Autofocus speed for M5/M50/M6 vs M10

Started Mar 31, 2019 | Questions thread
Marco Nero
Marco Nero Veteran Member • Posts: 7,044
Re: Autofocus speed for M5/M50/M6 vs M10

Cameranewbiehalp wrote:

Hi all,

I am fairly new with cameras.

My question is how fast does the M5/M50/M6 (or any EF-M camera with dual pixel auto focus) autofocus with an adapter and EF-S / EF lens compared to the M10 which does not have dual pixel autofocus. Will the speed significantly improve if I upgrade my body to an M5/M50/M6 from the M10?

Yes indeed. The AF is faster and more "stable" (if that makes any sense to you).  The M10 was faster than the original EOS M camera ...but it's not as fast and accurate as the latest generation with DPAF.  Those new models with DPAF include the M100, M50, M6 and M5 mirrorless cameras. All future M-series cameras will also continue to sport the DPAF sensors.

Context below.

I purchased a very rebel model from an acquaintance which included what I am guessing is the kit lens and a telephoto lens.

On a whim, I purchased a M10 for travel and potentially be able to use the telephoto lens an adapter.

That was around 2 years ago. Fast foward to now, I have purchased a Rokinon 12mm manual focus (EF-M mount), Tamron 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC (Canon mount version with Canon adapter) and Canon 50mm prime (also used with an adapter).

Because I have been using the manual focus on the Rokinon for a while now and only use the Tamron on occasion, I had not used the autofocus for a while.

Recently I had to take some photos for work (not paid professional photographer but need to get a photo here and there) and realised how painfully slow the autofocus is with the Tamron. It takes at least 1 second to autofocus in ideal conditions and when indoors, it takes between 2-5 seconds to autofocus to actually not firing / taking the shot at all.

The Tamron lens in this instance is a dimmer lens (with f/3.5-6.3) so it's going to be much slower in lowlight conditions such as indoors. Outdoors is where this lens was designed to be used although it ought to perform well indoors with well-lit environments.   Presumably the Canon 50mm is faster for you.  2.5 seconds is a long time to wait for AF to lock.  I just tested my EOS M6 (which currently has the bright EF-M 32mm f/1.4 lens on it and the delay in AF lock was about 0.1 seconds.  Essentially, wherever I pointed the lens, it was an instant lock the moment my finger reached the half-way depression mark on the shutter release button.  A dimmer lens would presumably take longer.  But the EF-M 22mm f/2 STM lens is likewise very fast as well... though at f/2 it's both bright and doesn't have far for the AF to travel to attain a lock.  If I was to use the EF 100mmL or 135mmL lenses, the longer focal length would cause a greater delay.

I tried the kit lens again and the autofocus speed was acceptable but not super fast. So now I have resorted to using the kit lens again and Rokinon for wide angle shots.

The "kit lenses" I often see used on the display-model EOS M cameras here in Australia tend to be the EF-M 15-45mm lens which I think is f/3.5-6.2,  In the brightly lit department stores, that lens is fast and generally accurate.  They also tend to have the cameras set in Auto mode which accesses the AF points across the screen of the camera.  This lens is VERY good when the lighting in the scene is brighter.  Outdoor shots in daylight is where this lens really performs.  But if you shoot a lot of indoor shots, you may want to try out something with a brighter aperture - especially if your current lenses are struggling.  But since your Canon 50mm lens is probably f/1.8 or faster, I'm surprised this lens is problematic for you.  But I do think that the more recent models with DPAF ought to make quite a difference.

The Tamron and Canon 50mm is almost unusable unless I want to manual focus (which I do not want to have to do as I do not have a whole heap of time to learn). Will these two lenses have better autofocus performance if I upgrade the body?

I'm a little curious as to why your Canon 50mm lens is so slow to focus.  It may come down to the focal length (which is closer to 80mm on the EOS M APS-C cameras).  Longer focal lengths tend to require steadier hands in low light, especially if there's no Image Stabilization (which isn't as important on wider lenses - but is often essential with longer focal lengths).
The M10 is a very good camera though the newer models will be much faster to focus and more responsive to operate (meaning the recovery from one function to another and the general operational speed is faster).  I held out with the original EOS M until one of the new models with DPAF became available before upgrading.  I'm happy with the choice I made and I'm sure most owners of any of the newer models would agree that they're very decent cameras to work with.  The new M50 might be an option for you. My preference is for the M6.  I imagine the next M to come along will be similar to both.
Marco Nero.

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