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Thread: AF mode selection w 5D MKIII - not so great performance?

  1. #11
    Senior Member btaylor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vern View Post
    I usually assume that I am the weakest link.... Thanks again.
    You and me both mate! I'm still figuring out the 5D3 autofocus myself. I managed to get maybe a 20% hit rate the first time I tried tracking my Border Collies chasing a ball (if there's ever an erratic subject, that is it) so definitely some learning to do. I haven't even had a chance to read the manual yet though as work is pretty well consuming me at the moment.

    If I do have some success I'll post my findings here.

    One thing that works REALLY well for birds etc against just the clear sky as a background is using all 61 AF points and letting the camera decide which to use when a subject enters the frame. I was mucking around the other evening in low light tracking fruit bats as they flew over my house and I was really impressed. Wouldn't help much in your situation though as there'd be too many distractions in the background.
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  2. #12
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    One of you questions went unanswered.
    Yes, the 1D X would do better. The increased frame rate will give you twice as many keepers by quantity alone.
    I would have to believe that Canon put extra effort in to the AI Servo mode of the 1D X. Although I haven't seen a good article that goes in to depth comparing both hands on. There Are quite a few PR articles and I take those with a grain of salt.

  3. #13
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    And to add to the confusion, we couldn't get our 7D to track anything reliably until we switched off all the expansion stuff and forced it to single point AF without zones or expansion or anything new and fancy.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by HDNitehawk View Post
    One of you questions went unanswered.
    Yes, the 1D X would do better. The increased frame rate will give you twice as many keepers by quantity alone.
    I would have to believe that Canon put extra effort in to the AI Servo mode of the 1D X. Although I haven't seen a good article that goes in to depth comparing both hands on. There Are quite a few PR articles and I take those with a grain of salt.
    Thanks for following up on the 1DX question. Since seeing the Andy Rouse otter shots, I have wondered. I have been thinking of a second body just for indoor volleyball and fast action.... Would complement the 5D MKIII for landscape and I also love the silent shutter mode for wildlife w the 5D (wish that was part of the 1DX b/c the better high ISO performance is a natural combination w this use - last 30min before dark is always the best time - seems like a firmware possibility). I have gotten great shots of close whitetail deer shooting in silent shutter mode - while they can hear it, the difference versus a normal shutter release is enough to keep them from spooking - usually.... I'll quote you to my wife and see how well that works when I order the 1DX for Xmas! Eventhough I buy all my photogear with "my" consulting money, she seems to think I have enough. After 30 years, you'd think she'd know there is always a good reason to get a new piece of kit. 1DX would also give me immediate f/8 AF so I can use the 600 + 2X.

  5. #15
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    In the overall scheme when you are talking about the super tele's, the camera is an accessory that goes with it. With your 600mm and all the tripod, monopod and other accessories the 1D X is only about 30 percent of the investment.

    You are right about wildlife close to dark, the ISO improvement of the 1D X would be huge vs other bodies. There are many reasons to have it over the 5D III when talking superteles
    Last edited by HDNitehawk; 11-21-2012 at 01:56 AM.

  6. #16
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    HDNitehawk - "In the overall scheme when you are talking about the super tele's, the camera is an accessory that goes with it. With your 600mm and all the tripod, monopod and other accessories the 1D X is only about 30 percent of the investment."

    I love this rationale b/c it is evergreen, the more you have in sunk costs, the smaller every additional item is as a percent of the total.

    Thanks JRW and btaylor too. The dog is a low contrast subject and I wish I were good enough to keep her teeth or white spot in the center. She is very quick and bouncy though. Per above, I'll try the expanded AF point options plus the erratic option too with shutter speeds north of 1/4000. I'll jack up the acceleration tracking after I assess these results.

    I'm looking forward to playing with the 61 point system or zones for BIF too. I tried zones during my daughter's indoor VB and found that it was less consistent than me using a single point.

  7. #17
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    Great advice above!

    How about buying your Dog an ISO Vest for Christmas:

    http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...AvailInUS%2FNo

    Rich

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    Some progress made. This was shot today - 5DMKIII, 600mm II at f/4, IS off, AF mode 4 (I didn't get better results with mode 5 - maybe the same, and I didn't play with the sensitivity or acceleration - maybe another day), AF servo, ISO 3200, 1/2000, +1 exp comp using evaluative metering, AF 9 point expansion. While I did not put an ISO chart on her, I think the harness helped the AF system. Overall I had better results with the AF expansion mode. There are still series of 5-6 shots with the active AF point on her head and all completely OOF. I think sometimes the AF just doesn't lock on her versus the more contrasty leaves etc... Anyway, thanks for the advice. Needless to say the photographer's technique can aways improve.

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    Well, based on the impeccable logic of new expenses as a proportion of sunk costs, I bought the 1DX and tested it today under the same conditions as the 5DMKIII 'bouncy dog' experiment. Assuming my competence has remained constant (and perhaps low...), I think the 1DX definitely does better than the 5DMKIII. Obviously it has the 12 fps advantage too, but I think it nailed the focus much more often as well as just getting twice as many shots to evaluate. I still didn't experiment with the AF customization - just used case 4 and 5. The 1DX is, as advertised, the definitive action body. I think I'll still use the 5DMKIII a lot for landscape and wary wildlife - the 1DX shutter is a lot more like a 'rifle shot' than even Bryan's review led me to believe. The silent mode is not very silent either.

  10. #20
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    The budget solution would be a heavier stick or a bit of a hill, to slow her down a little.
    Last edited by Scott Stephen; 01-06-2013 at 08:53 PM. Reason: Dog gender correction.
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