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Messages - Sycotek

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I don't think the 1D X is underexposing. I think that the 5D3 is programmed to slightly overexpose in order to force everyone to use the ETTR technique to "boost" the perceived image quality.

Exactly like other have reported, my 1D X meters about 1/2 stop faster (shorter exposure time) than my 5D3. However, the result is a histogram that is dead center. For instance, take a photo of a low-contrast subject like a frame filled with green grass. You should get a peak smack dab in the middle of the screen when looking at the histogram.

I agree totally - I was under the impression that my 1DX was underexposing every shot I took by about half a stop but in fact it was perfectly exposing to the nth degree - not aesthetically pleasing but there are no blown highlights anywhere.

Mate, I owned 2x5d3's and now a 1DX - there are massive differences in performance and IQ.

For one there is no rainbow noise in the low isos and 12K on the 5d3 is about the same as 40K on the 1DX (with better looking noise and no rainbow effect)

In good light there is no-competition in the af between 2 bodies - the 5d3 is fast - the 1dx is instant.

There is no slow down in af when in body processing is turned on or the battery levels go below 40% like on the 5D3 - the slow down in having focus priority for servo turns 5 fps to 3 - no hit on fps on the 1dx (3 cpus make sure of that)

The facial tracking and light meter on the 1DX is something else - it truly lives up to its 1Series designation.

I don't care for video so cant give input there.

Now the drawback is there is a bug with the AF on the 1DX (and it may extend to the 5D3) when shooting with the servo in low light - see my post http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=7820.0 which I am working with Canon in isolating. But setting the fps to 10 or lower - fixes 90% of the problem.

I don't own the 5d3's anymore - for Me anything above iso 400 isn't worth using, way too much pattern noise, and 3fps is useless to Me. I will be buying another 1DX shortly if Canon fix this bug.

In doing a few more tests I still have to say (even with the camera set to the lower 10 fps setting) AI-SERVO is nowhere near the advertised -2 EV.  For instance when I set my camera to ONE-SHOT in 0 to -2 EV light the camera bangs focus perfectly.  However, even set at the lower 10 fps in AI-SERVO under the same light condition, the camera fails to focus in that same light.  It is certainly better than when it is set to 12 fps, but still cannot focus at 0, -1, or -2 EV light in AI-SERVO mode.

Can others confirm this?  The short of it is that I don't really trust this camera to focus track in low light/contrast.

A big shame because this camera blows away anything I've ever used.  It is just that good in every other respect.  People say it's not that much different than the 5D3, but owning both I disagree.  It is on a whole other planet from the 5D3.  Don't get me wrong the 5D3 is a fantastic camera, but can't touch the 1Dx in nearly every area (including the AF).  They share similar 61 AF system, but it isn't fully the same.

Really, the troubling low light/contrast AI-SERVO problem is really the only weakness I see with this camera.  If it didn't affect the way I shoot I would just forget about it and move on.

It's not only you - reception hall - weddings and runways is where I am fearing it will fail.

With that said - I can confirm -2ev single shot af lock no real issues. Ai-Servo stops working a long time before that, however - it needs contrast to see the target, - 2ev is rather dark I at-least the scenario i created - I could barely see anything moving with my own eyes (the black af points don't help here either) let alone the camera being able to see any contrast at those light levels.

I owned a 2x5d3's for a short while and i didn't really put the unit through the paces as I did with the 1dx - yes its a whole other planet in terms of speed, there is no comparison between the two bodies. The single chip solution really lags the 5d3 (and tbh 5 fps is really more like 3 on the 5d3 with the same configuration i have my 1DX set at 12fps with no noticeable drop in fps). I the IQ between the two bodies esp at hi-iso is no comparison at least in my eyes.

From a technical standpoint the af points on the 1DX and 5D3 are very-very small. More suited to afpoint-to-target point to point hand off under normal light.

In comparison to nikons offering where the center af cluster are enlarged af points - low light -2ev targeting is much easier (only thing i had to compare was a d800) where the nikons offering locked 8/10 attempts where the 1DX locked 5/10 attempts. At -1ev the the canon was much faster and hit 10/10 (and about 50% faster to lock then the d800)

With that's said useable single shot on the 1DX is -1.7-1.8ev D800 really drops off around -1-1.2ev (for the time it takes to lock reasons)

But there was absolutely no difference in 3d tracking vs single shot on the nikon where the 1DX drops off a long time before that.

I can't re-run the same tests as I dont have access to a d800 anymore but I would be interested to see if the same test run in Ai-Servo L with return the same results.

By the way, so everyone knows...I HATE this kind of stuff.  I never come online unless I have a problem I need to solve.  Like all of you I'm sure, I would totally rather be just doing my job as a photographer, but when you come across a problem like this that actually affects your work and how you work, it causes me to want to find a solution.  Hence my search here where I discovered others who saw the same exact problem as I.  I know nothing is perfect, but I just wish this wasn't such a big problem.  I'm a photojournalist who shoots in very low light very very often so this is a problem that I actually ran into while on assignment so it has real world consequences.

Just wanted to let everyone know I sure wish we could just forget all this and just focus on picture making.  However, this is a pretty big issue that has to be addressed.  I can let go of a great deal and accept a number of faults, but this seems like something Canon need to address for a camera of this class and price.

Totally agree !

I had the camera for <36 hours and stumbled on it... I have spent the last 3 weeks wracking my brain trying to work it out so I feel very fortunate that You noticed it so quickly. I have had to carry a back up body in fear of the AF playing up in situations I couldn't afford the af to be playing up in :/

Will keep this updated with any updates from Canon.

Yes with L at 11 the problem does occur.  The problem only disappears when either H or L is at 10 fps or below.

With H at 12, L can be 11. Does the issue occur on L = 11 fps?

So logically the sampling rate that the light meter feeds scene information to the servo isn't large/fast enough under low light to sufficiently provide data to the AF. I can't get anyone at canon to explain how the light meter is tied to the new af let alone the sampling rates, however going by the findings tonight that would be my initial thought as to what is going on

A troubleshooting suggestion. H and L frame rates are customizable (C.Fn3 menu).  What happens if you set H to 3 fps or L to 11 fps?  Can you ID a frame rate threshold for the problem?

Will check in the morning and report back :)

Cheers for this!

Hi Alex,

Hmmm this is very strange indeed.  I loaded your config file and AI-SERVO was great!  Then the only single thing I changed was to go from L to H and as soon as I did that AI-SERVO was horrible again.  I then changed back to L and once again it was near perfect.  I kept going back and forth and it was reproducible 100% of the time.  Yes let me give you more detail about my gear (don't have time just yet for uploading pictures though)

I tested this on multiple lenses. 50 1.2, 50 1.4, and 24 1.4 II.  I have yet to try my other lenses.  All behaved exactly the same in terms of how responsive the AI-SERVO was.

This might suggest something else is going on.  Although I still don't think it's hardware because clearly when I switch to L the AI-SERVO works great and when I switch back to H the AI-SERVO is bad again.  I am not sure why you are not seeing that or why I am not see what you are getting.  Hmmmm

Hi Mate,

Just tested your theory out - in my configuration where i know the camera will fail if i used the bugged out config - my fixed version works regardless of being on L or H.

Is it possible to upload an image regarding the scene/target that you are testing on? And please add what lenses you are using and/or have available to use so we can test with similar gear if possible :)


Mate I chucked everything on a tripod to make sure there was no funny business and You are correct L is fine H hunts...

I will report this on Monday.

Hi Mate,

Just tested your theory out - in my configuration where i know the camera will fail if i used the bugged out config - my fixed version works regardless of being on L or H.

Scratch that - I can confirm similar findings!!!

Is it possible to upload an image regarding the scene/target that you are testing on? And please add what lenses you are using (as canon will ask)


Hi justaphotographer,

I haven't had any issues using the reset config I got from canon - I have now reconfigured my own without touching the af settings and it worked fine last-night at another runway tracking black subjects at 1/250 f4 iso 10K <- this was not fun...)

I believe like you its a contrast issue. But the default configuration doesn't exhibit the same issues that I had with my tweaked config.

eg. single 60w equivalent cfl room light trying to track my gf face - the broken config wont lock on anything. The reset config locks on Her eye brows and eyes, under her nose and lips as if it was nothing.

The test with canon was well below -2ev (i could not see the other reps eyes yet the camera locked on as if it was nothing and focussed accurately) broken config just hunted - canon rep couldn't believe it.


As annoying as it is if you haven't tried it - i would recommend making a backup of your current config and send it to me, then testing out the config i got from canon - i'll pass your broken one to canon so they have a second point of reference.

I will also test out your finding tomorrow and get back you if i can replicate it :)

Updated main post

Long shot suggestion but I uploaded a solid working profile from a canon reps camera which helped resolve my af issue.

perhaps try and make a copy of yours and then reset your camera to his - if it fixes the issues send me the broken profile and i can see if he will accept submitting it to canon jp (as he is doing with my broken config)

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 1DX (possible) Ai Servo Issue
« on: July 19, 2012, 11:41:31 PM »
Obviously not an expert here, but I wonder if there is some pre-act/PID type algorithm in the AI servo software where by its reading info from the AF sensor and trying to 'predict' the motion of the target before it moves the lens to the focus point.  With no movement, it get no info, it makes no change....If there is just not enough light for it to accurately calculate movement, the same outcome would occur as in these test cases where the target is not actually moving.

I have seen some behavior like this out of control loops in production facilities I have worked in.  Most of the time the software can be tuned to stop the issue.


possible - however you need to assign a target for the cameras first af point priority. You need that to lock regardless or it doesn't know what you are pointing at what colour or face to register and track.

The camera failed to lock on for me on a runway/catwalk which has plenty of movement.

Furthermore the second set of test i put up were single shot vs moving target ai servo - in these instances the camera failed to lock on the target correctly and ended up with everything out of focus.

Agree'd it could be software/firmware fixed and hopefully thats all it is!

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 1DX tweak and fix list
« on: July 19, 2012, 07:30:59 PM »
I Used the C-mode on my 5D quite a bit. I believe thats what the Recall Modes are for, but I'm not sure the 1Dx has these.

If it does look into it, its a nice feature.

it has everything but the ai-servo/one shot command bind - annoyingly :/

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 1DX (possible) Ai Servo Issue
« on: July 19, 2012, 07:29:20 PM »
Although I understand there are some differences between the 1DX and the 5D3 AF, I think it might be worth noting, that the 5D3 has the same issue (at least mine has. low light servo tracking = not possible (one shot works)).

Thank You for this input - I returned my 5D3's so I couldn't test myself - I was curious if it would effect them too.

Maybe it's just a *feature* I'll need to learn to live with.

Will keep you guys posted when I meet with canon this afternoon.

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!)

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