Problems with AF on birds @ R5

XL+

EOS M6 Mark II
CR Pro
Sep 15, 2016
88
30
recently: The Tyrol, Austria
Beautiful evening!

I need the help of experienced R5 users, please! My R5`s AF fails, when I want to shoot birds that are not format-filling. The AF always focusses on infinity and stays there, even if the selected AF field (spot AF, extended spot AF) is pointing sufficiently on the bird. The subject meets all needs on contrast and size to cover the whole AF-points. To solve this problem, I´ve to rearrange and point the AF field on much nearer object, then it focusses correctly in most cases.
But this is not satisfacting. These days I lost a lot of shots, when an kingfisher fetched fishes mnultiple times out of the water.

Any advide to solve this background fixation?
Thank you!
 

XL+

EOS M6 Mark II
CR Pro
Sep 15, 2016
88
30
recently: The Tyrol, Austria
How did you hold the camera? Upright or horizontal?
horizontal.

But the bird had a lot of horizontal, vertical and diagonal structures. The 5D Makr IV did not have any problems with Single AF and spot AF. I tried it too.
Maybe there is an Af setting, I did not change... I´ve also tried a lot changes at AF and resetted it at the end
 
Last edited:

AlanF

Stay at home
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
8,594
11,357
It's a problem with Nikon, Sony and now Canon mirrorless that they don't give closest subject priority so often they will focus on background. I have found that sometimes annoying with the R5, but not to the extent you seem to have but I generally use eyeAF, which seem to recognise eyes quickly.
 

Act444

EOS R
May 4, 2011
1,134
209
Yes, I had a similar issue with the RP a few months earlier...very frustrating to be honest as my 5D bodies don't do this. it's a mirrorless issue I think. Still maturing...

DSLRs aren't dead just yet ;)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Methodical

YuengLinger

EOS R6
CR Pro
Dec 20, 2012
3,495
1,945
USA
Could you share your current AF settings? And what different things you've tried with the settings? How is it doing with stationary subjects at various distances? Is it happening with more than one lens? How does it work with subjects on the ground but moving somewhat quickly?

Hope it's just a familiarity issue for you!
 
  • Like
Reactions: PunkRawkJay

docsmith

EOS R
CR Pro
Sep 17, 2010
1,060
507
I have reprogramed the "*" button to be a single point AF. Whenever I am having issues with AF, I switch to the "*" button, aim at target, and then I switch back to AF-On which is set to eye-AF. By getting the subject is good initial focus, the Eye-AF can then take over.
 

AlanF

Stay at home
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
8,594
11,357
I have reprogramed the "*" button to be a single point AF. Whenever I am having issues with AF, I switch to the "*" button, aim at target, and then I switch back to AF-On which is set to eye-AF. By getting the subject is good initial focus, the Eye-AF can then take over.
Similarly here. For my C1 mode for static or slow moving subjects the shutter button activates single point AF and the AF-On button overrides that to animal eyeAF. I would like to have it the other way round as well but you can't do it so clearly. You can set the shutter button to activate eyeAF but I couldn't find out how to asssign another button to single point AF, only to set it to start at the centre.
 

Canonite

EOS R5
Dec 19, 2013
30
82
Myself I have setup the R5 with back button focus, one button for autofocus (af-on)z, and the other (*) button for eye detection.
I have not had many issues with birds inflight or statics, but there are times that my lens will lose the subject and won't refocus without manually turning the focusing ring on the 600 IS II lens. I also think autofocus was a bit better before the 1.1.1 firmware at least for the 600mm.
 

XL+

EOS M6 Mark II
CR Pro
Sep 15, 2016
88
30
recently: The Tyrol, Austria
Thank you all!
Sorry for late answering, I had some hardware issues with my computer
I am trying a lot to customize the settings and find the best solution. But the AF still struggles.
Next, the AF single, switched to automatic AF with all fields will be tested.
 
Last edited:

XL+

EOS M6 Mark II
CR Pro
Sep 15, 2016
88
30
recently: The Tyrol, Austria
Could you share your current AF settings? And what different things you've tried with the settings? How is it doing with stationary subjects at various distances? Is it happening with more than one lens? How does it work with subjects on the ground but moving somewhat quickly?

Hope it's just a familiarity issue for you!
AF method: :)[]
Motives: animals
Eyedetection activated
AF case 4
kontinuos AF

As an example, the approaching redkite was never detected by the AF in this setting, even when it was filling half of the screen. Pressing the AF button several times did not change the AF-point and the body did not refocus.

screenshot2 - Kopie.png

screenshot1 - Kopie.png
 
Last edited:

XL+

EOS M6 Mark II
CR Pro
Sep 15, 2016
88
30
recently: The Tyrol, Austria
The same in single spot AF:
Focussing on the kingfisher was not possible. Always the AF went back to the background. Only, when I manually refocussed on an near bush, the AF point found the bird.
screenshot3 - Kopie.png
 

YuengLinger

EOS R6
CR Pro
Dec 20, 2012
3,495
1,945
USA
We've gotten a lot of info from you, XL+. I hope you are resolving the issue! These questions and discussions help all involved learn more about their cameras, for sure.

I'm stuck home today waiting for my R6. Of course what I will try FIRST is AF!

If others were having AF problems as bad as you, XL+, the Web would be aflame. And all the great reviews we've been reading are fake.

My point? I hope you are within your return window. This terrible performance you are sharing seems to point to some failure within your camera, not trouble learning how to use it.

Please keep us up to date!
 
  • Like
Reactions: PunkRawkJay

VegasCameraGuy

EOS R5
CR Pro
Jul 9, 2020
209
177
Las Vegas, NV
www.flickr.com
If others were having AF problems as bad as you, XL+, the Web would be aflame. And all the great reviews we've been reading are fake.
As a new R5 owner, having moved up from a Canon EOS 80D, I've struggled to try to learn how to use the AF system. The Canon advanced user's manual, all 900+ pages, doesn't help at all. It is basically screenshots of the menus with little explanation of how to use the features of autofocus. Luckily there are a number of YouTube bloggers that have helped to explain how the system works. I think that we are lucky in that the camera works well even when you don't fully understand how it works. A lot of R5 owners came from a 5D4 and the transition wasn't as bad for them as many of the features came over from the 5D4. For those of us who jumped into the R5, I think a lot of people felt that when you pay $4000 for a camera body you would get a decent manual.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Nelu

YuengLinger

EOS R6
CR Pro
Dec 20, 2012
3,495
1,945
USA
...For those of us who jumped into the R5, I think a lot of people felt that when you pay $4000 for a camera body you would get a decent manual.

Surely the included hard-copy quick start guide has enough information to explain how to take a shot of a bird sitting still. Just to get the camera up and running and ready for some fun to try it out?

The Advanced User Guide is available for free, and can be viewed on PC, tablet, or phone. It's massive! I've read some criticism of it here, but it's already a textbook at 919 pages. You do bring up a good point: If this is your first Canon camera, it's a whole lot of new material! But there is a cottage industry of youtubers, and hard-copy writers selling books on Amazon. And there are even people selling a printed version of the AUG.

And then there is good old Google for learning features that don't seem intuitive, or learning new features better.

The 80D's manual was the same Canon style I've seen for 15 years now. Should they reboot their approach? Perhaps, but Canon does put out some good online guides, both text and video. Rudy Winston spent years educating Canon customers.

People pay $50,000 and plenty more for high-end vehicles and get briefer owners' manuals. It takes time to learn all the new features, to get to that point where the machine becomes an extension of ourselves, something we hardly think about while using.

Having just finished setting up the R6 for the first time, I simply accept that I've got to try many of the new features and customizations for some time before I get it just right for me. And that was over 90 minutes of going tab by tab, trying to understand the sometimes cryptic "Help" included with many of the functions.

But the point with the OP's AF problems is not that he can't get things set correctly--he has shown us he knows more than enough to be getting things in focus! Unless he is just overlooking something obvious, and will slap himself in the forehead very soon, his particular camera body seems to have a serious AF failing.

By the way, have we learned what shutter speed the samples were shot at?

EDIT: I should have added that CR is a great place to share tips and tricks too! After a morning using my new R6, I'm seeing some little customization speed bumps that are surprising.
 
Last edited: