Remote shooting and Eye tracking with the R5. Experiences and any advice on how to make it work better?


Aug 29, 2011
Hi, I've had my R5 for a few weeks now and was thrown in at the deep end by (at least) two kingfishers coming very regularly to my garden pond.
They started coming very early in the morning where there was almost no natural light at all, but that gace me a chance to practice, shooting at down to 1/50 second does not give sharp pictures very often. I was at first taking shots from our living room through double glazed windows, as going outside scared them off very quickly. Now after a few weeks I can open the Patio door and lift the camera etc. they don't mind.
So, I am trying to get shots at unusual angles, and landing shots when they go back to the branches I installed as fishing perches.
To do that, the Camera connect app is a bit slow and I prefer to use a simple wireless remote allowing a half and full press (Captur from hähnel) to release the shutter. Also, I can hold it with my arm down at my side while waiting comfortably, with Camera connect I need to keep checking if my finger is still on the correct spot on the smartphone screen. That works perfectly OK, I think.

So, I set the camera to look along the branch provided, but I don't know where exactly the bird will land on the branch.
So I set the initial focus point to somwhere along the branch, as shown in R5-focus_1.jpg.
On my 5DMK4, I tried setting the focus points above the branch somewhere around the breast of the Bird. If a Bird was there, all was OK.
If the Bird flew away then focus would move to the fence in the background, and would never come back automatically. This is why
I started by putting the focus point on the branch.
The results were not too good, see R5-focus_2.jpg as an example.

But, in some cases, the AI stuff did find the Bird and moved at least to the body of the bird, see R5-focus_3.jpg as an example.
In that shot, the one eye at least was visible (when captured) and I would have expected eye tracking to have gone to the
eye or at least the head.

Its all made a little more difficult to understand as I dont think all information about what the focus is doing is sent to camera
connect and the various boxes drawn and colours are not the same as when lokking on the camera, I assume to save bandwidth.
Or I am doing something wrong.

Anyway, eye tracking seems to work pretty well otherwise, but repeated half-presses of the shutter release remotely dont seem
to work the same way.

I'm going to look again at the AF Cases, I tried cases 2 and three yesterday.

So, anyone have any ideas how I can get this to be more reliable?

BTW, I am happy just to use the wireless remote, I was using Camera connect in parallel to observe what the AF was doing when
a Bird arrived.

Thanks in advance for any insight you may have about how to do this.

Yes, I am very happy with my R5, I do need a limiter to get off 20FPS when on full electronic, and it works very well with my
EF 500 f/4L IS II USM and my EF 100-400mm L IS II USM zoom.

Cheers BrianR5-focus_1.JPGR5-focus_2.JPGR5-focus_3.JPG
Does the app have some equivalent of the half-shutter-press? Maybe the focus-press function does it too quickly the software does not have enough time to acquire the eye with any certainty. Have you got a remote release unit you could use?

I see the camera was in Servo AF. One description of Canon AF system that I have read that seems to describe the differences between Canon and other marques is that Canon AF algorithm assumes the subject is moving so is always effectively hunting for the subject and if it is stationary it can sometimes fool the software. Have you tried single-shot to take the tracking AF out of the equation?
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