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Author Topic: 5D2 vs 5D3 low light AF  (Read 9841 times)

jaayres20

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5D2 vs 5D3 low light AF
« on: June 18, 2012, 10:54:14 AM »
I had a 5D2 for years and never really had too many complaints about the AF at dark wedding receptions.  I ended up selling my 5D2 before my 5D3 arrived so I didn't have a chance to do a side by side comparison.  The 5D3 is great and I am happy with the AF but I never really thought it was that much better at low light AF than the 5D2.  Well I shot a wedding with another photographer who has a 5D2 this past weekend and just for the fun of it I took a few shots and compared the cameras side by side and I was amazed at how much faster the 5D3 was.  I could get 5 good shots in the time it took the 5D2 to get focused and take one.  It seemed like night and day to me.  I am sure this isn't news to anyone but I thought I would share just for the fun of it. 

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5D2 vs 5D3 low light AF
« on: June 18, 2012, 10:54:14 AM »

Razor2012

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Re: 5D2 vs 5D3 low light AF
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2012, 11:13:46 AM »
I had a 5D2 for years and never really had too many complaints about the AF at dark wedding receptions.  I ended up selling my 5D2 before my 5D3 arrived so I didn't have a chance to do a side by side comparison.  The 5D3 is great and I am happy with the AF but I never really thought it was that much better at low light AF than the 5D2.  Well I shot a wedding with another photographer who has a 5D2 this past weekend and just for the fun of it I took a few shots and compared the cameras side by side and I was amazed at how much faster the 5D3 was.  I could get 5 good shots in the time it took the 5D2 to get focused and take one.  It seemed like night and day to me.  I am sure this isn't news to anyone but I thought I would share just for the fun of it.

I just shot my daughter's dance recital on Saturday and I was very happy.  I took almost 700 shots and only a few were OOF (mainly because of erratic movement).  I was shooting in Av and let auto ISO do it's thing.  Every now and then I'd switch to Tv because of the action.  Otherwise the 5DIII is very fast in low light...it's great not using a flash in low light.   ;)
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bdunbar79

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Re: 5D2 vs 5D3 low light AF
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2012, 11:21:00 AM »
All great points guys.  As a former 5D Mk II owner and current 5D Mk III owner, they're great in low light.  One other thing to add to the discussion is remember the lens matters too.  Max ap lenses of f/4, f/2.8, f/1.2, etc. tend to focus faster, especially on the 1D Mk IV than narrower max ap lenses.  Consider the 300mm f/4L lens on the 1DX vs. the 300mm f/2.8L on the same camera body.  The latter will focus faster.  Of course, stationary scenes who cares.
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Re: 5D2 vs 5D3 low light AF
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2012, 11:32:39 AM »
One other thing to add to the discussion is remember the lens matters too.  Max ap lenses of f/4, f/2.8, f/1.2, etc. tend to focus faster, especially on the 1D Mk IV than narrower max ap lenses.  Consider the 300mm f/4L lens on the 1DX vs. the 300mm f/2.8L on the same camera body.  The latter will focus faster.

True, but it's not necessarily about the aperture of the lens, per se - it's more about the AF motor in the lens and the design of the focusing group.  The 85mm f/1.2L II, despite having the fastest aperture currently available, is a very slow focusing lens.  The 400/5.6 focuses noticeably faster than the 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 400mm f/5.6, although the aperture is the same.  In the example you mention, AF is faster with the 300/2.8 because of lens design, not aperture.  In fact, the high-precision AF point(s) activated by an f/2.8 lens may sometimes be slower to AF than the f/5.6 points, depending on the camera and the scene - the greater accuracy comes at the expense of focusing speed, such that AI Servo calculations are often driven by the f/5.6 sensor elements, and in some cases the f/5.6 part of the sensor first achieves focus, which is then refined by the f/2.8 part of the sensor (i.e. with a slower lens, the AF would be done after the f/5.6 step).
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bdunbar79

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Re: 5D2 vs 5D3 low light AF
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2012, 11:35:01 AM »
One other thing to add to the discussion is remember the lens matters too.  Max ap lenses of f/4, f/2.8, f/1.2, etc. tend to focus faster, especially on the 1D Mk IV than narrower max ap lenses.  Consider the 300mm f/4L lens on the 1DX vs. the 300mm f/2.8L on the same camera body.  The latter will focus faster.

True, but it's not necessarily about the aperture of the lens, per se - it's more about the AF motor in the lens and the design of the focusing group.  The 85mm f/1.2L II, despite having the fastest aperture currently available, is a very slow focusing lens.  The 400/5.6 focuses noticeably faster than the 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 400mm f/5.6, although the aperture is the same.  In the example you mention, AF is faster with the 300/2.8 because of lens design, not aperture.  In fact, the high-precision AF point(s) activated by an f/2.8 lens may sometimes be slower to AF than the f/5.6 points, depending on the camera and the scene - the greater accuracy comes at the expense of focusing speed, such that AI Servo calculations are often driven by the f/5.6 sensor elements, and in some cases the f/5.6 part of the sensor first achieves focus, which is then refined by the f/2.8 part of the sensor (i.e. with a slower lens, the AF would be done after the f/5.6 step).

Cool.  Thanks for the explanation.
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Razor2012

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Re: 5D2 vs 5D3 low light AF
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2012, 11:36:39 AM »
All great points guys.  As a former 5D Mk II owner and current 5D Mk III owner, they're great in low light.  One other thing to add to the discussion is remember the lens matters too.  Max ap lenses of f/4, f/2.8, f/1.2, etc. tend to focus faster, especially on the 1D Mk IV than narrower max ap lenses.  Consider the 300mm f/4L lens on the 1DX vs. the 300mm f/2.8L on the same camera body.  The latter will focus faster.  Of course, stationary scenes who cares.

Had my 70-200 2.8II on the whole time.  Great, fast combo.   :)
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Re: 5D2 vs 5D3 low light AF
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2012, 11:41:28 AM »
All great points guys.  As a former 5D Mk II owner and current 5D Mk III owner, they're great in low light.  One other thing to add to the discussion is remember the lens matters too.  Max ap lenses of f/4, f/2.8, f/1.2, etc. tend to focus faster, especially on the 1D Mk IV than narrower max ap lenses.  Consider the 300mm f/4L lens on the 1DX vs. the 300mm f/2.8L on the same camera body.  The latter will focus faster.  Of course, stationary scenes who cares.

Had my 70-200 2.8II on the whole time.  Great, fast combo.   :)

I shot Wednesday outside with the 5D Mk III and 70-200L lens that you mention and it's hard to imagine a better combination.  Oh the sharpness and color...............:)
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Re: 5D2 vs 5D3 low light AF
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2012, 11:41:28 AM »

Razor2012

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Re: 5D2 vs 5D3 low light AF
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2012, 11:49:06 AM »
All great points guys.  As a former 5D Mk II owner and current 5D Mk III owner, they're great in low light.  One other thing to add to the discussion is remember the lens matters too.  Max ap lenses of f/4, f/2.8, f/1.2, etc. tend to focus faster, especially on the 1D Mk IV than narrower max ap lenses.  Consider the 300mm f/4L lens on the 1DX vs. the 300mm f/2.8L on the same camera body.  The latter will focus faster.  Of course, stationary scenes who cares.

Had my 70-200 2.8II on the whole time.  Great, fast combo.   :)

I shot Wednesday outside with the 5D Mk III and 70-200L lens that you mention and it's hard to imagine a better combination.  Oh the sharpness and color...............:)

There was supposed to be a couple of other photogs too, and my place was on the right side of the stage.  It was great, the whole time just shooting away while seeing flashes go off in the middle.  Damn that lens is sharp and I was very happy with the ISO all the way up to 12800.
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Re: 5D2 vs 5D3 low light AF
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2012, 12:09:29 PM »
I shoot low light concerts quite a lot and the 5D2 and the 50D, which have the same AF, they always struggled when you go off of the center focus point.  It drives me crazy and has always been a pain in the butt to deal with.  The 5D3 has no such problems at all.  I still have my 5D2 and will use it if the lights are 'ok,' but for low to no light, it'll be the 5D3.

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Re: 5D2 vs 5D3 low light AF
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2012, 12:22:29 PM »
I shoot low light concerts quite a lot and the 5D2 and the 50D, which have the same AF, they always struggled when you go off of the center focus point.  It drives me crazy and has always been a pain in the butt to deal with.  The 5D3 has no such problems at all.  I still have my 5D2 and will use it if the lights are 'ok,' but for low to no light, it'll be the 5D3.

I love taking pics at concerts.  Mind you I've only gotten to use a DSLR once, every other time it's been my cell, lol.  Damn I wish they'd be alittle more lenient.   ;)
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Re: 5D2 vs 5D3 low light AF
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2012, 03:00:33 PM »
 Are you guys that are liking the results using the auto ISO mostly? I usually don't use auto ISO but have seen quite a few positive comments about it on the 5D3...

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Re: 5D2 vs 5D3 low light AF
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2012, 03:18:04 PM »
Are you guys that are liking the results using the auto ISO mostly? I usually don't use auto ISO but have seen quite a few positive comments about it on the 5D3...

I shoot both.  If I'm in rapidly changing lighting situations, I really can only practically use auto ISO.  Usually though, why not use it?  If you have the luxury of changing shutter speed, leave it on auto and just raise or lower shutter speed.  However, in situations where I want a large DOF and a fast shutter speed, I manually adjust ISO. 
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Razor2012

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Re: 5D2 vs 5D3 low light AF
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2012, 03:59:44 PM »
Are you guys that are liking the results using the auto ISO mostly? I usually don't use auto ISO but have seen quite a few positive comments about it on the 5D3...

The results are great.  I just used auto ISO at a recital and I was very pleased.  Give it a try.
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Re: 5D2 vs 5D3 low light AF
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2012, 03:59:44 PM »

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Re: 5D2 vs 5D3 low light AF
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2012, 01:54:34 AM »
Would it make sense to let it only use the crosstype sensors? Or should i have them both actived?

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Re: 5D2 vs 5D3 low light AF
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2012, 02:03:00 AM »
Would it make sense to let it only use the crosstype sensors? Or should i have them both actived?
I've got mine set to only be able to select cross types so i dont accidentally select one of the othe ones
in this mode if using zone or expanded AF it will still use the other points for assist though as far as I know
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Re: 5D2 vs 5D3 low light AF
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2012, 02:03:00 AM »