Vehicle AF and more coming to the Canon EOS R5 and Canon EOS R6 in December firmware update

YuengLinger

EOS R5
CR Pro
Dec 20, 2012
3,539
1,996
USA
I'm pleased that Canon continues to offer firmware updates for improved performance. But like several other users, I'd like more flexibility in the assignment of button functions. In particular, I do not use any of the features currently assignable to the RATE button. It would be nice to have more flexibility in assigning that button's function.
The RATE button is a puzzle. Could there be some wiring/hardware limitation preventing further customization?
 

entoman

wildlife photography
May 8, 2015
440
477
UK
It's mirrorless. What you see is what you get. Not needed.
Untrue. WYSIWYG is a myth. The EVF is a high contrast, highly compressed JPEG preview of an image with reduced colour gamut. Furthermore it cannot reliably be used to judge exposure, because your eyes will compensate for differences in the EVF brightness. So it is no more useful than the image seen on the LCD panel of a DSLR.

If you want "correct" exposure, it's best to regard the EVF image as nothing but a very rough approximation. Referring to the histogram is far more accurate and reliable. And if you really care about exposure accuracy, bracket your exposures.

The real value of an EVF is that you can instantly check that you got the subject sharp and in focus, without removing your eye.

Mirrorless provides many benefits in terms of AF tracking, silent shutter and blackout-free shooting, but "WYSIWYG" is highly overrated hype.
 
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AlanF

Stay at home
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
8,843
12,088
Untrue. WYSIWYG is a myth. The EVF is a high contrast, highly compressed JPEG preview of an image with reduced colour gamut. Furthermore it cannot reliably be used to judge exposure, because your eyes will compensate for differences in the EVF brightness. So it is no more useful than the image seen on the LCD panel of a DSLR.

If you want "correct" exposure, it's best to regard the EVF image as nothing but a very rough approximation. Referring to the histogram is far more accurate and reliable. And if you really care about exposure accuracy, bracket your exposures.

The real value of an EVF is that you can instantly check that you got the subject sharp and in focus, without removing your eye.

Mirrorless provides many benefits in terms of AF tracking, silent shutter and blackout-free shooting, but "WYSIWYG" is highly overrated hype.
When you are shooting RAW on the R5, its sensor is completely iso-invariant above iso 800 to very high values. So as long as you don't clip highlights by overexposing, you can push the exposure through many stops in post processing without any deleterious effects compared with getting it "accurate" in camera. And it's not much worse than that at lower isos. The evf gives you the most important information: not clipping highlights. You can see through the evf how close you are to clipping highlights, and the camera will even indicate that to you as well by the bleached areas flashing black. I, personally, find the evf invaluable for judging exposure, though you might find that over-rated. I've given up using auto-exposure because it's now redundant for the way I use full manual. If I am shooting a brightly reflecting bird or with some bright parts, I scale back exposure. If its the other way round, I can see how much I can increase exposure without bleaching other parts.
 

YuengLinger

EOS R5
CR Pro
Dec 20, 2012
3,539
1,996
USA
Untrue. WYSIWYG is a myth. The EVF is a high contrast, highly compressed JPEG preview of an image with reduced colour gamut. Furthermore it cannot reliably be used to judge exposure, because your eyes will compensate for differences in the EVF brightness. So it is no more useful than the image seen on the LCD panel of a DSLR.

If you want "correct" exposure, it's best to regard the EVF image as nothing but a very rough approximation. Referring to the histogram is far more accurate and reliable. And if you really care about exposure accuracy, bracket your exposures.

The real value of an EVF is that you can instantly check that you got the subject sharp and in focus, without removing your eye.

Mirrorless provides many benefits in terms of AF tracking, silent shutter and blackout-free shooting, but "WYSIWYG" is highly overrated hype.
I'm sorry that you simply discredit one of the great benefits of the R5/R6. I have my EVF configured, after months of tweaking, to be very true, far better than a "rough approximation." Yes, the histogram adds to the precision I'm experiencing shot after shot, but, in my opinion, calling the exposure accuracy of what is represented by the EVF "highly overrated hype" suggests you are either dismissive of the tech, or you haven't managed to adjust your EVF properly for your eyes.

If the limited Picture Styles offered in-camera aren't working for you, experiment with the Canon Picture Styles Editor to create custom Styles.

EDIT: There is also the possibility, of course, that your own R5/R6 has an issue with the EVF.
 

entoman

wildlife photography
May 8, 2015
440
477
UK
When you are shooting RAW on the R5, its sensor is completely iso-invariant above iso 800 to very high values. So as long as you don't clip highlights by overexposing, you can push the exposure through many stops in post processing without any deleterious effects compared with getting it "accurate" in camera. And it's not much worse than that at lower isos. The evf gives you the most important information: not clipping highlights. You can see through the evf how close you are to clipping highlights, and the camera will even indicate that to you as well by the bleached areas flashing black. I, personally, find the evf invaluable for judging exposure, though you might find that over-rated. I've given up using auto-exposure because it's now redundant for the way I use full manual. If I am shooting a brightly reflecting bird or with some bright parts, I scale back exposure. If its the other way round, I can see how much I can increase exposure without bleaching other parts.
"Correcting" the exposure by significant amounts alters the contrast, saturation and colour balance because the red, blue and green subpixels respond differently to varying light levels, so getting the exposure optimal in the first place saves a lot of work in post.

I wouldn't personally rely on the image shown in any EVF for assessing exposure - the histogram is a much better guide IMO. And while modern sensors such as in the R5 are fairly iso-invariant, lifting shadows will still increase noise levels. So I have to disagree about the usefulness of the "WYSIWYG" aspect of EVFs.

Like yourself, I generally shoot with manual metering. Whenever possible I also bracket exposures - the obvious exception being birds and insects in flight, or burst of animals running etc.
 
Nov 23, 2021
3
0
I don't know - adding another modes might be nice, but I still have gripes, with how messy all those modes are.

- The old school servo tracking is exactly that - well, old school. Working against the logic of other modes. I don't want my camera to refocus when I move it, I want it to lock on the subject and track it. So in single point mode, no servo for me.

- Face tracking mode - default setting is useless for most users - no initial point displayed? So you are basically waiting for a camera to choose something from the scene to jump onto? This is a joke. So for face tracking mode, the servo mode feels better, at least to both me and my wife.

So, from focus and recompose, we've got ourselves to focus, track and recompose.
It is possible to configure a single point AF in one shot mode while still in face tracking servo mode and get the best of both
 

AlanF

Stay at home
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
8,843
12,088
And while modern sensors such as in the R5 are fairly iso-invariant, lifting shadows will still increase noise levels. So I have to disagree about the usefulness of the "WYSIWYG" aspect of EVFs.
Here are two actual sets of data on the R5 that show above about iso 400-800 there is negligible increase in noise on lifting shadows in post vs setting a higher iso. The first example are actual, real measurements by Bill Claff that show there are negligible changes in noise on lifting shadows, indicated by the red line I have drawn. https://www.photonstophotos.net/Charts/PDR_Shadow.htm#Canon EOS R5 And, for those who prefer actual examples, the comparator from dpr https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canon-eos-r5-review/5 (quote: "in low light situations, you can use the shutter speed and aperture settings of a high ISO exposure, but keep the camera set to ISO 400. By the time you brighten up the shot in post, the image won't be noticeably noisier than if you shot natively at a higher ISO, but you've saved several stops of highlight information.") You can see clearly pushing through 4 stops from iso 400 in post processinggives the same noise as directly setting iso to 6400.

Photonstophotos copy.jpg
dpr_noise.png
 
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entoman

wildlife photography
May 8, 2015
440
477
UK
Here are two actual sets of data on the R5 that show above about iso 400-800 there is negligible increase in noise on lifting shadows in post vs setting a higher iso. The first example are actual, real measurements by Bill Claff that show there are negligible changes in noise on lifting shadows, indicated by the red line I have drawn. https://www.photonstophotos.net/Charts/PDR_Shadow.htm#Canon EOS R5 And, for those who prefer actual examples, the comparator from dpr https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canon-eos-r5-review/5 (quote: "in low light situations, you can use the shutter speed and aperture settings of a high ISO exposure, but keep the camera set to ISO 400. By the time you brighten up the shot in post, the image won't be noticeably noisier than if you shot natively at a higher ISO, but you've saved several stops of highlight information.") You can see clearly pushing through 4 stops from iso 400 in post processinggives the same noise as directly setting iso to 6400.

View attachment 201345 View attachment 201346
Thanks, that does surprise me.
So, no point in having settings higher than ISO 800 on the camera then? ;) (other than having a pretty picture to chimp at the taking stage).

I'll stick with my opinion about the usefulness of "WYSIWYG" for assessing exposure though.

As for EVFs in general, I still use my 5DMkiv occasionally, and while I fully acknowledge and enjoy many of the benefits of my mirrorless R5, I still much prefer the experience of using an optical viewfinder. Overall of course, the R5 is a far better machine, and it's enabled me to get many shots that would have been a lot more difficut to capture, had I been using a DSLR.
 
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entoman

wildlife photography
May 8, 2015
440
477
UK
Unfortunately, none of the listed improvements in this update are of much use to me as I'm purely a wildlife and nature photographer, but it will be interesting to see if the "enhanced overall tracking of people" and the "improved eye detection", spills over into animal-eye AF. Probably not, as it seems to have been designed to detect masked faces.

Unfortunately again, despite many requests (on forums) from a large number of people, the plea to have an adjustable AF zone in tracking mode has been ignored again. It really would be useful to be able to set a smaller AF point, place it over any subject, and have the camera track it across the entire frame area (which from what I understand, is how the Sony system works).
 

Kit.

EOS 5D Mark IV
Apr 25, 2011
2,201
1,521
Unfortunately again, despite many requests (on forums) from a large number of people, the plea to have an adjustable AF zone in tracking mode has been ignored again. It really would be useful to be able to set a smaller AF point, place it over any subject, and have the camera track it across the entire frame area (which from what I understand, is how the Sony system works).
Hello? It's my default autofocus mode for the R5.

However, I would like to have the ability to keep this mode as the default, but put "tracking mode with automatic selection of the starting point" on the AF-ON button. As far as I know, it's currently impossible.
 

entoman

wildlife photography
May 8, 2015
440
477
UK
Hello? It's my default autofocus mode for the R5.

However, I would like to have the ability to keep this mode as the default, but put "tracking mode with automatic selection of the starting point" on the AF-ON button. As far as I know, it's currently impossible.
Unless I've missed something obvious (which is quite possible ;)...at my age), in "face and tracking" made, you can only use the "standard" fairly large AF spot. What I want to do, for greater precision, is to use the smallest AF spot available, place it over the subject, and then have the camera track it across the frame.

My usual practice is to have "face and tracking" set as default, and case 2.
For BIF, I have AF/ON mapped to zone AF (large square) which works very well, provided that the bird remains within the AF zone, which is usually doable.
For small birds half hidden among branches and foliage, I have *button mapped for smallest AF point, but it won't track across the frame, so it's useless if the subject suddenly moves.

If you can explain in detail how you are able to use the smallest AF point, while enabling the camera to track whatever it is placed over, across the frame, you'd make me very happy!
 

AlanF

Stay at home
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
8,843
12,088
Thanks, that does surprise me.
So, no point in having settings higher than ISO 800 on the camera then? ;) (other than having a pretty picture to chimp at the taking stage).

I'll stick with my opinion about the usefulness of "WYSIWYG" for assessing exposure though.

As for EVFs in general, I still use my 5DMkiv occasionally, and while I fully acknowledge and enjoy many of the benefits of my mirrorless R5, I still much prefer the experience of using an optical viewfinder. Overall of course, the R5 is a far better machine, and it's enabled me to get many shots that would have been a lot more difficut to capture, had I been using a DSLR.

Believe me, it is very useful to know that if you have the iso set to 400 in EFCS or 800 in ES you can make those corrections in post. For example, I'll be in Fv mode with aperture at say f/7.1, iso 800 with the shutter speed at perhaps 1/1000s focussing on a perched bird. Suddenly, one flies over at speed and I can swivel the camera and turn the shutter speed up to 1/4000s by twisting the dial set on the shutter. Chimping isn't so good, but the final result will be fine.
 

Kit.

EOS 5D Mark IV
Apr 25, 2011
2,201
1,521
Unless I've missed something obvious (which is quite possible ;)...at my age), in "face and tracking" made, you can only use the "standard" fairly large AF spot. What I want to do, for greater precision, is to use the smallest AF spot available, place it over the subject, and then have the camera track it across the frame.
Ah, you mean that smaller AF point...

Honestly, I'm not sure it would help, given how loose it usually is when it tries to track something other than eyes. I don't see why they wouldn't use the smaller point in the first place if it did work.

My usual practice is to have "face and tracking" set as default, and case 2.
For BIF, I have AF/ON mapped to zone AF (large square) which works very well, provided that the bird remains within the AF zone, which is usually doable.
Well, it kinda works, but it is unreliable at tracking eyes.

I have *button mapped for smallest AF point
I need the * button for AE lock.
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Jul 21, 2010
26,049
4,613
What I want to do, for greater precision, is to use the smallest AF spot available, place it over the subject, and then have the camera track it across the frame.
With 1-series DSLRs, Canon recommended not using Spot AF to initiate AI Servo tracking of fast moving subjects. Perhaps they baked that recommendation into the R-series firmware.

DF9D0AD1-64F5-4076-BDED-A50C6CF26F0F.jpeg
 

entoman

wildlife photography
May 8, 2015
440
477
UK
Ah, you mean that smaller AF point...
Yep, I often have quite small features of a subject that I'd like to be able to lock onto, e.g. insect eyes. From what I understand, Sony cameras can use even the smallest AF spot with full tracking, so hopefully Canon will be able to improve the usability and put out a firmware update at some stage.
Well, it kinda works, but it is unreliable at tracking eyes.

Yes it depends a lot on the subject. With large birds (herons, eagles, vultures, gulls etc) there is usually enough depth of field to cover the wings and eyes, with the subject half-filling the frame (400mm, F5.6). With smaller and faster moving birds I haven't yet perfected a technique for BIF, it's a bit hit and miss. I'd love to be able to focus on the eyes of a small perched bird and track it as it takes flight. I can do this easily with eagles etc, but sparrows, no way.

I need the * button for AE lock.
Most of the BIF guys on youtube etc seem to map the *button to the smallest AF spot, to nail birds half-hidden in bushes and trees. Nikons seem to have a more "intelligent" AF that can lock onto birds in these situations (I've compared Nikon and Canon DSLRs side by side in the field, and Nikons definitely acquire these subjects more readily, and are more "sticky" than Canons.

I find manual metering is the best method with birds (as they can move quickly from sky background to dark forest background while panning), and this dispenses with the need to have an AE lock.

Interesting to compare experiences.
 
Last edited:

entoman

wildlife photography
May 8, 2015
440
477
UK
With 1-series DSLRs, Canon recommended not using Spot AF to initiate AI Servo tracking of fast moving subjects. Perhaps they baked that recommendation into the R-series firmware.

View attachment 201347
Yes I know, from my experience with 7D and 5D series. But you can use the smallest spot for tracking birds with Sony - and it works extremely well (on safari in Kenya a couple of weeks ago I had the chance to compare Sony a9ii with 200-600mm, with my R5 and 100-400mm). I'd imagine the difference in capability is down to the algorithms and the choice/number of images fed into the AI pre-manufacture.

In my experience Nikon DSLRs always outperformed Canon DSLRs for acquisition and "stickiness", but with mirrorless, prior to the Z9, Canons have been better than Nikons. If, as I suspect, it's more down to firmware than hardware, it would be nice if Canon would update the firmware.
 
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AlanF

Stay at home
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
8,843
12,088
Yes I know, from my experience with 7D and 5D series. But you can use the smallest spot for tracking birds with Sony - and it works extremely well (on safari in Kenya a couple of weeks ago I had the chance to compare Sony a9ii with 200-600mm, with my R5 and 100-400mm). I'd imagine the difference in capability is down to the algorithms and the choice/number of images fed into the AI pre-manufacture.

In my experience Nikon DSLRs always outperformed Canon DSLRs for acquisition and "stickiness", but with mirrorless, prior to the Z9, Canons have been better than Nikons. If, as I suspect, it's more down to firmware than hardware, it would be nice if Canon would update the firmware.
The problem with AF with the Nikon Z7 and Z6 has been hardware: the Nikon processors have been too slow, and even putting a pair of them into the Z7II and Z6II series hasn’t been fast enough. A new, fast processor is at the heart of the Z9.
 

Czardoom

EOS RP
Jan 27, 2020
346
733
Untrue. WYSIWYG is a myth. The EVF is a high contrast, highly compressed JPEG preview of an image with reduced colour gamut. Furthermore it cannot reliably be used to judge exposure, because your eyes will compensate for differences in the EVF brightness. So it is no more useful than the image seen on the LCD panel of a DSLR.

If you want "correct" exposure, it's best to regard the EVF image as nothing but a very rough approximation. Referring to the histogram is far more accurate and reliable. And if you really care about exposure accuracy, bracket your exposures.

The real value of an EVF is that you can instantly check that you got the subject sharp and in focus, without removing your eye.

Mirrorless provides many benefits in terms of AF tracking, silent shutter and blackout-free shooting, but "WYSIWYG" is highly overrated hype.
That's funny, I have been using the "WYSIWYG" approximation on my mirrorless cameras since the first one I bought around 2015. It is the single biggest reason I switched from DSLRs, as it gives me a very good approximation of the exposure compensation needed when I shoot. It sounds to me like you are completely overthinking what occurs when you look thru the EVF. Is it perfect? - no, of course not. But very useful in my opinion. It's another tool that gives you additional information compared to an OVF. It sounds, quite frankly, like you're doing something wrong in your EVF setup if you find that WYSIWYG is hype and a myth.