not sure what to do.

Lastly, I'm pretty disappointed at the 6ds sharpness. Images - when accurate- are pretty soft out of camera. Not one image has any of the clarity from my t2i files. I'm not so sure it's the AF entirely, as I've been viewing raw files from around the net and they all show the same soft, oily looking effects.

 >:( :(

Perhaps you could look in the 6D Gallery, lots of lovely in focus pictures...either you have a bad copy, bad lens or user error!!

I'm sure the AF problems are working for some out there...but for me it's been a week of WTFs. I always love when canon snds equipment that they barely check...it's happened to me many times before. You don't want to endure what I did with a 7d.

  Good lenses, good user, so it's the body. I'll decide by morning, after reviewing some more unprocessed raw files. I'm leaning to send it back.

Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on November 13, 2013, 03:16:08 AM
I've been testing a refurb 6d for a week now. The AF is abominable. AF misses plenty. This is both after focal calibration - twice - and tuning by hand.

With my f2.8 lens the 6D center af is not great because it sometimes misses, but certainly not that bad - I'd say the real failure rate is 1 in 25-50 shots. Otherwise the center af point is more precise than my 60D in stills shooting, so I'd say there's really something amiss with your copy.

Lastly, I'm pretty disappointed at the 6ds sharpness. Images - when accurate- are pretty soft out of camera. Not one image has any of the clarity from my t2i files. I'm not so sure it's the AF entirely, as I've been viewing raw files from around the net and they all show the same soft, oily looking effects.

In this case it isn't your af. First off, the 6d is tuned for high iso so files at low iso are somewhat less sharp than 5d3 which itself is less sharp than 5d2 - but to a degree that shouldn't matter much in real life shooting.

What you a experiencing is the "ff look" which can be a bit irritating when coming from crop - also the lenses look completely different on ff vs. crop (shallower dof, different bokeh and sharpness). The noisier crop images can be indeed be perceived as "crisp" was also my very first reaction with my new 6d - I got used to it and now use my 60d for macro where the "crop look" seems to be better, next to the deeper depth of field.

Last not least ff raw files need more postprocessing than crop, they look flat and blurrier than crop - this changes even after a very small degree of tuning, but if you're the sooc type this might be disappointing, in this case get a 70d and better lenses.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: gigabellone on November 13, 2013, 04:41:19 AM
I found this very informative post about the Canon EOS AF system (http://www.the-digital-picture.com/photography-tips/Canon-EOS-DSLR-Autofocus-Explained.aspx), courtesy of our exceptional fellow forum member Neuroanatomist.

These are the specs of the AF sensor mounted into the 6D (taken here (https://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/cameras/slr_cameras/eos_6d#Specifications)):
Code: [Select]
AF Points
11 points

Center: cross-type at f/5.6; vertical line-sensitive at f/2.8.

Upper and lower AF points: vertical line-sensitive AF at f/5.6.

Other AF points: Horizontal line-sensitive AF at f/5.6.

AF Working Range
Center AF Point: EV -3 to 18 (at 73°F/23°C, ISO 100)

Other AF points: EV +0.5 to 18 (at 73°F/23°C, ISO 100)

While these are the specs of the AF sensor mounted into the 550D/T2i (taken here (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos550d/2)):
Code: [Select]
• 9-point CMOS sensor
• F5.6 cross-type at center, extra sensitivity at F2.8
• AF working range: -0.5 to 18 EV (at 23°C, ISO 100)

Comparing the two systems brings to a very disappointing conclusion: the 6D sports an AF sensor which is only marginally better than a 3 years old camera costing 1/4 of its price, and in some ways even less capable of the AF sensor built into an entry level dslr costing 1/3: the 650D sports 9 cross-type points up to f/5.6, sensitivity -0.5 to 18 EV.
I know, that central AF point is really good, but still, i'm not very excited about spending 1400€ (after mail in rebates) on a camera with great AF performance in the center, and the same AF system of my 3 years old entry level dslr on other points.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on November 13, 2013, 04:58:23 AM
Comparing the two systems brings to a very disappointing conclusion: the 6D sports an AF sensor which is only marginally better than a 3 years old camera costing 1/4 of its price, and in some ways even less capable of the AF sensor built into an entry level dslr costing 1/3: the 650D sports 9 cross-type points up to f/5.6, sensitivity -0.5 to 18 EV.

I agree the 6d af system is mediocre esp. for the price, but you're forgetting two major points not in the specs you posted:

* precision: The 6d af is more precise than the 5d2, and way more precise than the older Rebels, meaning if you focus a couple of times on the same target you're more likely to get the same result with the 6d (see lensrentals on this). I know this issue from the 60d and am used to take a couple of shots for safety, but with the 6d the af ends up where it is supposed to be.

* af point size: This is not thanks to Canon, but anyway - the af points vs. sensor size are smaller on the 6d, which means it's easier to focus on small details with the 6d. The one crop camera that addresses this is the 7d with spot af, but alas, this feature has been removed on the 70d again.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Pi on November 13, 2013, 11:54:59 AM
Comparing the two systems brings to a very disappointing conclusion: the 6D sports an AF sensor which is only marginally better than a 3 years old camera costing 1/4 of its price, and in some ways even less capable of the AF sensor built into an entry level dslr costing 1/3: the 650D sports 9 cross-type points up to f/5.6, sensitivity -0.5 to 18 EV.

* precision: The 6d af is more precise than the 5d2, and way more precise than the older Rebels, meaning if you focus a couple of times on the same target you're more likely to get the same result with the 6d (see lensrentals on this). I know this issue from the 60d and am used to take a couple of shots for safety, but with the 6d the af ends up where it is supposed to be.


+1. Size (format) matters. I still remember when I went from the 50D to the 5D2 years ago. On paper, the 50D had more advanced AF (and I owned two of them). I was amazed how much better the 5D2 was then, and I am still amazed now.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: bholliman on November 13, 2013, 12:00:11 PM
Comparing the two systems brings to a very disappointing conclusion: the 6D sports an AF sensor which is only marginally better than a 3 years old camera costing 1/4 of its price, and in some ways even less capable of the AF sensor built into an entry level dslr costing 1/3: the 650D sports 9 cross-type points up to f/5.6, sensitivity -0.5 to 18 EV.
I know, that central AF point is really good, but still, i'm not very excited about spending 1400€ (after mail in rebates) on a camera with great AF performance in the center, and the same AF system of my 3 years old entry level dslr on other points.

My first DSLR was a 550D and I now have a 6D.  The 550D's auto focus does not compare with the 6D's, regardless of how close the specs look on paper.  The 6D's AF is faster and more accurate.

You really need to try a 6D out yourself to see if it performs to your expectations.  If you can't rent one where you live, do you know any other photographers who would loan you theirs for a few hours or days?  Is there a local retail store where you could do hands-on comparisons with other bodies?
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: MLfan3 on November 13, 2013, 01:19:42 PM
many people seem to hate the 6D AF system but it is actually very reliable at least the center point is.
the center AF point of it is more sensitive than any AF point of the 1DX , the 5D3 or my D800E.
I tested my D800E vs my 6D vs my D600 vs rented 5d3 in lowlight , the 6D actually handled extreme lowlight best, no contest here.
the 6D's actually usable ISO6400 combined with the killer lowlight AF make it the best lowlight compact SLR ever from any maker.
that alone makes it worth it and I think it is the best value camera ever made for hybrid photography, I just have to wait ML to come up something amazing for that camera to make it really the hybrid camera.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: gigabellone on November 14, 2013, 04:37:09 AM
My first DSLR was a 550D and I now have a 6D.  The 550D's auto focus does not compare with the 6D's, regardless of how close the specs look on paper.  The 6D's AF is faster and more accurate.

You really need to try a 6D out yourself to see if it performs to your expectations.  If you can't rent one where you live, do you know any other photographers who would loan you theirs for a few hours or days?  Is there a local retail store where you could do hands-on comparisons with other bodies?
many people seem to hate the 6D AF system but it is actually very reliable at least the center point is.
the center AF point of it is more sensitive than any AF point of the 1DX , the 5D3 or my D800E.
I tested my D800E vs my 6D vs my D600 vs rented 5d3 in lowlight , the 6D actually handled extreme lowlight best, no contest here.
the 6D's actually usable ISO6400 combined with the killer lowlight AF make it the best lowlight compact SLR ever from any maker.
that alone makes it worth it and I think it is the best value camera ever made for hybrid photography, I just have to wait ML to come up something amazing for that camera to make it really the hybrid camera.

I'm starting to think that focusing on center point and then crop the picture in post-production would be the lesser, and acceptable, of two evil, the other one being spending a 1000€ premium to buy a camera with a very complex autofocus system that i'll never be able to use at 100% of its capabilities. I'll take some more time to think about it, but it's most probable i'll bite the bullet and get the 6D.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on November 14, 2013, 04:46:05 AM
many people seem to hate the 6D AF system but it is actually very reliable at least the center point is.

"Hate" is probably the wrong word, it's about knowing the limitations, try to work around them (or not) and make an educated decision if spending nearly double the amount of money for 5d3 is "worth it" because of the af system.

the center AF point of it is more sensitive than any AF point of the 1DX , the 5D3 or my D800E.
I tested my D800E vs my 6D vs my D600 vs rented 5d3 in lowlight , the 6D actually handled extreme lowlight best, no contest here.

These tests are always interesting, but only if you can give the LV of the scene (iso, shutter, aperture, lens used), i.e. when the 6d starts to outperform the other cameras. That's because the 5d3 is supposed to af up to -2LV which already should cover most situations, so the question is how often you encounter -3LV and when the 6d af starts getting faster even above -2LV than the competition...
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: thgmuffin on November 17, 2013, 09:33:22 PM
I found this very informative post about the Canon EOS AF system (http://www.the-digital-picture.com/photography-tips/Canon-EOS-DSLR-Autofocus-Explained.aspx), courtesy of our exceptional fellow forum member Neuroanatomist.

These are the specs of the AF sensor mounted into the 6D (taken here (https://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/cameras/slr_cameras/eos_6d#Specifications)):
Code: [Select]
AF Points
11 points

Center: cross-type at f/5.6; vertical line-sensitive at f/2.8.

Upper and lower AF points: vertical line-sensitive AF at f/5.6.

Other AF points: Horizontal line-sensitive AF at f/5.6.

AF Working Range
Center AF Point: EV -3 to 18 (at 73°F/23°C, ISO 100)

Other AF points: EV +0.5 to 18 (at 73°F/23°C, ISO 100)

While these are the specs of the AF sensor mounted into the 550D/T2i (taken here (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos550d/2)):
Code: [Select]
• 9-point CMOS sensor
• F5.6 cross-type at center, extra sensitivity at F2.8
• AF working range: -0.5 to 18 EV (at 23°C, ISO 100)

Comparing the two systems brings to a very disappointing conclusion: the 6D sports an AF sensor which is only marginally better than a 3 years old camera costing 1/4 of its price, and in some ways even less capable of the AF sensor built into an entry level dslr costing 1/3: the 650D sports 9 cross-type points up to f/5.6, sensitivity -0.5 to 18 EV.
I know, that central AF point is really good, but still, i'm not very excited about spending 1400€ (after mail in rebates) on a camera with great AF performance in the center, and the same AF system of my 3 years old entry level dslr on other points.
The 6D AF feels worlds ahead from my T2i!  :D
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on November 21, 2013, 06:28:04 AM
I've had the Mk III since it launched and received a 6D on Friday. I took it on a hike yesterday with the Sigma 35 and Canon 50 1.2. I used both the center point focus recompose technique and the farthest outside point. We got in late last night and I only glanced through the images after importing, but my initial impression was that focus accuracy was fine. I didn't bring the Mk III or do a side-by-side comparison though.

I will comment that I am surprised by how much lighter and more compact the 6D feels. It feels like more of a joy to take out and shoot than the Mk III which sometimes seems like a burden. I plan to sell the Mk III.

I'll do some editing tonight and post some of the images.

Don't you realize that if you admit this, in the eyes of most 5D3 lovers, suddenly you're not a real photographer anymore?
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on November 21, 2013, 06:36:25 AM
Will the 6D require somewhat more skill and planning to get the shots you want compared to a 5D MKIII?  Yes.

You're talking of focus & recompose skill with thin dof, I guess?

One thing I'm experiencing with my 100L and the 6D and I have "learned" to circumvent by taking more frames is that the 6D sometimes produces actual af misses, i.e. the focus is completely elsewhere even though the camera did an af confirm (red dot) - I practically never experience this with my 6d af, though the 60d more often has "micro misses" while the 6d is either spot-on or lost in the woods.

This.

I've been testing a refurb 6d for a week now. The AF is abominable. AF misses plenty. This is both after focal calibration - twice - and tuning by hand.

I'm now deciding whether to keep the body and get it repaired, or to return it entirely. Still not sure what to do.

Lastly, I'm pretty disappointed at the 6ds sharpness. Images - when accurate- are pretty soft out of camera. Not one image has any of the clarity from my t2i files. I'm not so sure it's the AF entirely, as I've been viewing raw files from around the net and they all show the same soft, oily looking effects.

 >:( :(

It's pretty well documented on here that many early 6D's had an AF sensor that would malfunction, for whatever reason.  It's very likely your refurb unit is one of these.  The 6D can't be judged by the quality of its refurbs.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on November 21, 2013, 06:37:34 AM
My only worry is related to its outer AF points. Is it really that bad?Thanks for the feedback. What about the outer AF points? Have you tried to use them with a fast prime? Are they really that bad?

One slightly "bad" thing about the outer af points is that they only have f5.6 precision, so the faster your lens is the more slightly out of focus images you'll get - but with a really fast prime that probably also happen with the f2.8 center point so you should know something about manual focus. How much this hurts is very depending on what you do.

Two really "bad" things about the outer points are more severe though since you cannot work around these: They only work up to 0.5LV (like my 60d, and this means dim light = no more or incredibly slow af) and they are not cross so they'll often fail to focus on low-contrast surfaces, you still have to focus & recompose on something they can lock on - an then you can simply use the center point to begin with. In good light this often won't be a problem, but in dim light it adds up and the 6d is essentially a one point af camera.

Agreed.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on November 21, 2013, 06:44:22 AM
many people seem to hate the 6D AF system but it is actually very reliable at least the center point is.

"Hate" is probably the wrong word, it's about knowing the limitations, try to work around them (or not) and make an educated decision if spending nearly double the amount of money for 5d3 is "worth it" because of the af system.

the center AF point of it is more sensitive than any AF point of the 1DX , the 5D3 or my D800E.
I tested my D800E vs my 6D vs my D600 vs rented 5d3 in lowlight , the 6D actually handled extreme lowlight best, no contest here.

These tests are always interesting, but only if you can give the LV of the scene (iso, shutter, aperture, lens used), i.e. when the 6d starts to outperform the other cameras. That's because the 5d3 is supposed to af up to -2LV which already should cover most situations, so the question is how often you encounter -3LV and when the 6d af starts getting faster even above -2LV than the competition...

I was able to get mine to AF in light so dark that I couldn't really see what I was aiming at through the viewfinder, with my 120-400mm lens...at 400mm at f/5.6...at ISO 102k.  (I had a little trouble with just my naked eye, but the viewfinder is a lot darker than the naked eye).  The amount of light was, I don't know...there was no moon...it was 40 minutes or so after sunset.  It was very late "blue hour", and I would say was about equal to midnight with a quarter moon showing, and clear skies.  The target AF subject was the white belly fur of some deer...which was obviously facing the dark ground...but that fur was all I could see with the naked eye. 

Needless to say the images sucked but it focused ok (took about a second to achieve lock).  I shot them as lower resolution jpegs, and the noise is still not what I would call clean, haha.  To make matters worse...in such dark conditions, you have to compensate exposure by +1 1/3, and even then it's still underexposed...at a slow shutterspeed with "OS" switched on. 

Certainly that center point can focus in a lot darker light than is practical to take pictures that are worth looking at, even as an experiment.

But...what does this say about future cameras with future AF points?  Seems like things will continue to improve.  We all need to be saving for that 2014 1 series, don't we?
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on November 21, 2013, 10:36:45 AM
Needless to say the images sucked but it focused ok

Indeed :-> ... and that's why -2LV is probably enough for available light shooting, -3LV imho only makes sense if you want to flash something but don't want to use the af assist (or don't have the flash on camera).

The one thing that might be interesting if a -3LV camera is faster at focusing @-2LV than one onle rated for -2LV peak - but I haven't read anything conclusive on this yet, just quick/subjective tests.

For simple "shoot in the dark" on tripod there are alternative solutions like Magic Lantern which can boost your LV to work as a night mode, then you can contrast af or just use focus peaking.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on November 21, 2013, 09:27:03 PM
Needless to say the images sucked but it focused ok

Indeed :-> ... and that's why -2LV is probably enough for available light shooting, -3LV imho only makes sense if you want to flash something but don't want to use the af assist (or don't have the flash on camera).

The one thing that might be interesting if a -3LV camera is faster at focusing @-2LV than one onle rated for -2LV peak - but I haven't read anything conclusive on this yet, just quick/subjective tests.

For simple "shoot in the dark" on tripod there are alternative solutions like Magic Lantern which can boost your LV to work as a night mode, then you can contrast af or just use focus peaking.

I did a few more this evening.  Some of them actually don't suck, but I guess it's all relative.  I disagree that -2LV is "enough", though. 
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on November 22, 2013, 06:02:12 AM
I disagree that -2LV is "enough", though.

I think we agree this is not about agreement, but just about if some shooting styles requires it or not...

If I understand it correctly, -2LV means @f2.8 (the fastest speed you'd expect the af to work flawlessly and not require mf tricks) and iso12800 (arguably the fastest speed that makes a residual sense) ... 1/4s. Personally, I'm unlikely to shoot with 1/4s handheld requiring phase af, let alone 1/2s of -3LV.

The one situation where -3LV might make sense for me is with a IS prime which axes up to 4 stops from non-IS handheld, and @24mm you just might be able to handhold 1/2s if you've got low blood pressure... but I don't have such a lens, so it's not necessary for me, I'm more interested in *fast* phase af at lower light levels.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: neuroanatomist on November 22, 2013, 09:16:16 AM
The one situation where -3LV might make sense for me is with a IS prime which axes up to 4 stops from non-IS handheld, and @24mm you just might be able to handhold 1/2s if you've got low blood pressure...

This was handheld (free standing, not braced) at 95mm for a 0.5 s exposure…

(http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5052/5515135844_ee65d28f4a_z.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_brain/5515135844/in/set-72157626112302225/lightbox/)
EOS 5D Mark II, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM @ 95mm, 1/2 s, f/5.6, ISO 100
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on November 22, 2013, 09:36:48 AM
This was handheld (free standing, not braced) at 95mm for a 0.5 s exposure…

Ok, ok, I give in :-) ... if you're shooting for a keychain-holder print size it even -5LV does make sense because no one will ever see the shake - and with the newest PS CC shake reductions algorithms you can even remove a lot of this.

My reference was 100% crop and more than 1:10 chance of getting an ok iq, but yes, if the af works you can have at least give it a try while if your af refuses to work at all (I'm experiencing this a lot on the 0.5LV 60d) you're completely lost.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: DKN on November 24, 2013, 05:36:22 AM
Yesterday I shoot these at a Red Bull event in Milan, Italy. I used the 24-105L @f4 1/1000s 4000iso. I set a single focusing point in AI servo mode and of 200 shots only 8 were out of focus. I'm really happy with the focusing performance even with fast subjects in low light.

For the full size images follow this link: http://500px.com/photo/53027572 (http://500px.com/photo/53027572)
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on November 24, 2013, 11:27:11 PM
I disagree that -2LV is "enough", though.

I think we agree this is not about agreement, but just about if some shooting styles requires it or not...

If I understand it correctly, -2LV means @f2.8 (the fastest speed you'd expect the af to work flawlessly and not require mf tricks) and iso12800 (arguably the fastest speed that makes a residual sense) ... 1/4s. Personally, I'm unlikely to shoot with 1/4s handheld requiring phase af, let alone 1/2s of -3LV.

The one situation where -3LV might make sense for me is with a IS prime which axes up to 4 stops from non-IS handheld, and @24mm you just might be able to handhold 1/2s if you've got low blood pressure... but I don't have such a lens, so it's not necessary for me, I'm more interested in *fast* phase af at lower light levels.

I understand what you mean.  But 1/2 second exposure is not good for anything other than a landscape shot on a tripod (or at least anything other than an animal or human...something that is very still).   I got acceptable sharpness from a 200 f/2 that I rented with 1/2 second exposure on my monopod.  In any case I can't afford a 400 f/2.8, but even it would not be enough light to get an ISO of 12,800 at an exposure of 1/15 sec or so on a monopod, with the amount of light in the scenario I mentioned above, where my f/5.6 was under exposed at that shutter speed at ISO 102k.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on November 24, 2013, 11:28:52 PM
Yesterday I shoot these at a Red Bull event in Milan, Italy. I used the 24-105L @f4 1/1000s 4000iso. I set a single focusing point in AI servo mode and of 200 shots only 8 were out of focus. I'm really happy with the focusing performance even with fast subjects in low light.

For the full size images follow this link: http://500px.com/photo/53027572 (http://500px.com/photo/53027572)

Nice job!
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: gigabellone on November 25, 2013, 05:33:15 PM
Just to let you all know, i placed my order for the 6D, i hope i'll be able to play with it this week end. :D
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on November 26, 2013, 03:02:59 AM
Just to let you all know, i placed my order for the 6D, i hope i'll be able to play with it this week end. :D

Congrats' and I hope you enjoy it!  I can't seem to get away from mine for long.  I know it's far from perfect, but for the price, I don't know of any better camera...especially for my needs.  I'm just amazed at how intuitive and easy it is to use.  I almost think I could sleepwalk, pick it up, and adjust all sorts of things on it without knowing I did it.  Never experienced that from any other camera (including all other Canon DSLR's I've owned, rented, or tried).  The menus are beautiful in their layout and function.  I tried scrolling through the menus on a Nikon D7100 a few days ago...what a nightmare!  It was like flipping through newspaper pages back in the Victorian era, by comparison...with my toes!  Does "Nikon" mean "illogical" in Japanese?  It literally took me over 10 minutes to find what I was looking for in the Nikon menu...about as organized as my brother's workshop!
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on November 29, 2013, 12:01:02 PM
Concerning the thread title and mythbusting:

During the last week and the grim weather I had a lot of opportunity to shoot in dim light, and with 6D+100L I have to say the -3LV in no way are able to replace the af assist beam (which I cannot use if the flash is on a bracket).

The 6D does af eventually which is better than nothing, but if shooting animal or people portraits it's way too slow, plus not very precise either, I guess the latter since it's a f2.8 lens which has the well-known non-cross sensor problem. Ymmv with other lenses though, I just tried the 100L as it's my fastest lens.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: gigabellone on December 01, 2013, 01:32:59 PM
I played with my new toy today, and i must say i'm really impressed. It's light, but feels solid. The shutter is quiet, and it's easy and intuitive to use. And i can't believe how clean the pictures look at iso 4000 and over. The AF is good enough, it didn't disappoint after all. Now i only need a good wide angle lens and a sturdy tripod. :D
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on December 04, 2013, 12:09:48 AM
I played with my new toy today, and i must say i'm really impressed. It's light, but feels solid. The shutter is quiet, and it's easy and intuitive to use. And i can't believe how clean the pictures look at iso 4000 and over. The AF is good enough, it didn't disappoint after all. Now i only need a good wide angle lens and a sturdy tripod. :D

Glad to hear it!  How wide of a lens?
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: gigabellone on December 04, 2013, 06:06:13 AM
Glad to hear it!  How wide of a lens?

In the last days i persuaded myself that the 24L would be the perfect lens for me. 24mm should be wide enough for landscapes, and its large aperture will help a lot in low available light and open up interesting creative possibilities. I think it can cover most of my shooting needs: landscape, travel/street, full body portraits.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on December 04, 2013, 06:22:10 AM
I think it can cover most of my shooting needs: landscape, travel/street, full body portraits.

I'd like to state the theory that there is a reason the seemingly boring 35mm is very popular on ff - for portraits 24mm already is very far from the "natural" look of the human eye, so for full body portraits a bit longer focal lengths and taking some steps back might give more pleasing results. Then again, for groups in tight spaces it isn't wide enough, even though my recent ff experience with the 17-40L is that 24mm already is really, really wide - but not wide enough for some landscapes mind you.

It would be very nice to get a "one does it all" prime, but for one lens I'd chose a zoom (standard or uwa) because the 6d already excels at low light, faster than f2.8 (16-35, 24-70) should be rarely essential.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on December 04, 2013, 02:35:50 PM
I think it can cover most of my shooting needs: landscape, travel/street, full body portraits.

I'd like to state the theory that there is a reason the seemingly boring 35mm is very popular on ff - for portraits 24mm already is very far from the "natural" look of the human eye, so for full body portraits a bit longer focal lengths and taking some steps back might give more pleasing results. Then again, for groups in tight spaces it isn't wide enough, even though my recent ff experience with the 17-40L is that 24mm already is really, really wide - but not wide enough for some landscapes mind you.

It would be very nice to get a "one does it all" prime, but for one lens I'd chose a zoom (standard or uwa) because the 6d already excels at low light, faster than f2.8 (16-35, 24-70) should be rarely essential.

Is this another one of those times where you're being more discouraging than encouraging?  I get accused of that, but frankly you're worse than me!
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on December 04, 2013, 02:53:31 PM
Glad to hear it!  How wide of a lens?

In the last days i persuaded myself that the 24L would be the perfect lens for me. 24mm should be wide enough for landscapes, and its large aperture will help a lot in low available light and open up interesting creative possibilities. I think it can cover most of my shooting needs: landscape, travel/street, full body portraits.

I've rented the Canon 24L, but only used it on my crop body at that time.  A couple of months ago I bought the Sigma 24mm f/1.8 to use on the 6D.  The image quality is not that far behind the Canon L, especially in the outer 50% of the image where it's probably as good or better than the Canon (certainly in the center it's not, but on the 6D I doubt there's a vast difference...noticeable but not vast).  In my opinion that particular Canon lens is priced kind of high, but it's a fine lens to own and use, and has superb contrast.  It definitely autofocuses more quickly, silently, consistently and accurately than the Sigma.  But the Sigma costs about 65% less, and it was well worth it to me.  I also prefer the color rendering of the Sigma.  Lately I've used the Canon 24-105L more than the Sigma, because that zoom range is pretty indispensable.  Closed down to f/6.3 or so, the Sigma is sharper at the borders than the Canon 24-105, at 24mm...and also the Sigma has less barrel distortion.  Another advantage the Sigma has, though, is macro photography.  Wide angle macro photography, can be astounding...it helps place the subject in context of its surroundings, where longer macro lenses isolate the subject too much for my taste a lot of the time.

The Sigma 20, 24, and 28 f/1.8 lenses have gotten a bad reputation.  I looked into it, looked at the reviews and tests, and decided the 24mm didn't deserve the bad reputation, at least optically.  Even the build quality is not as bad as the reviews would have you think.  The only real problem is the lack of silent autofocus, along with the innacurate AF...at least on my copy.  I've been able to work around it, using AFMA, for the most part.  If I was at an event though, I kind of agree with Marsu, that a zoom is preferable.  I would take my 24-105 without even thinking of anything else.

Sigma will likely offer an "Art" version at 24mm, probably an f/1.4.  However, I doubt it will have weather sealing (as their 35mm does not), and yet it will likely cost more than the 35mm, perhaps close to the Canon L that you have.  It might just be the sharpest 24mm ever made, though, given that the Sigma 35mm is.  My money would be spent on an "art" version of the 20mm fast prime, though, if they ever make one of those.  In the meantime, I am thinking more toward a Zeiss 18mm f/3.5. 

Sorry for getting long-winded there!  I look forward to seeing some of your images!  Btw, there's another thread about the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8.  Have a look at the carousel shots, they're quite lovely!  That lens is really the ultimate value for wide angle primes, at 1/10 the cost of the Zeiss 15mm, and very comparable resolution to it.  The colors and contrast don't compare, but the resolution does.  For $300 US, that's saying something!  It doesn't autofocus, though, and is too wide for group portraits unless you perform a lot of bending and squeezing in post editing, to keep the people toward the borders from looking obese!  You have to do that a little even at 24mm, as Marsu hints at, but only in the most critical framing situations.  This is due to rectilinear projection, or what I like to call rectilinear distortion.  For some reason people like to refer to barrel and pincushion as distortion, but not rectilinear.  However it certainly produces distortion in a photograph.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on December 04, 2013, 03:08:04 PM
Is this another one of those times where you're being more discouraging than encouraging?

I'm encouraging people new to gas (gear acquirement syndrome) to carefully consider what to buy, and primes simply have usage limitations while zooms get better all the time...

I get accused of that, but frankly you're worse than me!

... probably I've got less money to invest than you, that's why I'm quite careful when spending it or advising other people to do so :-o
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on December 04, 2013, 03:14:51 PM
Is this another one of those times where you're being more discouraging than encouraging?

I'm encouraging people new to gas (gear acquirement syndrome) to carefully consider what to buy, and primes simply have usage limitations while zooms get better all the time...

I get accused of that, but frankly you're worse than me!

... probably I've got less money to invest than you, that's why I'm quite careful when spending it or advising other people to do so :-o

Lordamercie, no I would say you likely have more to spend than I do.  I've gone into debt with some of my purchases, and am certainly planning to sell two of my lenses.  One is for sale now.  Quite the contrary, I try to encourage people to not spend too much...I even told him that I thought the 24mm L was overpriced, if you read my usual Tolstoy-esque diatribe above (and then memorize it, there's a test later! :P).  I would say the vast majority of people on here have more disposable income than I do at the present time, even the college or pre-college kids!  Then there are those who could afford to hire me to edit their photos, or even travel and take their photos for them...but they think they can do it better, so they won't!
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: GaryJ on December 05, 2013, 01:02:39 AM
Well, the 6D has what is effectively a 1-point AF system.

A bit of an exaggeration...  I often use the outer focal points on my 6D.  Yes, the center point is much better, but the outer points are not bad in decent light.  I can nail shallow DOF with the outer points.
+1
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on December 05, 2013, 02:36:01 AM
Well, the 6D has what is effectively a 1-point AF system.
A bit of an exaggeration...  I often use the outer focal points on my 6D.  Yes, the center point is much better, but the outer points are not bad in decent light.  I can nail shallow DOF with the outer points.
+1

-1 :-p ... you cannot nail the af with shallow dof and the 6d outer points *reliably* because they only have f5.6 precision, that's no opinion, that's a fact. Of course you will get lucky after a few tries, or the subjective shallow isn't really shallow like f2.8- or the subject was of a type that some variance isn't noticeable.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: grahamclarkphoto on December 06, 2013, 02:22:01 AM
I'm about to spend a significant (for my finances) amount of money ...

At first the AF on the 6D can be a bit confusing, but I think it can be distilled into one sentence and a chart: The Canon 6D has 11 AF points which may not cut it if you shoot fast action 80% of the time or more, but it locks in lower light than any Canon DSLR, and perhaps any DSLR on the market as of this post. If you often shoot in lowlight, landscapes, at night, star trail photography, time-lapse etc. the 6D's AF sensitivity is currently unmatched.

As a disclaimer I own the 5D Mark III and the 1DX and I shoot travel and landscape photography. I use ND filters and shoot in lowlight quite often, so the 6D is best for me at the moment. If I had to predict the future I'd say the revision of the 5D Mark III will have this -3EV, but until it does 6D wins on AF sensitivity.

Have a look:

(http://www.grahamclarkphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/SS-2013-12-05-at-11.16.18-PM.png)

Graham

grahamclarkphoto.com (http://grahamclarkphoto.com)
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on December 06, 2013, 02:54:25 AM
The Canon 6D has 11 AF points which may not cut it if you shoot fast action 80% of the time or more, but it locks in lower light than any Canon DSLR, and perhaps any DSLR on the market as of this post.

If you write it like that, it's almost entirely (10/11= 90%) wrong - the 6D only has -3LV on the center point and the other 10 points are not only non-cross, but only af up to an "astonishing" +0.5LV which is too low for general dim light shooting, esp. considering the 6d's iso capability. But I can understand the oversight, it's hard to believe Canon put something like this in a €1500 camera :-\
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: pensive tomato on December 06, 2013, 12:24:13 PM
I was surprised to find that this thread is still going! I don't know how much is there to say about the 6D AF capabilities, sure it is the most limited (crippled if you will) overall AF system of Canon's current FF offerings. As many have said, you gotta try it and see if it fits your applications. There are plenty of scenarios underlining its limitations --right tool for the right job after all.

I agree that product differentiation played into decisions on what AF system to have in the 6D. I'm happy with the Canon system. So I'm positively surprised that the 6D can be had in the current US market for less than $1500. If we talk about price, then let's look at the cameras as a whole. The 6D offers IQ, ISO, and other features comparable to Canon FF cameras that are substantially more expensive. Of course, one can always ask for more , but provided it fits your needs, IMHO the 6D gives great value.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on December 06, 2013, 03:09:27 PM
I was surprised to find that this thread is still going! I don't know how much is there to say about the 6D AF capabilities, sure it is the most limited (crippled if you will) overall AF system of Canon's current FF offerings. As many have said, you gotta try it and see if it fits your applications. There are plenty of scenarios underlining its limitations --right tool for the right job after all.

I agree that product differentiation played into decisions on what AF system to have in the 6D. I'm happy with the Canon system. So I'm positively surprised that the 6D can be had in the current US market for less than $1500. If we talk about price, then let's look at the cameras as a whole. The 6D offers IQ, ISO, and other features comparable to Canon FF cameras that are substantially more expensive. Of course, one can always ask for more , but provided it fits your needs, IMHO the 6D gives great value.

Agreed.  Hopefully the future 5D4 will match or exceed the S/N ratio of the 6D within the ISO range I constantly refer to.  If it does I will probably upgrade.  If it does not, then that will be a strike against upgrading to it, for me.   
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: jeffa4444 on December 13, 2013, 06:24:55 AM
We own a still camera rental business and Ive been privaliged to use the Canon and Nikon high end pro cameras along with all the best lenses. You can shoot charts, MTF, calibrate etc etc. fact is you never understand a tool or how to use it, maximise its potential and minimise its weaknesses until you have used it extensively. Many of the comments on this thread are "guess work" they have not reflected real world use. Since my previous post Ive used the Canon 5d MKIII its truly an awsome camera but does it give measurable better quality for landscape over the 6d? Frankly no. Most of the time landscape photographers manually focus or use the center spot in single shot mode as you want as much in focus as possible anyway (unless artistically you dont). The 6d is not a camera for sports or wildlife (unless that wildlife is static) but as a street photography camera or landscape camera for those where full frame is important but so is budget aside from the Nikon D610 or the new Sony A7 which are equally impressive cameras for their price the 6d will not disappoint or give any less sharp shots.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on December 13, 2013, 09:43:50 AM
Many of the comments on this thread are "guess work" they have not reflected real world use. Since my previous post Ive used the Canon 5d MKIII its truly an awsome camera but does it give measurable better quality for landscape over the 6d? Frankly no.

I don't think anybody is debating if the 5d3 is useful over the 6d for landscape - except maybe the built-in raw hdr, the 6d only has jpeg and due to hilarious firmware crippling doesn't save the source files.

The 6d is not a camera for sports or wildlife (unless that wildlife is static) but as a street photography camera or landscape camera for those where full frame is important but so is budget aside from the Nikon D610 or the new Sony A7 which are equally impressive cameras for their price the 6d will not disappoint or give any less sharp shots.

In credit to Canon, I just picked up a 6d promo brochure at the local cps and they only market the 6d for landscape, though they do describe it as a capable 11 pt af system which doesn't quite hit the mark...

... what they don't do is recommend it for street photography as you just did, and for a reason. I often shoot (static) wildlife with it and with a f2.8 lens and no af expansion the 6d simply misses more for the "quick snap" shot type from the hip if you don't carefully af to a high-contrast part and then recompose.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on December 15, 2013, 02:43:44 AM
We own a still camera rental business and Ive been privaliged to use the Canon and Nikon high end pro cameras along with all the best lenses. You can shoot charts, MTF, calibrate etc etc. fact is you never understand a tool or how to use it, maximise its potential and minimise its weaknesses until you have used it extensively. Many of the comments on this thread are "guess work" they have not reflected real world use. Since my previous post Ive used the Canon 5d MKIII its truly an awsome camera but does it give measurable better quality for landscape over the 6d? Frankly no. Most of the time landscape photographers manually focus or use the center spot in single shot mode as you want as much in focus as possible anyway (unless artistically you dont). The 6d is not a camera for sports or wildlife (unless that wildlife is static) but as a street photography camera or landscape camera for those where full frame is important but so is budget aside from the Nikon D610 or the new Sony A7 which are equally impressive cameras for their price the 6d will not disappoint or give any less sharp shots.

The 6D can work quite well for wildlife in motion.  I've used mine extensively for this, besides landscape and still wildlife, so what I say is definitely the opposite of "guesswork."  I've also used it for aerial photography, shooting out the open window of a Cessna.  As has been shown at a couple of websites recently, the 6D's dynamic range, and especially its S/N ratio, in the ISO range between 1000 and 10,000, is a noticeable improvement over the Nikon D600 and D610.  If the A7 uses the same sensor and processing, its result would be the same as the D600 or 610.  Ergonomically the 6D is a good bit ahead of the Sony and especially the Nikon, as well.  Not to mention the 6D costs substantially less, especially at recent sale prices.  And let's face it, as a system Canon is without peer.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on December 15, 2013, 03:51:52 AM
The 6D can work quite well for wildlife in motion.  I've used mine extensively for this, besides landscape and still wildlife, so what I say is definitely the opposite of "guesswork."

Yes, *can* ... but most likely it won't. It's great you're happy with your 6d and are promoting it, I'm rather happy with mine esp. having saved €1200 vs. 5d3.

However the only situation when the 6d is appropriate for wildlife is in bright high-contrast (non-cross points) bright light (+0.5ev outer points) when all the 6d's af points cover the subject... the only situation I can imagine is an elephant running towards you. In all other cases, 6d & wildlife is a hit and miss game, you will of course get *some* good shots and can proudly post them as "6d wildlife", but you'll lose a lot because the af doesn't lock on.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on December 15, 2013, 04:14:37 AM
The 6D can work quite well for wildlife in motion.  I've used mine extensively for this, besides landscape and still wildlife, so what I say is definitely the opposite of "guesswork."

Yes, *can* ... but most likely it won't. It's great you're happy with your 6d and are promoting it, I'm rather happy with mine esp. having saved €1200 vs. 5d3.

However the only situation when the 6d is appropriate for wildlife is in bright high-contrast (non-cross points) bright light (+0.5ev outer points) when all the 6d's af points cover the subject... the only situation I can imagine is an elephant running towards you. In all other cases, 6d & wildlife is a hit and miss game, you will of course get *some* good shots and can proudly post them as "6d wildlife", but you'll lose a lot because the af doesn't lock on.

The AF does lock on especially in bright light, with center point only.  Just because it won't lock on and get 9 out of 10 shots in razor sharp focus in servo mode, with all points active, is no reason to say it can't lock on at all.  With center point, trust me it locks on.  In dim light in servo mode, especially with a lens faster than f/4, yes it will be more hit or miss...but that's not what you're saying.  You're saying in bright light it can't ever lock on regardless if it's with center point only, or with all points, and that's definitely false.  Center point is a lock...at least with mine.  Yours is probably just due to you :P...
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on December 15, 2013, 04:28:08 AM
In all other cases, 6d & wildlife is a hit and miss game, you will of course get *some* good shots and can proudly post them as "6d wildlife", but you'll lose a lot because the af doesn't lock on.
The AF does lock on especially in bright light, with center point only.  Just because it won't lock on and get 9 out of 10 shots in razor sharp focus in servo mode, with all points active, is no reason to say it can't lock on at all. ... You're saying in bright light it can't ever lock on regardless if it's with center point only, or with all points, and that's definitely false.

I didn't write "at all", there's little reason discussing if you don't read the other party's posts.

With center point, trust me it locks on.

Last not least, please note that the 6d af indeed never "locks on" at all unlike more capable af systems - the 6d doesn't do any af handover, it doesn't recognize object or patterns, it just happens to af what is on the selected af points (or not) and then does a bit of extrapolation considering the object's movement direction.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on December 15, 2013, 04:36:33 AM
In all other cases, 6d & wildlife is a hit and miss game, you will of course get *some* good shots and can proudly post them as "6d wildlife", but you'll lose a lot because the af doesn't lock on.
The AF does lock on especially in bright light, with center point only.  Just because it won't lock on and get 9 out of 10 shots in razor sharp focus in servo mode, with all points active, is no reason to say it can't lock on at all. ... You're saying in bright light it can't ever lock on regardless if it's with center point only, or with all points, and that's definitely false.

I didn't write "at all", there's little reason discussing if you don't read the other party's posts.

With center point, trust me it locks on.

Last not least, please note that the 6d af indeed never "locks on" at all unlike more capable af systems - the 6d doesn't do any af handover, it doesn't recognize object or patterns, it just happens to af what is on the selected af points (or not) and then does a bit of extrapolation considering the object's movement direction.

Your definition of "lock on" is different from mine.  Mine is, it acquires AF and holds it.  Yours is, there has to be a handoff to other points.  Of course there isn't a good handoff to other points, we both know that.  But that was by design.  They gave it crappy single line outer points, then crippled the AF processing to make it default to using those outer points, rather than giving equal or superior priority to the center point (with all engaged)...even if a damned zebra stripe is hovering behind that center point!! 

I mean, you seem to keep harping on the fact that the AF sensor is a far cry from the 5D3 AF sensor.  So what?  Nobody said it's a great AF sensor...it kind of sucks.  But to say you can't use it for anything in motion just because it can't use all the AF points, is silly.  You simply point the center point on the subject, and away you go.  If you can't do that, then that's not my fault.  I can...
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on December 15, 2013, 04:49:28 AM
The 6D can work quite well for wildlife in motion.
Nobody said it's a great AF sensor...it kind of sucks.

Sorry CarlTN, I don't see the sense of discussing with someone who manages to contradict himself inside a few posts ... That's what another member of CR recently labeled as "unreasonable" if I recall correctly, in this intensity it sounds a bit like a "5d3 inferiority complex" :-p

It's not black and white ("sucks", "work quite well"), but the 6d is somewhere in the middle with a tendency to one side depending on the shooting conditions. It's fine if you want to have less bulk and save €1200, but you simply have to expect less keepers with af on a fast lens or object movement, and you cannot really compensate for this with technique. But really, it's great you're so happy with your 6d, nothing wrong with that unless another potential 6d/5d3 buyer happens to take your word for it.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on December 15, 2013, 05:00:07 AM
The 6D can work quite well for wildlife in motion.
Nobody said it's a great AF sensor...it kind of sucks.

Sorry CarlTN, I don't see the sense of discussing with someone who manages to contradict himself inside a few posts ... That's what another member of CR recently labeled as "unreasonable" if I recall correctly, in this intensity it sounds a bit like a "5d3 inferiority complex" :-p

It's not black and white ("sucks", "work quite well"), but the 6d is somewhere in the middle with a tendency to one side depending on the shooting conditions. It's fine if you want to have less bulk and save €1200, but you simply have to expect less keepers with af on a fast lens or object movement, and you cannot really compensate for this with technique. But really, it's great you're so happy with your 6d, nothing wrong with that unless another potential 6d/5d3 buyer happens to take your word for it.

Not contradicting myself, it works in single point mode, as I keep saying over and over.  You're simply arguing for arguments' sake, that's all.  Use your 6D for whatever you wish, and I will do the same.  But I'm not going to sit back and have someone state emphatically that it can't be used for something when it can, and it works quite well.  Over half the shots in focus is generally a worst case scenario, in my experience with mine.  That's not 9 or 10 out of 10 shots...but nobody expects it to do that.  Doesn't mean over half those shots aren't in sharp focus, though.  Over half is what I call working "quite well", and it's not a contradiction...so take a chill pill on that one.

You're projecting a bit, it's you who seems to want a 5D3, not me.  I might want a 5D4, a 1DX, or whatever else in the future, but not now.  Again I've used a 5D3, and I didn't need to buy one.

Don't presume to call me a liar here, or that I'm misleading people.  Because I'm not.  It's not your job to be calling me out, either...you're not the 6D police, the Canon police, or my police. 

I've been honest with everything I've said here.  You feel the need to cast aspersions, and it's not necessary or accurate in this case.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on December 15, 2013, 06:13:02 AM
Don't presume to call me a liar here, or that I'm misleading people.  Because I'm not.  It's not your job to be calling me out, either...you're not the 6D police, the Canon police, or my police.

Ok, I'm quitting here, I know others did before in discussions with you - you're simply not reading what I wrote (I didn't call you a liar, I did say you're contradicting yourself or are at least so imprecise that there's no telling the difference).

Not contradicting myself, it works in single point mode, as I keep saying over and over.

I'm not around here to get into arguments, and you're correct, it is not my "job" to call you out, though I felt urged to correct some points when you clearly don't even know how the 6d af system works, so your comments on when and if "it works" can only be seen in light of this: http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php/topic,18417.msg347357.html#msg347357 (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php/topic,18417.msg347357.html#msg347357)
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on December 15, 2013, 06:47:33 AM
Don't presume to call me a liar here, or that I'm misleading people.  Because I'm not.  It's not your job to be calling me out, either...you're not the 6D police, the Canon police, or my police.

Ok, I'm quitting here, I know others did before in discussions with you - you're simply not reading what I wrote (I didn't call you a liar, I did say you're contradicting yourself or are at least so imprecise that there's no telling the difference).


You implied it when you say I am misleading people.  You'll never quit until I admit that the 6D AF does not work in servo autofocus mode with a lens f/2.8 or faster.  I'm sorry but it does work, regardless of what you think is the nature of its center point.  The micro errors, or whatever you call them, are either being overcome somehow, or again...present themselves on some lenses and not on others.  I've not tried my 6D on a 70-200 f/2.8 ii.  If that's the lens you're having problems with on yours, then I suggest not using it.  It's entirely possible that this lens, in particular, is going to play havoc with the 6D's autofocus in servo mode.  I presume both it, and the 300 f/2.8, are supposed to be the fastest autofocusing lenses that Canon makes (if not that any manufacturer makes).  If their motors are that fast and hyper sensitive, then they certainly would react with the 6D's autofocus while in servo mode, making it jitter as it hunts.  I can imagine it happening, anyway.

What I have done, is try it IN SERVO MODE with the lenses I have, which are currently the 70-300L, 70-200 f/4L, 135L, 40 pancake, Sigma 24mm f/1.8, and Sigma 120-400 f/4.5-5.6 (my Voigtander is a manual focus).

Frankly with all of the above, I get at least 6 out of 10 shots in razor sharp focus in servo mode with center point selected, even in low indoor light.  In bright outdoor light, it jumps from 7 to at times 9 out of 10.  (The Sigma 24mm f/1.8 is less consistent because its AFMA varies every time I use it.  Certainly some of this could be due to the camera's autofocus "inability", but I really feel most of it is the lens.  It's AF motor is not silent, and it also seems to vary depending on if I place the lens cap on, between uses.)

As I said either here or in some other thread, my friend has the 70-200 f/2.8 ii, and he recently bought the 6D, and sold his 7D on ebay.  He's had no complaints out of his 6D.  At some point I will attempt to try his 70-200 on my 6D, and see just how "innacurate" it is.  If the hit rate falls below 6 out of 10 in servo mode, with center point only, consistently, I will post my findings on here.

But you know what?  It won't matter, because according to you I don't know what I'm talking about, and so whatever I say doesn't matter.  That's fine though, because it actually does matter, and I do know what I see when I take pictures, at least.   
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: neuroanatomist on December 15, 2013, 08:49:59 AM
 ;D

Faster than a speeding 5DIII! More powerful than a 1D X! Able to leap tall 7Ds in a single bound!  Look, up in the sky! It's taking pictures of birds! It's taking pictures of planes! 

It's SuperCarl!

Yes, it's SuperCarl, strange visitor from Canon HQ, who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal cameras. SuperCarl, who can change the course of mighty product development, bend CF cards in his bare hands, and who, disguised as CarlTN, mild-mannered poster on a great rumor forum, fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice and the 6D way.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Tom W on December 15, 2013, 09:12:02 AM
This reminds me of the discussions we had on various forums (forii?) concerning the AF of the original 5D. It was probably the most loved, and simultaneously hated camera of all when it was first introduced.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on December 15, 2013, 09:55:01 AM
Yes, it's SuperCarl, strange visitor from Canon HQ, who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal cameras.

I get at least 6 out of 10 shots in razor sharp focus

If I ever get in the need for a superhero to rescue me from the evil SONY with his/her proton laser beam, I'd positively insist that his/her definition of "works quite well" for it is better than "6 out of 10" - it seems our hero has come near the very rare NIKONium element which renders this superpower useless :->
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Janbo Makimbo on December 15, 2013, 03:32:07 PM
If you can't get decent pictures out of a 6D then there is some serious wrong with you as a photographer!!
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: dgatwood on December 15, 2013, 03:50:32 PM
It's not black and white ("sucks", "work quite well"), but the 6d is somewhere in the middle with a tendency to one side depending on the shooting conditions. It's fine if you want to have less bulk and save €1200, but you simply have to expect less keepers with af on a fast lens or object movement, and you cannot really compensate for this with technique. But really, it's great you're so happy with your 6d, nothing wrong with that unless another potential 6d/5d3 buyer happens to take your word for it.

On the flip side, with the -3 EV center point, you might get more keepers in low light with the 6D than anything else Canon sells (including the 1DX).  I've found its low-light focusing to be just plain spectacular.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: candc on December 15, 2013, 03:54:26 PM
the 6d af is really basic but it seems accurate. i have been trying it out and it focuses in ai servo mode fast with the sigma 120-300 using the center point. i have tried it out and its good on  cars and people but not so good with birds. its hard to keep the center point on the target and the other points are too far apart, you need a denser af point spread for that. 

as dgatwood says, its fantastic in low light.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Janbo Makimbo on December 15, 2013, 04:01:25 PM
It's not black and white ("sucks", "work quite well"), but the 6d is somewhere in the middle with a tendency to one side depending on the shooting conditions. It's fine if you want to have less bulk and save €1200, but you simply have to expect less keepers with af on a fast lens or object movement, and you cannot really compensate for this with technique. But really, it's great you're so happy with your 6d, nothing wrong with that unless another potential 6d/5d3 buyer happens to take your word for it.

On the flip side, with the -3 EV center point, you might get more keepers in low light with the 6D than anything else Canon sells (including the 1DX).  I've found its low-light focusing to be just plain spectacular.

+1
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: neuroanatomist on December 15, 2013, 04:39:19 PM
On the flip side, with the -3 EV center point, you might get more keepers in low light with the 6D than anything else Canon sells (including the 1DX).  I've found its low-light focusing to be just plain spectacular.

How do you define 'low light'?  For example, the difference between shooting at -2 EV and-3 EV could mean 1/15 s, f/2.8, ISO 51200 vs. 102400.  Neither is very usable from an IQ standpoint.  What most people call 'low light' is generally substantially brighter than either spec.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on December 15, 2013, 06:32:29 PM
If you can't get decent pictures out of a 6D then there is some serious wrong with you as a photographer!!

+1, and I'd even expand on that: you can't get decent pictures out of any *Rebel* then there is something seriously wrong with you as a photographer.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: pensive tomato on December 15, 2013, 08:38:50 PM
On the flip side, with the -3 EV center point, you might get more keepers in low light with the 6D than anything else Canon sells (including the 1DX).  I've found its low-light focusing to be just plain spectacular.

How do you define 'low light'?  For example, the difference between shooting at -2 EV and-3 EV could mean 1/15 s, f/2.8, ISO 51200 vs. 102400.  Neither is very usable from an IQ standpoint.  What most people call 'low light' is generally substantially brighter than either spec.

I agree that "works well in low light" or similar phrases have a rather imprecise meaning. I thought that Canon's spec on the center point is rather more precise than that, center AF point sensitivity down to EV -3 (at 73ºF/23ºC, ISO 100), which for example would be an 8-min exposure at f/8 or 1-min at f/2.8. Perhaps familiarity with night photography might help envisioning what level of available light would call for such an exposure (considerations on what constitute an adequate exposure aside).

As a side note, I can report using live view AF in the 6D for night landscape shots of 16-min at f/8, ISO 100 (EV -4). AF is rather slow and requires judicious use when choosing your subject. I wouldn't use the viewfinder in those scenarios, as I've found it too dim and small. I haven't heard/read anything pointing out that other cameras wouldn't do as well as the 6D is these circumstances. But I've personally witnessed other photographers resorting to MF quicker than me in these situations (technique and preference may play a role as well).
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: candc on December 15, 2013, 09:12:22 PM
;D

Faster than a speeding 5DIII! More powerful than a 1D X! Able to leap tall 7Ds in a single bound!  Look, up in the sky! It's taking pictures of birds! It's taking pictures of planes! 

It's SuperCarl!

Yes, it's SuperCarl, strange visitor from Canon HQ, who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal cameras. SuperCarl, who can change the course of mighty product development, bend CF cards in his bare hands, and who, disguised as CarlTN, mild-mannered poster on a great rumor forum, fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice and the 6D way.

That's the best, if I was Carl I would make that my avatar.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on December 16, 2013, 04:33:27 PM
;D

Faster than a speeding 5DIII! More powerful than a 1D X! Able to leap tall 7Ds in a single bound!  Look, up in the sky! It's taking pictures of birds! It's taking pictures of planes! 

It's SuperCarl!

Yes, it's SuperCarl, strange visitor from Canon HQ, who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal cameras. SuperCarl, who can change the course of mighty product development, bend CF cards in his bare hands, and who, disguised as CarlTN, mild-mannered poster on a great rumor forum, fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice and the 6D way.

Thanks, that's mildly amusing.  You're a true geek aren't you? 

The part about me changing the course of product development is false.  It's you who would like to see nobody buy the 6D, so it's more you that thinks they know what Canon should build, and what they should not.  It's you who thinks anyone who doesn't use either a 1DX or 5D3 is not a serious photographer...so it is really you who needs mocking here, for the biased snobbish fanboy that you are.

My point in this thread, and in all cases involving defending the 6D's ability, is to tell people that it is more than just a sensor...and that it can autofocus.  Your point is to bash and mock those who would ever agree with me...but you spend your time on me in particular because it gets your little scientist loins in an uproar...Dr. Bigshot!

I could make a lame cartoon about you too, and I might sometime...but I have work to do.  Your boss needs to see what you do when you're supposed to be working...
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Valvebounce on December 17, 2013, 05:58:38 AM
Hey Folks.
Afraid I have no usefull camera based info as I only have a lowly 7D and have never knowingly seen either a 5DIII or 6D in action.
How about you all agree to disagree on this point, I have seen what started as a valid positive post degenerate in to a mud slinging session. I value comments from all on this forum, everyone has something to offer that may help me improve my technique and get more from my hobby, everyone also has their own opinion and these are as different as can be, wouldn't the world be boring if we were all the same!

Tis the season to be jolly, of goodwill to all men etc etc.
So please no more mud slinging. Let's get back to normal service of getting along and improving our hobby.

Cheers Graham.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: YuengLinger on December 17, 2013, 06:20:01 AM
Perfectly obvious Canon dropped the ball with the 6D, giving it weaker AF than the 60D.  Canon makes mistakes and should be called on them, just as they should be praised for the many cameras they get so wonderfully right.

Note that I don't call the AF issue a mistake simply because I have to pay more for a FF with good AF.  Putting the weak system in the entry level FF was a blunder because Canon needs dSLR customers committed to its entire eos/ef system.  Ticking off current customers looking to upgrade to FF was bad business, as was turning off prospective customers comparing Canon's offerings to those of other companies.  If Canon had simply equaled the xxD line's AF in an entry level FF, they'd have had more customers coming in and more customers with ef-s lenses looking to buy new lenses for their FF.  But Canon was shortsighted, stingy, and over protective of the 5DIII, which was simply out of range for a great many enthusiasts.

Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Random Orbits on December 17, 2013, 07:36:32 AM
Perfectly obvious Canon dropped the ball with the 6D, giving it weaker AF than the 60D.  Canon makes mistakes and should be called on them, just as they should be praised for the many cameras they get so wonderfully right.

Note that I don't call the AF issue a mistake simply because I have to pay more for a FF with good AF.  Putting the weak system in the entry level FF was a blunder because Canon needs dSLR customers committed to its entire eos/ef system.  Ticking off current customers looking to upgrade to FF was bad business, as was turning off prospective customers comparing Canon's offerings to those of other companies.  If Canon had simply equaled the xxD line's AF in an entry level FF, they'd have had more customers coming in and more customers with ef-s lenses looking to buy new lenses for their FF.  But Canon was shortsighted, stingy, and over protective of the 5DIII, which was simply out of range for a great many enthusiasts.

We have members of the press in the USA who reflexively cover for their favorite politicians no matter how outlandish the lies or harmful the policies.  But you know what?  Those journalists get paid for their sophistry.

Seriously?  Canon knew what it was doing when it spec'ed out the 6D -- they did not drop the ball.  Dropping the ball implies it was done by negligence or laziness and Canon intentionally chose an AF system for the 6D to be what it is.  Canon has traditionally used AF as a discriminator across camera models, and the 6D is no different.  This is marketing.  Why would you put 90% of the features into a camera that you'd charge 50% less?  The 6D's AF is better than the 5D II's, and the 6D is more sensitive to light than the 5D III and has signficant features that the 5D III lacks -- GPS and wifi.  If Canon hadn't planned on a 6D, there is no way that the 5D III would have a similar AF system as the 1DX.  Canon chose to give the 6D a more advanced sensor, wifi and GPS or would you rather that Canon would have made the 6D without wifi and GPS and with a worse sensor but with better AF?  You might have opted for the second option, but their marketing research guided their decision for the first option.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: YuengLinger on December 17, 2013, 08:18:58 AM
Yes, their intention was clear, but they missed the mark by having the AF less capable on the 6D than the 60D.  Nine points all cross point would not have threatened the 5D Mark III much, but would have encouraged a lot more people to make the move to FF and further commit to eos/ef.

Without trying to be offensive, I often find myself mystified by customers who develop an almost religious faith in brands.  "If The Company did it, it must  be right."  Why?  Why recognize mistakes and press for improvements?

I want a strong Canon.  Period.  Why?  I'm invested in their system, and I want them to do well and keep producing an servicing equipment for years to come. 

I belong to two photography clubs, one a PPA affiliate, the other a great group of enthusiasts who produce great fine art and nature work.  Nobody thought the 6D was well thought out for any level of photographer, except, maybe, those who do a lot of arranged and found still life on tripods and could use Live View most of the time.  That's too specialized for success.

Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Random Orbits on December 17, 2013, 09:34:46 AM
Without trying to be offensive, I often find myself mystified by customers who develop an almost religious faith in brands.  "If The Company did it, it must  be right."  Why?  Why recognize mistakes and press for improvements?

And who are these "customers who develop an almost religious faith in brands"?

Yes, I understand your point, but there are also a lot of others (not you) and a lot of threads already that basically come down to "I want a 5DIII at a 6D or a 70D price" or "I want a FF mirrorless with an EVF that servo AF that is as good as a 5D III for less than a 6D price), which is either not economically feasible for now or would lead to less total profit for Canon over the long term.  And it is long term profits that matter because that is how R&D budgets get planned 3-5 years in advance.  Canon is a stable company and there is a lot of value in that.  I have a lot more faith in Canon being in the camera business 5 years from now than Sony.

FWIW, I started with with film with a Pentax but found their lens selection too limiting.  My first digital camera was a Nikon.  I preferred Nikon's flash system to Canon's (until the RT system), but I switched to Canon because of the 20D.  I used a 5D II for everything, including sports and it worked (center point and crop).  I don't think the 6D is as crippled as you are saying because the 6D's AF is still better than the 5D II's, especially the outer points.  The 5D III solved almost all the things that I found deficient in the 5D II, and a lot of people did a lot of great photography with the 5D II.

The 5D II was an improvement on the 5D an the 5D III is an improvement on the 5D II.  The cameras evolve, but as I stated before, they are evolving in response to the changing market.  I am sure the that next wave of 1D/5D/6D will have a different set of features and differentiators as they do now, just as the 5D III had to improved AF-wise to accomodate the 6D.  No one expected the AF of the 5D III to be that close to the 1DX's.  The 6D has been designed and is selling.  I thought it was smart move for Canon to design something that could go lower than the 1800-2000 that the 5D II was selling at near the end of its life, and I'm guessing that the 6D's price could fall even farther and Canon could still be profitable.  Canon is doing better compared to its peers, which suggests it's getting more things right than not.  You and I individually do not affect marketing and engineering decisions.  Unfortunately, the design and feature set that will satisfy the most potential customers may still not be attractive to millions of other customers, of which you and I might be among.  You and I might not like a company's decision, but that does not make the decision that the company made wrong.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: jeffa4444 on December 17, 2013, 09:55:20 AM
Another trip out shooting winter dawn sunrise landscape if the 6d keeps giving my 7d will only get brief outtings to car races or safaris, fact is proof is in the final images. Speccs are often misleading.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: BPLOL on December 17, 2013, 01:51:31 PM
Nobody thought the 6D was well thought out for any level of photographer, except, maybe, those who do a lot of arranged and found still life on tripods and could use Live View most of the time.  That's too specialized for success.

WOW. So the 6D cannot be good for any pro work with its AF system?

Two pics I took some other day (I'm not claiming I'm a pro).  Went and used the outer points. JPEG OOC, using my 24-105L at 105mm (not very sharp lens, I know, but I love it anyway). The first one was taken handheld, 1/50.

(http://bp.lrfarias.com/stuff/other/6d-sharp1.jpg)

Next one: it was dark, if I weren't using flash, I believe I would need ISO 12800 for a good exposure. Also taken at 105mm, but 1/100.

(http://bp.lrfarias.com/stuff/other/6d-sharp2.jpg)

Last saturday I went to a birthday party and took the 6D with me. Kids were playing, so I thought that I would try its SERVO mode. Center point only, JPEG OOC (except for curves), silent mode (3 fps), at 105mm, ISO 1600, 1/1600s:

(http://bp.lrfarias.com/stuff/other/burst1.jpg)

(http://bp.lrfarias.com/stuff/other/burst2.jpg)

(http://bp.lrfarias.com/stuff/other/burst3.jpg)

(http://bp.lrfarias.com/stuff/other/burst4.jpg)

Subject was running 3.4 meters away (and came to 2.7m on it's closest picture). AF settings to prioritize focus.

Seems good to me. Until now, I cannot say the 6D is holding me back.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on December 17, 2013, 02:16:41 PM
So the 6D cannot be good for any pro work with its AF system?

Did anyone really say that? If so, it's clearly incorrect - but your nice mock-ups demonstrate what you have to do: focus on a contrast part in good light so that the non-cross sensor point can lock on - or it will get unreliable, meaning sometimes it'll hunt. And in your shots, you toke a sane decision - track with the center point, and only the center point.

The thing about the non-center 6d points is that they're "nice to have" and a convenience, but hardly necessary: They only have f5.6 precision, meaning you shouldn't use them with a faster lens than for example your 24-105/4 and go for 100% crop viewing/printing. But at this dof, focus & recompose would most likely achieve the same result.

When outer points would become really necessary (tracking, fast lenses) they tend to fail on the 6d, meaning you'll get better results with center point focus & recompose as the outer points are so near the center anyway.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: YuengLinger on December 17, 2013, 02:33:41 PM
"WOW. So the 6D cannot be good for any pro work with its AF system?"

I sure didn't say that.  And I was NOT the first photographer to say the 6D was not well thought out.

Your sample pics of the woman rigidly posed and the little girl only show 1)  That the AF works for still life, and 2)  Out of 4 pics of the kid playing, you only captured two where we could see her face.  My guess is that was partly because of sluggish AF, but perhaps you had artistic intent, who knows.

My prediction:  The 6D will have one of the shortest production cycles of any Canon SLR.  Perhaps THE shortest.  As an emergency backup, if I could get it for a song, heck, I wouldn't throw it away--but I'd rather save my money for whatever Canon makes to replace this dog.

Like I said, Canon makes great cameras most of the time, I'm invested in their system, and I want the company to be strong.

Ford made the Pinto, a little disaster, but there were ardent defenders of it.  Somewhere there probably was a Yugo fan club.  And I know there are people still bitter that "New Coke" went down the drain.

Just because somebody CAN get something to work some of the time doesn't make that something a worthwhile product.

Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on December 17, 2013, 02:52:15 PM
Nine points all cross point would not have threatened the 5D Mark III much, but would have encouraged a lot more people to make the move to FF and further commit to eos/ef.

Personally, I think *one* cross point with f2.8 precision would have been enough to redeem the 6d, and I agree Canon went over the top here with inter-company product differentiation and recycling used 5d2 parts.

I belong to two photography clubs, one a PPA affiliate, the other a great group of enthusiasts who produce great fine art and nature work.  Nobody thought the 6D was well thought out for any level of photographer

I take it your photography clubs are in Palm Springs or Bel Air :-) ... you're buddies are missing the point here, €3000 is a hilarious amount of money for a dslr *body* not only considering the absolute price tag, but what (better) lens you can get with the money saved if you go 6d. It is thought out for the level of photographer that can make do with sub-optimal gear an concentrates on the content, and that would include me. Speaking of which, the 5d3 is full of shortcomings, too - if you want adequate, go 1dx :->

My prediction:  The 6D will have one of the shortest production cycles of any Canon SLR.  Perhaps THE shortest.

My prediction: The exact opposite. The 6d is the "real" successor to the long-running landscape/still 5d2 and is comprised of a lot of old (and cheap) parts, unfortunately including the af system. It is only marketed as what it is by Canon, it excels in low light still shooting, and has more than "enough" resolution.

There is absolutely no reason for Canon to exchange it as long people keep buying it, and they will, as the af system's faults are not obvious at first sight, but the stunning iq of the sensor is. They might, just might "update" it with the dual pixel af, but keeping the rest about the same - if Canon exchanges and innovates, they'll do it with the 7d2, 5d4 and 1dxs.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: BPLOL on December 17, 2013, 02:54:36 PM
Quote
The thing about the non-center 6d points is that they're "nice to have" and a convenience, but hardly necessary: They only have f5.6 precision, meaning you shouldn't use them with a faster lens than for example your 24-105/4 and go for 100% crop viewing/printing. But at this dof, focus & recompose would most likely achieve the same result.

I really wish I had a faster lens, but right now only 24-105L and 70-200L f4 IS (I believe the 50 f1.8 doesn't really count)

1)  That the AF works for still life

Yeah, it truly works. That's why I thought it was misleading to say that the 6D cannot be used the professional way. I understood that. Sorry, if it wasn't your intention.

Out of 4 pics of the kid playing, you only captured two where we could see her face.  My guess is that was partly because of sluggish AF, but perhaps you had artistic intent, who knows.

I was using silent mode. At 3 FPS, that was what I took. One burst. A little more than 1 second. That's not separated moments, but a sequence. I really don't think the 6D is a sports camera, but it can take action here and there with its center point. At 4.5 I would have got 2 more frames, I believe.

My prediction:  The 6D will have one of the shortest production cycles of any Canon SLR.  Perhaps THE shortest.


Sometimes I do think the 6D will stay where it is. I believe that when the 5D IV arrives, the 5D III will drop in price, so if you want performance you have to pay a little more. Want to go FF? We have the 6D, the 5D III for a little more, and for a lot more 5D IV. Right now, I cannot see a 6DII eating 5DIII sales.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: YuengLinger on December 17, 2013, 03:09:11 PM
BPLOL, I came off as a bit too strident. 

I think, overall, the 6D is a decent camera, but the thread started with a discussion of its AF, which, right from the start, ticked me off, and that is the feature I've been stuck on.

It clearly has an excellent sensor and good build.  I haven't read about problems with metering.

One thing I often overlook is the number of photographers with good enough eyes not to rely on AF points all over the place.  But when it comes to still life, I think Live View is wonderful, and from what I understand, Live View doesn't depend on AF points at all--it is a different system.

My whole point, over which I began to hyperventilate a little, is that Canon let down a great number of customers and prospective customers.  The 6D has eloquent apologists.  I'd be an arrogant donkey to scoff at somebody for buying what they can afford, but I think for what was being charged when the 6D was released, Canon could have at least matched the 9-points systems already available on the 50D and 60D.

Your sample shots are nice to look at; I was only commenting on whether they did much to showcase the AF.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on December 18, 2013, 03:10:26 AM
On the flip side, with the -3 EV center point, you might get more keepers in low light with the 6D than anything else Canon sells (including the 1DX).  I've found its low-light focusing to be just plain spectacular.

How do you define 'low light'?  For example, the difference between shooting at -2 EV and-3 EV could mean 1/15 s, f/2.8, ISO 51200 vs. 102400.  Neither is very usable from an IQ standpoint.  What most people call 'low light' is generally substantially brighter than either spec.

I agree that "works well in low light" or similar phrases have a rather imprecise meaning. I thought that Canon's spec on the center point is rather more precise than that, center AF point sensitivity down to EV -3 (at 73ºF/23ºC, ISO 100), which for example would be an 8-min exposure at f/8 or 1-min at f/2.8. Perhaps familiarity with night photography might help envisioning what level of available light would call for such an exposure (considerations on what constitute an adequate exposure aside).

As a side note, I can report using live view AF in the 6D for night landscape shots of 16-min at f/8, ISO 100 (EV -4). AF is rather slow and requires judicious use when choosing your subject. I wouldn't use the viewfinder in those scenarios, as I've found it too dim and small. I haven't heard/read anything pointing out that other cameras wouldn't do as well as the 6D is these circumstances. But I've personally witnessed other photographers resorting to MF quicker than me in these situations (technique and preference may play a role as well).

How about a handheld shot indoors in a dark room at 300mm and f/5.6 (with the 70-300L), for .8 seconds at ISO 10,000?  Is that not low light?  If a 5D3 can autofocus in that amount of light, I'll go buy 10 of them tomorrow...
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on December 18, 2013, 03:24:47 AM
Hey Folks.
Afraid I have no usefull camera based info as I only have a lowly 7D and have never knowingly seen either a 5DIII or 6D in action.
How about you all agree to disagree on this point, I have seen what started as a valid positive post degenerate in to a mud slinging session. I value comments from all on this forum, everyone has something to offer that may help me improve my technique and get more from my hobby, everyone also has their own opinion and these are as different as can be, wouldn't the world be boring if we were all the same!

Tis the season to be jolly, of goodwill to all men etc etc.
So please no more mud slinging. Let's get back to normal service of getting along and improving our hobby.

Cheers Graham.

Thank you for the positive sentiments, and Merry Christmas to you!

For what it's worth, even I admit the 7D can autofocus better than the 6D in good light!  Far better actually.  I am not here claiming the 6D can autofocus better in good light than any camera, actually.  Maybe it's better than an older Rebel, I don't know.  For some lenses the 6D AF's better than my 50D did, for others it does not.  The 50D was not terrible at autofocusing, it was pretty good. 

I'm just against the thought that the 6D can't ever get more than half its shots in focus while in servo mode, because that's definitely not how it is.  Anyone who says otherwise is either using a 6D with a faulty AF sensor, or they're intentionally tripping it up by relying on the outer points (as in by using all the points...because again, the little man inside the camera that tells which points are dominant, is keen to let those lesser capable outer points have sway over the better center point, especially while in servo mode.)

This is not a difficult phenomenon to observe...the points light up.  Who are you going to believe, me or your lying forum eyes as they read the naysayers?  :P...So for the millionth time...don't rely on 6D outer AF points in servo mode.  Use the camera correctly, or else don't complain.

If you simply must have all points active, or you want a large or spaced group of precise points and a fast, high performance autofocus...pay the extra money and get a different camera.  But don't tell me I don't get over half my shots in sharp focus, when I do...
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on December 18, 2013, 03:28:52 AM
Perfectly obvious Canon dropped the ball with the 6D, giving it weaker AF than the 60D.  Canon makes mistakes and should be called on them, just as they should be praised for the many cameras they get so wonderfully right.

Note that I don't call the AF issue a mistake simply because I have to pay more for a FF with good AF.  Putting the weak system in the entry level FF was a blunder because Canon needs dSLR customers committed to its entire eos/ef system.  Ticking off current customers looking to upgrade to FF was bad business, as was turning off prospective customers comparing Canon's offerings to those of other companies.  If Canon had simply equaled the xxD line's AF in an entry level FF, they'd have had more customers coming in and more customers with ef-s lenses looking to buy new lenses for their FF.  But Canon was shortsighted, stingy, and over protective of the 5DIII, which was simply out of range for a great many enthusiasts.

You make it sound like the D600 or D610, have outsold the 6D.  Have they?  As for having a weaker AF than the 60D, I'm not sure if it is.  Is the 60D's AF sensor any different than the 50D's?  I had a 50D for 4 years...

One thing the 60D DOES NOT HAVE, and one thing both the 6D and 50D have...is autofocus micro adjustment.  The 6D even has it for both the wide and tele ends of a zoom lens. 

So in my opinion, the 60D's autofocus sucks, for that reason alone.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on December 18, 2013, 03:33:41 AM
Nobody thought the 6D was well thought out for any level of photographer, except, maybe, those who do a lot of arranged and found still life on tripods and could use Live View most of the time.  That's too specialized for success.

WOW. So the 6D cannot be good for any pro work with its AF system?

Two pics I took some other day (I'm not claiming I'm a pro).  Went and used the outer points. JPEG OOC, using my 24-105L at 105mm (not very sharp lens, I know, but I love it anyway). The first one was taken handheld, 1/50.

(http://bp.lrfarias.com/stuff/other/6d-sharp1.jpg)

Next one: it was dark, if I weren't using flash, I believe I would need ISO 12800 for a good exposure. Also taken at 105mm, but 1/100.

(http://bp.lrfarias.com/stuff/other/6d-sharp2.jpg)

Last saturday I went to a birthday party and took the 6D with me. Kids were playing, so I thought that I would try its SERVO mode. Center point only, JPEG OOC (except for curves), silent mode (3 fps), at 105mm, ISO 1600, 1/1600s:

(http://bp.lrfarias.com/stuff/other/burst1.jpg)

(http://bp.lrfarias.com/stuff/other/burst2.jpg)

(http://bp.lrfarias.com/stuff/other/burst3.jpg)

(http://bp.lrfarias.com/stuff/other/burst4.jpg)

Subject was running 3.4 meters away (and came to 2.7m on it's closest picture). AF settings to prioritize focus.

Seems good to me. Until now, I cannot say the 6D is holding me back.

Nice shot, she has kind eyes.  Can I date her?
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: eninja on December 18, 2013, 04:00:37 AM
I got the 6D for about one year now.
The least description of 6D that makes me happy "owning" it is that:

"The 6D is better than 5Dii in about every aspect."
And 5Dii have took a lot of great pictures.

Just sharing what I thought about the AF of my 6D.
Im very amateur and shoot still people.
And I really dont check and compare if focus was spot on. 
At decent light like normal house room with fluorescent lighting or sunlight outside or soft light outdoor.
Outer focus points works.

I am happy with 6D Outer point AF, can't say much.

edit:
And I am using the Un-sharpest Lens of all: EF 28mm F1.8.
( i am the only person who love 28mm, not to wide and not too long for 1 meter distance shot)
And the cheapest lens of all: EF 75-300 F4-5.6 iii

picture from EF 75-300: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ic0hcyf4gzncd18/IMG_4315.JPG (https://www.dropbox.com/s/ic0hcyf4gzncd18/IMG_4315.JPG)


Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on December 18, 2013, 04:08:21 AM
I got the 6D for about one year now.
The least description of 6D that makes me happy "owning" it is that:

"The 6D is better than 5Dii in about every aspect."
And 5Dii have took a lot of great pictures.

Just sharing what I thought about the AF of my 6D.
Im very amateur and shoot still people.
And I really dont check and compare if focus was spot on. 
At decent light like normal house room with fluorescent lighting or sunlight outside or soft light outdoor.
Outer focus points works.

I am happy with 6D Outer point AF, can't say much.

Glad to hear you like yours!  Yes in that light the outer points work, they just aren't reliable in servo mode.  It really also depends on the lens.  There were plenty of people who complained about the 5D2 autofocus.  It's just that they had to either buy it, or the 1Ds3...or the D700.  The D700 was probably the more capable stills camera.  It just didn't have the resolution (at low ISO), and was from the wrong company...had the wrong ergonomics...I could go on.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: J.R. on December 18, 2013, 04:21:36 AM

How about a handheld shot indoors in a dark room at 300mm and f/5.6 (with the 70-300L), for .8 seconds at ISO 10,000?  Is that not low light?  If a 5D3 can autofocus in that amount of light, I'll go buy 10 of them tomorrow...

Those settings would result in close to EV +1. The AF working range of the 5D3 is between EV (-) 2 to (+) 18 so yeah ... it will autofocus.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on December 18, 2013, 04:39:54 AM
How about a handheld shot indoors in a dark room at 300mm and f/5.6 (with the 70-300L), for .8 seconds at ISO 10,000?  Is that not low light?  If a 5D3 can autofocus in that amount of light, I'll go buy 10 of them tomorrow...
Those settings would result in close to EV +1. The AF working range of the 5D3 is between EV (-) 2 to (+) 18 so yeah ... it will autofocus.

Thanks for the calculation, imho Canon pulled a real marketing stunt with the -3LV af as the 6d defining feature since it's only the center point, and very few people will need this one stop more, ever.

For me it's still useful for silently af'ing animals in very dark conditions w/o af assist for flash shots, and neuro has convinced me that there might be some long expo handheld shots with IS that are -3LV. For tripod shots I'D still take live view focusing with ML focus peaking and "night mode" lv boost over phase af...
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: candc on December 18, 2013, 07:50:20 AM


How about a handheld shot indoors in a dark room at 300mm and f/5.6 (with the 70-300L), for .8 seconds at ISO 10,000?  Is that not low light?  If a 5D3 can autofocus in that amount of light, I'll go buy 10 of them tomorrow...

10 of them, thats 610 af points, Dang!

the 6d af does what its supposed to but like the rest of the camera, its not real exciting. it needs some cool sounding features like "dual pixel auto focus". dual anything sounds awesome, dual rectifier, dual exhaust. maybe next one will get a dual core digic+ image processor, now that sounds cool.

Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: neuroanatomist on December 18, 2013, 09:21:15 AM

How about a handheld shot indoors in a dark room at 300mm and f/5.6 (with the 70-300L), for .8 seconds at ISO 10,000?  Is that not low light?  If a 5D3 can autofocus in that amount of light, I'll go buy 10 of them tomorrow...

Those settings would result in close to EV +1. The AF working range of the 5D3 is between EV (-) 2 to (+) 18 so yeah ... it will autofocus.

Actually, by accepted convention those settings are EV –1.67, which is above the specified EV –2 sensitivity of the 5DIII.  I have empirically confirmed that my 1D X (same AF sensor as the 5DIII) can AF at those light levels.

Carl, I look forward to tomorrow when you post a scanned image of the receipt or invoice for the 10 5DIII bodies you're going to buy.  Unless you were not being honest...  Of course, I would not find that surprising – it seems commensurate with your rudeness and insulting behavior. 
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on December 18, 2013, 09:51:31 AM
maybe next one will get a dual core digic+ image processor, now that sounds cool.

Actually the last one might be useful, more capable cameras have a second processor for autofocus - and on the 6d when enabling multipoint tracking, the struggle of the camera to decide where to focus is pitiful. But then again, the 60d did better with an even slower digic4, so the 6d firmware might as well to blame.

Carl, I look forward to tomorrow when you post a scanned image of the receipt or invoice for the 10 5DIII bodies you're going to buy.

Oh, come on, don't be so hard on him - you known he's doesn't know what he's talking about when it comes to the 6d (though he has a refreshingly stern opinion based on that)... and everybody is entitled to a little enthusiasm. Maybe he can get off the 10x 5d3 purchase if he pledges to learn about the "Insert Quote" and "Edit Post" buttons so he doesn't have to do 5 separate posts with complete quotes in succession :-) ?
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Chuck Alaimo on December 18, 2013, 11:25:15 AM
Half a year now on my 6d, and running side by side with a 5d3.  I shoot mostly weddings and portraits, with some events splashed in.  I have to say for all the talk about the 6d's lacking AF, it's really not that bad.  I am not shooting sports though or high action - so the weakness (servo mode) isn't a deal breaker for me.  But with that said, it can get the job done... (lol...if you have to drive a nail in and only have a screw driver, you can get the nail in, yeah a hammer is the correct tool, but, you can still bang it in there with the butt end...)

The outer points, for stills, are usable in the right situations (and if its dark, the AF assist beam from a flash can make up the difference).

It's really not a bad camera!
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Skirball on December 18, 2013, 11:37:58 AM
How about a handheld shot indoors in a dark room at 300mm and f/5.6 (with the 70-300L), for .8 seconds at ISO 10,000?  Is that not low light?  If a 5D3 can autofocus in that amount of light, I'll go buy 10 of them tomorrow...

You can handhold at 300mm for .8 seconds?  I guess I don't have a steady grip.

Not to get in yet another one of your pissing matches, but I do find the low light centerpoint to be useful when shooting in a dark room with off-camera flash.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on December 18, 2013, 11:50:55 AM
You can handhold at 300mm for .8 seconds?  I guess I don't have a steady grip.

Nobody can do that without a large amount of luck, not even our unofficial 6d ambassador, but you're thinking of 100% crop sharpness - if you're shooting for a small print/viewing size a bit shaky shot is better than one completely out of focus.

but I do find the low light centerpoint to be useful when shooting in a dark room with off-camera flash.

+1, and I'm also using the low-light af with a flash on a bracket - but it's slow, that's why I'll most likely get the new Yn radio trigger with built-in af assist.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: YuengLinger on December 18, 2013, 07:52:53 PM
"One thing the 60D DOES NOT HAVE, and one thing both the 6D and 50D have...is autofocus micro adjustment.  The 6D even has it for both the wide and tele ends of a zoom lens."

Agreed, lack of micro adjustment is a deficiency of the 60D.  But the point is that the lowly 60D has an all around more robust, quicker AF for those of us who want more than one AF point dead in the center.  I've used it in a lot of situations, low light, birds in flight, landscape--always super reliable, quick AF at any point.

(In fact, I guess I was lucky with the lenses on my 60D, as they were all sharp, even my ef 50mm 1.4.

On my 5DIII, only two lenses need AF micro adjust--my 100mm 2.8 macro (standard) and my Sigma 35mm 1.4.  My zooms are all great.)

Anyway, AF micro adjust is for another thread, but it is undeniably an important feature and a "pro" for the 6D.

Happy holidays, all!
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on December 19, 2013, 12:57:33 AM

How about a handheld shot indoors in a dark room at 300mm and f/5.6 (with the 70-300L), for .8 seconds at ISO 10,000?  Is that not low light?  If a 5D3 can autofocus in that amount of light, I'll go buy 10 of them tomorrow...

Those settings would result in close to EV +1. The AF working range of the 5D3 is between EV (-) 2 to (+) 18 so yeah ... it will autofocus.

Correct, because I wanted the image to look like the lights were on, even though they were off.  So I used positive exposure compensation. 
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on December 19, 2013, 01:00:42 AM
How about a handheld shot indoors in a dark room at 300mm and f/5.6 (with the 70-300L), for .8 seconds at ISO 10,000?  Is that not low light?  If a 5D3 can autofocus in that amount of light, I'll go buy 10 of them tomorrow...
Those settings would result in close to EV +1. The AF working range of the 5D3 is between EV (-) 2 to (+) 18 so yeah ... it will autofocus.

Thanks for the calculation, imho Canon pulled a real marketing stunt with the -3LV af as the 6d defining feature since it's only the center point, and very few people will need this one stop more, ever.

For me it's still useful for silently af'ing animals in very dark conditions w/o af assist for flash shots, and neuro has convinced me that there might be some long expo handheld shots with IS that are -3LV. For tripod shots I'D still take live view focusing with ML focus peaking and "night mode" lv boost over phase af...

As I explained above, I used positive exposure compensation.  So yeah, the actual available light was more like -2 to -3EV.  And this was with a lens that was native f/5.6.  The room was quite dark. 
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on December 19, 2013, 01:23:48 AM
Correct, because I wanted the image to look like the lights were on, even though they were off.  So I used positive exposure compensation.

Now just wait here - you're saying that the light level was -2 LV, but with setting +1 positive exposure compensation on your camera you dimmed down the ambient to -3 LV so that only the 6d af would have been able to auto-focus as you theorized with the wager of buying 10 5d3 camera bodies?

Look, you all can calculate the available light all you like.  I don't have a calibrated light meter.  It was a black pepper shaker that I focused on with that center point.  I just looked it up in my camera, and the exposure compensation was +2 EV.  I will post the picture in the next day or two, unedited, but also post an edited version to make the darkness appear how it looked to my eye.  I shot it as a jpeg.  There is white lettering against the black of the shaker that says "pepper", that helped the autofocus.  Also there is a highlight on the left edge of the shaker, but I didn't put the point over that.  It may or may not have been a factor in the focusing.  I was mainly trying to test the IS...it worked, but only for about 1 in 4 of the shots at such a long exposure.  How many stops of IS is 8/10 of a second at 300mm?
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: J.R. on December 19, 2013, 01:32:48 AM

How about a handheld shot indoors in a dark room at 300mm and f/5.6 (with the 70-300L), for .8 seconds at ISO 10,000?  Is that not low light?  If a 5D3 can autofocus in that amount of light, I'll go buy 10 of them tomorrow...

Those settings would result in close to EV +1. The AF working range of the 5D3 is between EV (-) 2 to (+) 18 so yeah ... it will autofocus.

Correct, because I wanted the image to look like the lights were on, even though they were off.  So I used positive exposure compensation.

I'm not sure I understand your post. 
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on December 19, 2013, 01:37:32 AM
It may or may not have been a factor in the focusing.  I was mainly trying to test the IS...it worked, but only for about 1 in 4 of the shots at such a long exposure.  How many stops of IS is 8/10 of a second at 300mm?

Sorry, I mis-read your posts (just drinking my morning coffee :-)) and removed it, but not before you could snatch it for a quote :-p ... you're correct, with exposure compensation used (which you didn't mention at the time) you cannot directly calculate back the ambient from only shutter/aperture/iso, so if it was as you said it might have been darker than -2 LV.

Another question is how hard these barriers are, much more likely the camera's ability to af doesn't stop suddenly af -3.000001 LV, and nobody really tested it so we can only take Canon's word on how large the 5d3/6d gap really is.

My experience with the 6d af using the 100L f2.8(!) lens is that the lack of a precise center cross point shows up more at dim light, it af's alright sooner or later, but the precision seems to be worse than at good light unless you're extra-careful to pick a contrast part. With a f4+ lens you won't have these troubles of course.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on December 19, 2013, 02:18:32 AM
It may or may not have been a factor in the focusing.  I was mainly trying to test the IS...it worked, but only for about 1 in 4 of the shots at such a long exposure.  How many stops of IS is 8/10 of a second at 300mm?

Sorry, I mis-read your posts (just drinking my morning coffee :-)) and removed it, but not before you could snatch it for a quote :-p ... you're correct, with exposure compensation used (which you didn't mention at the time) you cannot directly calculate back the ambient from only shutter/aperture/iso, so if it was as you said it might have been darker than -2 LV.

Another question is how hard these barriers are, much more likely the camera's ability to af doesn't stop suddenly af -3.000001 LV, and nobody really tested it so we can only take Canon's word on how large the 5d3/6d gap really is.

My experience with the 6d af using the 100L f2.8(!) lens is that the lack of a precise center cross point shows up more at dim light, it af's alright sooner or later, but the precision seems to be worse than at good light unless you're extra-careful to pick a contrast part. With a f4+ lens you won't have these troubles of course.

Something we can agree on!  I have the same experience as you with your 100 f/2.8, in my same darkly lit room, with my 135 f/2 mounted.  It absolutely refuses to autofocus with just center point, where it will easily AF with an f/4 lens in the same light.  An f/4 lens is how much less light than f/2?

As for the 70-300L, I really must conclude that it just still can't autofocus as fast or in as low of a light, as the 70-200 f/4 (non IS)...even if the 70-300L is zoomed to f/4 at the wider end.  The 70-300L has more trouble all around than the 70-200 f/4.  I hate to sell it, but I can't afford to keep both lenses (also need to sell two of my Sigma lenses...I like them but I can't afford to collect 40 lenses like some of you guys). 

The 70-200 f/4 non-IS, combined with the 6D, absolutely got the best out of the 6D's admittedly limited autofocus and servo tracking ability, in my experience.  I've still not fully explored the 70-300L's servo ability, but given its single shot performance, I have to conclude it also cannot do what the 70-200 f/4 could do.

The 70-300L seems quite a lot sharper, except all the way at 300mm.  It seems to have slightly more CA, but it's not a problem.  It seems to have quite a lot more contrast (similar to the 135 f/2 and that's saying something, especially for a zoom!!)...And again, it most definitely is the most flare resistant lens I've ever used.  The reviews that talk about this are almost understating it.  I can't believe I'm pointing this thing nearly into the sun and no flare, no significant hazing (ghosting?). 

The IS of the 70-300L can be spectacular (.8 seconds hand-held at 300mm)...but this is NOT the norm.  And if I focus-recompose and I'm not in panning mode, the IS gets upset and I have to let it settle for probably 1.5 seconds before I snap the picture.  It does seem to have some mirror slap compensation (which is impressive in itself at this price level imho)...But again, it's nothing like the best IS I've personally experienced so far, the 200 f/2L.  That was in another realm...however the 200L's IS was probably only reliably repeatable while hand-held at 1/10 or 1/13 of a second, and faster.  The 70-300L is similar at 1/30 or 1/40 of a second...at least at 300mm.  In the middle, around 100-150mm, it might be repeatable down to 1/20 second.  At the wide end it seems slightly better than the long end, but not as good as from 100-150mm.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on December 19, 2013, 02:33:46 AM
I've still not fully explored the 70-300L's servo ability, but given its single shot performance, I have to conclude it also cannot do what the 70-200 f/4 could do.

I've already read multiple posts complaining about 6d+70-300L, but I have to say I can't see the problem - but maybe that's because I've only got "tricky" lenses to begin with and no good "standard" comparison. Unless I use multipoint-tracking in which the result is pitiful, the 70-300L is ok at single-point tracking, well, as ok as I'd expect the 6d to get at all.

The one issue I can see that the 70-300L exposes the 6d not to be a closed loop system. I just tested it in a dim room, it af's a first step, then thinks again for some microseconds, then af's a second step - just like the Tamron 24-70/2.8 does. I also just did a quick comparison on the 60d: the speed isn't a big difference, however the final 2nd af step seems to be bit faster on the 60d, but it's also there.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on December 19, 2013, 02:40:04 AM
I've still not fully explored the 70-300L's servo ability, but given its single shot performance, I have to conclude it also cannot do what the 70-200 f/4 could do.

I've already read multiple posts complaining about 6d+70-300L, but I have to say I can't see the problem - but maybe that's because I've only got "tricky" lenses to begin with and no good "standard" comparison. Unless I use multipoint-tracking in which the result is pitiful, the 70-300L is ok at single-point tracking, well, as ok as I'd expect the 6d to get at all.

The one issue I can see that the 70-300L exposes the 6d not to be a closed loop system. I just tested it in a dim room, it af's a first step, then thinks again for some microseconds, then af's a second step - just like the Tamron 24-70/2.8 does. I also just did a quick comparison on the 60d: the speed isn't a big difference, however the final 2nd af step seems to be bit faster on the 60d, but it's also there.

Interesting, I've not noticed a two step process.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on December 19, 2013, 02:44:52 AM
Interesting, I've not noticed a two step process.

Compare it to a "closed loop" system like 1dx/5d3 if you have the opportunity, these don't need any further feedback from the lens and can tell it precisely where to focus in one step, while "open loop" systems use a second micro-step depending on circumstances. This is the big advantage of Canon's newest af system, though it only works in combination with the latest lenses.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on December 19, 2013, 02:47:07 AM
Interesting, I've not noticed a two step process.

Compare it to a "closed loop" system like 1dx/5d3 if you have the opportunity, these don't need any further feedback from the lens and can tell it precisely where to focus in one step, while "open loop" systems use a second micro-step depending on circumstances. This is the big advantage of Canon's newest af system, though it only works in combination with the latest lenses.

My cousin who owns the 1DX does not have any of the newest lenses.  You're welcome to bring all of yours over sometime!
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: ashmadux on December 28, 2013, 02:16:20 PM
Not to cut into the AF conversation, but ive finally gotten a chance to take some test shots with a replacement 6d. The first ones AF/sharpness was atrocious. Much better, but its not 'there' yet. I havent AFMA'd though.

The screen is a 1:1 screen shot, non- developed, adobe bridge 100% raw file preview. Reference 24-105.

Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Skirball on January 02, 2014, 04:15:57 PM
The screen is a 1:1 screen shot, non- developed, adobe bridge 100% raw file preview. Reference 24-105.

So, you're allowed to litter any time other than 8:30 - 10:00 on Mondays?
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Chuck Alaimo on January 02, 2014, 04:16:57 PM
The screen is a 1:1 screen shot, non- developed, adobe bridge 100% raw file preview. Reference 24-105.

So, you're allowed to litter any time other than 8:30 - 10:00?

LOL!!!!
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Tonywintn on January 05, 2014, 07:29:34 PM
I went to a college women's basketball game yesterday and got a number of nice shots using my 6D.  This was my first time shooting a sporting event since the early 1980s.  Some background:  I used to shoot sports when I was in college in the 1970s for the local newspaper.  I freelanced college and high school football and basketball games going wherever the Sports Editor sent me.  I earned much needed cash doing that.  I used my 35mm camera with a 50mm f/1.4 lens back then for most shots and push processed to ASA1000 in order to use available light.  Flash wasn't allowed at most sporting events.  Fast forward to yesterday:  My Canon 6D with 50mm f/1.4 lens (just like the old days) set on AI Focus.  A momentary lag on each shot as I pressed the button so that the camera could focus.  I got a number of nice action shots and in focus.  A couple focused on players behind the action.  All and all, not bad.  I switched to AI Servo and multi-shot mode.  Now we're talkin'.  Focus hit on nearly every shot.  I have a few that focused on the bleachers or on the wrong players; but 90% dead on.  I used 1/250 and f/2.8 with the 50mm and stayed with 1/250 but shot wide open with my 70-300mmL at f/5.6.  ISO was between 2000 and 6400.  So pretty good lighting on the floor.  The shots with both lenses were excellent.  My experience compared to the 70s is what a difference technology makes.  I used to go through a lot of B&W film to bag a few great shots.  My keeper rate was way higher with today's technology.  I was also glad to see I still have the knack.  btw- would I get in trouble posting a few of these pix from a public sporting event?  Do we need released to do that?  What are the rules?
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: ashmadux on January 06, 2014, 12:52:26 PM
If you can't get decent pictures out of a 6D then there is some serious wrong with you as a photographer!!

+1, and I'd even expand on that: you can't get decent pictures out of any *Rebel* then there is something seriously wrong with you as a photographer.

Post like this are ridiculous. Also considering that my rebels have been super reliable, yet 7d/6d have been nothing but trouble in the Af department. My Xsi focus put these higher level bodies to shame...and im ashamed to have to say that. :(
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Tonywintn on January 07, 2014, 05:39:31 PM
Well, I wanted to share these.  The first shot is with my 50mm and the 2nd shot with the 70-300mm.  I liked AI Servo mode which worked very well for me focusing on the players.  Out of about 150 shots- not all were keepers from an action standpoint; but only three or four pix I found to be out of focus- or really just not focused on the subject that I wanted.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: kozakm on January 10, 2014, 05:02:17 AM
I tested 6D a year ago. I did some shooting in very dark club (ISO 12 800, F2,8, 1/60 s) and on the evening street and was quite happy with the AF performance. Most of the time I used central point, outer points were significantly slower, but still accurate. As a 1D Mark IV owner (at that time) I was really positively surprised as one shots AF was noticeable better.

As a sport photographer I also give it a try in indoor cycling under the poor lighting conditions (ISO 6400, F2,8, 1/320 s). Central point was working acceptably well and was able to focus on moving cyclist. Outer points were no use at all. 1D Mark IV performed significantly better under these really hard conditions.

For me only shame was a lack of dual memory slot, otherwise it'd be perfect second body for weddings, parties, proms etc.

(http://www.martinkozak.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/VanocniPraha2012_10.jpg)

(http://www.casopis-foto.cz/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/6d_05.jpg)
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on January 10, 2014, 08:08:26 PM
I tested 6D a year ago. I did some shooting in very dark club (ISO 12 800, F2,8, 1/60 s) and on the evening street and was quite happy with the AF performance. Most of the time I used central point, outer points were significantly slower, but still accurate. As a 1D Mark IV owner (at that time) I was really positively surprised as one shots AF was noticeable better.

As a sport photographer I also give it a try in indoor cycling under the poor lighting conditions (ISO 6400, F2,8, 1/320 s). Central point was working acceptably well and was able to focus on moving cyclist. Outer points were no use at all. 1D Mark IV performed significantly better under these really hard conditions.

For me only shame was a lack of dual memory slot, otherwise it'd be perfect second body for weddings, parties, proms etc.

(http://www.martinkozak.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/VanocniPraha2012_10.jpg)

(http://www.casopis-foto.cz/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/6d_05.jpg)

Nice highlight bokeh effect!
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on January 12, 2014, 03:37:06 AM
As a 1D Mark IV owner (at that time) I was really positively surprised as one shots AF was noticeable better.

Interesting - was the 1d4 less prices, slower, ... or ? At least you can use af point expansion(?) on the 1d which is missing on the 6d so you're really nailed to one single af point.

For me only shame was a lack of dual memory slot, otherwise it'd be perfect second body for weddings, parties, proms etc.

Not that I'm defending Canon's decision which is clearly made to differentiate the 6d from "pro" 1d and "semi-pro" 5d3, but I recon you can set up the wifi to instantly transmit the shots to a smartphone or similar to keep them safe in case of card failure ... and this option is even better if your camera gets eaten by a Grue :-p
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: grahamclarkphoto on January 14, 2014, 06:56:39 PM
I'm about to spend a significant (for my finances) amount of money on a new Canon full frame body, it is going to be either a 6D or a 5D3. The plan is to get the camera body and 2 very fast primes: Sigma 35/1.4 and Canon 85/1.2. The 6D has got what i want and costs about 1000€ less than the 5D3, but given the fact that the DoF with fast primes is going to be tiny to say the least, how is the supposedly "simplistic" 6D AF system going to perform? The main fields of application will be travel and street photography, family portraits, some landscapes, the occasional event, and everything will happen just for the sake of it, i'm not trying to make a living out of my hobby (or else i wouldn't have such quantity of money to squander on gear :D ). I just don't want to spend a significant amount of money and be disappointed by a quirky AF behavior. I would like to hear from owners of these cameras and lenses, lots of online researches and reading still aren't enough to make up my mind.

It's easy to run around in circles on this one.. but to simplify it:

- The 6D's simple AF system with few number of AF points may not cut it if you shoot fast action 80% of the time or more
- The 6D's -3 EV lowlight sensitivity is currently unmatched by any DSLR on the market

If you shoot lowlight, sunsets, night photography or landscape photography the lowlight AF performance on the 6D wins.

Video review of the 6D: http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=19066 (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=19066)

Graham
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: AbsN on April 10, 2014, 07:30:07 AM
Having read through this and other threads about the 6Ds AF performance I'm still not sure what conclusions to draw, especially regarding accuracy with wide apertures.

Is the 6D's center AF point capable of accurately and reliably focusing the Canon 50 1.2, 35 1.4 and 85 1.2 - all at their widest apertures for static/posed single shot portraits at fairly close range (say 2 meters)?
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Max ☢ on April 10, 2014, 10:37:55 AM
Is the 6D's center AF point capable of accurately and reliably focusing the Canon 50 1.2, 35 1.4 and 85 1.2 - all at their widest apertures for static/posed single shot portraits at fairly close range (say 2 meters)?

I cannot comment on the 35/1.4L, but having the 85/1.2LII and the 50/1.2L my observations are:

- 85/1.2LII: I acquired this lens more than half a year ago and so far I am very happy with the 6D operation with this lens. Overall I manage to get a lot of keepers in the batchs I shoot at evening parties (mostly close-up portraits) and I usually find only a few misfocused images. Getting properly focused images with this lens requires some AFMA and a lot of practice and exercise but when the proper way of working is found, the 6D and 85/1.2LII combination is then a real pleasure to use and delivers outstanding results.
Nevertheless, I do see some slight variations in the focusing precision from the 6D, but not to a point of being an issue with the 85/1.2LII as far as I am concerned.

- 50/1.2L: I got this lens much more recently (three days ago!) and I find that the 6D autofocus ability becomes quite problematic under certain situations such as in low light environments and/or with low-contrast subjects. After AFMA and using the central AF point I rarely get a spot-on image focus under these critical conditions. The problem is not a bias in the 6D AF since it is not solved by AFMA, but rather due to a too large spread in the focused position relative to the desired point. The resulting focus inaccuracy is quite a shame because this lens delivers a phenomenal rendering when the image focus is properly nailed. The paper-thin DoF of the 50/1.2L (especially at close subject distances) combined with its very pronounced spherochromatic aberrations result in the need for very, very tight AF tolerances, which are clearly not met by the AF system of the 6D under low light and/or low contrast conditions.
On this subject there is an interesting article from Lens Rentals (Roger Cicala) which you can find here (http://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2012/11/30/autofocus-reality-revisited-how-does-the-Canon-eos-6d-measure-up) and whose data can be compared to those from there (http://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2012/08/01/autofocus-reality-part-3b-canon-cameras). In short, it is found that the AF accuracy of the 6D is nearly identical to that from the 5D mkII, but around twice worse than that from the 5D mkIII and 1Dx. Interestingly, when I dug into the 50/1.2L reviews over the internet I did find a few comments that the focusing with this lens was always spot-on with the 5D3 and 1Dx, which is quite consistent with a more accurate AF from those bodies. I think this is also an indication that all the “backfocusing” issues reported all over the net has more to do with challenged AF systems operated beyond their tolerances than an improperly designed lens...

Back to the original question, I nevertheless do find that under properly lit conditions and with high-contrast subjects the 6D AF works properly and shows quite a good AF accuracy and consistency, delivering the expected image quality (sharp subject at the center and lowest amount of spherochromatic aberrations). The best AF mode I found is the “One shot” setting as it prevents the camera’s AF system from hunting around too long before locking on the subject.
However, these ideal conditions are rarely met in real situations and when I sense that the AF struggles I then manually focus the lens using the autofocus confirmation. I found that focusing by starting from a point in front of the subject rather than behind consistently delivers properly focused images, even of subjects having a very poor contrast. Soon I will replace the 6D focusing screen by Canon’s EG-S screen in order to improve my ability to manually focus this 50/1.2L and spot misfocused images before I take them (this will help also with the 85/1.2LII although I never had to revert to manual focus with it).
So, overall the 6D-50/1.2L combo does not come without its lot of frustrations and there is definitely a steep learning path to be followed in order to get the best out of this system – but it is well worth the effort in the end and I am becoming satisfied with it as I am getting to understand how to use this piece of glass. The lack of proper AF ability under low light and low contrast conditions is of course quite a pity, but I don't mind having to find a way around this issue as long as I get the shots I want. If for you a good AF accuracy under all ciscumstances is a must and you don’t want to manually focus your lens, then forget the 6D-50/1.2L combo and go for the 5DIII-50/1.2L which according some reviews should faultlessly deliver the goods. As far as I am concerned, I keep the 6D and the lens, I will work with manual focus until I upgrade the body or the lens in 4-5 years from now. Hopefully there will be a 6D-mkII or mkIII with a mirrorless configuration and dual pixel sensor which will enable a spot-on autofocus under all circumstances  8)
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Dick on April 10, 2014, 12:53:59 PM
still not sure what conclusions to draw, especially regarding accuracy with wide apertures.


It is actually quite simple. You can only use the middle AF point and then recompose = getting an OOF photo. Servo tracking may work for the center of the frame but a person's face usually is not in that spot so it's useless to track people that way.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: mnclayshooter on April 10, 2014, 03:30:15 PM
Quote
It's easy to run around in circles on this one.. but to simplify it:

- The 6D's simple AF system with few number of AF points may not cut it if you shoot fast action 80% of the time or more
- The 6D's -3 EV lowlight sensitivity is currently unmatched by any DSLR on the market

If you shoot lowlight, sunsets, night photography or landscape photography the lowlight AF performance on the 6D wins.

I'll second this... with one exception.  I haven't had really any issues with "fast action" other than when I was moving quickly (passenger in a vehicle) trying to take a picture of a deer running.  I got maybe 2 out 6 shots that were out of focus beyond usable.  Use your Av control or Tv controls to your advantage.  Make the camera do what YOU want it to do, not rely on it to be smarter than you, and you'll be happier. 

I'll also add this one note... I tested the "dot-tune" method for AF Micro Adjustment with my lenses, basically knowing that I could just undo it if I wanted to... it made a BIG difference on my long zooms for both AF accuracy and speed - especially when using only the center point, and a subtle difference on my 100mm macro (which was already pretty darn good).  Might be worth a try if you're having troubles.   I followed the generally recommended method of using 50x the focal length of the lens (for zooms, 50x each end of the zoom extremes).  Some lenses were pretty spot on (as I would hope) others were in the +4 or 5 range which made a huge difference.   

Not trying to spark a debate about AMFA.  Just posting on my experience with the 6D, autofocus accuracy/speed and what I've seen as ways to improve on what actually isn't nearly as bad as some might make it out to seem. 

I'd wager that many of the "6D is too slow" posts are by people who are only reading spec pages and not actually handling the camera body itself. 

Is it as accurate or fast or flexible as a 5DIII - probably not, but it's also half the price - and in my humble opinion, a better all-around value for the VAST MAJORITY of casual/hobby photog's.   Just my 2 cents. 
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: neuroanatomist on April 10, 2014, 03:36:55 PM
- The 6D's -3 EV lowlight sensitivity is currently unmatched by any DSLR on the market

If you shoot lowlight, sunsets, night photography or landscape photography the lowlight AF performance on the 6D wins.

As I pointed out a few pages ago in this thread:

How do you define 'low light'?  For example, the difference between shooting at -2 EV and-3 EV could mean 1/15 s, f/2.8, ISO 51200 vs. 102400.  Neither is very usable from an IQ standpoint.  What most people call 'low light' is generally substantially brighter than either spec.

Long exposure night photograpy might benefit from that extra stop of AF capability (but in that situation, you are on a triod and probably using Live View to focus anyway).  Sunsets, landscapes and general shooting have plenty of light relative to the AF sensitivity of even lower end dSLRs. 

I think the -3 EV spec of the 6D is Canon saying 'we did it because we can, and to throw a bone after otherwise limiting AF functionality of this body' - it looks good on paper, but is of little practical benefit in the vast majority of shooting situations.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: MichaelHodges on April 10, 2014, 07:12:49 PM
I had the pleasure of shooting a 6D for several months in the Bob Marshall Wilderness complex and other wilderness areas in Montana, Washington, and Oregon.  I shot a variety of subjects, from bighorns to golden eagles to beaches.

The 6D lowlight focus is the best I've ever used on any camera.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on April 11, 2014, 03:56:31 AM
Quote
It's easy to run around in circles on this one.. but to simplify it:

- The 6D's simple AF system with few number of AF points may not cut it if you shoot fast action 80% of the time or more
- The 6D's -3 EV lowlight sensitivity is currently unmatched by any DSLR on the market

If you shoot lowlight, sunsets, night photography or landscape photography the lowlight AF performance on the 6D wins.

I'll second this... with one exception.  I haven't had really any issues with "fast action" other than when I was moving quickly (passenger in a vehicle) trying to take a picture of a deer running.  I got maybe 2 out 6 shots that were out of focus beyond usable.  Use your Av control or Tv controls to your advantage.  Make the camera do what YOU want it to do, not rely on it to be smarter than you, and you'll be happier. 

I'll also add this one note... I tested the "dot-tune" method for AF Micro Adjustment with my lenses, basically knowing that I could just undo it if I wanted to... it made a BIG difference on my long zooms for both AF accuracy and speed - especially when using only the center point, and a subtle difference on my 100mm macro (which was already pretty darn good).  Might be worth a try if you're having troubles.   I followed the generally recommended method of using 50x the focal length of the lens (for zooms, 50x each end of the zoom extremes).  Some lenses were pretty spot on (as I would hope) others were in the +4 or 5 range which made a huge difference.   

Not trying to spark a debate about AMFA.  Just posting on my experience with the 6D, autofocus accuracy/speed and what I've seen as ways to improve on what actually isn't nearly as bad as some might make it out to seem. 

I'd wager that many of the "6D is too slow" posts are by people who are only reading spec pages and not actually handling the camera body itself. 

Is it as accurate or fast or flexible as a 5DIII - probably not, but it's also half the price - and in my humble opinion, a better all-around value for the VAST MAJORITY of casual/hobby photog's.   Just my 2 cents.

I agree completely.  However, to a few on here, it just doesn't matter what you say.  The 6D is only a sensor, and not a camera, to them.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on April 11, 2014, 04:08:14 AM
- The 6D's -3 EV lowlight sensitivity is currently unmatched by any DSLR on the market

If you shoot lowlight, sunsets, night photography or landscape photography the lowlight AF performance on the 6D wins.

As I pointed out a few pages ago in this thread:

How do you define 'low light'?  For example, the difference between shooting at -2 EV and-3 EV could mean 1/15 s, f/2.8, ISO 51200 vs. 102400.  Neither is very usable from an IQ standpoint.  What most people call 'low light' is generally substantially brighter than either spec.

Long exposure night photograpy might benefit from that extra stop of AF capability (but in that situation, you are on a triod and probably using Live View to focus anyway).  Sunsets, landscapes and general shooting have plenty of light relative to the AF sensitivity of even lower end dSLRs. 

I think the -3 EV spec of the 6D is Canon saying 'we did it because we can, and to throw a bone after otherwise limiting AF functionality of this body' - it looks good on paper, but is of little practical benefit in the vast majority of shooting situations.

As I've said many times, due to the low noise of the 6D, the low light sensitivity of the center AF point, can be very useful in the majority of situations where you are shooting wildlife (or people) around, before, or after sunset.  Or else if you are shooting landscape hand-held, with an IS lens, up to an hour after sunset...or during a full moon.  Or if you are shooting inside a club, or outside on a dimly lit city street at night, that -3EV capability is very useful.

ISO 6400 is extremely usable for professional prints via the 6D (with a bit of post processing), and ISO's a bit above that are still useful.

As for bashing the other AF points on the 6D, you need to bash the 5D2's as well, because they were no better.  It might not still be on sale, but plenty of forum readers still own and use the 5D2.

For anyone shooting with strobes, or shooting fast sports action in well lit areas, the 5D3 or 1DX is the camera you need (or perhaps a D800 at low ISO).

If you're shooting portraits with an f/1.4 lens, wide open at f/1.4, and require peripheral AF points to be used (for focusing on eyes, etc.), then yes the 6D will not give consistent results.  But then the 1DX and 5D3 don't fare much better in that situation, which is why serious portrait photogs who shoot this way, either manually focus, or use live view.  Of course most of them are closing that fast lens down quite a bit, in which case there is more wiggle room for AF inaccuracies.

And besides, in that peripheral area of these lenses (other than the Zeiss Otus)...those eyes that you claim are so razor sharp...actually are not, and are suffering from coma and astigmatism.  It's unavoidable...especially with such lenses as the 50L and 85L.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on April 11, 2014, 04:10:37 AM


- 85/1.2LII: I acquired this lens more than half a year ago and so far I am very happy with the 6D operation with this lens. Overall I manage to get a lot of keepers in the batchs I shoot at evening parties (mostly close-up portraits) and I usually find only a few misfocused images. Getting properly focused images with this lens requires some AFMA and a lot of practice and exercise but when the proper way of working is found, the 6D and 85/1.2LII combination is then a real pleasure to use and delivers outstanding results.
Nevertheless, I do see some slight variations in the focusing precision from the 6D, but not to a point of being an issue with the 85/1.2LII as far as I am concerned.

I find this very interesting indeed.  If I had said it, I would have to defend it from hostile blowhard 6D bashers.  Lucky for me that I don't currently own the 85L, or I might be agreeing with you!  Can I see some of these shots? 
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: neuroanatomist on April 11, 2014, 08:49:33 AM
As I've said many times, due to the low noise of the 6D, the low light sensitivity of the center AF point, can be very useful in the majority of situations where you are shooting wildlife (or people) around, before, or after sunset.  Or else if you are shooting landscape hand-held, with an IS lens, up to an hour after sunset...or during a full moon.  Or if you are shooting inside a club, or outside on a dimly lit city street at night, that -3EV capability is very useful.

ISO 6400 is extremely usable for professional prints via the 6D (with a bit of post processing), and ISO's a bit above that are still useful.

ISO 6400 at -3 EV would be 1/4 s at f/1.4, 1 s at f/2.8.  Are you actually suggesting that such settings are, "useful in the majority of situations where you are shooting wildlife (or people) around, before, or after sunset??"  In that case, I would expect you'll have plenty of examples of wildlife that you shot at 1 s or longer exposures (unless you shoot a lot of wildlife with f/1.4 lenses) and people that you've shot at exposures of 1/4 s or longer, and you should be able to share several of them to support your contention.

Assuming 1/FL, a 24-28mm lens with 4-stop IS could be handheld at ~1/4 s (a conservative assumption, as with today's sensors 1/2xFL is more realistic).  That means your handheld landscape at -3 EV ISO 6400 would be at f/2.8 (and there are a few wide angle f/2.8 lenses with 4-stop IS/VC).  I'd be interested in seeing some examples of your landscapes shot at those settings, too, assuming you have any.

I've personally never shot landscapes/cityscapes at -3 EV unless on a tripod.  The shot below with the swan at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco is the closest I've come to that handheld, it's 1/25 s, f/3.2 and ISO 12800, which is -1.3 EV.  There are issues with the shot - the DoF is too shallow so the structure is OOF, and the shutter speed wasn't quite fast enough to freeze the motion of the swimming swan; IS would not have helped (and at 17mm on a FF camera, IS isn't even a possibility).  The second shot below is an example of -3 EV - the only light sources in the room were the fireplace and the jack-o-lanterns, the settings were 1/15 s, f/2.8, ISO 102400.  In fact, I focused that shot through the viewfinder (although I could barely see), meaning the 1D X's AF was actually able to focus at -3 EV (although that's for the whole scene, the AF point was seeing more light than that).  Still, there's motion blur and lots of noise, and image is no more than a snapshot (albeit one not possible with most cameras).   

Considering the examples above, I would suggest that anyone arguing the -3 EV sensitivity of the 6D's AF system is an advantage over the -2 EV of the 5DIII or 1D X, or even the -0.5 EV sensitivity of most other bodies, in many situations, much less a majority of situations, doesn't know what they're talking about.

As I stated, the majority of situations which people call "low light" really offer plenty of light for the AF systems of even low-end dSLRs.  The extra one stop of sensitivity that the 6D has is an advantage only in very rare situations, so rare that many 6D users probably have not ever experienced them.

As for bashing the other AF points on the 6D, you need to bash the 5D2's as well, because they were no better.  It might not still be on sale, but plenty of forum readers still own and use the 5D2.

I agree, the outer AF points of the 5DII were not very useful, much like those of the 6D.  They did ok with high contrast subjects in bright light, but were lousy in dimmer light or for Servo tracking.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: RLPhoto on April 11, 2014, 09:12:22 AM
- The 6D's -3 EV lowlight sensitivity is currently unmatched by any DSLR on the market

If you shoot lowlight, sunsets, night photography or landscape photography the lowlight AF performance on the 6D wins.

As I pointed out a few pages ago in this thread:

How do you define 'low light'?  For example, the difference between shooting at -2 EV and-3 EV could mean 1/15 s, f/2.8, ISO 51200 vs. 102400.  Neither is very usable from an IQ standpoint.  What most people call 'low light' is generally substantially brighter than either spec.

Long exposure night photograpy might benefit from that extra stop of AF capability (but in that situation, you are on a triod and probably using Live View to focus anyway).  Sunsets, landscapes and general shooting have plenty of light relative to the AF sensitivity of even lower end dSLRs. 

I think the -3 EV spec of the 6D is Canon saying 'we did it because we can, and to throw a bone after otherwise limiting AF functionality of this body' - it looks good on paper, but is of little practical benefit in the vast majority of shooting situations.

As I've said many times, due to the low noise of the 6D, the low light sensitivity of the center AF point, can be very useful in the majority of situations where you are shooting wildlife (or people) around, before, or after sunset.  Or else if you are shooting landscape hand-held, with an IS lens, up to an hour after sunset...or during a full moon.  Or if you are shooting inside a club, or outside on a dimly lit city street at night, that -3EV capability is very useful.

ISO 6400 is extremely usable for professional prints via the 6D (with a bit of post processing), and ISO's a bit above that are still useful.

As for bashing the other AF points on the 6D, you need to bash the 5D2's as well, because they were no better.  It might not still be on sale, but plenty of forum readers still own and use the 5D2.

For anyone shooting with strobes, or shooting fast sports action in well lit areas, the 5D3 or 1DX is the camera you need (or perhaps a D800 at low ISO).

If you're shooting portraits with an f/1.4 lens, wide open at f/1.4, and require peripheral AF points to be used (for focusing on eyes, etc.), then yes the 6D will not give consistent results.  But then the 1DX and 5D3 don't fare much better in that situation, which is why serious portrait photogs who shoot this way, either manually focus, or use live view.  Of course most of them are closing that fast lens down quite a bit, in which case there is more wiggle room for AF inaccuracies.

And besides, in that peripheral area of these lenses (other than the Zeiss Otus)...those eyes that you claim are so razor sharp...actually are not, and are suffering from coma and astigmatism.  It's unavoidable...especially with such lenses as the 50L and 85L.
This was fine until you mentioned the 5D3 not being much better than the 6D for f/1.4 portraits using the outer AF points. The 5D3 makes the 6D look broken doing this and it's a shame a 60D or a 7D would also make the 6D look broken.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: bdunbar79 on April 11, 2014, 11:55:40 AM
RLPhoto,

To further add, my 1Ds3 and 1Dx never miss at f/1.4 on the outter points.  Never.  Always exact.  No variability.  Nails it everytime and that's even without AFMA. 
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Dylan777 on April 11, 2014, 12:13:13 PM
- The 6D's -3 EV lowlight sensitivity is currently unmatched by any DSLR on the market

If you shoot lowlight, sunsets, night photography or landscape photography the lowlight AF performance on the 6D wins.

As I pointed out a few pages ago in this thread:

How do you define 'low light'?  For example, the difference between shooting at -2 EV and-3 EV could mean 1/15 s, f/2.8, ISO 51200 vs. 102400.  Neither is very usable from an IQ standpoint.  What most people call 'low light' is generally substantially brighter than either spec.

Long exposure night photograpy might benefit from that extra stop of AF capability (but in that situation, you are on a triod and probably using Live View to focus anyway).  Sunsets, landscapes and general shooting have plenty of light relative to the AF sensitivity of even lower end dSLRs. 

I think the -3 EV spec of the 6D is Canon saying 'we did it because we can, and to throw a bone after otherwise limiting AF functionality of this body' - it looks good on paper, but is of little practical benefit in the vast majority of shooting situations.

As I've said many times, due to the low noise of the 6D, the low light sensitivity of the center AF point, can be very useful in the majority of situations where you are shooting wildlife (or people) around, before, or after sunset.  Or else if you are shooting landscape hand-held, with an IS lens, up to an hour after sunset...or during a full moon.  Or if you are shooting inside a club, or outside on a dimly lit city street at night, that -3EV capability is very useful.

ISO 6400 is extremely usable for professional prints via the 6D (with a bit of post processing), and ISO's a bit above that are still useful.

As for bashing the other AF points on the 6D, you need to bash the 5D2's as well, because they were no better.  It might not still be on sale, but plenty of forum readers still own and use the 5D2.

For anyone shooting with strobes, or shooting fast sports action in well lit areas, the 5D3 or 1DX is the camera you need (or perhaps a D800 at low ISO).

If you're shooting portraits with an f/1.4 lens, wide open at f/1.4, and require peripheral AF points to be used (for focusing on eyes, etc.), then yes the 6D will not give consistent results.  But then the 1DX and 5D3 don't fare much better in that situation, which is why serious portrait photogs who shoot this way, either manually focus, or use live view.  Of course most of them are closing that fast lens down quite a bit, in which case there is more wiggle room for AF inaccuracies.

And besides, in that peripheral area of these lenses (other than the Zeiss Otus)...those eyes that you claim are so razor sharp...actually are not, and are suffering from coma and astigmatism.  It's unavoidable...especially with such lenses as the 50L and 85L.
This was fine until you mentioned the 5D3 not being much better than the 6D for f/1.4 portraits using the outer AF points. The 5D3 makes the 6D look broken doing this and it's a shame a 60D or a 7D would also make the 6D look broken.

+1 with RLPhoto, I have no problem with outer AF points on my 5D III. Doesn't matter 85L II or 50L

Photo below was taken with 5D III + 50L, outer AF point @ f1.2. Oops...sorry, that was f1.2 not f1.4 as he mentioned
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: neuroanatomist on April 11, 2014, 12:23:55 PM
If you're shooting portraits with an f/1.4 lens, wide open at f/1.4, and require peripheral AF points to be used (for focusing on eyes, etc.), then yes the 6D will not give consistent results.  But then the 1DX and 5D3 don't fare much better in that situation, which is why serious portrait photogs who shoot this way, either manually focus, or use live view.  Of course most of them are closing that fast lens down quite a bit, in which case there is more wiggle room for AF inaccuracies.

And besides, in that peripheral area of these lenses (other than the Zeiss Otus)...those eyes that you claim are so razor sharp...actually are not, and are suffering from coma and astigmatism.  It's unavoidable...especially with such lenses as the 50L and 85L.
This was fine until you mentioned the 5D3 not being much better than the 6D for f/1.4 portraits using the outer AF points. The 5D3 makes the 6D look broken doing this and it's a shame a 60D or a 7D would also make the 6D look broken.

+1

The 6D and a fast prime shot wide open are not a good combination - you either use a peripheral AF point and risk missing focus frequently (assuming there's even an AF point close to where you need it), or use the center point and recompose and guarantee backfocused shots.

As for sharp eyes with the 85L...
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on April 11, 2014, 02:48:00 PM
As I stated, the majority of situations which people call "low light" really offer plenty of light for the AF systems of even low-end dSLRs.  The extra one stop of sensitivity that the 6D has is an advantage only in very rare situations, so rare that many 6D users probably have not ever experienced them.

Having shot with the 6d and my 70-300L I changed my opinion and would disagree here:

The 6d still af's in dim light @f5.6 aperture just fine w/o af assist, and the exposure was taken care of with some flashes and iso 6400. For the big boys with constant f2.8 zooms pr even faster primes that might not matter that much, but for the cheap rest of us 1 more stop of af capability can come in handy
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on April 12, 2014, 03:15:59 AM
- The 6D's -3 EV lowlight sensitivity is currently unmatched by any DSLR on the market

If you shoot lowlight, sunsets, night photography or landscape photography the lowlight AF performance on the 6D wins.

As I pointed out a few pages ago in this thread:

How do you define 'low light'?  For example, the difference between shooting at -2 EV and-3 EV could mean 1/15 s, f/2.8, ISO 51200 vs. 102400.  Neither is very usable from an IQ standpoint.  What most people call 'low light' is generally substantially brighter than either spec.

Long exposure night photograpy might benefit from that extra stop of AF capability (but in that situation, you are on a triod and probably using Live View to focus anyway).  Sunsets, landscapes and general shooting have plenty of light relative to the AF sensitivity of even lower end dSLRs. 

I think the -3 EV spec of the 6D is Canon saying 'we did it because we can, and to throw a bone after otherwise limiting AF functionality of this body' - it looks good on paper, but is of little practical benefit in the vast majority of shooting situations.

As I've said many times, due to the low noise of the 6D, the low light sensitivity of the center AF point, can be very useful in the majority of situations where you are shooting wildlife (or people) around, before, or after sunset.  Or else if you are shooting landscape hand-held, with an IS lens, up to an hour after sunset...or during a full moon.  Or if you are shooting inside a club, or outside on a dimly lit city street at night, that -3EV capability is very useful.

ISO 6400 is extremely usable for professional prints via the 6D (with a bit of post processing), and ISO's a bit above that are still useful.

As for bashing the other AF points on the 6D, you need to bash the 5D2's as well, because they were no better.  It might not still be on sale, but plenty of forum readers still own and use the 5D2.

For anyone shooting with strobes, or shooting fast sports action in well lit areas, the 5D3 or 1DX is the camera you need (or perhaps a D800 at low ISO).

If you're shooting portraits with an f/1.4 lens, wide open at f/1.4, and require peripheral AF points to be used (for focusing on eyes, etc.), then yes the 6D will not give consistent results.  But then the 1DX and 5D3 don't fare much better in that situation, which is why serious portrait photogs who shoot this way, either manually focus, or use live view.  Of course most of them are closing that fast lens down quite a bit, in which case there is more wiggle room for AF inaccuracies.

And besides, in that peripheral area of these lenses (other than the Zeiss Otus)...those eyes that you claim are so razor sharp...actually are not, and are suffering from coma and astigmatism.  It's unavoidable...especially with such lenses as the 50L and 85L.
This was fine until you mentioned the 5D3 not being much better than the 6D for f/1.4 portraits using the outer AF points. The 5D3 makes the 6D look broken doing this and it's a shame a 60D or a 7D would also make the 6D look broken.

Pure opinion...
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on April 12, 2014, 03:17:13 AM
- The 6D's -3 EV lowlight sensitivity is currently unmatched by any DSLR on the market

If you shoot lowlight, sunsets, night photography or landscape photography the lowlight AF performance on the 6D wins.

As I pointed out a few pages ago in this thread:

How do you define 'low light'?  For example, the difference between shooting at -2 EV and-3 EV could mean 1/15 s, f/2.8, ISO 51200 vs. 102400.  Neither is very usable from an IQ standpoint.  What most people call 'low light' is generally substantially brighter than either spec.

Long exposure night photograpy might benefit from that extra stop of AF capability (but in that situation, you are on a triod and probably using Live View to focus anyway).  Sunsets, landscapes and general shooting have plenty of light relative to the AF sensitivity of even lower end dSLRs. 

I think the -3 EV spec of the 6D is Canon saying 'we did it because we can, and to throw a bone after otherwise limiting AF functionality of this body' - it looks good on paper, but is of little practical benefit in the vast majority of shooting situations.

As I've said many times, due to the low noise of the 6D, the low light sensitivity of the center AF point, can be very useful in the majority of situations where you are shooting wildlife (or people) around, before, or after sunset.  Or else if you are shooting landscape hand-held, with an IS lens, up to an hour after sunset...or during a full moon.  Or if you are shooting inside a club, or outside on a dimly lit city street at night, that -3EV capability is very useful.

ISO 6400 is extremely usable for professional prints via the 6D (with a bit of post processing), and ISO's a bit above that are still useful.

As for bashing the other AF points on the 6D, you need to bash the 5D2's as well, because they were no better.  It might not still be on sale, but plenty of forum readers still own and use the 5D2.

For anyone shooting with strobes, or shooting fast sports action in well lit areas, the 5D3 or 1DX is the camera you need (or perhaps a D800 at low ISO).

If you're shooting portraits with an f/1.4 lens, wide open at f/1.4, and require peripheral AF points to be used (for focusing on eyes, etc.), then yes the 6D will not give consistent results.  But then the 1DX and 5D3 don't fare much better in that situation, which is why serious portrait photogs who shoot this way, either manually focus, or use live view.  Of course most of them are closing that fast lens down quite a bit, in which case there is more wiggle room for AF inaccuracies.

And besides, in that peripheral area of these lenses (other than the Zeiss Otus)...those eyes that you claim are so razor sharp...actually are not, and are suffering from coma and astigmatism.  It's unavoidable...especially with such lenses as the 50L and 85L.
This was fine until you mentioned the 5D3 not being much better than the 6D for f/1.4 portraits using the outer AF points. The 5D3 makes the 6D look broken doing this and it's a shame a 60D or a 7D would also make the 6D look broken.

+1 with RLPhoto, I have no problem with outer AF points on my 5D III. Doesn't matter 85L II or 50L

Photo below was taken with 5D III + 50L, outer AF point @ f1.2. Oops...sorry, that was f1.2 not f1.4 as he mentioned

That's a chair, not someone's eyes.  Post one of those please.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on April 12, 2014, 03:19:28 AM
If you're shooting portraits with an f/1.4 lens, wide open at f/1.4, and require peripheral AF points to be used (for focusing on eyes, etc.), then yes the 6D will not give consistent results.  But then the 1DX and 5D3 don't fare much better in that situation, which is why serious portrait photogs who shoot this way, either manually focus, or use live view.  Of course most of them are closing that fast lens down quite a bit, in which case there is more wiggle room for AF inaccuracies.

And besides, in that peripheral area of these lenses (other than the Zeiss Otus)...those eyes that you claim are so razor sharp...actually are not, and are suffering from coma and astigmatism.  It's unavoidable...especially with such lenses as the 50L and 85L.
This was fine until you mentioned the 5D3 not being much better than the 6D for f/1.4 portraits using the outer AF points. The 5D3 makes the 6D look broken doing this and it's a shame a 60D or a 7D would also make the 6D look broken.

+1

The 6D and a fast prime shot wide open are not a good combination - you either use a peripheral AF point and risk missing focus frequently (assuming there's even an AF point close to where you need it), or use the center point and recompose and guarantee backfocused shots.

As for sharp eyes with the 85L...

Show me the uncropped version, so I can see what part of the image this was cropped from.  And besides, this is soft...after criticizing me for posting soft images, this is rather amusing.  Post something SHARP, both cropped and uncropped, in the periphery...at f/1.4 or f/1.2.  Also make the eyes open, not closed please.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on April 12, 2014, 03:37:43 AM
As I've said many times, due to the low noise of the 6D, the low light sensitivity of the center AF point, can be very useful in the majority of situations where you are shooting wildlife (or people) around, before, or after sunset.  Or else if you are shooting landscape hand-held, with an IS lens, up to an hour after sunset...or during a full moon.  Or if you are shooting inside a club, or outside on a dimly lit city street at night, that -3EV capability is very useful.

ISO 6400 is extremely usable for professional prints via the 6D (with a bit of post processing), and ISO's a bit above that are still useful.

ISO 6400 at -3 EV would be 1/4 s at f/1.4, 1 s at f/2.8.  Are you actually suggesting that such settings are, "useful in the majority of situations where you are shooting wildlife (or people) around, before, or after sunset??"  In that case, I would expect you'll have plenty of examples of wildlife that you shot at 1 s or longer exposures (unless you shoot a lot of wildlife with f/1.4 lenses) and people that you've shot at exposures of 1/4 s or longer, and you should be able to share several of them to support your contention.

Assuming 1/FL, a 24-28mm lens with 4-stop IS could be handheld at ~1/4 s (a conservative assumption, as with today's sensors 1/2xFL is more realistic).  That means your handheld landscape at -3 EV ISO 6400 would be at f/2.8 (and there are a few wide angle f/2.8 lenses with 4-stop IS/VC).  I'd be interested in seeing some examples of your landscapes shot at those settings, too, assuming you have any.

I've personally never shot landscapes/cityscapes at -3 EV unless on a tripod.  The shot below with the swan at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco is the closest I've come to that handheld, it's 1/25 s, f/3.2 and ISO 12800, which is -1.3 EV.  There are issues with the shot - the DoF is too shallow so the structure is OOF, and the shutter speed wasn't quite fast enough to freeze the motion of the swimming swan; IS would not have helped (and at 17mm on a FF camera, IS isn't even a possibility).  The second shot below is an example of -3 EV - the only light sources in the room were the fireplace and the jack-o-lanterns, the settings were 1/15 s, f/2.8, ISO 102400.  In fact, I focused that shot through the viewfinder (although I could barely see), meaning the 1D X's AF was actually able to focus at -3 EV (although that's for the whole scene, the AF point was seeing more light than that).  Still, there's motion blur and lots of noise, and image is no more than a snapshot (albeit one not possible with most cameras).   

Considering the examples above, I would suggest that anyone arguing the -3 EV sensitivity of the 6D's AF system is an advantage over the -2 EV of the 5DIII or 1D X, or even the -0.5 EV sensitivity of most other bodies, in many situations, much less a majority of situations, doesn't know what they're talking about.

As I stated, the majority of situations which people call "low light" really offer plenty of light for the AF systems of even low-end dSLRs.  The extra one stop of sensitivity that the 6D has is an advantage only in very rare situations, so rare that many 6D users probably have not ever experienced them.

As for bashing the other AF points on the 6D, you need to bash the 5D2's as well, because they were no better.  It might not still be on sale, but plenty of forum readers still own and use the 5D2.

I agree, the outer AF points of the 5DII were not very useful, much like those of the 6D.  They did ok with high contrast subjects in bright light, but were lousy in dimmer light or for Servo tracking.

Your shot of the swan looks fine to me.  At least we can agree on something, regarding the outer AF points.  Sometimes they have trouble, other times not...but in low light they're definitely not very useful...especially with a faster aperture lens.  But that's obvious to anyone who has used the camera.

By the way, how long would you say, is the total number of minutes, you have spent with a 6D, in your life?  If that is a low number, why do you feel the need to comment on this camera so often?  Why don't you comment on the 1DX thread more?

I know you think I don't know what I'm talking about, and that's fine with me.  I could never prove you wrong about that, to yourself, no matter what I said or did.  You (and others) have a personal bias against me (and have since day one that I posted on here), so why would I waste my time trying to prove anything to you?  That would be pure folly...and I'm no fool.  However, I would suggest that someone who bullies people as much as you on a forum that is their personal sandbox to play in, is compensating for shortcomings.  I don't have those shortcomings...I don't come on here to compensate for anything.

I've shot about 14,000 shutter cycles with my 6D in a year.  If I don't know what I'm talking about, regarding it, how could that be?  I'm not perfect, but I know what I'm talking about.

How about this?  Since you enjoy commenting about the 6D so much on here, you should at least buy one and shoot it for a while (I would suggest daily for about 3 months at least), before asserting who knows what about the camera.  If that is an unreasonable suggestion, then I wonder who is really contributing on here in a meaningful way, and who is not?

At least one other poster has recently said they've used the 6D on the 50L and 85L, and to good effect.  I suppose he doesn't know what he's talking about either?  I asked him to share samples of his work, because I am slightly skeptical myself, but I don't think it's impossible to get decent results.  I approach things I have little or no experience with, with an open mind.  I don't make snap judgments based on very short experience, and then forever hold to such prejudice.  But that's one of the differences between you and me.  Another big difference, is I try to welcome newcomers with politeness...rather than snidely brow-beating them with trivia, as if this is some kind of robot war.  Nobody's perfect, but damn...??
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: RLPhoto on April 12, 2014, 08:05:48 AM
- The 6D's -3 EV lowlight sensitivity is currently unmatched by any DSLR on the market

If you shoot lowlight, sunsets, night photography or landscape photography the lowlight AF performance on the 6D wins.

As I pointed out a few pages ago in this thread:

How do you define 'low light'?  For example, the difference between shooting at -2 EV and-3 EV could mean 1/15 s, f/2.8, ISO 51200 vs. 102400.  Neither is very usable from an IQ standpoint.  What most people call 'low light' is generally substantially brighter than either spec.

Long exposure night photograpy might benefit from that extra stop of AF capability (but in that situation, you are on a triod and probably using Live View to focus anyway).  Sunsets, landscapes and general shooting have plenty of light relative to the AF sensitivity of even lower end dSLRs. 

I think the -3 EV spec of the 6D is Canon saying 'we did it because we can, and to throw a bone after otherwise limiting AF functionality of this body' - it looks good on paper, but is of little practical benefit in the vast majority of shooting situations.

As I've said many times, due to the low noise of the 6D, the low light sensitivity of the center AF point, can be very useful in the majority of situations where you are shooting wildlife (or people) around, before, or after sunset.  Or else if you are shooting landscape hand-held, with an IS lens, up to an hour after sunset...or during a full moon.  Or if you are shooting inside a club, or outside on a dimly lit city street at night, that -3EV capability is very useful.

ISO 6400 is extremely usable for professional prints via the 6D (with a bit of post processing), and ISO's a bit above that are still useful.

As for bashing the other AF points on the 6D, you need to bash the 5D2's as well, because they were no better.  It might not still be on sale, but plenty of forum readers still own and use the 5D2.

For anyone shooting with strobes, or shooting fast sports action in well lit areas, the 5D3 or 1DX is the camera you need (or perhaps a D800 at low ISO).

If you're shooting portraits with an f/1.4 lens, wide open at f/1.4, and require peripheral AF points to be used (for focusing on eyes, etc.), then yes the 6D will not give consistent results.  But then the 1DX and 5D3 don't fare much better in that situation, which is why serious portrait photogs who shoot this way, either manually focus, or use live view.  Of course most of them are closing that fast lens down quite a bit, in which case there is more wiggle room for AF inaccuracies.

And besides, in that peripheral area of these lenses (other than the Zeiss Otus)...those eyes that you claim are so razor sharp...actually are not, and are suffering from coma and astigmatism.  It's unavoidable...especially with such lenses as the 50L and 85L.
This was fine until you mentioned the 5D3 not being much better than the 6D for f/1.4 portraits using the outer AF points. The 5D3 makes the 6D look broken doing this and it's a shame a 60D or a 7D would also make the 6D look broken.

Pure opinion...
Pure denial...
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Sporgon on April 12, 2014, 08:26:36 AM
The outer points on both the 5DII and 6D are perfectably fine in reasonable light and with contrast in the appropriate orientation. But defending them against the likes of the 1D series and now III version of the 5D is pretty pointless. I'm only really familiar with the 1D IIn, but the way that camera nailed focus anywhere made the 5D seem as if it had come out of the Ark. Unfortunately ( or fortunately depending on my sanity) I appreciate that you get what you pay for, but good for Canon putting the majority of it's flagship system in the 5DIII.

However, from what I read, the D600/610 isn't in the 1D /5DIII class of AF anyway despite having loads of x points etc. Nor are the likes of the top end Rebels.

The 6D is a perfectly fine camera but I doubt it will ever satisfy those who wanted a 5DIII at 6D prices.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: candyman on April 12, 2014, 09:49:09 AM
..............
The 6D is a perfectly fine camera but I doubt it will ever satisfy those who wanted a 5DIII at 6D prices.
True. You can't have 5D MKIII for a 6D price
I bought my 6D because I wanted a 2nd camera for use of portrait, landscape and walk-around camera. It is a great camera for that. I sold my 7D and bought the 6D because I wanted to have IQ on par with my 5D MKIII.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Dylan777 on April 12, 2014, 10:35:41 AM
- The 6D's -3 EV lowlight sensitivity is currently unmatched by any DSLR on the market

If you shoot lowlight, sunsets, night photography or landscape photography the lowlight AF performance on the 6D wins.

As I pointed out a few pages ago in this thread:

How do you define 'low light'?  For example, the difference between shooting at -2 EV and-3 EV could mean 1/15 s, f/2.8, ISO 51200 vs. 102400.  Neither is very usable from an IQ standpoint.  What most people call 'low light' is generally substantially brighter than either spec.

Long exposure night photograpy might benefit from that extra stop of AF capability (but in that situation, you are on a triod and probably using Live View to focus anyway).  Sunsets, landscapes and general shooting have plenty of light relative to the AF sensitivity of even lower end dSLRs. 

I think the -3 EV spec of the 6D is Canon saying 'we did it because we can, and to throw a bone after otherwise limiting AF functionality of this body' - it looks good on paper, but is of little practical benefit in the vast majority of shooting situations.

As I've said many times, due to the low noise of the 6D, the low light sensitivity of the center AF point, can be very useful in the majority of situations where you are shooting wildlife (or people) around, before, or after sunset.  Or else if you are shooting landscape hand-held, with an IS lens, up to an hour after sunset...or during a full moon.  Or if you are shooting inside a club, or outside on a dimly lit city street at night, that -3EV capability is very useful.

ISO 6400 is extremely usable for professional prints via the 6D (with a bit of post processing), and ISO's a bit above that are still useful.

As for bashing the other AF points on the 6D, you need to bash the 5D2's as well, because they were no better.  It might not still be on sale, but plenty of forum readers still own and use the 5D2.

For anyone shooting with strobes, or shooting fast sports action in well lit areas, the 5D3 or 1DX is the camera you need (or perhaps a D800 at low ISO).

If you're shooting portraits with an f/1.4 lens, wide open at f/1.4, and require peripheral AF points to be used (for focusing on eyes, etc.), then yes the 6D will not give consistent results.  But then the 1DX and 5D3 don't fare much better in that situation, which is why serious portrait photogs who shoot this way, either manually focus, or use live view.  Of course most of them are closing that fast lens down quite a bit, in which case there is more wiggle room for AF inaccuracies.

And besides, in that peripheral area of these lenses (other than the Zeiss Otus)...those eyes that you claim are so razor sharp...actually are not, and are suffering from coma and astigmatism.  It's unavoidable...especially with such lenses as the 50L and 85L.
This was fine until you mentioned the 5D3 not being much better than the 6D for f/1.4 portraits using the outer AF points. The 5D3 makes the 6D look broken doing this and it's a shame a 60D or a 7D would also make the 6D look broken.

+1 with RLPhoto, I have no problem with outer AF points on my 5D III. Doesn't matter 85L II or 50L

Photo below was taken with 5D III + 50L, outer AF point @ f1.2. Oops...sorry, that was f1.2 not f1.4 as he mentioned

That's a chair, not someone's eyes.  Post one of those please.

A lot of thing to say...little to show ::)

1st photo SOOC, untouch: 5D III + 85L II, 1/160 @ f1.2, outer AF point, was focus on her left eye
2nd little edit in LR

BTW, I have no problem using AF in -3EV lighting condition, yes, with 5D III. Wanna see sample photos?
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: neuroanatomist on April 12, 2014, 11:02:23 AM
By the way, how long would you say, is the total number of minutes, you have spent with a 6D, in your life?  If that is a low number, why do you feel the need to comment on this camera so often?  Why don't you comment on the 1DX thread more?

A sufficient number.  In fact, I don't comment with great frequency on the 6D relative to other cameras.  I think you just pay more attention to comments on the 6D – especially negative comments (and more so when you're wearing your SuperCarl cape and tights). I comment frequently on the 1D X.  There are simply more threads on the 5DIII and 6D because those bodies are within budget for many more people.


How about this?  Since you enjoy commenting about the 6D so much on here, you should at least buy one and shoot it for a while (I would suggest daily for about 3 months at least), before asserting who knows what about the camera. 

If you had five acres of grass to mow, would you trade your riding mower for a hand-pushed mower, just to prove to yourself that the riding mower was better?  I wouldn't...  Yes, the push mower can be better in very limited situations, like a narrow strip of grass between two structures.  In the same way, there are rare situations where the 6D is better than the higher-end models. 


I know you think I don't know what I'm talking about, and that's fine with me.  I could never prove you wrong about that, to yourself, no matter what I said or did.  You (and others) have a personal bias against me (and have since day one that I posted on here), so why would I waste my time trying to prove anything to you?  That would be pure folly...and I'm no fool.

I have a bias against misinformation.  You stated that the -3 EV AF sensitivity of the 6D, "...can be very useful in the majority of situations where you are shooting wildlife (or people) around, before, or after sunset."  When challenged to back up that claim, instead of even a single image representing 'the majority' you respond with justifications and excuses.

Yes, the 6D can focus well in moderately dim light, as long as you're only using the center point.  In equally dim light, the 5DIII and 1D X can focus just as well with many more AF points, notably with off-center cross-type AF points.  The 6D has no advantage in lighting that allows usable images in most situations, particularly in the situations to which you refer.  The expression, "Put up or shut up," comes to mind.


However, I would suggest that someone who bullies people as much as you on a forum that is their personal sandbox to play in, is compensating for shortcomings.  I don't have those shortcomings...I don't come on here to compensate for anything.

I approach things I have little or no experience with, with an open mind.  I don't make snap judgments based on very short experience, and then forever hold to such prejudice.  But that's one of the differences between you and me.  Another big difference, is I try to welcome newcomers with politeness...rather than snidely brow-beating them with trivia, as if this is some kind of robot war.  Nobody's perfect, but damn...??

If this is a sandbox, you started out by pissing in it.  Within a few days of your first post, you had offended and/or drawn the ire of several forum members (myself not included, yet).

Less than a month after joining, you replied to someone with this:

I'll put mine up against yours any day of the week young lad.  Whoever's lens loses, has to buy the winner a chess set made of all the Nikon and Canon supertelephoto lenses...oh, and we exchange wives and/or girlfriends...and mistresses, for a month...yours won't be coming home after they've played chess with me!  If I lose...well...I keep my harem chained in an underground lair out in the woods...they aren't really allowed to leave...but I'll send you my neighbor's wife.

Frankly, a comment like that is beyond merely offensive, it's disgusting and repugnant.  Any "man" who would make a statement like that, even attempting to pass it off as humor, is clearly compensating for a whole host of shortcomings. 

Nobody's perfect, but most of us aren't sociopathic. 
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on April 16, 2014, 02:16:41 AM
As I stated, the majority of situations which people call "low light" really offer plenty of light for the AF systems of even low-end dSLRs.  The extra one stop of sensitivity that the 6D has is an advantage only in very rare situations, so rare that many 6D users probably have not ever experienced them.

Having shot with the 6d and my 70-300L I changed my opinion and would disagree here:

The 6d still af's in dim light @f5.6 aperture just fine w/o af assist, and the exposure was taken care of with some flashes and iso 6400. For the big boys with constant f2.8 zooms pr even faster primes that might not matter that much, but for the cheap rest of us 1 more stop of af capability can come in handy

Nice to see you weigh in here.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on April 16, 2014, 02:20:11 AM
The outer points on both the 5DII and 6D are perfectably fine in reasonable light and with contrast in the appropriate orientation. But defending them against the likes of the 1D series and now III version of the 5D is pretty pointless. I'm only really familiar with the 1D IIn, but the way that camera nailed focus anywhere made the 5D seem as if it had come out of the Ark. Unfortunately ( or fortunately depending on my sanity) I appreciate that you get what you pay for, but good for Canon putting the majority of it's flagship system in the 5DIII.

However, from what I read, the D600/610 isn't in the 1D /5DIII class of AF anyway despite having loads of x points etc. Nor are the likes of the top end Rebels.

The 6D is a perfectly fine camera but I doubt it will ever satisfy those who wanted a 5DIII at 6D prices.

I don't know of anyone who wanted a 5D3 at 6D prices.  Rather, I suspect there are plenty who would pay $4500 for a 5D3.  They might get to pay that much for its replacement, time will tell.  The replacement will hopefully be worth the price hike.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on April 16, 2014, 02:22:12 AM
- The 6D's -3 EV lowlight sensitivity is currently unmatched by any DSLR on the market

If you shoot lowlight, sunsets, night photography or landscape photography the lowlight AF performance on the 6D wins.

As I pointed out a few pages ago in this thread:

How do you define 'low light'?  For example, the difference between shooting at -2 EV and-3 EV could mean 1/15 s, f/2.8, ISO 51200 vs. 102400.  Neither is very usable from an IQ standpoint.  What most people call 'low light' is generally substantially brighter than either spec.

Long exposure night photograpy might benefit from that extra stop of AF capability (but in that situation, you are on a triod and probably using Live View to focus anyway).  Sunsets, landscapes and general shooting have plenty of light relative to the AF sensitivity of even lower end dSLRs. 

I think the -3 EV spec of the 6D is Canon saying 'we did it because we can, and to throw a bone after otherwise limiting AF functionality of this body' - it looks good on paper, but is of little practical benefit in the vast majority of shooting situations.

As I've said many times, due to the low noise of the 6D, the low light sensitivity of the center AF point, can be very useful in the majority of situations where you are shooting wildlife (or people) around, before, or after sunset.  Or else if you are shooting landscape hand-held, with an IS lens, up to an hour after sunset...or during a full moon.  Or if you are shooting inside a club, or outside on a dimly lit city street at night, that -3EV capability is very useful.

ISO 6400 is extremely usable for professional prints via the 6D (with a bit of post processing), and ISO's a bit above that are still useful.

As for bashing the other AF points on the 6D, you need to bash the 5D2's as well, because they were no better.  It might not still be on sale, but plenty of forum readers still own and use the 5D2.

For anyone shooting with strobes, or shooting fast sports action in well lit areas, the 5D3 or 1DX is the camera you need (or perhaps a D800 at low ISO).

If you're shooting portraits with an f/1.4 lens, wide open at f/1.4, and require peripheral AF points to be used (for focusing on eyes, etc.), then yes the 6D will not give consistent results.  But then the 1DX and 5D3 don't fare much better in that situation, which is why serious portrait photogs who shoot this way, either manually focus, or use live view.  Of course most of them are closing that fast lens down quite a bit, in which case there is more wiggle room for AF inaccuracies.

And besides, in that peripheral area of these lenses (other than the Zeiss Otus)...those eyes that you claim are so razor sharp...actually are not, and are suffering from coma and astigmatism.  It's unavoidable...especially with such lenses as the 50L and 85L.
This was fine until you mentioned the 5D3 not being much better than the 6D for f/1.4 portraits using the outer AF points. The 5D3 makes the 6D look broken doing this and it's a shame a 60D or a 7D would also make the 6D look broken.

+1 with RLPhoto, I have no problem with outer AF points on my 5D III. Doesn't matter 85L II or 50L

Photo below was taken with 5D III + 50L, outer AF point @ f1.2. Oops...sorry, that was f1.2 not f1.4 as he mentioned

That's a chair, not someone's eyes.  Post one of those please.

A lot of thing to say...little to show ::)

1st photo SOOC, untouch: 5D III + 85L II, 1/160 @ f1.2, outer AF point, was focus on her left eye
2nd little edit in LR

BTW, I have no problem using AF in -3EV lighting condition, yes, with 5D III. Wanna see sample photos?

I thought you were discussing side AF points.  Those eyes look pretty centered in the FOV to me, unless this is heavily cropped...which I doubt.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: J.R. on April 16, 2014, 07:31:04 AM
I have both the 6D as well as the 5D3. I've tried and did not like using the 50L or the 85L II on the 6D except when I was shooting with a tripod and LV. The positioning of the AF points on the 6D is such that lots of focus-recompose is needed and with the 50L and 85L II, it's just asking for trouble.

Strange as it may sound, the 135L doesn't give me nearly half as much trouble - and yes, I AFMA all my lenses using FoCal.

OTOH, I hardly ever face trouble with the outer focus points on the 5D3 - it is pointless comparing the AF systems on both cameras. The 6D isn't built for fast action shooting - you may be able to get some shots in focus, but the chances of an OOF shot are higher.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: 3kramd5 on April 16, 2014, 09:44:29 AM
I thought you were discussing side AF points.  Those eyes look pretty centered in the FOV to me, unless this is heavily cropped...which I doubt.

Did you read the description? There is no crop. Her right eye is near the center of the frame, and because she is nearly parallel to the sensor plane it is in focus. But AF was on her left eye.

"1st photo SOOC, untouch: 5D III + 85L II, 1/160 @ f1.2, outer AF point, was focus on her left eye"

I get that kind of performance from my 5D3 outer cross-type points too (in one shot, I disable non-cross type AF), at least as best I can tell with shallow DOF from say 200mm/2.8.

5D2? Not so much. The 6D outer points are vertical line sensors like the 5D2, right? In landscape orientation it will just hunt on the outlying points if there is no vertical contrast. The 1Dx unit is sensitive in two directions widely across the frame. That's a significant improvement over the 5D2/6D.

I don't know of anyone who wanted a 5D3 at 6D prices.  Rather, I suspect there are plenty who would pay $4500 for a 5D3. 

Willingness to pay and a desire to pay are two different things. I certainly would have wanted a 5D3 at 6D prices. However, that's unrealistic.

As for there being plenty who would pay $4,500... I don't know. There may be some, but at that point, many may look elsewhere or decide to save a little bit more for the 1Dx.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: neuroanatomist on April 16, 2014, 09:54:57 AM
Strange as it may sound, the 135L doesn't give me nearly half as much trouble

Given the geometry, that makes perfect sense - the narrower AoV of a longer lens means less of an absolute angular movement when recomposing, which mitigates the backfocus caused by recomposing.


The 6D outer points are vertical line sensors, right?

The lateral points are vertical line sensors, meaning they detect horizontal lines.  The points directly above and below the center (in landscape orientation) are horizontal line sensors, meaning they're sensitive to vertical lines.  Only the center point of the 6D is a cross-type sensor.  Also, while the 6D's center point delivers more accuracy with an f/2.8 or faster lens, that sensor is a single orientation line (horizontal), not a cross-type f/2.8 sensor as found on the 5DIII/1D X.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: 3kramd5 on April 16, 2014, 01:03:25 PM

The lateral points are vertical line sensors, meaning they detect horizontal lines

Ah yes, pardon the brain fart.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Ruined on April 16, 2014, 06:04:40 PM
I have both the 6D as well as the 5D3. I've tried and did not like using the 50L or the 85L II on the 6D except when I was shooting with a tripod and LV. The positioning of the AF points on the 6D is such that lots of focus-recompose is needed and with the 50L and 85L II, it's just asking for trouble.

While it is true you are more limited with your AF points on the 6D, keep in mind you can focus and crop instead of recompose.

More importantly, the 6D allows for easy switch to Eg-S focus screen unlike the 5D3 - so IMO 6D actually has a significant advantage for manually focusing the f/1.2 lenses and seeing their true DOF in the viewfinder.  One could argue you are looking for trouble in general if you try to autofocus at f/1.2 all the time no matter what camera you use.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: J.R. on April 16, 2014, 09:26:50 PM
While it is true you are more limited with your AF points on the 6D, keep in mind you can focus and crop instead of recompose.

Certainly, but I'd consider it a a workaround in the extreme.

More importantly, the 6D allows for easy switch to Eg-S focus screen unlike the 5D3 - so IMO 6D actually has a significant advantage for manually focusing the f/1.2 lenses and seeing their true DOF in the viewfinder. 

Yes, the focusing screen can be installed (I have the Eg-S screen) but I'm specifically commenting on the AF which doesn't work too well with very large aperture lenses.  Comparing the 5D3 AF with the 6D MF with Eg-S screen is like comparing apples to oranges. The 5D3 outer AF points will lock on with superb precision and you would have already taken the shot and moved on to another in the same time you would be focusing manually with the 6D. 

One could argue you are looking for trouble in general if you try to autofocus at f/1.2 all the time no matter what camera you use.

All EOS cameras AF with the lenses wide open, so a f/1.2 lens will AF wide open at f/1.2 no matter what settings you use to shoot. The cross type outer AF points work extremely well on the 5D3. See below photo taken with a 5D3 with 85L II - 100% crop of the AF area also provided - I have been using this combo for quite a while now and am happy with the results.

Not saying that 6D is a bad camera, but the whinging that takes place over the AF happens deservedly so.

Edit: I'm not sure how to post the 100% crop. The 100% crop image that I can view here on CR is larger than what I see in LR with a 1:1 view - any tips on how to post the exact image? 
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on April 16, 2014, 10:04:14 PM
I have both the 6D as well as the 5D3. I've tried and did not like using the 50L or the 85L II on the 6D except when I was shooting with a tripod and LV. The positioning of the AF points on the 6D is such that lots of focus-recompose is needed and with the 50L and 85L II, it's just asking for trouble.

Strange as it may sound, the 135L doesn't give me nearly half as much trouble - and yes, I AFMA all my lenses using FoCal.

OTOH, I hardly ever face trouble with the outer focus points on the 5D3 - it is pointless comparing the AF systems on both cameras. The 6D isn't built for fast action shooting - you may be able to get some shots in focus, but the chances of an OOF shot are higher.

True enough.  I've not tried either the 50L or 85L on my 6D, yet.  My 135L actually gives more AF trouble than all f/4 aperture zoom lenses I've owned or used on it, which I have stated before.  This is the nature of the 6D AF sensor.  The 85L that I rented 4 years ago, certainly would not AF accurately on my 50D no matter what I did with the AFMA.  When in an earlier post above, I said the 5D3 "didn't fare much better" with its outer AF points, I should have said it another way...certainly the 6D's outer points don't compare, and I didn't mean to imply they did.  I experimented with selecting the outer right side AF point this morning, in servo mode with just my 24-105 at 105mm.  It got about 7 shots out of 10 usably sharp, but only 6 out of 10 were critically sharp (the shutter speed was only 1/320 in Tv mode, though...but the light was less than ideal).  This was on a stationary object backlit in a window sill, as I walked toward it while shooting the camera at 4.5 fps.  If this had been a native f/1.2 lens, I have no idea what the "sharp" focus rate would be, but I suspect 3 to 4 out of 10 at best.  Again though, those are portrait lenses, not sports lenses, so...neither the camera (6D) nor the lens, is designed to work ideally in servo AF mode anyway.  Mating the two together, is not going to be reliable.  Some say it's usable with still portrait shooting, and that is what I would like to see. 
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on April 16, 2014, 10:06:22 PM
Are you Dylan?  That quote was from his post.

I thought you were discussing side AF points.  Those eyes look pretty centered in the FOV to me, unless this is heavily cropped...which I doubt.


Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on April 16, 2014, 10:14:24 PM
Not saying that 6D is a bad camera, but the whinging that takes place over the AF happens deservedly so.

While I see where you are coming from, I disagree.  The 6D does not deserve the criticism it gets regarding its AF.  Why?  Mostly because most of the same folks who are bashing its AF, spent 5 years thinking their 5D2 was a superb camera at a superb price, and rarely complained, if EVER, about its AF performance.  The 6D proves you can get a better camera overall for $1000 less than the 5D2 sold for over most of its life.  So the 6D definitely does not deserve criticism that is really just nitpicking and kicking the next lower model down from the one you like best.

It's only since Canon decided to gift the 5D3 with the 1DX AF sensor, that you suddenly have people saying the 6D has "terrible" AF performance.  It most definitely is not "terrible".  What it is, is "quite usable".  If the successor to the 6D gets the 1DX AF sensor, and sells for the same or lower price than the current 6D...ONLY THEN can you say the 6D had a "terrible AF sensor" for the money.  Because as of now, it does not.

While your image of the girl looks sharp, all I can say is, her nose occupies the right side of the "center 50%" of the image.  My previous point, had to do with the nasties that come about when you go outside that 50%, with an f/1.2 lens, shot at f/1.2.  I thought the side AF points of the 5D3, were well outside this center 50% image area.  In fact I'm pretty sure they are.  The 6D's side point is almost at this location...but would be closer to her ear ring...hardly a matter of much focus and recompose. 
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on April 16, 2014, 10:22:12 PM
I have both the 6D as well as the 5D3. I've tried and did not like using the 50L or the 85L II on the 6D except when I was shooting with a tripod and LV. The positioning of the AF points on the 6D is such that lots of focus-recompose is needed and with the 50L and 85L II, it's just asking for trouble.

While it is true you are more limited with your AF points on the 6D, keep in mind you can focus and crop instead of recompose.

More importantly, the 6D allows for easy switch to Eg-S focus screen unlike the 5D3 - so IMO 6D actually has a significant advantage for manually focusing the f/1.2 lenses and seeing their true DOF in the viewfinder.  One could argue you are looking for trouble in general if you try to autofocus at f/1.2 all the time no matter what camera you use.

Indeed.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on April 16, 2014, 10:34:52 PM
And let the record show that I replied to neuro, but it got deleted.  Like that's never happened before, lol!
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: neuroanatomist on April 16, 2014, 10:43:22 PM
Mostly because most of the same folks who are bashing its AF, spent 5 years thinking their 5D2 was a superb camera at a superb price, and rarely complained, if EVER, about its AF performance.   
That's some serious revisionist history.  Complaints and bashing on the 5DII's AF are legion.  The original 5D's AF system was often likened to the 20D, and there was major flak from the beginning when the 5DII came out with the same AF.

For example, this from just after its release: http://blog.kareldonk.com/canon-eos-5d-mark-ii-not-all-it-could-have-been/ (http://blog.kareldonk.com/canon-eos-5d-mark-ii-not-all-it-could-have-been/)

I think the 6D suffers even more from the backlash of having an AF system not significantly better than that of the original 5D, and that backlash is made even worse by the stellar AF put into the 5DIII.

Yes, the 5DII's AF had a few defenders, as does the 6D's.  Some of those defenders have even achieved superhero status:

(http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=17879.0;attach=41076;image)

But most of the defenses come off as apologies - 'the 5DII's AF isn't bad considering the image sensor is the same as the flagship 1DsIII' and 'the 6D is great for the price'.  Both statements are true, but the fact remains that the old 40D had a better AF sensor than the 5D/5DII/6D, and the 40D's AF sensor has now trickled down into the Rebel/xxxD line, while the 7D and 70D have an AF sensor that's far better than those in the lower end FF bodies.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on April 16, 2014, 10:49:40 PM
Mostly because most of the same folks who are bashing its AF, spent 5 years thinking their 5D2 was a superb camera at a superb price, and rarely complained, if EVER, about its AF performance.   
That's some serious revisionist history.  Complaints and bashing on the 5DII's AF are legion.  The original 5D's AF system was often likened to the 20D, and there was major flak from the beginning when the 5DII came out with the same AF.

For example, this from just after its release: http://blog.kareldonk.com/canon-eos-5d-mark-ii-not-all-it-could-have-been/ (http://blog.kareldonk.com/canon-eos-5d-mark-ii-not-all-it-could-have-been/)

I think the 6D suffers even more from the backlash of having an AF system not significantly better than that of the original 5D, and that backlash is made even worse by the stellar AF put into the 5DIII.

But most of the defenses come off as apologies - 'the 5DII's AF isn't bad considering the image sensor is the same as the flagship 1DsIII' and 'the 6D is great for the price'.  Both statements are true, but the fact remains that the old 40D had a better AF sensor than the 5D/5DII/6D, and the 40D's AF sensor has now trickled down into the Rebel/xxxD line, while the 7D and 70D have an AF sensor that's far better than those in the lower end FF bodies.

Well your history is different from mine.  I'm not revising anything, I'll leave that to you and your little helpers. 

All I ever read, was how great the 5D2 was.  And the people I knew who owned it, thought it was the best camera ever made.

Not sure what other backlash you are talking about of the 6D, besides its AF sensor.




Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: J.R. on April 16, 2014, 10:55:13 PM

While your image of the girl looks sharp, all I can say is, her nose occupies the right side of the "center 50%" of the image.  My previous point, had to do with the nasties that come about when you go outside that 50%, with an f/1.2 lens, shot at f/1.2.  I thought the side AF points of the 5D3, were well outside this center 50% image area.  In fact I'm pretty sure they are.  The 6D's side point is almost at this location...but would be closer to her ear ring...hardly a matter of much focus and recompose.

Not sure what you mean. The focus was on her left eye with the outer AF points
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on April 16, 2014, 11:42:57 PM

While your image of the girl looks sharp, all I can say is, her nose occupies the right side of the "center 50%" of the image.  My previous point, had to do with the nasties that come about when you go outside that 50%, with an f/1.2 lens, shot at f/1.2.  I thought the side AF points of the 5D3, were well outside this center 50% image area.  In fact I'm pretty sure they are.  The 6D's side point is almost at this location...but would be closer to her ear ring...hardly a matter of much focus and recompose.

Not sure what you mean. The focus was on her left eye with the outer AF points

I'm saying my previous point had to do with the part of the FOV that was even farther outside this area.  I thought the width of the AF sensor area in the FOV of the 5D3, was wider than that. 
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Dick on April 17, 2014, 02:24:55 AM
I have both the 6D as well as the 5D3. I've tried and did not like using the 50L or the 85L II on the 6D except when I was shooting with a tripod and LV. The positioning of the AF points on the 6D is such that lots of focus-recompose is needed and with the 50L and 85L II, it's just asking for trouble.

While it is true you are more limited with your AF points on the 6D, keep in mind you can focus and crop instead of recompose.


Focusing to the center and then cropping off half of the photo? In that case I'd rather use a crop body with a decent AF system.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on April 17, 2014, 05:03:20 AM
Full size uncropped image.  Autofocused with the 6D center point on the yellow bubble level, then recomposed.  Apparently nobody else can do this, but my camera can while I'm bending over, and handholding it in a very dark room, at 1/13 second, f/1.8, 24mm, about 4 inches from the lens front element, with no image stabilization.  It looked darker than this to my naked eye, and I don't think I used exposure compensation (the metadata doesn't show it if I did).  Shot only as a jpeg, with some NR applied in LR.  ISO 25,600.

What's all the fuss about focusing and recomposing?  If little old me can do this, hand-held with no image stabilization, why can't others do it at 1/200 second in good light, or especially with strobes or flashguns?  Not saying all lenses and focal lengths are the same...but gee whiz.  It's not unheard of, because I did it.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Ruined on April 17, 2014, 05:43:26 AM
While it is true you are more limited with your AF points on the 6D, keep in mind you can focus and crop instead of recompose.

Certainly, but I'd consider it a a workaround in the extreme.

Well, considering that the 5D3 AF points definitely are far from filling the entire frame, it is a workaround you will have to employ on the 5D3 as well - perhaps just less frequently.  At f/1.2, one should never focus and recompose even a smidgen as you well know due to the thin DOF.

Quote
More importantly, the 6D allows for easy switch to Eg-S focus screen unlike the 5D3 - so IMO 6D actually has a significant advantage for manually focusing the f/1.2 lenses and seeing their true DOF in the viewfinder. 

Yes, the focusing screen can be installed (I have the Eg-S screen) but I'm specifically commenting on the AF which doesn't work too well with very large aperture lenses.  Comparing the 5D3 AF with the 6D MF with Eg-S screen is like comparing apples to oranges. The 5D3 outer AF points will lock on with superb precision and you would have already taken the shot and moved on to another in the same time you would be focusing manually with the 6D.

Its not really comparing apples with oranges because the Eg-S allows you to see in the viewfinder more accurate DOF - even when autofocusing - than the 5D3's stock screen which is not user replaceable.  5D3's fixed focus screen only shows about f/2.8 DOF while the Eg-S on the 6D will come close to the DOF of f/1.2.

So, the fact that the 6D allows the user to swap to Eg-S means that what you see in the viewfinder when both AF *and* MF will more accurately represent the end product.  If you do choose to MF to that end product, it is worlds easier on the 6D using Eg-S vs the 5D3's fixed screen.

Yes, the 5D3 will likely allow to set up your shots faster, but that does not make the 6D AF useless.

Quote
One could argue you are looking for trouble in general if you try to autofocus at f/1.2 all the time no matter what camera you use.

All EOS cameras AF with the lenses wide open, so a f/1.2 lens will AF wide open at f/1.2 no matter what settings you use to shoot.

Correct, when aperture is set to f/1.2 DOF is so thin that the very slightest difference between where you thought you were focusing and where the actual camera focused will cause loss of detail. MF with Eg-S/matte screen allows you to easily see if you got the shot or not before you take it - and you don't even have to go into Live View.

Quote
The cross type outer AF points work extremely well on the 5D3. See below photo taken with a 5D3 with 85L II - 100% crop of the AF area also provided - I have been using this combo for quite a while now and am happy with the results.

Not saying that 6D is a bad camera, but the whinging that takes place over the AF happens deservedly so.

Edit: I'm not sure how to post the 100% crop. The 100% crop image that I can view here on CR is larger than what I see in LR with a 1:1 view - any tips on how to post the exact image?

I think the whining about the 6D AF depends of what you take shots of. Birds, sure, the 6D AF probably not good for that.  But for shooting people, the 6D AF is superb.  Finally when one wants to MF (or see DOF when AF in viewfinder below f/2. 8), as one often may want to with an f/1.2 DOF, the 6D actually is better than the 5D3 IMO.

If the 5D3 had a user replaceable focus screen like the 6D (or a stock screen similar to the Eg-s) I'd be quicker to throw the 6D under the bus, but the 5D3 does not, which is certainly a large demerit against the 5D3 when AF or MF in the viewfinder with fast lenses at apertures wider than f/2. 8.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Fotofanten on April 17, 2014, 05:53:53 AM
CarlTN: I focus and recompose too. It's never been a problem, even with a 50L on a 6D. If I am getting paid for the shot then sure, I bag a few extra shots before I move on. The same goes if the subject is a person and he or she is not perfectly still, if its windy, or if I've had a couple of glasses of wine. As long as I am not careless I am fine. I always pixel peep, so as to learn from my mistakes. Focusing and recomposing is not the end of the world as some would have you believe. That being said, I do look forward to the day there is a camera that lets me place the focus point fast and effortlessly and that provides the same hit-ratio as focusing and recomposing + practice does. If you feel the need to use anything but the centre point, I do agree that the 6D AF is inadequate.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: whothafunk on April 17, 2014, 07:11:23 AM
6D's AF capabilities and focus points are just plain sad for today's standards for a camera worth that much money and a FF label. Some people defend it by saying "it can take sports photos too!". Sure it can, I did it with my 550D also. I can make my eggs on a hot engine of my car, but I can do better.

Nobody denies 6D's low light focusing ability though.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: cheeseheadsaint on April 17, 2014, 09:26:20 AM
I primarily shoot sports(quidditch see: http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=20529 (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=20529)) and the 6D serves me well. Then again, my previous and first dslr was the Rebel XSi(so my perspective is different) and I shoot with only the center focus point and use back button focusing to recompose. Crop in post if necessary. Most of the time my shots are in focus but a significant chunk is also annoyingly blurring my intended subject and tracking on someone next to them instead. I feel like the back button focusing isn't as reliable -or maybe I'm doing it wrong. Are you supposed to be holding the backbutton(what I've been doing) or just press it once? I'm shooting in AI Servo.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Dylan777 on April 17, 2014, 09:26:38 AM
- The 6D's -3 EV lowlight sensitivity is currently unmatched by any DSLR on the market

If you shoot lowlight, sunsets, night photography or landscape photography the lowlight AF performance on the 6D wins.

As I pointed out a few pages ago in this thread:

How do you define 'low light'?  For example, the difference between shooting at -2 EV and-3 EV could mean 1/15 s, f/2.8, ISO 51200 vs. 102400.  Neither is very usable from an IQ standpoint.  What most people call 'low light' is generally substantially brighter than either spec.

Long exposure night photograpy might benefit from that extra stop of AF capability (but in that situation, you are on a triod and probably using Live View to focus anyway).  Sunsets, landscapes and general shooting have plenty of light relative to the AF sensitivity of even lower end dSLRs. 

I think the -3 EV spec of the 6D is Canon saying 'we did it because we can, and to throw a bone after otherwise limiting AF functionality of this body' - it looks good on paper, but is of little practical benefit in the vast majority of shooting situations.

As I've said many times, due to the low noise of the 6D, the low light sensitivity of the center AF point, can be very useful in the majority of situations where you are shooting wildlife (or people) around, before, or after sunset.  Or else if you are shooting landscape hand-held, with an IS lens, up to an hour after sunset...or during a full moon.  Or if you are shooting inside a club, or outside on a dimly lit city street at night, that -3EV capability is very useful.

ISO 6400 is extremely usable for professional prints via the 6D (with a bit of post processing), and ISO's a bit above that are still useful.

As for bashing the other AF points on the 6D, you need to bash the 5D2's as well, because they were no better.  It might not still be on sale, but plenty of forum readers still own and use the 5D2.

For anyone shooting with strobes, or shooting fast sports action in well lit areas, the 5D3 or 1DX is the camera you need (or perhaps a D800 at low ISO).

If you're shooting portraits with an f/1.4 lens, wide open at f/1.4, and require peripheral AF points to be used (for focusing on eyes, etc.), then yes the 6D will not give consistent results.  But then the 1DX and 5D3 don't fare much better in that situation, which is why serious portrait photogs who shoot this way, either manually focus, or use live view.  Of course most of them are closing that fast lens down quite a bit, in which case there is more wiggle room for AF inaccuracies.

And besides, in that peripheral area of these lenses (other than the Zeiss Otus)...those eyes that you claim are so razor sharp...actually are not, and are suffering from coma and astigmatism.  It's unavoidable...especially with such lenses as the 50L and 85L.
This was fine until you mentioned the 5D3 not being much better than the 6D for f/1.4 portraits using the outer AF points. The 5D3 makes the 6D look broken doing this and it's a shame a 60D or a 7D would also make the 6D look broken.

+1 with RLPhoto, I have no problem with outer AF points on my 5D III. Doesn't matter 85L II or 50L

Photo below was taken with 5D III + 50L, outer AF point @ f1.2. Oops...sorry, that was f1.2 not f1.4 as he mentioned

That's a chair, not someone's eyes.  Post one of those please.

A lot of thing to say...little to show ::)

1st photo SOOC, untouch: 5D III + 85L II, 1/160 @ f1.2, outer AF point, was focus on her left eye
2nd little edit in LR

BTW, I have no problem using AF in -3EV lighting condition, yes, with 5D III. Wanna see sample photos?

I thought you were discussing side AF points.  Those eyes look pretty centered in the FOV to me, unless this is heavily cropped...which I doubt.

As I mentioned, 1st photo came straight out from camera, untouch, JPEG. 

The only I did reduced photo size down to 3000x2000 for posting purpose(zero cropping). It was a 3rd outer AF point, from the center.

I'm not bashing 6D, but the #1 reason I went from 5D II to 5D III is 61 AF points. 5D II feel much better in hand...that just me of course.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Dylan777 on April 17, 2014, 09:33:45 AM
I thought you were discussing side AF points.  Those eyes look pretty centered in the FOV to me, unless this is heavily cropped...which I doubt.

Did you read the description? There is no crop. Her right eye is near the center of the frame, and because she is nearly parallel to the sensor plane it is in focus. But AF was on her left eye.

"1st photo SOOC, untouch: 5D III + 85L II, 1/160 @ f1.2, outer AF point, was focus on her left eye"

I get that kind of performance from my 5D3 outer cross-type points too (in one shot, I disable non-cross type AF), at least as best I can tell with shallow DOF from say 200mm/2.8.

5D2? Not so much. The 6D outer points are vertical line sensors like the 5D2, right? In landscape orientation it will just hunt on the outlying points if there is no vertical contrast. The 1Dx unit is sensitive in two directions widely across the frame. That's a significant improvement over the 5D2/6D.

I don't know of anyone who wanted a 5D3 at 6D prices.  Rather, I suspect there are plenty who would pay $4500 for a 5D3. 

Willingness to pay and a desire to pay are two different things. I certainly would have wanted a 5D3 at 6D prices. However, that's unrealistic.

As for there being plenty who would pay $4,500... I don't know. There may be some, but at that point, many may look elsewhere or decide to save a little bit more for the 1Dx.

+1....same here 3kramd5. It's nice to have over 40 cross type AF points.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: 3kramd5 on April 17, 2014, 10:01:34 AM
Its not really comparing apples with oranges because the Eg-S allows you to see in the viewfinder more accurate DOF - even when autofocusing - than the 5D3's stock screen which is not user replaceable.  5D3's fixed focus screen only shows about f/2.8 DOF while the Eg-S on the 6D will come close to the DOF of f/1.2.

So, the fact that the 6D allows the user to swap to Eg-S means that what you see in the viewfinder when both AF *and* MF will more accurately represent the end product.  If you do choose to MF to that end product, it is worlds easier on the 6D using Eg-S vs the 5D3's fixed screen.

Yes, the 5D3 will likely allow to set up your shots faster, but that does not make the 6D AF useless.

Indeed. The lack of replaceable focus screens is one of the annoyances of the 5D3 (cost being the primary annoyance). I can live with it, however. When I have the luxury of setting up my shot, I generally manually focus with live view.

I don't think anyone has said the 6D AF is useless. Thousands of photographers have used it for years with the 5D2 (no, they aren't identical, but for all intents and purposes one uses them the same way).

No, it's not useless. But it isn't even remotely like the 1Dx unit, or the almost 1Dx unit in the 5D3. Even in one-shot (which I use exclusively with my 5D2 and much of the time with my 5D3), having reasonably accurate points covering about 2/3 of the width of the frame allows for thin DOF AF with a much higher hit rate. And when you consider tracking, it's apples and paperclips.



I feel like the back button focusing isn't as reliable -or maybe I'm doing it wrong. Are you supposed to be holding the backbutton(what I've been doing) or just press it once? I'm shooting in AI Servo.

It's exactly as reliable. Whether you engage AF with the shutter release or the AF-ON button, what follows is identical.

If you're in Servo, you're doing it right: hold it down, including when you release the shutter.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: TeT on April 17, 2014, 10:10:04 AM
my 6D focuses closer to my T4i than to the 5DIII I briefly used.

John
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: neuroanatomist on April 17, 2014, 11:38:28 AM
Full size uncropped image.  Autofocused with the 6D center point on the yellow bubble level, then recomposed.  Apparently nobody else can do this, but my camera can while I'm bending over, and handholding it in a very dark room, at 1/13 second, f/1.8, 24mm, about 4 inches from the lens front element, with no image stabilization.  It looked darker than this to my naked eye, and I don't think I used exposure compensation (the metadata doesn't show it if I did).  Shot only as a jpeg, with some NR applied in LR.  ISO 25,600.

What's all the fuss about focusing and recomposing?  If little old me can do this, hand-held with no image stabilization, why can't others do it at 1/200 second in good light, or especially with strobes or flashguns?  Not saying all lenses and focal lengths are the same...but gee whiz.  It's not unheard of, because I did it.

The 'fuss' is that focus/recompose causes backfocus.  It's simple geometry– the focal plane is flat (field curvature notwithstanding), and you're rotating the camera after locking focus, which moves the focal plane to a position behind the subject after recomposition.  With a narrower aperture, the deeper DoF is often sufficient to mask the effect of the backfocus, but with a wide aperture, you'll see the backfocusing.

Frankly, your image of the ballhead is so dark and noisy that it's difficult to say anything is in sharp focus.  But one thing that seems at least close to in-focus is the index mark on the left side of the clamp, and that's well behind the bubble level.  That index mark is certainly more in focus than the lettering on the front of the clamp, despite that lettering being much closer to the bubble level.  So if you did indeed successfully focus on the bubble level, then you've demonstrated (albeit poorly) the problem with focus/recompose.

It's not that 'nobody else can do this', but can ≠ should, and many of us know that focus/recompose causes problems with fast lenses shot wide open.  If you're using a slower lens, stopping down your fast lens, or aren't a stickler for critical focus on your intended subject, focus/recompose can work.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: neuroanatomist on April 17, 2014, 11:38:43 AM
6D's AF capabilities and focus points are just plain sad for today's standards for a camera worth that much money and a FF label. Some people defend it by saying "it can take sports photos too!". Sure it can, I did it with my 550D also.

Agreed.  I took sports photos with no AF at all, and I had to advance the film by hand between each frame.  But the fact is the Rebel T4i/650D has an overall better AF system than the 6D - which, as you say, is just plain sad.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: neuroanatomist on April 17, 2014, 11:44:33 AM
To further add, my 1Ds3 and 1Dx never miss at f/1.4 on the outter points.  Never.  Always exact.  No variability.  Nails it everytime and that's even without AFMA.
it is physical impossibility because the AF  measurement angle accuracy in Canons AF is  F-2,8  ( eg.3,4)

That's not correct.

The specified precision is within the depth of focus at the max aperture of the lens for a standard precision AF point, and within 0.33 depth of focus (0.5 for some models) at the max aperture of the lens for a high precision AF point. 

I discussed this issue with Chuck Westfall (Canon USA's technical mouthpiece), and this is part of his response:

"The fact that the AF points are functional with apertures as small as f/5.6, f/4 or f/2.8 respectively depending on the camera model and AF point under discussion does not imply that their measuring precision is limited to the depth of focus at those apertures. The AF detection system has the capability of calculating depth of focus based on the maximum aperture of the lens, whatever it happens to be."
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: mackguyver on April 17, 2014, 11:50:53 AM
This is what I'd love to see in a Canon body, especially with the 6D center point:
Hasselblad True Focus (http://www.hasselbladusa.com/promotions/apl.aspx)

Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: neuroanatomist on April 17, 2014, 11:53:53 AM
This is what I'd love to see in a Canon body, especially with the 6D center point:
Hasselblad True Focus (http://www.hasselbladusa.com/promotions/apl.aspx)

+1 

The angular motion sensors are already there as part of the electronic level system, so automatic compensation for recomposition after locking focus is something that could be implemented should Canon choose to do so.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Stig on April 17, 2014, 12:30:18 PM
This is what I'd love to see in a Canon body, especially with the 6D center point:
Hasselblad True Focus (http://www.hasselbladusa.com/promotions/apl.aspx)

+1

that would be great
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Sporgon on April 17, 2014, 01:04:23 PM
This is what I'd love to see in a Canon body, especially with the 6D center point:
Hasselblad True Focus (http://www.hasselbladusa.com/promotions/apl.aspx)

+1

that would be great

Another nail in the coffin of manual focus.

Seriously though, reference the 6D points being inferior to a much cheaper 650D, it's just inevitable if the concept of the 6D was to exist. Canon had to protect the 5D III. Remember that 5D II was 'crippled' with the 5D/20D focus system to protect the 1Ds. However it didn't work; 5D II's really ate into 1Ds sales, so Canon effectively said 'if you can't beat them, join them' and introduced the 5D III with full 'pro' AF and effectively dropped the 1Ds line. The 5D III is still much cheaper than a 1Ds !

Canon wouldn't want the 6D to do the same thing to the 5D line so they added plenty more 'crippling' features to be sure.  :(

I'm not a Nikon expert but I'm guessing that Nikon wanted to sell as many D600's as they could given the cool response to 36mp, so they don't have the same vested interest in protecting the D800 line.

I still find the 6D a fantastic camera but when the time comes to change the 5D II I'm currently not sure if we'll get another 6D or a 5D III.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: ashmadux on April 17, 2014, 01:37:40 PM
I dont understand when those that do not own the camera in question consider actual users/owners tp be 'whiners'.

Anyways...If you come form any body with reasonably good focus, then it will become pretty clear soon on that the 6d AF is its absolute weakest point. It is far outclassed by rebels from yester year- in both speed and accuracy. 

Unfortunately for me, Ive has the 6d since late last year, and only recently have been able to get one lens focusing accurately. I invested in focal a ways back and its not helping my 24-1o5 + 6d combo at all. My 50 1.4 responded very well to focal adjustments. 70-200 II is good (not great) on the far end, still bad on the wide. With all of the af 'issues, i eventually plan on getting rid of it for a more reliable 5d3.

PS- 6d+50mm 1.4  combo (and a grip) is damn near a perfect camera setup, when it works well. even weight, light enough, etc...i love it.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on April 17, 2014, 04:32:31 PM
CarlTN: I focus and recompose too. It's never been a problem, even with a 50L on a 6D. If I am getting paid for the shot then sure, I bag a few extra shots before I move on. The same goes if the subject is a person and he or she is not perfectly still, if its windy, or if I've had a couple of glasses of wine. As long as I am not careless I am fine. I always pixel peep, so as to learn from my mistakes. Focusing and recomposing is not the end of the world as some would have you believe. That being said, I do look forward to the day there is a camera that lets me place the focus point fast and effortlessly and that provides the same hit-ratio as focusing and recomposing + practice does. If you feel the need to use anything but the centre point, I do agree that the 6D AF is inadequate.

Well said, and I'm glad to see you weighing in on the focus recompose technique, especially considering you're using the 50L.  But as I've said before, it's not so much that the outer points are useless in good light.  It's that the processing that runs the autofocus system, will tend to deliberately not lock on anything if you leave all points active.  It will bounce around all the points, and then arrive at a compromise of them all, which too often compromises the focus plane, and avoids the area with the strongest contrast (the area that a 5D3 or 1DX would have locked onto).  Also, it gives too much weight to those outer points (again with all points active), and denies the better center point the precedence it should have.  So, frankly I've had better success when relying on the outer points, if I just select one, rather than leaving all points active, especially in servo mode.  That is just asking for trouble big time.  I suppose it's easier for those with prejudice against the camera and its users, to just bash the camera and ignore people like me who point this out, though.  To them, what is easiest and simplest, is best.  But it's not accurate.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on April 17, 2014, 04:36:56 PM
While it is true you are more limited with your AF points on the 6D, keep in mind you can focus and crop instead of recompose.

Certainly, but I'd consider it a a workaround in the extreme.

Well, considering that the 5D3 AF points definitely are far from filling the entire frame, it is a workaround you will have to employ on the 5D3 as well - perhaps just less frequently.  At f/1.2, one should never focus and recompose even a smidgen as you well know due to the thin DOF.

Quote
More importantly, the 6D allows for easy switch to Eg-S focus screen unlike the 5D3 - so IMO 6D actually has a significant advantage for manually focusing the f/1.2 lenses and seeing their true DOF in the viewfinder. 

Yes, the focusing screen can be installed (I have the Eg-S screen) but I'm specifically commenting on the AF which doesn't work too well with very large aperture lenses.  Comparing the 5D3 AF with the 6D MF with Eg-S screen is like comparing apples to oranges. The 5D3 outer AF points will lock on with superb precision and you would have already taken the shot and moved on to another in the same time you would be focusing manually with the 6D.

Its not really comparing apples with oranges because the Eg-S allows you to see in the viewfinder more accurate DOF - even when autofocusing - than the 5D3's stock screen which is not user replaceable.  5D3's fixed focus screen only shows about f/2.8 DOF while the Eg-S on the 6D will come close to the DOF of f/1.2.

So, the fact that the 6D allows the user to swap to Eg-S means that what you see in the viewfinder when both AF *and* MF will more accurately represent the end product.  If you do choose to MF to that end product, it is worlds easier on the 6D using Eg-S vs the 5D3's fixed screen.

Yes, the 5D3 will likely allow to set up your shots faster, but that does not make the 6D AF useless.

Quote
One could argue you are looking for trouble in general if you try to autofocus at f/1.2 all the time no matter what camera you use.

All EOS cameras AF with the lenses wide open, so a f/1.2 lens will AF wide open at f/1.2 no matter what settings you use to shoot.

Correct, when aperture is set to f/1.2 DOF is so thin that the very slightest difference between where you thought you were focusing and where the actual camera focused will cause loss of detail. MF with Eg-S/matte screen allows you to easily see if you got the shot or not before you take it - and you don't even have to go into Live View.

Quote
The cross type outer AF points work extremely well on the 5D3. See below photo taken with a 5D3 with 85L II - 100% crop of the AF area also provided - I have been using this combo for quite a while now and am happy with the results.

Not saying that 6D is a bad camera, but the whinging that takes place over the AF happens deservedly so.

Edit: I'm not sure how to post the 100% crop. The 100% crop image that I can view here on CR is larger than what I see in LR with a 1:1 view - any tips on how to post the exact image?

I think the whining about the 6D AF depends of what you take shots of. Birds, sure, the 6D AF probably not good for that.  But for shooting people, the 6D AF is superb.  Finally when one wants to MF (or see DOF when AF in viewfinder below f/2. 8), as one often may want to with an f/1.2 DOF, the 6D actually is better than the 5D3 IMO.

If the 5D3 had a user replaceable focus screen like the 6D (or a stock screen similar to the Eg-s) I'd be quicker to throw the 6D under the bus, but the 5D3 does not, which is certainly a large demerit against the 5D3 when AF or MF in the viewfinder with fast lenses at apertures wider than f/2. 8.

Very interesting and thoughtful observations, thanks very much.  I am learning from you!
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on April 17, 2014, 04:41:35 PM
- The 6D's -3 EV lowlight sensitivity is currently unmatched by any DSLR on the market

If you shoot lowlight, sunsets, night photography or landscape photography the lowlight AF performance on the 6D wins.

As I pointed out a few pages ago in this thread:

How do you define 'low light'?  For example, the difference between shooting at -2 EV and-3 EV could mean 1/15 s, f/2.8, ISO 51200 vs. 102400.  Neither is very usable from an IQ standpoint.  What most people call 'low light' is generally substantially brighter than either spec.

Long exposure night photograpy might benefit from that extra stop of AF capability (but in that situation, you are on a triod and probably using Live View to focus anyway).  Sunsets, landscapes and general shooting have plenty of light relative to the AF sensitivity of even lower end dSLRs. 

I think the -3 EV spec of the 6D is Canon saying 'we did it because we can, and to throw a bone after otherwise limiting AF functionality of this body' - it looks good on paper, but is of little practical benefit in the vast majority of shooting situations.

As I've said many times, due to the low noise of the 6D, the low light sensitivity of the center AF point, can be very useful in the majority of situations where you are shooting wildlife (or people) around, before, or after sunset.  Or else if you are shooting landscape hand-held, with an IS lens, up to an hour after sunset...or during a full moon.  Or if you are shooting inside a club, or outside on a dimly lit city street at night, that -3EV capability is very useful.

ISO 6400 is extremely usable for professional prints via the 6D (with a bit of post processing), and ISO's a bit above that are still useful.

As for bashing the other AF points on the 6D, you need to bash the 5D2's as well, because they were no better.  It might not still be on sale, but plenty of forum readers still own and use the 5D2.

For anyone shooting with strobes, or shooting fast sports action in well lit areas, the 5D3 or 1DX is the camera you need (or perhaps a D800 at low ISO).

If you're shooting portraits with an f/1.4 lens, wide open at f/1.4, and require peripheral AF points to be used (for focusing on eyes, etc.), then yes the 6D will not give consistent results.  But then the 1DX and 5D3 don't fare much better in that situation, which is why serious portrait photogs who shoot this way, either manually focus, or use live view.  Of course most of them are closing that fast lens down quite a bit, in which case there is more wiggle room for AF inaccuracies.

And besides, in that peripheral area of these lenses (other than the Zeiss Otus)...those eyes that you claim are so razor sharp...actually are not, and are suffering from coma and astigmatism.  It's unavoidable...especially with such lenses as the 50L and 85L.
This was fine until you mentioned the 5D3 not being much better than the 6D for f/1.4 portraits using the outer AF points. The 5D3 makes the 6D look broken doing this and it's a shame a 60D or a 7D would also make the 6D look broken.

+1 with RLPhoto, I have no problem with outer AF points on my 5D III. Doesn't matter 85L II or 50L

Photo below was taken with 5D III + 50L, outer AF point @ f1.2. Oops...sorry, that was f1.2 not f1.4 as he mentioned

That's a chair, not someone's eyes.  Post one of those please.

A lot of thing to say...little to show ::)

1st photo SOOC, untouch: 5D III + 85L II, 1/160 @ f1.2, outer AF point, was focus on her left eye
2nd little edit in LR

BTW, I have no problem using AF in -3EV lighting condition, yes, with 5D III. Wanna see sample photos?

I thought you were discussing side AF points.  Those eyes look pretty centered in the FOV to me, unless this is heavily cropped...which I doubt.

As I mentioned, 1st photo came straight out from camera, untouch, JPEG. 

The only I did reduced photo size down to 3000x2000 for posting purpose(zero cropping). It was a 3rd outer AF point, from the center.

I'm not bashing 6D, but the #1 reason I went from 5D II to 5D III is 61 AF points. 5D II feel much better in hand...that just me of course.

That's fine for you, and that reasoning makes sense.  If I needed 61 AF points, I would have bought something that had them.  Again though, what I was referring to earlier, was the part of the image of an f/1.2 lens, that was outside the center 50% of the image.  That is where the "sharpness" breaks down with such lenses, on a full frame camera, when set to full wide aperture...especially when you compare it to the center 50% of the image.  Downsampling makes things look even sharper, but that is kind of the opposite of what I was speaking about.  It's the conventional way of using such portrait lenses, because it works. 
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on April 17, 2014, 04:46:12 PM
6D's AF capabilities and focus points are just plain sad for today's standards for a camera worth that much money and a FF label. Some people defend it by saying "it can take sports photos too!". Sure it can, I did it with my 550D also. I can make my eggs on a hot engine of my car, but I can do better.

Nobody denies 6D's low light focusing ability though.

6D low light focusing  sensitivity -3Ev is not bad compared to -2Ev in 1DX and 5Dmk3 and I'm not happy with 5dmk3 ability to lock in low light.

Neither am I.  That, and the lower cost, is what helped convince me I could use a 6D.  I am happy with it.  As I don't do wedding photography with flashguns or strobes, I don't need a 5D3.  If I did professional sports, I would buy the 1DX without question.  All of these cameras have their place in the line.  Those that have not used a 6D for very long, who drone out their perpetual, boring, uninformative monotone about how it should not be produced or sold, are just plain wrong. 
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: mackguyver on April 17, 2014, 04:51:22 PM
Neither am I.  That, and the lower cost, is what helped convince me I could use a 6D.  I am happy with it.  As I don't do wedding photography with flashguns or strobes, I don't need a 5D3.  If I did professional sports, I would buy the 1DX without question.  All of these cameras have their place in the line.  Those that have not used a 6D for very long, who drone out their perpetual, boring, uninformative monotone about how it should not be produced or sold, are just plain wrong.
The 5DIII is much better than the 5DII, but the 1D X seems much better than the 5DIII in low light.  I don't know why anyone would say that about the 6D, it's an excellent camera and unless you shoot sports, wildlife, or other  action, center point AF is really all you need, and by all accounts it's very good on the 6D.  We got by for years with the 5DII's lousy AF, so anyone whining about the 6D needs to get a life.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on April 17, 2014, 05:05:59 PM
Full size uncropped image.  Autofocused with the 6D center point on the yellow bubble level, then recomposed.  Apparently nobody else can do this, but my camera can while I'm bending over, and handholding it in a very dark room, at 1/13 second, f/1.8, 24mm, about 4 inches from the lens front element, with no image stabilization.  It looked darker than this to my naked eye, and I don't think I used exposure compensation (the metadata doesn't show it if I did).  Shot only as a jpeg, with some NR applied in LR.  ISO 25,600.

What's all the fuss about focusing and recomposing?  If little old me can do this, hand-held with no image stabilization, why can't others do it at 1/200 second in good light, or especially with strobes or flashguns?  Not saying all lenses and focal lengths are the same...but gee whiz.  It's not unheard of, because I did it.

The 'fuss' is that focus/recompose causes backfocus.  It's simple geometry– the focal plane is flat (field curvature notwithstanding), and you're rotating the camera after locking focus, which moves the focal plane to a position behind the subject after recomposition.  With a narrower aperture, the deeper DoF is often sufficient to mask the effect of the backfocus, but with a wide aperture, you'll see the backfocusing.

Frankly, your image of the ballhead is so dark and noisy that it's difficult to say anything is in sharp focus.  But one thing that seems at least close to in-focus is the index mark on the left side of the clamp, and that's well behind the bubble level.  That index mark is certainly more in focus than the lettering on the front of the clamp, despite that lettering being much closer to the bubble level.  So if you did indeed successfully focus on the bubble level, then you've demonstrated (albeit poorly) the problem with focus/recompose.

It's not that 'nobody else can do this', but can ≠ should, and many of us know that focus/recompose causes problems with fast lenses shot wide open.  If you're using a slower lens, stopping down your fast lens, or aren't a stickler for critical focus on your intended subject, focus/recompose can work.

You're conveniently ignoring the angle the shot was taken at.  The plane of focus is on a double diagonal, relative to the plane the quick release plate exists in.  Look at the area around the bubble level.  What is immediately in front of it, is not in focus.  What is immediately behind it, is not in focus.  Sure there's noise, but I was making a point about the low light autofocus ability of the center point, to myself (I shot this in January).  The 5D3 and 1DX, would not have autofocused at all in this light.

And of course the bubble level is not razor sharp.  But consider the conditions.  1/13 of a second, at a distance of 4 inches, no image stabilization.  The point is, the bubble level is in the plane of focus.  You can try to deny it, but I'm sorry, it is.

Surely you're not saying the plane of focus at f/1.8 and 24mm, at a distance of only 4 inches, is more deep than the plane of focus of a 50mm f/1.2 lens, at a distance of 6 feet or greater (or whatever the average portrait distance might be the choice for such work with that lens)? 

I'm not saying what you say is not correct, regarding the problems inherent with focus recompose technique.  Also not saying it would automatically work as well with the 50L or 85L, with the 6D, because I have no experience with those yet, on it.  However, other people who have posted recently, have related their efforts with the 50L on a 6D, and at least one has said they use "focus-recompose".  If you have a problem with the technique, take it up with them.  In any case, you have almost no experience with the 6D, thus your contributions to this thread are less valid, than those with more experience with the camera. 
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on April 17, 2014, 05:08:15 PM
Neither am I.  That, and the lower cost, is what helped convince me I could use a 6D.  I am happy with it.  As I don't do wedding photography with flashguns or strobes, I don't need a 5D3.  If I did professional sports, I would buy the 1DX without question.  All of these cameras have their place in the line.  Those that have not used a 6D for very long, who drone out their perpetual, boring, uninformative monotone about how it should not be produced or sold, are just plain wrong.
The 5DIII is much better than the 5DII, but the 1D X seems much better than the 5DIII in low light.  I don't know why anyone would say that about the 6D, it's an excellent camera and unless you shoot sports, wildlife, or other  action, center point AF is really all you need, and by all accounts it's very good on the 6D.  We got by for years with the 5DII's lousy AF, so anyone whining about the 6D needs to get a life.

+1 million!!!  I completely agree!  They need to get a life, and stop posting so much!
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: 3kramd5 on April 17, 2014, 06:15:06 PM
show proof that I am wrong,  the AF  measurement angle accuracy in Canons AF is  F-2,8
I know Im right
it will be interesting!!!!

So you're suggesting that the sensor pair is too narrow to see beams from lenses wider than f/2.8? If that's the case, how do you believe any number of images online shot using canon AF at apertures in the f/<2.8 range were focused? Does the camera actually stop down to focus (as opposed to the normal practice of focusing wide open)?
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: neuroanatomist on April 17, 2014, 06:23:43 PM
The 5DIII is much better than the 5DII, but the 1D X seems much better than the 5DIII in low light.  I don't know why anyone would say that about the 6D, it's an excellent camera and unless you shoot sports, wildlife, or other  action, center point AF is really all you need, and by all accounts it's very good on the 6D.  We got by for years with the 5DII's lousy AF, so anyone whining about the 6D needs to get a life.

Exactly.  Four years, many people (myself included) were clamoring for a camera that unified the image quality of the 5DII with the autofocus of the 7D.  Canon delivered, even better than expected, with the 5DIII – and charged a premium for it.  But they also delivered the 6D, basically a very modest update to the 5DII (already an excellent camera, AF notwithstanding) with a functionally equivalent AF system, but at a lower price.  That's a win-win. 
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: neuroanatomist on April 17, 2014, 06:42:11 PM
To further add, my 1Ds3 and 1Dx never miss at f/1.4 on the outter points.  Never.  Always exact.  No variability.  Nails it everytime and that's even without AFMA.
it is physical impossibility because the AF  measurement angle accuracy in Canons AF is  F-2,8  ( eg.3,4)

That's not correct.

The specified precision is within the depth of focus at the max aperture of the lens for a standard precision AF point, and within 0.33 depth of focus (0.5 for some models) at the max aperture of the lens for a high precision AF point. 

I discussed this issue with Chuck Westfall (Canon USA's technical mouthpiece), and this is part of his response:

"The fact that the AF points are functional with apertures as small as f/5.6, f/4 or f/2.8 respectively depending on the camera model and AF point under discussion does not imply that their measuring precision is limited to the depth of focus at those apertures. The AF detection system has the capability of calculating depth of focus based on the maximum aperture of the lens, whatever it happens to be."

show proof that I am wrong,  the AF  measurement angle accuracy in Canons AF is  F-2,8
I know Im right
it will be interesting!!!!

Let's see…  My evidence includes a statement from a technical advisor at Canon, giving information on the performance specification of a product made by Canon.

Your evidence is, "I know Im right."

The burden of proof is squarely on you.  Frankly, I doubt it will be interesting, and if you are who I think you are, your past behavior has clearly shown your 'evidence' to be completely unreliable. 
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: neuroanatomist on April 17, 2014, 07:27:26 PM
Then I suggest you to write to your Canon technical advisor at Canon and ask! lets hear what Mr Chuck Westfall have to say.
Im right and keep this in mind when you return with your answer
the AF  measurement angle accuracy in Canons AF is  F-2,8
you will have minor variations of the focus plane below 2,8 due the AF accuracy

Apparently, you missed the fact that I already posted Mr. Westfall's answer to the question about AF accuracy with lenses faster than f/2.8.

Of course you'll have 'minor variations in the focus plane' and you'll have them at all apertures.  That's the point of specifying the precision of the system.  For an f/2.8 or faster lens with the center AF point (or the column of 5 points on the 5DIII/1D X), that minor variation will be within 1/3 of the depth of focus for the max aperture lens, even if that max aperture is f/1.2.  With off-center points or lenses slower than f/2.8, that minor variation will be within one depth of focus.

You claim you're right, but you offer nothing to support your unsubstantiated claim.  Young children and their exasperated parents frequently resort to, "Because I said so," but that argument has no merit in a technical discussion. 
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: neuroanatomist on April 17, 2014, 07:29:07 PM
Sure there's noise, but I was making a point about the low light autofocus ability of the center point, to myself (I shot this in January).  The 5D3 and 1DX, would not have autofocused at all in this light.

The image was shot at 1/13 s, f/1.8, ISO 25600.  That equals -2 EV, which is within the AF specification for the 5DIII and 1D X.  So either you're statement highlighted above is wrong, or you are saying that Canon is lying about the specifications for the 5DIII and 1D X.  Which is it?


And of course the bubble level is not razor sharp.  But consider the conditions.  1/13 of a second, at a distance of 4 inches, no image stabilization.  The point is, the bubble level is in the plane of focus.  You can try to deny it, but I'm sorry, it is.

I don't believe that plane of focus passes through the bubble level, although I'll accept that the bubble is within the DoF.  As I'm sure you know, the 'plane of focus' is an infinitely thin plane parallel to the image sensor (ignoring field curvature), and the DoF is the region in front of and behind that plane that remains acceptably sharp, defined by a set of arbitraty criteria.  With your settings the DoF should be 50/50 in front of and behind the focal plane.  Since the index mark behind the bubble is more in focus than the lettering in front of the bubble, the plane of focus is actually behind the bubble, and the DoF extends forward to include the bubble and backward to include the index mark.  That's consistent with the backfocus caused by focus/recompose.

The other point is that the bubble level certainly doesn't appear sharp - nothing in the image really does.  That supports my earlier contention - you are at -2 EV, still within the specification of the 5DIII and 1D X for low light AF, and you are struggling to get a usable image at that light level.  In half as much light, the 6D could still autofocus…but you can't open up your lens another stop, you'd get more camera shake at 1/6 s, or far worse noise at ISO 51200, and basically have an unusable shot (and it's a stretch to call the existing shot usable).  As I stated, the benefit of -3 EV over -2 EV for AF sensitivity is really, really limited in applicability.   


In any case, you have almost no experience with the 6D, thus your contributions to this thread are less valid, than those with more experience with the camera.

What does that say about the validity of your statements regarding the 5DIII and 1D X?  I think we have an answer to that already, given your inaccurate claim above.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Skirball on April 18, 2014, 10:33:52 AM
Canon delivered, even better than expected, with the 5DIII – and charged a premium for it.  But they also delivered the 6D, basically a very modest update to the 5DII (already an excellent camera, AF notwithstanding) with a functionally equivalent AF system, but at a lower price.  That's a win-win.

17 pages of nausea later...  that pretty much sums it up.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: mackguyver on April 18, 2014, 10:37:37 AM
Canon delivered, even better than expected, with the 5DIII – and charged a premium for it.  But they also delivered the 6D, basically a very modest update to the 5DII (already an excellent camera, AF notwithstanding) with a functionally equivalent AF system, but at a lower price.  That's a win-win.

17 pages of nausea later...  that pretty much sums it up.
+1, though I've only read 2 of the pages.  Neuro did summarize it nicely. 
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: ashmadux on April 18, 2014, 11:42:55 AM
6D's AF capabilities and focus points are just plain sad for today's standards for a camera worth that much money and a FF label. Some people defend it by saying "it can take sports photos too!". Sure it can, I did it with my 550D also.

Agreed.  I took sports photos with no AF at all, and I had to advance the film by hand between each frame.  But the fact is the Rebel T4i/650D has an overall better AF system than the 6D - which, as you say, is just plain sad.

THIS.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: 3kramd5 on April 18, 2014, 01:36:40 PM
the focus plane is the same in every picture at F 1,4

Bold statement implying that the only way to focus a prime f/1.4 lens is to move it (which is demonstrably false). Again, what is the explanation for how AF f/>2.8 images were achieved using canon bodies? Did the camera stop down to focus?
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Sporgon on April 18, 2014, 04:03:32 PM
the focus plane is the same in every picture at F 1,4

Bold statement implying that the only way to focus a prime f/1.4 lens is to move it (which is demonstrably false). Again, what is the explanation for how AF f/>2.8 images were achieved using canon bodies? Did the camera stop down to focus?

Here's some shots of rare Swedish Red Ear'd Biggies Piggies taken with the centre point of a 6D with a 50mm f1.4 @1.4. Nails the focus plane near as damn it 8 times out of ten. Cropped and recomposed, so not 'focus and recompose'.

Biggies Piggies just won't keep still for a moment !
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on April 19, 2014, 06:30:25 AM
What does that say about the validity of your statements regarding the 5DIII and 1D X?

I don't go into the 1DX thread and spew hatred for the 1DX.  Yet you and your butt kissers feel the need to come into a 6D thread to bash it.  What does that say about you?

I wasn't passing off the image as "usable", as in professional quality.  It was merely an experiment.  Only a fool would imply otherwise.  No need to get defensive just because the experiment worked.  At the very least I would have used exposure compensation and shot in RAW, if it were meant to be printed or something (and yes that would have pushed to ISO 50k or higher).  When I have said in the past, that the 6D's center AF point aids tremendously in low light autofocusing, I'm using positive exposure compensation (usually a full stop, sometimes more), in order to get the RGB curve to go farther toward the right side.  And in those situations, the ISO I would consider "usable" for good professional quality, is not above 10,000.  "Usable" for acceptable pro quality, could be 20,000, but not 25,600.  If that means the available light I'm shooting in, is brighter than -3 EV, so be it.  But that alone, does not mean this center point, is not still very usable, when compared to an autofocus point that is only rated for -2 EV.  It just means that for a "normal exposure" at -3 EV (as in, a very black image), the necessary ISO combined with the lack of any significant recorded signal in the entire upper half of the RGB curve...there is not significant dynamic range from the sensor, or the file's 14 bit format itself, to produce anything other than a dark noisy image.  Again though, digital photographers learn early on, that you look at the RGB curve, and expose for that.  I deliberately did not do that in this case, because I wanted it to look similarly dark to what my eye saw.  It still looks brighter than what my eye saw, though.

The back half of the bubble level, is within the focus plane.  The index mark you keep harping on, is ABOVE the plane of the plate that the bubble is mounted in.  And the camera, is angled diagonally to the plane the plate exists in, both left-right and front-back axis.  Stop ignoring that.  That alone explains why the index mark is near the plane of focus.  What about the right side of the plate?  It's in the focus plane.  Draw a diagonal line perpendicular to the sensor, and it runs right through the rear half of the bubble level.  You can say it's not because the focus plane is "infinitely small", and thus exists between the subatomic particles that make up the atoms of the plastic of the bubble.  But that just smacks of desperation.  The plane of focus is effectively more than 1 pixel in width on this sensor (due to the limited resolution of the lens itself, but also the high ISO).  And since there is motion blur, it's more like 4 pixels in width.  That's a lot bigger than "infinitely small".  I know one thing that's infinitely small though, and you keep compensating for it, lol.

Since you say your 1DX could autofocus in -2EV light (as you claim this was)...how about trying it on a similar black object with a tiny light colored object for contrast, and posting the results?  Make sure to shoot only as a jpeg (with no in-camera NR), that the exposure is not faster than 1/13 second, there's no image stabilization, and that you are hand-holding it while bending over a bit, and that your subject distance is ONLY 4 inches in front of the front lens element.  Also, make sure to select ONLY THE OUTERMOST side autofocus point (don't use any groupings).  Your results had better be better than mine, because you won't be needing to focus recompose.  Make sure the available light in the room, is equal to 3 lit candles (with no reflectors), placed 8 feet away from the camera.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on April 19, 2014, 06:31:44 AM
the focus plane is the same in every picture at F 1,4

Bold statement implying that the only way to focus a prime f/1.4 lens is to move it (which is demonstrably false). Again, what is the explanation for how AF f/>2.8 images were achieved using canon bodies? Did the camera stop down to focus?

Here's some shots of rare Swedish Red Ear'd Biggies Piggies taken with the centre point of a 6D with a 50mm f1.4 @1.4. Nails the focus plane near as damn it 8 times out of ten. Cropped and recomposed, so not 'focus and recompose'.

Biggies Piggies just won't keep still for a moment !

Great job!
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: bholliman on April 19, 2014, 08:22:14 AM

Here's some shots of rare Swedish Red Ear'd Biggies Piggies taken with the centre point of a 6D with a 50mm f1.4 @1.4. Nails the focus plane near as damn it 8 times out of ten. Cropped and recomposed, so not 'focus and recompose'.

Biggies Piggies just won't keep still for a moment !

We have an almost 2-year-old toddler who can move about as quickly and randomly as these piggies, and the AF with my 6D and 50 f/1.4 and 85 1.8 does just fine under f/2.0 using the center point.  Overall, my hit rate for moving kid shots is in the 75-80% range, and I'm happy with that.  I know a 5D3 or 1Dx would do much better, but for my overall use (kids/landscapes/portraits/macro and a little high school golf and cross country) the 6D is a great camera.


Exactly.  Four years, many people (myself included) were clamoring for a camera that unified the image quality of the 5DII with the autofocus of the 7D.  Canon delivered, even better than expected, with the 5DIII – and charged a premium for it.  But they also delivered the 6D, basically a very modest update to the 5DII (already an excellent camera, AF notwithstanding) with a functionally equivalent AF system, but at a lower price.  That's a win-win.

Well summarized, I agree.  If you want a camera with superior AF, buy a 1Dx or 5D3.  The 6D has IQ in the same ballpark as the higher end cameras, but a limited AF system.  That's why its $1K+ cheaper than the 5D3.  Personally, I'm glad Canon gives us price and capability options.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: neuroanatomist on April 19, 2014, 08:29:34 AM
What does that say about the validity of your statements regarding the 5DIII and 1D X?

I don't go into the 1DX thread and spew hatred for the 1DX.  Yet you and your butt kissers feel the need to come into a 6D thread to bash it.  What does that say about you?

I wasn't passing off the image as "usable", as in professional quality.  It was merely an experiment.  Only a fool would imply otherwise.  No need to get defensive just because the experiment worked.  At the very least I would have used exposure compensation and shot in RAW, if it were meant to be printed or something (and yes that would have pushed to ISO 50k or higher).  When I have said in the past, that the 6D's center AF point aids tremendously in low light autofocusing, I'm using positive exposure compensation (usually a full stop, sometimes more), in order to get the RGB curve to go farther toward the right side.  And in those situations, the ISO I would consider "usable" for good professional quality, is not above 10,000.  "Usable" for acceptable pro quality, could be 20,000, but not 25,600.  If that means the available light I'm shooting in, is brighter than -3 EV, so be it.  But that alone, does not mean this center point, is not still very usable, when compared to an autofocus point that is only rated for -2 EV.  It just means that for a "normal exposure" at -3 EV (as in, a very black image), the necessary ISO combined with the lack of any significant recorded signal in the entire upper half of the RGB curve...there is not significant dynamic range from the sensor, or the file's 14 bit format itself, to produce anything other than a dark noisy image.  Again though, digital photographers learn early on, that you look at the RGB curve, and expose for that.  I deliberately did not do that in this case, because I wanted it to look similarly dark to what my eye saw.  It still looks brighter than what my eye saw, though.

The back half of the bubble level, is within the focus plane.  The index mark you keep harping on, is ABOVE the plane of the plate that the bubble is mounted in.  And the camera, is angled diagonally to the plane the plate exists in, both left-right and front-back axis.  Stop ignoring that.  That alone explains why the index mark is near the plane of focus.  What about the right side of the plate?  It's in the focus plane.  Draw a diagonal line perpendicular to the sensor, and it runs right through the rear half of the bubble level.  You can say it's not because the focus plane is "infinitely small", and thus exists between the subatomic particles that make up the atoms of the plastic of the bubble.  But that just smacks of desperation.  The plane of focus is effectively more than 1 pixel in width on this sensor (due to the limited resolution of the lens itself, but also the high ISO).  And since there is motion blur, it's more like 4 pixels in width.  That's a lot bigger than "infinitely small".  I know one thing that's infinitely small though, and you keep compensating for it, lol.

Since you say your 1DX could autofocus in -2EV light (as you claim this was)...how about trying it on a similar black object with a tiny light colored object for contrast, and posting the results?  Make sure to shoot only as a jpeg (with no in-camera NR), that the exposure is not faster than 1/13 second, there's no image stabilization, and that you are hand-holding it while bending over a bit, and that your subject distance is ONLY 4 inches in front of the front lens element.  Also, make sure to select ONLY THE OUTERMOST side autofocus point (don't use any groupings).  Your results had better be better than mine, because you won't be needing to focus recompose.  Make sure the available light in the room, is equal to 3 lit candles (with no reflectors), placed 8 feet away from the camera.

You're suggesting that I post an image?  I'm still waiting for you to post even a single image, of the hundreds you must have if you're correct in your claim that the -3 EV AF sensitivity of the 6D is, "...very useful in the majority of situations where you are shooting wildlife (or people) around, before, or after sunset."  Instead, you provide an image of a ballhead in a dark room, and even that was at -2 EV, not -3 EV.

Thanks for your reply above, which demonstrates the following:

Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: RLPhoto on April 19, 2014, 09:02:12 AM
Myth 1 - 6D AF is vastly improved from 5d2/5Dc/20D.

Myth 2 - The 5D3 AF is not much better than 6D.

Myth 3 - The 6D is not carls love child.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: neuroanatomist on April 19, 2014, 09:10:04 AM
We have an almost 2-year-old toddler who can move about as quickly and randomly as these piggies, and the AF with my 6D and 50 f/1.4 and 85 1.8 does just fine under f/2.0 using the center point.  Overall, my hit rate for moving kid shots is in the 75-80% range, and I'm happy with that.  I know a 5D3 or 1Dx would do much better, but for my overall use (kids/landscapes/portraits/macro and a little high school golf and cross country) the 6D is a great camera.

That's very similar to my experience the 5DII, although the hit rate dropped noticeably when the subject was moving toward/away from the camera, or when trying to track moving subjects in lower light.  For example, kids coming down a slide at an indoor 'bouncy house' (4-6 EV lighting), the 6D I had borrowed locked on initially at the top, but couldn't keep up with tracking.  My 1D X tracks the whole way down, either following the kid with the center point, or using auto point selection and letting the system hand off focus from one AF point to the next.  The 7D's AF system would do a decent job, but the need for a fast shutter speed in low light pushes the ISO beyond the 7D's usable range (in some cases, even beyond the highest available setting!).
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: sanj on April 19, 2014, 09:12:14 AM
"The 5D3 and 1DX, would not have autofocused at all in this light."

??????
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: candc on April 19, 2014, 09:17:50 AM
ken rockwell says the 6d af is better than the 5diii which is too complicated. the 6d af doesn't get in the way, it just works baby!

but then kr says the sl1, 18-55 stm combo is just as good a the 5diii, 24-70ii combo.

 
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: sanj on April 19, 2014, 09:20:48 AM
"many of us know that focus/recompose causes problems with fast lenses shot wide open.  If you're using a slower lens, stopping down your fast lens, or aren't a stickler for critical focus on your intended subject, focus/recompose can work."

One learns this within months of starting to learn photography.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: sanj on April 19, 2014, 09:23:09 AM
I have both the 6D as well as the 5D3. I've tried and did not like using the 50L or the 85L II on the 6D except when I was shooting with a tripod and LV. The positioning of the AF points on the 6D is such that lots of focus-recompose is needed and with the 50L and 85L II, it's just asking for trouble.

While it is true you are more limited with your AF points on the 6D, keep in mind you can focus and crop instead of recompose.

More importantly, the 6D allows for easy switch to Eg-S focus screen unlike the 5D3 - so IMO 6D actually has a significant advantage for manually focusing the f/1.2 lenses and seeing their true DOF in the viewfinder.  One could argue you are looking for trouble in general if you try to autofocus at f/1.2 all the time no matter what camera you use.

Does not sound like a great idea to me.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: bdunbar79 on April 19, 2014, 09:29:19 AM
Which is the whole point.  With the 5D3/1Dx/1D4/1Ds3 etc., you don't have to use focus/recompose.  Focus/recompose sucks hardcore.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: neuroanatomist on April 19, 2014, 10:41:06 AM
Which is the whole point.  With the 5D3/1Dx/1D4/1Ds3 etc., you don't have to use focus/recompose.  Focus/recompose sucks hardcore.

Unless you're the mythical SuperCarl, who's X-ray vision allows him to see through facts as if they aren't even there, and who's powerful lungs can blow hot air all day long.  SuperCarl, who can bend felt with his bare hands, leap tall golfballs in a single bound, and has a 6D that defies the principles of geometry and optical physics. 
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Dylan777 on April 19, 2014, 10:51:37 AM
Which is the whole point.  With the 5D3/1Dx/1D4/1Ds3 etc., you don't have to use focus/recompose.  Focus/recompose sucks hardcore.

Unless you're the mythical SuperCarl, who's X-ray vision allows him to see through facts as if they aren't even there, and who's powerful lungs can blow hot air all day long.  SuperCarl, who can bend felt with his bare hands, leap tall golfballs in a single bound, and has a 6D that defies the principles of geometry and optical physics.  

Neuro, have you come up the title for this poem yet? I'm guessing "SuperCarl" ;D
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: 3kramd5 on April 19, 2014, 11:13:06 AM
ken rockwell says the 6d af is better than the 5diii which is too complicated. the 6d af doesn't get in the way, it just works baby!

After all, you can AF at LV-3 with the center point, then recompose on your tripod, and get a nice, steady image of an OOF subject. Can't possibly do that with a 5D.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: bdunbar79 on April 19, 2014, 12:04:30 PM
Additionally, he adds in that the 1Dx and 5D3 would have never AF'd in a particular situation that the 6D did.  He also makes the accusation that we've never shot with the 6D so how can we comment?

1.  The 1Dx and 5D3 would have easily AF'd in that case, so that point right there is simply objectively WRONG.
2.  He hasn't shot with the 1Dx or 5D3, yet makes the above comment.  Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. 

Is he for real?  There's NO WAY any sane person could both make the arguments he's making and simultaneously believe in those arguments.

The AF system of the 1Dx is best = $6799
The AF system of the 5D3 is second best = $3399
The AF system of the 6D is the "least good" out of all 3 = $2000 ish

Hmm, surprising!
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: 3kramd5 on April 19, 2014, 12:40:54 PM
Additionally, he adds in that the 1Dx and 5D3 would have never AF'd in a particular situation that the 6D did.  He also makes the accusation that we've never shot with the 6D so how can we comment?

1.  The 1Dx and 5D3 would have easily AF'd in that case, so that point right there is simply objectively WRONG.
2.  He hasn't shot with the 1Dx or 5D3, yet makes the above comment.  Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. 

Is he for real?  There's NO WAY any sane person could both make the arguments he's making and simultaneously believe in those arguments.

The AF system of the 1Dx is best = $6799
The AF system of the 5D3 is second best = $3399
The AF system of the 6D is the "least good" out of all 3 = $2000 ish

Hmm, surprising!

It's just silliness. The 6D is a nice, affordable 135 format DSLR. It has some nice features, but AF is hardly its selling point. -3LV autofocus, as has been pointed out, has some significant practicality issues.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: ashmadux on April 19, 2014, 05:51:01 PM
Focus and crop...sounds like foolishness.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: bholliman on April 19, 2014, 07:25:09 PM
That's very similar to my experience the 5DII, although the hit rate dropped noticeably when the subject was moving toward/away from the camera, or when trying to track moving subjects in lower light.  For example, kids coming down a slide at an indoor 'bouncy house' (4-6 EV lighting), the 6D I had borrowed locked on initially at the top, but couldn't keep up with tracking.  My 1D X tracks the whole way down, either following the kid with the center point, or using auto point selection and letting the system hand off focus from one AF point to the next. 

Yeah, the 6D doesn't handle subjects moving towards or away well at all, especially towards, probably more noticeable due to the shallower DOF.  Side to side is OK. 

I'll have to rent a 1Dx sometime to see what it can do.

Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: johnf3f on April 19, 2014, 08:38:48 PM
 [/quote]

Yeah, the 6D doesn't handle subjects moving towards or away well at all, especially towards, probably more noticeable due to the shallower DOF.  Side to side is OK. 

I'll have to rent a 1Dx sometime to see what it can do.
[/quote]

DON'T - you will end up buying one!!! ;D
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: sanj on April 20, 2014, 12:06:01 AM
Can someone please explain dumb me what does focus at "-3ev" actually mean? Thanking in advance.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: 3kramd5 on April 20, 2014, 12:33:24 AM



Can someone please explain dumb me what does focus at "-3ev" actually mean? Thanking in advance.

Exposure values were initially used to merely compare exposure settings, and settings independent of film speed. EV0 was defined as 1sec at f/1. In this context, it is assumed to be at 100ISO (ISO100, aka light value). EV0 light would require f/1 at 100 for 1 second or equivalent to properly expose. EV-3 is three stops darker, or f/1 at 100 for 8 seconds, or f/0.7 at 200 for 2 seconds, etc. In other words, it's dark.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on April 20, 2014, 02:22:14 AM
Can someone please explain dumb me what does focus at "-3ev" actually mean? Thanking in advance.

Note that phase af always works with open aperture, i.e. your camera will need more LV with a slow f5.6 lens than with a fast f1.4 one to still be able to focus... one reason to get a f2.8 zoom even if you seldom actually take pictures @f2.8 and are ok to carry the bulk/weight + pay for it.

http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/ev.htm (http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/ev.htm)
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on April 20, 2014, 03:24:07 AM
Additionally, he adds in that the 1Dx and 5D3 would have never AF'd in a particular situation that the 6D did.  He also makes the accusation that we've never shot with the 6D so how can we comment?

1.  The 1Dx and 5D3 would have easily AF'd in that case, so that point right there is simply objectively WRONG.
2.  He hasn't shot with the 1Dx or 5D3, yet makes the above comment.  Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. 

Is he for real?  There's NO WAY any sane person could both make the arguments he's making and simultaneously believe in those arguments.

The AF system of the 1Dx is best = $6799
The AF system of the 5D3 is second best = $3399
The AF system of the 6D is the "least good" out of all 3 = $2000 ish

Hmm, surprising!

Actually that's a lie, I have shot with both the 5D3 and 1DX.  Not with this particular lens though.  I'm not calling anybody black, but you're starting to look like you're just puking to me, so that's now your color.

Why the childish name calling, and the just plain making shi+ up as you go along?  How old are you again?
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on April 20, 2014, 03:25:29 AM
Additionally, he adds in that the 1Dx and 5D3 would have never AF'd in a particular situation that the 6D did.  He also makes the accusation that we've never shot with the 6D so how can we comment?

1.  The 1Dx and 5D3 would have easily AF'd in that case, so that point right there is simply objectively WRONG.
2.  He hasn't shot with the 1Dx or 5D3, yet makes the above comment.  Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. 

Is he for real?  There's NO WAY any sane person could both make the arguments he's making and simultaneously believe in those arguments.

The AF system of the 1Dx is best = $6799
The AF system of the 5D3 is second best = $3399
The AF system of the 6D is the "least good" out of all 3 = $2000 ish

Hmm, surprising!

It's just silliness. The 6D is a nice, affordable 135 format DSLR. It has some nice features, but AF is hardly its selling point. -3LV autofocus, as has been pointed out, has some significant practicality issues.

Who the hell ever said the 6D's autofocus was a "selling point"?  Not me.  I'm calling b/s though, and that's now your color.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on April 20, 2014, 03:35:03 AM

Here's some shots of rare Swedish Red Ear'd Biggies Piggies taken with the centre point of a 6D with a 50mm f1.4 @1.4. Nails the focus plane near as damn it 8 times out of ten. Cropped and recomposed, so not 'focus and recompose'.

Biggies Piggies just won't keep still for a moment !

We have an almost 2-year-old toddler who can move about as quickly and randomly as these piggies, and the AF with my 6D and 50 f/1.4 and 85 1.8 does just fine under f/2.0 using the center point.  Overall, my hit rate for moving kid shots is in the 75-80% range, and I'm happy with that.  I know a 5D3 or 1Dx would do much better, but for my overall use (kids/landscapes/portraits/macro and a little high school golf and cross country) the 6D is a great camera.


Exactly.  Four years, many people (myself included) were clamoring for a camera that unified the image quality of the 5DII with the autofocus of the 7D.  Canon delivered, even better than expected, with the 5DIII – and charged a premium for it.  But they also delivered the 6D, basically a very modest update to the 5DII (already an excellent camera, AF notwithstanding) with a functionally equivalent AF system, but at a lower price.  That's a win-win.

Well summarized, I agree.  If you want a camera with superior AF, buy a 1Dx or 5D3.  The 6D has IQ in the same ballpark as the higher end cameras, but a limited AF system.  That's why its $1K+ cheaper than the 5D3.  Personally, I'm glad Canon gives us price and capability options.

Agree on all points, never said otherwise.  Yet just because I dare to say the 6D autofocuses "decently", and because I attempted and ACHIEVED focus recompose at a distance of 4 INCHES IN THE DARK...the manchildren are throwing a tantrum again.   

Happy Easter to you all, even to those who spew name calling, hatred and personal attacks.  To the moderators, Happy Easter to you as well.  If you don't celebrate it, I'm not too surprised... ;D
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: sanj on April 20, 2014, 08:12:28 AM
Can someone please explain dumb me what does focus at "-3ev" actually mean? Thanking in advance.

Note that phase af always works with open aperture, i.e. your camera will need more LV with a slow f5.6 lens than with a fast f1.4 one to still be able to focus... one reason to get a f2.8 zoom even if you seldom actually take pictures @f2.8 and are ok to carry the bulk/weight + pay for it.

http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/ev.htm (http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/ev.htm)

Thx. Understand a bit more...
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: sanj on April 20, 2014, 08:14:14 AM



Can someone please explain dumb me what does focus at "-3ev" actually mean? Thanking in advance.

Exposure values were initially used to merely compare exposure settings, and settings independent of film speed. EV0 was defined as 1sec at f/1. In this context, it is assumed to be at 100ISO (ISO100, aka light value). EV0 light would require f/1 at 100 for 1 second or equivalent to properly expose. EV-3 is three stops darker, or f/1 at 100 for 8 seconds, or f/0.7 at 200 for 2 seconds, etc. In other words, it's dark.

Thx much. So 6d center point would focus better in low light?
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: J.R. on April 20, 2014, 09:37:38 AM



Can someone please explain dumb me what does focus at "-3ev" actually mean? Thanking in advance.

Exposure values were initially used to merely compare exposure settings, and settings independent of film speed. EV0 was defined as 1sec at f/1. In this context, it is assumed to be at 100ISO (ISO100, aka light value). EV0 light would require f/1 at 100 for 1 second or equivalent to properly expose. EV-3 is three stops darker, or f/1 at 100 for 8 seconds, or f/0.7 at 200 for 2 seconds, etc. In other words, it's dark.

Thx much. So 6d center point would focus better in low light?

As per the theory, yes.

However, I find that EV3 is the extreme of low light and I'm not sure what can be shot handheld.

I'm sure AF at EV-3 is useful to some people, but as far as I'm concerned I don't shoot too often in extreme low light. When I do, I (a) use the tripod and AF is pretty much irrelevant; OR (b) use AF assist with a speedlite. 

PS: I'm sure someone will come along denouncing me for not trying the AF at EV-3, but personally, I haven't found it too useful. I'm also yet to be faced with a situation where my 6D could achieve AF and the 5D3 could not.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: sanj on April 20, 2014, 10:07:09 AM



Can someone please explain dumb me what does focus at "-3ev" actually mean? Thanking in advance.

Exposure values were initially used to merely compare exposure settings, and settings independent of film speed. EV0 was defined as 1sec at f/1. In this context, it is assumed to be at 100ISO (ISO100, aka light value). EV0 light would require f/1 at 100 for 1 second or equivalent to properly expose. EV-3 is three stops darker, or f/1 at 100 for 8 seconds, or f/0.7 at 200 for 2 seconds, etc. In other words, it's dark.

Thx much. So 6d center point would focus better in low light?

As per the theory, yes.

However, I find that EV3 is the extreme of low light and I'm not sure what can be shot handheld.

I'm sure AF at EV-3 is useful to some people, but as far as I'm concerned I don't shoot too often in extreme low light. When I do, I (a) use the tripod and AF is pretty much irrelevant; OR (b) use AF assist with a speedlite. 

PS: I'm sure someone will come along denouncing me for not trying the AF at EV-3, but personally, I haven't found it too useful. I'm also yet to be faced with a situation where my 6D could achieve AF and the 5D3 could not.

Thank you. I am concluding then I am not missing out on anything.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: ATC on April 20, 2014, 10:43:00 AM

Here's some shots of rare Swedish Red Ear'd Biggies Piggies taken with the centre point of a 6D with a 50mm f1.4 @1.4. Nails the focus plane near as damn it 8 times out of ten. Cropped and recomposed, so not 'focus and recompose'.

Biggies Piggies just won't keep still for a moment !

We have an almost 2-year-old toddler who can move about as quickly and randomly as these piggies, and the AF with my 6D and 50 f/1.4 and 85 1.8 does just fine under f/2.0 using the center point.  Overall, my hit rate for moving kid shots is in the 75-80% range, and I'm happy with that.  I know a 5D3 or 1Dx would do much better, but for my overall use (kids/landscapes/portraits/macro and a little high school golf and cross country) the 6D is a great camera.


Exactly.  Four years, many people (myself included) were clamoring for a camera that unified the image quality of the 5DII with the autofocus of the 7D.  Canon delivered, even better than expected, with the 5DIII – and charged a premium for it.  But they also delivered the 6D, basically a very modest update to the 5DII (already an excellent camera, AF notwithstanding) with a functionally equivalent AF system, but at a lower price.  That's a win-win.

Well summarized, I agree.  If you want a camera with superior AF, buy a 1Dx or 5D3.  The 6D has IQ in the same ballpark as the higher end cameras, but a limited AF system.  That's why its $1K+ cheaper than the 5D3.  Personally, I'm glad Canon gives us price and capability options.

Agree on all points, never said otherwise.  Yet just because I dare to say the 6D autofocuses "decently", and because I attempted and ACHIEVED focus recompose at a distance of 4 INCHES IN THE DARK...the manchildren are throwing a tantrum again.   

Happy Easter to you all, even to those who spew name calling, hatred and personal attacks.  To the moderators, Happy Easter to you as well.  If you don't celebrate it, I'm not too surprised... ;D


Thank you, I was beginning to question my decision to get a 6D. I'll keep it, as I am very happy with the performance for my uses!
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: 3kramd5 on April 20, 2014, 04:33:38 PM
Additionally, he adds in that the 1Dx and 5D3 would have never AF'd in a particular situation that the 6D did.  He also makes the accusation that we've never shot with the 6D so how can we comment?

1.  The 1Dx and 5D3 would have easily AF'd in that case, so that point right there is simply objectively WRONG.
2.  He hasn't shot with the 1Dx or 5D3, yet makes the above comment.  Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. 

Is he for real?  There's NO WAY any sane person could both make the arguments he's making and simultaneously believe in those arguments.

The AF system of the 1Dx is best = $6799
The AF system of the 5D3 is second best = $3399
The AF system of the 6D is the "least good" out of all 3 = $2000 ish

Hmm, surprising!

It's just silliness. The 6D is a nice, affordable 135 format DSLR. It has some nice features, but AF is hardly its selling point. -3LV autofocus, as has been pointed out, has some significant practicality issues.

Who the hell ever said the 6D's autofocus was a "selling point"?  Not me.  I'm calling b/s though, and that's now your color.

Wow. Relax, Carl. It's a turn of phrase. I intended it as synonymous with "strong point."

I don't even know what you mean by the bit about color... ?
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: BL on April 21, 2014, 01:50:51 AM
Are there really two threads going on about this camera's AF pushing 20 pages now? 

Why can't people just agree to disagree, and accept the fact the 6D is a great camera for what it is - an entry level FF body with great IQ but with simplified AF.

Sometimes one tool is better than another based on needs/wants.

To put things in perspective, my SLRs are playing backup to my EOS M at the moment  :o
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: candyman on April 21, 2014, 02:34:08 AM
...........Why can't people just agree to disagree, and accept the fact the 6D is a great camera for what it is - an entry level FF body with great IQ but with simplified AF.
.................
+1
The 5D MKII is/was used many years - also by professionals - to produce stunning photos to generate money. The 6D is a better camera than the 5D MKII and surely will fullfil the same role. It is a very good camera that produces IQ on par with the 1DX and 5DMKIII
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on April 21, 2014, 02:50:17 AM
Are there really two threads going on about this camera's AF pushing 20 pages now?

In fact, you just made the thread one post longer :-)

Why can't people just agree to disagree, and accept the fact the 6D is a great camera for what it is - an entry level FF body with great IQ but with simplified AF.

In general, if people would  just agree upon your opinion and call it a day things would be much simpler indeed :-p

Sometimes one tool is better than another based on needs/wants.

Which would be the point with the 6d: Is it better at anything, or is it really just a cheap version of the 5d3? It does have gps and wifi, that's obvious. As for the -3LV center point af, if and when this is useful is not a simple matter - imho this is mostly a Canon marketing stunt to add a unique selling point, though it's certainly "nice to have".

As for the af system, this has basically become a troll thread: To the amazement of (almost) everyone else, one particular person claims the 6d has a capable af system and if you don't get what you want you're probably not using it properly or are not a good enough photog. Imho putting this af system in a 2012 €1600 camera is a disgrace and not meant as an "entry level" system but crippled to protect the 5d3, they should have left out the outer af points in the first place :-o as the 6d basically is a 1-pt af system. Ymmv if you have super powers :-p
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Sporgon on April 21, 2014, 03:19:47 AM
Which would be the point with the 6d: Is it better at anything, or is it really just a cheap version of the 5d3? It does have gps and wifi, that's obvious.

Yes it has gps and wifi. Personally these are of limited use to me but can be added to the 5DIII one way or another anyway.

But it does have other characteristics which set it apart from the 5D III. It is smaller and lighter, has interchangeable screens, and cost a lot less. We chose one for Building Panoramics and not only because it is cheaper.

Missing out the outer points altogether ? In the vast majority of static situations they work perfectly well when required for ultra shallow and close distance shots; ie. when 'focus and recompose' would give back focus.

The AF argument isn't really vs the 1D/5DIII system, it's against the cheaper cameras such as the 650D which have 'better' AF. I briefly had the 650D and didn't find it to be much difference.

As for the -3EV centre point, I have found that the 5DII will focus with the centre point in moonlight and I don't know what that's supposed to be rated at.

Funny isn't it that the 5DII was undoubtably 'crippled' by simple AF to keep it out of 1Ds III territory, yet the vast majority ( for a marketing point of view) still chose to use it over the 1DsIII, eventually resulting in the dropping of that line, and upgrading the 5D line to full professional status.

There are much more annoying things about the AF of the 6D than the points themselves; having to use the 'rebel' interface of first having to press an activation button before you can press the point moving button is much more of an issue.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on April 21, 2014, 04:02:19 AM
Missing out the outer points altogether ? In the vast majority of static situations they work perfectly well when required for ultra shallow and close distance shots; ie. when 'focus and recompose' would give back focus.

This really improves af w/ fast lenses? I don't have lenses faster than f2.8, but reading the specs the outer points only have f5.6 precision and are so near the f2.8 center point that my guess was that focus and recompose still is better than using the outer points? This is the reason I wouldn't buy a fast prime for the 6d with the intent to af, but I'm happy to stand corrected.

There are much more annoying things about the AF of the 6D than the points themselves; having to use the 'rebel' interface of first having to press an activation button before you can press the point moving button is much more of an issue.

Fyi: You can use Magic Lantern to fix that, the first thing I personally added to ML after I got the 6d was the option to switch af points w/o meta key but directly with the cursor keys :-p ... alas, I'm using them a lot less as the hunting of the non-cross points is so annoying.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: jd7 on April 21, 2014, 04:35:26 AM
But it does have other characteristics which set it apart from the 5D III. It is smaller and lighter, has interchangeable screens, and cost a lot less. We chose one for Building Panoramics and not only because it is cheaper.

Missing out the outer points altogether ? In the vast majority of static situations they work perfectly well when required for ultra shallow and close distance shots; ie. when 'focus and recompose' would give back focus.


+1

Quote

The AF argument isn't really vs the 1D/5DIII system, it's against the cheaper cameras such as the 650D which have 'better' AF. I briefly had the 650D and didn't find it to be much difference.


+1

Quote

There are much more annoying things about the AF of the 6D than the points themselves; having to use the 'rebel' interface of first having to press an activation button before you can press the point moving button is much more of an issue.

If you go into the 6D's custom settings (Magic Lantern not required), you can set it up so you don't have to press the AF-point selection activation button (or whatever it's called - I assume you mean the button near the top right corner of the camera when you have you eye to the viewfinder) to select an AF point.  You can set it so you simply press the 8 way switch/dial to move the AF-point around.  It's still a very sad second best to having a joystick (like on a 7D/5D series/etc), but it's an awful lot better than having to press the AF-point selection button first every time you want to move an AF point.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: jd7 on April 21, 2014, 05:16:26 AM
It seems CarlTN isn't the only person to contend there are situations where the 6D's AF will lock when the 1Dx's will not ...

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EOS-6D-Digital-SLR-Camera-Review.aspx (http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EOS-6D-Digital-SLR-Camera-Review.aspx)

I'd much rather have the 5D3's/1Dx's AF system, or the 7D's AF system for that matter ... and I suspect if being able to AF at -3EV gave a significant practical benefit in many circumstances, it would have found its way into the 1Dx and 5D3 (although I suppose it's just possible it wasn't ready in time for those cameras but it was ready in time for the 6D).  For all that though, I suspect the 6D's AF is probably "good enough" for many people much of the time.  I miss my 7D sometimes, but (as an amateur) I get by with the 6D ... even for photographing things like tennis.  Anything involving erratic action is certainly a "challenge" though.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Sporgon on April 21, 2014, 06:05:24 AM
This really improves af w/ fast lenses? I don't have lenses faster than f2.8, but reading the specs the outer points only have f5.6 precision and are so near the f2.8 center point that my guess was that focus and recompose still is better than using the outer points? This is the reason I wouldn't buy a fast prime for the 6d with the intent to af, but I'm happy to stand corrected.

Yes indeed. I think f5.6 precision is misleading - it's requiring f5.6 to function. It will then not be as accurate ( in theory) as the f2.8 'precision' sensor.

Here are four consecutive shots taken with the 85 f1.8 at 1.8, three of which using some of the outer points. The contrast and lighting is good but it has got it bang on each time. As a comparison the last frame is with live view. These are 50% enlargement of a medium jpeg.

When using the single orientation outer points you must consider the detail orientation of the target. If this is done then I find the outer points very good in suitable conditions.

Don't let the outer points of the 6D stop you from getting a faster lens !

Just an addition: the distance here was 1 metre, so at f1.8 the dof was 10mm. At f5.6 the dof would have been 40mm, and f2.8 would have given 20mm. So you can see that this is concrete proof that the '5.6 precision' points give much greater precision than f5.6.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Sporgon on April 21, 2014, 06:12:16 AM
If you go into the 6D's custom settings (Magic Lantern not required), you can set it up so you don't have to press the AF-point selection activation button (or whatever it's called - I assume you mean the button near the top right corner of the camera when you have you eye to the viewfinder) to select an AF point.  You can set it so you simply press the 8 way switch/dial to move the AF-point around.  It's still a very sad second best to having a joystick (like on a 7D/5D series/etc), but it's an awful lot better than having to press the AF-point selection button first every time you want to move an AF point.

Aaargh ! Why was this hidden in the 'Custom Button' function and not 'Custom AF' !?

Thanks jd7, that's a big improvement. I might have time to start complaining about the outer points now  ;)

As someone said' "CR is the manual" !
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: 3kramd5 on April 21, 2014, 09:56:01 AM
and I suspect if being able to AF at -3EV gave a significant practical benefit in many circumstances, it would have found its way into the 1Dx and 5D3 (although I suppose it's just possible it wasn't ready in time for those cameras but it was ready in time for the 6D).

Maybe the sensor needs to be physically larger to be that sensitive and doesn't lend itself to a dual cross type configuration. But I think practicality probably has more to do with it. Someone spending money for a sports/bird AF unit likely won't be impressed by the capability to AF in a situations where long exposures and tripods are required - just manually focus using LV at that point.

For all that though, I suspect the 6D's AF is probably "good enough" for many people much of the time. 

No doubt. There are thousands of great images taken with 5D2 AF, or older, or manual focus cameras. The 1Dx / D4 AF capabilities are nice-to-haves, not need-to-haves. They no doubt improve hit rate, but aren't strictly necessary.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on April 21, 2014, 02:47:43 PM
Yeah, the 6D doesn't handle subjects moving towards or away well at all, especially towards, probably more noticeable due to the shallower DOF.  Side to side is OK.

Did you try all af options? "Release priority" is the certain way to doom, and in my experience "Tracking sensitivity" responsive is better for side movement while "locked on" does better for forwards/away movement.

Don't let the outer points of the 6D stop you from getting a faster lens !

Thanks for the sample, I'll keep that in mind - though in my current experience the non-cross hunting of the outer points is enough reason not to use them on anything that moves or is low-contrast.

No doubt. There are thousands of great images taken with 5D2 AF, or older, or manual focus cameras. The 1Dx / D4 AF capabilities are nice-to-haves, not need-to-haves. They no doubt improve hit rate, but aren't strictly necessary.

Nearly nothing is strictly necessary, but when having the opportunity to take one non-repeatable keeper shot (i.e. hit rate either 100% or 0%) and your af fails that's frustrating on a camera in this price category - esp. since if the 6d af happens to hit you get a taste what could be done.

If you go into the 6D's custom settings (Magic Lantern not required)

Not quite, w/o ML you cannot use the SET button to quickly switch back to the center point (like on 60d for example) - I consider this to be essential in a 1pt af camera with some outer gimmicks. Also the ML version doesn't need you to select the af point and then focus, but instantly focuses once you selected the point  - though the latter is a matter of preference.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Sporgon on April 21, 2014, 03:26:20 PM
This whole subject of the 6D outer points has piqued my interest now. This afternoon I tried shooting moving and static subjects in both 'one shot' and 'servo' using just various of the outer points. Light was reasonable, EV 7 to  8, so not dark but not really bright either.

I put together a few shots, and you can see that the camera hits focus using a 50mm 1.4 at f1.6 - 1.8 very accurately with the outer points. I don't know what the engineering and physics are of the 'f5.6 sensitive points', but I can show you that these points nail focus on an appropriate target. "Appropriate' being the key word because you do have to be aware of the orientation you are using.

I would say one shot = 10/10 in reasonable light and appropriate target.  Servo on static subject = about 9/10. Servo on subject moving across your view = about 7/10. Remember this is f1.6 on a 50 mil. Servo on subject coming towards you fast = forget it.   

My point here is to show: A, that the outer points are quite useable in a number of situations, and:B, they are accurate to f1.6 on a 50mm focal length.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Skirball on April 21, 2014, 03:42:02 PM
That ought to give this thread enough fuel for another 10 pages or so.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on April 21, 2014, 03:49:01 PM
My point here is to show: A, that the outer points are quite useable in a number of situations, and:B, they are accurate to f1.6 on a 50mm focal length.

Interesting, though my experience is different. Btw your shots are too downsized and compressed to make an assessment, note that if I say "in focus" this means it nailed the eye and you can see the eyelashes @100% crop. I'm usually taking pictures of wild horses with my 17-40L and 70-300L in good to bad light:

* With a standing, i.e. barely moving horse in good light the outer points work ok-ish (wild guess: 8/10) though I'm getting the occasional hunt around close to infinity. You have to be careful to focus on a contrast part though. Works for repeatable shots but is not "good enough" for me to use on non-repeatable keeper shots, the horses don't pose for me. In bad light the performance degrades noticeably and more hunting occurs which is to be expected as they only work up to +0.5LV at all.

* With a moving horse to the side it works sometimes, sometimes not (maybe 5/10). I'm using "Tracking sensitivity = responsive" as which immediately results in hunting if an outer point loses focus - but "locked on" doesn't work with thin dof on erratic horse movement. As you've written, the movement towards the 6d camera is a complete joke, it's  maybe 3/10 with outer and 6/10 with center point - *if* you're lucky, I've had much worse.

I find the real issue with the outer points is not the precision, but the non-cross characteristic which make them too unreliable for me in any important situation, so I revert to focus & recompose. I have to say I didn't try my f2.8 100L much with the outer points because the specs say they're not precise enough, maybe the a larger max. aperture does improve the performance?
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Sporgon on April 21, 2014, 03:57:50 PM
I've made them fit the page but have included a magnification in each one where you can see that the very narrow dof has been achieved over the focus point.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: 3kramd5 on April 21, 2014, 04:24:05 PM
I've made them fit the page but have included a magnification in each one where you can see that the very narrow dof has been achieved over the focus point.

Not to be argumentative, but that isn't a particularly narrow dof. How far away is the dog?

Narrow to me means if you hit eyelashes, the retina is OOF.

edit: I have no idea why my post is nested in yours. Weird.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: neuroanatomist on April 21, 2014, 04:41:18 PM
I've made them fit the page but have included a magnification in each one where you can see that the very narrow dof has been achieved over the focus point.

Not to be argumentative, but that isn't a particularly narrow dof. How far away is the dog?

Narrow to me means if you hit eyelashes, the retina is OOF.

+1

@ Sporgon, your 'very narrow DoF' looks to be over 2 m deep, distant subjects aren't as taxing for an AF system.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Sporgon on April 21, 2014, 04:44:26 PM
I've made them fit the page but have included a magnification in each one where you can see that the very narrow dof has been achieved over the focus point.

Not to be argumentative, but that isn't a particularly narrow dof. How far away is the dog?

Narrow to me means if you hit eyelashes, the retina is OOF.

Narrow depth of field is relative to the distance. If you are taking a picture of a football field and have the centre line in focus with a depth of field of two metres; that's narrow.

These pictures are intended to show that even at f1.6-8 on a 50mm focal length the focusing is accurate enough to drop the depth of field over the correct point of focus.

Where the two dogs are moving I was about two metres away, so dof would be about 18 cm. Where the individual ones are further away I would say eight metres, so a dof of 2.5m. However remember that at f5.6 you would have a dof of 12 metres with the 50mm lens, so 2.5 is 'narrow' in comparison with 12. 

Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Skirball on April 21, 2014, 04:47:38 PM
I've made them fit the page but have included a magnification in each one where you can see that the very narrow dof has been achieved over the focus point.

Not to be argumentative, but that isn't a particularly narrow dof. How far away is the dog?

Narrow to me means if you hit eyelashes, the retina is OOF.

+1

@ Sporgon, your 'very narrow DoF' looks to be over 2 m deep, distant subjects aren't as taxing for an AF system.

Even as a 6D owner I can laugh at the (unintended) sarcasm of posting pictures of “very narrow DoF” on the order of 2 meters.  See, the 6D can do f/1.6 as well!
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: 3kramd5 on April 21, 2014, 04:51:57 PM
Narrow depth of field is relative to the distance. If you are taking a picture of a football field and have the centre line in focus with a depth of field of two metres; that's narrow.

Finding the exact plane of focus is the real trick. The problem with those images is it's impossible to see where that plane is because it's surrounded by so much volume of sharp focus. To me, it doesn't illustrate what you intended it to even if the camera focused dead nuts where you wanted it to.


Focus here is on his right eyelashes, and the photo would have been a reject had I been wider than f/2.8.

(http://i.imgur.com/Qp84iL0.jpg]http://i.imgur.com/Qp84iL0.jpg)


I love your panoramics, btw. Never had a chance to talk with you before on this forum. Kudos.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Sporgon on April 21, 2014, 04:57:11 PM
I've made them fit the page but have included a magnification in each one where you can see that the very narrow dof has been achieved over the focus point.

Not to be argumentative, but that isn't a particularly narrow dof. How far away is the dog?

Narrow to me means if you hit eyelashes, the retina is OOF.

+1

@ Sporgon, your 'very narrow DoF' looks to be over 2 m deep, distant subjects aren't as taxing for an AF system.

Even as a 6D owner I can laugh at the (unintended) sarcasm of posting pictures of “very narrow DoF” on the order of 2 meters.  See, the 6D can do f/1.6 as well!

If you look at the pictures of the bear at the top of the page you'll see a dof of 10mm with an outer point and it's accurate every time. ( The bear's nose is about 40mm long ). Some of the points being raised in this thread are based upon the accuracy of the 6D's outer point during movement and low light. Just how much movement and low light is anyone going to shoot with a depth of field of a few mm ?

Shooting at some distance with wide apertures requires AF accuarcy, despite the fact that real dof is much greater. Try shooting a moving target with the 135L at f2 at a distance of around fifteen metres with cameras that are not in the league of the 1D and see how you get on with a dof of 1.5m.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: neuroanatomist on April 21, 2014, 05:23:19 PM
Consider that we are imaging three-dimensional space, and compare the XY dimension (FoV) to the Z dimension (DoF).  When magnification is low, the DoF is relatively large compared to the FoV.  For example, with a 50mm lens and 8 m distance, Z/X is ~0.4.  At higher mag, e.g., a close up of the dog with the 50mm lens at <2 m, Z/X is <0.1. 

Basically, misfocus is less obvious with a lower magnification.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Sporgon on April 21, 2014, 05:35:48 PM
Consider that we are imaging three-dimensional space, and compare the XY dimension (FoV) to the Z dimension (DoF).  When magnification is low, the DoF is relatively large compared to the FoV.  For example, with a 50mm lens and 8 m distance, Z/X is ~0.4.  At higher mag, e.g., a close up of the dog with the 50mm lens at <2 m, Z/X is <0.1. 

Basically, misfocus is less obvious with a lower magnification.

Interesting, this explains why with longer lenses AF accuracy can be problematic even though there is a relatively large dof.

All I have tried to show is that the outer points on the 6D give infinitely more accuracy than an f5.6 dof - because there has been confusion in this thread about the meaning of an 'f5.6 precision' AF point, and that the outer points are perfectly useable in many circumstances whether near or far.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: bholliman on April 21, 2014, 05:54:40 PM
Yeah, the 6D doesn't handle subjects moving towards or away well at all, especially towards, probably more noticeable due to the shallower DOF.  Side to side is OK.

Did you try all af options? "Release priority" is the certain way to doom, and in my experience "Tracking sensitivity" responsive is better for side movement while "locked on" does better for forwards/away movement.
Thanks, this helped.  I had my AF AI Servo priority set to release priority.  I changed it to first priority "focus" and AI Servo accuracy is much better. 
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: bholliman on April 21, 2014, 06:05:43 PM
I have tried to show is that the outer points on the 6D give infinitely more accuracy than an f5.6 dof - because there has been confusion in this thread about the meaning of an 'f5.6 precision' AF point, and that the outer points are perfectly useable in many circumstances whether near or far.

+1  I have a 50 1.4, 85 1.8 and 135 2.0 that I use all the time on my 6D at f/2 and below with very good focus accuracy.  I primarily use the center AF point, but have good success with the outer points as well in decent light.  Thanks for posting the field trials.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: neuroanatomist on April 21, 2014, 08:43:29 PM
Consider that we are imaging three-dimensional space, and compare the XY dimension (FoV) to the Z dimension (DoF).  When magnification is low, the DoF is relatively large compared to the FoV.  For example, with a 50mm lens and 8 m distance, Z/X is ~0.4.  At higher mag, e.g., a close up of the dog with the 50mm lens at <2 m, Z/X is <0.1. 

Basically, misfocus is less obvious with a lower magnification.

Interesting, this explains why with longer lenses AF accuracy can be problematic even though there is a relatively large dof.

All I have tried to show is that the outer points on the 6D give infinitely more accuracy than an f5.6 dof - because there has been confusion in this thread about the meaning of an 'f5.6 precision' AF point, and that the outer points are perfectly useable in many circumstances whether near or far.

Agreed, it's confusing.  It sure doesn't help that Canon's literature on the subject treats precision and accuracy as interchangeable terms when they're not...and the difference is relevant here.  For the average of a given set of tests, accuracy is 'closeness to true' and precision is 'closeness to each other'.  A single shot says nothing about AF performance.  A hundred shots says something.

(http://temp.bhargreaves.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/precision.gif)

An f/2.8 point has a wider baseline, therefore it's more accurate than an f/5.6 point.  Canon apparently does not specify accuracy values for their AF systems.  AFMA adjusts the global accuracy of the system.

The center point of many bodies is a 'high precision' point, that can be either f/2.8 or f/5.6 in terms of baseline.  Canon does specify precision, albeit incompletely.  It's specified as depth of focus, which is the sensor-side equivalent of DoF, but distances are in microns.   High precision means 'within 1/3 the depth of focus', standard precision is 'within one depth of focus'. In both cases, that's the depth of focus for the attached lens' max aperture.  So, with the 50/1.4 attached, an f/5.6 point is precise to within one depth of focus at f/1.4.  We still don't know exactly what that means – will 95% of shots fall within that zone, or 99%, or 99.99% (that's what I mean about Canon's incomplete specification of precision). 

Personally, I found the 5DII's outer points to be ok in good light, but with close subjects and fast lenses they'd miss critical focus with noticeable frequency.  If I took 2-3 shots of the same subject, if be reasonably sure if getting a keeper. 
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on April 22, 2014, 02:04:49 AM
I've made them fit the page but have included a magnification in each one where you can see that the very narrow dof has been achieved over the focus point.

Are the corner pips really 100% crops? If so, the dof is indeed to wide to test the outer pt. performance. I don't doubt the outer af points focus *somewhere*, but they either tend to hunt (mostly on my 17-40L for some reason or another) or miss critical focus (indeed as speculated 70-300L @200-300mm, focus on the eyes).

You have to look for the problem a bit which might explain the "I just got my 6d and the af is fine!!!" posts. But if taking non-repeatable shots in a hurry and the focus hunts or you have narrow dof and they eyes are just a bit out of focus the consequence is better to use focus & recompose, at least that's what I ended up with.

Personally, I found the 5DII's outer points to be ok in good light, but with close subjects and fast lenses they'd miss critical focus with noticeable frequency.  If I took 2-3 shots of the same subject, if be reasonably sure if getting a keeper.

+1, that's about it, and one problem of this method is that I burn through my shutter in no time as for potential keepers it's about 3 shots (at least) for peace of mind.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Sporgon on April 22, 2014, 12:15:21 PM
I've made them fit the page but have included a magnification in each one where you can see that the very narrow dof has been achieved over the focus point.

Are the corner pips really 100% crops? If so, the dof is indeed to wide to test the outer pt. performance. I don't doubt the outer af points focus *somewhere*, but they either tend to hunt (mostly on my 17-40L for some reason or another) or miss critical focus (indeed as speculated 70-300L @200-300mm, focus on the eyes).

What I was trying to show was that the AF accuracy at f1.6 was way more than f5.6. To this end the 2m dof was 'very narrow' compared with the 12m dof that f5.6 would have given.

The examples were in reply to the comments you made about this, and could be demonstrated by attaching the very small, but fast loading files.

The page has had around 1000 views overnight ( UK time) so hopefully some people have found it interesting, despite the ridicule of Mr Skirball.

The smallest dof that I can achieve with my gear is 6mm. This is with the 50mm at minimum focusing distance at f1.4. Please note: the 50mm f1.4 at minimum focus distance and f1.4 and off centre is crap.  I took three consecutive frames using the 2 o'clock outer point using the bottom of the eye as a target in low light; EV 3 to be precise. Each time, as before, I turned away focus manually so the camera had to re focus each time.

You will see that in each consecutive frame the camera has produced focus within the 6mm depth of field. There is perhaps a 1 or 2 mm variation, but the end result is the same: it's in focus. ( In fact at this distance this lens/body combo is back focusing a touch).

Now I would argue that for the vast majority of 6D owners ( and 5DII for that matter) this performance is absolutely acceptable.

The last frame is me attempting to manually focus using live view, but as you can see I have not succeeded; the manual focus on the 50 '1.4 just isn't good enough. I also tried live view contrast focusing but the focus zone is too big. 

I am not saying the 6D/5D AF is anything like the 1 series and 5DIII, but I am saying that people who state the outer points are 'useless', 'pointless' etc are talking out of their collective behinds.

The crops are 100% of full resolution. As I said, don't expect it to be razor with that lens at that aperture at that part of the frame.

There is one other thing to consider though: dust. I find that the single orientation points are highly susceptible to contamination by dust / pollen etc, and if you are struggling with your outer points on these cameras try using a rocket blower or even blower brush to get the dust off your AF module.



Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: bholliman on April 22, 2014, 01:44:16 PM

What I was trying to show was that the AF accuracy at f1.6 was way more than f5.6. To this end the 2m dof was 'very narrow' compared with the 12m dof that f5.6 would have given.

The examples were in reply to the comments you made about this, and could be demonstrated by attaching the very small, but fast loading files.

Thanks again for the sample shots and all your work on this topic.  Your samples match my experience with the 6D AF.  Its very precise and accurate for non-action photography and works well with wide apertures.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: BPLOL on April 22, 2014, 02:12:18 PM

What I was trying to show was that the AF accuracy at f1.6 was way more than f5.6. To this end the 2m dof was 'very narrow' compared with the 12m dof that f5.6 would have given.

The examples were in reply to the comments you made about this, and could be demonstrated by attaching the very small, but fast loading files.

Thanks again for the sample shots and all your work on this topic.  Your samples match my experience with the 6D AF.  Its very precise and accurate for non-action photography and works well with wide apertures.


Been reading this discussion for days and days. I also find my 6D outer points very, very accurate for still objects and portrait stuff. It is reliable, and way better than my 400D's focus system. I know the XTi is a 2006 camera, but it too had only one cross-type point and 8 non cross points, however the 6D's outer points are in another league. Just because the outer points are not cross type, doesn't make it equal to the Rebel. At least in my experience.

I cannot, however, compare it with a newer Rebel with 9 cross-type points.

Peace!
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: 3kramd5 on April 22, 2014, 03:33:50 PM
To further add, my 1Ds3 and 1Dx never miss at f/1.4 on the outter points.  Never.  Always exact.  No variability.  Nails it everytime and that's even without AFMA.
it is physical impossibility because the AF  measurement angle accuracy in Canons AF is  F-2,8  ( eg.3,4)

That's not correct.

The specified precision is within the depth of focus at the max aperture of the lens for a standard precision AF point, and within 0.33 depth of focus (0.5 for some models) at the max aperture of the lens for a high precision AF point. 

I discussed this issue with Chuck Westfall (Canon USA's technical mouthpiece), and this is part of his response:

"The fact that the AF points are functional with apertures as small as f/5.6, f/4 or f/2.8 respectively depending on the camera model and AF point under discussion does not imply that their measuring precision is limited to the depth of focus at those apertures. The AF detection system has the capability of calculating depth of focus based on the maximum aperture of the lens, whatever it happens to be."

I've been doing some reading and came across a pertinent point. Your post above relates specifically to high-precision AF points. The outer points are not high-precision, unless I misunderstand him here (http://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2014/02/27/canon-dual-pixel-cmos-af-autofocus-secrets-of-the-canon-70d-explained): "...one of the consequences of the TTL-SIR AF system is that except for the center point, AF precision is not proportional to the maximum aperture of the lens in use."

Of course, that's a 70D-centric dialog. Maybe some of the outer 1Dx/5D3 cross points are included.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: 3kramd5 on April 22, 2014, 09:29:55 PM
"Point"less ;D unscientific data

5D3, EF50mm f/1.4, ISO100, AF point shown in screenshot. Always focused on the 20. Shown are 100% crops of the top right cross, bottom left cross, and center AF point, as well as a manual focus in each setup.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: 3kramd5 on April 22, 2014, 09:31:06 PM
"Point"less ;D unscientific data

5D3, EF50mm f/1.4, ISO100, AF point shown in screenshot. Always focused on the 20. Shown are 100% crops of the top right cross, bottom left cross, and center AF point, as well as a manual focus in each setup.

Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on April 23, 2014, 03:29:00 PM
The examples were in reply to the comments you made about this, and could be demonstrated by attaching the very small, but fast loading files.  The page has had around 1000 views overnight ( UK time) so hopefully some people have found it interesting, despite the ridicule of Mr Skirball.

Not to be misunderstood: it's great you took the sample shots, so I know for average shooting with a fast lens the 6d outer points should be ok. I admit that very thin dof I'm still skeptical though :-p

There is one other thing to consider though: dust. I find that the single orientation points are highly susceptible to contamination by dust / pollen etc, and if you are struggling with your outer points on these cameras try using a rocket blower or even blower brush to get the dust off your AF module.

Thanks, good point, maybe that's really the reason why my 6d has such a mediocre performance with the outer points! I never use them a lot, so if they have collected dust I haven't much of a comparison and my 60d is all cross points.... general spec'ed precision/accuracy of the 6d is not worth anything if doesn't lock on first try and hunts and this is the horse picture my 6d's outer point thinks is in focus:
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: mackguyver on April 23, 2014, 03:44:23 PM
Marsu, that's some nice bokeh ;). Also, sort of off topic, but the biggest issue I've had with AF on any camera is when I've bumped my diopter adjustment.  There's nothing worse than locking focus and seeing what looks like your photo in the viewfinder :o

I would look into the dust issue as I've had Canon reps tell me that dust and pollen can throw a lot of things off in the camera.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: bholliman on April 23, 2014, 03:51:05 PM

Thanks, good point, maybe that's really the reason why my 6d has such a mediocre performance with the outer points! I never use them a lot, so if they have collected dust I haven't much of a comparison and my 60d is all cross points.... general spec'ed precision/accuracy of the 6d is not worth anything if doesn't lock on first try and hunts and this is the horse picture my 6d's outer point thinks is in focus:

If its not dust, there may be a problem with the AF system on your 6D,  I'd recommend sending it in to Canon if its still under warranty.

My "hit" rate with outer point focus is roughly 95%+ in decent light, even with shallow DOF shots with fast primes (using One Shot and slowly moving or stationary targets).  I took nearly 300 shots of the kids at a theme park last weekend with my 6D and only 4 or 5 were out of focus.  Roughly 1/3 of the shots were focused using the outer points.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on April 23, 2014, 04:02:01 PM
I took nearly 300 shots of the kids at a theme park last weekend with my 6D and only 4 or 5 were out of focus.  Roughly 1/3 of the shots were focused using the outer points.

Ok, that's a reference, I'll try to clean it and then get it serviced (I've got the free European CPS) if it still struggles. Btw the shot above was of course absolutely worst case, but often the outer points hunt a bit and then lock - by then the scene is gone or the focus isn't spot on @100% crop.

I also have to experiment with focus priority when doing tracking with the topmost point in portrait mode, no way around it really when tracking a horse running towards you... my problem might be a combination of dirty af array, non-cross point and bad 6d tracking behavior. Good to hear from some people without super powers, now I've much more to go on than before :-)
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Sporgon on April 23, 2014, 04:39:02 PM
@ Marsu42; thanks for your comments. Incidentally don't think that you are alone in struggling with focus on horses. Animal fur is notoriously difficult to focus on, and with horses in particular I have always had trouble focusing with every camera I have used.

Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: bholliman on April 23, 2014, 05:17:57 PM

I also have to experiment with focus priority when doing tracking with the topmost point in portrait mode, no way around it really when tracking a horse running towards you... my problem might be a combination of dirty af array, non-cross point and bad 6d tracking behavior. Good to hear from some people without super powers, now I've much more to go on than before :-)

I wasn't aware the horse was running toward you.... I don't have much success with those types of shots either!  The 6D AF can handle side-to-side movement pretty well, but it definitely struggles with targets moving at anything over slow speed toward the camera.  I'd say my hit rate with those types of shots is pretty low, maybe under 60% depending on the DOF. :-[   I could nail focus with any of the AF points on the kiddie rides at f/2.8 with my 70-200 using One Shot with no problem, but shots of my older son on some of the faster rides moving toward me was iffy with either AI Servo or One Shot.  I really didn't even try these shots much since I knew they wouldn't come out.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Sporgon on April 23, 2014, 05:23:35 PM
I also have to experiment with focus priority when doing tracking with the topmost point in portrait mode, no way around it really when tracking a horse running towards you... my problem might be a combination of dirty af array, non-cross point and bad 6d tracking behavior. Good to hear from some people without super powers, now I've much more to go on than before :-)
I wasn't aware the horse was running toward you.... I don't have much success with those types of shots either!  The 6D AF can handle side-to-side movement pretty well, but it definitely struggles with targets moving at anything over slow speed toward the camera.  I'd say my hit rate with those types of shots is pretty low, maybe under 60% depending on the DOF. :-[

+1, if you want to track subjects coming towards you at speed successfully I suggest a trip down to your local professional camera  shop with a thick wad of cash  :(
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: bholliman on April 23, 2014, 05:30:48 PM

+1, if you want to track subjects coming towards you at speed successfully I suggest a trip down to your local professional camera  shop with a thick wad of cash  :(

Agreed!  Time for a 1Dx!
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on April 23, 2014, 05:45:31 PM
@ Marsu42; thanks for your comments. Incidentally don't think that you are alone in struggling with focus on horses. Animal fur is notoriously difficult to focus on, and with horses in particular I have always had trouble focusing with every camera I have used.

Ah, right, that might be another reason why I find it that hard to work with the 6d af system while a lot of people seem to find everything's peachy for their holiday shots :-o

+1, if you want to track subjects coming towards you at speed successfully I suggest a trip down to your local professional camera  shop with a thick wad of cash  :(

Unfortunately way over my budget, and currently I find it much more rewarding to invest into lighting gear (tipods, softboxes, reflectors, flashes, ...) than into a camera that will be outdated again in no time.

Actually I also really like my good ol' 60d, did some great frog macros the other day @iso800, the 6d is really for thin dof and shooting in cloudy weather, the autumn and evenings. I admit I still have problems that a €1600 camera isn't "allround" capable but has (imho) deliberate design problems, other than horses running towards me it's mostly ok... but it worries me that I cannot trust the af system in critical circumstances.

Edit: If you really want to laugh from pain or sarcasm, try the 6d's top point on a *dog* speeding towards you - zero shots in focus :-p
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: ahab1372 on April 23, 2014, 06:02:08 PM
@ Marsu42; thanks for your comments. Incidentally don't think that you are alone in struggling with focus on horses. Animal fur is notoriously difficult to focus on, and with horses in particular I have always had trouble focusing with every camera I have used.
they should be all Zebras, that would make AF easier
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on April 25, 2014, 04:01:42 AM
Are there really two threads going on about this camera's AF pushing 20 pages now? 

Why can't people just agree to disagree, and accept the fact the 6D is a great camera for what it is - an entry level FF body with great IQ but with simplified AF.

Sometimes one tool is better than another based on needs/wants.

To put things in perspective, my SLRs are playing backup to my EOS M at the moment  :o

Actually there appears to be two threads going on.  One is about the 5D3 (the hostile hijacking of the original thread), the other is about the 6D (the original thread).  I've tried to agree to disagree, but that's not always possible.

Unfortunately there is not a satisfactory amount of practical information about specifically the 6D's autofocus, and how best to use it, in this thread.  I've tried to share my impression of its capabilities (and limitations) based on 13 months' experience and 15,000 shutter cycles, on my 6D.  I have used 8 lenses (9 if you count a TC combination) on it over this period of time.  I feel there are a few others who briefly contributed to this thread, that I could learn more from.  But they might have been soured by the thread's hijacking.

As for your DSLR playing backup to an EOS M, I'm not sure why that would be.  Whatever works for you. 
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: BL on April 25, 2014, 06:00:17 PM
shooting a lot of macro lately using low iso with speedlites, so crop factor/extra working distance is so much appreciated.  I've also been flipping my camera upside down on a tripod for low level shots, and that's just so much easier to do with a tiny camera.

And truthfully, the touch screen for liveview MF is awesome.  The focusing point touched by a finger is so much faster and more precise than the joystick nub along with toggling between magnification levels effortlessly.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: bdunbar79 on April 25, 2014, 06:45:11 PM
Are there really two threads going on about this camera's AF pushing 20 pages now? 

Why can't people just agree to disagree, and accept the fact the 6D is a great camera for what it is - an entry level FF body with great IQ but with simplified AF.

Sometimes one tool is better than another based on needs/wants.

To put things in perspective, my SLRs are playing backup to my EOS M at the moment  :o

Actually there appears to be two threads going on.  One is about the 5D3 (the hostile hijacking of the original thread), the other is about the 6D (the original thread).  I've tried to agree to disagree, but that's not always possible.

Unfortunately there is not a satisfactory amount of practical information about specifically the 6D's autofocus, and how best to use it, in this thread.  I've tried to share my impression of its capabilities (and limitations) based on 13 months' experience and 15,000 shutter cycles, on my 6D.  I have used 8 lenses (9 if you count a TC combination) on it over this period of time.  I feel there are a few others who briefly contributed to this thread, that I could learn more from.  But they might have been soured by the thread's hijacking.

As for your DSLR playing backup to an EOS M, I'm not sure why that would be.  Whatever works for you.

Just to be clear, the OP in this thread DID ask about the 5D3 vs. the 6D. 
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: J.R. on April 25, 2014, 10:59:55 PM
Are there really two threads going on about this camera's AF pushing 20 pages now? 

Why can't people just agree to disagree, and accept the fact the 6D is a great camera for what it is - an entry level FF body with great IQ but with simplified AF.

Sometimes one tool is better than another based on needs/wants.

To put things in perspective, my SLRs are playing backup to my EOS M at the moment  :o

Actually there appears to be two threads going on.  One is about the 5D3 (the hostile hijacking of the original thread), the other is about the 6D (the original thread).  I've tried to agree to disagree, but that's not always possible.

Unfortunately there is not a satisfactory amount of practical information about specifically the 6D's autofocus, and how best to use it, in this thread.  I've tried to share my impression of its capabilities (and limitations) based on 13 months' experience and 15,000 shutter cycles, on my 6D.  I have used 8 lenses (9 if you count a TC combination) on it over this period of time.  I feel there are a few others who briefly contributed to this thread, that I could learn more from.  But they might have been soured by the thread's hijacking.

As for your DSLR playing backup to an EOS M, I'm not sure why that would be.  Whatever works for you.

Just to be clear, the OP in this thread DID ask about the 5D3 vs. the 6D.

+1 ... but then, you see what you want to see. Not that it is surprising though.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: J.R. on May 01, 2014, 08:12:06 AM
Are there really two threads going on about this camera's AF pushing 20 pages now? 

Why can't people just agree to disagree, and accept the fact the 6D is a great camera for what it is - an entry level FF body with great IQ but with simplified AF.

Sometimes one tool is better than another based on needs/wants.

To put things in perspective, my SLRs are playing backup to my EOS M at the moment  :o

Actually there appears to be two threads going on.  One is about the 5D3 (the hostile hijacking of the original thread), the other is about the 6D (the original thread).  I've tried to agree to disagree, but that's not always possible.

Unfortunately there is not a satisfactory amount of practical information about specifically the 6D's autofocus, and how best to use it, in this thread.  I've tried to share my impression of its capabilities (and limitations) based on 13 months' experience and 15,000 shutter cycles, on my 6D.  I have used 8 lenses (9 if you count a TC combination) on it over this period of time.  I feel there are a few others who briefly contributed to this thread, that I could learn more from.  But they might have been soured by the thread's hijacking.

As for your DSLR playing backup to an EOS M, I'm not sure why that would be.  Whatever works for you.

Just to be clear, the OP in this thread DID ask about the 5D3 vs. the 6D.

+1 ... but then, you see what you want to see. Not that it is surprising though.

Well that would make the title of the thread misleading...it should have been "6D vs 5D3 autofocus capabilities, let's bust a hole in one while heaping fanboy praise on the other one."  That is what would not be surprising...And since you want to be clear, how about reading the context of what the OP was saying?  He said he didn't want quirky autofocus behavior with fast lenses, and yet said he also didn't intend to make a living from his photography.  That last part to me, was code for "I don't think I need to spend the extra 1000 Euros to get the better autofocus".  For my part, I posted a difficult shot in very low light with a fast wide angle prime lens, that achieved the focus plane I wanted, via focus recompose on the 6D.  A shot that the OP would never need to attempt, actually...The 6D has its quirks, and the AF sensor is its biggest compromise.  Everybody knows that.  To keep belaboring it, is silly.  But the first post in this thread by the OP, did not scream out a need to buy a 5D3.  Clarity is a wonderful thing.

Whatever Carl. TBH, I don't care what you think
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: skitron on May 01, 2014, 04:58:45 PM
6d vs 5d3 af? You get what you pay for. I've owned both. 6d is slower, center point better than 5d3 in low light, outers like an older rebel. Meaning they will work in decent light, but nothing special for sure. Meanwhile the 5d3 af will spoil all but the 1dx users, its  almost
always a treat to use.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: CarlTN on May 02, 2014, 03:45:45 PM
Are there really two threads going on about this camera's AF pushing 20 pages now? 

Why can't people just agree to disagree, and accept the fact the 6D is a great camera for what it is - an entry level FF body with great IQ but with simplified AF.

Sometimes one tool is better than another based on needs/wants.

To put things in perspective, my SLRs are playing backup to my EOS M at the moment  :o

Actually there appears to be two threads going on.  One is about the 5D3 (the hostile hijacking of the original thread), the other is about the 6D (the original thread).  I've tried to agree to disagree, but that's not always possible.

Unfortunately there is not a satisfactory amount of practical information about specifically the 6D's autofocus, and how best to use it, in this thread.  I've tried to share my impression of its capabilities (and limitations) based on 13 months' experience and 15,000 shutter cycles, on my 6D.  I have used 8 lenses (9 if you count a TC combination) on it over this period of time.  I feel there are a few others who briefly contributed to this thread, that I could learn more from.  But they might have been soured by the thread's hijacking.

As for your DSLR playing backup to an EOS M, I'm not sure why that would be.  Whatever works for you.

Just to be clear, the OP in this thread DID ask about the 5D3 vs. the 6D.

+1 ... but then, you see what you want to see. Not that it is surprising though.

Well that would make the title of the thread misleading...it should have been "6D vs 5D3 autofocus capabilities, let's bust a hole in one while heaping fanboy praise on the other one."  That is what would not be surprising...And since you want to be clear, how about reading the context of what the OP was saying?  He said he didn't want quirky autofocus behavior with fast lenses, and yet said he also didn't intend to make a living from his photography.  That last part to me, was code for "I don't think I need to spend the extra 1000 Euros to get the better autofocus".  For my part, I posted a difficult shot in very low light with a fast wide angle prime lens, that achieved the focus plane I wanted, via focus recompose on the 6D.  A shot that the OP would never need to attempt, actually...The 6D has its quirks, and the AF sensor is its biggest compromise.  Everybody knows that.  To keep belaboring it, is silly.  But the first post in this thread by the OP, did not scream out a need to buy a 5D3.  Clarity is a wonderful thing.

Whatever Carl. TBH, I don't care what you think

Feeling is extremely mutual.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on May 02, 2014, 04:23:55 PM
6d vs 5d3 af? You get what you pay for.

Indeed. It gets more tricky though if you think out of the Canon marketing / product lineup box

Quote
6d? You get what you pay for.

Well, it's 2014, and for €1600 do I get a af system that is reliable not only for landscape? Nope, it's the model from 5 years ago :-p ... but you'd better not really think about

Quote
6d vs Nikon? You get what you pay for.

Disclaimer: I really really love my 6d and take totally beautiful shots all the time in lighting conditions my 60d wouldn't even af at, not to speak produce unusable iq. But imho Canon really overdid it with crippling the af system, a center cross sensor @f2.8 or outer cross @f5.6 wouldn't stop most people buying the 5d3.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Skirball on May 05, 2014, 12:33:41 PM
Are there really two threads going on about this camera's AF pushing 20 pages now? 

Why can't people just agree to disagree, and accept the fact the 6D is a great camera for what it is - an entry level FF body with great IQ but with simplified AF.

Sometimes one tool is better than another based on needs/wants.

To put things in perspective, my SLRs are playing backup to my EOS M at the moment  :o

Actually there appears to be two threads going on.  One is about the 5D3 (the hostile hijacking of the original thread), the other is about the 6D (the original thread).  I've tried to agree to disagree, but that's not always possible.

Unfortunately there is not a satisfactory amount of practical information about specifically the 6D's autofocus, and how best to use it, in this thread.  I've tried to share my impression of its capabilities (and limitations) based on 13 months' experience and 15,000 shutter cycles, on my 6D.  I have used 8 lenses (9 if you count a TC combination) on it over this period of time.  I feel there are a few others who briefly contributed to this thread, that I could learn more from.  But they might have been soured by the thread's hijacking.

As for your DSLR playing backup to an EOS M, I'm not sure why that would be.  Whatever works for you.

Just to be clear, the OP in this thread DID ask about the 5D3 vs. the 6D.

+1 ... but then, you see what you want to see. Not that it is surprising though.

Well that would make the title of the thread misleading...it should have been "6D vs 5D3 autofocus capabilities, let's bust a hole in one while heaping fanboy praise on the other one."  That is what would not be surprising...And since you want to be clear, how about reading the context of what the OP was saying?  He said he didn't want quirky autofocus behavior with fast lenses, and yet said he also didn't intend to make a living from his photography.  That last part to me, was code for "I don't think I need to spend the extra 1000 Euros to get the better autofocus".  For my part, I posted a difficult shot in very low light with a fast wide angle prime lens, that achieved the focus plane I wanted, via focus recompose on the 6D.  A shot that the OP would never need to attempt, actually...The 6D has its quirks, and the AF sensor is its biggest compromise.  Everybody knows that.  To keep belaboring it, is silly.  But the first post in this thread by the OP, did not scream out a need to buy a 5D3.  Clarity is a wonderful thing.

Whatever Carl. TBH, I don't care what you think

Feeling is extremely mutual.

Come on boys, hug it out.  Hug it out...
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: J.R. on May 05, 2014, 03:02:59 PM
Are there really two threads going on about this camera's AF pushing 20 pages now? 

Why can't people just agree to disagree, and accept the fact the 6D is a great camera for what it is - an entry level FF body with great IQ but with simplified AF.

Sometimes one tool is better than another based on needs/wants.

To put things in perspective, my SLRs are playing backup to my EOS M at the moment  :o

Actually there appears to be two threads going on.  One is about the 5D3 (the hostile hijacking of the original thread), the other is about the 6D (the original thread).  I've tried to agree to disagree, but that's not always possible.

Unfortunately there is not a satisfactory amount of practical information about specifically the 6D's autofocus, and how best to use it, in this thread.  I've tried to share my impression of its capabilities (and limitations) based on 13 months' experience and 15,000 shutter cycles, on my 6D.  I have used 8 lenses (9 if you count a TC combination) on it over this period of time.  I feel there are a few others who briefly contributed to this thread, that I could learn more from.  But they might have been soured by the thread's hijacking.

As for your DSLR playing backup to an EOS M, I'm not sure why that would be.  Whatever works for you.

Just to be clear, the OP in this thread DID ask about the 5D3 vs. the 6D.

+1 ... but then, you see what you want to see. Not that it is surprising though.

Well that would make the title of the thread misleading...it should have been "6D vs 5D3 autofocus capabilities, let's bust a hole in one while heaping fanboy praise on the other one."  That is what would not be surprising...And since you want to be clear, how about reading the context of what the OP was saying?  He said he didn't want quirky autofocus behavior with fast lenses, and yet said he also didn't intend to make a living from his photography.  That last part to me, was code for "I don't think I need to spend the extra 1000 Euros to get the better autofocus".  For my part, I posted a difficult shot in very low light with a fast wide angle prime lens, that achieved the focus plane I wanted, via focus recompose on the 6D.  A shot that the OP would never need to attempt, actually...The 6D has its quirks, and the AF sensor is its biggest compromise.  Everybody knows that.  To keep belaboring it, is silly.  But the first post in this thread by the OP, did not scream out a need to buy a 5D3.  Clarity is a wonderful thing.

Whatever Carl. TBH, I don't care what you think

Feeling is extremely mutual.

Come on boys, hug it out.  Hug it out...

Thanks, but not in this case!  :)
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on May 11, 2014, 08:29:25 AM
Fyi & to probably end this thread in a matter of fact style :-p ... I think I have found the solution to the "abysmal 6d tracking on movement towards the camera" problem. Actually it's not that surprising:

The culprit is the C.Fn II.1 "Tracking sensitivity" setting, it needs to be set to "responsive" for movement that changes the distance slowly and is more within the dof (like a running horse around you) while only a more "locked on" setting gives you >1/3 keepers for quickly changing distance movement (like a horse running towards you).

Personally, I have changed my Magic Lantern installation to link this C.Fn to a key so I can quickly toggle both scenarios - but if you don't know what to expect and have to go into the Canon gui this is a pita. I don't know if tracking on "real" af system like 1dx/5d3 is more intelligent though or just more complex.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: mnclayshooter on July 11, 2014, 04:41:09 PM
Basically I've been waiting a while to see the summary of this thread.  Seeing as how it's an old thread and no new replies (or snipes) have been made in a while...

It seems that the gist of the thread is this:

People who own the 6D and use it (including me) seem to be generally pretty pleased with it's performance and likely (I don't want to speak for everyone, of course) appreciate its price-point to usable value ratio.  I personally haven't been able to generate income (haven't really tried either) using my gear, therefore it hit the right buttons for me to pull the trigger and buy it.  The 6D works fine for what I use it for, so far, mostly landscape but also several nature photos of birds, bugs, and other wildlife running around.  I don't recall any major missed opportunities for photos due to the AF system using any of my lenses.  I'll leave it at that. 

The other camp of people are basically used to the higher-end equipment they carry with them with what has been argued (and usually agreed) to be a faster, more capable and undeniably more expensive AF system. 

Nobody is an idiot for the equipment they bought, no matter what has been implied by some posts either pro or con regarding the 6D.  I can say this, after having used (but unfortunately not owned) all of: 5DIII, 5DII, 7D and now 6D that they have different capabilities and EVERY photographer has different abilities, including financial.

My final 2 cents:  Use your gear.  Spend less time arguing spec data and more time taking photos.  Learn what your gear is capable of and worry less about what someone else says it shouldn't be able to do, despite it still being able to do it or come usually impercievably close to doing whatever it was that they said it can't.  Try borrowing or renting gear and using it.  Take a personal challenge to get an old rebel out and a shorty 40 and walk around shooting all day with it.  Learn to use the gear in your hand, regardless of brand/specs/reviews.  You'll probably be suprised, you might even find yourself enjoying photography in the end.   

Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: MichaelHodges on July 11, 2014, 07:24:14 PM
I find the 6D to have better focus than any crop camera (and I've owned them all). If the 6D can nail bighorn rams unpredictably smashing heads, it can keep up with your kids and track race cars.

(http://michaelbhodges.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/bighorn-smash.jpg)


That was taken at 5 degrees, dawn. My 7D was completely useless in this scenario.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: neuroanatomist on July 11, 2014, 10:49:24 PM
I find the 6D to have better focus than any crop camera (and I've owned them all). If the 6D can nail bighorn rams unpredictably smashing heads, it can keep up with your kids and track race cars.

Have you tried it on kids?  It couldn't keep up with mine... 

Like the 5DII before it, it does a decent job at tracking subjects moving across the frame, like the bighorns in your excellent image.  Where the 5DII and 6D fail are when a subject is moving toward or away from the camera (away is worse).   I just processed a burst sequence taken with my 1D X and 70-200/2.8L IS II of a gymnast running straight at me and vaulting from springboard onto the pad (which I was standing behind).  All 26 shots in the burst are in crisp focus (lighting was pretty poor, shots were at 1/800 s, f/3.2, ISO 12800).  The 7D would have gotten many of the shots in focus (but they'd have been unusable due to the ISO noise or the motion blur with a slower shutter speed.  The noise from the 6D would have been acceptable, but after the first couple of frames, most of the shots would have been backfocused (and I'd have had far fewer shots, of course). 
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: bdunbar79 on July 11, 2014, 10:55:24 PM
I find the 6D to have better focus than any crop camera (and I've owned them all). If the 6D can nail bighorn rams unpredictably smashing heads, it can keep up with your kids and track race cars.

Have you tried it on kids?  It couldn't keep up with mine... 

Like the 5DII before it, it does a decent job at tracking subjects moving across the frame, like the bighorns in your excellent image.  Where the 5DII and 6D fail are when a subject is moving toward or away from the camera (away is worse).   I just processed a burst sequence taken with my 1D X and 70-200/2.8L IS II of a gymnast running straight at me and vaulting from springboard onto the pad (which I was standing behind).  All 26 shots in the burst are in crisp focus (lighting was pretty poor, shots were at 1/800 s, f/3.2, ISO 12800).  The 7D would have gotten many of the shots in focus (but they'd have been unusable due to the ISO noise or the motion blur with a slower shutter speed.  The noise from the 6D would have been acceptable, but after the first couple of frames, most of the shots would have been backfocused (and I'd have had far fewer shots, of course).

I found this to be true in diving and in long jump/triple jump.  If I put zone AF on the 1Dx/70-200 f/2.8L II IS combo, it will track the diver from the jump, up in the air, and all the way down into the water.  In long jump, I can get the entire sequence in sharp focus as the jumper springs off the runway and all the way into the sand, even at f/3.2.  I am not aware of any other Canon camera that can do that, because I tried it with the 7D, 1D4, and 5D3, and none of them could do it as well.  I sold my 7D, 1D4, and 5D3, and bought another 1Dx as a result.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Dylan777 on July 12, 2014, 01:54:17 AM
I find the 6D to have better focus than any crop camera (and I've owned them all). If the 6D can nail bighorn rams unpredictably smashing heads, it can keep up with your kids and track race cars.

Have you tried it on kids?  It couldn't keep up with mine... 

Like the 5DII before it, it does a decent job at tracking subjects moving across the frame, like the bighorns in your excellent image.  Where the 5DII and 6D fail are when a subject is moving toward or away from the camera (away is worse).   I just processed a burst sequence taken with my 1D X and 70-200/2.8L IS II of a gymnast running straight at me and vaulting from springboard onto the pad (which I was standing behind).  All 26 shots in the burst are in crisp focus (lighting was pretty poor, shots were at 1/800 s, f/3.2, ISO 12800).  The 7D would have gotten many of the shots in focus (but they'd have been unusable due to the ISO noise or the motion blur with a slower shutter speed.  The noise from the 6D would have been acceptable, but after the first couple of frames, most of the shots would have been backfocused (and I'd have had far fewer shots, of course).

I found this to be true in diving and in long jump/triple jump.  If I put zone AF on the 1Dx/70-200 f/2.8L II IS combo, it will track the diver from the jump, up in the air, and all the way down into the water.  In long jump, I can get the entire sequence in sharp focus as the jumper springs off the runway and all the way into the sand, even at f/3.2.  I am not aware of any other Canon camera that can do that, because I tried it with the 7D, 1D4, and 5D3, and none of them could do it as well.  I sold my 7D, 1D4, and 5D3, and bought another 1Dx as a result.

I agree with Neuro and bdunbar79

I've been using my 400mm f2.8 IS II with 1DX last couple weeks to photograph my 5yrs competing in indoor swimming. I got my camera set up at the end of the poor and tracked my 5yrs coming toward me. With 1dx in Ai servo 9point expansion mode, case 2 with some slight tuning, my keeper rate is 90%(20plus photos burst RAW).
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on July 12, 2014, 09:04:58 AM
People who own the 6D and use it (including me) seem to be generally pretty pleased with it's performance and likely (I don't want to speak for everyone, of course)

Indeed, count me out of this summary. The 6d's tracking is mediocre at best, might work ok-ish with the correct c.fn settings for spatial movement but is a complete failure for towards/away esp. if being forced to track with a single non-cross point... up 50% keepers for running horses if I'm lucky and I really tried about everything.

I find the 6D to have better focus than any crop camera (and I've owned them all).

I'd also tend to disagree here. I've never owned a 7d which has said to have ok tracking capabilty, but my 60d is at least as good as my 6d and you don't have to worry about "oh no, it a non-cross point" but just can use them. The low-light capability of the 60d is very handy, mind you.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: MichaelHodges on July 12, 2014, 08:49:37 PM

Have you tried it on kids?  It couldn't keep up with mine... 


I have no problem with any critter moving towards me or away. I use center point AI servo. 


Quote
Like the 5DII before it, it does a decent job at tracking subjects moving across the frame, like the bighorns in your excellent image.  Where the 5DII and 6D fail are when a subject is moving toward or away from the camera (away is worse).   I just processed a burst sequence taken with my 1D X and 70-200/2.8L IS II of a gymnast running straight at me and vaulting from springboard onto the pad (which I was standing behind).  All 26 shots in the burst are in crisp focus (lighting was pretty poor, shots were at 1/800 s, f/3.2, ISO 12800).  The 7D would have gotten many of the shots in focus (but they'd have been unusable due to the ISO noise or the motion blur with a slower shutter speed. The noise from the 6D would have been acceptable, but after the first couple of frames, most of the shots would have been backfocused (and I'd have had far fewer shots, of course).


The 7D was the worst Canon DSLR I have owned. It was widely regarded as a "wildlife" lens, yet most big  wildlife is crepuscular in nature, a time when the 7D falls flat. I used my 7D and the 6D in that bighorn series, and the 7D failed. Many, many out of focus shots riddled with noise. Something about even light just played haywire with the copy I had when combined with telephotos.

I'm not surprised at the 1DX results. Awesome camera. 

While not the best photos, here are a couple examples of my 6D with a 300 prime and quick animals (much quicker than children). Very low sunset light, too. I've also attached the corresponding 100% crops.

(http://michaelbhodges.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/cutebabybighorn.jpg)

(http://michaelbhodges.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/runningcow.jpg)

(http://michaelbhodges.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/babybighorn.jpg)

(http://michaelbhodges.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/babycowrun.jpg)





Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Skirball on July 14, 2014, 01:48:13 PM
Bonus points to Michael for working the word crepuscular into the conversation.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Dylan777 on July 14, 2014, 02:50:50 PM

Have you tried it on kids?  It couldn't keep up with mine... 


I have no problem with any critter moving towards me or away. I use center point AI servo. 


Quote
Like the 5DII before it, it does a decent job at tracking subjects moving across the frame, like the bighorns in your excellent image.  Where the 5DII and 6D fail are when a subject is moving toward or away from the camera (away is worse).   I just processed a burst sequence taken with my 1D X and 70-200/2.8L IS II of a gymnast running straight at me and vaulting from springboard onto the pad (which I was standing behind).  All 26 shots in the burst are in crisp focus (lighting was pretty poor, shots were at 1/800 s, f/3.2, ISO 12800).  The 7D would have gotten many of the shots in focus (but they'd have been unusable due to the ISO noise or the motion blur with a slower shutter speed. The noise from the 6D would have been acceptable, but after the first couple of frames, most of the shots would have been backfocused (and I'd have had far fewer shots, of course).


The 7D was the worst Canon DSLR I have owned. It was widely regarded as a "wildlife" lens, yet most big  wildlife is crepuscular in nature, a time when the 7D falls flat. I used my 7D and the 6D in that bighorn series, and the 7D failed. Many, many out of focus shots riddled with noise. Something about even light just played haywire with the copy I had when combined with telephotos.

I'm not surprised at the 1DX results. Awesome camera. 

While not the best photos, here are a couple examples of my 6D with a 300 prime and quick animals (much quicker than children). Very low sunset light, too. I've also attached the corresponding 100% crops.

Everything is do able, little challenging that all. I used mirrorless to shoot my kids jump toward me.

This reminded me how egyptian pyramids were built  ::) times and efforts  ::) ::) ::)





Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Roo on July 14, 2014, 04:15:54 PM
I've never tried a 6D but a few weeks ago I saw some photos posted in the sports section and said if anyone questioned the 6D's capabilities I'd refer to them to that thread...

The 6D shots start after the women's volleyball pics (if you can get past them lol). 

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=18490.0 (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=18490.0)



Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: Marsu42 on July 14, 2014, 04:30:30 PM
I've never tried a 6D but a few weeks ago I saw some photos posted in the sports section and said if anyone questioned the 6D's capabilities I'd refer to them to that thread...

It's not about getting *some* shots right, it's about reliability and the keeper rate. The 6d's tracking is medicore, though as written above it depends on the movement type and it's easier with large targets in bright light so you can use all af points (as there's only the choice between 1 and 11).

I've got top-notch running horses shots from the 6d, and I could say they're taken with a 5d3 or 1dx and everyone would believe it. That's why posting some nice sports shots doesn't mean anything unless he/she states how many shots were missed. For some sports, this should be ok as the scenes get repeated so if the 6d misses you can just try again. But for mission-critical work like tracking a "once in a lifetime" wedding ceremony - no, I'd rather use one shot mode thank you very much :-o
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: MichaelHodges on July 14, 2014, 04:54:50 PM
I've never tried a 6D but a few weeks ago I saw some photos posted in the sports section and said if anyone questioned the 6D's capabilities I'd refer to them to that thread...


Nice shots. However, I don't feel sports shots are a good metric for determining focus quality. Even the cheapest cell phone cameras focus well on brightly colored clothing.

Now, start talking to me about brown grizzly bears feeding on a brown slope on a drab rainy day, and then you've got my attention.
Title: Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
Post by: neuroanatomist on July 14, 2014, 10:37:38 PM
I've never tried a 6D but a few weeks ago I saw some photos posted in the sports section and said if anyone questioned the 6D's capabilities I'd refer to them to that thread...

It's not about getting *some* shots right, it's about reliability and the keeper rate. The 6d's tracking is medicore, though as written above it depends on the movement type and it's easier with large targets in bright light so you can use all af points (as there's only the choice between 1 and 11).

I've got top-notch running horses shots from the 6d, and I could say they're taken with a 5d3 or 1dx and everyone would believe it. That's why posting some nice sports shots doesn't mean anything unless he/she states how many shots were missed. For some sports, this should be ok as the scenes get repeated so if the 6d misses you can just try again. But for mission-critical work like tracking a "once in a lifetime" wedding ceremony - no, I'd rather use one shot mode thank you very much :-o

Exactly.  As I've said before, I and many others shot sports in the days when focus wasn't auto and your burst rate was limited by how fast your thumb could push the film advance lever...and I got good shots – but the keeper rate was very low.  Getting what amounts to a full 'roll' of exposures of an action sequence with every frame in focus is a real joy. :)