1D MkIII Autofocus (Verdict after submirror fix)

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by dcheung, Dec 10, 2007.

  1. I can't believe this has not been posted on here yet.
    Rob Galbriath's much much anticipated update to the AF performance of 1DMkIII
    was finally up this morning.


    Cheers to the fix!
  2. f72


    GOOD stuff .thanks weiyang
  3. It's pretty funny when you read the different forums and their general reaction to the fix. I
    read Galbraith's article, and concluded that the fix worked, and the AF performance is on-par
    or slightly better than the 1DIIn. But on some forums, there's a bit of outrage that Canon still
    hasn't delivered the camera that was promised. You see what you want to see, I guess. But
    after reading Galbraith's article, I've got to wonder; what exactly did Canon promise (in your
    opinion)? Does the fixed camera deliver on those promises? I'd like to hear from 1DIII users
    since I've been considering one and have been on the sidelines during this issue.
  4. My personal take on all of this is: "I need to stop reading so must about the 1D3 AF problem and just use the extra time to take more photos"

    Old saying: "It's amazing what you can do when you don't know what you can't do"
  5. I'm not sure how anyone reading the Galbraith article can conclude that the autofocus of the 1DIII "is on par or slightly better than the 1DIIn." In most of Galbraith's graded autofocus categories, the 1DIIn exceeds the 1DIII, often by what I would consider a substantial margin. In case you don't want to read that far, Galbraith says in the upfront summary, "Looking at all of what we've shot with the two camera models in recent weeks, however, the EOS-1D Mark II N is the one that has delivered the most in-focus frames." I don't think the solution is to ignore the problem and just go take pictures, for if a camera doesn't focus well, everything else becomes irrelevant. Personally, I think this is a significant problem for Canon, especially with the advent of the Nikon D3 and D300.
  6. David, your conclusion from the article that "...AF performance is on-par or slightly better
    than the 1DIIn" is actually in direct contradiction to the content and conclusions of the
    article itself!

    As someone who has a 1DsMkIII on order, I am a little concerned about this situation - I
    do feel that it is being slightly over blown, and I realize that Canon have finally stepped up
    to the plate and one way or another will run it to ground. I will however wait until the
    initial 1DsMkIII reviews and customers have played Beta tester, and I now plan to buy
    around the end of March instead of this month (sorry Calumet)!

    In light of this issue, and acknowledging that Canon USA repairs are slammed right now, I
    don't think anyone would blame me for being a little cautious and circumspect.
  7. RG gives assorted grades to both cameras and from what I read the III only performs as well as the IIN in some cases, except on strobed vollyball where it out performs.

    In bright sunlight at high temps it seems to fall apart.

    Considering these were cameras handed to him by Canon, how well can we expect our bodies to perform?

    The point is that the III should perform BETTER than the MIIN in ALL cases. Otherwise we're no longer advancing, we're impeding.

    How can anyone who paid $4500+ for this body be content knowing that an older body performs better in some cases?

    The fix? More like a lame bandaid that is only temporary. Hopefully some later firmward update will get us where we really need to go. Then the MIIIN comes out and we're all left holding a half filled bag.
  8. Gentlemen,

    I stand by my summary. Galbraith tests both bodies, and while the IIn is better in sunlight
    than the III the III beats the IIn when shooting strobed sports. and is only slightly worse for
    the skiing test. Overall, I think they're very close, and not worlds apart. But what was
    promised? Did Canon promise perfect focus tracking under all conditions? Does anyone?
  9. David - not to split hairs, but you initially said that "...the autofocus of the 1DIII "is on par
    or slightly better than the 1DIIn" - Now you accept that the IIn is better in a few areas and
    the MkIII only better in one, so obviously you aren't standing by your summary.

    Canon did not promise "...perfect focus tracking under all conditions? " It would ridiculous
    for any company to make such an impossible pledge. What is reasonable to expect though,
    is that a more expensive upgrade would have autofocus at least as good as, and
    presumably a whole lot better than, the previous iteration.

    To somehow make it sound like a positive thing that when shooting skiing the MkIII is "...
    only slightly worse" isn't massively comforting to anyone who has just spent $4,500
    supposedly upgrading their equipment.
  10. So my question is this: did Canon promise an upgraded AF system?

    Galbraith is one data point, and really doesn't point to drastic difference between the two cams. The did promise higher frame rates, but improved AF?

    My comment (on-par or slightly better) was based on his letter grades, which do not provide a lot of evidence to show that the 1DIII is the disaster it was before the fix. I'm assuming that half-letter grades are minor differences. The "skiing" grade is, well, nothing to write home about. So that leaves the other six, which are split. So claiming one is better than the other at this point, based on those tests, is splitting hairs, is it not?
  11. i've been using my 1DMK111 for the last 2weeks without any autofocus issues the tracking with all of my L series lens,are a good match. the sharpes is great,since i'am a wildlife photograher, i need fast and sharp


    peter m
  12. David - no-one said the DIII was the disaster it was before the fix, or even implied that,
    not Galbraith, not me nor anyone else that I am aware of. While they may not have
    promised an upgraded AF system, they certainly tried to make one, and the bottom line -
    like it or not - is that it's worse than its predecessor. The most telling line of the whole
    test is this one...

    "Looking at all of what we've shot with the two camera models in recent weeks, however,
    the EOS-1D Mark II N is the one that has delivered the most in-focus frames." This is
    CLEARLY saying one is better, as is the sum total of their grading system - why deny it
    when it's clearly stated?

    I am a great fan of Canon products and have a huge amount invested in them. I am not
    however an knee jerk apologist for them and I will call a spade a spade... They screwed
    up, used customers as beta testers and are finally fixing the problem with questionable
    results. Those are indisputable facts - I am sure that it is an embarrassing situation for
    Canon and I hope that as a result future products will be better tested and that we will all
    enjoy improved quality control. I will buy the 1DsMkIII as soon as I am confident it doesn't
    have QC issues, and that will be helped by people who hold Canon's feet to the fire, not
    by people who make excuses for their faults.

    Being an apologist and sticking your head in the sand by reading a negative review with
    rose colored glasses, and then saying they didn't promise better AF anyway serves no
    purpose apart from letting Canon off the hook - ultimately to the detriment of Canon's
  13. Not an apologist, trust me. I went one step further, and downloaded a few of Galbraith's action sequences, took a look at the frames at full res, and my conclusion is that there is mere smoke between these two cameras. You could have relabeled the sequences (EXIF info aside) and I bet you couldn't prove which was which. Neither is perfect, both are really good, though. If you're really curious, download a few, take some time, and see what you think.

    However, I do not question for one second that Canon handled this situation very badly. Hindsight seems to indicate that they rushed a product to market to blunt the effect of the Nikon D3 and grab some market share while they could. Just a guess on my part. But clearly, this camera was not market-ready when they released it, and they were silent during the whole episode, denying that there was a problem even though many, many shooters were able to reproduce the problem. Shame on Canon.
  14. Actually, Canon did promise an improved AF system. This is from Canon's white paper on the 1DIII:

    "The new autofocus system of the EOS-1D Mark III represents a complete reconsideration of professional autofocus. In addition to a new sensor chip, sophisticated new manufacturing technologies have made it possible to reconfigure the concave submirror and the very clever secondary image formation lens. The result is greater sensitivity, easier and more logical navigation, higher precision and significantly better real-world performance."
  15. Chris,

    Interesting info! I wonder what recourse end users have if they can prove (galbraith aside)
    that the unit does not meet Canon's promise. Can the white paper be considered a legally
    binding document? Then again, Canon can probably produce a ton of info proving that their
    new AF system, theoretically, is faster.

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