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Is Mark 4 focus system inferior FOR STREET PHOTOGRAPHY to the Mark 3?

Streker26
Contributor
 

I have upgraded to the Mark 4 from the Mark 3. I do street photography of people. It seems that the Mark 4 works in a very, very different fashion then the Mark 3 when it comes to autofocus. I have tried every single focus setting or combination of settings but I continue to have problems. I am using exclusively a 50mm 1.4 USM lens as I did on the Mark 3 by the way. So it seems like the Mark 4 takes longer to focus. It sometimes hunts. The shutter button as well is not as responsive. But the biggest problem that is driving me up the wall is very often the camera will focus on the background to the exclusion of foreground subjects. And I don't just mean small figures in the foreground but even when I have a person filling one third of the frame in the center of the field! It is weird because this is not always the case but it is often the case. It is especially bad when I shoot fast. If I am slow and deliberate it is less often a problem. But the thing is that this was NEVER an issue with the Mark 3 for me. So I would love to know what settings people recommend as best to quickly catch in focus a a foreground figure in priority over background subjects. And also if others have had similar issues with this camera in relation to it's predecessor. Thanks

55 REPLIES 55


@TTMartin wrote:

@jrhoffman75 wrote:

I don't disagree with what you are advising Tom if the scenario is still camera focusing on subjects that may move; you proved the advise. Camera acquires the subject and tracks possible motion.

 

But, in the OP's case he is sometimes moving the camera - quick grab shots: "The other day I had two woman talking and they were three feet from me and the camera focused on the background store behind them although they practically filled the frame. Now if I slowly lift the camera to my eye and press the shutter slowly this will happen less." I think in the first case subject acquisition is going to be more difficult; no time for camera to think. 


That is because the OP was using AIFocus.


AIFocus does not work in quick situations as the camera starts assuming a static subject (One Shot)  and then if it detects movement only then does it switch to AIServo for a moving subject.


My gut suspicion is that the OP could be pressing the shutter too early.  If half press the shutter, to wake up the camera, before you begin looking through the viewfinder and framing a shot, you can easily wind up focusing on the background.

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"The right mouse button is your friend."

YES! this is also an issue I did not have with Mark 3. I have noticed the need to "wake up" the shutter first to get a better hit ratio. Still, it happens even when the shutter is wide awake. 


 wrote:

 

My gut suspicion is that the OP could be pressing the shutter too early.  If [you] half press the shutter, to wake up the camera, before you begin looking through the viewfinder and framing a shot, you can easily wind up focusing on the background.

“Hi, I am curious to define more clearly what is meant by "moving subjects" Are you saying that Servo is mostly appropriate for "multiple shots" of a single moving subject? What about when the subject is still (or perhaps walking slowly) but YOU are moving quickly past the subject and do a fast grab shot? I ask because this is generally how I work. I rarely if ever take more then one frame of a subject moving or still but "I" am moving quickly myself when I take the picture so that the subject does not see me or take offense. So in this circumstance would you recommend still using Servo or One Shot? Thanks....”

 

When you “do a fast grab shot” are you using Live View mode, or the viewfinder?

--------------------------------------------------------
"The right mouse button is your friend."


@Waddizzle wrote:

 wrote:

 

My gut suspicion is that the OP could be pressing the shutter too early.  If [you] half press the shutter, to wake up the camera, before you begin looking through the viewfinder and framing a shot, you can easily wind up focusing on the background.

“Hi, I am curious to define more clearly what is meant by "moving subjects" Are you saying that Servo is mostly appropriate for "multiple shots" of a single moving subject? What about when the subject is still (or perhaps walking slowly) but YOU are moving quickly past the subject and do a fast grab shot? I ask because this is generally how I work. I rarely if ever take more then one frame of a subject moving or still but "I" am moving quickly myself when I take the picture so that the subject does not see me or take offense. So in this circumstance would you recommend still using Servo or One Shot? Thanks....”

 

When you “do a fast grab shot” are you using Live View mode, or the viewfinder?


Viewfinder ... always ... what I am used to.


@Streker26 wrote:

Perhaps ... or perhaps the copy I have is defective in some way. What auto-focus setting wouo you use specifically to prioritize foreground figures over their backgrounds?


I'm fairly confident that it's just the way you're using AF that is the problem.  Taking pictures of people moving around should not be very hard at all.  Even the most rudimentary cameras can do it. All you need is to understand what the camera does in what you're using in and then a lot of practice.

 

Hopefully you have viewed the Canon video via the link.  Then check and see where your focus point is.  The camera remembers where you set it last and if you've inadvertently moved it to one corner, it will remain there until you change it. And the focus will be wrong.   Did you reset the camera to its default?

 

Prioritizing the foreground figures is the camera default if you are using multiple points.  Check the focus cases to see if you have set it to case 2.  Case 2 is the only one that would not prioritize any objects (including front objects) once you've tracked one.

 

How have you been using AI Servo? Just in case you don't already know, in AI Servo, you need to identify the object, acquire focus on it (you have no beep or anything to confirm, unlike one-shot mode) then keep depressing the focus (or shutter) button in order for the camera to continue tracking. You will need to move the camera along with the subject or you might lose focus.

 

For your case, I'd use all 61 point focus and select the option to start out with a beginning focus point (see the video for instructions).  For street photography, I wouldn't bother with AI Servo, just refocus when the object move but AI Servo would work very well also if you know what you're doing...

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Diverhank's photos on Flickr


@diverhank wrote:

@Streker26 wrote:

 


I'm fairly confident that it's just the way you're using AF that is the problem. 

 

Hopefully you have viewed the Canon video via the link.  Then check and see where your focus point is.  The camera remembers where you set it last and if you've inadvertently moved it to one corner, it will remain there until you change it. And the focus will be wrong.   Did you reset the camera to its default?

 ...


I get around the “problem” of moving the AF point by using a Custom Shooting mode, with automatic update disabled.  Instead of the camera maintaining the last AF point, it resets to my center AF point whenever the metering system goes idle.  

 

In fact, everything gets reset back to the custom mode’s default settings when the metering goes idle.  Yes, there is a button to press that resets the AF point for you, but that just adds one more “camera thing” to think about and remember to do, instead of just capturing the next shot.

--------------------------------------------------------
"The right mouse button is your friend."

Interesting... can you walk me through that process please? 


@Streker26 wrote:

Interesting... can you walk me through that process please? 


Hi Streker26. hard to tell what post you are responding to. Suggest you use QUOTE option on upper right when posting.

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, M200, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, Pixma TR8620a, Lr Classic


@jrhoffman75 wrote:

I get around the “problem” of moving the AF point by using a Custom Shooting mode, with automatic update disabled.  Instead of the camera maintaining the last AF point, it resets to my center AF point whenever the metering system goes idle.  

 

In fact, everything gets reset back to the custom mode’s default settings when the metering goes idle.  Yes, there is a button to press that resets the AF point for you, but that just adds one more “camera thing” to think about and remember to do, instead of just capturing the next shot.

@Streker26

Hi Streker26. hard to tell what post you are responding to. Suggest you use QUOTE option on upper right when posting.


Yes sorry.  ... I will do so now.... I was interested in this process this contributor mentioned because I forgot that it "remembers" the last focus point and I just assumed the default setting was to reset.

By the way I almost never use this or any forum but started to out of despair from this Mark 4 focus problem 

 


@Streker26 wrote:

Interesting... can you walk me through that process please? 


This comes from the extended instruction manual for the 5D4.

You could register an AF point.

 

1F5D45A2-231F-40E6-AC1E-807EC94E5292.jpeg

 

 

Or, you could configure a custom control button to revert to the center point.

 

2E879F01-0BD2-4327-927B-45FA2B13438B.jpeg

 

Hope this helps.

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"The right mouse button is your friend."
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