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New Contributor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎10-21-2013

70d Automatic 19 Point Selection? Not so much

Generally love my new 70d however I am finding one problem with focus settings.  I have spent time with tech support and they confimed it is designed this way so unfortunately there is no fix unless they update firmware.  They state they have forwarded to appropriate tech people and hopefully a fix is forthcoming  Here is the problem in a nutshell, regardless of what combination of autofocus modes you are in, the ability to select no focus point so that it truly is completely automatic is not available in all modes on the 70d.

 

Specifically, when in 1)  AI servo Mode (for sports photography) and 2)  putting the camera into automatic 19 point AF point selection, there is no option to have no focus point selected.  This means that in those modes you must have one point selected.  The camera will start there and then if it sees movement choose other points as necessary.  The problem is that if your actual subjects stop moving and are not covered by the focus point it will not properly focus.  This happens particularly if you have two subjects nearby but separated. Most users will have the center point selected and if the two subjects are separated and you frame the shot and the center point over the distant background the camera will not focus on the subjects.

 

The situation where this keeps occurring for me is sports, right now kids soccer games.  I want the camera in AI Servo mode, but if the action slows down or stops and I want to get a shot of two players near each other, when I frame the shot, if the mandatory selected point doesn't fall on one of them it won't be in focus.

 

Canon said all I need to do is manually select another focus point, which is true, but it  takes time to do so and sometimes that time is the difference between getting and missing the shot.  It is easily curable by having the ability to select NO focus point in the Automatic 19 point selection when in AI Servo (and the other two modes too AI Focus and One Shot)  so that the camera will naturally select the subjects in the foreground which you want to focus on, with no adjustments necessary.

 

As I told them in my Email my Old Rebel XTi with its 9 point AF had the ability to select a focus point in any mode, and just as importantly,to  select no focus point.  That ability needs to be put into the 70d.  I am not saying that the only option be to have no focus point preselected (there are uses for that set up as well)   but the ability to select no focus point should also be available.  Without that option, the Automatic 19 point focus in many situations will fail if the subject(s) is/are  temporarily stationary and the mandatory focus point does not fall on a subject of the photo.
I'm frankly stunned that my new Prosumer model lacks this capability.
I understand that there is a work around, but workarounds require the user to take additional steps and which require time and when time is of the essence that leads to missed shots which is far from an ideal situation.

If you, like be find this to be an annoyance, please Email customer support and express yourself.  The more people who want this feature added, the more likely it is to occur in a firmware update.

 

 

 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,816
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: 70d Automatic 19 Point Selection? Not so much

Why not configure your custom mode ("C" on the mode dial) for "One Shot" AF.  Leave the camera in AI Servo for sports and use as you normally do, but if you need to grab a quick shot of non-action then turn the dial to "C", shoot, and set it back.

 

That's why you have a custom mode.  Pro bodies have multiple custom modes so you can instantly go from one type of shooting to the next.

 

Whatever settings are dialed into the camera when you save the custom mode will be programmed (saved) to the mode.

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,861
Registered: ‎12-02-2012

Re: 70d Automatic 19 Point Selection? Not so much

Hmmmm. That is a little surprising to me. Does the 7d, from which the 19 point AF system was borrowed, allow no point to be selected? (or for fully automatic point selection, which is the term used by my camera)? My 6d has a simpler AF but it does fully auto point selection in AI SERVO all day long.

Does it do this in Tv mode? Does it do it in Program mode?
Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?
New Contributor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎10-21-2013

Re: 70d Automatic 19 Point Selection? Not so much

That's a good suggestion, and while certainly quicker than changing the focus point it still takes time which can be the difference between getting and not getting a shot..  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they will update firmware to allow it,  though they did say I'm the first to request it.  More actual options are always better in my book.

New Contributor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎10-21-2013

Re: 70d Automatic 19 Point Selection? Not so much

Reply to Scotty:

 

Yes it is surprising isn't it. 

To answer your question, it happens in all modes, ie.  Tv, M, P when the camera is in AI Servo.

It does not happen in One Shot or AI Focus so I might be better off simply not using AI Servo (though I hate to not use a feature because of a design error).  My understanding is that AI focus starts off in essentially in one shot mode, but switches to Servo when it detects movement and switches back when no movement. 

 

So we know this problem exists in the 70d (Canon confirmed this to Me)

We also know it does not exist in my prior Xti and in Scotty's 6D.

I am curious if there are ANY other cameras where Canon has removed this capability, i.e. the 7D, 5D Mk II or III, or any of the prior xxD line.  Seriously doubt they set up a 1Dx this way.

So the question for any other users is Can you have truly fully automatic focus with no focus point selected in AI Servo?

 

It seems like it should be a very easy fix since in other modes i.e. one shot you don't have to select a focus point to start from.  This capability just has to be extended to AI Servo.  There is no reason I can think of why they would intentionally remove truly automatic focus in Servo and the more I think about it the more I think it was just a screw up that nobody noticed which means they will likely make the easy fix (or so I assume, I'm no engineer) at some point.

 

New Contributor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎10-21-2013

Re: 70d Automatic 19 Point Selection? Not so much

Meant to include A for aperture priority too

New Contributor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎11-19-2015

Re: 70d Automatic 19 Point Selection? Not so much

I have noticed this and found your post.  Thanks for the good description.  It hasn't caused me to miss any shots yet, but it is wierd.  I'll probably try to remember to shoot in AI Focus more to work around this.  I came from a T3 which also didn't have this "feature"

Honored Contributor
Posts: 6,003
Registered: ‎11-13-2012

Re: 70d Automatic 19 Point Selection? Not so much

I think I'm missing the issue. If you are in AI Servo with Automatic Point Selection there is no preselected focus point. Start the process by centering the viewfinder on the desired subject and then the camera follows the subject.

My entry level T5i works that way and my top of the line 1D Mark IV works that way.

Does your 70D not do that?
John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X, Rebel T5i, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472, LRCC Classic
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,967
Registered: ‎02-26-2015

Re: 70d Automatic 19 Point Selection? Not so much

[ Edited ]

@nord0306 wrote:

I have noticed this and found your post.  Thanks for the good description.  It hasn't caused me to miss any shots yet, but it is wierd.  I'll probably try to remember to shoot in AI Focus more to work around this.  I came from a T3 which also didn't have this "feature"


Only the 7DMk II has an automatic initial AF point selection mode in AIServo. All other Canon cameras including the T3 in auto AF point selection mode and AIServo the camera starts with the selected AF point (center point on the T3) and hands off the tracking to the other AF points as needed.

Highlighted
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,967
Registered: ‎02-26-2015

Re: 70d Automatic 19 Point Selection? Not so much


@msalz wrote:

Generally love my new 70d however I am finding one problem with focus settings.  I have spent time with tech support and they confimed it is designed this way so unfortunately there is no fix unless they update firmware.  They state they have forwarded to appropriate tech people and hopefully a fix is forthcoming  Here is the problem in a nutshell, regardless of what combination of autofocus modes you are in, the ability to select no focus point so that it truly is completely automatic is not available in all modes on the 70d.

 

Specifically, when in 1)  AI servo Mode (for sports photography) and 2)  putting the camera into automatic 19 point AF point selection, there is no option to have no focus point selected.  This means that in those modes you must have one point selected.  The camera will start there and then if it sees movement choose other points as necessary.  The problem is that if your actual subjects stop moving and are not covered by the focus point it will not properly focus.  This happens particularly if you have two subjects nearby but separated. Most users will have the center point selected and if the two subjects are separated and you frame the shot and the center point over the distant background the camera will not focus on the subjects.

 

The situation where this keeps occurring for me is sports, right now kids soccer games.  I want the camera in AI Servo mode, but if the action slows down or stops and I want to get a shot of two players near each other, when I frame the shot, if the mandatory selected point doesn't fall on one of them it won't be in focus.

 

Canon said all I need to do is manually select another focus point, which is true, but it  takes time to do so and sometimes that time is the difference between getting and missing the shot.  It is easily curable by having the ability to select NO focus point in the Automatic 19 point selection when in AI Servo (and the other two modes too AI Focus and One Shot)  so that the camera will naturally select the subjects in the foreground which you want to focus on, with no adjustments necessary.

 

As I told them in my Email my Old Rebel XTi with its 9 point AF had the ability to select a focus point in any mode, and just as importantly,to  select no focus point.  That ability needs to be put into the 70d.  I am not saying that the only option be to have no focus point preselected (there are uses for that set up as well)   but the ability to select no focus point should also be available.  Without that option, the Automatic 19 point focus in many situations will fail if the subject(s) is/are  temporarily stationary and the mandatory focus point does not fall on a subject of the photo.
I'm frankly stunned that my new Prosumer model lacks this capability.
I understand that there is a work around, but workarounds require the user to take additional steps and which require time and when time is of the essence that leads to missed shots which is far from an ideal situation.

If you, like be find this to be an annoyance, please Email customer support and express yourself.  The more people who want this feature added, the more likely it is to occur in a firmware update.

 

 

 


You were incorrect about your XTi. 

 

Only the newest high end cameras like the 7D Mk II and the 1DX Mk II allow the camera to select the initial starting AF point while in AIServo.

 

With your XTi in AIServo the center AF point was the starting focus point when in 9 point Auto AF point selection mode. It might not have shown that in the view finder, but, it was the center AF point.

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