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Roger Cicala investigates Canon's AF marketing claims

By dpreview staff on Aug 1, 2012 at 20:14 GMT

Lensrentals' Roger Cicala has published the third part of his investigation into Canon's autofocus systems, looking at what's changed behind the marketing claims. It's not unusual for manufacturers to promise that their products are 'new and improved,' but explanations about what's been changed or how much of an improvement it offers are harder to come by. Cicala has delved into Canon's patents (and taken some lenses apart), to see exactly why the EOS 5D Mark III's focus so consistently out-performs its predecessors'.

Comments

Total comments: 89
stelioskritikakis
By stelioskritikakis (11 months ago)

6D has left out, why? i don't know but it smells like 5D3 + 1Dx promotion

0 upvotes
hjaeger
By hjaeger (10 months ago)

If you check the date this article was posted, you will see that it was posted 1-2 months prior to 6D being released

0 upvotes
cononfodder
By cononfodder (Aug 8, 2012)

Thank you Roger: I thought I was going nuts regarding shots made in the same place with moving subjects (AI Servo) could be so dirrerent in IQ. I would speculate my older lenses combined with my 5Dll have a cumulative effect. At least I won't be tearing hair patches out of my head; any more. Again great information and greatly appreciated!

0 upvotes
dopravopat
By dopravopat (Aug 6, 2012)

I read the whole series about AF and they are very informative. Thanks for the tip.

0 upvotes
PetersJV
By PetersJV (Aug 6, 2012)

Frankly, I thought the article made perfectly good sense, particularly in discussing the evolution of AF. It's always best to spend some time to understand the technology and its limits.

As for soft images, I've always customized my cameras to have focusing on one button and shutter on the other. Toss in a bit of depth of field and I'm usually good to go. A question to those with "soft" images, are those images completely soft or is there something in focus instead of your intended subject?

0 upvotes
BeanyPic
By BeanyPic (Aug 5, 2012)

OMG. Did someone ask for this absolute tripe of a report. Please, please, please tell me this is an early April Fool. :\

0 upvotes
Stephen_C
By Stephen_C (Aug 5, 2012)

According to the article a 7D has poor AF? I must have a good copy, because mine is extremely accurate.

0 upvotes
ZAnton
By ZAnton (Aug 4, 2012)

I wonder how much he gets from Canon for such an excellent advertisement.
"Buy both the newest lenses AND cameras, otherwise you AF is crap!"

Why doesn't he test Nikon/Pentax/Sony/Oly/Pana cameras and lenses, new and old to compare with Canon.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Stollen1234
By Stollen1234 (Aug 5, 2012)

simply if you are gonna be a realy an expert you should choose one brand and focus on it...you can not be an expert on all brands..

he might be hetting paid by canon..but canon products are great ..no doubt about it

0 upvotes
Wester
By Wester (Aug 4, 2012)

It equally "amazes" me how excellently my 5D Mark III focuses in virtually all scenarios unless I manage to somehow screw things up. This desperate rant by "tell the truth" makes me wonder if he has less than a firm grip on reality because I got the impression that Roger's article, notwithstanding the capabilities of older Canon hardware, was quite complimentary of the 5D Mark IIIs focusing prowess...

2 upvotes
OttoVonChriek
By OttoVonChriek (Aug 3, 2012)

"As it turns out, my little tests just confirm things that were already published (if obscurely.)"

Well they certainly draw one possible conclusion. There are others.

A simple explanation for needing both newer cameras and lenses, is the following:

1) Nowadays PAF sensors are incorporated in large sensors with normal imaging capabilities. This provides additional information for exposure and focus algorithms.

2) Mirrorless cameras have shown how lenses need a continuous servo mechanism for high speed CAF foccusing.

3) A hybrid system would send a lens hurtling towards the position the AF sensor indicates, but continue to improve the lock using CAF data.

4) Canon have just entered into the mirrorless market and (Kudos to them) have chosen to use their standard lens mount rather than a new one. Therefore new lenses will be expected to incorporate the continuous servos essential for CAF.

I'm not sure how new all this is.Remember the ultra fast super precise E3 + 12-120mm?

0 upvotes
stanic042
By stanic042 (Aug 3, 2012)

"Canon have chosen to use their standard lens mount rather than a new one."
really?

0 upvotes
OttoVonChriek
By OttoVonChriek (Aug 3, 2012)

No, not really....but close!

There will be small wide angle lenses utilizing the retrofocal advantage, then with an adapter you can use all EF-S lenses with crop as per APS-C.

Far different from Nikon who have a new system where you COULD use F mount lenses via an adapter, but with such a difference in sensor size the whole thing is not well matched.

Canon's approach is similar to 4/3 & m4/3. And as was seen there, the DSLR lenses needed better servos and or firmware to work well with CAF.

0 upvotes
Joaquin_peme
By Joaquin_peme (Aug 3, 2012)

I am not a geeky guy. All I can say is that I have to shoot extra frames with my 5DkII if I want to go back home with something in focus.

I have just returned from Camboya, Vietnam and Singapure with more than 5000 files. 30% of my pics show a very annoying soft focus. A third of them are my mistake, but I cannot find a reasonable explanation for the other two thirds....., until now. A thousand files are soft when shooting high contrast scenes in good lighting. My hands are not those of a surgeon, but they're steady enough. Frustrating. Perhaps my skills are not up to the task, perhaps Roger has a point

Thanks Roger

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Dan Tong
By Dan Tong (Aug 3, 2012)

Ever wonder how our own visual system (eye and brain) focuses so accurately and fast?

Here is an abstract of research with defocus and how that can be used for focusing on natural images, and suggests that this method will soon be developed and used in cameras.

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/09/16/1108491108.abstract

1 upvote
abi170845
By abi170845 (Aug 3, 2012)

I love it when he said 1)it gives me a headache

0 upvotes
tommy leong
By tommy leong (Aug 3, 2012)

Interestingly he hardly pick up on the 7D result sticking out
like a sore thumb amongst the rebel group where
it shouldn't belong......

he went on and one about 5Dmk2 and mk3
and new lens.....

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
abi170845
By abi170845 (Aug 3, 2012)

Excatly! Love my 7D with the new firmware update

0 upvotes
bronxbombers
By bronxbombers (Aug 3, 2012)

I never found the 7D to be amazingly precise for AF. Has lots of points, lots of cross that will lock and speed but it wasn't a precision beast in my experience (although I did find it better than xxD).
Also keep in mind there is more to real world AF than these tests and the 7D will do somewhat better than a rebel or xxD in many scenarios and the 5D3 will outdo the 5D2 even using older lenses in some real world scenarios.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Aug 3, 2012)

7D's AF should be used for 60D and xxxDs. for top APS-C models, 1D's 45-point AF should be the choice, 61-points now. I won't mind if they use Nikon's 51-point one.

0 upvotes
MPA1
By MPA1 (Aug 3, 2012)

Just road testing a D4 Nikon lent me and I have to say that the AF makes even the D3s look a bit average!!

0 upvotes
Graham Meale
By Graham Meale (Aug 2, 2012)

I agree, DPR should hire Roger. I printed out all his articles in the series so I could curl up in bed with them ... and I don't do that often!

A pity he didn't look at the 24-105L on the 5DII and 5DIII. I've noticed an improvement, but not as dramatic as with the 70-300L. The 24-105 is seven years old now, so perhaps Canon will release a Mk II with better AF to match the 5DIII and 1D X ...

0 upvotes
garyknrd
By garyknrd (Aug 2, 2012)

Wow, the 7D is behind the new rebel...

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Desert Cruiser
By Desert Cruiser (Aug 2, 2012)

Thank you again Roger, and DPReview for posting this article. It is nice to keep up with the new options/improvements and without you we wouldn't know. Very interesting and thanks again.

Don....

1 upvote
tomtom50
By tomtom50 (Aug 2, 2012)

The changes to the lenses might also be aimed at performing better with contrast detection AF. That helps to bridge to mirrorless and helps hybrid AF

0 upvotes
EDWARD ARTISTE
By EDWARD ARTISTE (Aug 2, 2012)

The 7d is th worst performing AF Ive ever had the displeasure of using. Its going back to canon for the 4th time. Right here, right now im filling out yet another damn repair form.

Its GARBAGE. 50% Af rate. Tons of MFA adjustments. Af locks that are so blurry you would want to kick it down the street.

Terrible product, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone upgrading from a rebel. And my xsi & t2i? Spit on, with their lesser Af systems.

junk.

3 upvotes
dotbalm
By dotbalm (Aug 3, 2012)

I guess your "mileage varied." Unfortunate. Can't tell where the problem lies just b/c other sensor bodies work fine with those lenses.

AF (and burst) is rock-solid in a correclty understood, performing and operated 7D, lens, photographer combination.

My 7D has outstanding AF performance across lenses. I liked MFA inclusion, haven't needed it yet. AF keeper rate not an issue unless I blow it given subject or conditions (lower keeper rate with servo). Frees me to concentrate on focus point selection (I do actively), composition, the right moment...that's how good the AF is. I see the SD listed in the article, but translated to my shooting, I don't know what it means. As an enthusiast, I shoot primarily sports (baseball, cycling, basketball), wildlife and landscapes, absent a full frame cam for landscapes currently.

I invested time to understand and config the AF for my needs. That paid off with performance, control and confidence.

Comment edited 11 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Class Four
By Class Four (Aug 2, 2012)

I have a T3i and a 60d and they seem to have no focusing issues with the 5 or 6 lenses I have. Was thinking about picking up a 7d. Now I'm not so sure I want one. Is this a wide spread issue with 7d??

0 upvotes
Timbukto
By Timbukto (Aug 2, 2012)

7D's are workhorse camera's that probably also get rented out a lot and thus could have a higher possibility of getting the PDAF sensor dirty or out of spec over time? But at the same time it could be the 7D PDAF sensor trades off center point AF performance with more coverage and tracking complexity compared to a very simplistic 60D/t4i PDAF sensor. Looking at the numbers you shouldn't make a big deal at +/- 5 differences...what should be taken away however is that the 1DX and 5DMKIII have stunning performance that equals CDAF on newer lenses.

0 upvotes
random78
By random78 (Aug 3, 2012)

If you read through all articles in the series, you will see that they are talking about very slight degrees of OOF-ness and that too when viewed under pixel peeping conditions. In normal conditions you will not see the difference

0 upvotes
Class Four
By Class Four (Aug 3, 2012)

Thanks for the info. guys. 1DX and 5DMk3 are a little out of my budget. I think I'll pull the trigger on the 7d. My Canon lenses (some of them L) are all new this year. Hopefully, I won't have any issues as I don't seem to with T3i and 60d. Of coarse, I guess if I didn't get 3 cams, I could have got 1 really good one.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Zerg2905
By Zerg2905 (Aug 2, 2012)

My 7D AF works. There is... something with it, not quite OOF but "something" that I did not figured out yet (and I suspect it might be related with perfect camera / lens "communication" -sorry if it sounds stupid- or...so rather a "software" issue). My 5D II is very slow, but always "spot on". My "ancient" EOS 3 AF is a hell of an AF... it blows off the road the 7D & 5D Mk II combined. Cheers! :)

1 upvote
Brand New
By Brand New (Aug 2, 2012)

2 and 1/2 years ago, there was a thread where people were having trouble with the 7D AF compared to their previous xxD bodies, and I chimed in, with the same experience (http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1019&message=34305542). At that time, most people were discounting the 7D AF issues as user error or people not understanding how to use the 7D's "advanced AF system". Since my AF usage was very straight-forward, and I'm used to "advanced AF systems" from using 1D bodies, I knew it wasn't just lack of experience. I still get lots of slightly OOF photos, but I've mitigated it a bit by taking more frames and changing my technique to maximize the number of keepers.

0 upvotes
Boky
By Boky (Aug 2, 2012)

Only now we see first incarnations of positional feedback (encoder) built inside the lenses AND better, more accurate stepper motors, combined with more accurate in-body contrast detection algorithm.

Approx. 8 years ago I opened 24-105L and 350D…. never bought a peace of canon photographic equipment again. But, I know exactly what motion control is, how it works, what positional and velocity feedbacks are, and how to obtain end-point accuracy of < 1mm over full run of 20m if an axis travels at max speed 1000 m/s. This principle should be implemented inside the lenses AND camera bodies. Amazing what canon managed to sell to their customers at the premium prices.
And if someone complained about canon inaccurate, inconsistent AF servo on canon forums…? The person was proclaimed a troll and bullied left, front and right.

Guess what we can all do with our expensive lens collection… (well, I bought only one lens, and made it a final canon purchase ever)……

0 upvotes
Timbukto
By Timbukto (Aug 2, 2012)

Do you know how Sony, Pentax, or Nikon fares in AF implementation? Roger is going to take a look at Nikon next, just wondering if you already know the inside scoop or not.

0 upvotes
photosen
By photosen (Aug 2, 2012)

Interesting read.

0 upvotes
barbuvasile
By barbuvasile (Aug 2, 2012)

I really want to know why my 1DSMKII is better focusing that any other camera from Canon that I owe (5DI,1DSMKIII,1DMKIV), didn't try the new 5DMKIII or 1DX yet.....

0 upvotes
Boky
By Boky (Aug 2, 2012)

Because it sampled the scene more accurately (it obtained the required phase-detection image more accurately). HOWEVER, the body had still calculated how far CW (or anti CW) to send the focusing motor (single shot!) WITHOUT any chance of checking if the obtained result WILL produce sharp, in-focus result.

1 upvote
Rick Knepper
By Rick Knepper (Aug 2, 2012)

What bothers me about Mr. Cicala's article being posted on DPR is that he can't be held out as an objective reviewer. My first question: why wasn't this testing done during the 5D II heyday? Answer: because Mr. Cicala is human and it wouldn't make sense business-wise to "expose" the poor AF performance of the 5D2 and hurt rental sales (it's not like most of us didn't already know this anyway). Now that Canon has released some whizbang replacement cameras, Mr. Cicala obv iously feels safe in discussing the 5D2's rather significant limitations

Mr. Cicala certainly has the right to post a review on his own website and is appropriate there but DPR should pull their head out and recognize the rather significant conflict of interest inherent here.

5 upvotes
oselimg
By oselimg (Aug 2, 2012)

So, you would prefer a different brand biased article. Could you name it?

2 upvotes
audijam
By audijam (Aug 2, 2012)

OLYMPUS!!! lol...please write a biased article about Olympus!

2 upvotes
Roman Korcek
By Roman Korcek (Aug 2, 2012)

"My first question: why wasn't this testing done during the 5D II heyday?"
Wait, you expect this testing to be done for each and every camera model?

2 upvotes
audijam
By audijam (Aug 2, 2012)

I am with Rick actually. Given that 5DII was the best DSLR in its time Roger could have and should have done the same testing already. Rick's got his point.

But..........................we already knew the AF of 5DII sucks and when it comes to technology, newer the better.

0 upvotes
zlatko
By zlatko (Aug 2, 2012)

"why wasn't this testing done during the 5D II heyday?"

How about: the 5DIII didn't exist yet, so this comparison couldn't be made. Likewise, the lenses that show improved AF accuracy with the 5DIII hadn't been created yet. You can't show that something has been improved if it hasn't been created yet. What is interesting is not the known inconsistency of past cameras, but the measurable improvement of the most recent cameras (5DIII, 1DX).

I don't agree with your cynicism. In various blog posts Roger has proven to be a straight-talker about photo gear and has provided a number of informative analyses that no one else has. To say that he could have or should have done some testing earlier isn't fair; he's not some public testing organization. He has a business to run. That he does any testing and publishes it is a free benefit to photographers. Don't like it? Not fast enough for you? Then do it yourself.

Comment edited 12 minutes after posting
9 upvotes
Entropius
By Entropius (Aug 2, 2012)

Mr. Cicala does these tests not to pimp his business but, basically, because he's a geek. He's criticized lots of equipment that is out there currently for rental. Recently he's given up control of the company but is still on staff to write geeky articles.

I don't think there's anything nefarious going on here: the reason Roger'd not tested these PDAF systems before is because he'd been 1) too busy running a business to test everything, and 2) testing lots and lots of other things.

2 upvotes
Timbukto
By Timbukto (Aug 2, 2012)

Looking at his blog history he only ventured down the AF route as he was doing MTF tests on recent bodies and lenses and noticing far less variation in AF and different behaviors based on pairings of bodies and lenses. It could have been he never ventured down this road because *both* Canon and Nikon did not exhibit any behavior that was not par for the course. I guess Roger's findings on Nikon will either show one of three things. That 1. Nikon has been producing PDAF bodies + lens combination that *always* achieved near CDAF levels of AF accuracy and no one felt compelled to bear this out in testing previously. Or that 2. Only Canon's recent offerings is breaking new ground in AF accuracy. Or 3. Nikon is on similar ground and their latest bodies and lens also show similar performance improvements. I'm guessing everyone will be paying close attention to that blog in the meanwhile.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
mantra
By mantra (Aug 2, 2012)

Hi
great article!
but may i ask a question about Phase-detection autofocus ?
seening the new trend of the mirrorless camera ,i'm confused by the "Phase-detection autofocus"

is the servo mode? the tracking mode ? or the sensor cmos focus mode?

thanks

Comment edited 55 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
DavesMan
By DavesMan (Aug 2, 2012)

Hi mantra!
You have to read all articles related to AF if you don't understand the basics. Especially this http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2010/07/how-autofocus-often-works
Mirrorless cameras basically do not have phase detection, they are contrast-based. The new Canon EOS M has hybrid sensor but it seems it uses phase detection only during movie on-the-fly focusing.

1 upvote
mantra
By mantra (Aug 2, 2012)

thanks DavesMan !

0 upvotes
HenryUK
By HenryUK (Aug 2, 2012)

I believe that Canon EF lenses have always had focus position feedback encoders. The focus motor is operated under closed loop position control. So has Roger really found anything new here?

1 upvote
Boky
By Boky (Aug 2, 2012)

they did not. no positional feedback what-so-ever.

0 upvotes
HenryUK
By HenryUK (Aug 2, 2012)

I have repaired many EF lenses and they have all had focus group position feedback encoders. How else can you get focus distance for ETTL?

0 upvotes
HenryUK
By HenryUK (Aug 2, 2012)

Most EF lenses have absolute encoders to give focus distance data for ETTL-II. The all have incremental encoders on the focus motor rotors to allow position contol of the focusing group.

0 upvotes
birdbrain
By birdbrain (Aug 2, 2012)

So according to these tests the 7D's AF is not that good then?

0 upvotes
DavesMan
By DavesMan (Aug 2, 2012)

Read the comments. He says that it might be that you have to learn with it. But so you have to with 5DM3.
I own both of them and I can say that 7D is much more reliable in focus terms than 5DM2 (which I also owned). Even the graph shows something different. Maybe bad sample. 7D surely isn't worst of them all as shown by the graph.

0 upvotes
Kreitmann
By Kreitmann (Aug 2, 2012)

I checked my 5DII vs. 7D with 100L. The 5DII showed about the same variance as Rogers, the 7D fared way worse. In another run, I used the 40mm STM with 7D and found it highly consistent. I reached no conclusion yet.

2 upvotes
jm67
By jm67 (Aug 2, 2012)

Yeah, curious and disheartening, isn't it? Out of ten cameras, it's tied for last place (in this test with these particular body samples and lens). So much for all the chest thumping about the 7D kicking the 5D2's butt with a result of 38.5 vs. 41! Old and antiquated AF ability indeed. I have to hope he had a very poorly performing 7D for this test. One thing seems to be sure (if you take these results at face value) is that before I upgrade from 5D2 to 3, I'll also have to pack in my lenses and buy the updated ones. Yikes. Or...I can relax and enjoy my equipment and continue to use it as I always have.

0 upvotes
tonywong
By tonywong (Aug 2, 2012)

If you are shooting center point only and non moving targets, apparently yes.

Roger's tests say nothing about the other features of the 7D's AF system or performance compared to the other bodies. Moving targets and non center point AF, AI servo etc.

Also the 7D may have showed the largest variation in focus but that doesn't say anything about whether the group range is acceptable in terms of image quality sharpness.

1 upvote
Brand New
By Brand New (Aug 2, 2012)

Not just non-moving targets. I take pictures of airplanes using center point AI Servo, and the 7D has very inconsistent focusing compared to the other xxD bodies I've owned (20D + 40D). The 1DmIII and 1DmIV I've owned have near-perfect AF for my purposes, but of course, they are in a different class.

0 upvotes
tonywong
By tonywong (Aug 2, 2012)

I've had good results with my 7D. It seems comparable to the 40D and 5D2 for me. Of course I've found the 1D series better in all respects. I've used all the 1D since the 1DII (not the 1Ds series nor the 5D3).

0 upvotes
EDWARD ARTISTE
By EDWARD ARTISTE (Aug 2, 2012)

the 7d AF is terrible.

0 upvotes
Clive Dickinson
By Clive Dickinson (Aug 2, 2012)

While acknowledging Roger's significant and praiseworthy article and applauding his systematic approach to the subject, I believe that the conclusions can not be laid in concrete until multiple samples of each camera model and each lens have been tested to obtain more reproducible results.

One cannot make such definitive pronouncements on the basis of testing only one sample per model.

2 upvotes
Dan Tong
By Dan Tong (Aug 2, 2012)

Another superb Roger Cicala article. It's such a pleasure to read worthwhile article which based on intelligent testing and thinking. I find Cicala's articles by far the most interesting and worthwhile, I always learn something new that explains a lot about photographic equipment, therefore I am awarding Roger Cicala an honorary Ph.D. (that is a Photography Degree :)

All kidding aside, Cicala not only has a great sense of humor but he thinks like a scientist which is praiseworthy, indeed.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
3 upvotes
Faintandfuzzy
By Faintandfuzzy (Aug 2, 2012)

Considering how awful the 5D2 AF was, anything is an improvement

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (Aug 2, 2012)

What an interesting article.

And somebody should start charging all those marketoids with fraud already.

0 upvotes
Esa Tuunanen
By Esa Tuunanen (Aug 2, 2012)

You forgot that advertising is legalized lying and amount of cheating and lying which would end to person's head being chopped off is completely legal for corporations. (+politicians)

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (Aug 2, 2012)

Who said it is legalized? It's a felony (fraud), it is just not criminally enforced for some reason (just like illegal immigration etc). Sometimes it is enforced in civil cases when lawyers see a big payout for themselves.

0 upvotes
Graystar
By Graystar (Aug 2, 2012)

"As an aside, I am particularly skilled in finding them because usually if you touch them with your fingers the lens won’t focus anymore and the unit has to be replaced."

I LMAO on that one!

0 upvotes
FTW
By FTW (Aug 1, 2012)

on the end you have to be aware that once you buy new gear, you pay for something. So you await something new and to see it. Even if your picture will not be better, the view in a viewfinder and seeing in there a huge larger amount of points is worth to pay all that money, don't you think so. I found the "few" cross-points of the Fuji S6 to be sufficient for any good shot and my old manual film cameras as well. I use the NEX-7, mainly in manual and the Manual assist brings me close to what I look for, without any point shown, only colored halos show ma where the sharpness is located on the shot. So, complex AF not needed anymore, I find myself to be faster than the lens motor, and, it's much more funny. I tried i without the assist and made same good shot except in situations where you have to be fast. Here Sony's manual assist is a real bargain.

1 upvote
FTW
By FTW (Aug 1, 2012)

So, make me any camera with that manual assist, make cheaper good glass without complex electronics and the deal is perfect, at least for me. But, I am not alone on the world, there is also money and all that turns around it, unfortunately.Sorry but when I was child and even young man, there was no computer, no digital, no color TV and we made great shots, with great manual cameras. So, is all just a fruit of your imagination or commercial brainwash? Guess?

1 upvote
Clive Dickinson
By Clive Dickinson (Aug 2, 2012)

I suggest you go back and do a truly objective analysis and comparison of the "great shots" you made before computers and digital and colour TV with the shots made now with today's equipment.

I used to think as you do, but my eyes were opened a few years ago when I compared my old stuff with what I had made with digital.

It is true that the photographers were good then (at least some were). However, although a good photographer can do wonders with poor equipment he/she will do even better with today's technology.

Roger's results are astounding and his analysis excellent, but it does not make my 5D Mk II a bad camera - just not quite so good as the Mk III. This is to be expected. My Mk II was still a step up from the 40D I had before and is still a great camera.

Similarly the fact that Roger states that my 650D is not as accurate as it could be simply proves you get what you pay for. I am happy with it, given my reason for buying it.

3 upvotes
mister_roboto
By mister_roboto (Aug 1, 2012)

His posts on lens tear downs when he does them are also fantastic.

1 upvote
Maji
By Maji (Aug 1, 2012)

Roger's blog is actually fun to read. He usually presents geeky stuff in a way that can be understood easily. I really got a handle on how to read MTF charts after I read his posts.

I like his sense of humor and also appreciate how tech savvy he is.

9 upvotes
wootpile
By wootpile (Aug 1, 2012)

Cicala's articles are of the highest quality. Truly enjoyable and informative. Looking forward to the continuation on Nikon AF. Tech-savy guy with resources (doing the testing against all those bodies must have been a incredible amount of work.) DPR should be envious ;)

10 upvotes
facedodge
By facedodge (Aug 1, 2012)

Conclusion... newer is better.

3 upvotes
SHood
By SHood (Aug 1, 2012)

Yes, every one once in a while this is true.

3 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Aug 1, 2012)

Except with computer operating systems. And most software.

2 upvotes
Katie Piecrust
By Katie Piecrust (Aug 2, 2012)

Regarding software, newer IS usually better in the beginning. It's all up hill for the first few months/years of development, then it reaches it's zenith where the developers should stop adding features and just focus on stability. They never do that though and down the other side of the hill it goes. Once bloated to the point of uselessness, everyone moves onto the next big thing only to see the cycle start all over again. It is physically impossible for a developer to stop when good sense says they should lol.

4 upvotes
Esa Tuunanen
By Esa Tuunanen (Aug 2, 2012)

Katie, that next cycle hardly ever starts with as little bloat as previous. Mostly it just continues from old and adds even more bullet point engineered bloat.
For example MS conveniently even gives table about bloating of one typical software whose bloating surely has done nothing to help people do more work:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee624351.aspx

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wirth's_Law
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_bloat#Examples
These aren't any jokes, in 18 years I've seen many commercially made programs to become big piles of crap spreading to consume all resources like some cancer.
Besides Nero you can add all commercial video players. Heck, even antivirus softwares often act like viruses slowing down PCs.

0 upvotes
EmmanuelStarchild
By EmmanuelStarchild (Aug 1, 2012)

This guy is obviously a Nikon owner/Canon hater. ;-)

2 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Aug 1, 2012)

Yeah - this is real stuff. Or at least so it seems.

0 upvotes
aerorail
By aerorail (Aug 1, 2012)

my head is spinning and i read it 3 days ago

0 upvotes
SHood
By SHood (Aug 1, 2012)

The link above is a new posting from today. Part 3B.

0 upvotes
SHood
By SHood (Aug 1, 2012)

I have been following this for the past week. Very interesting results and good to know he will be doing Nikon lenses and bodies next.

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
audijam
By audijam (Aug 1, 2012)

this is worth reading

0 upvotes
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (Aug 1, 2012)

Simon.... you need to hire this Cicala guy.

His tech knowledge is astounding, and he can write really well.

13 upvotes
dkord
By dkord (Aug 1, 2012)

I doubt DPR can afford him but maybe if Bezos can. ;)

2 upvotes
Entropius
By Entropius (Aug 2, 2012)

Roger gets to hang around a warehouse full of camera gear and basically borrow whatever he wants whenever it's not being rented. :) I think he's quite happy where he is!

0 upvotes
med007
By med007 (Aug 3, 2012)

Roger,

Is it really the case that the 5DII can't take advantage of the newer Canon lenses only because of some new hardware feature found in the 5DIII and the 1DX but not in the 5DII? Or is it that the 5DII focus motor is, for example, programmed to move in larger increments, so overshoot occurs. In the 5DIII, with smaller increments, then there would be less overshoot. IOW, I suspect that Canon simply denies features to lesser cameras just to distinguish the higher ranker models.

So I'm interested in whether the hacking community can attack the barriers to use of the new lenses for more accurate focus. I doubt that all of the differences are hardware related. more likely, I suspect rationing of features. Have you looked into this possibility? http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/Category:DSLR

Asher

0 upvotes
Total comments: 89