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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:

@Streker26 wrote:

@Waddizzle wrote:

" I use AIServo, Case 1, and have both first and second image priority set to Focus, I have focus start on the shutter button, I have AF ON reprogrammed to AF OFF, incase I need to focus and recompose."

 

 

I set my camera the same way for AI Servo, with all AF points active, and have it saved as a custom shooting mode.   Using AI Servo with a single AF point is almost like One shot Mode.  

 

I set my camera for One Shot, with just one AF point, BBF, and have it saved as custom shooting mode.  With a fast enough shutter speed, one can shoot anything.  I think that fact was proven years ago, back in the film days, before AF lenses.


Well, I am experimenting with One Shot now and it does seem better generally but yesterday I lined up a picture while moving past a couple sitting and took four frames AS I QUICKLY WALKED PAST THEM. They were fairly central and filled about twenty percent of the frame and were in the foreground. The camera again focused on the store behind them. UGH! 


One Shot is NOT the answer to your problem!!!


Since one shot was suggested here and since I never tried this for street photo's I thought I would give it the first spin. Now I will set up as you suggested in Servo and see how that works out. Just have to say this once more... I am pretty sure there is some sort of major differences between how autofocus works on the Mark 4 and how it worked on the Mark 3 since with my 3 had so fewer of these issues 


 wrote:

Since one shot was suggested here and since I never tried this for street photo's I thought I would give it the first spin. Now I will set up as you suggested in Servo and see how that works out. Just have to say this once more... I am pretty sure there is some sort of major differences between how autofocus works on the Mark 4 and how it worked on the Mark 3 since with my 3 had so fewer of these issues 


I strongly urge you to move your shutter release off of the back button and back to the shutter button also.

 

You can then reprogram the AF ON button to be AF OFF which gives you the option to lock focus by pressing and holding it if you need to.


@TTMartin wrote:

 wrote:

Since one shot was suggested here and since I never tried this for street photo's I thought I would give it the first spin. Now I will set up as you suggested in Servo and see how that works out. Just have to say this once more... I am pretty sure there is some sort of major differences between how autofocus works on the Mark 4 and how it worked on the Mark 3 since with my 3 had so fewer of these issues 


I strongly urge you to move your shutter release off of the back button and back to the shutter button also.

 

You can then reprogram the AF ON button to be AF OFF which gives you the option to lock focus by pressing and holding it if you need to.


One other thing, remember when using AIServo with multiple AF points in an Auto AF point selection mode, it still starts with the selected AF point (usually the center point) and then will hand off AF to the outer points if needed.


 wrote:

Since one shot was suggested here and since I never tried this for street photo's I thought I would give it the first spin. Now I will set up as you suggested in Servo and see how that works out. Just have to say this once more... I am pretty sure there is some sort of major differences between how autofocus works on the Mark 4 and how it worked on the Mark 3 since with my 3 had so fewer of these issues 

It was also pointed out that if you are using continuous drive mode, then you should use AI Servo focus mode because of its’ tracking capabilities.  One Shot focus mode works best with Single Shot drive mode because of its’ focusing speed.  

 

You say One Shot mode might have been an improvement.  When you tried One Shot, how many AF points were active.  Using One Shot with all AF points active should lock focus on the nearest object within the frame, especially one mostly filling the frame.

The major AF differences between the cameras mostly pertains to the AF point types and their sensitivity.  From your descriptions, you are using a 50mm lens to quickly focus on very close subjects, often times at a distance of 3 feet.  That will give you a rather narrow DOF.  

 

You may want to use Zone AF point selection, to limit the area where the camera focuses.  

 

You say that the camera focuses on the background.  Can you see focus points in the display?  You may need to “stop” the AF system and recompose focus by using the [AF-ON] button programmed to disable focus when it is held down.  The shutter will start it.

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"The right mouse button is your friend."


@Streker26

"Well, I am experimenting with One Shot now and it does seem better generally but yesterday I lined up a picture while moving past a couple sitting and took four frames AS I QUICKLY WALKED PAST THEM. They were fairly central and filled about twenty percent of the frame and were in the foreground. The camera again focused on the store behind them. UGH!"




Have you installed DPP? Can you post a screenshot of the image showing the focus points?

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

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

manuonu
Apprentice

To be honest AI focus has a lot of issues on Canon cameras, apart from that its no way inferior than M3

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