November 28, 2014, 06:33:50 AM

Author Topic: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action  (Read 15356 times)

climber

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Re: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2014, 04:41:58 PM »
Thus, if one is tracking a bird with AF Point Expansion in AI Servo mode, this would be quite similar to Zone AF. And try to have the main AF point near the eye, let's say.   Or not?

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Re: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2014, 04:41:58 PM »

mwh1964

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Re: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2014, 07:27:32 PM »
Adjusted my camera accordingly on a custom function. Think it will come in handy in many situations. Will probably adjust settings to fit my shooting along the way. Thanks again
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cervantes

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Re: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2014, 01:26:17 AM »
@Cervantes: Did you ever try to shoot birds or any kind of sport with AF Expansion mode including 4 or 8 additional surrounding points? I never know which mode is better - Zone or AF Expansion. Can you tell why AF Expension mode would not be appropriate for birds or sports?

Otherwise, very good and informative article!

No, I never use AF Expansion mode for the following reasons:
  • AF expansion is basically single point AF where the camera uses the surrounding points only if the center point can't achieve AF (this is basically what East Wind Photography said).
  • AF expansion covers an area that is too small for my taste - In fact I would love it if I could select an AF mode that uses all 20 points on the left / right side of the frame. Or even better if I could define my own zones via a custom function!
  • When you move the expanded AF point the movement happens point by point (ten clicks from the leftmost AF point to the rightmost AF point) - thus very slowly. Zone immediately switches to the next zone (two clicks from the leftmost Zone to the rightmost Zone).
  • There is an option in the AF menu where you can turn all the modes off that you don't need. For my action setting C1 I turned off everything except Zone AF, 61pt AF and single point AF (which can't be turned off unfortunately - otherwise I would). It is much faster to select what you need when you don't have to scroll through everything.

Thus, if one is tracking a bird with AF Point Expansion in AI Servo mode, this would be quite similar to Zone AF. And try to have the main AF point near the eye, let's say.   Or not?

Probably true. But keeping in mind all the disadvantages above - why don't you simply use Zone AF which will get the job done for sure?

Thanks for the input by the way!
« Last Edit: February 07, 2014, 01:32:58 AM by cervantes »

climber

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Re: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2014, 02:26:11 AM »
@Cervantes: Did you ever try to shoot birds or any kind of sport with AF Expansion mode including 4 or 8 additional surrounding points? I never know which mode is better - Zone or AF Expansion. Can you tell why AF Expension mode would not be appropriate for birds or sports?

Otherwise, very good and informative article!

No, I never use AF Expansion mode for the following reasons:
  • AF expansion is basically single point AF where the camera uses the surrounding points only if the center point can't achieve AF (this is basically what East Wind Photography said).
  • AF expansion covers an area that is too small for my taste - In fact I would love it if I could select an AF mode that uses all 20 points on the left / right side of the frame. Or even better if I could define my own zones via a custom function!
  • When you move the expanded AF point the movement happens point by point (ten clicks from the leftmost AF point to the rightmost AF point) - thus very slowly. Zone immediately switches to the next zone (two clicks from the leftmost Zone to the rightmost Zone).
  • There is an option in the AF menu where you can turn all the modes off that you don't need. For my action setting C1 I turned off everything except Zone AF, 61pt AF and single point AF (which can't be turned off unfortunately - otherwise I would). It is much faster to select what you need when you don't have to scroll through everything.

Thus, if one is tracking a bird with AF Point Expansion in AI Servo mode, this would be quite similar to Zone AF. And try to have the main AF point near the eye, let's say.   Or not?

Probably true. But keeping in mind all the disadvantages above - why don't you simply use Zone AF which will get the job done for sure?

Thanks for the input by the way!

Thanks for your explanation. Now I understand.

justaCanonuser

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Re: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2014, 04:42:59 AM »
Cervantes, your really great article on dpreview and the discussion here convinced me that canonrumors is not only a forum for stealthy Canon bashers but still can be a good source for Canon users.

I'd just like to add a little warning for those few readers who still use a vintage EF 500mm F/4.5 like me: do NOT try to set "Lens drive when AF impossible: OFF". First, your 5D3 won't let you do that with this lens attached. But if you switched your camera off and then on again, strangely the camera accepts this setting but the lens' AF/MF drive is completely dead. Fortunately if this happens the 5D3 accepts resetting "Lens drive when AF impossible: ON". I think the reason for this strange behavior is the vintage full drive-by-wire focusing system of this lens.

Any other settings described in your article work perfectly, Cervantes, I found about the same settings to be most useful e.g. for birding.
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FallsGuy

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Re: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action
« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2014, 05:52:10 AM »
Great Article. Thank you. I read it last week on Thursday and set  CF1 up with the multiple button zone af control. On Friday, I happened to be at a good place during a good time. I captured a sequence that included this shot thanks to your recommendations. I just received my 5D III through CLP last Tuesday.

cervantes

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Re: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action
« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2014, 07:55:09 AM »
Great Article. Thank you. I read it last week on Thursday and set  CF1 up with the multiple button zone af control. On Friday, I happened to be at a good place during a good time. I captured a sequence that included this shot thanks to your recommendations. I just received my 5D III through CLP last Tuesday.

Wow - somebody telling me that he was able to get a shot because of my recommendations is probably the biggest compliment I ever got! Thank you!

Perfectly focused image by the way - but the very 'colorful' wing shows me that you didn't get the exposure quite right. Maybe I should write another article titled 'How to correctly expose your action shots'.  ;)

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Re: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action
« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2014, 07:55:09 AM »

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Re: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action
« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2014, 08:15:14 AM »
Great Article. Thank you. I read it last week on Thursday and set  CF1 up with the multiple button zone af control. On Friday, I happened to be at a good place during a good time. I captured a sequence that included this shot thanks to your recommendations. I just received my 5D III through CLP last Tuesday.
That's a superbly timed shot ... AWESOME work FallsGuy ... but your online ID is not awesome, it sounds like "false guy"  ;D
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FallsGuy

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Re: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2014, 10:43:58 AM »
Thank you for your kind comments and recommendations. I did need to ETTR on the shot. Anyway, the 5D III AF is remarkable and I could not be happier with the purchase. This image was taken from the same sequence.
I will consider changing my online ID. You have a good point.

KMD

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Re: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action
« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2014, 12:49:47 PM »
Wow - somebody telling me that he was able to get a shot because of my recommendations is probably the biggest compliment I ever got! Thank you!

Perfectly focused image by the way - but the very 'colorful' wing shows me that you didn't get the exposure quite right. Maybe I should write another article titled 'How to correctly expose your action shots'.  ;)

I don't understand what you're telling him here, about how the 'colorful' wing shows you that he didn't get the exposure quite right.

Yes, I would love to hear what you have to say about getting the exposure right.

Thanks.

justaCanonuser

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Re: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action
« Reply #25 on: February 13, 2014, 03:01:30 AM »
Perfectly focused image by the way - but the very 'colorful' wing shows me that you didn't get the exposure quite right. Maybe I should write another article titled 'How to correctly expose your action shots'.  ;)

This reminds me of one of the few weaknesses of my 5D3: spot and partial metering work much less reliable as on my 7D. This is an issue if one - like me -  prefers M mode + Auto ISO, because then one can't compensate exposure with the thumbwheel. So, in critical situations I have to switch to a selected ISO number to be able to get e.g. a bird in the sky correctly exposed, but then I lose the wonderful flexibility of Auto ISO, which is in particular great when shooting wildlife in quickly changing light conditions. If someone has a good tip for me, I'd appreciate sharing it :).

Manual exposure compensation + Auto ISO would be really a great new feature. This is one of my few wishes for a future firmware update (should be fixable with software).
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cervantes

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Re: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action
« Reply #26 on: February 13, 2014, 03:56:18 AM »
Thank you for your kind comments and recommendations. I did need to ETTR on the shot. Anyway, the 5D III AF is remarkable and I could not be happier with the purchase. This image was taken from the same sequence.
I will consider changing my online ID. You have a good point.

I like this shot even better than the first one. Interesting situation and perfectly exposed.

I don't understand what you're telling him here, about how the 'colorful' wing shows you that he didn't get the exposure quite right.

Yes, I would love to hear what you have to say about getting the exposure right.

Thanks.

What I meant was that if you look at the amount of color noise on the underside of the wing in FallsGuys first image it's clear that it was quite strongly lightened in post. As we know shadow noise performance of the 5D3 is not as good as we'd like it to be. ETTR is usually the way to go - but not easy when shooting action due to the fact that it is not possible to set exposure compensation in M mode.

This reminds me of one of the few weaknesses of my 5D3: spot and partial metering work much less reliable as on my 7D. This is an issue if one - like me -  prefers M mode + Auto ISO, because then one can't compensate exposure with the thumbwheel. So, in critical situations I have to switch to a selected ISO number to be able to get e.g. a bird in the sky correctly exposed, but then I lose the wonderful flexibility of Auto ISO, which is in particular great when shooting wildlife in quickly changing light conditions. If someone has a good tip for me, I'd appreciate sharing it :).

Manual exposure compensation + Auto ISO would be really a great new feature. This is one of my few wishes for a future firmware update (should be fixable with software).

Your post sums up the problem quite nicely. A firmware update for the 1Dx was recently released which enables it to use exposure compensation in M mode with auto ISO. I really hope that they will release a similar update for the 5D3!!!
Until then there are those (sub-optimal) ways to set exposure in action situations:
  • Use M with manual ISO to force overexposure and try to adapt to changing conditions manually - just like you described.
  • Use Tv with a fast shutter speed and exposure compensation which will force the camera to shoot wide open (if your lens' wide open performance is up to it of course).

climber

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Re: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action
« Reply #27 on: February 13, 2014, 04:55:26 AM »
But there is an option to set ISO to auto in M mode. Did you mean you couldn't set ISO to one fix value (with fixed shutter time and f-stop) and then to "over exposed" for let say 1EV?

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Re: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action
« Reply #27 on: February 13, 2014, 04:55:26 AM »

cervantes

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Re: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action
« Reply #28 on: February 13, 2014, 05:26:47 AM »
But there is an option to set ISO to auto in M mode. Did you mean you couldn't set ISO to one fix value (with fixed shutter time and f-stop) and then to "over exposed" for let say 1EV?

No, what I meant was that when you use auto ISO in M mode you can't set exposure compensation. Since we usually want to overexpose (ETTR) and then darken the image in post processing for better shadow noise performance, it would be nice if we could tell the camera to always use 2/3 or 1 stop higher ISO than it wants to but all within auto ISO mode.
If you set ISO to a fixed value you can deliberately choose a value that will produce a slightly overexposed shot but when conditions change - and they sometimes change just by pointing your camera in a slightly different direction - you always have to manually adapt. If you forget doing so you'll probably end up with a completely over- or underexposed shot.

There is no obvious reason that the camera doesn't allow exposure compensation in M mode with auto ISO. The 1Dx can do it since a couple of days and I hope Canon will add this very important feature also to the 5D3.

FallsGuy

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Re: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action
« Reply #29 on: February 13, 2014, 05:55:44 AM »
I totally agree. It would be a wonderful firmware fix.
The two pictures btw, were shot from the same sequence.
The second shot was actually taken before the fist shot (you can tell from the pic numbers). It was a semi-overcast day with constantly changing conditions. Overall, the camera did a good job. it nailed focus on both and exposure was very good on one and good on half of the other one.

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Re: Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action
« Reply #29 on: February 13, 2014, 05:55:44 AM »