September 15, 2014, 12:15:07 AM

Author Topic: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it  (Read 58675 times)

Dylan777

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 3985
    • View Profile
    • http://dylannguyen.smugmug.com
Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
« Reply #45 on: November 10, 2013, 10:29:49 AM »
OP asked - " I just don't want to spend a significant amount of money and be disappointed by a quirky AF behavior" - unless you think that is not important.

Yes, I do think that tracking fast moving subjects is not important for most people. I think that if the OP wanted to do that, he would have specifically asked for it. Besides, tracking at f/1.2 or f/1.4 will be frustrating anyway.

Where did you get that data from? If tracking fast moving subject is not important, then why settle with big & heavy DSLR. There are FF mirrorless cameras out there.
Body: 1DX -- 5D III
Zoom: 24-70L II -- 70-200L f2.8 IS II
Prime: 40mm -- 85L II -- 135L -- 400L f2.8 IS II

canon rumors FORUM

Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
« Reply #45 on: November 10, 2013, 10:29:49 AM »

bholliman

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 743
    • View Profile
Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
« Reply #46 on: November 10, 2013, 12:54:02 PM »
Portrait is not the only thing OP does - "The main fields of application will be travel and street photography, family portraits, some landscapes, the occasional event, and everything will happen just for the sake of it, i'm not trying to make a living out of my hobby"

Personally, I don't use AI servo for any of these (travel, street, family portraits, landscapes, events).  Maybe others do, it I get along pretty well using single shot for these and AI servo for sports and wildlife.  If I used AI servo more than the 2% of the time I use it now, I would probably be looking for a camera with better AF.  But since I'm using single-shot mode 98% of the time, the 6D is a good fit

The 5D3 is an excellent camera, but not every photographer needs one.  For some the 6D, 70D, T5i, SL1, S120, etc. are all the camera they need.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2013, 12:58:35 PM by bholliman »
Bodies:  6D, EOS-M (22/2 and 18-55)
Lenses: Rokinon 14mm 2.8, 35mm 2.0 IS, 85mm 1.8, 100mm 2.8L IS Macro, 135mm 2.0L, 24-70mm 2.8L II, 70-200mm 2.8L IS II, Extenders: EF 1.4xIII, EF 2xIII ; Flash: ST-E3-RT, 600EX-RT (x3)

gigabellone

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 55
    • View Profile
    • GIGAphoto
Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
« Reply #47 on: November 10, 2013, 02:58:24 PM »
Thanks again for all the replies, i really need all the help i can get. But i reckon my first post is somewhat lacking information.
I've been shooting since 2011 with a 550d/t2i with kit lenses, sigma 10-20 and a nifty fifty. I'm overall pleased with the camera (not as much of my pictures, there are only a handful i'm proud to show), i enjoyed using it, and i think it's a lot of bang for the little bucks it costs. Now that i moved away to work i left my gear home for my family to use, and wanted to make myself a cool gift.
I think i used af tracking once just to test it, it wasn't that great, and i never felt the need of it during my shooting sessions. All my subjects are somewhat static and generally willing to be photographed, so speed isn't as important for me as accuracy is. The most challenging situation i could get into would be taking candid portraits in a dimly lit room. I'm also starting to have doubts about my lens choice, maybe my will to get a 85/1.2 could be a severe case of gear lust! :D Do you think that a 6d with a 35/2 IS or a 85/1.8 would have a good keepers rate with the outer focus points?

Pi

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 937
    • View Profile
    • Math and Photography
Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
« Reply #48 on: November 10, 2013, 03:04:37 PM »
I'm also starting to have doubts about my lens choice, maybe my will to get a 85/1.2 could be a severe case of gear lust! :D Do you think that a 6d with a 35/2 IS or a 85/1.8 would have a good keepers rate with the outer focus points?

85mm might be too long in a room. For "environmental portraits", 35mm or 50mm is better, IMO.

gigabellone

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 55
    • View Profile
    • GIGAphoto
Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
« Reply #49 on: November 12, 2013, 06:23:23 AM »
85mm might be too long in a room. For "environmental portraits", 35mm or 50mm is better, IMO.
I agree on that, that's why the foundation of my lens kit will be a 35mm prime, most probably the Canon 35/2 IS. The Sigma seems the hottest right now, but i'm a little scared about its AF, and i still haven't found a reassuring review of the Sigma USB Dock. I can hold on a bit on the 85, since there's a rumor about lots of lenses to be released during 2014, and i guess there will be a 50 or a 85 (or both) in the bunch.

bholliman

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 743
    • View Profile
Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
« Reply #50 on: November 12, 2013, 06:48:10 AM »
I agree on that, that's why the foundation of my lens kit will be a 35mm prime, most probably the Canon 35/2 IS. The Sigma seems the hottest right now, but i'm a little scared about its AF, and i still haven't found a reassuring review of the Sigma USB Dock. I can hold on a bit on the 85, since there's a rumor about lots of lenses to be released during 2014, and i guess there will be a 50 or a 85 (or both) in the bunch.

A new 85 could be in the works, only Canon knows for sure.  But, it could be a long wait.  If I was in your situation, I would pick up an 85 1.8 now, equipment prices have been terrific this fall.  You can always sell the 1.8 later and make back 80%+ of what you spent.  And will be able to take some great pictures in the mean time that won't be possible with just a 35mm.

35mm is a nice general purpose focal length, but not ideal for portraits beyond environmental, group shots or full body shots.  For tight portraits you want 85mm plus.
Bodies:  6D, EOS-M (22/2 and 18-55)
Lenses: Rokinon 14mm 2.8, 35mm 2.0 IS, 85mm 1.8, 100mm 2.8L IS Macro, 135mm 2.0L, 24-70mm 2.8L II, 70-200mm 2.8L IS II, Extenders: EF 1.4xIII, EF 2xIII ; Flash: ST-E3-RT, 600EX-RT (x3)

jeffa4444

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 155
    • View Profile
Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
« Reply #51 on: November 12, 2013, 09:16:28 AM »
Ive recently bought the 6d and will be retaining my 7d. Firstly Ive not tried the 5dMK3 so cannot comment about it but of the few photographs Ive taken with the 6d Im more than happy with the camera. I mostly shoot landscape in single shot mode and the resolution improvement over the 7d is really noticable. I shot some night shots with the 6d of a street scene with tunsten lighting in the rain at 10,000 ISO I was amazed at the minimum noise and the sharpness of a number plate on a car that was almost black. I agree the AF points at 11 with only the centre a cross point is not the right combination for wildlife, sports etc but then again this is where the 7d still excels by extending the affective focal lengh and its 19 cross point AF tracking.
Right tools for the right job.
Canon 6d, 7d & 550d with EF-S and EF-L glass

canon rumors FORUM

Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
« Reply #51 on: November 12, 2013, 09:16:28 AM »

RustyTheGeek

  • Buy and Sell
  • 1D Mark IV
  • ********
  • Posts: 894
    • View Profile
    • Images I've Shot...
Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
« Reply #52 on: November 12, 2013, 10:05:51 AM »
I have a headache this morning but I still read through this thread and agree with what most are saying regarding the 6D.  It's not for sports.  Everything else it shines for.  And why are you only buying two prime lenses?  Get the 24-105 + 6D kit and also buy the primes.  It's a great combo.  I own both the 5D3 and the 6D and all I can say is you won't be disappointed with the 6D for what you want to do with it.  I admit that 99% of the time I shoot center AF point  but it works great with all the lenses I've used it with.  It's a great camera.  With all the deals available right now, what do you have to lose?  Buy it cheap now while you can and rent a 5D3 and see if it really matters.  If the 5D3 is so much better, sell the 6D for a profit in the spring and buy the 5D3.  The profit will pay for your "rental" of the 6D and the rental of the 5D3 if you switch.  If you don't switch, you saved a lot of money to buy another lens.

Heck, maybe buy the 6D and the 70D and increase your reach, video creativity and have sports ability too!

Remember, it's the photographer that takes the picture, not the camera.  I've taken thousands of great images with my 5Dc and I never even bothered to buy the 5D2.  I bought the 5D3 a year after it came out and it sucked at low light AF.  So much so that I bought the 6D which stomped all over the 5D3 in low light.  Finally Canon released a firmware in April that improved the 5D3 AF enough that I use it more now in low light.  But the 6D has never disappointed me.  The one issue I have at the moment with the 6D (that isn't Canon's fault) is that my Sunpak RD2000 flash doesn't do ETTL consistently on the 6D.  That's Sunpak's problem, not Canon's.  Still waiting on Sunpak's firmware update too.
Yes, but what would  surapon  say ??  :D

anthonyd

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 70
    • View Profile
Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
« Reply #53 on: November 12, 2013, 12:06:25 PM »
I've never tried the 5DIII, but I have a hard time seeing how you can be disappointed by the AF in the 6D.  Granted, I don't do sports, and I always use the central point for focusing anyway.  I used a 6D for a wedding after using a 60D for years.  It's not just a step up, but a large step up in every aspect (so it should be a huge leap coming from a Rebel).  The AF was always fast (enough) and accurate.  The only time it was slow enough to be noticed was in very very dark situations, but even then the camera still acquired focus.

Here is a picture I took at a wedding reception (1/160 f/5.0).  There is clearly motion, the ISO is somewhat high (1600) and the light is very dim.  The couple is illuminated by my flash gun, look in the background to assess the ambient light and keep in mind that the flash did not assist during AF. The second image is a 50% detail from the area I was actually focusing on. The third and forth image (1/60 f/5.0 iso1600) is a situation where I could barely see the DJ with my eyes (all the lights are in front of him and all the light in the picture comes from my flash that did not assist AF), but the camera acquired focus anyway! In this case, I have to admit, it took a noticeable amount of time. If I had to give a ballpark number, I would say more than 1/4 sec.

gigabellone

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 55
    • View Profile
    • GIGAphoto
Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
« Reply #54 on: November 12, 2013, 12:12:56 PM »
Ive recently bought the 6d and will be retaining my 7d. Firstly Ive not tried the 5dMK3 so cannot comment about it but of the few photographs Ive taken with the 6d Im more than happy with the camera. I mostly shoot landscape in single shot mode and the resolution improvement over the 7d is really noticable. I shot some night shots with the 6d of a street scene with tunsten lighting in the rain at 10,000 ISO I was amazed at the minimum noise and the sharpness of a number plate on a car that was almost black. I agree the AF points at 11 with only the centre a cross point is not the right combination for wildlife, sports etc but then again this is where the 7d still excels by extending the affective focal lengh and its 19 cross point AF tracking.
Right tools for the right job.

I have a headache this morning but I still read through this thread and agree with what most are saying regarding the 6D.  It's not for sports.  Everything else it shines for.  And why are you only buying two prime lenses?  Get the 24-105 + 6D kit and also buy the primes.  It's a great combo.  I own both the 5D3 and the 6D and all I can say is you won't be disappointed with the 6D for what you want to do with it.  I admit that 99% of the time I shoot center AF point  but it works great with all the lenses I've used it with.  It's a great camera.  With all the deals available right now, what do you have to lose?  Buy it cheap now while you can and rent a 5D3 and see if it really matters.  If the 5D3 is so much better, sell the 6D for a profit in the spring and buy the 5D3.  The profit will pay for your "rental" of the 6D and the rental of the 5D3 if you switch.  If you don't switch, you saved a lot of money to buy another lens.

Heck, maybe buy the 6D and the 70D and increase your reach, video creativity and have sports ability too!

Remember, it's the photographer that takes the picture, not the camera.  I've taken thousands of great images with my 5Dc and I never even bothered to buy the 5D2.  I bought the 5D3 a year after it came out and it sucked at low light AF.  So much so that I bought the 6D which stomped all over the 5D3 in low light.  Finally Canon released a firmware in April that improved the 5D3 AF enough that I use it more now in low light.  But the 6D has never disappointed me.  The one issue I have at the moment with the 6D (that isn't Canon's fault) is that my Sunpak RD2000 flash doesn't do ETTL consistently on the 6D.  That's Sunpak's problem, not Canon's.  Still waiting on Sunpak's firmware update too.

Sadly, renting cameras is not an option here in Italy.
My main problem is that the 5D3 is overkill for me: too many AF points that i won't use, and a hefty price tag which is very hard to swallow. Heck, even the 6D is slightly overkill for me: while the wifi is a cool feature to have, i could live without it, and i don't see myself using the gps. For everything else, i know the 6D is the appropriate camera for me. My only worry is related to its outer AF points. Is it really that bad? This guy loves the camera, he's even using the ultra-fast 85/1.2 with apparently no issues while many forum users here and elsewhere keep bashing the outer AF points. I'm really confused.

I've never tried the 5DIII, but I have a hard time seeing how you can be disappointed by the AF in the 6D.  Granted, I don't do sports, and I always use the central point for focusing anyway.  I used a 6D for a wedding after using a 60D for years.  It's not just a step up, but a large step up in every aspect (so it should be a huge leap coming from a Rebel).  The AF was always fast (enough) and accurate.  The only time it was slow enough to be noticed was in very very dark situations, but even then the camera still acquired focus.

Here is a picture I took at a wedding reception (1/160 f/5.0).  There is clearly motion, the ISO is somewhat high (1600) and the light is very dim.  The couple is illuminated by my flash gun, look in the background to assess the ambient light and keep in mind that the flash did not assist during AF. The second image is a 50% detail from the area I was actually focusing on. The third and forth image (1/60 f/5.0 iso1600) is a situation where I could barely see the DJ with my eyes (all the lights are in front of him and all the light in the picture comes from my flash that did not assist AF), but the camera acquired focus anyway! In this case, I have to admit, it took a noticeable amount of time. If I had to give a ballpark number, I would say more than 1/4 sec.

Thanks for the feedback. What about the outer AF points? Have you tried to use them with a fast prime? Are they really that bad?

Marsu42

  • Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 4515
  • ML-66d / 100L / 70-300L / 17-40L / 600rts
    • View Profile
    • 6D positive spec list
Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
« Reply #55 on: November 12, 2013, 12:54:10 PM »
My only worry is related to its outer AF points. Is it really that bad?Thanks for the feedback. What about the outer AF points? Have you tried to use them with a fast prime? Are they really that bad?

One slightly "bad" thing about the outer af points is that they only have f5.6 precision, so the faster your lens is the more slightly out of focus images you'll get - but with a really fast prime that probably also happen with the f2.8 center point so you should know something about manual focus. How much this hurts is very depending on what you do.

Two really "bad" things about the outer points are more severe though since you cannot work around these: They only work up to 0.5LV (like my 60d, and this means dim light = no more or incredibly slow af) and they are not cross so they'll often fail to focus on low-contrast surfaces, you still have to focus & recompose on something they can lock on - an then you can simply use the center point to begin with. In good light this often won't be a problem, but in dim light it adds up and the 6d is essentially a one point af camera.

bholliman

  • 5D Mark III
  • ******
  • Posts: 743
    • View Profile
Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
« Reply #56 on: November 12, 2013, 03:20:53 PM »
many forum users here and elsewhere keep bashing the outer AF points. I'm really confused.

Many of those bashing the 6D's AF have never used a 6D

What about the outer AF points? Have you tried to use them with a fast prime? Are they really that bad?

I use the outer points with fast primes all the time (50 1.4 and 130 2.0) and they work well in decent light.  In poor light, I use the center point and crop.  That doesn't happen often since I try to take pictures in good light.  Even though the 6D is a premier low-light camera, shots taken at ISO 3200 and up never look as good as those taken a more reasonable ISO's.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2013, 03:23:38 PM by bholliman »
Bodies:  6D, EOS-M (22/2 and 18-55)
Lenses: Rokinon 14mm 2.8, 35mm 2.0 IS, 85mm 1.8, 100mm 2.8L IS Macro, 135mm 2.0L, 24-70mm 2.8L II, 70-200mm 2.8L IS II, Extenders: EF 1.4xIII, EF 2xIII ; Flash: ST-E3-RT, 600EX-RT (x3)

emag

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 317
    • View Profile
Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
« Reply #57 on: November 12, 2013, 05:31:43 PM »
Used my shiny new 6D with a Sigma 70-200/2.8 at a roller derby match a couple nights ago.  No flash, a number of missed shots due to action.  Center point worked quite well.  I got about a 50% keeper rate, not bad for a camera that's really not intended for sports action and an old guy with little experience at this type of shooting.  Did this only because one of my co-workers was playing, if I was planning to do a lot of this type of work I'd have gone with a 5D3 for the AF..........that said, the 6D did well and I'm pleased.  I really couldn't push Tv beyond 1/400, and that was uncommon.  ISO 10,000 and even 12,800 looked good for what it was.  25,600 was a bit too noisy but I'll see how well thay can be cleaned up.  Could not have done it at all with my 60D.  It's a small venue and they have a team photog who gave me a few looks.  I went over to him and told him I was just trying out a new camera, we then yakked cameras for a while, 'twas all cool.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
« Reply #57 on: November 12, 2013, 05:31:43 PM »

ashmadux

  • Rebel T5i
  • ****
  • Posts: 142
  • Art Director, Visual Artist, Freelance Photography
    • View Profile
    • Edward Ofori Photography
Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
« Reply #58 on: November 12, 2013, 10:04:32 PM »
Will the 6D require somewhat more skill and planning to get the shots you want compared to a 5D MKIII?  Yes.

You're talking of focus & recompose skill with thin dof, I guess?

One thing I'm experiencing with my 100L and the 6D and I have "learned" to circumvent by taking more frames is that the 6D sometimes produces actual af misses, i.e. the focus is completely elsewhere even though the camera did an af confirm (red dot) - I practically never experience this with my 6d af, though the 60d more often has "micro misses" while the 6d is either spot-on or lost in the woods.

This.

I've been testing a refurb 6d for a week now. The AF is abominable. AF misses plenty. This is both after focal calibration - twice - and tuning by hand.

I'm now deciding whether to keep the body and get it repaired, or to return it entirely. Still not sure what to do.

Lastly, I'm pretty disappointed at the 6ds sharpness. Images - when accurate- are pretty soft out of camera. Not one image has any of the clarity from my t2i files. I'm not so sure it's the AF entirely, as I've been viewing raw files from around the net and they all show the same soft, oily looking effects.

 >:( :(

Be the best you, screw everything else.

Pi

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 937
    • View Profile
    • Math and Photography
Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
« Reply #59 on: November 12, 2013, 10:07:34 PM »
Lastly, I'm pretty disappointed at the 6ds sharpness. Images - when accurate- are pretty soft out of camera. Not one image has any of the clarity from my t2i files. I'm not so sure it's the AF entirely, as I've been viewing raw files from around the net and they all show the same soft, oily looking effects.

How do you view RAW files?

canon rumors FORUM

Re: 6D autofocus capabilites: let's bust some myths about it
« Reply #59 on: November 12, 2013, 10:07:34 PM »