canon rumors FORUM

Gear Talk => EOS Bodies - For Stills => Topic started by: Cory on December 15, 2013, 09:29:06 AM

Title: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
Post by: Cory on December 15, 2013, 09:29:06 AM
    I've been trying different upgrades to my Canon T1i and haven't yet found "it".  Could it come at the hands of a 6D?  I do it all with my T1i with a strong weight towards indoor volleyball.   
    I typically use a center focus point with my Rebel at ISO 6400 (and wide open at 2.0 or 2.8) and get very good results (especially after processing the RAW shots in LR4).  I never use Continuous so does that reduce the need for more focusing capability?  Also, is ultra-focusing capability more important with video as well (which I never use a DSLR for)?
     As long as you're focusing correctly whether a single point or over 60 and using the correct shutter speed/aperture/ISO does it really matter?  And is it possible that a single point is more reliable that multiple points anyway? 
     This may sound weird, but my current three options are a 6D, SL1 or keep the T1i.  Simplicity is a huge factor.
     Thanks for any insight into anything.

Title: Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
Post by: neuroanatomist on December 15, 2013, 11:48:43 AM
Does the number of MP determine image quality?  AF performance isn't just about the number of points.  An individual AF point consists of from 1-4 sensor lines.  Each line is sensitive to a single orientation, with a given accuracy and precision.  An f/2.8 line is more accurate and precise than an f/5.6 line, with an f/2.8 or faster lens...but with a lens slower than f/2.8, those lines are not active.  Having a point with multiple orientations can make it easier to achieve focus - for example, a vertical AF line won't be able to achieve focus on the vertical stripes of a referee's shirt.  That's why cross-type points are better than single lines.

Your T1i has a center point with an f/2.8 horizontal line and an f/5.6 vertical line, and the outer points are single f/5.6 lines.  The center point of the 6D is better - it has an f/2.8 horizontal line and an f/5.6 cross (a '+' shape), so even with a slower lens you get the benefit of a cross-type point. The rest of the points are single f/5.6 lines.  The SL1 center point is a step up from the 6D in terms of geometry - a 'dual cross' point (f/5.6 '+' with a superimposed f/2.8 'x'), so you get cross-type with fast and slow lenses; OTOH, the 6D center point is much better in extreme low light (2.5-stops more sensitive).  By comparison, the 5DIII has five dual-cross points and 36 more cross-type points.

Technical details aside, if you're happy with the T1i's AF, the 6D is a bit better, and ISO 6400 on the 6D will look like ISO 1600 on your T1i.
Title: Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
Post by: Cory on December 15, 2013, 12:27:21 PM
Thanks and given that my lenses are spectacular would my non sports photography (flowers, family, travel, landscape, architecture, etc.) have that "holy ****** ****" look that I don't quite get with the T1i?  I think I'm going to take a deep breath and order the 6D.

Added:
Do the high-tech latest AF systems more come into play with Continuous Shooting and video and not as important with One-Shot regardless of whether sports or otherwise?
Title: Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
Post by: Skirball on December 16, 2013, 05:25:41 PM
Thanks and given that my lenses are spectacular would my non sports photography (flowers, family, travel, landscape, architecture, etc.) have that "holy ****** ****" look that I don't quite get with the T1i?  I think I'm going to take a deep breath and order the 6D.

If by holy S____ look you mean, less noise at high ISO, then sure, it'll get that for you.  Everything else is technique and post processing.
Title: Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
Post by: RLPhoto on December 16, 2013, 05:46:26 PM
If you don't mind the AF on your rebel, You have nearly the same experience or slightly better with 5D2/6D/60D or pretty much any camera with the 9 Point AF system. You'll have the same issues with it such as off-center focusing with high-speed primes or with moving subjects off-center.

Title: Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
Post by: Cory on December 16, 2013, 07:06:09 PM
Thanks.  Much appreciated.  This has been a long lonely road of what to progress to.  After countless hours I think I'm going to hold off to see what the T6i or SL2 yields.  I do really well with what I have, but seek just a bit "more" so a no-frills/high quality crop sensor is probably it.  I'm a huge fan of simple.
Thanks again.
Title: Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
Post by: Drizzt321 on December 16, 2013, 07:24:07 PM
Thanks and given that my lenses are spectacular would my non sports photography (flowers, family, travel, landscape, architecture, etc.) have that "holy ****** ****" look that I don't quite get with the T1i?  I think I'm going to take a deep breath and order the 6D.

Added:
Do the high-tech latest AF systems more come into play with Continuous Shooting and video and not as important with One-Shot regardless of whether sports or otherwise?

As long as you have EF (or 3rd party equivalent) lenses you'll be fine. But any of your EF-S/Crop lenses won't work on the 6D.

The higher end AF systems have a couple of things different. First, they have a lot more available points, and they generally are more cross-type & higher precision than on the lower/older AF systems. Second, they generally will cover more of the frame, and in higher density than with fewer AF points. This does help a lot on movement with AI-Servo AF modes. The other thing it gives you in One-Shot is the ability to keep the composition how you want, and move the AF point around instead of focus & recompose. This can be a big deal when you have very narrow DoF because when you AF using the center point, then recompose significantly you change what in the image is in focus due to the plane of focus now being completely shifted.
Title: Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
Post by: candc on December 16, 2013, 08:25:16 PM
you have a nice set of ff lenses that will work very different in practice on a ff camera, are you happy with the lenses you have and how they work for you on the rebel? are you using the 200 a lot or the 100 more? the 35 is going to look a lot wider on the 6d. anyway as i said you have a nice set of fast lenses so i would base my decision on how you like to use them and then go with the format that fits that usage the  best
Title: Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
Post by: Cory on December 16, 2013, 10:56:57 PM
you have a nice set of ff lenses that will work very different in practice on a ff camera, are you happy with the lenses you have and how they work for you on the rebel? are you using the 200 a lot or the 100 more? the 35 is going to look a lot wider on the 6d. anyway as i said you have a nice set of fast lenses so i would base my decision on how you like to use them and then go with the format that fits that usage the  best
Good advice.  My current lenses are pretty perfect at 1.6x.  I imagine there'd be a slight adjustment otherwise, with the crop factor most noticed with outdoor sports.  The 35 is most everything other than sports with the 100 perfect for most volleyball photography and the 200 perfect for through the net from the other side.  I think I have an idea what my ideal camera would be if Canon would be so kind as to allow me to design it, but maybe someone'll beat me to it sometime in 2014.  I don't feel the need to shoot overly wide since, even in landscapes, I tend to frame into the most interesting part of the scene and the thought of getting a 300 2.8 to replace the 200 seems daunting.  And the rented 100-400 couldn't have been better for the big Alaskan trip. 
If you'd like to see, here's my "best of" shots all of which from the T1i except for the 3 from Israel -
www.flickr.com/photos/corysteiner/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/corysteiner/)
Title: Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
Post by: candc on December 16, 2013, 11:24:49 PM
All your photos look really good, I like the eagles and lizard, nice portraits too. Looks like what you have is working pretty well for you to me.
Title: Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
Post by: Grumbaki on December 17, 2013, 01:23:03 AM
Focus and recompose at F1.2. That experience sold me the 5d3.

Gratz on your (soon to arrive) toy.
Title: Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
Post by: scottkinfw on December 17, 2013, 05:17:17 AM
Hey Cory

I was following your post an replies.  Neuro and the others gave you a lot of great information to digest.  I went to your pics and have to say, they look great. 

You have nice lenses, and are getting great shots, you have the basics covered and then some. I am thinking that before you decide on a camera upgrade path, you might want to consider a attitude reevaluation.  To get the pics that you refer to earlier, you really need to delve into all of the aspects of photography and its nuances.  That also means getting the camera on manual setting and getting comfortable with those settings such that you can get the results you intend, and reproduce them reliably.

You seem to have a natural talent for photography, so really what is daunting is the attitude change.  I bet if you commit to small steps, big and great things will happen.  After a while, you will get comfortable, and then, you will get a better idea of what your next camera should be.

Just a thought.

Scott

you have a nice set of ff lenses that will work very different in practice on a ff camera, are you happy with the lenses you have and how they work for you on the rebel? are you using the 200 a lot or the 100 more? the 35 is going to look a lot wider on the 6d. anyway as i said you have a nice set of fast lenses so i would base my decision on how you like to use them and then go with the format that fits that usage the  best
Good advice.  My current lenses are pretty perfect at 1.6x.  I imagine there'd be a slight adjustment otherwise, with the crop factor most noticed with outdoor sports.  The 35 is most everything other than sports with the 100 perfect for most volleyball photography and the 200 perfect for through the net from the other side.  I think I have an idea what my ideal camera would be if Canon would be so kind as to allow me to design it, but maybe someone'll beat me to it sometime in 2014.  I don't feel the need to shoot overly wide since, even in landscapes, I tend to frame into the most interesting part of the scene and the thought of getting a 300 2.8 to replace the 200 seems daunting.  And the rented 100-400 couldn't have been better for the big Alaskan trip. 
If you'd like to see, here's my "best of" shots all of which from the T1i except for the 3 from Israel -
www.flickr.com/photos/corysteiner/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/corysteiner/)
Title: Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
Post by: YuengLinger on December 17, 2013, 05:57:29 AM
If you don't mind the AF on your rebel, You have nearly the same experience or slightly better with 5D2/6D/60D or pretty much any camera with the 9 Point AF system. You'll have the same issues with it such as off-center focusing with high-speed primes or with moving subjects off-center.

I believe lumping the 60D and 6D AF together is slightly misleading, as the 60D has all cross points.  One of my disappointments with the announcement of the 6D was the AF actually being a step DOWN from my 60D's AF.  I just couldn't see "upgrading" to something that made quick accurate focus more challenging, despite the wonderful reviews of the sensor.

As to the original poster's question, IMO, the 5DIII makes life with very shallow depth of field apertures quite a bit easier, especially with close up portraiture.  Recomposing at f/1.2 - f/2 is hit or miss for me when I want the iris to be perfectly sharp, but having a big choice of accurate AF points makes it work most of the time.

On the other hand, fellow photographers in my area who use 5DII's and Rebels, and who have much better eyes for landscape, street, and found still-life, outshoot me in those categories some of the time, simply because they have a better grasp of composition and natural light--and years more experience.

You have to decide whether the convenience and flexibility of the "better" AF systems are worth the $1k premium you will pay.  The "better" choice is the one you can afford and use well.  Don't get in a gear measuring match, just shoot, study, process, get critiques, and repeat over and over.
Title: Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
Post by: Cory on December 17, 2013, 06:34:54 AM
Hey Cory

I was following your post an replies.  Neuro and the others gave you a lot of great information to digest.  I went to your pics and have to say, they look great. 

You have nice lenses, and are getting great shots, you have the basics covered and then some. I am thinking that before you decide on a camera upgrade path, you might want to consider a attitude reevaluation.  To get the pics that you refer to earlier, you really need to delve into all of the aspects of photography and its nuances.  That also means getting the camera on manual setting and getting comfortable with those settings such that you can get the results you intend, and reproduce them reliably.

You seem to have a natural talent for photography, so really what is daunting is the attitude change.  I bet if you commit to small steps, big and great things will happen.  After a while, you will get comfortable, and then, you will get a better idea of what your next camera should be.

Just a thought.

Scott
That's pretty good, too.  This Sunday I'll be testing several skills as the photographer for a large "running" event in the snow.  I'll be shooting in JPEG and the group has a flickr page for me to upload to that I can post.  If "it" doesn't come out next year maybe the 70D is the closest to what I'm after once supported by Lightroom.
Title: Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
Post by: jeffa4444 on December 17, 2013, 09:24:43 AM
Cory

The IQ of the 6d simply blows away the IQ of the SL1 and the the discussion of the 11 point AF with only one centre cross point is in 95% of the time BS. Ive taken shots of very difficult lighting conditions, birds flying, my dog running etc. and had a much higher success rate than my Canon 7d. My only real gripes about the camera are the single plane spirit level and the 97% viewfinder (which is a pain for Landscape). The camera has Wi-Fi, GPS, HDR most of the useful menu functions in the 7d and 5dMKIII they far out-weight the AF which covers far too many column inches.
Title: Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
Post by: RLPhoto on December 17, 2013, 09:26:15 AM
If you don't mind the AF on your rebel, You have nearly the same experience or slightly better with 5D2/6D/60D or pretty much any camera with the 9 Point AF system. You'll have the same issues with it such as off-center focusing with high-speed primes or with moving subjects off-center.

I believe lumping the 60D and 6D AF together is slightly misleading, as the 60D has all cross points.  One of my disappointments with the announcement of the 6D was the AF actually being a step DOWN from my 60D's AF.  I just couldn't see "upgrading" to something that made quick accurate focus more challenging, despite the wonderful reviews of the sensor.

As to the original poster's question, IMO, the 5DIII makes life with very shallow depth of field apertures quite a bit easier, especially with close up portraiture.  Recomposing at f/1.2 - f/2 is hit or miss for me when I want the iris to be perfectly sharp, but having a big choice of accurate AF points makes it work most of the time.

On the other hand, fellow photographers in my area who use 5DII's and Rebels, and who have much better eyes for landscape, street, and found still-life, outshoot me in those categories some of the time, simply because they have a better grasp of composition and natural light--and years more experience.

You have to decide whether the convenience and flexibility of the "better" AF systems are worth the $1k premium you will pay.  The "better" choice is the one you can afford and use well.  Don't get in a gear measuring match, just shoot, study, process, get critiques, and repeat over and over.

The 60D AF was slightly better but nothing to cry home about.
Title: Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
Post by: Mr_Canuck on December 17, 2013, 09:27:34 AM
When you describe how your focal lengths are currently perfect, and that a priority shooting context is indoor volleyball, I would push you away from the 6D toward the 7D. You're going to feel like you've really stepped away from the action on a full-frame sensor in terms of focal length. Your "150" becomes a 100. Your "300" becomes 200. Your "52" becomes 35. Everything will be much wider. In addition, don't you want a super fast AF experience especially for continuous shooting? Both focal length and action AF point away from full-frame and limited AF capabilities.
Title: Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
Post by: 7enderbender on December 17, 2013, 10:41:12 AM
I personally would rule out the 6D for myself for other reasons. AF performance is not necessarily one of them. Few examples:

I have a 5DII and the AF is considered "bad" on this one. It works for me. In fact, I recently shot an event with my 5DII and a 5DIII. The results in the end and the number of keepers from each camera were pretty similar. I didn't think the number of AF points on the Mark III was particularly helpful. They are centered around the middle just like on any other modern AF camera. If they were spread out further it may be a different story but just having more points in more or less the same center section of the frame doesn't change much for me. Yes, it's a bit faster and all, but like I said under real life circumstances I found no reason to spend more money and switch. I'd rather spend the money on a second 5DII actually.

With the 6D I'm pretty sure it's the same thing. It'll work just fine for most applications. In fact, I was just messing around with an old Nikon N6006 film body and found the one AF center point quite refreshing. Shockingly, that thing isn't really that much slower or finicky in low light compared to today's stuff - and we're talking a straight consumer product. Just a wee bit more noisy ;-)
Title: Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
Post by: neuroanatomist on December 17, 2013, 10:50:18 AM
...I would push you away from the 6D toward the 7D. You're going to feel like you've really stepped away from the action on a full-frame sensor in terms of focal length. Your "150" becomes a 100. Your "300" becomes 200. Your "52" becomes 35. Everything will be much wider.

If you crop a 6D image to the FoV of an APS-C camera, the resulting image will have 7.8 MP, equivalent IQ up to ISO ~800, and progressively better IQ as the ISO goes up.  Since the OP mentions ISO 6400, the 6D will be substantially better even cropped by 1.6x, assuming 7.8 MP is sufficient for the needed output.

While the AF of the 5DIII is superior to the 6D, the OP is getting great shots with the T1i - he should do fine with the AF of the 6D.
Title: Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
Post by: Cory on December 17, 2013, 10:57:45 AM
Every post had great info.  Many thanks.
I think if a decision was made today it might point to the 6D.  I think I'll wait to see what shakes out and then make some sort of move at that time.  By then the 6D might be it, the 70D might be supported by LR or there might be another something or other.  Seems like any compromise becomes an issue 10% (or less) of the time so striving for the perfect choice probably won't ever happen.  Either way my wife will be pissed which is really the goal anyway.
Thanks again.
Title: Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
Post by: sdsr on December 17, 2013, 11:41:20 AM
Given your success rate with your current camera and focusing system/technique, I suspect that you would be disappointed by an upgrade to any other APS-C; you certainly won't get a "wow" inducing improvement in image quality, even if you prefer the focus system.  As neuro and others have explained, you will see a significant improvement if you move to a 6D, especially in low light/high ISOs; but you should also see (albeit to a lesser extent) improved detail in good light, too - your EF lenses will perform better (go to thedigitalpicture and do some comparisons).  You will also likely find that processing RAW images works better too - there's more detail to play with, which helps with repairing under/over-exposed bits, for instance. 

(Of course, as someone else noted, there may be a wow factor you're looking for that has nothing to do with camera body performance and may instead be related to composition, lighting and so on but most of that's subjective.  For instance, I think some of your photos would have benefited from being taken at a time of day when the sun wasn't overhead - but of course sometimes there's no choice - or otherwise being less bright, but that's just me.)

And while the 6D doesn't have as good a focus system as the 5DIII or 1Dx, it's not as bad as some keep saying - I use outer points in even low light pretty successfully when I don't want to focus/recompose (the one time I compared them directly, I found that if my 6D won't focus in low light on an outer point, chances are my 5DIII won't either), and while the 5DIII/1Dx have far more focus points to choose from, they don't occupy a significantly larger portion of the image area (for that you need mirrorless). 

Anyway, as you seem willing to rent, why not rent a 6D and judge for yourself?  You may (or may not) be pleasantly surprised.
Title: Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
Post by: Cory on December 17, 2013, 11:47:32 AM
Given your success rate with your current camera and focusing system/technique, I suspect that you would be disappointed by an upgrade to any other APS-C; you certainly won't get a "wow" inducing improvement in image quality, even if you prefer the focus system.  As neuro and others have explained, you will see a significant improvement if you move to a 6D, especially in low light/high ISOs; but you should also see (albeit to a lesser extent) improved detail in good light, too - your EF lenses will perform better (go to thedigitalpicture and do some comparisons).  You will also likely find that processing RAW images works better too - there's more detail to play with, which helps with repairing under/over-exposed bits, for instance. 

(Of course, as someone else noted, there may be a wow factor you're looking for that has nothing to do with camera body performance and may instead be related to composition, lighting and so on but most of that's subjective.  For instance, I think some of your photos would have benefited from being taken at a time of day when the sun wasn't overhead - but of course sometimes there's no choice - or otherwise being less bright, but that's just me.)

And while the 6D doesn't have as good a focus system as the 5DIII or 1Dx, it's not as bad as some keep saying - I use outer points in even low light pretty successfully when I don't want to focus/recompose (the one time I compared them directly, I found that if my 6D won't focus in low light on an outer point, chances are my 5DIII won't either), and while the 5DIII/1Dx have far more focus points to choose from, they don't occupy a significantly larger portion of the image area (for that you need mirrorless). 

Anyway, as you seem willing to rent, why not rent a 6D and judge for yourself?  You may (or may not) be pleasantly surprised.
Thanks.  I think I'm going to do that - rent a 6D for the minimal # of days.
Title: Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
Post by: Cory on December 17, 2013, 12:58:58 PM
Two last questions - Do many find 35mm wide enough most of the time and would adding a 50 be redundant?

 :-*
Title: Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
Post by: BL on December 17, 2013, 01:50:02 PM
After using the 40mm pancake for the better part of a year, I don't miss either :D

But if I had to pick one, I'd pick 35mm over the 50mm (all else the same, aperture, etc.)
Title: Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
Post by: Skirball on December 17, 2013, 01:57:42 PM
Two last questions - Do many find 35mm wide enough most of the time and would adding a 50 be redundant?

 :-*

Both those questions are entirely subjective.  Though I think many would agree 35 isn't very wide.
Title: Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
Post by: sdsr on December 17, 2013, 03:51:32 PM
Two last questions - Do many find 35mm wide enough most of the time and would adding a 50 be redundant?

 :-*

Do you mean for FF or crop?  On crop 35m isn't wide at all.  On FF I usually find 35mm too wide, unless I'm in certain interiors or fairly cramped spaces (alleys etc.), when it probably isn't wide enough, or want a really wide angle, in which case it's nowhere near wide enough.  But that's neither here nor there - what matters is whether it's wide enough for you.  If you're asking about crop, how often have you wanted to go wider?  If you're asking about FF, consider this - if you've been using 35mm a lot on your crop and like that angle of view, to get something similar in FF you'll need c. 55mm. There were plenty of such lenses in the film era (I just bought a couple), but few make them today; the closest is 50mm.  So if you want a familiar view through your viewfinder, a 50mm won't be redundant at all (I find 50mm much more useful than 35mm, but again, that's just me).  But you don't need to decide any of this now - if you rent a 6D, try your lenses on it and find out if you like how their "native" field of view looks to you.  You might discover new "needs" instead....