Problems with AF on birds @ R5

AlanF

Stay at home
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
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The new mirrorless of all makes are complex pieces of machinery with a large number of customization features. Videos like Michael the Maven's are a useful entree.
 
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docsmith

EOS R
CR Pro
Sep 17, 2010
1,060
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Yep. The R5 is definitely worth diving in and learning the tricks.

just having watched the video, I like what he did, but I am not sure I am going to adapt it as I may like what I have done more (loosely based on Jan Wegener’s videos). But AF-on is set to AF, then while setting that up you press the info button and this is designated to Eye-AF, the * button is the same, but assigned to expanded single point, but then, my trigger button is still AF, but has whatever mode is selected. I have it set as the small single point, but this can be adjusted quickly.

So, three different AF methods on three different buttons.
 

YuengLinger

EOS R6
CR Pro
Dec 20, 2012
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It would be nice if one button could be assigned to toggle between Eye-AF and single point, rather than having to devote two buttons to the job. Or have I missed something?
 

SteveC

R5
CR Pro
Sep 3, 2019
2,421
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It would be nice if one button could be assigned to toggle between Eye-AF and single point, rather than having to devote two buttons to the job. Or have I missed something?

I don't toggle. One button (the one labeled AF-on) IS single point AF (another, I think the tic-tac-toe one, will step you though the differing zones in case you want to switch away from single point to one of the other modes), and the other (*) IS Eye AF, and so long as I hold one or the other of them down the autofocus operates in that mode. Exposure lock happens by pushing the shutter button halfway, freeing up the (*) button. [On my M50 I assigned the tic-tac-toe looking button to be back button autofocus.]

I guess my thumb is the toggle. Which button it pushes dictates which mode the camera is in.
 

zim

EOS 5D Mark IV
CR Pro
Oct 18, 2011
2,129
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Can I ask, entirely out of curiosity as I don't have the camera, is it possible to have the shutter button assigned to spot af and meter and the af-on button assigned to say animal eye af. Such that while the shutter button is half pressed pressing the af-on button overrides spot and switches to animal eye af, releasing the back button returning to spot?
 

docsmith

EOS R
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Sep 17, 2010
1,060
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Can I ask, entirely out of curiosity as I don't have the camera, is it possible to have the shutter button assigned to spot af and meter and the af-on button assigned to say animal eye af. Such that while the shutter button is half pressed pressing the af-on button overrides spot and switches to animal eye af, releasing the back button returning to spot?
Yes
 
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YuengLinger

EOS R6
CR Pro
Dec 20, 2012
3,495
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I don't toggle. One button (the one labeled AF-on) IS single point AF (another, I think the tic-tac-toe one, will step you though the differing zones in case you want to switch away from single point to one of the other modes), and the other (*) IS Eye AF, and so long as I hold one or the other of them down the autofocus operates in that mode. Exposure lock happens by pushing the shutter button halfway, freeing up the (*) button. [On my M50 I assigned the tic-tac-toe looking button to be back button autofocus.]

I guess my thumb is the toggle. Which button it pushes dictates which mode the camera is in.
Ok, I see, but I don't want to have to keep my thumb pressing down to have EyeAF active. I want that thumb free to make adjustments.
 

docsmith

EOS R
CR Pro
Sep 17, 2010
1,060
507
It would be nice if one button could be assigned to toggle between Eye-AF and single point, rather than having to devote two buttons to the job. Or have I missed something?
Maybe I am mistaken about what you are trying to do, but you can designate one button to AF mode selection, and then turn off all the modes that you do not want, in this case, eye-AF and single point.
Michael Mavens video talked about this toward the end.
 
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XL+

EOS M6 Mark II
CR Pro
Sep 15, 2016
88
30
recently: The Tyrol, Austria
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!
I hope this is an hardware issue, but I do not be sure. I have contacted CPS, but they see the problem in my lenses - all whites are non RF. I will have to send it to Canon repair center. But in the call, I did not have the feeling the technican sees it as an hardware failure. As the camera is brand new, they do not have much experience in such behaviors.
I am now fetching and "de-camouflaging" all my three big whites to get it fitted for the cases.
Some of the photographers think, this is not an issue. Just not correct using the equipment, or to much expectations on what this body is able to do. Yes, maybe. My other bodies do have some issues too (like 5D MK 4 with approaching birds, and the Sony 7R MK 4 with grain).

I hope ( hope dies last ) Canon is willed to improve such bugs by firmware updates. Not only getting improvements for the 8K recording time, but for these situations too.
 

AlanF

Stay at home
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
8,593
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Maybe I am mistaken about what you are trying to do, but you can designate one button to AF mode selection, and then turn off all the modes that you do not want, in this case, eye-AF and single point.
Michael Mavens video talked about this toward the end.
I've missed something. I haven't been able to find a way to assign point AF to a button, and I can assign only eyeAF. So, the way of doing the switch is that described earlier of having the shutter button as doing point focus and assigning eyeAF to another button.
 

XL+

EOS M6 Mark II
CR Pro
Sep 15, 2016
88
30
recently: The Tyrol, Austria
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.
The redkite was shot 1/1600, Iso 640, f5.6
The unsharp redkite was 1/1600, Iso 100, f5.6
The kingfisher was 1/3200, iso 800, F 5.6

Canon could do a lot in familarization to these new bodies, to get satisfied customers.
The videos of Mr. Winston are very good. But could be expanded.
My whish would be something like Mr. Mark Galer from Sony. This is great, which tipps and hints he gives in his presentations and videos. THAT would be great. Also, I am missing some workshops by Canon Academy where they offer profound level courses on these topics to get the best out of their products.
 
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YuengLinger

EOS R6
CR Pro
Dec 20, 2012
3,495
1,945
USA
I hope this is an hardware issue, but I do not be sure. I have contacted CPS, but they see the problem in my lenses - all whites are non RF. I will have to send it to Canon repair center. But in the call, I did not have the feeling the technican sees it as an hardware failure. As the camera is brand new, they do not have much experience in such behaviors.
I am now fetching and "de-camouflaging" all my three big whites to get it fitted for the cases.
Some of the photographers think, this is not an issue. Just not correct using the equipment, or to much expectations on what this body is able to do. Yes, maybe. My other bodies do have some issues too (like 5D MK 4 with approaching birds, and the Sony 7R MK 4 with grain).

I hope ( hope dies last ) Canon is willed to improve such bugs by firmware updates. Not only getting improvements for the 8K recording time, but for these situations too.
You clearly know too much about photography for this to be consistently your fault, and if it is happening consistently, my bet is the body has a problem.

I used my R6 this morning with little kids running around very fast. Seems to be perfectly focusing with Eye AF Tracking. My problem is definitely familiarity, as I barely used my R for action, so disappointing was it for more than modest and expected motion. But from just putting the AF square on a kid's face or head, the camera AF keeps right up with it--and whole series of running shots are right in focus when viewed in DPP.

Now I do know that on my R, sometimes my EF 3fmm f/1.4L II seemed to have some surprising trouble with motion, but my RF lenses never. Still, it didn't happen consistently with the R + 35mm, just now and then, as if the processor had gotten confused. And, again, I never went for very fast motion with it.

Are you having some percentage of perfect AF? Or is it unpredictable? Never working as expected? I would definitely not let forum or photographer friends make you doubt your abilities and what these cameras are capable of!
 

docsmith

EOS R
CR Pro
Sep 17, 2010
1,060
507
I've missed something. I haven't been able to find a way to assign point AF to a button, and I can assign only eyeAF. So, the way of doing the switch is that described earlier of having the shutter button as doing point focus and assigning eyeAF to another button.
When customizing buttons. Select “metering and AF Start” then press the Info button, which allows you to set “AF method” including single point AF.
 

AlanF

Stay at home
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
8,593
11,355
When customizing buttons. Select “metering and AF Start” then press the Info button, which allows you to set “AF method” including single point AF.
Thanks so much! I hadn't figured out how to do it and so now problem solved. It's a pity Canon had to use a sub-menu to do this when they could have added more boxes to the higher menu. But, once you know, it is fine. Reading other forums for tips, it's clear that I was not alone in missing this and you are the first I had come across to know.
 
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docsmith

EOS R
CR Pro
Sep 17, 2010
1,060
507
Thanks so much! I hadn't figured out how to do it and so now problem solved. It's a pity Canon had to use a sub-menu to do this when they could have added more boxes to the higher menu. But, once you know, it is fine. Reading other forums for tips, it's clear that I was not alone in missing this and you are the first I had come across to know.
Great. Glad it worked for you. I forget where I saw it, likely either Jan Wegener or Whistling wings photography on YouTube. Both have nice set up videos in the R5.
 
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VegasCameraGuy

EOS R5
CR Pro
Jul 9, 2020
209
177
Las Vegas, NV
www.flickr.com
Also, keep in mind that you can create custom menus with the actions that you regularly perform such as flash settings or AF settings in one place. The R5 is a complex machine and when you're on a shoot, I find it easier to go to the custom menus I've created for actions that I used to have to search for. For example, "Battery Info," is one of the custom actions I have because I can never remember where it's at.
 

docsmith

EOS R
CR Pro
Sep 17, 2010
1,060
507
Is this the video?
Yes, that is the Whistling Wings video. The Jan Wegener video is here:

I just checked out each video and they do not set it up in the way I mentioned above. But, the Whistling Wings video may have just showed me something new, at 46 min, he talks about an AF switch option assigned to the DOF button. That is another interesting option that I'll play with.

Overall, there are a lot of options in customizing our buttons. I'll probably be adjusting and learning for awhile.
 
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XL+

EOS M6 Mark II
CR Pro
Sep 15, 2016
88
30
recently: The Tyrol, Austria
You clearly know too much about photography for this to be consistently your fault, and if it is happening consistently, my bet is the body has a problem.

I used my R6 this morning with little kids running around very fast. Seems to be perfectly focusing with Eye AF Tracking. My problem is definitely familiarity, as I barely used my R for action, so disappointing was it for more than modest and expected motion. But from just putting the AF square on a kid's face or head, the camera AF keeps right up with it--and whole series of running shots are right in focus when viewed in DPP.

Now I do know that on my R, sometimes my EF 3fmm f/1.4L II seemed to have some surprising trouble with motion, but my RF lenses never. Still, it didn't happen consistently with the R + 35mm, just now and then, as if the processor had gotten confused. And, again, I never went for very fast motion with it.

Are you having some percentage of perfect AF? Or is it unpredictable? Never working as expected? I would definitely not let forum or photographer friends make you doubt your abilities and what these cameras are capable of!
The percentage of subjects in focus is about half of the shots , if the background is plain colured. If there is some "troubled background" like trees, grass, e.g., it drops to one quarter or less. This is just feeled, not counted.
Today, the service center wrote, they will check my R5 and the lenses. Canon recommends for good AF performance using Rf lenses - or with the long telephoto lenses Mark III versions. (600 III and 400 III).
 
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