October 01, 2014, 04:58:32 PM

Author Topic: What is wrong with the AF speed of the M?  (Read 2630 times)

Straightshooter

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What is wrong with the AF speed of the M?
« on: June 24, 2014, 10:50:56 AM »
Dear All,

My first post may be nothing new, but I was wondering if I am the only EOS M owner who is aware of the extreme benefits of Custom Function C.Fn IV / C.Fn-5 1: taking the AF function away from the shutter button.
This results in a world of difference when focusing and ever since setting up my wee beauty that way I feel that the criticism towards the AF speed of the M is, well, kind of unjustified!

Anybody feels the same here?

Nice to have finally joined the CR forum... ;)

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What is wrong with the AF speed of the M?
« on: June 24, 2014, 10:50:56 AM »

Mellonhead

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Re: What is wrong with the AF speed of the M?
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2014, 10:57:12 AM »
Actually, I have not heard of this. Can you explain what you did and how it helps?

I've had the 'M' since it came out and love it, but am often frustrated by the auto-focus.

Straightshooter

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Re: What is wrong with the AF speed of the M?
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2014, 11:02:29 AM »
Wow, I am really surprised this is new for EOS M users! Well, I always take AF off of my shutter button on my other EOS camera's, always have, and when I tried this on my M it resulted in a completely different AF experience...nothing to be ashamed about anymore I think! Try it out asap! And let me know what you think of it...
« Last Edit: June 24, 2014, 11:04:50 AM by Straightshooter »

JPAZ

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Re: What is wrong with the AF speed of the M?
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2014, 12:54:58 PM »
Hi.. Don't have the camera in front of me right now.  Could you please go through the exact steps you used to do this?  I am a "back button" focuser on my DSLR and the closest I've come to this experience on the M is to use touch screen focus.
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DRR

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Re: What is wrong with the AF speed of the M?
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2014, 01:37:11 PM »
I've done this, you can set back button focus to one of the wheel buttons. (The leftmost part of the wheel). I am a DSLR backbutton focuser so this makes it a little easier for me.

My one complaint is that this is an awkward button ergonomically for backbutton focus on the M. The logical choice would be the movie record button, which is disabled while shooting stills anyway. It's a natural spot near your thumb, I don't know why they didn't think of this.

I don't find it makes the AF any faster or more reliable, but it suits my style of shooting more so I stick with it.


twagn

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Re: What is wrong with the AF speed of the M?
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2014, 03:52:04 PM »
I've done this, you can set back button focus to one of the wheel buttons. (The leftmost part of the wheel). I m a DSLR backbutton focuser so this makes it a little easier for me.

My one complaint is that this is an awkward button ergonomically for backbutton focus on the M. The logical choice would be the movie record button, which is disabled while shooting stills anyway. It's a natural spot near your thumb, I don't know why they didn't think of this.

I don't find it makes the AF any faster or more reliable, but it suits my style of shooting more so I stick with it.

+1, it's a bit to awkward for me (on the M) and doesn't make the AF any faster. I've found the focus speed acceptable for my type of shooting anyway
« Last Edit: June 24, 2014, 03:57:21 PM by twagn »

dcm

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Re: What is wrong with the AF speed of the M?
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2014, 06:13:08 PM »
This doesn't really change the focus speed, but it reduces the shutter lag since it is already (you hope) focused when you press the shutter.  The time it takes to achieve hasn't really changed, just when you are doing it.   You just focused using back button focus before you pressed the shutter button. Similar to what we did with old manual focus film cameras.
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Re: What is wrong with the AF speed of the M?
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2014, 06:13:08 PM »

wickidwombat

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Re: What is wrong with the AF speed of the M?
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2014, 08:40:03 PM »
I've done this, you can set back button focus to one of the wheel buttons. (The leftmost part of the wheel). I m a DSLR backbutton focuser so this makes it a little easier for me.

My one complaint is that this is an awkward button ergonomically for backbutton focus on the M. The logical choice would be the movie record button, which is disabled while shooting stills anyway. It's a natural spot near your thumb, I don't know why they didn't think of this.

I don't find it makes the AF any faster or more reliable, but it suits my style of shooting more so I stick with it.

+1, it's a bit to awkward for me (on the M) and doesn't make the AF any faster. I've found the focus speed acceptable for my type of shooting anyway
ditto i tried it. hated the position and turned the function off. I would like a firmware update to enable assigning the movie record button to this function too
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Mellonhead

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Re: What is wrong with the AF speed of the M?
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2014, 01:13:34 PM »
If I'm shooting my daughter's soccer game I follow the action and constantly 'pump' the half-pressed shutter release button to maintain focus (single-point, servo off).

Would re-assigning the auto-focus to another butten be better than what I'm doing?

twagn

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Re: What is wrong with the AF speed of the M?
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2014, 06:06:01 PM »
If I'm shooting my daughter's soccer game I follow the action and constantly 'pump' the half-pressed shutter release button to maintain focus (single-point, servo off).

Would re-assigning the auto-focus to another butten be better than what I'm doing?

I would just leave the focus on the shutter button. The M isn't really an "action camera"...however you could try shooting jpeg only, shutter priority set at 1/500, continuous burst mode, a fast card (UHS-1), continuous focus, single point, servo on, and hope for the best
« Last Edit: June 25, 2014, 06:07:46 PM by twagn »

DRR

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Re: What is wrong with the AF speed of the M?
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2014, 08:15:13 PM »
If I'm shooting my daughter's soccer game I follow the action and constantly 'pump' the half-pressed shutter release button to maintain focus (single-point, servo off).

Would re-assigning the auto-focus to another butten be better than what I'm doing?

I would just leave the focus on the shutter button. The M isn't really an "action camera"...however you could try shooting jpeg only, shutter priority set at 1/500, continuous burst mode, a fast card (UHS-1), continuous focus, single point, servo on, and hope for the best

Ditto this. Also if I'm in a similar situation I set fix my aperture as well knowing what kind of DOF it will give me at a certain focal length. Basically I set a mental "focus zone" and just start firing when my subject is in that zone.

It takes a little bit of testing and a little bit of setup, but once you do this, you know that when your daughter moves to a certain part of the field, you're preset to just start firing and you know you'll get good shots. A soccer game is long enough that you should be able to do this a few times from a few different locations. Mid-field, with a goal in the background, and if they let you you can shoot from behind and to the side of one of the goals too. This will give you a good variety of shots.

Again the M is not the best sports camera, but technique can help mitigate its weaknesses.


Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: What is wrong with the AF speed of the M?
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2014, 09:25:07 PM »
The M is known for slow AF, It can be very difficult to photograph sports when the autofocus is painfully slow.  I believe that a good photographer can do it, the camera is way advanced over what we used in the 1960's and earlier, and we managed to capture sports with manual focus.

Rocky

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Re: What is wrong with the AF speed of the M?
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2014, 09:36:04 PM »
DDR's prefocus method is a "tried and True" standard way for sport photographer during the pre-AF era. Thanks for bring it up.

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Re: What is wrong with the AF speed of the M?
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2014, 09:36:04 PM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: What is wrong with the AF speed of the M?
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2014, 10:00:08 PM »
DDR's prefocus method is a "tried and True" standard way for sport photographer during the pre-AF era. Thanks for bring it up.

True, but its tough to prefocus the moment when a soccer kicker will kick a ball, so it does involve intuition, experience, and a bit of luck.  We also used small apertures like f/8, or f/16 in those days, so we were often in the area of the hyperfocal distance.  Just one of the things a photographer had to know to get his shot.
 
Now, with 400mm lenses at f/2.8, focus is a bit tougher.

dppaskewitz

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Re: What is wrong with the AF speed of the M?
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2014, 11:08:09 PM »
Dear All,

My first post may be nothing new, but I was wondering if I am the only EOS M owner who is aware of the extreme benefits of Custom Function C.Fn IV / C.Fn-5 1: taking the AF function away from the shutter button.
This results in a world of difference when focusing and ever since setting up my wee beauty that way I feel that the criticism towards the AF speed of the M is, well, kind of unjustified!

Anybody feels the same here?

Nice to have finally joined the CR forum... ;)

Welcome to the forum (I take it you have been following for a while before you joined).

Thanks for the heads up on back button focusing on the M.  That's generally what I use with my DSLRs, but I didn't realize I could set the M that way.

As to focus speed, it seems to focus faster when using the touch screen focus/shoot method (which I generally avoid).  In my unscientific test, it seems to be almost instantaneous when focusing/shooting using the touch screen when the Cf is set to back button focus, and about a second when focusing using the back button to focus (about the same time as when the Cf is set to shutter button focus).  Of course, you still get the advantage of pre-focusing using the back button).    If this is true in the real world, then I may find myself leaving the Cf on back button focus and using the touch screen focus/shoot - at least when focus speed matters.

Another unscientific test last night:  indeed the M shutter is very fast when set to back button focus and using the touch screen focus/shoot method.  And it is no wonder, because apparently it doesn't focus at all when using the touch screen to shoot if set to back button focus. 

Conclusion:  use back button focus if you like it, but no increase in focus speed (other than the usual advantage of pre-focusing with the back button and snapping when the scene (including any action in the scene) is what you want). 
« Last Edit: June 27, 2014, 09:41:28 AM by dppaskewitz »
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Re: What is wrong with the AF speed of the M?
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2014, 11:08:09 PM »