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Exploring autofocus custom functions

From: Shooting with the Canon 5D Mark III

Video: Exploring autofocus custom functions

Starting on the second page of the autofocus tab are a bunch of functions for customizing the autofocus capabilities of your Mark III. We're not going to go through all of these in great detail. I'm going to call out some particularly useful ones. You can find explanations of all of them starting on page 94 of your manual. First off, we have AI Servo 1st image priority. If you've used servo focus at all, you know that sometimes, after you've half-pressed the shutter button to start servo tracking, when you press it the rest of the way, the camera won't necessarily take a picture of that moment.

Exploring autofocus custom functions

Starting on the second page of the autofocus tab are a bunch of functions for customizing the autofocus capabilities of your Mark III. We're not going to go through all of these in great detail. I'm going to call out some particularly useful ones. You can find explanations of all of them starting on page 94 of your manual. First off, we have AI Servo 1st image priority. If you've used servo focus at all, you know that sometimes, after you've half-pressed the shutter button to start servo tracking, when you press it the rest of the way, the camera won't necessarily take a picture of that moment.

If it's in the middle of searching for focus, or if it doesn't think it's got an image that's in focus, it simply won't shoot. If I open this up, I can see that by default, servo focus is set to try and balance between when I press the shutter button, and when I may have focus. In other words, when I press the button all the way down, it's going to go well, okay, he's pressed the button, but, well, okay yeah, I mostly got focused, I guess I'll take the picture. There's no guarantee that it's going to actually take a picture. If I skew this over here, I'm giving release priority.

That means if I press the button, it doesn't matter what the camera is doing, it takes a picture. So I may not get a picture that's in focus. If I put it over here, what I'm saying is, when I press the button, don't take a picture until you have found focus. I'm going to pop back out here, and I have something else called 2nd image priority. This allows me to set priority for when I'm burst shooting. If I'm burst shooting with servo tracking, I can opt for more speed, which means I'm going to end up with images that may not be focused, or I can opt for only shooting when the camera has achieved focus.

There is a similar command over here on the second page called One-Shot autofocus release priority. This does the same thing when I'm working in One Shot mode. When I'm not servo tracking, I can say, I absolutely want you to take a picture; I don't care if you're in focus, or I can say, no, no, don't shoot until you absolutely have focus. This is the default mechanism here. If you're shooting a rapidly changing scene, and you're thinking that focus maybe isn't so super critical, then you could change this. Most of the time you'll probably want to leave this right here. Moving on to the next page; couple of possibly useful things here.

First of all, Selectable AF point. I can change the number of points available. If you find that 61 is too many, because it's too granular, maybe the camera is going so fine that it's selecting things regularly that you don't want, you can try to narrow the number of points; you can reduce them. In some ways, that's going to make the autofocus less accurate. In other situations, it might make it more accurate. If you never use servo tracking, or if you certainly don't need the level of servo tracking detail that the camera provides, you can come here to Select AF area select mode, and turn off any selection modes that you never use.

So, for example, maybe I do a little servo tracking, so I'll keep an expanded autofocus area mode, but I never get so detailed that I'm dealing with the cases, and that kind of thing; I'm just going to turn that off. I'm also going to turn off the zone autofocus mechanism; that's far more detailed than I need. So now when I'm cycling through all of my different autofocus modes, they are two less that I have to go through. If you never use anything, but the spot area focuses, the single point autofocus mechanisms, maybe you want to turn off the rest of these.

That can make it much easier to change between the two of them. Notice that you can't turn off the default autofocus selection option. When you're ready to cycle through from one area focus selection method to another, as you've seen, you first press this button, and then you press the multi-function button back here. If you'd like, you can set that to a different control. You can set it to the main dial, rather than that button. Finally, a couple of other options you may want to play with. You can change the way that autofocus points are displayed using these two options right here.

If you have very, very fast lenses, like a F1.850 mm lens, or a 1.2, you might want to try the Autofocus Microadjustment. This allows you to fine tune the autofocus for those particular lenses. Now, this requires some very particular kind of targets that you need to measure off of, so you may not actually have what you need to do this. You can find out more details about how to use this feature on page 104 of your manual. Also, a company called Michael Tapes Design offers a product to help you do this; a thing called LensAlign.

You can find out about them at michaeltapesdesign.com. So there are a lot of options here to play with, and there are a lot of ways of tweaking the autofocus system to get it not only more reliable for the way you shoot, but also to improve the interface. So you're probably going to want to spend some time looking at these different options.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Shooting with the Canon 5D Mark III
Shooting with the Canon 5D Mark III

108 video lessons · 20466 viewers

Ben Long
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 10m 29s
    1. Welcome
      2m 16s
    2. What is an SLR?
      5m 28s
    3. A note for 5D Mark II users
      50s
    4. Using this course
      1m 55s
  2. 35m 44s
    1. Exploring basic camera anatomy
      5m 28s
    2. Attaching a lens to your camera
      4m 3s
    3. Examining batteries and media cards
      8m 35s
    4. Powering up
      1m 49s
    5. Exploring the menu system
      2m 53s
    6. Clearing all settings
      2m 5s
    7. Setting the date and time
      1m 55s
    8. Setting the language
      1m 42s
    9. Formatting the media card
      3m 4s
    10. Holding the camera
      4m 10s
  3. 25m 6s
    1. Setting Scene Intelligent Auto mode
      1m 28s
    2. Exploring the viewfinder display
      5m 51s
    3. Touring the LCD screen and the status display
      2m 22s
    4. Exploring the top-mounted control buttons
      1m 42s
    5. Autofocus basics
      5m 7s
    6. Metering basics
      1m 42s
    7. Reviewing images
      2m 59s
    8. Working with image playback
      3m 55s
  4. 39m 32s
    1. Exploring Program mode
      41s
    2. Working with exposure compensation
      5m 2s
    3. Using the lock switch
      1m 21s
    4. Revisiting metering
      1m 43s
    5. Changing the ISO
      2m 14s
    6. Looking at ISO speed settings
      4m 36s
    7. Exploring long exposure noise reduction
      2m 53s
    8. Exploring high ISO noise reduction
      1m 40s
    9. Using program shift
      2m 11s
    10. Exploring image format and size
      3m 59s
    11. Using the Info button
      2m 4s
    12. Examining level and grid display
      3m 45s
    13. Using the Quick Control screen
      1m 35s
    14. Setting the color space
      1m 25s
    15. Configuring multiple media cards
      3m 24s
    16. Using the feature guide
      59s
  5. 23m 15s
    1. Exploring focus modes
      2m 25s
    2. Selecting autofocus areas
      3m 54s
    3. Exploring other autofocus options
      3m 44s
    4. Customizing servo auto focus
      4m 49s
    5. Exploring autofocus custom functions
      4m 50s
    6. Using manual focus
      3m 33s
  6. 10m 31s
    1. Using auto white balance
      1m 48s
    2. Exploring white balance presets
      3m 7s
    3. Using manual white balance
      5m 36s
  7. 10m 47s
    1. Exploring Drive mode
      4m 52s
    2. Using the self-timer
      3m 38s
    3. Using remote controls
      2m 17s
  8. 52m 26s
    1. Exploring metering modes
      3m 26s
    2. Using exposure lock
      1m 22s
    3. Working with focus points and metering
      3m 47s
    4. Exploring Aperture Priority mode
      3m 0s
    5. Using the depth of field preview button
      2m 40s
    6. Using Shutter Priority mode
      3m 26s
    7. Using Manual mode
      3m 27s
    8. Using auto exposure bracketing
      6m 3s
    9. Exploring Bulb mode
      2m 34s
    10. Working with the Auto Lighting Optimizer
      1m 40s
    11. Correcting lens aberration
      2m 46s
    12. Exploring Highlight Tone Priority
      2m 25s
    13. Understanding high-dynamic range (HDR)
      7m 5s
    14. Creating multiple exposures
      6m 25s
    15. Using the mirror lockup feature
      2m 20s
  9. 27m 38s
    1. Modifying LCD brightness
      3m 27s
    2. Rotating images
      2m 36s
    3. Using the playback grid
      42s
    4. Enabling AF point display
      1m 18s
    5. Rating images
      3m 4s
    6. Protecting and deleting images
      4m 40s
    7. Using Quick Control during playback
      1m 17s
    8. Exploring file numbering options
      2m 43s
    9. Creating folders
      1m 10s
    10. Changing file names
      3m 12s
    11. Adding copyright information
      3m 29s
  10. 7m 57s
    1. Defining picture styles
      2m 0s
    2. Exploring predefined picture styles
      2m 1s
    3. Adjusting predefined picture styles
      1m 56s
    4. Working with the monochromatic picture style
      2m 0s
  11. 22m 28s
    1. Activating Live View
      7m 16s
    2. Focusing in Live View
      5m 32s
    3. Focus manually in Live View
      1m 25s
    4. Working with aspect ratio
      2m 33s
    5. Exploring other Live View options
      3m 36s
    6. Reviewing the drawbacks to using Live View
      2m 6s
  12. 12m 16s
    1. Shooting video in Auto and Program modes
      6m 39s
    2. Shooting video in Priority or Manual modes
      3m 35s
    3. Exploring movie playback
      2m 2s
  13. 13m 0s
    1. Exploring custom modes
      5m 38s
    2. Using the custom menu
      2m 56s
    3. Exploring custom controls
      4m 26s
  14. 8m 57s
    1. What are custom functions?
      35s
    2. Working with exposure level increments
      1m 34s
    3. Bracketing auto cancel
      53s
    4. Changing the number of bracketed shots
      1m 5s
    5. Changing ISO speed setting increments
      1m 34s
    6. Exploring the Live View shooting area display
      40s
    7. Enabling safety shift
      2m 6s
    8. Clearing all custom functions
      30s
  15. 8m 16s
    1. Camera and sensor cleaning
      3m 12s
    2. Using the Battery Info command
      1m 45s
    3. Looking at operating conditions and temperatures
      2m 3s
    4. Getting firmware updates
      1m 16s
  16. 15m 10s
    1. Exploring focus and composition
      5m 31s
    2. Using an exposure strategy
      5m 11s
    3. Controlling exposure through Program mode
      4m 28s
  17. 23s
    1. Goodbye
      23s

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