5DMKII outer points are terrible?

Started Jan 27, 2013 | Discussions thread
OP Timbukto Veteran Member • Posts: 4,988
Re: 5DMKII outer points are terrible?

GMussio wrote:

I too have the 5D MKII. In good light, it is accurate. It even tracks well. I have taken pictures of dogs at dog parks... lots of them. I hardly need to toss out for lack of focus and this is on the 70-200 f4 non IS> It tracks even when the dogs are moving towards me! However, they are not reliable in low light. Only the center point can be trusted for that. It does not mean that you cant get a shot in low light with the outer points. It just means that you do start getting out of focus shots at a near 50% rate or higher.

Thanks for your feedback.  This is the point...the outer points are *limited*, but in no way are they imprecise or inconsistent.  They are *consistently* limited in a way that with experience you know when not to use them, and know when you *can* use them.  But the fact that they are *precise* when they can be used is an important quality which makes them actually quite useful.  We know the 5DMKIII can certainly do better with more crosspoints.

I'd like to try the 6D more to see if its outer points are more low-light capable as some people feel so far.  It is obvious my 5DMKII outer points pale compared to center in low light...actually my 5DMKII can focus on a black backpack in low light so I consider it good enough.  My outer points can also focus correctly in low light but only if there are very obvious portions of reflective detail (and thus the focus point is probably exposed much more brightly relative to the dark scene).  Obviously a non-detailed face that is not well-lit is a questionable target.

Also an interesting thing if you read the manual is that the 5DMKII does not only have 1 center point with f2.8 accuracy, with AF-assist points on it actually has 2 more f2.8 sensitive points near center, one above and one below center point (but they are only sensitive in one direction if I remember correctly).  There are quite a few invisible 'assist' AF points sitting in the spot metering circle there, 2 of which are f2.8 sensitive, so it is interesting.  Looking at both manuals both the 5DMKII and especially 6D are very scant on details on its AF...only the 5DMKIII manual seems to dig into the topic of its PDAF sensor more.

One thing I also know is that my 5DMKII focusing with AF assist light from my cheap YN565EX is extremely solid!  Again something that is only possible because chinese knockoff companies have had ample time to create and test against older bodies vs the new ones (or Canon purposely puts in newer code to throw off compatibility).  Finally it has production ready Magic Lantern for focus peaking and a very very fast refresh rate on the LCD (the 5DMKIII LCD refresh might actually be slower since it could use more advanced binning or compression algorithms?).  No doubt I think the 6D with its GPS and wi-fi however will *eventually* be one of the most interesting ML hacked camera's especially with unlimited tethering possibilities!

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