September 19, 2014, 02:19:50 PM

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Messages - Steve Todd

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Quasimodo, don't know if you got the PM I sent, but here's the post I intended to send you last time about using the dual back button AF method:

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: AF Guide 1Dx renewed
« on: May 18, 2014, 09:30:51 AM »
Quasimodo, glad you enjoyed the post.  However, it wasen't the one I intended to send, so here is the correct one:

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: AF Guide 1Dx renewed
« on: May 17, 2014, 09:22:31 AM »

Like you, I wanted to do the same thing.  However, with that not an option, I set the back buttons to select between the AF modes.  See post:

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon 1DX camera
« on: May 11, 2014, 09:44:32 AM »
I have had my 1DX since Nov 2012.  Other than having it serviced for the technical advisory (recall) for lubrication check, and a clean and check last Feb, it has served me well.  I have experienced a couple of things with it that never occurred with any of my other bodies.  I was shooting the mission in San Diego, when I had a blank image occur in the middle of a series of shots I was taking of some of the art work there.  I took the shot and looked at the LCD, only to see an all black image?  This has only happened once with my 1DX, but still puzzles me!  The blank image contained all of the right exposure information, just like it would with a properly exposed image, but no image was recorded?  I checked the System Status Display and found an error 80 code.  However, upon checking the event time, it was for several days prior to the blank image and when I checked the time code against the shots I had taken, there was no problem with the images shot before the time code or after it?  The only other issue I have had, is that both the original battery (LP-E4N) and one of the extra batteries I have for my 1D4 (LP-E4) display the "Recalibration is Needed" after about six rechargings?  Performing a recalibration did not clear this issue with either battery?  The original battery for the 1D4 has been recharged at least a dozen time without this ever happening?  So, other than those two issues, it has been a complete delight using the 1DX!

UPDATE:  Just tried a method of recalibration suggested by a friend.  Charging the batterys fully before attempting the recalibration, did the trick!  Although it takes about 14-hours to complete this process, it cleared the "Recalibration" message from the battery status display.

PowerShot / Re: New PowerShot & EOS Cameras to Offer DOF Control?
« on: May 05, 2014, 09:04:16 AM »
Many of Canon EOS film bodies had a "Depth" mode, so this is kind of a "Back to the Future" event!

EOS Bodies / Canon CPN EOS-1D X AF Guidebook Smartphone App
« on: May 01, 2014, 09:55:02 AM »
Canon Professional Network (Europe) has a smartphone/tablet version of the AF Guidebook for the EOS-1D X:

For some old west fun, and a great steak at a great price, try Pinnacle Peak Steak House in Trail Dust Town (N.E. Tucson).  And reremember, there is a both a West Saguaro National Park And an East SNP!  They are both excellent.  However, the west side is better for great sunsets! 

Lenses / Lens Field of View Comparator on Canon DLC Site
« on: March 27, 2014, 09:53:30 AM »
Canon has posted a nifty new lens field of view comparator on their DLC site:

Photography Technique / Re: photographing motorsport particularly F1
« on: March 25, 2014, 11:23:59 AM »
Looks like you have gotten a lot of good suggestions/recommendations!  Having shot F-1, Indy Car, German Touring Car, Le Mans, and NASCAR since the late 60's; my only recommendation to add here, is NEVER turn you back to the cars if you are anywhere near the track!  I look back at the shots I took standing on the side of the track (no guard rails or anything between me and the cars) and think, how stupid was that!  Even when shooting from a protected spot, I've still had to duck behind cover to avoid flying stuff!  It's much safer today, but keeping a weary eye out and maintaing spatial awareness of what is happening on the track is still a must!  Best Wishes and be Safe!

EOS Bodies / AI Servo AF Versus One-Shot AF For Stationary Subjects
« on: March 25, 2014, 11:05:53 AM »
Having read several posts discussing the pros and cons of using AI Servo AF versus One-Shot AF for stationary subjects, I thought I'd ask the one guy who could best address this issue for us. 

He was kind enought to allow me to post his reply to my questions here:

Hi, Steve:

There are no differences in focusing speed, focusing accuracy, or focusing point selection algorithms between One-Shot AF and AI Servo AF with EOS DIgital SLR cameras, period.

The basic difference between them is that One-Shot AF locks focus as soon as it is complete, whereas AI Servo AF continues to track focus as long as it is active. This is why One-Shot AF is recommended for stationary subjects, while AI Servo AF is recommended for most types of moving subjects, especially those that move towards or away from the camera as opposed to lateral movement across the frame.

There are other differences between One-Shot AF and AI Servo AF that can affect some kinds of photography:

1) AI Servo AF allows photographers to release the shutter at will, regardless of whether focusing has been completed or not. This is intentional, in order to allow the photographer to prioritize capturing the peak moment regardless of focusing status. The trade-off is the fact that there is no guarantee that the focus will be sharp on a stationary subject in AI Servo AF, especially during handheld photography at close range with shallow depth of field. Under these specific conditions (one more time for emphasis, I am saying Stationary Subject, handheld photography at close range with shallow depth of field), One-Shot AF is a more reliable focusing method because it locks focus while AI Servo does not.

2) As light levels diminish, eventually AI Servo AF will cease to function before One-Shot AF does. This is because One-Shot AF allows a longer sampling period for AF measurement in low light than AI Servo does. (The AF measurement sampling period is analogous to a shutter speed for the AF sensor. The longer the sampling period, the greater the sensitivity.) Remember that the AF sensor in the camera has a low light threshold, typically EV -1 or -2 depending on the camera; this figure is quoted specifically for the center AF point with One-Shot AF. It's usually about 2 stops less than than with AI Servo AF, and even lower with off-center focusing points. Therefore, if maximum sensitivity for AF in low light is your priority, we strongly recommend One-Shot AF with the center focusing point.

Going back to point 1, current professional EOS models like the 1D C, 1D X and 5D Mark III give photographers more control over shutter release priority in AI Servo AF than older models. You'll notice that there are menu settings in the AF menu section for 'AI Servo 1st Image Priority' and 'AI Servo 2nd Image Priority.' These settings let you control how long the camera waits before releasing the shutter in AI Servo, which is better than older cameras like the 1D Mark IV or 5D Mark II. But it still lets the camera shoot when it is out of focus in AI Servo AF if you insist. In other words, shutter release in AI Servo AF is always a matter of "when," it is never a matter of "if" the subject is in focus.

The bottom line is simply this: AI Servo AF is *not* equivalent to One-Shot AF for stationary subjects in terms of shutter release priority, especially for handheld shots with shallow depth of field, and we never claimed that it was. That's why we offer both focusing modes.  This doesn't mean that AI Servo *can't* get it right.  It means that One-Shot AF is more reliable under these specific conditions.

Hope that helps.

    Chuck Westfall
Advisor, Technical Information
ITCG Prof Client Relations Division
Canon U.S.A., Inc.
One Canon Park, Melville, NY 11747

EOS Bodies / Interesting Read For 1DX and 5D3 Owners
« on: March 24, 2014, 09:40:31 AM »
Interesting read on the 1DX and 5D3 AF Systems.  You might have already read this, but I thought it was worth posting for those who haven't:

EOS Bodies / Re: EOS-1D X, Dual Back Button AF
« on: March 22, 2014, 11:57:26 AM »
Thanks Viggo for helping Sanj to understand how the method I described works through your great example!  I'd hoped my original post had explained the process.  However, I guess I could have done a better job of explaining it.  That's what happens when you try to describe your thoughts on a technical know what you want to say, but your explanation doesn't adequately convey your thoughts to others.  Thanks again!  And happy shooting!

EOS Bodies / EOS-1D X, Dual Back Button AF
« on: March 09, 2014, 12:38:35 PM »
Having used the back button AF method for several years, I thought I would try the dual back button feature made possible by the recent 2.0.3 firmware update.  Until the new firmware update, I separated the AF Start function from the Shutter Button using the normal back button method.  My focusing method was to have the AF-ON button set for AI-Servo AF.  If I wanted to quickly lock the focus, I would simply focus using AI-Servo AF, release my thumb from the button, reframe the subject and shoot.  I could have just switched between the two modes by pressing the AF Drive button on the top deck and use the Main Dial to switch between One-Shot AF and AI Servo AF.  However, that just wasen't quick enough for my shoot style.

Prior to the new firmware update, you could program one of the programable buttons to toggle between AI-Servo AF and One-Shot AF.  However, that required me to press the button set to toggle between the two AF modes (I used the Multi-function 2 button), with my second finger (middle finger) while using my thumb to press the AF-ON button to focus and my index finger (pointing finger) to release the shutter.  That's not good either.  Sure, I could have also left the shutter button to the default setting (AF and Metering Start-Shutter Release), but I still like separating those functions.

With the new firmware update, you can now program the AF-ON button to AI-Servo and the AE lock button to One-Shot AF.  Once set, they are then dedicated to perform those functions when pressed and held in regardless of what is set on the top LCD panel.  Having used this now for a few weeks, I find it the perfect match for my style of shooting.

To program these functions, use page 343 of the updated EOS-1D X Manual (downloadable from the Canon USA website).  Simply use Custon Function 5 (Operation, Custom Controls) To make the programming changes to the buttons. 

BTW, I programed the MF2 button for Spot AF and the DOF button for AE Lock, as I rarely use the DOF button anyway.  I also program the M-Fn button next to the shutter button for the Viewfinder electronic level function.

Using the two back buttons for instant AF selection and activation, together with the Shutter button only used for metering and shutter release, add a great new operational capability to the already wonderful camera.  I just wish I could setup my 1D4 to do the same!

I realize this was a rather lengthy explanation, but I know I like it spelled out fully when someone suggests a new method to me!  Hope this helps!  It is definitely worth trying!

EOS Bodies / Re: New EOS-1D X, 4x5 Flipbook Now Available
« on: February 23, 2014, 09:44:13 AM »
You all are most welcome!

I don't remember such publications for 1-Series bodies prior to the 1D4.  Canon did publish an AF Guidebook for the 1DMk IV along with one of their excellent "White Paper" documents.

BTW, the full-size 1DX AF Guidebook that I listed on a previous post is still available at this link:  It's at the bottom of the page as a PDF.

Photography Technique / Re: HDR (and DR) Question
« on: February 22, 2014, 02:16:49 PM »
I'm like you, I just size-up the scene and make my decision based on how much contrast it contains.

I have found that 2-stops works pretty well!  I have shot several hand-held (highest continious shooting speed) in full sunlight that turned out very well when using the "Auto Align" feature in DPP.  However, I would use a tripod and the slow continuous shooting speed setting for scenes with less than full sunlight.

Hope this helps.

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