Hello, I just received my 5D3 last week and i'm super excited about it however, had a few questions since this is a significant upgrade coming from a 40D.
AF Drive: What AF Drive setting would you recommend for shooting kids (mostly indoors). Right now i haven't ventured out of the One Shot but was wondering if AI Focus will serve better?
I'm typically in one-shot as well, because the "tolerance" (whatever it's actually called) is the lowest in this mode. In other words, when one-shot focuses, it's the most accurate. If you decide to use AI Servo (or to a lesser extent AI) just keep in mind that the precision is a bit lower, so even "in focus" shots with AI Servo might not be quite as sharp as with one-shot. That said, when someone is approaching you at any speed, by the time one-shot focuses and you fire the shutter, they might be closer and out of focus.
Here's my compromise. Go in to custom controls (in C.Fn #2 menu) and set the DoF Preview to AI Servo (hold). When you hold down the DoF preview button, it temporarily switches to servo. Release the button, and it goes back to one-shot. This way you can decide at a moment's notice which drive mode you need.
AF Area: What do you typically use for AF area for day to day shooting? Is using the 61-point Automatic selection recommended? As it tends to focus on the nearest subject.
Usable AF Points: So i'm having a bit of hard time understanding this concept. If i typically use the 24-105 f/4 Kit lens according to the manual belongs in Group C. How does this limit me in using the Autofocus?
Coming from a 5D2, I've been conditioned to not trust any non-cross-type focus points. They're basically useless in most situations. The 5D3 effectively has 41 cross-type AF points, so I have my camera set to only use those, in various combinations. Most of the time, I have my camera set to spot focus, with the multi-controller set to control which focus point is active. Click the joystick inward to return to the center point (and click again to return to the previous point). Again, play around with all the custom controls, because there are many possible ways to control focus points. Sometimes I'll go to one of the expanded focus areas, but most of the time, it's just one point.
AEB/HDR/Multiple Exposures: In what scenarios you want to use these? On my 40D i would typically use AEB to take 3-5 shots and then use an external editor to combine the images to create an HDR. And now the 5D3 combines the images for an HDR image within the camera.
So what are some good scenarios you want to use AEB?
What is the use for Multiple Exposures and when would you want to use it?
The in-camera HDR is a gimmick. Don't use it seriously. It's only a 3-exposure bracket, it only produces JPEG's, and it's not very flexible. Use the AEB instead, but remember that AEB is really only good when you want to bracket in bursts. The exposure range is limited, so you can only add +/- 3EV in one burst, but if you do manual bracketing, you can do any range just by walking up and down on aperture or shutter speed.
Of course, the biggest use of AEB is for off-camera HDR, but it's also good for times when you're not sure about the best exposure but you don't have time to narrow your exposures using the histogram. Just fire an AEB burst and go.
Multiple exposures? I'm not sure about that one, but it seems a little gimmicky to me as well, since you can probably do much higher quality composites in photoshop.
I apologize if these are beginner questions, but I want to learn the full capabilities of the camera so that I can become a better photographer. Thank you for your help.
No problem. Take all this as just one person's take on it. The camera is so versatile, you can use it any way you want and get good results. The main thing is to experiment and play with all the hidden settings, custom functions, etc.
And remember: the camera doesn't make the photographer. A better chisel doesn't make a better sculptor, but it allows a sculptor to do what they do easier, faster, more precise, etc. You have one of the best "chisels" out there, so you're more prepared for tough situations, but becoming a better photographer happens because you're constantly practicing, experimenting, and learning.