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  • s 8:48 PM on 130217 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 5Dmk3,   

    5D Mark III AF points & area selection 

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    The EOS-1D X and EOS 5D Mark III share arguably the world’s most sophisticated AF system, with an entirely new 61-point array, and a host of configuration options that tailor it for nearly any professional photographer’s needs. There are many new aspects of this terrific new AF system, so we’ll discuss them in separate articles here on Canon’s Digital Learning Center starting with the camera’s AF points and area selection options.

    Basic design goals of this new AF system are improved low-light AF performance, superior AF accuracy, and ability to achieve true high-precision AF with pro-grade f/4 lenses, such as the 24-105mm f/4L IS, 500mm f/4L IS and 600mm f/4L IS.

    Number of points, and area covered:

    The two cameras indeed have 61 AF points, the most ever in a Canon EOS SLR camera. But the new 61-point High Density Reticular AF is impressive not only for the sheer number of AF points, but for the way they’re laid-out, and the ways they can be used.

    Side-to-side, the AF point array of these full-frame cameras covers a noticeably wider area of the viewfinder – nearly 53% of the horizontal width of the full-frame imaging area (vs. about 41% coverage on cameras like the EOS-1Ds Mark III and EOS 5D Mark II). The spread points is a full 19mm of the traditional full-frame 36mm image width. This added coverage makes it even easier to use outer AF points to focus upon off-center subjects. Top-to-bottom coverage remains at 8mm, the same as on the previous EOS-1Ds Mark III camera.

    Much like the EOS 7D camera, the AF points are displayed in the viewfinder using a transparent LCD overlay. This allows great flexibility in what is displayed at any given time to the photographer. While details of this sophisticated viewfinder display will be explained in depth in a separate article, the important take-away here is that it opens the door to the tremendous range of options available in terms of how those 61 AF points are ultimately used.

    Of the 61 AF points, 41 points are cross-type AF sensors (all the points in the taller center area, and the central ten, running vertically, in the shorter left and right point clusters). This surpasses the AF layout of competitive-brand SLRs with 51-point AF systems, where only the central 15 points offer cross-type design. Again, the characteristics of cross-type AF points will be covered in greater detail in a separate Digital Learning Center article.

    Finally, with 61 densely-packed AF points, photographers who prefer to use a single AF point will find less likelihood than ever that there’s no AF point right at their desired location. This can be especially significant to users who prefer to shoot with a tripod from time to time.

    AF Area options:

    It’s here that users really can experience the power of the 61-point High Density Reticular AF system in the EOS-1D X and EOS 5D Mark III. Like the previous EOS 7D camera, you’re not limited to simply using a single AF point, or alternatively letting the camera automatically select the point for you. The size of the actual AF area used for focusing can be changed at any time, as follows:

    • Single-point AF (manual selection)
      This is the type of AF operation familiar to most serious shooters. Pick any one AF point, keep it upon your subject, and the camera uses that AF point – alone – to continue to read subject detail and focus upon it.
    • Spot AF (manual selection)
      First seen in the EOS 7D, you now take any one AF point, and reduce its size even further. This can be useful when the photographer really wants to pin-point the sharpest focus on a tiny part of a large subject, or shoot through foreground objects (such as tree branches and leaves, for instance).
    • AF Point Expansion – 4 points (manual selection)
      The opposite of Spot AF: instead of making a single AF area smaller, you now expand its size by adding four additional surrounding points (normally, the points above, below and to the left/right of the primary point you’ve selected). This gives a larger, moveable cluster of active AF points, and is especially useful if the primary, central point in the cluster suddenly sees a part of the subject with little detail or contrast.
    • New: AF Point Expansion – 8 points (manual selection)
      An even larger, moveable cluster of AF points. A 3×3 square-shaped group of AF points, with eight points surrounding the primary user-selected point. Can be manually moved anywhere around the AF area, from center to any of its edges. Again, potentially very useful for subjects that may move unpredictably, or for instances where the primary AF point may occasionally pick-up plain, non-detailed areas of subjects.
    • Zone AF (manual selection of zone location)
      Select one of 9 available fixed clusters of AF points, with either 9 or 12 points grouped together, depending on whether it’s centered or off-center in the 61-point array. Within that zone of active points, the camera will automatically focus upon the nearest detected subject, as long as it has adequate detail. This is different than AF point expansion, which relies on the user picking one primary point, and adding additional assist points surrounding it. Zone AF can be especially useful when there are a group of moving subjects, and you know you want to have sharpest focus on the closest one.
    • Automatic selection (all 61 points active)
      Camera automatically chooses the active AF point(s), with all 61 points available. In One-shot AF mode (stationary subjects), camera will focus on nearest subject with adequate detail, similar to all previous EOS models with multiple AF points.

      In AI Servo AF, as with the EOS 7D, user manually picks any one point as the starting point to track a moving subject; it can be centered or off-center. Once subject is being tracked, if it moves away from the starting point, other points will actively continue to track subject, and the viewfinder continually updates to show which AF points are active (this can be turned off if the shooter finds it distracting).

    Memorize and instantly return to a pre-determined AF point

    Navigate to any AF point (can also be Spot AF point, or an Expanded AF point), “register” (memorize) it, and then move to any other AF point or points and continue shooting. Press a configurable button, and the EOS-1D X or 5D Mark III instantly returns you to the memorized AF point.

    The process is pretty simple: to memorize an AF point, be sure the camera’s not set for Zone AF mode or Automatic AF point selection. Move the active AF point(s) to wherever you’d like to memorize, and press and hold down the rear AF point select button, and simultaneously press the ISO button button (EOS-1D X) or top panel illuminator button (EOS 5D Mark III). “HP” (Home Position) appears briefly in the finder, and the point is now memorized. Repeat the procedure to memorize a different point. (Only one location at a time can be memorized.)

    To jump back to a memorized point, any of the buttons listed immediately below can be configured to switch to the registered AF point, using the camera’s Custom Controls menu. Enter the Custom Control menu for any of these buttons, highlight an AF option, and you’ll see “INFO – Detail set” on-screen. Press the INFO button, and in the resulting new menu screen, highlight the icon with “HP” and press SET to lock it in – you’ve now set that particular control to instantly return you to the memorized AF point.

    • AF Start button
    • AE Lock button
    • Depth-of-field preview button
    • Lens AF stop button (buttons on select Canon EF super-tele lenses only)
    • Multi-function button 2 (EOS-1D X only)
    • Multi-controller

    Once you’ve configured any one of these controls to return you to your registered AF point, you’re free to move to any other AF point and start shooting. Whenever you want to jump back to the AF point previously memorized, just press the appropriate button.

    Automatic AF Area switching for horizontal and vertical shots

    This was introduced in the EOS 7D camera, and carries over to the EOS-1D X and 5D Mark III. It’s called Orientation Linked AF, and it’s activated via a setting in the fourth AF menu screen.

    Once activated, you can select any of the 61 AF points (or any of the available AF Area options) with the camera held horizontally. Then, turn it vertically, and you can select a different AF point, or even a different AF Area mode (such as Zone AF for vertical shots, and Spot AF for horizontals).

    Now, whenever the either camera is held horizontally, the point or AF Area you selected for horizontals will be active. And, when turned vertically, the camera will instantly change and select the point or AF Area you’ve pre-set for vertical shots. You don’t need to press or turn anything (aside from the camera!).

    This feature is ideal for users who quickly have to change compositions from horizontal to vertical, particularly for those users who want to go beyond simply using the center AF point all the time.


    The EOS 5D Mark III and EOS-1D X are a lot more than just cameras with 61 AF points. Their innovative AF system allows photographers to begin to tailor it to their needs by managing those 61 focus points, changing not only the location but also the size of the active AF area. Whether the user wants to sample just a small area of a subject for precise focus, or use a wide area to accommodate unexpected subject movement, there are choices available to get the job done.

    The AF points themselves cover a wider area of the picture than on any previous full-frame digital SLR camera, making it easier than ever to compose on subjects to the left or right of center.

    While there’s certainly more to this AF system than its AF points, any understanding of the power of these two cameras has to begin with an appreciation of the options available to not only pick the point you want, but perhaps more significantly, quickly move to another point. From here, we can examine other important aspects of this stunning new professional AF system.

  • s 9:41 PM on 130215 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 5Dmk3,   

    Magic Lantern Software Hack – 5Dmk3 

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    1) Update camera firmware to 1.1.3.
    2) Format the card from the camera.
    3) Copy ML files on the card and run Firmware Update.
    - Alpha 1 was downloaded over 3000 times, so it should be OK.
    - Nothing is written into ROM, and no camera settings are changed by this version, so risks should be minimal.
    - I didn’t run any field testing, there may be rough edges, not recommended for production work.
    - If anything goes wrong, we don’t pay for repairs. Use Magic Lantern at your own risk!
    - Magic Zoom (zoom while recording), experimental focus peaking modes, ghost image, display presets
    - Movie indicators, movie logging, rec/standby notification, force LiveView for manual lenses
    - Gradual exposure in movie mode
    - HDR video
    - Brightness, contrast, saturation, display gain, color schemes, UniWB correction, upside-down mode
    - Clean HDMI with pillarboxes
    - Anamorphic and fisheye correction
    - Image review tweaks (exposure adjust, remember zoom position…)
    - Task and CPU usage info
    From alpha 1:
    - zebras, focus peaking, cropmarks, spotmeter, histogram, waveform, vectorscope, audio meters.
    - card benchmark, debug info, stability tests.
    - Disable Auto Power Off.
    - Recommended usage: copy ML on a small SD card, keep it in the camera, and use CF cards for shooting.
    - You can use any card combination, just don’t put ML on both cards.
    - EyeFi cards are working!!! (thanks kikouyou)
    Known issues:
    - Some users reported a few random lock-ups with Alpha 1, but I could not reproduce any.
    - The experimental focus peaking modes are a bit too slow (will slowdown LiveView frame rate).
  • s 9:21 PM on 130215 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 5Dmk3, , , ,   

    Picture Profile : Prolost Flat 

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    Start with the Neutral Picture Style

    Set Sharpness to zero—all the way to the left
    Set Contrast all the way to the left
    Set Saturation two notches to the left
    In the slideshow below, you can see one example of sharpening using the After Effects Unsharp Mask effect, with an Amount of 120 and a Radius of 1.1.
    A light pass of noise reduction from something like Magic bullet Denoiser II not only cleans up some compression artifacts, it also can promote your 8-bit footage to higher color fidelity by interpolating new, high-bit-depth pixels. So your HDSLR processing pipeline should look like this:

    In a 16 or 32bpc environment…
    Reduce noise
    Visual effects, if any
    Color correct
    Add back some noise/grain to taste
    Titles or graphics, if any

    Highlight Tone Priority is an optional method Canon uses to capture more highlight detail by “pushing” the ISO one stop. The result is one extra stop of highlight detail (roughly), coupled with one extra stop’s worth of noise (also roughly).
    When I first posted about Prolost Flat, I recommended using HTP for bright scenes with difficult highlights. But since then, I’ve completely stopped using it. The benefits don’t tend to outweigh the risks. And by “risks,” I mean that you might leave HTP on and shoot a bunch of raw stills, and wonder why they don’t look as nice as they should in Lightroom. Unlike other settings discussed here, HTP does affect raw stills. Oops.
    I leave my cameras in Prolost Flat all the time, even for stills. If find that the flat preview image gives me a better sense of the actual raw “negative” that I’m capturing. The only thing you have to get used to is that it’s easy to underexpose slightly if you judge exposure by the preview image, as the Prolost Flat preview looks a touch brighter than most default raw processing.





  • s 9:14 PM on 130215 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 5Dmk3, , ,   

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    5D Mark III Settings Vault | EOSHD.com.


    Here are my preferred settings and picture profile for the 5D Mark III. These are general purpose settings – the ones I use most often for optimal out of the box results straight off the card, no grading required.

    Standard EOSHD settings

    Picture profile

    • Faithful
      • Sharpness 0 (far left)
      • Contrast 0 (middle)
      • Saturation 0 (middle)
      • Color tone 0 (middle)

    Punchy EOSHD settings

    Picture profile

    • Neutral
      • Sharpness 0 (far left)
      • Contrast +3
      • Saturation +2
      • Color tone +2

    Sharpening in post recommendation

    Apply the ‘Sharpen’ filter under Video Effects in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 at between 30-50 to suit the shot

    Menu settings

    • SHOOT 4
      • Movie rec. size: 1920 24/25p, ALL I
    • SHOOT3
      • High ISO speed NR – OFF
      • Highlight tone priority (HTC, D+) – OFF
    • SHOOT2
      • Auto Lighting Optimiser – OFF
    • C.Fn2 Disp./Operation
      • In Custom Controls set the SET button to Mag/Reduce for your focus assist

    White Balance

    Use the Kelvin scale manual setting for best results.

    Why do I use these settings?

    The picture profile

    The picture profile Faithful is typical Canon – a nicely warm image which is cinematic. Neutral is similarly cinematic but without the warmer hue. Portrait brings too much noise into the image, Landscape is too electronic looking. Technicolor CineStyle I find usually gives a compressed tonal range which leads to some ugliness of not handled carefully at the grading stage. Use Faithful or Neutral for great results out of the box and for convenience.

    Sharpness, contrast, saturation and colour tone

    Sharpness is turned off in-camera. It is important not to sharpen the image too much in-camera as it leads to ugly electronic looking footage which isn’t cinematic and rather eye fatiguing. There’s quite a difference between having sharpening off altogether and having it on low. On low this gives you more satisfying footage out of the camera and yet doesn’t compromise your ability to further sharpen the footage in post if you need to.

    Contrast and saturation are baked into the codec because it isn’t a raw format, but H.264. If you turn these down it adds to your headache in post as the footage will always need grading. Colour data is reduced with saturation turned down. It is easier to desaturate something than to amplify something which isn’t really there in the first place. This goes for contrast as well.

    Highlight Tone Priority / D+

    Highlight Tone Priority or D+, shifts the 5D Mark III’s 10 stops of dynamic range in video mode toward the highlights and applies a slight boost to the lows to compensate for the shift. The highlight roll off on the 5D Mark III can be sudden. Usually I recommend to keep this off, but there may be some cases where enabling it benefits the image – i.e. where highlights are blown. Enabling this can increase noise and flatten colour a little.

    Manual white balance

    Auto-white balance can change in the middle of a shot. I usually also find it too cool for my preferences especially in strong sunlight and prefer the warmer Canon look of old. With manual white balance you can make a decision at the time of shooting to get the white balance right. Fixing this in post is a nightmare unless you have a raw video codec, which the 5D Mark III does not.

    Auto Lighting Optimiser

    This can override manual control of exposure so always disable it.

    Custom Controls in the C.Fn2 menu

    The magnify assists is an important button for manual focus in movie mode, however it is in an awkward place on the left side of the camera. This moves focus assist to the more prominent SET key near your thumb on the shutter release side of the camera.

  • s 9:11 PM on 130215 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 5Dmk3, ,   

    5Dmk3 Custom Modes 

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    huge advantage of Canon over Nikon, especially over the ergonomically primitiveNikon D800 and D800E, is having three complete and total camera-state preset positions on the mode dial. Once programmed, everything about the camera’s settings are instantly recalled as soon as you turn on the camera, or move the dial to that position.

    These are of incalculable value for recalling different setups for different situations. I use one for landscapes, and one for family. Maybe you’ll use one for indoor night shots, and another for soccer. Unlike Nikon’s bogus “settings banks,” Canon’s C1, C2 and C3 recall everything, recall with the flick of a knob, and are usually locked so they don’t get reset by accident.

    Think of these C1, C2 and C3 settings as Camera 1, Camera 2, and Camera 3. It’s like having three cameras around your neck, while only having to carry one.

    For instance, since everything is recalled instantly, complex setups are easy to use immediately. I disable my external flash from firing in the menus so I can leave it turned on to use its red AF assist light in the dark without using flash in one C mode, while I let it fire in the other setting. This way it’s easy to focus my nightcapes in total darkness without having the flash fire in C1, and in C2 for family, the flash works as usual.

    The 5D Mark III is the world’s best camera for when you’re shooting more than one kind of thing. If I’m shooting in Yosemite Valley, and suddenly my kids do something cute, I can keep my eye on the finder as I turn the camera, and in one click of the mode dial by feel, I’ve reset everything about the 5D Mark III to my own personal preset for kid’s action pictures, as opposed to the settings I was using a second before for grand landscapes.

    Sure, if all I shot were sports, news or action, the Nikon D4 is a much faster, tougher professional camera for twice the price, and if all I did was shoot in a studio all day the Nikons are better because they allow easy in-camera 4:5 cropping, and if just want family pictures, the Fuji X100 weighs far less and works better in weird light, but when I want take one camera to do the work of all these at the same time, the Canon 5D Mark III is unbeaten.

    The Nikon D800 is nice if you only shoot one thing, but a pain because you need to reset everything for every different shot.

    Each of the 5D Mark III’s C settings recalls everything about how you have your camera set: sharpening, color, saturation (and every setting for every one of the ten presets in the Picture Controls menu), self timers, LCD brightness, time-out settings, autofocus settings, P Tv Av M exposure modes, resolution, file format(s), advance, metering, exposure compensation(s), white balance, WB tweaks, how many files the playback jumps when you move the top dial, everything in every menu, everything. The 5D Mark III instantly changes all of its settings as you click from one C setting to the other.

    If you reset a few things to something screwy and want to return to your preset preset, simply turn the knob away and back to the C setting you desire, and it’s all as you preset it. You can select these by feel without taking your eye from the finder. If you set something screwy for one shot, don’t worry: after the camera times-out in about a minute (also selectable in a menu), when you wake it for the next shot, it’s back where you preset it. Never again will you make the first shot of the day at ISO 51,200 and 2,500K WB from the night before.

    Each of these settings remains unchanged until you save a different set of settings to that dial position.

    New on the 5D Mark III is that you can choose to have these settings automatically update as you change the settings, as Nikons do in their settings banks. Set this way, when you leave one setting, it will be as you left it when you return. This is handy for when you first get the camera as your preferences finalize, but I’d set it back to its default of fixed after you get comfortable.

    If you save the same thing to two locations and set “auto update,” they both update until you change something in just one of them.
  • s 9:10 PM on 130215 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 5Dmk3, , ,   

    5Dmk3 – CF and SD card 

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    Photographer Jeff Cable purchased a couple Canon 5D Mark IIIs recently and discovered that although the camera offers both SD and CF card slots, you should avoid the SD slot if you want maximum shooting speed. He writes,

    […] for some reason unbeknownst to me, Canon decided to build the 5D Mark III with one very fast CF slot which supports the newer UDMA7 protocol and a standard SD card slot which does NOT support the high speed standard […] Without UHS [Ultra High Speed] support, the top speed that can be achieved by the SD card is 133x. This is true even if you purchase a 600x SD card and insert it in the camera. The best you will get is 133x

    It turns out that the camera will default to the slowest card inserted. So, if you have a 1000x CF card in slot one and any SD card in the second slot, the very best buffer clear that will achieve is 133x.

    It might not be a big deal for most photographers, but if your line of work requires clearing the camera’s buffer as quickly as possible, it something you might want to be aware of.
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