Automatic Hyperfocal Menu Selection Options

canonmike

EOS R6
CR Pro
Jan 5, 2013
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I should preface this post by stating that I am not an engineer, so I do not know what it would entail to offer a menu selection option, whereby one could assign automatic hyperfocal distance selection to a button or dial on some future R series body, based on the focal range of the lens and aperture you have set on it. Canon has some brilliant engineers among their work force, so if this can be done and anyone could offer it, they certainly could. Sure, I can use the technique of focusing 1/3 into the frame on a landscape shot, as I often do or carry a hyperfocal distance full frame aperture chart, showing hyperfocal distance and dividing by 2 to check focus area or try focusing on infinity, then check for proper focus on LCD screen, etc. etc. But, it sure would be nice if the camera could just make its best guess for me in advance based on my aperture setting used at the time. Sure would save me a lot of time. Can any of our erudite engineers out there chime in on this?? I know there are more than a few of you out there(I've read some of your CR posts) that are no doubt, quite capable of disassembling an R5/6 blindfolded, while you check out the mother board for the pure heck of it, maybe add a heat sink or two while your at it, then casually put it back together better than you found it, right after you finished modifying Lightroom's latest software upgrades to better complement the program based on your personal needs for same. Then, hopefully, all I would have to do, perhaps, would be a slight tweak to the recommended hyperfocal setting when necessary. If I can perform this by using the proper formula on my calculator, why can't the camera, with its built in sophisticated computer curcuitry, just do it for me?
 

stevelee

FT-QL
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Jul 6, 2017
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Just focus 1/3 of the way to infinity.

When I was shooting video of basketball, calculations had told me that if I manually focused on the rim, everything in the court and somewhat beyond would be in focus whatever aperture the camera chose.

Hyperfocal distance will change with focal length and aperture, so the main trick to automating would be locking these in place before the calculation.
 

Joules

doom
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Jul 16, 2017
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I doubt the reason this isn't in any of the Canon cameras has anything to do with lack of ability.

Often it seems Canon just likes to 'keep it simple'. There are a lot of little features that the cameras are able to perform from a technical standpoint, but that Canon does not provide. Remember Magic Lantern? That's just a wonderful demonstration of how many niche features you could cram even into the old DSLRs.

From Canon's point of view, they have to consider if a given feature provides enough value to enough people to justify the added menu and manual complexity as well as the time/cost for development and maintenance. And even if it is, they have to judge if these resources wouldn't be spend better on another feature.

As we've seen now, Canon appears much more inclined to add functionality to their cameras and listen to user feedback. So if you really care about this feature, don't wish for it on a forum. Submit your feedback to Canon, ideally making sure to clearly express what you want and why it matters to you.

Edit: On a side note, as someone who does not own any Canon mirrorless camera - Can you perhaps use focus peaking and DoF preview as a work around to getting a good idea for the area in acceptable focus? Not as precise as an actual calculation and not necessarily hyperfocal, but maybe a decent way of using the features that are in the camera to achieve something good enough.
 
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neuroanatomist

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Can you perhaps use focus peaking and DoF preview as a work around to getting a good idea for the area in acceptable focus? Not as precise as an actual calculation and not necessarily hyperfocal, but maybe a decent way of using the features that are in the camera to achieve something good enough.
Anyone old enough to remember A-DEP?
 
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Joules

doom
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Anyone old enough to remember A-DEP?
Sort of? I needed Google to tell me what it is, but my 600D (Rebel T3i) that I use very rarely has it on the mode dial. Obviously I never used it.

Nice summary from Canon Australia:

"The A-DEP feature allows you to pinpoint the closest subject you want in focus, as well as the furthest point. Once you have identified the range of the scene that you want in focus, the camera will then set the correct aperture to ensure the right depth of field, together with the right shutter speed to expose the image correctly.

This feature can be handy when taking a group photo of people placed at different distances to you. You want all those people in focus, but you don’t want to use an aperture so small that you risk blurring the shot.

A-DEP was first seen on Canon EOS 35mm film cameras, where you couldn’t get an instant review of the shot. In the digital era, it is therefore less useful to photographers, and has been dropped entirely from most EOS cameras. Additionally, the Depth of Field Preview button is a more user friendly and tactile way of gauging your depth of field before capturing the shot."

I guess you were refering to that feature in the film cameras? In which case, no, I am not old enough to have any chance of remembering that.
 
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stevelee

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Sort of? I needed Google to tell me what it is, but my 600D (Rebel T3i) that I use very rarely has it on the mode dial. Obviously I never used it.
I had forgotten about it until it was mentioned here. Some years ago I tried it out on my T3i. It was slick.
 

privatebydesign

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Hyperfocal distance shooting guarantees that nothing much of interest is critically sharp but most of the image is 'acceptably sharp' IF you only look at images that honor the CoC of the calculator. If the calculator doesn't know what size you are going to enlarge to, or distance to view from, or crop to, it is useless.
 

stevelee

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Hyperfocal distance shooting guarantees that nothing much of interest is critically sharp but most of the image is 'acceptably sharp' IF you only look at images that honor the CoC of the calculator. If the calculator doesn't know what size you are going to enlarge to, or distance to view from, or crop to, it is useless.
I have used calculators that let you choose the CofC directly or indirectly.
 

Antono Refa

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Mar 26, 2014
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I doubt the reason this isn't in any of the Canon cameras has anything to do with lack of ability.

Often it seems Canon just likes to 'keep it simple'. There are a lot of little features that the cameras are able to perform from a technical standpoint, but that Canon does not provide. Remember Magic Lantern? That's just a wonderful demonstration of how many niche features you could cram even into the old DSLRs.
A modern camera is a sophisticated computer that can access and control all the relevant parameters. Adding a basic scripting language that would allow to set the lens' focus distance to the appropriate value based on lens & sensor parameters would allow the user to add this feature.

I suspect such a feature was not added because not adding it allows Canon to make a profit on selling items such as a remote shutter release with a timer, rather than letting users write a script that instructs the camera to take a photo every X seconds.

[A yes, in a moment half a dozen people will tell me it would allow viruses. A simple interpreter can validate scripts and keep the camera safe, e.g. by not having commands that change the memory card beyond 'shutter release'.]
 

neuroanatomist

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Jul 21, 2010
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A modern camera is a sophisticated computer that can access and control all the relevant parameters. Adding a basic scripting language that would allow to set the lens' focus distance to the appropriate value based on lens & sensor parameters would allow the user to add this feature.

I suspect such a feature was not added because not adding it allows Canon to make a profit on selling items such as a remote shutter release with a timer, rather than letting users write a script that instructs the camera to take a photo every X seconds.

[A yes, in a moment half a dozen people will tell me it would allow viruses. A simple interpreter can validate scripts and keep the camera safe, e.g. by not having commands that change the memory card beyond 'shutter release'.]
The number of photographers who can and if so would write scripts, compared to the added development and support costs of allowing that sort of access, make the idea a total non-starter.
 
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koenkooi

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A modern camera is a sophisticated computer that can access and control all the relevant parameters. Adding a basic scripting language that would allow to set the lens' focus distance to the appropriate value based on lens & sensor parameters would allow the user to add this feature.

I suspect such a feature was not added because not adding it allows Canon to make a profit on selling items such as a remote shutter release with a timer, rather than letting users write a script that instructs the camera to take a photo every X seconds.

[A yes, in a moment half a dozen people will tell me it would allow viruses. A simple interpreter can validate scripts and keep the camera safe, e.g. by not having commands that change the memory card beyond 'shutter release'.]
As mentioned earlier in the thread, Magic Lantern allowed exactly that. The person behind the Grey Heron blog has created a lot of focus helper scripts, with features I wish Canon would add to their focus stacking features. My big pet peeve with the Canon focus stacking is that it will requires AF before it starts, so you can't focus a bit in front of the subject, you need to pick something the AF will lock onto :/
 

EricN

EOS M6 Mark II
Aug 10, 2021
52
101
The number of photographers who can and if so would write scripts, compared to the added development and support costs of allowing that sort of access, make the idea a total non-starter.
I have to agree (consider how much trouble some people report having with the firmware.)
 

Antono Refa

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Mar 26, 2014
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The number of photographers who can and if so would write scripts, compared to the added development and support costs of allowing that sort of access, make the idea a total non-starter.
A few would write scripts & share them for the rest to use.
 

neuroanatomist

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A few would write scripts & share them for the rest to use.
Right, and when someone wrote and shared a flawed script, who would users contact for support? "Bob" who wrote the script? No, Canon. There's a good reason some manufacturers prefer a closed system.
 

koenkooi

EOS 5D Mark IV
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As I wrote, the scripting language can be secure enough to prevent that.

I don't recall complaints on this forum of cameras borked by magic lantern either.
But this forum isn't Canon Official Support, it's Canon Rumors.
 

Antono Refa

EOS R
Mar 26, 2014
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But this forum isn't Canon Official Support, it's Canon Rumors.
Canon doesn't support magic lantern either. My point is nobody ever mentioned problems with magic lantern here, say "don't install it, it will bork your camera", which I take to mean it works rather well. And so could a simple scripting language.