Future of Canon's eye control

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by bobgeldart, Jun 13, 2005.

  1. Have Canon got any future plans for their eye control system?
  2. the current auto focus in dSLR cameras works so well now that I wonder if there much need for the eye control system any more.
  3. I want my eye control back. The 20D is nice, but without eye control selecting an AF point is still a slow irritant. I have to look through the viewfinder, think about it, move my hand to the joy stick, and then figure out which direction to push it. And it usually takes several attempts to get it right! With eye control I just looked where I wanted it to be & shot. I think Canon's just playing with us.
  4. I loved it on the EOS30e, I would have liked it use it on the EOS3 - more and better focus points.

    I have no idea why Canon haven't implemented it in a DSLR, possibly processing power or space (cost?).

    No-one knows what Canons plans are, unfortunately.
  5. I'm with Jim, I want my ECF back! Well, Canon did release a new model with ECF last year,
    the Elan 7NE and the EOS 3 with ECF is still in production. However, if a 10D/20D class
    DSLR was released with ECF I'd be all over it...
  6. I hope not. <br>
    I had the Canon Elan IIe and thought the eye control was garbage.<br>
    It would never track my eye right, not to mention I don't want<br>
    a laser beam (or light) aimed at the photographers eye. <br>
    I thought it was so bad I had to get a Elan II (without the e<br> and my eyes thanked me). <br>
    If the 10D had it, I would have went Nikon (luckily it didn't).
  7. I loved the ECF on my 50E. I now use only the center point on my 300D and then recompose, as manual selection of the points is far too fiddly to do quickly. I seem to remember reading somewhere that ECF was difficult to implement on the smaller viewfinders of 1.6x crop factor DSLRs, but I'm sure Canon could do it if they tried hard enough.
  8. John - You can turn it off!
  9. I also want my Eye Control back. It worked perfectly well. I shoot mostly people on the street (random people) and they don't wait for me to focus, they move and I have to be quick.

    The regular autofocus on my DSLR is bad sometimes. Especially when I want to take off-center photographs. And I don't know before I see the person I want to shoot where the focus point should be. It happens all to fast for manual selection.

    Eye Control should come back! It would really be helpful!
  10. I think a major problem with trying to include eye control is simply that the viewfinders and focus screen image are too small to accomodate it without compromising on viewfinder brightness, and the tunnel vision image probably means that your pupil doesn't move through a large enough angle between the focus points to make for reliable calibration on anything smaller than full frame.
  11. I tried ECF on a Elan 7Ne.

    I was not impressed. It was about as reliable as AutoFocusPoint select. -> Reliable enough to say it basically works, but not reliable enough to actually depend on it.
  12. I just add myself to the "pro-ECF" list.
    I have an EOS50E. Even if it has only 3 AF-points, it was useful (and efficient) for me. 3 focus points obliged me to focus and recompose quite often.
    But what's missing me the most is definitely "DOF-test". On 350D, I never found the button as immediately as with ECF.
    Best of all, I needed only ONE hand to shoot. Ok, it's not so stable, but so convenient in uncomfortable situations, like climbing, sitting on a tree branch, ...
  13. I'm another one who loves his ECF on a 50e. Having said that, I'm getting pretty quick at hitting the button and twirling the dials to get the focus point where I want it on my 10D.<p>
    Would I pay extra for a EOS XXD with ECF? Probably.
  14. Lack of ECF in DSLR's is one of the reason's I'm holding off buying a Digital body.
    After using the ECF for over a year now on my Elan7E, it has become "natural" for me in many shooting situations.
    Although there are many arguments about it's usefulness, with many many calibrations in all different lighting situations, I can honestly say that mine works perfect - all 7 focusing points, and I am an eyeglass wearer!
    I think those that only "try" the ECF at the Camera Store counter will never know what their missing out on! Too bad they will never have the opportunity to do adequate ECF calibrations to see how it really works!
    My .02 worth!
    "Mickie likes it!"
  15. To answer the original question, only Canon knows. AFAIK, they have never disclosed their future plans for it. A Canon Canada rep at a photo show I attended earlier this year said that it would definitely be on the 20D's replacement, but he said enough questionable-if-not-nonsensical things (it could be implemented as a firmware update, or a user-installable replacement for the eyecup; those were his two least believable statements) that I believe he's just making it up as he goes along; at least the rep I spoke to at a show last year admitted that Canon Canada is just a marketing and distribution company and they don't know what the engineers are thinking.
    I very, very much miss ECF. I had it on my Elan 7E, and it was highly reliable and extremely useful. Auto AF point selection on the 20D is OK and the little joystick is OK but it's a bit cumbersome jamming a finger between my cheek and the camera and trying to poke the little joystick in exactly the right direction. I find the joystick usually gets the four compass points right, but when I try to do a diagonal, half the time it ends up picking one of the compass points instead.
    I'm just speculating, but I doubt it's due to a lack of space for the hardware. I don't think the ECF hardware is all that large, and since the viewfinder itself is tiny, if anything there's more room for it than there was on film bodies (particularly on an almost-full-frame viewfinder like that of the EOS 3). I've seen an argument that with DSLRs costing so much more than 35mm SLRs, it would make it too expensive, but I don't think that holds any water; Canon's practice on advanced amateur 35mm SLRs with ECF was to sell a version without ECF (to hit the price point) and a version with ECF (at a reasonable premium), and they could do the same on a DSLR.
    If the 20D's replacement has ECF, I'll be upgrading, though not immediately (as I don't have any need to pay the "new and shiny" premium). If it doesn't, I guess I'll stick with the 20D, and keep bugging Canon reps at photo shows about this glaring omission.
  16. Just in case anyone from Canon reads these threads, I'll put in my vote for ECF too. I want it back! ECF is the greatest invention since photography. It works, and it's accurate, and I loved it. I'd gladly pay extra for it on a 1 series digital body. As a matter of fact, I'd upgrade bodies for that feature alone before I'd upgrade for more megapixels. Bring back the ECF, Canon, please!
  17. The issue is not the size of the pentaprism's housing, but rather the size of its faces and the apparent size of the viewfinder image.
  18. I have two Elan IIe's on which I love the ECF. I really miss it when I use my 20D.

    It's not a matter of how "good" the autofocus is, as I saw somewhere above, but a matter of control. I love how I can pick the focusing point just by looking at it. The auto selection on my 20D may work very well, but I don't completely trust it. I keep that camera in single point mode (center) and do the focus & recompose thing that I used to do with my 630! Yes, I know that screws up flash exposures. I use FEL when I need it.

    I never made the jump to the 7e, but I imagine that the ECF on it works very nicely with the multiple focusing points.
  19. I use the Elan 7e and the ECF is great! I'm not sure why some people have problems with it (I'm guessing lack of adequate calibration), but I calibrated mine in different light and I'm willing to bet that it's accurate in 99% of the shots I take.

    I've held back from going digital for several reasons - the lack of ECF and the 1.6x factor are chief among them.
  20. I miss my ECF! I used it on my EOS3s all the time. But, alas...I don't think there was enough demand for it and they have to keep price competitives. That is not to say that ECF is dead. My glass ball (hand-blown in Murano) tells me ECF will make a come back in a future pro-sumer DSRL.
  21. I'm relatively new to ECF, and so far I love it. Using it on a 7NE and an IXe. Works great for me.

    I think it is a feature that Canon is holding out on to boost sales the next time that their sales are down. It'll happen at some point, and then I think we'll see it within a year of that time. Canon *has* to know that there are people who will upgrade when it comes out on a DSLR.
  22. hi guys, i wonder , if the reason for omitting ECF in recent EOS bodies lies in the increase of possible focus points, IMHO that makes much hard to clearly track the eye movement to the intended point.Anyhow I will surely opt for an ECF version over a non ECF of my new camera. In my EOS 55 never had a problem whit it ( admittedly after extensive calibration work )
  23. I think there are two reasons we've not seen it.

    1) Viewfinder size

    2) Viewfinder brightness

    Regarding point 1, canon DSLRs can be broken into two groups: Pro cameras and 1.6X cameras. Canon have previously publicly stated that ECF will not be put into a pro body until it can be relied upon to be 100% accurate. That leaves the consumer 1.6X bodies where the viewfinder is simply too small for ECF to work effectively. Not due to the pentaprism size or anything, but simply the focus points are all close together so the angular movement of your eye is smaller than it would be in a film body, making it more difficult for ECF to work correctly.

    ECF diminishes viewfinder brightness also. When the EOS 5 came out with ECF it brought with it the Bright Laser Matte focusing screens, that were optimised for making the viewfinder bright to make up for the losses in the ECF system. The downside of this was that the screens had absolutely no texture or grain and were subsequently impossible to manual focus wide angles with. Similarly the EOS 3 had a New Laser Matte screen (Ec-N) where the EOS 1V (without eye control) had the grainier Ec-CIII. There are enough complaints already over manual focusing in the smaller VFs of the consumer DSLRs and hence the grainier (yet as bright as new laser matte) Precision Matte screen of the 20D.

    For me personally I feel no loss. The EOS 5's ECF was painfully slow (220ms). The EOS 3's ECF was adept at choosing the focus point next to the one I wanted in a random distribution of directions, and although calibrated over and over it completely lost the plot in vertical orientation. Even limiting it to 11 focus points from 45 couldn't save it, and so in both cases it got turned off as soon as any serious shooting was on the cards.

    The 20D's joystick is almost a step in the right direction. Unfortunately it's a step in four too many directions. Since it takes several goes to get any of the diagonals, it would be better to make it a 5 way controller rather than 9, and have to press it twice in some situations.
  24. well Guys , it's now 2011 and still no ECF even on Canon EOS 1 series DSLRs . I miss it too , it worked well for me 5 yrs ago , that's why i still have 2 EOS 5 bodies that i still get to shoot once in a while and get to use ECF that i've calibrated one for my eye and the other one for my wife. Maybe Canon will have ECF on the next 5D3 ? just Maybe ,, Paul
  25. I also would love to have ECF back. I still use my EOS 3 and 5. Makes it hard when I have to use my 30D.

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