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Author Topic: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?  (Read 5281 times)

Cory

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Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
« on: December 15, 2013, 09:29:06 AM »
    I've been trying different upgrades to my Canon T1i and haven't yet found "it".  Could it come at the hands of a 6D?  I do it all with my T1i with a strong weight towards indoor volleyball.   
    I typically use a center focus point with my Rebel at ISO 6400 (and wide open at 2.0 or 2.8) and get very good results (especially after processing the RAW shots in LR4).  I never use Continuous so does that reduce the need for more focusing capability?  Also, is ultra-focusing capability more important with video as well (which I never use a DSLR for)?
     As long as you're focusing correctly whether a single point or over 60 and using the correct shutter speed/aperture/ISO does it really matter?  And is it possible that a single point is more reliable that multiple points anyway? 
     This may sound weird, but my current three options are a 6D, SL1 or keep the T1i.  Simplicity is a huge factor.
     Thanks for any insight into anything.

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Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
« on: December 15, 2013, 09:29:06 AM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2013, 11:48:43 AM »
Does the number of MP determine image quality?  AF performance isn't just about the number of points.  An individual AF point consists of from 1-4 sensor lines.  Each line is sensitive to a single orientation, with a given accuracy and precision.  An f/2.8 line is more accurate and precise than an f/5.6 line, with an f/2.8 or faster lens...but with a lens slower than f/2.8, those lines are not active.  Having a point with multiple orientations can make it easier to achieve focus - for example, a vertical AF line won't be able to achieve focus on the vertical stripes of a referee's shirt.  That's why cross-type points are better than single lines.

Your T1i has a center point with an f/2.8 horizontal line and an f/5.6 vertical line, and the outer points are single f/5.6 lines.  The center point of the 6D is better - it has an f/2.8 horizontal line and an f/5.6 cross (a '+' shape), so even with a slower lens you get the benefit of a cross-type point. The rest of the points are single f/5.6 lines.  The SL1 center point is a step up from the 6D in terms of geometry - a 'dual cross' point (f/5.6 '+' with a superimposed f/2.8 'x'), so you get cross-type with fast and slow lenses; OTOH, the 6D center point is much better in extreme low light (2.5-stops more sensitive).  By comparison, the 5DIII has five dual-cross points and 36 more cross-type points.

Technical details aside, if you're happy with the T1i's AF, the 6D is a bit better, and ISO 6400 on the 6D will look like ISO 1600 on your T1i.
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Cory

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Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2013, 12:27:21 PM »
Thanks and given that my lenses are spectacular would my non sports photography (flowers, family, travel, landscape, architecture, etc.) have that "holy ****** ****" look that I don't quite get with the T1i?  I think I'm going to take a deep breath and order the 6D.

Added:
Do the high-tech latest AF systems more come into play with Continuous Shooting and video and not as important with One-Shot regardless of whether sports or otherwise?
« Last Edit: December 15, 2013, 01:14:12 PM by Cory »
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Skirball

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Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2013, 05:25:41 PM »
Thanks and given that my lenses are spectacular would my non sports photography (flowers, family, travel, landscape, architecture, etc.) have that "holy ****** ****" look that I don't quite get with the T1i?  I think I'm going to take a deep breath and order the 6D.

If by holy S___ look you mean, less noise at high ISO, then sure, it'll get that for you.  Everything else is technique and post processing.

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Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2013, 05:46:26 PM »
If you don't mind the AF on your rebel, You have nearly the same experience or slightly better with 5D2/6D/60D or pretty much any camera with the 9 Point AF system. You'll have the same issues with it such as off-center focusing with high-speed primes or with moving subjects off-center.


Cory

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Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2013, 07:06:09 PM »
Thanks.  Much appreciated.  This has been a long lonely road of what to progress to.  After countless hours I think I'm going to hold off to see what the T6i or SL2 yields.  I do really well with what I have, but seek just a bit "more" so a no-frills/high quality crop sensor is probably it.  I'm a huge fan of simple.
Thanks again.
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Drizzt321

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Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2013, 07:24:07 PM »
Thanks and given that my lenses are spectacular would my non sports photography (flowers, family, travel, landscape, architecture, etc.) have that "holy ****** ****" look that I don't quite get with the T1i?  I think I'm going to take a deep breath and order the 6D.

Added:
Do the high-tech latest AF systems more come into play with Continuous Shooting and video and not as important with One-Shot regardless of whether sports or otherwise?

As long as you have EF (or 3rd party equivalent) lenses you'll be fine. But any of your EF-S/Crop lenses won't work on the 6D.

The higher end AF systems have a couple of things different. First, they have a lot more available points, and they generally are more cross-type & higher precision than on the lower/older AF systems. Second, they generally will cover more of the frame, and in higher density than with fewer AF points. This does help a lot on movement with AI-Servo AF modes. The other thing it gives you in One-Shot is the ability to keep the composition how you want, and move the AF point around instead of focus & recompose. This can be a big deal when you have very narrow DoF because when you AF using the center point, then recompose significantly you change what in the image is in focus due to the plane of focus now being completely shifted.
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Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2013, 07:24:07 PM »

candc

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Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2013, 08:25:16 PM »
you have a nice set of ff lenses that will work very different in practice on a ff camera, are you happy with the lenses you have and how they work for you on the rebel? are you using the 200 a lot or the 100 more? the 35 is going to look a lot wider on the 6d. anyway as i said you have a nice set of fast lenses so i would base my decision on how you like to use them and then go with the format that fits that usage the  best

Cory

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Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2013, 10:56:57 PM »
you have a nice set of ff lenses that will work very different in practice on a ff camera, are you happy with the lenses you have and how they work for you on the rebel? are you using the 200 a lot or the 100 more? the 35 is going to look a lot wider on the 6d. anyway as i said you have a nice set of fast lenses so i would base my decision on how you like to use them and then go with the format that fits that usage the  best
Good advice.  My current lenses are pretty perfect at 1.6x.  I imagine there'd be a slight adjustment otherwise, with the crop factor most noticed with outdoor sports.  The 35 is most everything other than sports with the 100 perfect for most volleyball photography and the 200 perfect for through the net from the other side.  I think I have an idea what my ideal camera would be if Canon would be so kind as to allow me to design it, but maybe someone'll beat me to it sometime in 2014.  I don't feel the need to shoot overly wide since, even in landscapes, I tend to frame into the most interesting part of the scene and the thought of getting a 300 2.8 to replace the 200 seems daunting.  And the rented 100-400 couldn't have been better for the big Alaskan trip. 
If you'd like to see, here's my "best of" shots all of which from the T1i except for the 3 from Israel -
www.flickr.com/photos/corysteiner/
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candc

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Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2013, 11:24:49 PM »
All your photos look really good, I like the eagles and lizard, nice portraits too. Looks like what you have is working pretty well for you to me.

Grumbaki

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Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2013, 01:23:03 AM »
Focus and recompose at F1.2. That experience sold me the 5d3.

Gratz on your (soon to arrive) toy.

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Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2013, 05:17:17 AM »
Hey Cory

I was following your post an replies.  Neuro and the others gave you a lot of great information to digest.  I went to your pics and have to say, they look great. 

You have nice lenses, and are getting great shots, you have the basics covered and then some. I am thinking that before you decide on a camera upgrade path, you might want to consider a attitude reevaluation.  To get the pics that you refer to earlier, you really need to delve into all of the aspects of photography and its nuances.  That also means getting the camera on manual setting and getting comfortable with those settings such that you can get the results you intend, and reproduce them reliably.

You seem to have a natural talent for photography, so really what is daunting is the attitude change.  I bet if you commit to small steps, big and great things will happen.  After a while, you will get comfortable, and then, you will get a better idea of what your next camera should be.

Just a thought.

Scott

you have a nice set of ff lenses that will work very different in practice on a ff camera, are you happy with the lenses you have and how they work for you on the rebel? are you using the 200 a lot or the 100 more? the 35 is going to look a lot wider on the 6d. anyway as i said you have a nice set of fast lenses so i would base my decision on how you like to use them and then go with the format that fits that usage the  best
Good advice.  My current lenses are pretty perfect at 1.6x.  I imagine there'd be a slight adjustment otherwise, with the crop factor most noticed with outdoor sports.  The 35 is most everything other than sports with the 100 perfect for most volleyball photography and the 200 perfect for through the net from the other side.  I think I have an idea what my ideal camera would be if Canon would be so kind as to allow me to design it, but maybe someone'll beat me to it sometime in 2014.  I don't feel the need to shoot overly wide since, even in landscapes, I tend to frame into the most interesting part of the scene and the thought of getting a 300 2.8 to replace the 200 seems daunting.  And the rented 100-400 couldn't have been better for the big Alaskan trip. 
If you'd like to see, here's my "best of" shots all of which from the T1i except for the 3 from Israel -
www.flickr.com/photos/corysteiner/
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YuengLinger

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Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2013, 05:57:29 AM »
If you don't mind the AF on your rebel, You have nearly the same experience or slightly better with 5D2/6D/60D or pretty much any camera with the 9 Point AF system. You'll have the same issues with it such as off-center focusing with high-speed primes or with moving subjects off-center.

I believe lumping the 60D and 6D AF together is slightly misleading, as the 60D has all cross points.  One of my disappointments with the announcement of the 6D was the AF actually being a step DOWN from my 60D's AF.  I just couldn't see "upgrading" to something that made quick accurate focus more challenging, despite the wonderful reviews of the sensor.

As to the original poster's question, IMO, the 5DIII makes life with very shallow depth of field apertures quite a bit easier, especially with close up portraiture.  Recomposing at f/1.2 - f/2 is hit or miss for me when I want the iris to be perfectly sharp, but having a big choice of accurate AF points makes it work most of the time.

On the other hand, fellow photographers in my area who use 5DII's and Rebels, and who have much better eyes for landscape, street, and found still-life, outshoot me in those categories some of the time, simply because they have a better grasp of composition and natural light--and years more experience.

You have to decide whether the convenience and flexibility of the "better" AF systems are worth the $1k premium you will pay.  The "better" choice is the one you can afford and use well.  Don't get in a gear measuring match, just shoot, study, process, get critiques, and repeat over and over.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2013, 06:11:03 AM by YuengLinger »

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Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2013, 05:57:29 AM »

Cory

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Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2013, 06:34:54 AM »
Hey Cory

I was following your post an replies.  Neuro and the others gave you a lot of great information to digest.  I went to your pics and have to say, they look great. 

You have nice lenses, and are getting great shots, you have the basics covered and then some. I am thinking that before you decide on a camera upgrade path, you might want to consider a attitude reevaluation.  To get the pics that you refer to earlier, you really need to delve into all of the aspects of photography and its nuances.  That also means getting the camera on manual setting and getting comfortable with those settings such that you can get the results you intend, and reproduce them reliably.

You seem to have a natural talent for photography, so really what is daunting is the attitude change.  I bet if you commit to small steps, big and great things will happen.  After a while, you will get comfortable, and then, you will get a better idea of what your next camera should be.

Just a thought.

Scott
That's pretty good, too.  This Sunday I'll be testing several skills as the photographer for a large "running" event in the snow.  I'll be shooting in JPEG and the group has a flickr page for me to upload to that I can post.  If "it" doesn't come out next year maybe the 70D is the closest to what I'm after once supported by Lightroom.
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jeffa4444

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Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2013, 09:24:43 AM »
Cory

The IQ of the 6d simply blows away the IQ of the SL1 and the the discussion of the 11 point AF with only one centre cross point is in 95% of the time BS. Ive taken shots of very difficult lighting conditions, birds flying, my dog running etc. and had a much higher success rate than my Canon 7d. My only real gripes about the camera are the single plane spirit level and the 97% viewfinder (which is a pain for Landscape). The camera has Wi-Fi, GPS, HDR most of the useful menu functions in the 7d and 5dMKIII they far out-weight the AF which covers far too many column inches.
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Re: Can Simpler (Single Focus Point) Be "Better" - Canon 6D?
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2013, 09:24:43 AM »