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Author Topic: The Canon 5D line and AF...  (Read 10202 times)

jrista

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Re: The Canon 5D line and AF...
« Reply #60 on: January 27, 2012, 08:55:26 PM »
Cannot believe someone is still saying"5D was Never intended for sports",so anything more than 9 point AF is intended for sports??? :o :o :o

Alright, lets get all the ducks in a row here. When  I say "for sports/action", I think 1D series or D3 series. High end AF systems with loads of cross-type points, advanced tracking algorithms, quality servo control, etc. The 7D would be the lowest end system I can think of that would really qualify as intended sports and action. I see three different qualifications in this respect: designed for, capable of, unusable.

The 5D II with a 9-point AF with a single center cross-type point is NOT designed for, and barely capable of capturing sports and action. Its usable for sports and action, but its far from ideal. Having been stuck with the same type of AF system on my 450D for several years, a single center cross-type point is woefully ineffective to classify such an AF system as "designed for", and in the 450D's case, wasn't really even useful for it either (I shoot birds and wildlife, and so long a they remained very steady or mostly still, AF worked, outside of that, it was the most limiting factor of the camera by a long shot.)

The 7D with its 19-point all cross-type AF, adaptive zones and expansions, and broad point spread over the APS-C sensor area, barely qualifies for what I would say is designed for, but is most certainly capable of and usable for sports and action. The same would go for the Nikon D700 AF.

The 40/50/60D with its 9-point all cross-type AF is far from designed for sports, but is capable of and certainly usable for sports and action. The same would go for most Nikon AF systems such as the one used in the D7000, etc. (no question that Nikon has nailed AF on the majority of their models, regardless of grade.)

Given the design of the 5D's AF system, no...it was not designed for sports and action photography. If it instead had a thoroughly capable AF system like the 7D's from the start, or even the 40/50/60D AF, my opinion on that front would be different. But the 5D has always had Canon's WORST AF system, and there is no way, given that, you can logically classify it as a body intended for sports.

I think the question everyone has is not whether it IS, but whether it SHOULD BE. The answer to that is obviously highly subjective, however I'm inclined to think that the 5D line is simply not positioned within Canon's lineup to be an awesome performer on the AF front. I think it certainly DESERVES the 60D AF system...there is no reason the 5D shouldn't have all 9 points fully cross-type, with a high-precision diagonal cross-type in the center. That would at least seem reasonable to me, and wouldn't require more R&D to design a full-frame version of the 7D 19-point AF. They could take the current 9-point design and replace the non-cross points with cross-type points and they should be good to go for a lot less cost than adapting the 7D design. I think it more logically aligns with how the 5D has been positioned in the past, and seems to be a reasonable expectation from Canon regarding 5D AF...something I can be largely confident of actually receiving when Canon finally releases the next generation 5D.

Anyway...thats my reasoning.
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Re: The Canon 5D line and AF...
« Reply #60 on: January 27, 2012, 08:55:26 PM »

tooslick2k

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Re: The Canon 5D line and AF...
« Reply #61 on: January 29, 2012, 03:46:16 PM »

Sadly, if I include Canon strobes, I'm just about there with my 7D. (Don't tell my wife, please.)

hahaha +2

tooslick2k

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Re: The Canon 5D line and AF...
« Reply #62 on: January 29, 2012, 03:51:45 PM »
I think the question everyone has is not whether it IS, but whether it SHOULD BE. The answer to that is obviously highly subjective, however I'm inclined to think that the 5D line is simply not positioned within Canon's lineup to be an awesome performer on the AF front. I think it certainly DESERVES the 60D AF system...there is no reason the 5D shouldn't have all 9 points fully cross-type, with a high-precision diagonal cross-type in the center....
Anyway...thats my reasoning.

Why does everybody insist on believing that the 7D holds a higher value in the line up than the 5D... With the 1d lines merged, the 5D is now in the second position still over the 7D.

Also, with the 1ds out, shouldn't it get a similar AF to that? Which would mean its still more AF points than the 7D.

Am I wrong?

traveller

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Re: The Canon 5D line and AF...
« Reply #63 on: January 29, 2012, 05:02:38 PM »
Cannot believe someone is still saying"5D was Never intended for sports",so anything more than 9 point AF is intended for sports??? :o :o :o

Alright, lets get all the ducks in a row here. When  I say "for sports/action", I think 1D series or D3 series. High end AF systems with loads of cross-type points, advanced tracking algorithms, quality servo control, etc. The 7D would be the lowest end system I can think of that would really qualify as intended sports and action. I see three different qualifications in this respect: designed for, capable of, unusable.

The 5D II with a 9-point AF with a single center cross-type point is NOT designed for, and barely capable of capturing sports and action. Its usable for sports and action, but its far from ideal. Having been stuck with the same type of AF system on my 450D for several years, a single center cross-type point is woefully ineffective to classify such an AF system as "designed for", and in the 450D's case, wasn't really even useful for it either (I shoot birds and wildlife, and so long a they remained very steady or mostly still, AF worked, outside of that, it was the most limiting factor of the camera by a long shot.)

The 7D with its 19-point all cross-type AF, adaptive zones and expansions, and broad point spread over the APS-C sensor area, barely qualifies for what I would say is designed for, but is most certainly capable of and usable for sports and action. The same would go for the Nikon D700 AF.

The 40/50/60D with its 9-point all cross-type AF is far from designed for sports, but is capable of and certainly usable for sports and action. The same would go for most Nikon AF systems such as the one used in the D7000, etc. (no question that Nikon has nailed AF on the majority of their models, regardless of grade.)

Given the design of the 5D's AF system, no...it was not designed for sports and action photography. If it instead had a thoroughly capable AF system like the 7D's from the start, or even the 40/50/60D AF, my opinion on that front would be different. But the 5D has always had Canon's WORST AF system, and there is no way, given that, you can logically classify it as a body intended for sports.

I think the question everyone has is not whether it IS, but whether it SHOULD BE. The answer to that is obviously highly subjective, however I'm inclined to think that the 5D line is simply not positioned within Canon's lineup to be an awesome performer on the AF front. I think it certainly DESERVES the 60D AF system...there is no reason the 5D shouldn't have all 9 points fully cross-type, with a high-precision diagonal cross-type in the center. That would at least seem reasonable to me, and wouldn't require more R&D to design a full-frame version of the 7D 19-point AF. They could take the current 9-point design and replace the non-cross points with cross-type points and they should be good to go for a lot less cost than adapting the 7D design. I think it more logically aligns with how the 5D has been positioned in the past, and seems to be a reasonable expectation from Canon regarding 5D AF...something I can be largely confident of actually receiving when Canon finally releases the next generation 5D.

Anyway...thats my reasoning.

The 5D MkII has the same af system as the 5D ('classic'), which at the time of the 5D's introduction was Canon's 2nd best af after the 1D series (and EOS 3).  It was designed to cover a greater horizontal area than the 20D's 9 point af system, as well as having 6 assist points when using AI Servo mode.  Thus it was designed to be superior to the XXD series without treading on the 1D series' toes.  I don't buy the argument that the 5D series was never designed for action.  It was obviously not designed to be as capable as a 1D series, but not all action is professional sports photography, even 5D owners want to be able to take pictures of their kids running around!

The 5D series af system fell behind the XXD series when the 40D was introduced and for whatever reason, Canon did not choose to develop a new af system for the 5D MkII.  Possibly this was because Canon believed that the 21MP sensor and HD video was enough of a selling point that they didn't need to go to the expense of developing a new af system; possibly the D3 generation Nikons caught them with their pants down (i.e. too late in the 5D MkII's development programme to respond to the fact that Nikon were going aggressive on af). 

With the launch of the 7D, the 5D series has fallen even further behind its juniors and I don't think that Canon will be able to get away with anything less than the 7D's af system this time around (certainly not with 'only' 22MP).  To me, it makes no sense to develop a brand new 9 point af system for the 5D MkIII (or whatever they plan to call it).  Why go to all the development expense for a system that is inferior to a lower model in the lineup?  I can't see that even the 1D X's 61 point system is actually that much more expensive to make than any other in Canon's lineup once the development costs have been met.  OK, for really budget cameras, where every penny counts (like the Rebels) this matters, but for the higher price cameras, I don't think that the af system is actually a major cost consideration, otherwise how could Nikon put their 51 point system in the D300? I believe that it is mostly for marketing reasons that all Canons below the 1D series have inferior af systems. 

tt

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Re: The Canon 5D line and AF...
« Reply #64 on: January 29, 2012, 05:04:16 PM »
What was the state of play for AF when the 5D Mark II was coming out? Was it middle of the road, quite good for it's time?

traveller

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Re: The Canon 5D line and AF...
« Reply #65 on: January 29, 2012, 07:17:54 PM »
What was the state of play for AF when the 5D Mark II was coming out? Was it middle of the road, quite good for it's time?

Like I stated in my post above, when the 5D MkII came out its AF system was obsolescent as it has been surpassed by the 40D and 50D in terms of number of cross-type sensors (although neither of those cameras had the 6 'invisible assist AF points' that the 5Ds have).  Really, Canon should have upgraded the AF of the 5D MkII to 9 cross-type AF points and made the 6 AF assist points selectable (and obviously, visible).  I think that Canon needs to go beyond this, with the 7D now on the market and increasing competition in the sector from Nikon and Sony that was only just appearing when the 5D MkII came out. 

jrista

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Re: The Canon 5D line and AF...
« Reply #66 on: February 01, 2012, 09:52:08 PM »
I think the question everyone has is not whether it IS, but whether it SHOULD BE. The answer to that is obviously highly subjective, however I'm inclined to think that the 5D line is simply not positioned within Canon's lineup to be an awesome performer on the AF front. I think it certainly DESERVES the 60D AF system...there is no reason the 5D shouldn't have all 9 points fully cross-type, with a high-precision diagonal cross-type in the center....
Anyway...thats my reasoning.

Why does everybody insist on believing that the 7D holds a higher value in the line up than the 5D... With the 1d lines merged, the 5D is now in the second position still over the 7D.

Also, with the 1ds out, shouldn't it get a similar AF to that? Which would mean its still more AF points than the 7D.

Am I wrong?

I don't think anyone who understands the lineup believes the 7D "holds a higher value" in the lineup than the 5D. I think its more of a side-by-side positioning, with the 5D covering one role and the 7D covering another role. I don't think either one is really "higher value" or "lower value" from a functional and practical standpoint than the other...they serve different purposes. I think a significant part of the cost difference, $2500 5D II vs. $1800 7D, is the sensor in the 5D II...much lower yield, and more expensive to produce to start with because of the much greater area. So I don't think cost is particularly a solid indicator of which one is "better" than the other...they simply solve different problems, and cost what they cost.
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Re: The Canon 5D line and AF...
« Reply #66 on: February 01, 2012, 09:52:08 PM »

jrista

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Re: The Canon 5D line and AF...
« Reply #67 on: February 01, 2012, 09:59:04 PM »

The 5D MkII has the same af system as the 5D ('classic'), which at the time of the 5D's introduction was Canon's 2nd best af after the 1D series (and EOS 3).  It was designed to cover a greater horizontal area than the 20D's 9 point af system, as well as having 6 assist points when using AI Servo mode.  Thus it was designed to be superior to the XXD series without treading on the 1D series' toes.  I don't buy the argument that the 5D series was never designed for action.  It was obviously not designed to be as capable as a 1D series, but not all action is professional sports photography, even 5D owners want to be able to take pictures of their kids running around!

The 5D series af system fell behind the XXD series when the 40D was introduced and for whatever reason, Canon did not choose to develop a new af system for the 5D MkII.  Possibly this was because Canon believed that the 21MP sensor and HD video was enough of a selling point that they didn't need to go to the expense of developing a new af system; possibly the D3 generation Nikons caught them with their pants down (i.e. too late in the 5D MkII's development programme to respond to the fact that Nikon were going aggressive on af). 

With the launch of the 7D, the 5D series has fallen even further behind its juniors and I don't think that Canon will be able to get away with anything less than the 7D's af system this time around (certainly not with 'only' 22MP).  To me, it makes no sense to develop a brand new 9 point af system for the 5D MkIII (or whatever they plan to call it).  Why go to all the development expense for a system that is inferior to a lower model in the lineup?  I can't see that even the 1D X's 61 point system is actually that much more expensive to make than any other in Canon's lineup once the development costs have been met.  OK, for really budget cameras, where every penny counts (like the Rebels) this matters, but for the higher price cameras, I don't think that the af system is actually a major cost consideration, otherwise how could Nikon put their 51 point system in the D300? I believe that it is mostly for marketing reasons that all Canons below the 1D series have inferior af systems.

I don't think I disagree with most of that.

 I think there are some significant differences between the 51 point system in the D300 and the 61 point system in the 1D X, though. For one, the D300 AF system only has 11 cross-type points, its frame spread is less extensive, and it only has cross-type sensors in the center. The 1D X AF system has 41 cross type points, in three groups...center and to both sides. All of its sensors are double strip sensors....both single line, cross type and high precision (diagonal) cross type. The 1D X AF unit also apparently has the most extensive frame spread of any AF unit to date...from what I've read and the videos I've watched, its pretty much at the physical limit...any greater spread would require some radical rethinking of how an AF unit works due to light falloff as you approach the edge of the lens (a real problem, since the AF unit effectively polarizes light and splits the remainder into two beams that are then used to sense phase shift...not a lot of light to work with period.) The 1D X AF unit is far more complex and much more advanced than the D300 AF unit. Its also still buried under R&D costs that would need to be recouped.

So, I do think there could be a cost, possibly a hefty cost, to using the exact same 1D X AF system in the 5D III/X. Its not quite the same class as the D300 AF unit...its a class beyond.
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chengpenguin

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Re: The Canon 5D line and AF...
« Reply #68 on: February 02, 2012, 12:44:57 AM »

The 5D MkII has the same af system as the 5D ('classic'), which at the time of the 5D's introduction was Canon's 2nd best af after the 1D series (and EOS 3).  It was designed to cover a greater horizontal area than the 20D's 9 point af system, as well as having 6 assist points when using AI Servo mode.  Thus it was designed to be superior to the XXD series without treading on the 1D series' toes.  I don't buy the argument that the 5D series was never designed for action.  It was obviously not designed to be as capable as a 1D series, but not all action is professional sports photography, even 5D owners want to be able to take pictures of their kids running around!

The 5D series af system fell behind the XXD series when the 40D was introduced and for whatever reason, Canon did not choose to develop a new af system for the 5D MkII.  Possibly this was because Canon believed that the 21MP sensor and HD video was enough of a selling point that they didn't need to go to the expense of developing a new af system; possibly the D3 generation Nikons caught them with their pants down (i.e. too late in the 5D MkII's development programme to respond to the fact that Nikon were going aggressive on af). 

With the launch of the 7D, the 5D series has fallen even further behind its juniors and I don't think that Canon will be able to get away with anything less than the 7D's af system this time around (certainly not with 'only' 22MP).  To me, it makes no sense to develop a brand new 9 point af system for the 5D MkIII (or whatever they plan to call it).  Why go to all the development expense for a system that is inferior to a lower model in the lineup?  I can't see that even the 1D X's 61 point system is actually that much more expensive to make than any other in Canon's lineup once the development costs have been met.  OK, for really budget cameras, where every penny counts (like the Rebels) this matters, but for the higher price cameras, I don't think that the af system is actually a major cost consideration, otherwise how could Nikon put their 51 point system in the D300? I believe that it is mostly for marketing reasons that all Canons below the 1D series have inferior af systems.

I don't think I disagree with most of that.

 I think there are some significant differences between the 51 point system in the D300 and the 61 point system in the 1D X, though. For one, the D300 AF system only has 11 cross-type points, its frame spread is less extensive, and it only has cross-type sensors in the center. The 1D X AF system has 41 cross type points, in three groups...center and to both sides. All of its sensors are double strip sensors....both single line, cross type and high precision (diagonal) cross type. The 1D X AF unit also apparently has the most extensive frame spread of any AF unit to date...from what I've read and the videos I've watched, its pretty much at the physical limit...any greater spread would require some radical rethinking of how an AF unit works due to light falloff as you approach the edge of the lens (a real problem, since the AF unit effectively polarizes light and splits the remainder into two beams that are then used to sense phase shift...not a lot of light to work with period.) The 1D X AF unit is far more complex and much more advanced than the D300 AF unit. Its also still buried under R&D costs that would need to be recouped.

So, I do think there could be a cost, possibly a hefty cost, to using the exact same 1D X AF system in the 5D III/X. Its not quite the same class as the D300 AF unit...its a class beyond.

Yup I agree... especially the last sentence. Cost is also a major consideration for upgraders. As much as I'll like a 1DX AF system in 5D3, I'll rather they build it with a 7D alike AF system. That's enough for me :)

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Re: The Canon 5D line and AF...
« Reply #68 on: February 02, 2012, 12:44:57 AM »