Canon interview: 5D MkII AF

Started Oct 3, 2008 | Discussions
KentPhotos Regular Member • Posts: 439
Re: Changes nothing for me either

I'm one of the users that the interviewed executive was paying attention to. I've never had a complaint about the 5D AF, never missed a shot I thought the camera should have given me (though i've missed plenty through user error that I wish I could blame on the equipment). The 5D Mark II gives me exactly what I'd been hoping for: almost doiuble the pixels, increased dynamic range, extremely useable ISO 3200 (and in a real pinch, 6400), and the ability to better manual focus through zooming in on live view on a larger LCD screen. My only disappointment is that I have to pay for something I didn't want or need at all: video.

That and the new Ziess ZE 21mm Distagon and I'm set for the next 3-5 years (OK I wish that Canon's announced 24mm "L II" will turn out to be better than the Zeiss, but I think that's highly unlikely).

Perhaps there are thousands of others out there like me, and Canon had us in mind, instead of those disappointed that the 5D didn't become the D700 with 21mp (or 16mp or 12mp) or the 1D Mark IV without a crop, or, well...what ever else "they" wanted.
--
'The humble improve' -Wynton Marsalis

BNV Regular Member • Posts: 236
Re: Canon interview: 5D MkII AF

Barnett wrote:

So there you have it. They gave us a lame AF sensor to keep the size
down. I wonder how Nikon managed to get a 51-point, 15 cross-type AF
sensor into the D700...

Barnett

No wonder here... Nikons 51-point AF is a piece of junk.

Gweeds Regular Member • Posts: 482
Re: Canon interview: 5D MkII AF

BNV wrote:

Barnett wrote:

So there you have it. They gave us a lame AF sensor to keep the size
down. I wonder how Nikon managed to get a 51-point, 15 cross-type AF
sensor into the D700...

Barnett

No wonder here... Nikons 51-point AF is a piece of junk.

Of course it is dear.

Honestly, do grow up.

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Stefan1967 Regular Member • Posts: 255
"ye olde autofocuse" LOL! nt
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Matt Cham Veteran Member • Posts: 4,120
Re: All the same

See comparison here:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1032&message=29295041

valetman wrote:

Johnnysks wrote:

Hmm, didn't get questioned about WHY the AF points are all bunched up
in the middle, or even if this concern is on their horizon. MUST
complain some more so that they'll realise it is not the case that

They are no more 'bunched up inthe middle' than any other FF camera,
D3 and D700 and the almighty 51 points included.

The only FF camera with a marginally wider spread is the 1DS III.

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lol101 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,855
Re: Who exactly did they ask about the AF

RobertSigmund wrote:

The contrary is right. The brighter the lens the better the focussing
is - it's the same with manual, by the way. The better the AF-unit,
the darker the lens can be. Minolta once was proud to be the first to
offer AF with their Mirror Lens 1:8 500.

True enough except that AF modules are working on contrast and that (generally), large aperture lenses have low contrast at max aperture plus ultra thin dof: even small errors are obvious and thus higher accuracy is required.

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Claus P Regular Member • Posts: 423
Your comment on the D700...

... is completely BS.

But... I think you know it already...

best regards
Claus

lol101 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,855
Re: Who exactly did they ask about the AF

Barnett wrote:

I don't know. Perhaps my expectations are too high. But I have
never seen a warning from Canon that I must use manual focus when
using apertures larger than f/2.8 or that I should expect a certain
number of OOF shots when shooting at f/1.2 to f/2.8.

That's what I read in "f2.8 high-precision sensor" "f1.4 out of spec: expect some oof shots"... frankly, I don't really know....

Is there an AF system specified to get much better accuracy (Nikon?
Canon 1D?) with faster than f/2.8 lenses?

I don't know about Nikon but f/2.8 is the max from Canon. The
1DMkIII has 45 AF points of which 19 are f/2.8 sensitive. The 5D has
only ONE f/2.8 sensitive AF point. They could at least have made the
9 main AF points on the 5D MkII f/2.8 sensitive. That would have
been a good start.

Agreed, the more, the better... but it might still be insufficient to guarantee accuracy with f1.4 or f2 lenses.

I'd really like to know if I read that "f2.8" vs "F5.6" correctly: I demand nothing else than to raise my expectancies !!

Barnett

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Sal Baker Forum Pro • Posts: 11,398
Re: Who exactly did they ask about the AF

Barnett wrote:

I don't know. Perhaps my expectations are too high. But I have
never seen a warning from Canon that I must use manual focus when
using apertures larger than f/2.8 or that I should expect a certain
number of OOF shots when shooting at f/1.2 to f/2.8.

My ancient XT is excellent in low light with f/1.4 primes using the center AF point. The 5DII center AF point should be at least as good with it's more sensitive (2.8 or below) center AF point.

Sal

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jbee Regular Member • Posts: 173
Re: Journalistic wimps

Well, could you have reported what he no commented upon? Or is that too much pressure on the poor fellow?

OP Barnett Contributing Member • Posts: 929
Re: Who exactly did they ask about the AF

lol101 wrote:

That's what I read in "f2.8 high-precision sensor" "f1.4 out of
spec: expect some oof shots"... frankly, I don't really know....

I'd really like to know if I read that "f2.8" vs "F5.6" correctly: I
demand nothing else than to raise my expectancies !!

I have never seen a really good explanation of the limitations of these f/2.8 and f/5.6 sensors. But I have seen somewhere that Canon mentions that the AF is "accurate to 1/3 of DOF". What exactly that means I don't know but perhaps that explains why you still get acceptable results at f/1.4 from an f/2.8 AF sensor.

Barnett

Sal Baker Forum Pro • Posts: 11,398
Re: Who exactly did they ask about the AF

Barnett wrote:

lol101 wrote:

That's what I read in "f2.8 high-precision sensor" "f1.4 out of
spec: expect some oof shots"... frankly, I don't really know....

I'd really like to know if I read that "f2.8" vs "F5.6" correctly: I
demand nothing else than to raise my expectancies !!

I have never seen a really good explanation of the limitations of
these f/2.8 and f/5.6 sensors. But I have seen somewhere that Canon
mentions that the AF is "accurate to 1/3 of DOF". What exactly that
means I don't know but perhaps that explains why you still get
acceptable results at f/1.4 from an f/2.8 AF sensor.

The center AF point's extra sensitivity "kicks-in" with f/2.8 and works with f/2.8 and "faster" lenses. With lenses slower than f/2.8 it becomes a standard cross-type sensor.

From the specs...

"Center point additionally sensitive with lenses of F2.8 or faster."

Sal

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OP Barnett Contributing Member • Posts: 929
Re: Who exactly did they ask about the AF

Sal Baker wrote:

The center AF point's extra sensitivity "kicks-in" with f/2.8 and
works with f/2.8 and "faster" lenses. With lenses slower than f/2.8
it becomes a standard cross-type sensor.

From the specs...

"Center point additionally sensitive with lenses of F2.8 or faster."

A particular AF sensor has a fixed aperture (like f/2.8 or f/5.6) and will not work with lenses that are slower than that aperture. But contrary to popular belief they also do not benefit from lenses that are faster. So putting an f/1.4 lens on the camera will not "help" the AF like it would help with MF. It is almost like doing manual focusing with the DOF preview button depressed at f/2.8(or f/5.6).

So when you have a lens that is faster than the AF sensor it will still "work" but just not very well. That is why they have these "high precision" f/2.8 AF sensors in the first place.

Barnett

BNV Regular Member • Posts: 236
Re: Wow, unanimous Canon bashing...

Gweeds wrote:

Taikonaut wrote:

Whiners on here are either Nikon trolls or Canon users who has the 1D
series who felt wronged by the superior 5DMk2 at lower cost and using
whatever excuses about the new camera to justify why they are not
buying it.

No. It's suckers like you who would never dare to question their
beloved Canon that allow them to make moves like this.

The very best customers are those who continue to push their brand
on, not the ones who swallow everything willingly.

I never dare to question my beloved CANON, too, because... it is still the best camara in the world for the price.

(unknown member) Contributing Member • Posts: 873
Re: Canon interview: 5D MkII AF

MM1 wrote:

PN wrote:

Barnett wrote:
From the interview:

"And also there's some limitation with size; the AF sensor in the
50D is very big; the one in the 5D is much smaller. If we wanted
to have all cross-sensors in the 5D Mark II, it would mean we
might have to sacrifice the compactness of the body." - Masaya Maeda
(Canon Inc's Director and Chief Executive of Image Communication
Products Operations)

So there you have it. They gave us a lame AF sensor to keep the size
down. I wonder how Nikon managed to get a 51-point, 15 cross-type AF
sensor into the D700...

It's a lie, of course. The true reason is to be searched in marketing
strategies.

My thoughts exactly. Unless, of course, the guy uncovered the biggest
Canon AF secret - the brick like dimensions of 1D series are
required by the huuuuuge 45 sensor AF array, and that would be the
reason why it can't be fit into nongrip bodies!

that is not true, the EOS 1 film series have a compact body smaller than the current 5DII and had the original 45point 1D/1DII AF module.

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Cheers,
Martin

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Richard, NC
Never comment on something you don't know about

Erik Magnuson Forum Pro • Posts: 12,247
Only you can guarantee accuracy

lol101 wrote:

That's what I read in "f2.8 high-precision sensor" "f1.4 out of
spec: expect some oof shots"... frankly, I don't really know....

What f/2.8 vs. f/5.6 means is that the two sides of the f/2.8 sensor can be further apart and form a longer baseline rangefinder. The accuracy is usually specified in terms of DOF needed for a good 8x10 print. The "normal precision" sensors should calculate the amount of focus change needed to get the lens with the DOF of the focus point. The high-precision sensors are about 3x better (e.g. 1/3 the 8x10 DOF.)

They could at least have made the
9 main AF points on the 5D MkII f/2.8 sensitive. That would have
been a good start.

It's very hard to make the outer sensors high-precision. If you look at the photos of the AF chips, there is no room to place segments with increased. (This is also why high-precision segments are almost always horizontal only - there is not enough vertical space for the wider separation.

Agreed, the more, the better... but it might still be insufficient to
guarantee accuracy with f1.4 or f2 lenses.

AF like AE imperfect. This is like saying you want your exposure meter to always get exactly the right measurement. In both cases, it helps if you know how the system works and how the points are configured:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1032&message=29547177

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Erik

Sal Baker Forum Pro • Posts: 11,398
Re: Who exactly did they ask about the AF

Barnett wrote:

Sal Baker wrote:

The center AF point's extra sensitivity "kicks-in" with f/2.8 and
works with f/2.8 and "faster" lenses. With lenses slower than f/2.8
it becomes a standard cross-type sensor.

From the specs...

"Center point additionally sensitive with lenses of F2.8 or faster."

A particular AF sensor has a fixed aperture (like f/2.8 or f/5.6) and
will not work with lenses that are slower than that aperture. But
contrary to popular belief they also do not benefit from lenses that
are faster. So putting an f/1.4 lens on the camera will not "help"
the AF like it would help with MF. It is almost like doing manual
focusing with the DOF preview button depressed at f/2.8(or f/5.6).

So when you have a lens that is faster than the AF sensor it will
still "work" but just not very well. That is why they have these
"high precision" f/2.8 AF sensors in the first place.

Canon doesn't say it's a f/2.8 sensor, they say the sensor is extra sensitive with lenses f/2.8 or faster. Maybe I'm not understanding your point. Are you saying the spec is not true?

Sal

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MM1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,504
Re: Canon interview: 5D MkII AF

Rcihardc wrote:

MM1 wrote:

PN wrote:

Barnett wrote:
From the interview:

"And also there's some limitation with size; the AF sensor in the
50D is very big; the one in the 5D is much smaller. If we wanted
to have all cross-sensors in the 5D Mark II, it would mean we
might have to sacrifice the compactness of the body." - Masaya Maeda
(Canon Inc's Director and Chief Executive of Image Communication
Products Operations)

So there you have it. They gave us a lame AF sensor to keep the size
down. I wonder how Nikon managed to get a 51-point, 15 cross-type AF
sensor into the D700...

It's a lie, of course. The true reason is to be searched in marketing
strategies.

My thoughts exactly. Unless, of course, the guy uncovered the biggest
Canon AF secret - the brick like dimensions of 1D series are
required by the huuuuuge 45 sensor AF array, and that would be the
reason why it can't be fit into nongrip bodies!

that is not true, the EOS 1 film series have a compact body smaller
than the current 5DII and had the original 45point 1D/1DII AF module.

Allright, I'll be putting a big sarcasm disclaimer next time,,

Apparently, the size issues as such are the Canon guy's arguments against putting a better (50D or 1D)... We all know that nongrip bodies can house a proAF. Canon just doesn't WANT to put it there again, and the interviewed exec is talking fairytales.

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Cheers,
Martin

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Richard, NC
Never comment on something you don't know about

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Cheers,
Martin

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OP Barnett Contributing Member • Posts: 929
Re: Who exactly did they ask about the AF

Sal Baker wrote:

Barnett wrote:

A particular AF sensor has a fixed aperture (like f/2.8 or f/5.6) and
will not work with lenses that are slower than that aperture. But
contrary to popular belief they also do not benefit from lenses that
are faster. So putting an f/1.4 lens on the camera will not "help"
the AF like it would help with MF. It is almost like doing manual
focusing with the DOF preview button depressed at f/2.8(or f/5.6).

So when you have a lens that is faster than the AF sensor it will
still "work" but just not very well. That is why they have these
"high precision" f/2.8 AF sensors in the first place.

Canon doesn't say it's a f/2.8 sensor, they say the sensor is extra
sensitive with lenses f/2.8 or faster. Maybe I'm not understanding
your point. Are you saying the spec is not true?

No, I have no reason to doubt the spec. I was just trying to explain how it works but I am obviously not doing a great job. Perhaps someone can point us to a more in depth explanation - I cannot find any of the ones that I read right now.

Barnett

Erik Magnuson Forum Pro • Posts: 12,247
Re: Canon interview: 5D MkII AF

Rcihardc wrote:

that is not true, the EOS 1 film series have a compact body smaller
than the current 5DII

No, your statement is not true:
EOS-3 161 x 119.2 x 70.8 mm
EOS-1V: 161 (W) x 120.8 (H) x 70.8 (D) mm
5DII: 152 x 114 x 75 mm

and had the original 45point 1D/1DII AF module.

And there are a lot of electronics in a 5DII that aren't in those bodies.

I think it's fair to suggest that the 5DII might have to be larger to have a different AF. Now how much larger is the question.

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Erik

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