My 5DIII/1DX "invisible AF point" Work-around

Started Sep 1, 2012 | Discussions
XeroJay
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My 5DIII/1DX "invisible AF point" Work-around
Sep 1, 2012

Okay, so I've noticed that there are quite a few here still looking for a work-around while they wait for Canon for release an official work-around for the invisible AF point issue with the new AF module. I'm not even going to explain what the issue is; that's pointless. If you have it, you know it.

I've given this advice to quite a few here who have PM'd me and all have said it have done the trick, though I was hoping someone else would have shared it...I guess I'm just lazy

Anyhow, here is what I've found works for dark wedding receptions when I loose sight of the AF point for both the 1DX & 5DIII:

I have assigned the DOF priview button on the 5DIII, and all of the custom function buttons (around the lens mount) on the 1DX to function as "Spot Focus".

What does this do? Well, if I ever need to "find" the AF point, a quick tap of the button will cause the selected AF point to briefly light-up as I press the button. It's now pretty much second nature for me to use those buttons as AF-blinkers.

I know this won't benefit everyone, but so far I've been thanked by a handful of users here that have found this to be workable.

YMMV

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gmanc
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Re: My 5DIII/1DX "invisible AF point" Work-around
In reply to XeroJay, Sep 2, 2012

Not sure exactly what you mean, I'm using a 5D MkIII and the focus options for customizing the DOF button include "switch to registered AF function" and "switch to registered AF point" but no "spot focus" Did I miss something or does the D1X have different custom options?

Thanks

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DavidSvensson
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Very useful info! How to do it?
In reply to gmanc, Sep 3, 2012

gmanc wrote:

Not sure exactly what you mean, I'm using a 5D MkIII and the focus options for customizing the DOF button include "switch to registered AF function" and "switch to registered AF point" but no "spot focus" Did I miss something or does the D1X have different custom options?

Thanks

This "bug" is one of the things that is keeping me from a 5D mk III (others are f/56.6 AF (not f/8 as on previous 1D) and the high ISO noise performance vs cost trade-off).

Thanks for the AF-point illumination work-around.

How is it done, please?

David

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WalterSrChat
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Re: Very useful info! How to do it?
In reply to DavidSvensson, Sep 4, 2012

DavidSvensson wrote:

gmanc wrote:

Not sure exactly what you mean, I'm using a 5D MkIII and the focus options for customizing the DOF button include "switch to registered AF function" and "switch to registered AF point" but no "spot focus" Did I miss something or does the D1X have different custom options?

Thanks

This "bug" is one of the things that is keeping me from a 5D mk III (others are f/56.6 AF (not f/8 as on previous 1D) and the high ISO noise performance vs cost trade-off).

Thanks for the AF-point illumination work-around.

How is it done, please?

David

The black focus point in the camera is by design, not a bug!

It indicates when I definitely should not be using AI Servo, and when my flash is required.
I have learned to really appreciate the black squares when viewing people.

Oh!
Thanks XeroJay for sharing the work around.

Walter Sr

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tony field
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Re: Very useful info! How to do it?
In reply to WalterSrChat, Sep 4, 2012

WalterSrChat wrote:

The black focus point in the camera is by design, not a bug!

A bug by any other name is still a bug - an error in design and implementation. At best, you could call it an implementation feature . Focusing is not something that a photographer should need to work around - particularly when various Canon cameras have previously handled this properly.
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Adrian Tung
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Re: My 5DIII/1DX "invisible AF point" Work-around
In reply to gmanc, Sep 4, 2012

gmanc wrote:

Not sure exactly what you mean, I'm using a 5D MkIII and the focus options for customizing the DOF button include "switch to registered AF function" and "switch to registered AF point" but no "spot focus" Did I miss something or does the D1X have different custom options?

Thanks

I think the OP is referring to a 1DX function where you can customize the DOF preview button to switch to a registered AF point mode (spot focus, in the case of the OP).

However, the 5D Mark 3 does not have this feature (either that, or I am dense and am not seeing it).

For me, I regularly use the joystick to change focus points so I have no problem dealing with the black AF points. They will always light up as I nudge the joystick to switch points.

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ossme
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I don't see it as a bug
In reply to tony field, Sep 4, 2012

I work with the 5d mark III every day and this didn't bother me. In fact I didn't notice until I read about it in the forums.

I can image it being an issue in a very very dark room (ex: the subject is almost black). But I shoot lots of sports and auditorial under low light conditions and it has been working great for me so far.

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Johanfoto
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Re: Very useful info! How to do it?
In reply to tony field, Sep 4, 2012

tony field wrote:

WalterSrChat wrote:

The black focus point in the camera is by design, not a bug!

A bug by any other name is still a bug - an error in design and implementation. At best, you could call it an implementation feature . Focusing is not something that a photographer should need to work around - particularly when various Canon cameras have previously handled this properly.

A bug is an error the designer did not intend to make. A feature is something the designer intended to function that way. A feature that Tony Field happens not to like is still a feature.

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mevbo
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The easiest work around I've found is
In reply to Johanfoto, Sep 4, 2012

As mentioned in a previous post is to move the joystick to the point wanted. It would be nice if the point would light up while focusingin servo.....but it is not that big of an issue. I love the 5dmkiii.

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lemming2008
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Re: The easiest work around I've found is
In reply to mevbo, Sep 5, 2012

mevbo wrote:

As mentioned in a previous post is to move the joystick to the point wanted. It would be nice if the point would light up while focusingin servo.....but it is not that big of an issue. I love the 5dmkiii.

You can actually do something much like XeroJay suggested: Custom Controls -> DOF preview -> 'Switch to registered AF func.' In a dark environment, the new AF mode points flash red as you press the DOF preview, and the old ones flash red on release. Not perfect, but it's a feasible workaround.

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lemming2008
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Re: Very useful info! How to do it?
In reply to Johanfoto, Sep 5, 2012

Johanfoto wrote:

tony field wrote:

WalterSrChat wrote:

The black focus point in the camera is by design, not a bug!

A bug by any other name is still a bug - an error in design and implementation. At best, you could call it an implementation feature . Focusing is not something that a photographer should need to work around - particularly when various Canon cameras have previously handled this properly.

A bug is an error the designer did not intend to make. A feature is something the designer intended to function that way. A feature that Tony Field happens not to like is still a feature.

Only if it's deliberate, and I'm not convinced this one is. Likely an oversight -- in which case, no sense arguing semantics on what to call it.

Now that I have a 5D3 and have tried using it in dark conditions, I've seen the problem. And it is a problem - and solving it wouldn't inconvenience the users who haven't noticed.

I often shoot dancers/performers in dark conditions, and use center focus points rather than relying on the camera's judgment of who to focus on. With the 5D2, a half-press caused an initial blink of the selected AF points so you knew where they were. On the 5D3 it doesn't. In the dark you can be left unsure of what you're focusing on, because the black outlines of the AF points are invisible.

There are several ways this could be fixed, and the basic capability to illuminate the AF points does exist. I do hope they'll patch it in firmware.

On the 5D2, in AF Servo the selected AF points flash as you half-press the shutter.

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marcus2137
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Re: Very useful info! How to do it?
In reply to lemming2008, Sep 5, 2012

lemming2008 wrote:

There are several ways this could be fixed, and the basic capability to illuminate the AF points does exist. I do hope they'll patch it in firmware.

On the 5D2, in AF Servo the selected AF points flash as you half-press the shutter.

Agreed. I don't understand why some people say that the hardware prevents this issue from being fixed. The points light up when you select a point, they light up after focus is achieved, I see no reason they can't flash when the AF is initiated. Seems like a simple fix to me...

What worries me is that the 1Dx, with the same issue, just had a firmware update released, without any resolution of the AF lights.

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XeroJay
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Okay, I'm back now...
In reply to XeroJay, Sep 5, 2012

Sorry for the hiatus.

This DOES work on the 5DIII, though it gets a bit deep into the menu system:

Before you can set you camera to do this, you must first make sure that Spot AF is checked as one of the registered AF Area selection modes!

1: Press the Q menu button
2: highlight Custom Controls and pres SET
3: scroll down to DOF Preview button and press SET

4: scroll over to the "AF" box (at the top it should say: Switch to registered AF func.)
5: Press INFO button
6: Check mark: AF area selection mode
7: Now highlight "AF area selection mode" and press SET
8: Select Spot AF (the left most one)

Done.

Now any time you want to see your AF point, simply tap the DOF button and it'll blink red. It'l' actually blink when you press the button, then again when you release it, so a quick press will blink twice. The other benefit is that, unlike other workarounds, this will not change which AF point you're using. If you're using the far top-right point, it will stay as the active point.

Actually, it's also useful to have a quick button for Spot AF as well!

Enjoy

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bhollis
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Re: Okay, I'm back now...
In reply to XeroJay, Sep 5, 2012

Thanks for the tip!

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gmanc
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Re: Okay, I'm back now...
In reply to XeroJay, Sep 5, 2012

Very cool, thanks for the explanation.

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Charlie Phillips
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Re: My 5DIII/1DX "invisible AF point" Work-around
In reply to XeroJay, Sep 6, 2012

Good tip XeroJay - I'll assign my DOF button to do that...very handy !

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cyrano
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Static subjects only
In reply to XeroJay, Sep 10, 2012

Thank you for this clever and useful idea.

It should be noted that this workaround will be useful only for static subjects. It will not be practical when attempting to track a fast-moving subject.

Those of us who'd like to use the 5D3/1DX for action work in dark environments must yet wait for help from Canon.

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mevbo
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Re: Static subjects only
In reply to cyrano, Sep 13, 2012

cyrano wrote:

Thank you for this clever and useful idea.

It should be noted that this workaround will be useful only for static subjects. It will not be practical when attempting to track a fast-moving subject.

Those of us who'd like to use the 5D3/1DX for action work in dark environments must yet wait for help from Canon.

I agree for the most part. I just shot the night time eletric parade at Disney and it was tuff knowing what i was aiming at....... I managed okay, but found myself hunting for the spot. I enabled the 9 box focus and this helped. Just guessing and hoping for the right point though at f1.2 and f 1.4.

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zlatko
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Re: Okay, I'm back now...
In reply to XeroJay, Oct 12, 2012

XeroJay wrote:

Sorry for the hiatus.

This DOES work on the 5DIII, though it gets a bit deep into the menu system:

Before you can set you camera to do this, you must first make sure that Spot AF is checked as one of the registered AF Area selection modes!

1: Press the Q menu button
2: highlight Custom Controls and pres SET
3: scroll down to DOF Preview button and press SET

4: scroll over to the "AF" box (at the top it should say: Switch to registered AF func.)
5: Press INFO button
6: Check mark: AF area selection mode
7: Now highlight "AF area selection mode" and press SET
8: Select Spot AF (the left most one)

Done.

Now any time you want to see your AF point, simply tap the DOF button and it'll blink red. It'l' actually blink when you press the button, then again when you release it, so a quick press will blink twice. The other benefit is that, unlike other workarounds, this will not change which AF point you're using. If you're using the far top-right point, it will stay as the active point.

Actually, it's also useful to have a quick button for Spot AF as well!

Enjoy

This is useful, but I think you can do practically the same thing by just pressing the AF point selector button with your thumb (the button to the right of the * button).  It just lights up the active AF point.  The active AF point stays lit until you autofocus, and then it blinks once to indicate AF was achieved.

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b.a. fog
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Re: Okay, I'm back now...
In reply to zlatko, Oct 12, 2012

thank you for sticking with the KISS (keep it simple st&*#$) principle.  one button at its default setting already lights up the chosen focus point.  saves the DOF button for other more useful functions.

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