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EOS 70D autofocus tracking???

Bazsl
Rising Star

Will the phase detect 19 point AF system in the 70D track subjects moving toward the camera at 100 miles per hour in AI Server mode? In other words, is the 70D usable for still photos of aircraft in flight, horse racing and automobile racing? Any references to articles on the 70D AF sustem that discuss its ability to track subjects moving toward the camera would be appreciated. Thanks.

 

Bill

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

If it's better than the 7D it won't be by much from what I've read but I haven't put any effort in that either. I have shot Radio Control events with a 7D with very good results & that's harder than full scale. I've also shot car racing with a 40D & had a pretty good keeper rate.

 

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."

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80 REPLIES 80

In photography there usually is no right, or wrong, answer. And there certainly is no free lunch. You give to get.

 

The facts are, however, bigger pixels collect more light. More photons means a more clean image compared to the relatively tightly packed pixels on crop-sensor cameras.

 

No matter what the pixel size, larger sensors unavoidably have more light-gathering area. A larger sensor with smaller pixels will still have lower apparent noise than a smaller sensor with larger pixels. This is because noise in the higher resolution camera gets enlarged less as does all the other bad things.

 

To this end a 18 MP full frame sensor is going top produce a sharper image than a 18 MP crop sensor. Even cropped to the same printed size.

 

Increasing mega-pixels count on a given size sensor chip can have negative impact on image quality. Pushing more pixels on a given sensor chip results in smaller individual pixel size. Less light gathering ability. In the pixel world size does matter.

 

The cost of a digital sensor rises dramatically as its area increases. This is why crop size sensors were designed in the first place. To keep the cost where a person could likely afford it. Plus some other technical obstacles to solve. Like ten FPS shooting.

 

An example is the Canon's flagship EOS 1Dx ($6800.00) which has a 18 MP full frame sensor. Size of the pixel and the total count of pixels must both be taken into consideration. The 1.3 size sensor of the previous 1 Series cameras is likely done. Largely because it can do nothing better than this full frame model. Even though 1.3 has an advantage with telephoto lens in apparent reach, the resulting photo is not better.

 

If you are not comparing exact equipment and conditions you may well see an advantage with one camera over another but that is just the point. Even in crop vs crop there are differences and FF vs FF there are, too.

 

This debate will likely go on for a long time yet. But always remember in pixels, size does matter. The bigger pixel will generally win out over smaller ones.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Reporting back re printing. This is one of a set I printed & donated to the local Legion last Rememberance Day. From the math I kept 32% of the original pixels. The photo was taken with a 1D mark lV and 100-400 L IS and printed with an Epson 3880 Pro at 13" X 19" and was crystal clear & very sharp. I just ran it in Photoshop as if I would make another print & it says it would be printing at 266 DPI & I've been taught to stay at 300 DPI or higher, but based on my own print it looks like a little less may still work on a good printer. This is a low res sample of the full frame I started with.

 

 

INGR7751.JPG

 

The file I printed can be viewed here.(it's at web resolution but large enough to see it was sharp even after cropping.)

 

 

http://plus.google.com/photos/114565060647135800760/albums/5931774341532190993/5931774363069143538?b...

.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer the questions.  Nice work on the photo.  You must have been shooting at 1/500 second or slower, else the prop would have been frozen.  You must have a steady hand.  

 

Here's a shot I took at 1/2000 seconds, nearly rozen propeller.  It represents 16% of the frame or 1.2 megapixels.  

 

Prop_6482.jpg

 

Here's a shot I took two days ago, uncropped.

 

Blue Angel Con Trail _6548.jpg

 

 

Here's some detail from the cockpit. It represents 3% of the original area of the frame.  or about 0.6 megapixels.

 

Cockpit_6548.jpg

I've never even thought about the resolving power of any given lens & I rely on superzooms and get results which is what counts. I have worked my way through a lot of quality gear finding what works for my needs & there aren't a lot of people concentrating on radio control events locally so the clubs appreciate my work. If you haven't taken the time to read the links I provided earlier you need to based on your samples. You also need to understand the limitations of what you can hand hold for several hours at an event plus that there is atmospheric haze influencing sharpness on distant shots.

 

Here's another link to what will show larger than we can place here, and again it's from the 1D4 & 100-400 at 390 mm & 1/1000. I have since decided to shoot jets at 1/1600-1/2000 simply because it improves the odds for a sharper photo. My max shutter speed for prop planes is 1/320 but I try to stay at 1/250 or slower.

 

http://picasaweb.google.com/114565060647135800760/VintageWingsWingsOverGatineau2012TheMilitarySet#57...

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."

Great Photos!  

 

It looks like a lot of those pictures were taken from another aircraft.  You must be panning.  do you use IS-1?

 

Thank You. All photos shot from the ground in the normal spectator area, hand held, IS in mode 2, Tv mode & EC as required for decent exposures and generally only minor post processing to the jpg's. Depending on importance I will usually (but not always) start from the RAW image if a print is needed. That allows me to get event sets on line within a few days after they end & before the next one is held. For my R/C events I am allowed on the flight line so I'm up close for take offs & landings which is why I depend on superzooms. (old 35-350 L which has now been replaced by the 28-300 L IS (in mode 2 on 1 body & the 100-400 L IS on another body)

Here's the link to an album which demonstrates how atmospheric haze cuts clarity. These wouldn't make an event album but were used to see what went wrong & when it began. The pilot forgot to install 1 wing bolt & the 14th photo shows the wing working it's way out of the pocket in the fusilage (note the air gap on the back of the wing). It's performing a judged aerobatic routine and that's done well up & away from the flight line & I would have stopped following it but saw (& heard unexpected throttle changes) he was in trouble & stayed on it until the buffer filled. 7D, 100-400, at least 1/2 mile out. I had the advantage of being able to see the wing rotate through the viewfinder but the others watching couldn't see well enough to know what went wrong. 

 

http://picasaweb.google.com/114565060647135800760/MarioSFlight?authkey=Gv1sRgCJ-06JTQ7pW4EQ

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."

Thank you for this post.  I'm learning a lot.  I do appreciate it.

 

Too bad the pilot damaged his craft...  Great photographic work!  I'm sure the pilot appreciated your documenting the fault.  

 

Do you ever use IS-1?  I read that it's valuable for panning.  It allows the field to blur in the right / left direction while holding sharpness in the up / down direction.

Which rules, lens resolving power or pixel count as you compare FF with ASP-C?”

I got a response that using an APS-C body won't give improved results over a FF sensor cropped down to APS-C size.”

 

The actual physical size of the APS-C sensor is 22.3mm and 14.9mm. The sensor in a FF is 36mm and 24mm.

The FF sensor is approximately 1.6x larger than the crop-sensor.  OK, we got it.

Pixels, or photosites, are not all the same, and they have an individual size too, it is referred to as pixel pitch. A FF, like a 5D Mk II has large pixels, about 6.4 microns. The much smaller crop-sensor, like a 7D, has photosites, about 4.3 microns across.

 

The photosites, or pixels, on the 7D sensor are much smaller than those of the 5D sensor. Granted, OK?   If you took the larger pixels of the 5D Mk II, and divided up a 7D sensor using those pixels, you would only get 8 million of them to fit.

 

When comparing the FF, 5D Mk II image with that of the APS-C sensor, 7D, remember the sensor cannot change the focal length of the lens.

The larger FF sensor captures 36mm x 24mm of what the lens projects. Pretty much corner to corner of the image circle. The crop sensor captures the middle portion of that circle which is 22.3mm x 14.9mm.  Using just a portion of what the lens sees. The FF image can show superior fine detail because of this.

When the FF image is 'cropped' to where it matches the “subject size” of the same image from the crop-sensor, there is not a great deal of difference in the image quality.  In this case of a 5D Mk II vs a 7D.

 

It is only comparable to see and compare images taken with the two cameras, side by side. And it should be clear that to be a fair test there should be a similar MP count. IE 18 MP crop vs a 18 MP FF. Certainly the results would be different and unreliable if the two were of completely differing sizes.

Thus leading to the thought that a crop sensor is sharper. In certain cases it might well be and is.

 

After extensive use of both of these camera bodies, and my own findings in actual shooting conditions a crop sensor gives no real benefit with telephoto lenses. And it has a distinct disadvantage when using WA.

And very much, a point that has been not talked about here. When you don't crop the FF image, a FF will be considerably sharper.  No contest.

 

Think of this, Canon's flagship cameras are both Full Frame. Canon could make this body with any sensor it wanted to.

Yet it chose a 18 MP FF for the 1Dx.

If I had t go out and buy a camera to shoot super telephoto lenses today, it would be the 5D Mk III with no hesitation.

Hands down the best.

 

All this said I tooseem grab my 7D when I go to shoot with my big lenses. Maybe old time myths die hard.  Even with old time photographers.

 

One other thing to point out is Mr. cicopo is an experienced and accomplished photographer. He knows what he is doing and probably could get the best from any camera!

 

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."

 

 

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!


@ebiggs1 wrote:

When comparing the FF, 5D Mk II image with that of the APS-C sensor, 7D, remember the sensor cannot change the focal length of the lens.

 


Nobody cares about the actual focal length, only the relative effect of using a XXX mm lens on an APS-C sensor vs. using the same focal length lens on a FF.

 

 


@ebiggs1 wrote:

When the FF image is 'cropped' to where it matches the “subject size” of the same image from the crop-sensor, there is not a great deal of difference in the image quality.  In this case of a 5D Mk II vs a 7D.

 


That's not necessarily true, not if the resolving power of the lens is good enough to not limit the crop sensor, and providing we're at low ISO.  You're now comparing an 8 MP image to an 18 MP.  It's a significant enough difference to be able to see.

 


@ebiggs1 wrote:

It is only comparable to see and compare images taken with the two cameras, side by side. And it should be clear that to be a fair test there should be a similar MP count. IE 18 MP crop vs a 18 MP FF. Certainly the results would be different and unreliable if the two were of completely differing sizes.

 

But it's not, because Canon doesn't offer a FF camera with enough resolution to compare similar MP count.  It would take a 46 MP sensor to allow you to crop it down to APS size and still have 18 MP.  The camera doesn't exist (for Canon).  So, if you're shooting something where you always are cropping down (such as birds or planes), and you're shooting Canon, you would be better off using a crop sensor camera.  Which is why most people that shoot this type of work use crop sensor.

Thanks Ed, but you haven't seen just how terrible a people photographer I am. Ne wedding work for me unless it's just casual snapshots. I do however agree with Skirball's assessment of why artificial reach trumps FF for things like birds & aviation. A cropper & 100-400 or 400 L f5.6 has a lot going for it relative to what you'd need to shoot on a full frame body when you can't at least fill half the frame with the target.

 

Garry, if you take the time to learn how to properly shoot prop planes you'll also be able to shoot motorsports well because the same rules apply. For motorsports you want a sharp car or motorcycle etc but blurred wheels / tires & background. Also if you are serious about all of this you can get lots of good practice at panning along a busy road. Try your hand at it at safe shutter speeds & as you get better lower them until you've got way down & just can't get perfection. Once you know your current limit work within your skill set knowing more practice will yeild better results over time.

If you're really serious about it find a local R/C club & volunteer some time shooting there or at local events. Share your results & it won't take long before they likely give you flight line access. Clubs are always happy to get nice photos of member planes or events. My photo albums have increased pilot participation & helped get sponsors because they show how successful the events are. Last year one of the events I've been shooting for years became the 3rd largest of it's kind in North America & one sponsor (there were more than one) donated over $8K in draw prizes. I suspect we'll be bigger this year (which means I'll have a very hard time finding time to eat my lunch).

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
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