Canon "M" lag and focus disappointment

Started Feb 1, 2013 | Discussions thread
chillgreg Senior Member • Posts: 1,248
Re: Canon "M" lag and focus disappointment

Sheldon Bowles wrote:

Okay, here's a case in point.

I was out on the lanai (here in Hawaii) taking pictures of the sunset and when the sun went behind a cloud, even though the edge of the cloud was very well defined, the camera would not focus and would not take pictures.

Shortly after it was too dark for it and it wouldn't take pictures of anything.

All the while my wife was shooting happily away with her iPhone and got some fine pictures the M wouldn't take!

Then, to add insult to injury, when we sat down in the dark she used her iPad mini to take a picture of me --- and not a bad one at that! --- with just the light from my 12 inch computer screen illuminating my face. I know from experience the M would shoot out red beams to help it focus, and not focus, and I'd not have a picture.

I find it distressing when her iPhone and iPad mini are besting me and my Canon M.


Oh well ....

It's clear you really had high intentions for using this camera but appear to have been surprised by the slowness compared to your amazingly proficient 5D II ...which is of course a very powerful full-frame DSLR camera.

I usually use the available light to provide an area of contrast that I can lock the camera's AF onto or I will attempt to use the available light to illuminate my subject where possible.  Sure, a DSLR is not going to require as much effort to lock focus in low light but the reason the iPods and iPhones can capture a shot in low light is because they have an extremely broad DOF.  The whole scene is pretty much in focus and "set to infinity" when you take the snapshot.  They also respond to IR light so they can more easily illuminate a scene with less visible light and they use very strong noise-reduction.  But the picture quality, resolution and dynamic range is usually less impressive than shots from a dedicated camera.  Be sure that you are not using the default AF Frame when shooting with the EOS-M.

'Shooting skies with clouds often forces me to lock focus onto an area of contrast with the edge of a cloud and then recomposing the shots quickly so that I get a better exposure as well.  Otherwise, the soft appearance of the clouds against the sky often fools a lot of non DSLR cameras, including the G1X and G11 plus most subcompact digital cameras.

As I said before, different lenses produce different results.  In the shots below I was using two Prime lenses with my EOS-M which did not have Image Stabilization:

  • (1) Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens
  • (2) Canon EF 135mm f/2.0L USM lens

I like the bokeh that these two lenses give me so they tend to be the two lenses I personally use for a lot of my use with the EOS-M.  They're also very light sensitive.  I like to use the EOS-M as an alternate camera to my G1X because the results are quite different.

Some examples below that might (or might not) be of interest to you.

This picture was taken of an alleyway with the EOS-M at night.  I used the neon lights hanging above the alley to lock focus easily.

Shooting overhead, I tracked this helicopter and ignored the nearby powerlines.

For this shot, I focused on the moon.  The camera did not want to focus on the blue sky alone.

With this shot, I knew the Christmas tree in the shop window would produce some very nice bokeh so I asked my wife to hold my iPod in front of her face to illuminate it.

Another shot using the light from my iPod to illuminate my wife's face on the street at night with a Christmas tree in a window behind her.

Manual focus in near darkness.

Using my wife's iPad to illuminate her face indoors in the evening.

Using the iPad as a light source again.

-- hide signature --

Marco Nero.

Marco it is somewhat difficult to "focus" on your point of focus, when it is your very beautiful (and somewhat amused may I surmise?) wife that is the subject. I suggest that the focus-lock was in the region of 0.001 seconds with her in frame...

Certainly not adequate for one to make up their mind on the merits of this excellent camera - perhaps some more photos with the lovely lady in question would be of great assistance in the matter.

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