« on: May 04, 2014, 05:31:46 AM »
Although I would love to have seen Canon put focus peaking in as standard on the EOS M I think their reasoning behind not including it is simply because the vast majority of people using it would not be using manual focus lenses with it. It's very much a consumer level camera aimed at the amateur. Most of whom will just use the kit lens. To be fair for static subjects you can easily just tap the zoom button to help focus. Focus peaking is more for useful for video. I have ML installed and after the initial "wow - focus peaking!!" moment I haven't really needed it, and I have two FD leneses that I regularly use with it. For me the Magic Zoom function is better especially in bright sunlight.
Aside from all that, don't you think focus peaking can be rather tricky to master? In my experience it works most reliably on fairly simple subjects that are fairly close; but if you have, say, a building 100 yards away with a large tree close in front of it, and want to focus on one rather than the other, good luck - all of it will likely get focus peaking and you may get an unpleasant surprise when you examine the result. Magnification is more reliable (though it's nice if they're combined - a sort of belt-and-suspenders combination that works rather well on the Sony A7s, at least (perhaps others too, I can't remember).
Hmmm ... Yeah it is a bit tricky. I have a trick for focus peaking - I put the camera into a monochrome picture style so that it's easier to see the focus peaking colors. The extra contrast helps determine where the peak is.
In the situation you mentioned are you using a wide aperture? I'd imagine if the objects are that far away it would be quite hard to do selective focus. Usually in that type of scene I'm using hyperfocus as I want the tree AND the building in focus. It's only for relatively close subjects and wide apertures that I would consider using a focusing aid.
For moving subjects I tend to use the focus scale to set the focus at a pre determined length (say 3 meters for instance) I then wait for the subject to get close to that distance and then fire away. A bit like trap focus, which you can do with ML too. I did that for a St. Patrick's day parade and it worked well. I'm always aware of subject distance and try and keep the focus ring at a distance that is relative so I only need to move it a little.
I guess after a while you get a feel for manual focus and it's really only super critical stuff where I need the focus peaking. I also think you end up missing the moment if you are bogged down looking at a screen all the time.