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If you shoot in servo focus mode, that is, if you ever are dialed in here to AI Servo, or AI Focus, which might drop into servo mode; in either of those cases, you might want to tweak the way that servo focus is working. If you think about it, moving objects can move in different ways. They might be moving in a particular direction; predominantly horizontally, or vertically. They might move with different speeds. They might start, and stop. To that end, the first page of the autofocus tab gives you different cases of autofocus tracking; of servo tracking.
For each of these cases, there are three parameters that Canon is changing: Tracking sensitivity, Acceleration and deceleration tracking, and Autofocus point switching. We'll look at what those individual parameters are in a minute. First, let's look at what these different cases are. Basically, these are five different collections of different settings for these three parameters. Case 1, Canon describes as just a versatile multipurpose setting. If you look at page 86 of your manual, you'll see more detailed descriptions of what each case is.
Case 2 says it will continue to track subjects, ignoring possible obstacles. So if you've got something that's moving behind, like, a telephone pole, or another moving object, it will continue to track your original subject. Case 3 claims to instantly focus on subjects suddenly entering autofocus points. So this means, if you're tracking one object at a certain distance, and another object comes into frame, and actually by frame, I mean comes over any of your autofocus points, it will switch to that object.
Maybe you're shooting a foot race, and you're tracking someone who is in the lead, and someone suddenly overtakes them, runs into your field of view, and overtakes them, it would start tracking that person. Case 4 is for subjects that accelerate or decelerate quickly, and they're kind of showing a soccer player here, which might not be a bad example of what that is. Case 5, for erratic subjects moving quickly in any direction, and they're showing you either someone who's an ice skater, or is slipping on a banana peel; I can't really tell. Either of those is going to be someone quickly moving in any direction.
Finally, we have subjects that change speed and move erratically, and I couldn't begin to tell you what the person in this icon is doing, but if you think about a tennis player, or somebody that might suddenly change direction, even though they've got a tennis player icon up here. Obviously, you're going to need to work with these in different cases to see what works best. So let's say I want to change the particulars of this case. As you can see, first of all, I can get some help here by pressing the Info button, although it doesn't really give me a lot of help.
I can also press the Rate button to get to my Detail settings. So if I press Rate, now these things become editable. Tracking sensitivity is basically controlling how sensitive the camera is to the subject moving from one point to another. Acceleration/deceleration tracking controls sensitivity for a subject who's suddenly changing speed, and Autofocus point switching sets a sensitivity to a subject that's moving fast enough that they're suddenly going from one point to another.
Now, when you're working with these, notice that the scales aren't normalized the same way. In this case, zeroes are in the middle, and you can have less or more. Here I can't have less; I can only have more. There are detailed descriptions of these parameters starting on page 90 of your manual, and if you're really going to go in and mess with the stuff, you're going to want to read those pages in great detail. I'm going to make sure these are set to the default right now by hitting the trashcan button, and get out of here, because I don't actually want to change any of those. One important thing to know about servo tracking, and about the Mark III's autofocus system in general, is that those 61 points are not all equal.
Some can measure focus only vertically, some measure horizontally, some measure on multiple axes. You can see a diagram of that on page 78. It's a complex diagram, and to be honest, you don't really need to know this stuff. If you're really going to go in and maniacally tweak one of these autofocus cases, then understanding the points may make a little bit of difference, but probably not. The other thing to know is that different Canon lenses use different numbers of focus points. Not all Canon lenses can use all 61 focus points, and you can see which lenses use which focus points starting on page 79.
If you are going to be doing a lot of servo tracking, you're going to want to consult that part of your manual to find out if the lens that you're using actually can use all of the focus points that the Mark III has. If it cannot, and servo tracking is something that you really need capability for, then you may need to invest in a new lens. There's a lot of depth to the servo tracking feature, so you're going to want to review those parts of your manual very carefully.
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