5Diii over 6D - any advantage for focus-recompose method?

Started Feb 9, 2014 | Discussions thread
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Al Downie
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5Diii over 6D - any advantage for focus-recompose method?
Feb 9, 2014

Hi all,

I've just blown a huge amount of money on Canon kit (6D, 50/1.2L, 135/2L, 200/2.8L, Sigma 35/1.4), and I'd be grateful for some advice while I'm considering whether to upgrade the camera.

My interests are: portraiture, environmental portraiture, landscapes, and (crucially) documenting my 3yr-old's childhood. Maybe later if I win the lottery, some bird photography, but at the moment I have no interest in sports photography. I'm a huge fan of shallow DOF images. I'm also a completely dyed-in-the-wool 'focus & recompose' guy. Beyond saving. Doubt I'll ever be able to get used to moving a little red square around the viewfinder before shooting.

I've returned the 200mm already because it's just a BIT too close to the 135mm, and not as versatile, so I've saved a bit of cash.

Yesterday I spent a bit of time with the 135. Tested it on paper and was delighted - focus is blisteringly fast and accurate, and it *is* as sharp as people say. However. I then started taking some snaps of my son playing on the sofa. I must have taken about 30 or 40 pictures, but I reckon only about 10% of them are as sharp as can be. I used the back-focus button (with the shutter-focus disabled), AF set to AI-Servo, centre AF point only, and shot sequences of single shots (silent-single mode) with the back-focus held down, and the centre-point held firmly on my son's closest eye. They were all shot wide open at f2 to be fair, but he was fairly static the whole time, and the playback focus-indicator shows that the centre-point was always bang-on the target. I expected a better success rate.

To those who know both cameras, is there anything about the 5Diii that would improve my success rate in the above scenario? There are several advantages in the 5D that made it attractive, most notably the super-sophisticated AF system, but given my utterly basic centre-point-focus-recompose habit, I settled on the 6D to save a thousand pounds. I'd heard that the 6D's single centre point was more sensitive and responsive than any of the 5D's multitude of AF points. If I have to upgrade to the 5Diii, I'd have to return the 50/1.2 and ask for a 1.4 instead. That would be disappointing, because my primary objective when I set out to buy all this kit was to makes sure I didn't compromise on the glass. However, a bagful of great glass isn't worth much if the camera sucks at tracking focus on a moving face.

Thanks in advance,


 Al Downie's gear list:Al Downie's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix X100 Leica M8 Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Canon EF 135mm f/2.0L USM +3 more
Canon EOS 5D Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EOS 6D
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