Canon interview: 5D MkII AF

Started Oct 3, 2008 | Discussions
Pinetree Regular Member • Posts: 120
The AF might be OK after all

Well. I have been sharing the thoughts of most of you, but all the same I decided to do a practical test in a very dark room. On the other side of the room a table lamp gave the only light available. I focused on a bookshelf (this is a real tradition, isn´t it on the other side of the room.

I had two cameras to compare. The 5D and a 1.6x crop with 9 cross-type AF sensors (=40D). The lens used was a EF 100 F2, since I didn´t want to make too easy for the AF-systems of these cameras by using a ie. a F1.4 lens.

Ther result stunned me completely! Both dslr´s when using the miidle point focused fast and securely. When using the right-most point bith struggled more. The 5D locked focus, not instantly, but almost anyway. The 40D zig-zagged and wasn´t able to lock focus at all in those dark conditions.

Apparently Canon made, after alll - even to my big suprise -the right decision by not incorporating the 40D/50D AF-system into their new 5D Mark II.

... of course someone might think Canon should have incorporated the 1D-series AF-system into the 5D MarkII, but seriously that wouldn´t have made any sense at all. It shows only how desperate Nikon are, when they are incorporating D3-AF on their semipro D700 with it´s low mpix count for a NEW FF-DSLR. Neither it or the D3 can in anyway compete with any of the current Canon FF-dslr´s, exept of course for newspaper use, where high resolution isn´t that a big deal. Even 6-10 mpix (read s-raw) is in reality more than enough for that purpose, but when you go into magazines and posters even 12 mpix is not cutting it anymore for a professional, nor has it done so for quite a while. Thats why even many former nikonistas dealing with magazines have a 1Ds Mark III as their second (or first) camera.

thw Veteran Member • Posts: 8,089
I don't think it's a matter of market segmentation

After reading Canon's replies, I suspect it's more to do with a simple case of technology deficiency. Canon probably has no idea how to make a small 51 AF pt sensor. Nikon's electronics seem to be more advanced: faster EXPEED chip and smaller AF sensor (that can be squeezed into a compact D300/D700 body). This will also explain the myriad functionalities that Nikon bodies can perform while Canon seems to be stuck in the stone age of old technology.

-- hide signature --

A View through my Lens
thw.smugmug.com

natureman Veteran Member • Posts: 3,979
Did someone ask how to contact Canon?

I can't promise that all of this is precisely up to date but it's enough to get in touch with someone.

Martin Sutherland Director of Product Marketing Canon Canada Inc.
msutherland@canada.canon.com 6390 Dixie Road
905 795-1111 Mississauga, ON L5T 1P7
http://www.canon.ca

David Sparer Senior Manager, Professional Products Marketing... Canon U.S.A. Inc. dsparer@cusa.canon.com Headquarters One Canon Plaza 718 863-5939 / 516 328-5000 Lake Success, NY 11042 http://www.usa.canon.com

Larry Thorpe National Marketing Executive Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Headquarters One Canon Plaza
516 328-5000 Lake Success, NY 11042
http://www.usa.canon.com

YOROKU ADACHI Chief Executive Officer Canon U.S.A., Inc.
pr@cusa.canon.com 1 CANON PLZ
516 328-5000 New Hyde Park, NY 11042-1119
http://www.usa.canon.com

Rudy Ebisch Manager of Technical Operations Canon U.S.A., Inc.
rebisch@cusa.canon.com 1 CANON PLZ
516 328-4435 / 516 328-5000 New Hyde Park, NY 11042-1119
http://www.usa.canon.com

Tatsuro Kano Director of Marketing-Cameras Canon U.S.A., Inc.
tkano@cusa.canon.com 1 CANON PLZ
516 488-6700 / 516 328-5000 New Hyde Park, NY 11042-1119
http://www.usa.canon.com

Joseph Warren Vice President and General Manager, Customer Support Canon U.S.A., Inc. jwarren@cusa.canon.com Headquarters One Canon Plaza 516 328-5000 Lake Success, NY 11042 http://www.usa.canon.com

Neil Stephenson Manager of Consumer Products Canon Canada Inc.
nstephenson@canada.canon.com 6390 Dixie Road
905 795-2111 x3370 / 905 795-1111 Mississauga, ON L5T 1P7
http://www.canon.ca

Takayoshi Hanagata President and Chief Executive Officer Canon U.S.A., Inc. hanagata@cvi.canon.com 12000 CANON BLVD 757 881-6001 Newport News, VA 23606-4201 http://www.canon.com

natureman Veteran Member • Posts: 3,979
Re: The AF might be OK after all

Pinetree wrote:

Well. I have been sharing the thoughts of most of you, but all the
same I decided to do a practical test in a very dark room. On the
other side of the room a table lamp gave the only light available. I
focused on a bookshelf (this is a real tradition, isn´t it on the
other side of the room.

I had two cameras to compare. The 5D and a 1.6x crop with 9
cross-type AF sensors (=40D). The lens used was a EF 100 F2, since I
didn´t want to make too easy for the AF-systems of these cameras by
using a ie. a F1.4 lens.

Ther result stunned me completely! Both dslr´s when using the miidle
point focused fast and securely. When using the right-most point bith
struggled more. The 5D locked focus, not instantly, but almost
anyway. The 40D zig-zagged and wasn´t able to lock focus at all in
those dark conditions.

Apparently Canon made, after alll - even to my big suprise -the right
decision by not incorporating the 40D/50D AF-system into their new 5D
Mark II.

... of course someone might think Canon should have incorporated the
1D-series AF-system into the 5D MarkII, but seriously that wouldn´t
have made any sense at all. It shows only how desperate Nikon are,
when they are incorporating D3-AF on their semipro D700 with it´s low
mpix count for a NEW FF-DSLR. Neither it or the D3 can in anyway
compete with any of the current Canon FF-dslr´s, exept of course for
newspaper use, where high resolution isn´t that a big deal. Even 6-10
mpix (read s-raw) is in reality more than enough for that purpose,
but when you go into magazines and posters even 12 mpix is not
cutting it anymore for a professional, nor has it done so for quite a
while. Thats why even many former nikonistas dealing with magazines
have a 1Ds Mark III as their second (or first) camera.

12mp is only enough for newspapers?? You're joking, right?

12mp is a "low" pixel count??

Nikon is "desperate"??

Neither the D700 nor the D3 can in any way compete with any of the current Canon FF DSLRs??

By the way, the 5D (12.8mp) is one of Canon's "current" FF DSLRs.

Get real.

Pinetree Regular Member • Posts: 120
Re: The AF might be OK after all

Truth be told. I wasn´t all that serious at all

I wrote the last chapter of my post with kind of a grin on my face, deliberately exaggerating just for the fun of it, but as a clarification by "Neither Nikon D700 or the D3 can in anyway compete with any of the current (= in production) Canon FF-dslr´s" I meant those applications were you really do need a FF with a minimum 20 mpix resolution (and for some reason do not have or want a medium format camera by your side).

  • If you do need a high resolution dslr for those specific situations it doesn´t matter how much better specifications a dslr (whether in a Canon or Nikon body) has in other departments. If nothing else that at least is a undeniable truth.

In those situations a Canon 1D Mark III, a Nikon D700 or even a Nikon D3 don´t make it. There has only been the 1Ds Mark III and now the 5D Mark II.

That is what I tried to say in my post, but this in not the point of my post.

My main serious (!!!!!!!) point is about the AF sytem of the 5D/5D MarkII vs, 40D/50D. As a Canon user if you have only these two to choose from for the upcominng 5D Mark II which would you in the end choose? I find my totally unscientific test quite interesting of their AF-system differences in dark conditions. In good light their diffrences are minimal, if any!

All the best!

natureman wrote:

Pinetree wrote:

Well. I have been sharing the thoughts of most of you, but all the
same I decided to do a practical test in a very dark room. On the
other side of the room a table lamp gave the only light available. I
focused on a bookshelf (this is a real tradition, isn´t it on the
other side of the room.

I had two cameras to compare. The 5D and a 1.6x crop with 9
cross-type AF sensors (=40D). The lens used was a EF 100 F2, since I
didn´t want to make too easy for the AF-systems of these cameras by
using a ie. a F1.4 lens.

Ther result stunned me completely! Both dslr´s when using the miidle
point focused fast and securely. When using the right-most point bith
struggled more. The 5D locked focus, not instantly, but almost
anyway. The 40D zig-zagged and wasn´t able to lock focus at all in
those dark conditions.

Apparently Canon made, after alll - even to my big suprise -the right
decision by not incorporating the 40D/50D AF-system into their new 5D
Mark II.

... of course someone might think Canon should have incorporated the
1D-series AF-system into the 5D MarkII, but seriously that wouldn´t
have made any sense at all. It shows only how desperate Nikon are,
when they are incorporating D3-AF on their semipro D700 with it´s low
mpix count for a NEW FF-DSLR. Neither it or the D3 can in anyway
compete with any of the current Canon FF-dslr´s, exept of course for
newspaper use, where high resolution isn´t that a big deal. Even 6-10
mpix (read s-raw) is in reality more than enough for that purpose,
but when you go into magazines and posters even 12 mpix is not
cutting it anymore for a professional, nor has it done so for quite a
while. Thats why even many former nikonistas dealing with magazines
have a 1Ds Mark III as their second (or first) camera.

12mp is only enough for newspapers?? You're joking, right?

12mp is a "low" pixel count??

Nikon is "desperate"??

Neither the D700 nor the D3 can in any way compete with any of the
current Canon FF DSLRs??

By the way, the 5D (12.8mp) is one of Canon's "current" FF DSLRs.

Get real.

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

raoulJ wrote:

I think they just can't afford to launch a new AF system right now
and just HAD to launch 5DII to regain attention and market shares.

This is what I don't get. Why a new AF system? They had 3 years to design how to fit an "old" 1D2 AF system into the 5D body, and people would still be more happy than with the old 5D1 AF.

I don't think anybody here expected Canon making a new AF after the Mk3 fiasco and putting it into 5D2? They still had the nice 1D2 AF to put it into 5D2!

-- hide signature --

Cheers,
Martin

 MM1's gear list:MM1's gear list
Canon EOS-1D Mark II N Canon EOS 40D Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Canon EF 20mm f/2.8 USM Canon EF 35mm F2.0 +10 more
MM1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,504
Re: I don't think it's a matter of market segmentation

thw wrote:

After reading Canon's replies, I suspect it's more to do with a
simple case of technology deficiency. Canon probably has no idea how
to make a small 51 AF pt sensor. Nikon's electronics seem to be more
advanced: faster EXPEED chip and smaller AF sensor (that can be
squeezed into a compact D300/D700 body). This will also explain the
myriad functionalities that Nikon bodies can perform while Canon
seems to be stuck in the stone age of old technology.

I don't believe that at all. They already did it for the EOS-1 film bodies (no grip) and EOS-3 (no grip). EOS-3, ten years ago!! This isn't about techological inability, it is about stubborn bean counter mindset.

-- hide signature --

Cheers,
Martin

 MM1's gear list:MM1's gear list
Canon EOS-1D Mark II N Canon EOS 40D Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Canon EF 20mm f/2.8 USM Canon EF 35mm F2.0 +10 more
tissunique Veteran Member • Posts: 3,307
Re: Canon interview: 5D MkII AF

I can understand the philosophy 'if it ain't broke don't fix it', however, the MKII is supposed to be an evolution and it is incomprehensible (and unforgiveable) that something as key as an AF system and frame rate was not improved - while everything else was and HD video was included. Just plain crazy in my view. Perhaps these have been reserved for a 3D...
Tony

tissunique Veteran Member • Posts: 3,307
Re: Remember...

low light capability?

tissunique Veteran Member • Posts: 3,307
Re: somebody nixed it

ditching a 1DS MKIII for a 5D MKII sounds like gearhead lunacy to me - given the choice I know which way I would lean...
Tony

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