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R6/R5 autofocus vs R10/R6ii/R7/R8?

unita
Apprentice

From my understanding, the R6s autofocus is a little different in terms of capabilities compared to newer models like the MKII and the R8 (and I believe includes the R10 and R7 as well).

If I am correct in the above statement, (and feel free to correct me if I'm not) does anyone have experience with the original R6, and the mkii or any of the "newer" bodies with the up to date capabilities?

I'm looking at purchasing an R6, adding to my kit which currently includes an R10 and I am curious if there are any actual substantial differences in terms of capabilities. Are the cameras from both sets just as fast? Just as accurate? Do they operate and handle the same?

Would I actually notice a difference 99 percent of the time? Like, if I used the R6, and then the R6ii, how obvious will it be which is which, purely based on AF? That's my main question.

I shoot a lot of fast moving subjects like birds and sports, but also love the eye detect for portraits, so getting as close to what I am used to is important.

I would go try one but I don't have a camera store near me, and I am curious before I rent one online to try.

Im looking at the original R6 specifically for cost saving, but to get the pro features like dual cards, bigger battery, battery grip availability, etc.

Also does anyone know of any videos that showcase the AF differences? I tried to find some on YouTube to no avail.

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

p4pictures
Mentor
Mentor

I do have plenty of experience with EOS R6, and more recently EOS R10 and EOS R6 Mark II. I own and use all three currently, but have used all of the R-series cameras.

Assuming you are using servo AF - and for most moving subjects you should. The most important thing is that the original EOS R6 and EOS R5 will only do eye detection - people and animals - when set to face detection & tracking AF method. They can track the head of people and animals when set to face detection and tracking, plus also any of the three zone AF areas. When using face detection & tracking there's no "AF point" in the frame to start with and often photographers get confused with knowing where the camera will focus. However in the camera AF menu, you can enable an initial AF point for the face detection & tracking method. This is a good way to indicate to the camera the specific subject you want it to focus on. For example if you have multiple people or animals in the frame, the initial AF point guides the camera to the specific one you choose and then the camera will move the AF point to follow that initially selected subject. All the other AF methods such as 1-point, spot, expansion cross and expansion surround work like a DSLR, they do not move around the frame to follow a detected subject, you have to keep them on the subject.

When you go to the EOS R7/R10/R3/R50/R8/R6 Mk2 the terminology and methodology changes. Instead of the "whole frame" being called face detection + tracking, it is termed whole area AF. It works similar to the face detection + tracking of the EOS R5/R6 but there's no option to have an initial AF point. However the big difference is that all other AF methods can detect faces / heads and eyes. Therefore the location of the AF point initially is the guide to tell the camera where in the frame you want to look for the specific subject. There is an option to stop the camera from moving the AF point to follow the subject, but I don't use it myself.

In my experience the AF performance of the EOS R6 Mark II is better than the EOS R6. With birds in flight I find the R6 Mk2 acquires the subject faster initially and also stays locked on to it better than the old R6. Additionally the EOS R6 Mark II and R8 also expand the range of subjects, so animals that are recognised is the same canines, felines and birds as R5/R6 but with the addition of horses/equine. One example is that my EOS R6 is not able to lock focus on the eye of a zebra, but the EOS R6 Mark II is able to. Additionally the EOS R8/R6 Mark II vehicle subjects are expanded to include trains and aircraft in addition to motorbikes and cars.

If you are currently using a DSLR, then the EOS R6/R5 is more similar in the way AF works, but try and avoid using 1-point or af expansion as then you miss out on the subject detection AF that is the step forward of these cameras for moving subjects.

Initially I found for portrait work that using the EOS R6 with face + tracking AF and letting the camera find the subjects eye was "witchcraft AF". Though actually I realised this freed my brain to compose the shot better by not having to worry about where the AF point was. If you recall photographers often use the terminology "focus, lock, recompose" and that means composition is later in priority. I completely switched to only using servo AF for all living or moving subjects and manual focus for landscapes and still-life or macro.

I use a mixture of lenses, mostly wide-angle and telephoto lenses are still EF lenses on the adapter, and I have a couple of standard zoom RF/RF-S lenses.


Brian - Canon specialist trainer, author and photographer
https://www.p4pictures.com
I use British not American English, so my spellings may be a little different to yours

View solution in original post

3 REPLIES 3

shadowsports
Legend
Legend

The AF algorithms of the R5 and R6 are very similar.  If you are considering the R6 vs R62 and have the budget, the R62 is the better choice for many of the reasons you already mentioned.  

Additionally, the R62 

-Has no video crop @4k 60p, oversamples from 6k and can record ProRes 6k to an external monitor

-Unlimited record time

-Preshot buffer & lens breathing correction

-Small bump in res (MP)

-Higher FPS, Focus stacking (20 vs 40 electronic)

Since the R6 is 20MP its pixel density is 19% higher than the 24MP R62.  So the R62's sensor has smaller photosites due to its increased resolution giving the R6 and egde in low light.  FP's 6072 (R6) vs 4897 R62).  While the R6 has 1175 fore FP's its the software that separates the two bodies here. 

The crux of your question.  The R62 has a better understanding and detection capabilities of the human body.  It also detects more animal types.  Eye tracking locks and follows the primary subject better even if other heads or eyes exist in the frame.  You don't need manual intervention to keep the camera tracking one subject.  The R62 added horses, zebras, trains and airplanes.  It also does motorcycle helmets better than the first gen.

 The features work in still and video mode.  These enhancements track human heads better which keeps the camera's focus from hunting when a subject moves out then back into the frame.  You don't want the camera to grab a tree, bush or other object.  Also if the subject turns their head around and eye tracking is lost.  These are subtle yet substantial differences that separate how the two AF systems in the cameras operate.

In the R6, subject detection tracked subject across the entire frame.  Its not available if you select 1 point or large zone AF.  On the R62 , you can enable subject tracking for any AF area (including eyes).  On the R6 you have to use the joystick.  This also improves tracking in lower light situations when a person is walking closer or farther away from the camera and maybe turning their head.  

There is a lot more here I haven't covered and I am by no means an expert.  Some of these improved tracking capabilities were added to my R5 C's Cinema Capability. I do not own the standard R5 or R6 / R62, but have observed how these enhancements work between the R5C's still image and video capability.    I don't think the enhancements are game changers but if you can afford the newer body, then why not.  Others might wish to add additional details.

 

~Rick
Bay Area - CA


~R5 C (1.0.6.1) ~RF Trinity, ~RF 100 Macro, ~RF 100~400, ~RF 100~500, +RF 1.4x TC, +Canon Control Ring, BG-R10, 430EX III-RT ~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~DaVinci Resolve ~Windows11 Pro ~ImageClass MF644Cdw/MF656Cdw ~Pixel 8
~CarePaks Are Worth It

p4pictures
Mentor
Mentor

I do have plenty of experience with EOS R6, and more recently EOS R10 and EOS R6 Mark II. I own and use all three currently, but have used all of the R-series cameras.

Assuming you are using servo AF - and for most moving subjects you should. The most important thing is that the original EOS R6 and EOS R5 will only do eye detection - people and animals - when set to face detection & tracking AF method. They can track the head of people and animals when set to face detection and tracking, plus also any of the three zone AF areas. When using face detection & tracking there's no "AF point" in the frame to start with and often photographers get confused with knowing where the camera will focus. However in the camera AF menu, you can enable an initial AF point for the face detection & tracking method. This is a good way to indicate to the camera the specific subject you want it to focus on. For example if you have multiple people or animals in the frame, the initial AF point guides the camera to the specific one you choose and then the camera will move the AF point to follow that initially selected subject. All the other AF methods such as 1-point, spot, expansion cross and expansion surround work like a DSLR, they do not move around the frame to follow a detected subject, you have to keep them on the subject.

When you go to the EOS R7/R10/R3/R50/R8/R6 Mk2 the terminology and methodology changes. Instead of the "whole frame" being called face detection + tracking, it is termed whole area AF. It works similar to the face detection + tracking of the EOS R5/R6 but there's no option to have an initial AF point. However the big difference is that all other AF methods can detect faces / heads and eyes. Therefore the location of the AF point initially is the guide to tell the camera where in the frame you want to look for the specific subject. There is an option to stop the camera from moving the AF point to follow the subject, but I don't use it myself.

In my experience the AF performance of the EOS R6 Mark II is better than the EOS R6. With birds in flight I find the R6 Mk2 acquires the subject faster initially and also stays locked on to it better than the old R6. Additionally the EOS R6 Mark II and R8 also expand the range of subjects, so animals that are recognised is the same canines, felines and birds as R5/R6 but with the addition of horses/equine. One example is that my EOS R6 is not able to lock focus on the eye of a zebra, but the EOS R6 Mark II is able to. Additionally the EOS R8/R6 Mark II vehicle subjects are expanded to include trains and aircraft in addition to motorbikes and cars.

If you are currently using a DSLR, then the EOS R6/R5 is more similar in the way AF works, but try and avoid using 1-point or af expansion as then you miss out on the subject detection AF that is the step forward of these cameras for moving subjects.

Initially I found for portrait work that using the EOS R6 with face + tracking AF and letting the camera find the subjects eye was "witchcraft AF". Though actually I realised this freed my brain to compose the shot better by not having to worry about where the AF point was. If you recall photographers often use the terminology "focus, lock, recompose" and that means composition is later in priority. I completely switched to only using servo AF for all living or moving subjects and manual focus for landscapes and still-life or macro.

I use a mixture of lenses, mostly wide-angle and telephoto lenses are still EF lenses on the adapter, and I have a couple of standard zoom RF/RF-S lenses.


Brian - Canon specialist trainer, author and photographer
https://www.p4pictures.com
I use British not American English, so my spellings may be a little different to yours

shadowsports
Legend
Legend

Well said Brian, expert response.  👍

~Rick
Bay Area - CA


~R5 C (1.0.6.1) ~RF Trinity, ~RF 100 Macro, ~RF 100~400, ~RF 100~500, +RF 1.4x TC, +Canon Control Ring, BG-R10, 430EX III-RT ~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~DaVinci Resolve ~Windows11 Pro ~ImageClass MF644Cdw/MF656Cdw ~Pixel 8
~CarePaks Are Worth It

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