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Author Topic: 6D Autofocus not impressive  (Read 85126 times)

CarlTN

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Re: 6D Autofocus not impressive
« Reply #210 on: June 18, 2013, 06:39:17 PM »
Actually Neuro, that last image that shows the autofocus spread that looks so small and narrow, is the one I was referring to as being incorrect.  Frankly both of those are incorrect.  Just pick up a 6D and do a side by side comparison.  True the viewfinder is not 100%, but in reality it is very close to 100%.  The spread of the AF array is nowhere near as small as that second image.

The one thing I've learnt with photography is that close is never close enough. The spread of the array is not that small but not particularly larger either.

Carl ... how are you getting on with the outer focus points in low light. Mine just seem to go bonkers so I'm left to focus recompose using the center focus point.

I never use the outer points in low light.  I thought according to Canon, it was the center point that was meant for low light.  So that's what I use.  It seems to do at least as well as my cousin's 1DX, in low dusk light outdoors on relatively still subjects...center point only selected. 

The only problem I have with the 6D's autofocus, is that it will choose the brighter, more contrasty subject matter (usually behind a bird on a limb or something)...rather than the darker less contrasty subject.  I am of course using only center point in this situation too...because I want the bird's eye to be in sharpest focus, etc.  It's possible the 5D3 and 1DX would have a slight issue in such a situation also, but no doubt they would be better.

J.R., I'm not sure what lens and what shooting situation you would be in, where you would need to use the outer focus points in low light.  In any case, don't do that, because they aren't meant for low light.

Are you in shutter or aperture priority, or manual?  I assume you're at some event or wedding with a wider angle lens or something?

To all those who are happy to bash the 6D, you are ignorant, that's all.  To say that the D7100 "kills the 6D", that's wrong.  The D7100 is killed by the 6D starting around ISO 1250.  The D7100 is only a crop camera, and thus has extremely limited light falling on its sensor to begin with. 

If you don't like the 6D, don't buy it.  It's not meant for you.  It's meant for people who know how to make use of a camera's strengths and compensate for its limitations, like me.  It's not meant for people who like to pick a certain weakness and harp on it, or who expect the camera to do the thinking for them.

I will state again, the 6D has superior image quality to all other Canons and Nikons currently in production...within a narrow ISO range from the mid 1000's up to 8 to 10,000...which is where I often like to use it.  This range is where all low light, sports and wildlife "available light" photography lives.  Above that, the D4 and 1DX are superior, but not the 5D3...it's still inferior.  The only thing better about the 5D3 is the autofocus and the fps.  Both the D800 and D600 have worse noise above ISO 2000 than even the 5D3, let alone the 6D.  They still deliver more resolution up to a point, of course.

As for landscape-only (low ISO, under 1000) photography (perhaps on a tripod...or else studio photography with flashgun or strobes)...yes the D800E is your best choice for a few more months or so, and certainly the best choice under $4000.  I suspect Canon's big MP body will be priced well above $4000.

For available light photography between ISO 1600 and 8000, the 6D produces the best image with the most detail, the least noise, and similar if not superior dynamic range (in RAW anyway, but the jpegs are decent too).  Perhaps it's not pulling ahead in resolution of the D800 series until ISO 6400 or so, and the D600 at ISO 4000 or so....but the 6D is way ahead regarding both luminance and chrominance noise at the native pixel level, as in viewed at 100%...and not tipping the scales by downsampling all comparisons to 8MP, or whatever bullcrap DXOmark does.  I could downsample smartphone pictures by that much of a percentage from their native, and get decent noise performance too, but so what?

I am astonished that my shots done from ISO 1000 to 1600, need no noise reduction in post of any kind.  I'm also astonished that the 1DX's files have a similar large grain luminance noise structure like the 5D3's.  I can understand why some I have read on here, don't want to shoot the 5D3 above ISO 1000.

The 6D has autofocus that is plenty responsive, depending on just how good and fast the lens's autofocus system and motors are.  Most of the reviews I've read of the D600 say it's autofocus is not noticeably superior to the 6D's.  So I don't see it as "the better camera" at all.  But if you have a lot of Nikon glass, then by all means, buy a Nikon.  You'll help them stay independent a while longer...delaying the inevitable.   
« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 06:47:37 PM by CarlTN »

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Re: 6D Autofocus not impressive
« Reply #210 on: June 18, 2013, 06:39:17 PM »

J.R.

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Re: 6D Autofocus not impressive
« Reply #211 on: June 18, 2013, 10:17:58 PM »
J.R., I'm not sure what lens and what shooting situation you would be in, where you would need to use the outer focus points in low light.  In any case, don't do that, because they aren't meant for low light.

Are you in shutter or aperture priority, or manual?  I assume you're at some event or wedding with a wider angle lens or something?


The biggest trouble I face is when I'm shooting at wide open apertures. In low light you need those wide open apertures and I find too many of my shots out of focus with using the center point focus and recompose - kills the fun of it.

As Chuck mentioned, one can always crop later to get the composition right but it lessens the fun a bit so I am predominantly use WA on the 6D and wide aperture lenses on the 5D3.

I guess the main griping about the 6D AF comes from the fact that Canon intentionally crippled the AF and left it only as good as the AF of the 5D2 when it could have been better. 
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CarlTN

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Re: 6D Autofocus not impressive
« Reply #212 on: June 18, 2013, 10:54:05 PM »
J.R., I'm not sure what lens and what shooting situation you would be in, where you would need to use the outer focus points in low light.  In any case, don't do that, because they aren't meant for low light.

Are you in shutter or aperture priority, or manual?  I assume you're at some event or wedding with a wider angle lens or something?


The biggest trouble I face is when I'm shooting at wide open apertures. In low light you need those wide open apertures and I find too many of my shots out of focus with using the center point focus and recompose - kills the fun of it.

As Chuck mentioned, one can always crop later to get the composition right but it lessens the fun a bit so I am predominantly use WA on the 6D and wide aperture lenses on the 5D3.

I guess the main griping about the 6D AF comes from the fact that Canon intentionally crippled the AF and left it only as good as the AF of the 5D2 when it could have been better.

I'm not convinced the 6D's AF is not improved over the 5D2.  I've not compared them side by side.  But Canon has said the center point has more sensitivity than all other AF systems they have produced, and I see no reason to doubt it.  Did the 5D2 allow so many different levels of customization via the menu, in servo mode, etc?  My cousin owned a 5D2 a while back, but I never played with the menus on it.  He even bought the original 5D when it first came out.

My 6D certainly can AF in very low light, even with a 70-200 f/4...in fact it seemed to AF in a very, very dark candle lit room with it...on something on the opposite side of the room, that even ISO 100k was too dim for, at like 1/2 second exposure at f/4.  It was kind of troubling that it would AF as good or better in this dark room with that lens, than with my favorite...the 135 f/2.  Kind of defies physics, but then sheer amount of light apparently is not the only factor in the equation, I guess.  There are electronics there in the lens too (obviously haha).

All I know is, I need more info to take me into the situation where you're having trouble with the 6D's autofocus in low light, and having to recompose.  What is the subject matter, what's the distance, what's the focal length of the lens?  Are you really close to the subject?  Are you saying it's a 50mm f/1.4 or something?  Seated head and shoulders portraiture?  (In that situation I don't really see a problem if you need to use the center point and then recompose, even at f/1.4.  If it's just the head and no neck, maybe I could see a problem.)  Or is it longer focal length than that, or is it shorter?  Is it available light, or is it with flashgun or strobes placed somewhere?  (Must not be, because they usually have a focus assist beam or "modeling light"...in which case there's ample light for focusing with any of the points).

Unless both you and the subject are extremely still, have you tried using servo mode, and perhaps setting it for a slow response?

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Re: 6D Autofocus not impressive
« Reply #213 on: June 18, 2013, 11:10:55 PM »
J.R., I'm not sure what lens and what shooting situation you would be in, where you would need to use the outer focus points in low light.  In any case, don't do that, because they aren't meant for low light.

Are you in shutter or aperture priority, or manual?  I assume you're at some event or wedding with a wider angle lens or something?


The biggest trouble I face is when I'm shooting at wide open apertures. In low light you need those wide open apertures and I find too many of my shots out of focus with using the center point focus and recompose - kills the fun of it.

As Chuck mentioned, one can always crop later to get the composition right but it lessens the fun a bit so I am predominantly use WA on the 6D and wide aperture lenses on the 5D3.

I guess the main griping about the 6D AF comes from the fact that Canon intentionally crippled the AF and left it only as good as the AF of the 5D2 when it could have been better.

I'm not convinced the 6D's AF is not improved over the 5D2.  I've not compared them side by side.  But Canon has said the center point has more sensitivity than all other AF systems they have produced, and I see no reason to doubt it.  Did the 5D2 allow so many different levels of customization via the menu, in servo mode, etc?  My cousin owned a 5D2 a while back, but I never played with the menus on it.  He even bought the original 5D when it first came out.

My 6D certainly can AF in very low light, even with a 70-200 f/4...in fact it seemed to AF in a very, very dark candle lit room with it...on something on the opposite side of the room, that even ISO 100k was too dim for, at like 1/2 second exposure at f/4.  It was kind of troubling that it would AF as good or better in this dark room with that lens, than with my favorite...the 135 f/2.  Kind of defies physics, but then sheer amount of light apparently is not the only factor in the equation, I guess.  There are electronics there in the lens too (obviously haha).

All I know is, I need more info to take me into the situation where you're having trouble with the 6D's autofocus in low light, and having to recompose.  What is the subject matter, what's the distance, what's the focal length of the lens?  Are you really close to the subject?  Are you saying it's a 50mm f/1.4 or something?  Seated head and shoulders portraiture?  (In that situation I don't really see a problem if you need to use the center point and then recompose, even at f/1.4.  If it's just the head and no neck, maybe I could see a problem.)  Or is it longer focal length than that, or is it shorter?  Is it available light, or is it with flashgun or strobes placed somewhere?  (Must not be, because they usually have a focus assist beam or "modeling light"...in which case there's ample light for focusing with any of the points).

Unless both you and the subject are extremely still, have you tried using servo mode, and perhaps setting it for a slow response?

Shooting indoors without flash, child sitting on sofa, shooting wide open with the 50mm f/1.4 - no option but to focus and recompose.

I agree that the center point of the 6D is very good, but there are times when you need those outer focus points.
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CarlTN

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Re: 6D Autofocus not impressive
« Reply #214 on: June 18, 2013, 11:16:56 PM »
Shooting indoors without flash, child sitting on sofa, shooting wide open with the 50mm f/1.4 - no option but to focus and recompose.

I agree that the center point of the 6D is very good, but there are times when you need those outer focus points.

Interesting.  I've done this, but not with a 50 that autofocuses.  My Voigtlander is manual.  I will try it in low light on my nephews with the 40 f/2.8 pancake, and try the outer points, and see what happens.  Will try to do it Thursday or Friday.  The hardest part is making them do what I want to get a nice picture.  I'm not good at portraiture!  I can make wildlife do what I want via sheer mental telepathy from 50 yards away, easier than I can make a kid smile without smirking or sticking his tongue out!  It sounds ridiculous but I have no other explanation!  Haha...

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Re: 6D Autofocus not impressive
« Reply #215 on: June 19, 2013, 12:50:18 AM »
I am very pleased with the 6D's available-light performance even on my slow Tamron 70-300 VC USD (and on my almost-as-slow 24-105L). My backup camera is a 50D.

I just photographed an event, no flash. The indoor shots ranged from ISO 1,000 up to ISO 10,000.
In my opinion, the pictures are quite usable.
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Chuck Alaimo

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Re: 6D Autofocus not impressive
« Reply #216 on: June 19, 2013, 03:01:39 AM »
J.R., I'm not sure what lens and what shooting situation you would be in, where you would need to use the outer focus points in low light.  In any case, don't do that, because they aren't meant for low light.

Are you in shutter or aperture priority, or manual?  I assume you're at some event or wedding with a wider angle lens or something?


The biggest trouble I face is when I'm shooting at wide open apertures. In low light you need those wide open apertures and I find too many of my shots out of focus with using the center point focus and recompose - kills the fun of it.

As Chuck mentioned, one can always crop later to get the composition right but it lessens the fun a bit so I am predominantly use WA on the 6D and wide aperture lenses on the 5D3.

I guess the main griping about the 6D AF comes from the fact that Canon intentionally crippled the AF and left it only as good as the AF of the 5D2 when it could have been better.

TY J.R. - but, that advice is only for the pinch.  Hell, even on the mk3 I encounter situations when I can only use the centerpoint or use on camera flash (i tend to prefer off cam flash). You do what you got to do to get the shot. 

As to your other statement -- "I guess the main griping about the 6D AF comes from the fact that Canon intentionally crippled the AF and left it only as good as the AF of the 5D2 when it could have been better."  If they had slapped a more robust AF in there, then what makes it different enough from the mk3?  Honestly, if you want uncrippled AF, then save the extra $$$ for the 5d3.  As a few others have said, the high ISO performance alone makes up for the lackings in AF. 

As to the example of the child on a sofa, there are ways, why not slap a flash on there, the AF beam may be enough?

anywho, here is a shot from an engagement shoot I did tonight - 6d, 70-200 2.8 (yup, the discontinued non IS version, ISO 400 --- using the far left AF point!  cheers!

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Re: 6D Autofocus not impressive
« Reply #216 on: June 19, 2013, 03:01:39 AM »

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Re: 6D Autofocus not impressive
« Reply #217 on: June 19, 2013, 03:32:41 AM »
and another, again using the points to the edge - this time

ISO 1600
85mm 1.8 at 1.8
1/160th

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Re: 6D Autofocus not impressive
« Reply #218 on: June 19, 2013, 03:36:19 AM »

As to your other statement -- "I guess the main griping about the 6D AF comes from the fact that Canon intentionally crippled the AF and left it only as good as the AF of the 5D2 when it could have been better."  If they had slapped a more robust AF in there, then what makes it different enough from the mk3?  Honestly, if you want uncrippled AF, then save the extra $$$ for the 5d3.  As a few others have said, the high ISO performance alone makes up for the lackings in AF. 


Only 1 x type AF point ... c'mon. They could have done it a wee bit better with the than what they have without impacting the sales of the 5D3 - a few more x type AF points couldn't have seriously impacted the sales of the 5D3?

I do have the 5D3 and the 6D is only a backup / second body. I feel shortchanged by Canon with the AF performance of the 6D, which otherwise is a very good camera with excellent IQ.

I guess it all depends on what one's definition of "good" AF is - the center point in low light might be "impressive" but the overall AF performance makes me cringe sometimes (as mentioned in my earlier posts).

Regarding your comment of High ISO performance making up for the lacking AF, it all depends on perspective. For me, high ISO performance is useless if the shot is out of focus. The only reason I bought the 6D over a second 5D3 was because I didn't want to put in too much money on a second body. Did I compromise - Yes, and with full knowledge of what I was getting into.

It's not that you can't get good sharp shots with the 6D, its only that it's damn difficult at wide open apertures.
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Re: 6D Autofocus not impressive
« Reply #219 on: June 19, 2013, 03:37:42 AM »
and another, again using the points to the edge - this time

ISO 1600
85mm 1.8 at 1.8
1/160th

Very nice ... what was the ambient light? Did you use flash assist for focusing?
« Last Edit: June 19, 2013, 03:54:11 AM by J.R. »
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Re: 6D Autofocus not impressive
« Reply #220 on: June 19, 2013, 04:06:34 AM »
and another, again using the points to the edge - this time

ISO 1600
85mm 1.8 at 1.8
1/160th

Very nice ... how did you focus? Did you use flash assist?

no flash, just ambient light.  That was at about 8:15 PM... sunset, but of course, taken under a canopy of trees. 


Only 1 x type AF point ... c'mon. They could have done it a wee bit better with the than what they have without impacting the sales of the 5D3 - a few more x type AF points couldn't have seriously impacted the sales of the 5D3?

I do have the 5D3 and the 6D is only a backup / second body. I feel shortchanged by Canon with the AF performance of the 6D, which otherwise is a very good camera with excellent IQ.

I guess it all depends on what one's definition of "good" AF is - the center point in low light might be "impressive" but the overall AF performance makes me cringe sometimes (as mentioned in my earlier posts).

Regarding your comment of High ISO performance making up for the lacking AF, it all depends on perspective. For me, high ISO performance is useless if the shot is out of focus. The only reason I bought the 6D over a second 5D3 was because I didn't want to put in too much money on a second body. Did I compromise - Yes, and with full knowledge of what I was getting into.

It's not that you can't get good sharp shots with the 6D, its only that it's damn difficult at wide open apertures.

Just tossing it out there ---but --- it isn't easy getting good sharp shots at wide apertures in general, you have to be very careful and pick and choose your battles. 

Like you, i struggled with the idea of pouring that much dough into a second mk3.  I rented the 6d to see for myself just how good/bad it is.  And I was pleasantly surprised.  Is the mk3 the better camera?  Hell yes.  But as a backup body, the 6d fits in quite nicely.  So far, it has handled every situation I have put it in admirably!  The little things I miss aren't even in the AF -- sync port for remote flashes!  Now that I do miss - at Weddings I will often have off camera lights, and one on cam set low to give a little fill on the faces - no sync port means i can't do that.  No worries though, I can let the mk3 take that roll on (I may actually grab a video light anyways, that could sit atop the trigger and issue solved). 

I have yet to shoot in a situation where I have hit the 1/4000th limit, and if i do, well ,the then mk3 can jump in. 

Back to the point, so far I have not felt too limited by the AF on the 6d.  in lower light, if i want the far ppoints for specific, precise framing, there's the mk3.  the wide angle can go on the 6d and center point is just fine for that kind of stuff.
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Re: 6D Autofocus not impressive
« Reply #221 on: June 19, 2013, 05:27:03 AM »

Back to the point, so far I have not felt too limited by the AF on the 6d.  in lower light, if i want the far ppoints for specific, precise framing, there's the mk3.  the wide angle can go on the 6d and center point is just fine for that kind of stuff.


+1. That's how I use the combination of the 5D3 and 6D - Tele's and/or wide aperture lenses on the 5D3 the the WA on the 6D so that the DOF is not a concern. 

Cheers ... J.R.
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Re: 6D Autofocus not impressive
« Reply #222 on: June 19, 2013, 01:05:18 PM »

Back to the point, so far I have not felt too limited by the AF on the 6d.  in lower light, if i want the far ppoints for specific, precise framing, there's the mk3.  the wide angle can go on the 6d and center point is just fine for that kind of stuff.


+1. That's how I use the combination of the 5D3 and 6D - Tele's and/or wide aperture lenses on the 5D3 the the WA on the 6D so that the DOF is not a concern. 

Cheers ... J.R.

With that said though, it all depends on the light.  Like last evening, had no issue shooting wide open on my 1.8 or on my 50 1.4... or at full zoom on the 70-200 at 2.8, but we finished shooting at right around 9PM.  If we had kept going, no doubt I'd be in center point only territory on the 6d...

I am sure at some point down the road the AF will bug me, I mean hell, I have found situations during receptions where the dance floor is dark but the dinner area is bright enough to make the mk3 hunt for focus. 

Either way, compared to my old backup (7d), even with the more robust AF I'd rather be on the 6d because ---the files from the 6d look pretty much just like files from my mk3.  The 7d files, while good at lower ISO's, above 1600 they do fall apart (and yeah, when all I had was the 7d I did work in the 1600-4000 range and made it work - with the 6d it just works!).





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Re: 6D Autofocus not impressive
« Reply #222 on: June 19, 2013, 01:05:18 PM »

CarlTN

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Re: 6D Autofocus not impressive
« Reply #223 on: June 19, 2013, 01:59:44 PM »
J.R., it could very well be that there is an AFMA or focus shift phenomenon going on with your 50mm on the 6D.  It just sounds to me like you're complaining about not getting sharp focus, rather than the side points not achieving focus lock.  I had thought you meant those points refused to ever focus at all in your low light situation.  And are these children on the sofa, part of a paying gig, or are they just casual shots of your own kids?  If they're just casual shots, then is it really such a big issue? 

I mean, let's face it, there are types of focus shift even when you focus a fast lens manually, let alone with autofocus. 

As for complaining that Canon "hobbled the 6D"...if they did, it was not for fear of impacting sales of the 5D3.  It was to ensure that the Nikon D600 could never be offered at a lower street price than the 6D (because Canon's frontend cost on the 6D is lower than the Nikon's for the D600).  I thought this was common knowledge?  The 6D's feature set has nothing at all to do with the 5D3...think about it.

It just seems like your point in this thread, is to complain about the 6D.  You admit you bought it as your backup camera.  Perhaps you should sell it, and let someone have it who likes it more...and just buy another used or new 5D3?  With the amount of time you've spent complaining about the 6D in this thread, you could have gotten some more photo jobs to pay for the extra 5D3, since you love it so much.  No offense of course, I'm here to help :-D :P... 

It seems to me, that the value of used 5D3's has gone up, since ML have hacked it for RAW video.  So that's a good thing for 5D3 owners.

I frankly detest the 5D3, and I currently have no need to do serious video.  The next Canon body I buy, will likely be the replacement for the 1DX.  Because the 1DX is almost right... 

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Re: 6D Autofocus not impressive
« Reply #224 on: June 19, 2013, 05:42:10 PM »
As for complaining that Canon "hobbled the 6D"...if they did, it was not for fear of impacting sales of the 5D3.  It was to ensure that the Nikon D600 could never be offered at a lower street price than the 6D (because Canon's frontend cost on the 6D is lower than the Nikon's for the D600).  I thought this was common knowledge?  The 6D's feature set has nothing at all to do with the 5D3...think about it.

I thought about it and you're wrong: the d600 costs nearly €200 less than the 6d, and it has been this way from the start. Canon probably figures that €200 will make nobody jump ship.

 The reason why Canon did the 6d as it is was ...
* save research time after the Nikon d600 release, i.e. recycle as much as they had (6d = 6ßd+5d2+5d3),
* to sidestep Nikon d600 (gps, wifi, low-light af but less af points) while at the same time
* protecting the 5d3 sales (af precision, af spread, fps, ...) and most of all to
* generate profits: I'm sure the 6d is cheap to produce.

Disclaimer: The 6d is a good camera, esp. over the 5d2 (see my positive fact list: http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=11309.0) but if you want to shoot af shallow dof in non-center you might be less than happy if you want to stay with Canon but not pay €3000 for a camera body that probably also won't last as long as the successor due to the legacy sensor tech.

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Re: 6D Autofocus not impressive
« Reply #224 on: June 19, 2013, 05:42:10 PM »