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Messages - dlleno

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nice test gilmorephoto. emperically, very strong evidence that the 5D3 AF is not very good at utilizing the AF assist beam at least in the factory 'out of box' configuration.   By they way --  for a reality check  EV -1 is enough light to see where you are walking... and within the 5D3's ability to focus by itself without the AF beam.  With flash on board, the camera should be able to utilize the AF asset beam in  total darkness. 

the fact that a modern camera takes several second to acheive focus  using the flash AF assist beam  is rather astonishing to me.    I have tested the lowly 40D in this situation with the 580 EX ii  (70-200 f/2.8 and 17-55 f/2.8), and find that this body utilizes the AF assist beam quite handily, and acceptably acheives AF in total darkenss.   But then, the 40D AF center point isn't as precise as that of the 5D3 -- it may "see" more of the AF assist beam!

is there a geometry problem here - I mean is the AF system so precise that the AF assist beam doesn't nail the exact location of the center AF point?   is the hot shoe manufacturing dimmentional tolerances such that one camera will aim the flash better than another?  Has anyone mounted the flash off camera or at various distances and experimented with this?

If geometery is unrelated to this issue, then perhaps the AF sampling rate of the 5D3 does not live well with the pulse rate of the AF assist beam

EOS Bodies / Re: 6D vs 5Diii vs 5Dii - Speedlite AF Focus Beam Assist Tests
« on: December 12, 2012, 06:24:37 PM »
Michael -- re 70 seconds.  what EV level are we talking about? I can see the evidence of more accurate AF here, in the 5D3,  perhaps via more retries and/or higher credence level before the system is satisfied.  But I want to know do these numbers represent a severe corner case test or a comon real-world scenario?  even the speed deamon 5Dii took 45 seconds which is also an eternity if you have groomsmen in black tuxdos in a dimly lit church foyer.

I'm getting the feeling, from the wide variety of responses on this topic, that:

1.  we still do not have a solid, consistent, "repeatable by a monkey" use case representing a real scenario consistent with the marketing language,  that would communicate to Canon that the camera does not function in the way it was advertized.   

2.  there may even be some hardware related component here that is similarly not well understood.  Canon may have even changed something in the manufacturing process that would reduce the exposure of this problem to older 5D3s . I wonder, for example, what portion of the mis-behaving 5D3s have s/n lower than RustyTheGeek's replacement camera?

I am a wedding photographer and have shot 25 weddings and receptions this year with the 5D3 and 600ex.  I started a thread about this issue about a month ago and I finally sent my camera in to Canon to get the shutter replaced and the light leak issue resolved and I specifically complained about it the AF assist beam.  When they sent it back they mentioned they made some "electrical adjustments" to the shutter and AF.  They never acknowledged there was a problem or said that they did anything to fix it.  I haven't shot a wedding since then so I haven't gotten a chance to really test it out yet but I did some quick tests and sometimes there appears to be some improvement.  Other times it still seems slow.  I don't think there is a way to know until I shoot a wedding again.  I do think it is interesting they didn't even acknowledge there was a problem and always say it is the first they have heard of the issue.

this is expected and I doubt we will see any traction on this topic until and unless someone gives a very specific test case to Canon that can be reproducable, and insists that Canon acknowlege that one camera performs better than another.  As long as there is one single 5D3 that you send in, they will always obfuscate the issue and say all is performing to specifications.  they can say that because they will run some standard set of diagnostics, performed by technicians who follow procedure, and the diagnostic says "all specifications are met". 

instead, someone needs to send in a 5D3 and a 6D, describe in great detail how to reproduce the problem, and then insist on an explanation. I realize thats a tall order (nobody wants to part with two camera bodies for two weeks...) but it might be necessary.

Even if, at some level within the organization, Canon recognizes the problem, it will likely be addressed silently with new production hardware and/or firmware fix that will not be documented.  just my opinion

Video & Movie / Re: Holy Land Documentary Teaser
« on: December 12, 2012, 12:26:11 AM »
I thought 5D3 files were not compatible with LR 3?

beam me up ScottyP that was funny :D

I'm thinking one attractive value proposition for these guys is to use them remotely as slaves while keeping a genuine Speedlite as the master.  Cost is attractive to buy two or three of the yongnuo's and you're still well below the cost of one speedlite.  Use the Speedlite Master for  fill (off camera using Syl's OCF ETTL cord), a pair of yonguos as the key, and a third Yonguo as a hair light.  or if you are outdoors, use all four flashes together to fight the sun (key), a 5-in-one reflector for fill --  and you still have three light sources using the sun itself for the hairlight.

has anyone done the "RustyTheGeek" method (return the camera and get a new one) or approached Canon service with specific repeatable test conditions using valid comparisons with bodies such as 5D2 and 6D?  the more specific you get, the more likely we are to obtain a specific statment from  Canon regarding this behavior.  For example, if Canon service is asked to fix the issue where "the 5D3 AF takes 2 seconds to confirm and fire the shutter while the 6D appears instantaneous under the same conditions while acheiving accurate focus", then Canon has to confim yes or no that the Camera is performing up to its specifications. 

There are a number of explanations that could apply, but given that RustyTheGeek is now satisfied, having acheived AF speed improvement with a different camera, one explanation is that the issue is addressed with newer hardware and that the issue just silently goes away with newer bodies.  We have no proof that this is the case, mind you, but emperically this is valid postulation.  the implications could be as  interesting as a manufacturing defect or parts quality problem that was addressed and Canon chose not to recall any bodies but fixes them silently as they come in for repair.  It could have been a consious decision based on the cost of warranty claims.  Treat this postulation as CR0, naturally :D

However, I just ordered an eBay steal deal on a 6D for $1899 from theimagingworld (fingers crossed) and I will try to informally compare the two bodies (5D3 vs. 6D) after it arrives.  Oh, and I don't plan on divulging what I think "0" EV is either!!  I'm going to use completely subjective comparisons like 'better', 'worse' and maybe even 'pudding' or 'furry'.  So there!   ;)  (And just in case, please know I am kidding around because that 0 EV thing on the other post really did teach me a lot about EV and sharing informal test results with this forum.)

fantastic.  even without getting fancy you should be able to achieve EV -1 for example with "good enough" accuracy.  while the exposure meter itself can't be trusted at those levels, you can emperically determine if you are close to EV -1, for example  If proper exposure (without flash)  requires a 15 second shutter at f/2.8 at ISO 100,  or 4 seconds f/2.8 at ISO 400.  (thats EV -1). Then when you put the flash gun on, you are still asking the system to AF in -1EV light, which should utilize the AF assist beam and fire the flash. 


Canon technical support told me that the AF assist beam is not supported with this combination (5D3 and 600ex)

I'm still trying to get over this. I may have to call Canon myself.

well it just doesn't make sense to me either - this must be an error of some kind as I can't imagine that the 5D3 does not support the latest flash systems and AF assist beams.  please do give Canon a call and tell us what information they reveal;  hopefully your experience will make better sense than what they told me!   My honest guess is that there is official support but no official recognition of the problem as described here by several.  Just a personal opinion, but  I'm expecting the issue to quietly go away or get better in a firmware release and/or combination with newer production models -- The astonishing thing is that per RustyTheGeek, the issue got better when he exchanged his 5D3 for a new one - -THAT suggests a hardware/quality type issue. 

This is sure something of great interest to a lot of folks;  I hope we can get to the bottom of it.  Has anyone tried the warranty/repair avenue, i.e. ask Canon to specifically address the low light AF assist beam performance and have them test against the 5D2 for example, or 6D? 

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Suggestions for a first monopod for a 5D3...?
« on: December 10, 2012, 07:02:41 PM »
lots of choices out there, but depending on your expected utilization consider jumping straight to the gitzo. the quick release system is just, well, what can I say.  Also don't forget to consider that actual monopod length needs  may be longer than you might think at first glance, and if you are tall that could narrow your choices.  it certainly did for me :D

1.   if you expect to point your camera upward (into trees for example), the monopod needs to be tall enough so that you can look up into the camera viewfinder with lens pointed where you want it. 

2.  you can acheive greater stablity by putting the monopod behind one foot. that means the monopod has to be about as tall as you are. 

heads -- personally I'm not a fan of ballheads on a monopod (too much freedom of movement when you can rotate the monopod itself)  but a great many others like it, so consider researching that further.    I just prefer the restriction of the two-axis head from RRS.  In fact I brought in a modified manfroto 234 head (name escapes me) and sent it right back and ordered the RRS -- which by the way I found to be expensive but wahoo does that piece ever perform on the gitzo. 


   I think there is some credence to your argument. I just hope that if they do the firmware, we do not lose accuracy to any great degree. The mark 2 is pretty well 99% accuracy when using the center spot with af this should be doable with the new camera. I am so confident at receptions with the old camera that
I frequent just point the camera at a group of people I want to capture without even looking thru the viewfinder.

IMO, that's the way it SHOULD BE with a new $3000 camera.  High confidence in the results and be able to just point in the general direction over your head sometimes and expect a decent in focus picture.

no question about that, and given the choice one would tend to choose "the 5D3 way",  at least I would.  But when this extraordinary accuracy interferes with speed of capture results that are deemed to be superior in some situations with a "lesser"  camera, then the $3000 camera needs to allow the photographer some flexibility and the choice to configure a "6D mode"  -- I'm assuming of course that the emperical evidence here passes muster and that the 6D really does focus faster than the 5D3 in the same light within the EV specifications of both.  Such an option would allow the 5D3 user to relinquish some AF accuracy to obtain better AF speed so that the shot doens't "get away".  perhaps a custom configuration "low light AF speed"

perhaps  the n-step retry/credence process that accomplishes the extraordinary AF consistency, repeatability and accuracy of the 5D3 (producing very low std deviations in Roger's tests)  is also what consumes the additional time in low light.  sounds like a firmware issue to me;  If the feedback loop cannot be tuned for greater speed in low  light, then provide a CF or AF configruation giving user the choice to reliquish some of that extraordinary repeatability in low light to acheive greater AF speed.  Hard to imagine that the 6D aparent superiority in this regard is intentional.   

Pricewatch Deals / Re: Canon EOS 5D Mark III Body is $2999 Most Places
« on: December 07, 2012, 12:08:34 PM »
Lol, don't label me a socialist just because I am unhappy with the recent price increases from Canon (including their lenses) :-). My point was simply that the camera was initially overpriced and the significant price drops only months after introduction confirm my observation.

no socialist label intended.  your comments just sounded like you thought Canon played dirty, photgrapher-milking unfair price gouging because they decided to keep selling the 5D2 and price the 5D3 higher.  I don't like the price or that strategy either, and we've already seen endless speculations on Canon's thinking, but it is what it is.  Canon plays the laws of supply and demand, and it appears that sales figures bear out the fact that they played it right, from the corporate profit perspective anyway.  On the other hand, expecting Canon to level the playing field and regulate the price to the same figure for all customers throughout the sales cycle, and to acheive price parity or equality with competitors is just not the way corporations (or supply and demand) work. 

<epistle on pricing, field failures,  impact on clients, etc.>
...Now, I don't imply that companies should satisfy the (reasonable) expectations because they have social obligations or because of sheer kindness. No, they do that to stay competitive, because a bad reputation would kill the profits in the long run. As you said, unhappy customers vote with their wallets, at least in theory.
bingo. I really don't think you and I are far apart on these points. 
... But you seem to indicate that we have no rights even to complain and must put up with any crap that Canon chooses to throw our way, because it's OK that they only care about their profit and not about their customers.
I"m not saying we don't have the rights to complain;  I am saying it won't be individually effective and that Canon has the right to do choose what they  listen too.  Unfortunately, to a large degree yes we are at the mercy of the market and Canon's interpretation of it.   Thank goodness for internet forums, to be sure, to the extent that they help Canon read and react to the market, and allow Canon to more clearly see defects and other customer issues, details, etc.  For example, I suspect the f/8 AF fix was a reaction to market demand, and that their original strategy was to push the market towards more expensive glass.  just my opinon of course, but it looks like competition and information from real photographers was an influence, for which I am thrilled. 

On a side note, it's more than a 10% increase. It's a hefty 30% over the initial price of 5DII ($3500 vs $2700). At that rate, Mark V is going to cost close to $6000.
I think we're talking about Canon here and not the grey market or retailers' trimming their own markups.  Displayed prices for the 5D3 have been reduced on the order of 10% in recent months.  Current price from the best known retailers is down about 15%.  That flash-in-the-pan $2700 abberation is fascinating, to be sure, and I agree that a great many folks wish they had played that game.   
Don't get me wrong, I am not penny-pinching. I overpaid a couple of hundred more than once, when I needed the lens right away. I had no regrets and I did not complain. But that was different. It was a market fluctuation, while this seems like a strategy from Canon to boost its profits at the expense of their customers.

yea -- similar to your experience I paid 15% more for my 70-200 f/2.8 IS II, compared to today's prices,   because I had a need.  did I overpay or was Canon's introduction price unfair?  Is the current price driven by market fluctuation or was it a strategy of Canon to boost profits early on and then stop doing that after some period of time?   it doesn't matter;  canon had supply and I had demand;  the value of a product is defined by what people are willing to pay for it.    I agree Canon is pretty good at playing that game, and time will tell how sustainable their current strategy is. 

What we're learning here is consistent with the published specs.  I admit I'm one of those who "stopped reading" when the test wasn't correleated to the standard I was expecting and I couldn't (immediately) tell if the test actually tested the -3EV condition or not.    But that doesn't mean  I quit watching for additional info :D

What isn't so clear to me  is the aparent (empirical evidence only, maybe even just anictotal) slow behavior of the 5D3 to focus in low light situations compared to the 6D (this is not about the AF assist beam with flash).  I'm hearing that the 6D AF (even if slightly less accurate) is faster than the 5D3 under certain situations (which themselves have not yet been acurately described).   Should this turn out to be true,  I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that the 5D3 AF system is remarkably consistent (low standard deviation per the lensrentals test):  It may have a more elaborate retry/credence algorithm,  and as such require a greater number of handshakes with the lens to acheive that level of accuracy.  It could be that, assuming the evidence is consistent, that the more elaborate algorithm is not as easily satisfied in low light.  To the extent that such a suggestion is true, this strikes me as something Canon might fix or improve silently with a firmware update without officially acknowledging the issue. 

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 6D or Canon 5D mark iii + which lenses?
« on: December 06, 2012, 05:22:00 PM »
for walking around, street photography & portraits in and around Santa Cruz, especially with the stated value of Wifi, and with a budget of two lenses I would pick


for a first timer, that will keep you busy learning what these can do.  But, depending on the size of that budget I would suggest in addition:
70-200  f/2.8 IS
135 f/2 

These two have different purposes, strengths and weaknesess.  the zoom will get you head shots at a greater distance, and more reach and more flexibility in combination with the 24-105, and will  give you a taste for the the longer focal lengths.  Overall a much better vacation type choice in combination with the 24-105.  On the other hand, the 135 will get you another stop of light, and softer bokah compared to the zoom, but its focal lengh is not that much longer than from the 24-105, so it will be more of a botique lens, reserved for specific effects that you want, rather than focal length flexibility. 

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