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Topics - Sycotek

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Ok so I am going to get my replacement body tomorrow (flew in too late to pick up on saturday). However I have just come back from a pre-wedding shoot this afternoon and the same flash related issue popped up again.

Equipment list:

600EX RT
EF 70-200 F2.8 L IS USM II
Sandisk 60MB/s 8GB CF and Sandisk 90MB/s 32GB CF (i normally use match pairs but didn't have time to clear the full card prior to the shoot)


Shooting in broad daylight, Direct flash being used for fill, AV Priority, F4, ISO 200-800+ (HTP on), EC +1/3 and FEC -1 2/3, HSS.

Now in single shot mode it works fine. But i had the couple move around a bit so switched to AI Servo and this is where the issue begins.

The camera literally locks up - screens are powered, vf is powered but the lens doesn't rack in portrait or landscape, depressing either shutter does nothing, powering off the body does nothing.

Turning the flash off and turning the body off fixes the issue for a few frames but after a good 20 frames it repeated the issue.

-Switching lens to a 50mm and the issue didn't come up again.
-When this first happened overseas I was using the same configuration 600EX with 70-200.
-On a 7D this same config doesn't have the same issue.


EOS Bodies - For Stills / 1dX lubrication spray?
« on: August 05, 2012, 06:09:27 AM »
Brand new 70-200 II used on my 7D for a month or so (5000+ frames ) not a spec of dirt on the rear element.

70-200 II On the 1DX used for 2 events 3500 frames what looks like lubrication spray on the rear element.

Never had this issue with my old 1D's but none of them were this fast - anyone else have this issue?

I have had this spray on my 50mm but that's easy to clean in comparison.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / 1DX tweak and fix list
« on: July 19, 2012, 12:55:21 AM »
Outside of the black af points:

Here's my first one:
For custom button configuration [af-on] option to register/recall shooting function I would like to add a one-shot/ai-servo option.

This way I can bind my custom ai servo setting when the button is pressed then switch to one shot - single point or spot when my thumb is off:

[af-on] pressed:
Ai Servo
auto iso
servo untouched
61 points on
af on
af-linked spot metering/eval

[af-on] depressed
auto iso
servo untouched
single point af/with front toggle switch to spot af
eval metering

Unless I have set it up incorrectly I can’t work out how to do this with a single button – I have 90% of this config setup except to change from one-shot to ai-servo I need to use one of the front hotkeys to switch. Makes sense to me to be able to just do it in one button as it saves the finger gymnastics :)

(if anyone has worked out how to do this would love to hear it!)

Update 05/09/12

Finally got an answer for this guys: It's a feature...

CPS London via CPS Australia:

"On the first issue of AF tracking in low light. Everything you found was correct and the camera needs to be dropped back to 10fps to AF in the lowest light conditions. At 10fps the camera can focus fast and effectively @ -2 Ev Level but at 12fps the Ev Level is changed to -0.5 Ev. This is because of the light reduction when the mirror moves at that speed. The camera does this automatically. This is what you were experiencing under the conditions of the cat walk. This is comparable to all professional 35mm products out there on the market"

On a side note: does the picture below with the 10 and 12 fps comparison even remotely look like 0ev let alone -2EV ?

Anyway - since I hadn't heard from Canon, chasing it up every day I actually switched over to a D4 setup after a mishap with the 1DX and AF assist (bug 2) at a reception - and haven't been happier - I don't have these limitation anymore. It's less a lottery and more consistent frame to frame shots, low light is substantially better AF and i can actually see what i am focusing on - finally.

Anyways hopefully this will help the PJ's understand what is happening.

Update 21/08

Still no word from Canon regarding the findings. However they have replaced the my body - I now have a body starting with SN 05 rather then 04.

So changing nothing but FPS L to 10 FPS I ran a very simple test:

So 2nd unit, brand spanking new and exhibits same issue.

If this body doesn't have a bug with the 70-200 f2.8 II/600EX combo, I'll put up with not being able to use 12fps and hope they fix it via firmware update.

Although a month with no reply is just bad form from Canon.

Update 31/07

Replicated issue with a brand new 1DX at the store I bought mine from. It's not isolated as I had hoped - staff can't believe it either.

Waiting on canon now

Update 29/07

Issue has been isolated to anything more then 10 fps when shooting in low light - Initial target lock is hindered and at times target subject can not be locked on (lens racks to infinity and stops) - af servo tracking is reduced by 80% in some instances the af tracking stops completely.

And by low light I mean - my testing area is a 60w equivalent cfw room light, 4mx4m room and my girlfriends face (porcelain skin dark eyebrows and dark eyes plenty of contrast). In direct comparison my trusty 7D locks on and tracks without issues.

Setting the servo between 3 and 10 fps fixes the issue on the 1DX

Many thanks to justaphotographer for isolating this issue.

Have reported to Canon - waiting to see a resolution - for now set fps to 10 or less.

Update 27/07:
OK so speaking with Canon We have isolated it down to an AF function/modification. It doesn't seem to be a custom function change.

I tend to use case 1 and case 4 and modify case 4 (all sliders moved to the very left) - now I can't seem to figure out what combination of changes make the AF balls up. I had everything set as I like it last night but the second i changed over rotation to computer only (as i tend to shoot portrait mode) the af started to play up. Undoing the rotation change did not fix the issue. Had to reset to a working backup.

If I leave the af setting as stock default everything works properly.

And as it has always been this only shows up in low light Servo.

If anyone is interested I can load a broken config they can play around with and see if they can work it out.

It's a little frustrating as I don't know what I am changing that's causing the AF to bug out. As proved to me when I was shooting with canon in and underground car park the 1DX could lock onto a black car moving at 20+ km/hr in next to no light and get a ridiculously sharp image.

Canon is working on it, as am I - keep keep this updated.


Ok so for all those not wanting to read everything here is the conclusion:

Sat with Canon Australia Pro Support this afternoon - which they came to my work after My work hours, sat down for a coffee, gave me a few tips and fixed my problem - I really could not ask for more support from any company! And remember they are from a completely different state then I!!!

Anyways after being schooled on some af config case tweaks we took the cameras into an underground carpark probably a good -1 to -2ev at least.

They tested their camera no issue - passed it to me and it blew me way snap bang locked no issues. They grabbed mine and it went ass up - they couldn't believe it.

Went through all the settings and couldn't work out what it is. So we copied the working 1Dx's config on a memory card and loaded it on mine and it's like a brand new camera - it's like night vision tbh.

So yeah if you are having issues as per below - grab this config file: and load it.

Canon will get back to me as we are unsure if its something funky in the settings or setting screwed up something in servo logic. Either-way I will update this as soon as I am made aware.

Thank You Canon Australia for taking care of Me :)

Not looking to bag out the DX - actually looking for help from other owners and or Photographers that can explain this phenomenon:


Issue: Low light Ai Servo mis-focus/no-focus
Full-size images here: (65MB)

1 body – 1DX
3 Lenses – ef50 f1.4, 24-105 F4 L, 70-200 f2.8 II
Shot in Jpeg – all options on (ALO, NR, Lens Correction etc…) and then all options off.
All handheld (no tripod av)

I’ll preface this with; on the night prior I was out shooting under moonlight – without any notable issues – with, of all lenses - the ef 50 f1.4 (which if you know and love the lens, you know it hunts focus in low light). With my short time with the 1DX , my impressions of the 1DX’s AF is that it snaps to focus on objects You cannot physically see and locks on with near-possessed speed.

Now last night I found this issue when trying to track my cousins head/face moving through the house. It wasn’t particularly dark 3 room lights registered iso 1600-3200 f2.8 can’t remember the shutter speed. She got sick of being target practise so I turned to my dog. The 1DX wouldn’t grab focus either.

By this I mean it racks the lens to infinity and stops or just stops AFTER it’s visibly passes focus. Not and MFD issue either – after a slight mini panic attack, I swapped over lenses and same issue, swapped to the prime and exact same issue. Thought it was the changes I made to case 4 so swapped it to a default case 1 – same issue. I haven’t played around with 1st and 2nd frame preference but I then swapped it to focus preference and still no change.

Intrigued from my experiences the night before I swapped it to [One Shot] and it focused and locked on with possessed speed once again. Swap back to [Ai Servo] and it racks to infinity/racks past.


So in the original room there were too many variables of people moving through the house changing the light so I setup a pretty average testing area:

This was [One shot] 24-105 at f4@24mm, 1/40, iso 25600

This was [Ai Servo] – same settings. Just failed to focus.


Shot from the other side of the room:

This was [One shot] 24-105 at f4@105mm, 1/25, iso 25600

This was [Ai Servo] – same settings. Just failed to focus.


So then I thought let’s bring in 3 times more light (even with the f4/5.6 crosstypes more light can’t be a bad thing)

This was [One shot] EF 50 f1.4 at f1.4@1/40, iso 3200 (bottom af point from memory)

This was [Ai Servo] – same settings. Just failed to focus. (iso 4000)


So finally I thought it was a contrast issue – so added more contrast:

This was [One shot] EF 50 f1.4 at f2 @1/40, iso 6400

This was [Ai Servo] – same settings. Just failed to focus


I thought the Servo using ITR then needed more light so turned off ITR and it had the same issue.

I’m out of ideas for explaining this one.

Please note: I shot and tried all AF modes to acquire lock via [Ai Servo]. [One Shot] locked on with any AF mode selected.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / 1DX Remapping the zoom buttons
« on: July 02, 2012, 10:41:46 PM »
Anyone figured out how to put the zoom buttons back on the shoulder keys?

The default config is frustrating (5D3 style)

Day 1: email to my canon staff member I normally rant too :P


I got impatient and bought a 5D3 – whilst it’s not one series, it’s not too bad.

However there is some serious banding issues – I can’t be the only one that it effects.

Sample here – (yes I am aware I twitched and locked ev -1/3 under but wouldn’t have this effect) (20MB warning)

I removed all in body processing as I wanted to see what the sensor is capable of.

DPP seems to have a mind of it’s own but I removed the unsharpen mask (which kills the image btw) and sharpening and all NR – except for Luminance noise (which is appalling without it)

There is serious banding in the skys? – red/green/purple – and I am using the camera how you would expect f2.2, 1/50, iso 12.8K

Thoughts? Solutions?


No response so then continued with my day 2 experiences:


AF test, Jpeg shooting:

Positive notes:

- AF – spot on to the fact of lunacy, and I have only just started to fine tune it as the default case 2 switches a bit too much. I managed to grab a cyclist come up a hill back lit when in a moving car travelling at 60KM/hr with only a 0.2-0.5s acquisition time pre fire on an  F4 lens – to me that is insane.

- Jpeg image sooc is gorgeous – I wanted to see what it renders like with HS NR, ALO, Landscape Profile on and tbh SOOC images are near flaweless (bar the read noise).


- Dunno what Canons smoking but 6FPS is a joke – this is a 3.5-4fps at best camera when tracking (painfully slow but at least its accurate) – 7D smashes out frames in the same light using the same lens.

- Magnify to point is great (but nothing new after shooting 1 series for a few generations), but the moron that moved the magnify button should be shot.

- The af point is so small it’s hard to see at times (never had that issue with the 7D as the af points larger and brighter when you put the af point brightness mode to max – and at least you are given that option!!!)

Major Disappointment’s:

Read noise at iso 100 (and up) is noticeable in the shadows and anything remotely grey.

LR’s Colour NR does remove most of it but at higher iso’s it doesn’t do as good a job.

On a side note: I’d love to use DPP but it seems it’s the same people coding that program as the guy that moved the magnify button – it’s clunky and feel like it came from the windows 95 era.

For now however there is no alternative to DPP -> TiFF -> LR edit (in effect you are better off shooting jpeg)

For a RRP of $4299 I wouldn’t expect to have to be processing NR at iso 100. At best this body is worth $2K and should be sold as Canons entry level FF camera – if you pull the AF out, that’s all it is - an entry level FF with a noisy sensor.

I’m not sure if the upcoming firmware address this?

"local rep name" I’m going to take it into the studio and try and reclaim some love for it – from everything I have seen so far I am expecting to see some banding in the shadows of the skin tones – if my expectations prove to be true, then the camera is a complete and utter failure and will have to go back – sorry :/ (that was to my local rep)





I passed on your previous feedback to our technical team for their evaluation.

Unfortunately due to restrictions in our internet access regarding file sharing we were unable to download the image you sent; however they mentioned that to accurately test whether the camera was functioning within specification or not it would need to be tested here at North Ryde.

As per below however I can see the 5DMkiii has not met your expectations. I cannot comment on the technical performance of the camera as this is all managed via Canon Inc, I can only hope that when the 1DX is launched it is the camera that you have been waiting for.


EOS Bodies / 1DX delayed in Australia
« on: May 09, 2012, 10:03:45 PM »
From local pro dealer:

Shipment end of June - release for July

Undocumented testing – as the Manual failed to explain how this works fully (or I missed it in the manual):

I thought my ST-E3-RT was faulty: Well this is my testing method over an hour last-night:

Was wondering why my 600EX/STE3RT *beep* isn't functioning? Drove Me mental trying to work it out - initially thought I had faulty units, then thought it was proximity to the strobe.

But then I turned on the *beeps* on the strobes themselves and noticed they weren't beeping... Tried a different body, different lenses, used the 600EX as master, switch to optical, factory reset etc...

Then I stuck the strobes on 1:1 - and there we have it. They don't *beep* unless they are cycling. At low power output they will never *beep*.


In my mind *ready Beep* should signify the system is ready to fire.
In actuality it only triggers when the capacitors are depleted and recycled.

Nowhere near as useful…

You would expect especially when shooting the flash-head through a window that the beep would tell you it’s ready but if you are on 1/8 power you will never hear it beep as it’s always ready.

But the second I put it on manual 1:1 and it took a second to cycle (12 batts) then it beeped every time.

Have already sent this through to Canon - doubt they can fix it :/

EOS Bodies / 1D X Not shipping BEFORE May 15
« on: March 25, 2012, 09:34:46 PM »
Just got word from my local right after the canon preview night (which didn't contain a 1D X) in Western Australia that the 1D X will NOT be shipping BEFORE May 15

I really hope this information is incorrect!

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