Anybody Miss Eye Controlled Focus?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by everheul, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. My A2E went belly up a while back. Though I have no plans for a replacement since I shoot mostly digital now, I did get to wondering if I'm the only one missing the ecf feature of cameras like the A2E and eos3.
    So what do you say? Miss it or not?
  2. I went from an Elan IIE to a 40D. I really did like the ECF on the Elan - but I bit the bullet early this year and bought the 40D. I actually haven't missed ECF one bit. With the 40D and others, you pick your focus point with a little dial at your finger tip ( I usually have it on the center). Focusing hasn't really been that much of a problem.
    I was really conscious of film and processing cost with the Elan. I have never had so much fun than with the 40D. It's addicting. Though, there's a lot more time spent on the PC with downloading and adjustments.
    Anyways, good luck with your new purchase, you won't look back.
  3. My prediction: give it another two generations and it will be part of the digital cameras too!
    Canon had to keep a few features in their back pockets to "force" people to upgrade now that the MP war is almost over :)
    My prediction:
    Next Generation: Built-in IS
    Then: Eye Controlled Focus
  4. I'm not bemoaning the "loss" of ecf. In fact, I love shooting my 20d. I'll add an upgraded body somewhere down the line but plan on keeping my d20 until it does belly up. I'd like to hold out for that generation when they do add ecf back into the mix, but that won't be THE deciding factor on what I buy.
    For now, I'll save up for some glass...the 10-22, 400mm f5.6 on either "extreme" end of things.
  5. Well, I do not think you will see an image stabilized camera for quite some time with Canon - they have too much invested on the IS lenses.
    As for ECF - somewhere I read that Canon didn't think there was much demand for it. So, I highly doubt that ECF will be on a digital body anytime soon.
  6. We may never see ECF again, but I wil never cease wanting it.
  7. As a spectacle wearer I've never been able to make reliable use of ECF, despite having it on my EOS 3. So, no, I don't miss it and would take in-camera IS over ECF any day. Or a MLU button :)
  8. I don't miss it. I had several film cameras with it (including the EOS-3) and I never really found a use for it.
  9. I used ECF on my Elans and EOS 3 about half the time, i.e., whenever I need to manually select AF points quickly. The QCD, Main Input dial or joystick are fine for manual AF point selection, just really slow compared to ECF. ECF is great for candids and portraits. I miss a lot of shots monkeying with the friggen joystick thingie...
    The nice thing about Canon's ECF bodies is it was one of many choices for focus, so nobody is forced to use it exclusively.
    I'd replace all my EOS DSLRs with an ECF version if it ever came out...
  10. I owned both the 50E (Elan IIE) and the EOS 3 and I thought ECF on the 50E was great, but I found it next to useless on the EOS 3. I think ECF works best on cameras with only a handful of AF points (5 or 7 at the most). Any more than that and you end up selecting the wrong AF point and keep missing shots. The ECF on the EOS 3 was a waste of time IMO. With all those AF points you just kept jumping from AF point to AF point and never managed to get the right one (apart from the centre point).
    I personally prefer the 50E to the EOS 3, so much so that I bought another 50E earlier this year. I sold the EOS 3 years ago and don't miss it at all... too many flaws and silly design niggles for me.
    So, yes, I would love to see ECF make a comeback but I think it would be sensible if Canon could somehow limit it to 5 AF points when ECF is enabled and make sure those AF points are clearly marked in the viewfinder (not invisible like on the EOS 3).
  11. I miss it a lot. Wish I had ECF in EOS 40D, I wouldn't have to use joystick all the time.
  12. I do miss the ECF on my old Elan IIe. But only in certain situations (it was nice when a foreground object partially blocked the subject). I've grown quite accustomed to using the main dial to select the desired AF point on my 50D (I find the joystick a little too slow/kludgey for my likes). I'm sure I would use it again if they ever re-introduce it.
  13. After using my EOS 5 and EOS 3 for several years, I miss having ECF on my EOS 30D.
  14. david_henderson


    I do wonder which of today's "must have" features will in a few years be a redundant as eye controlled focus is now? Live View perhaps?
  15. I do wish my 40D had ECF.
    I still shoot my EOS3 so I miss ECF when I shoot my other cameras. ECF combined with multi-spot metering is a very useful tool for me!
    Cheers! Jay
  16. ECF didn't work well for me on the EOS 3, so I don't miss it. But if Canon can make it work the way it is supposed to do I'd be interested. Auto focus is not much use for taking photos of animals in the wild (too many other things in the way usually), or macro for that matter (DOF too shallow for the camera to decide where to focus).
  17. Nope... I feel the way some other respondents do...
    ECF has been turned off on both my EOS3 since about 6 months after I first bought them in 2001. I tried it on an Elan 7E (EOS 33) too, also with no satisfaction.
    It's just one more unneccesary complication, as far as I'm concerned. I'm glad modern cameras don't have it.
    Since the subject has come up, I'd also prefer they keep IS in the lenses and not in the camera body. It's potentially more effective tuned to a particular lens and you can see the effect working in the viewfinder, which you can't with in-body stabilization.
    Multi-spot metering, now that's another story. Both my EOS3 are still set to use it and I'd love to have it on my DSLRs. Right after I win the lottery I'll 'step up' to 1D series to get it. It's a great feature.
    Live View has huge potential, although I'm sure not everyone wouild have a use for it. It's mostly a matter of how it's implemented. Higher resolution LCD screens are a big step in the right direction. And, to be really useful, an articulated LCD screen would be ideal.
  18. Hmmm, and I have abslutely no use for spot metering on a digital camera.
    Different strokes...
  19. I had an Elan IIe and an A2e, loved the eye controlled focus! When I got my first DSLR, a Canon 10s, I kept looking in the viewfinder to pick the focus points for a while. It worked just fine for me, and I was quite surprised to find it worked even when I wore sunglasses, something I would not have expected it to do. I am surprised to hear that others had problems with it working at all. The only part that didn't work all the time for me was in selecting the stopped down view; it was unpredictable for me.
    Would like to see it in my current XSi!
  20. No, I couldn't really get it to work and even when it did it was too slow.
  21. I always found it a pain and switched it off. I wear glasses mind you.
  22. I wear glasses. Tried eye controlled focus on an Elan IIE once, and I became disoriented like you can when your eye is telling you one thing and your middle ear is telling you something else about your situation in three dimensional space. No thanks. I'll never miss it if it never came back.
  23. Even wearing my big pre-Lasik glasses, mine worked well
    One thing I really miss from my IIe was the eye control depth of field. I could get my tripod set, use cable release, ECF and EC DoF to preview shots without having to mess with that fiddly little DoF button, which always jiggled the compostition off.
    I've lived without it, but I'd probably pay a bit more if it was offered again
  24. No I dont miss ECF, I still use it and find it works well for me, I only use film cameras I have the 1N, 3, and 50E/Elan IIE. Someone mentioned the cost of film processing, I dont realy see how digital saves you money in that respect, unless you never print out any images? Or maybe get your photo quality printer/paper/inks and P.C. software all for free.
  25. I used ECF most of the time when I used an EOS 3. Others reported that it did not work for them, so I think it must have worked better with some people's eyes than others. As one of the people for whom it worked, I'd like to see it come back again.
  26. We tended to use ECF for some shots on our Elan IIe, as it worked for both of us even with my wife's glasses. When we got the EOS3, ECF never worked for her no matter what we tried. We don't miss it too much but would love to have the EOS3 focusing system (particularly the f/8 autofocus capability) available on a 5D-level camera. Someday...
  27. It is reliable and fun to use, on the Elan IIe and I wear glasses. Still, I think ECF is a solution in search of a problem. It doesn't have anywhere near the degree of control and area of coverage, say compared to the Powershot G5, for controlling the focusing sensor point location.
  28. Yes, but I can live without it.
  29. I have it on my 7E and miss it on my 40D. It really worked great. I hear alot that for some people it's great and others not as great though. It worked so well I am now trying to get the hang of using the little toggle control. I imagine when the digital camera upgrading for ISO and Megapixels is over they will put it in a camera. Anything to get someone to buy something. If they made a camera with built in IS, the prices they get for lenses would drop alot more than the cost in one camera body so I don't see them ever doing that. They are in it to make money, not save people money. :)
  30. I miss it. I had it on the 5 and didn't like, too slow and didn't work in portrait, had it on the 50E and there weren't enough points for it to work effectively, and the EC depth of field preview was hilariously bad (as niether camera had a dedicated stop down button - yes i know about the cf) but on the 3 with a fast lens it works like an absolute dream, especially in Ai-Servo mode. I use it with a 200mm f2.8 L II and it does all I could ask of it.
    So its not redundant for me.
  31. Seems to be a 50/50 split. Maybe it is a solution in search of a problem, but in a contest between two comparable cameras at similar prices, it could be enough to tip me towards the ecf camera.
  32. Eye-controlled focus is a bad idea. I often check the outer parts of the frame when composing, but that may not be where I want the focus. I prefer control.
  33. I get a bit annoyed with some of the very negative responses.
    Not because some folk didn't like it or it didn't work for them, thats fair do's, but folk who entirely salte it and say it terrible blah blah. In my earlier post I conceded that up until the 3 I was no fan.
    I don't like spot metering, but like ECF I don't have to switch to that mode, in fact often I won't, especially in landscape mode where I'll use manual, or portraiture where I'll use Ai or manual.
    I don't grudge my cameras having functions I personally dont use because Canon don't design cameras just for me. The more functions a camera has, the wider the pool of people it will satisfy and so the more economical the production and so the cheaper the camera to me.
    I would love to see ECF adapted for the latest generation of AF on the 1 series and maybe even the 5 and XXD series. If we do see it re-emerge all those who hate it have a simple option: eh, dont use it then.
    Canon used to make versions of their mid range cameras such as the 55 and 33 which were marginally cheaper and without ECF, as I recall (and I'll happily be corrected if wrong) there was the A2 without and the A2E with.
    Give me ECF over live view ANY DAY of the week. Don't like live view, don't use it. Like the early system ECF on the 5 there was room for improvement and it got loads better in the end. Where could 10 years on take it? Write off Live View? Give it a few years instead. Remember when folk couldn't see beyond film?
  34. Yes, I miss it. I had an EOS5 (A2E). I also miss the eye controlled DOF preview and the built in red auto focus sensor. You know the one; that helps the AF like the 580ex flash does, but it was built in to the body. 50D does not have that, why?
  35. The built in flash pops up and delivers a strobe to assist AF if the correct CF is enabled. I don't have it enabled.
    If its that dark I'm using an external flash anyway.
  36. YES! I used it all the time in my 7e and loved it! I miss it!
  37. I don't know how much such a feature would add to the cost of a camera, but since it can be turned off of you are one of the folks who don't like it, I would like to see it re-emerge.
  38. I too miss ECF since moving up to the 40D...and when I miss it alot I take out my EOS 3 and shot film. I'm still not 100% digital so I have fun with the EOS3 ECF when I use it. I share similiar thoughts as those who commented above as to why I miss it, hence I won't repeat them again. However, as DSLRs get more popular and affordable (?) they will probably bring it back in the near future. Best wishes to everyone!
  39. dvm


    Well, it's a year old thread and we are in December 2009 now, but still there is no ECF in Canon DSLRs.
    Too bad Canon.
    I moved all the way from Rebel G to Elan 7E, 20D, 40D and now 5D MKII, and yes, I missed Eye Control in any Canon' DSLR, including the latest and greatest 5D MKII body. For me it always worked fast and very accurate on 7E and I will love to have ECF on my next "5D MKIII-E".
  40. I still have a EOS 5 and a EOS 3 which have ECF. ECF worked for me and I miss it on my 30D.
  41. Don't expect it any time soon:

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