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An analysis of EOS-1D Mark III autofocus performance - Continued
(This is part 3 of the August 1, 2008 article update. Parts 1 and 2 are on previous pages)

Q. It's clear that EOS-1D Mark III and EOS-1Ds Mark III autofocus isn't meeting your expectations. Why are you still shooting with these cameras?

This has been in the top two or three most popular questions we've received from some of the more excitable photographers who've emailed this year. The overall answer is unique to me, but for some of you there may be certain parallels.

Blow Up: Canon EOS-1D Mark III (firmware v1.2.3) + EF 300mm f/2.8L IS, AI Servo AF, ISO 800, 1/4000, f/2.8. Click photo to see a full-resolution crop of the area marked in red (Photo by Rob Galbraith/Little Guy Media)
Quality and Cropability The EOS-1D Mark III produces the best overall file of any digital SLR we've ever used. A CR2 coming from this camera contains a level of detail, dynamic range, tonality and quality from each of its 10.01 million image pixels that is hard for any other camera to match on a per-pixel basis. The Nikon D3, for example, produces a better NEF at really high ISO settings (plus very good quality generally), but at lower ISOs it can't quite deliver the fineness of detail from each pixel that the EOS-1D Mark III does.

As a result, the EOS-1D Mark III delivers impressive printed enlargements for a sensor of this resolution, and great cropability too. Click on the thumbnail at right to see an example of how you can pull out a usable photo from this ISO 800 file. The enlarged view is only about 1/6 of the frame. Canon has made the most of every image pixel in this camera.

We're not alone in this. As many of you have written to say, an EOS-1D Mark III photo, when it's in focus, is really sweet, because it's got a lot going for it in all image quality areas.

The EOS-1Ds Mark III doesn't deliver the same image quality balance as its lower-resolution sibling: its files are noisier than the EOS-1D Mark III. But with a great lens attached, the level of detail that comes from its sensor, combined with the sheer number of pixels, enables you to make clear, sharp, big enlargements that ought not to be possible from a 35mm-size camera body.

For those that need this capability (and increasingly, I do), it makes it worthwhile to fight with the autofocus. That said, the improvements to stationary and slow moving subject autofocus in firmware v1.1.2 has translated into fewer situations where it's necessary to tangle with the AF system, given that my main need for lots of pixels is for non-sports work.

These cameras offer more than just great image quality: almost every component in the EOS-1D Mark III and EOS-1Ds Mark III - other than autofocus - is the best Canon has ever developed. But it's the quality of the photos that has kept me coming back.

If you own an EOS-1D Mark III or EOS-1Ds Mark III, you probably already know that each delivers a great file. If not, here are some examples, ones that mostly emphasize scene detail. We've included more frames from the EOS-1Ds Mark III than from the EOS-1D Mark III, because we've previously published photos from the lower-resolution camera that show what its files are all about, and because we've seen a disproportionate number of mushy, not very crisp EOS-1Ds Mark III photos around the web, which is at odds with our experience with the camera (as you'll see in the downloads).

All of these files have been sharpened using Smart Sharpen in Photoshop CS3, some have had had minor tonal adjustments and that's about it (notably, they haven't been processed to squelch noise): the purpose of these photos is to show the cameras' capabilities and not Photoshop's. Here's a brief comment about each photo:
  • Player A sharp lens, strobe light and the EOS-1D Mark III combine to produce a crisp frame.

  • Student The overall image quality of this available light photo, shot handheld at ISO 400 with the EOS-1D Mark III and EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS, is as good as we could hope for in this environment.

  • Three Pointer Shot with the EOS-1Ds Mark III and an AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED at 14mm (attached with the help of a prototype Nikon G to Canon EF adaptor), this detail-laden scene is rendered pretty well, considering how tiny the detail is throughout.

  • Rookie, Coach Look at the eye of the player and around the hand of the coach - the EOS-1Ds Mark III and EF 500mm f/4L IS have teamed up to produce exceptional sharpness.

  • Skyline, Aerial Both frames are outtakes, but not because of technical problems. Each shows well the fine detail the EOS-1Ds Mark III can capture.
Click to view full-resolution version
Click to view full-resolution version
Player: Canon EOS-1D Mark III (firmware v1.1.3 beta) + EF 300mm f/2.8L IS, AI Servo AF, ISO 200, 1/320, f/7.1. Click photo to view full-resolution version (Photo by Rob Galbraith/Little Guy Media) Student: Canon EOS-1D Mark III (firmware v1.1.3) + EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS, AI Servo AF, ISO 400, 1/250, f/2.8. Click photo to view full-resolution version (Photo by Rob Galbraith/Little Guy Media )
Three Pointer: Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III (firmware v1.0.6) + AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED at 14mm (using a prototype Nikon G to Canon EF adaptor), ISO 200, 1/250, about f/7.1. Click to view full-resolution crops of two areas (Photo by Rob Galbraith/Little Guy Media)
Click to view full-resolution version
Click to view full-resolution version
Rookie: Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III (firmware v1.0.6) + EF 500mm f/4L IS, AI Servo AF, ISO 200, 1/250, f/7.1. Click photo to view full-resolution version (Photo by Rob Galbraith/Little Guy Media) Coach: Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III (firmware v1.0.6) + EF 500mm f/4L IS, AI Servo AF, ISO 200, 1/250, f/7.1. Click photo to view full-resolution version (Photo by Rob Galbraith/Little Guy Media )
Click to view full-resolution version
Click to view full-resolution version
Skyline: Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III (firmware v1.1.2) + EF 300mm f/2.8L IS, AI Servo AF, ISO 100, 1/200, f/8. Click photo to view full-resolution version (Photo by Rob Galbraith/Little Guy Media) Aerial: Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III (firmware v1.1.2) + EF 135mm f/2L, AI Servo AF, ISO 250, 1/1600, f/6.3. Click photo to view full-resolution version (Photos by Rob Galbraith/Little Guy Media)

Training I split my work hours between this website, freelance shooting and on-site photographer training of both Canon and Nikon shooters. My training business has evolved to include more colour management, printing and general workflow setup than in the early days 10 years ago, but at its core is hands on time with photographers using the latest digital SLRs from the two dominant SLR makers.

I've been doing this just long enough to be impacted by Canon's and Nikon's ongoing trading of the leadership position in the pro digital SLR arena. For example, from 1999 to 2004 I spent more time with Nikon shooters than Canon, but starting in the latter half of 2004 the Nikon work tapered off as the Canon work markedly increased. In 2008 it has been a Canon-Nikon mix so far, though my busiest training time won't kick in until the fall, and Nikon bookings are ahead of Canon.

That said, later this month I'll be spending a week with a crew of Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III shooters responsible for photographing a large industrial project. Other Canon-related training this fall is comprised mostly of EOS-1Ds Mark III shooters too, so in addition to having a use for lots of pixels myself, I have a training-related incentive to stay familiar with this camera.

This article Rounding out the reasons for continuing to shoot with Mark IIIs, and especially the EOS-1D Mark III, is the need to see through what we started in June 2007 when we published the first installment of this ongoing article.

Q. Are there any workarounds that will improve tracking performance when shooting outdoor sports in particular?


Let's start by talking about what isn't a workaround:
  • Not ND filters To see if cutting the amount of light reaching the AF sensor in full sunlight would reduce or eliminate frontfocus shift, we tried dropping in ND 0.9 (3 stop rating) and ND 1.8 (6 stop rating) B+W neutral density filters into the filter slot of an EF 300mm f/2.8L IS and then an EF 500mm f/4L IS. Photos taken with the EOS-1D Mark III and EOS-1Ds Mark III, when we tried this in the cold of winter months ago with older firmware, or recently in summer weather with the latest firmware, showed no autofocus tracking differences at all. Specifically, the tendency to shift focus for several frames, at several points in a sequence, was still apparent whether the ND 0.9 (about a 3.5 stop light loss in practice) or ND 1.8 (about 7 stops of light loss) was used.

  • Not Custom Functions We've said it before and we'll say it again: a magic combo of autofocus-related Custom Settings won't turn a Mark III camera from a so-so outdoor sports camera into a star performer. If you're having trouble keeping the AF point on the subject, or you're finding that the camera isn't picking up a new subject quickly enough when you switch from the previous subject, these sorts of things can be helped by Custom Function adjustments. Through all the testing and shooting for this and earlier installments of this article, we've not seen a Custom Function change bring about a big bump in the number of in-focus frames in a tracking sequence when the AF point has been on the subject the entire time. This includes the AF Microadjustment change we wrote about back in December, which at most slightly reduced the degree of autofocus error with firmware v.1.1.3 and the EOS-1D Mark III.

  • Not switching to a newer EOS-1D Mark III In this article update, we've not drawn a distinction between an older EOS-1D Mark III, with its sub-mirror repair done at a Canon service centre, and a newer one that was manufactured with the revised sub-mirror from the outset. That's because in every instance where we've shot older and newer bodies side-by-side, starting before the latest firmware updates and continuing after, the autofocus characteristics - such as stable stationary subject autofocus or frontfocus shifts in sequences - have been about as similar as they could be.

    There are tens of thousands of EOS-1D Mark III cameras out there, and to date we've shot with only two that have had the sub-mirror repair, so it's possible that there are some bodies that got the sub-mirror fix that don't autofocus at the same level as the repaired ones we've used. This is possible, even if it's not very likely (assuming a proper repair was done, the body and lenses are calibrated correctly and so on).

    Also, Canon could introduce a rolling change in the camera today and not announce it, one that would make tomorrow's bodies autofocus better than everything that came before, both those that had the sub-mirror repair and those that were built with the revised sub-mirror part. This is also possible, also unlikely, but not impossible. We can say that the two newest EOS-1D Mark III bodies we've used were assembled in February 2008 and April 2008, and there was no apparent difference in their autofocus characteristics when compared to the oldest, a May 2007 body with the sub-mirror repair.

    Based on what we've seen in pictures produced by EOS-1D Mark III bodies built as much as 11 months apart, one with the sub-mirror repair and two with the revised sub-mirror part installed during manufacturing, there is no reason to believe that a newer EOS-1D Mark III will deliver better tracking autofocus than one with a proper sub-mirror repair. This information, however, comes with a best before date of April 2008, because we haven't tried a body that was manufactured since then.
That's a short list of things we've found to not make a noticeable difference in the number of in-focus fast action outdoor sports photos captured by the EOS-1D Mark III. What does help is stopping the lens down. Doing so, under a specific set of circumstances described ahead, bumps up the proportion of properly focused frames in an extended sequence, or when the shutter is tripped selectively but the AF is active throughout. Here's the scoop:

With the telephoto lenses we use, including the EF 300mm f/2.8L IS lens at f/2.8, the EOS-1D Mark III has a tendency to shift focus ahead of a fast moving subject, as described in detail in previous sections. The shift to the front can be enough to make roughly one quarter to one half of photos in a sequence too blurry to use. Occasional backfocus reduces the take even further. We shot multiple games of soccer, rugby, football plus several hundred track and field event sequences with the EOS-1D Mark III with firmware v1.2.3 loaded, and the sorts of focus errors described in this article update have shown up consistently. At f/2.8.

Shooting two soccer games, one rugby game and over 60 track and field sequences (100m dash, hurdles and long jump) in full sunlight, with the EF 300mm f/2.8L IS set to f5.6, was nearly like using a different camera: the EOS-1D Mark III's tracking problems weren't eliminated, but they were muted and, for the first time ever with this model, we captured sequence after sequence in sunlight displaying nearly perfect focus from start to finish, plus fewer instances of the focus shifting to the front when the EOS-1D Mark III did commit a focus error.


look_out_below.jpg
Look Out Below: Canon EOS-1D Mark III (firmware v1.2.3) + EF 300mm f/2.8L IS, ISO 320, 1/1000, f/5.6 (Photo by Rob Galbraith/Little Guy Media)

Stopping down from f/2.8 to f/5.6
increases the depth of field at the subject, and that's undoubtedly part of the reason why this workaround works. But it may not be the whole explanation. There are four bits of evidence that point to something beyond depth of field at work:
  • We tried focusing exactly one foot and then three feet in front of a subject standing on the long jump approach, at three different distances - the start, middle and end of a typical long jumper's run. At the start point (furthest from the camera), stopping down the lens to f/5.6 did bring the subject into apparent focus in the one foot frontfocused frame, but not the one in which the focus was three feet in front. At the middle point and especially at the end point (closest to the camera), apparent focus was only minimally improved - the subject was still about as blurry at f/5.6 as f/2.8. The main visual difference in the f/2.8 and f/5.6 photos was in the background: at the smaller aperture, elements and shapes behind the subject became more distinct.

  • In f/2.8 sequences, ones in which the AF point has remained on target throughout, the camera usually errs by driving the focus in front of the subject. Backfocus happens, but less than frontfocus. In the f/5.6 sequences (again, ones in which the AF point has been kept on the subject), focus errors, when they come, are about as likely to be backfocus as frontfocus it looks like.

  • We tried the same lens at f/5.6 on an EOS-1D Mark II N, and the pictures - except for the background - were indistinguishable from those taken at f/2.8. The "look" of the focus in 20+ frame sequences was the same as we would expect to see when shooting wide open.

  • Before settling on f/5.6 for the additional testing described here, we first tried about 40 sequences (100m, 200m and 400m running plus long jump) at f/3.2, f/3.5, f/4 and f/5.6 with the EOS-1D Mark III and EF 300mm f/2.8L IS. The only ones in which there was an obvious improvement were those shot at f/5.6. (We haven't shot at smaller apertures than f/5.6.)
What all this means about the inner workings of the camera we can only speculate. And perhaps, despite some evidence to the contrary, depth of field is the whole explanation. Officially, we don't care, because the pictures show what they show: the EOS-1D Mark III hooked up to an EF 300mm f/2.8L IS set to f/5.6 is a markedly better outdoor sunny day autofocus camera than when the lens is wide open. The only lens we've tested this workaround with extensively enough to say that it works and works well is this model of 300mm (though in limited testing, we saw improved results with the EF 500mm f/4L IS at f/5.6 as well).

This workaround, as effective as it can be, is not a panacea.

For one, you need a lot of light to shoot at f/5.6 and still keep the shutter speed up in action-freezing territory while simultaneously keeping the ISO down enough to not have noise be a drag on image quality. Plus, you lose the beautiful subject-background separation that only a long lens and wide shooting aperture can provide; stopping down two stops has a dramatic impact on this, and not for the better. It also doesn't seem to help with the problem of the autofocus stalling in backlit situations.

Based on what we've shot so far, this workaround is primarily going to be useful on days when you can shoot outdoors and the activity you're photographing is frontlit by the sun. This means that on darker days, indoors or any situation where the shutter speed and ISO don't compute with an aperture of f/5.6, the workaround is probably of no use (assuming that it would work at all in darker conditions, since we've done testing only on bright days and can speak only to its effectiveness in the sun).

We used the EOS-1Ds Mark III in parallel with the EOS-1D Mark III during some long jump and running events, and for some reason - despite shooting from the same position with the same lens and making pictures at the same distances - the camera's focus error isn't smoothed out in the same way as it with the EOS-1D Mark III. Or at least it wasn't in initial testing, and the results were such that we opted to concentrate after that on the EOS-1D Mark III for the lion's share of workaround shooting.

Our schedule doesn't allow more time to be devoted to testing other telephoto lenses with the EOS-1D Mark III to see if they're also viable workaround candidates, or giving the workaround another try with the EOS-1Ds Mark III.
Under the conditions we've described, with the EOS-1D Mark III (firmware v1.2.3) and EF 300mm f/2.8L IS, the workaround really does help. Change the light, change the lens and it still might. Or it might not.

The downloadable sequences below have all been shot at f/5.6 and, as you'll see, show the benefits (and limits) of this workaround. All but Workaround5 are self-explanatory: that sequence is a bundle of comparison photos taken with the EOS-1D Mark II N and EOS-1D Mark III simultaneously (by myself and Mike Sturk). As you'll see in several other downloads, the f/5.6 workaround does work, but Workaround5 shows it has its breaking point, even outdoors in the sun: speed and harsh sidelighting conspire to produce a sequence of EOS-1D Mark III pictures that show decent focus, but the camera is no match for the EOS-1D Mark II N, with the same EF 300mm f/2.8L IS lens and stopped down aperture.

Click on a thumbnail to download a ZIP file containing all the pictures in that sequence (processing notes).

Workaround1: Canon EOS-1D Mark III (firmware v1.2.3) + EF 300mm f/2.8L IS and EF 500mm f/4L IS, AI Servo AF, f/5.6. Click thumbnail to download full-resolution sequence, 73 Pictures, 137.3MB (Photos by Rob Galbraith/Little Guy Media) Workaround2: Canon EOS-1D Mark III (firmware v1.2.3) + EF 300mm f/2.8L IS, AI Servo AF, f/5.6. Click thumbnail to download full-resolution sequence, 55 Pictures, 104.1MB (Photos by Rob Galbraith/Little Guy Media) Workaround3: Canon EOS-1D Mark III (firmware v1.2.3) + EF 300mm f/2.8L IS, AI Servo AF, f/5.6. Click thumbnail to download full-resolution sequence, 95 Pictures, 166.1MB (Photos by Rob Galbraith/Little Guy Media)
Workaround4: Canon EOS-1D Mark III (firmware v1.2.3) + EF 300mm f/2.8L IS, AI Servo AF, f/5.6. Click thumbnail to download full-resolution sequence, 45 Pictures, 117MB (Photos by Rob Galbraith/Little Guy Media) Workaround5: Canon EOS-1D Mark II N (firmware v1.1.2) + EF 300mm f/2.8L IS and EOS-1D Mark III (firmware v1.2.3) + EF 300mm f/2.8L IS, AI Servo AF, f/5.6. Click thumbnail to download full-resolution sequence, 18 comparison pictures, 15.8MB (Photos by Rob Galbraith, Mike Sturk/Little Guy Media) Workaround6: Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III (firmware v1.1.2) + EF 300mm f/2.8L IS, AI Servo AF, f/5.6. Click thumbnail to download full-resolution sequence, 22 Pictures, 81.5MB (Photos by Rob Galbraith/Little Guy Media)

Q. Would switching to the EOS 40D for sports also be a decent workaround, perhaps until Canon has the autofocus problems in their 1-series line completely sorted out?

No.

With an EF 300mm f/2.8L IS or EF 500mm f/4L IS lens attached, the EOS 40D produces an unacceptably low percentage of properly focused or even usably focused frames of track events, soccer, rugby, football and basketball in our testing. Even as a secondary body - for instance, acting as the short telephoto camera when the action comes too close for a long lens - the camera's AF falls short. At best, we've seen it get about half the photos in a sequence in focus, while for grab-and-shoot photography it has missed the focus on more frames than it has gotten right.

While we haven't written about the 40D's autofocus performance before, we have done assignments with it and included the camera in various tests, starting at about the time it shipped in September 2007. Since then we've shot with four bodies, two focus-calibrated and two that came directly from the store shelf. Using focus-calibrated lenses with these bodies, the result has been the same: the 40D has real difficulties accurately picking up the focus on a moving subject and then tracking it from there.

canon_40d_blurry.jpg
Fuzzy Logic: Canon EOS 40D (firmware v1.0.3) + EF 300mm f/2.8L IS, AI Servo AF, ISO 200, 1/8000, f/2.8 (Photos by Rob Galbraith/Little Guy Media)

Canon's current midrange camera doesn't suffer from the heat-related autofocus problems of early EOS-1D Mark III cameras, nor does it exhibit the same frontfocus shift pattern. In testing of slow and medium speed moving subjects, the focus error has been mostly frontfocus, but in real world photography of fast moving and erratic subjects, the camera backfocuses and frontfocuses about equally. When things really get hectic, it will at times appear to hunt for focus behind and in front of the subject for as many as four or five frames before producing a sharp photo (as was the case with the soccer picture above, and despite the fact the active AF point was firmly on the player at left throughout).

We don't plan on doing a full-blown analysis of this camera's AF capabilities. But, we have done more than enough shooting, using cameras and lenses that were calibrated and otherwise operating properly, with the oldest (v1.0.3) to the newest (v1.0.8) firmware, to say that the EOS 40D is not a viable sports camera. A midrange digital SLR with a midrange price tag probably can't be expected to offer the same autofocus performance as the company's best. Even taking that into account, though, the 40D doesn't fare well. It's not that it can't do the job at the level of a more expensive camera, it's that it can't do the job really at all.

For others sorts of photography, its autofocus may be up to par - we're not offering an opinion about that here. If, however, you're thinking of the 40D as an alternative to the EOS-1D Mark III in Canon's lineup, one that will be usable for a mix of outdoor and indoor sports photography with the lenses we've listed in this article, our experience has been that Canon's current midrange model isn't one to consider.

Below are three batches of photos taken with the 40D, with three different versions of firmware (Canon hasn't announced AF tracking improvements in its two web-download firmware releases for this camera, nor have we seen any autofocus performance difference between the earliest and latest firmware versions).

Click on a thumbnail to download a ZIP file containing all the pictures in that sequence (processing notes).

Click to download sequence
Click to download sequence
Sport: Canon EOS 40D (firmware v1.0.3) + EF 300mm f/2.8L IS and EF 500mm f/4L IS and EF 85mm f/1.8, AI Servo AF. Click thumbnail to download full-resolution sequence, 92 Pictures, 177.5MB (Photos by Rob Galbraith/Little Guy Media) Test: Canon EOS 40D (firmware v1.0.3 and v1.0.5) + EF 300mm f/2.8L IS, AI Servo AF. Click thumbnail to download full-resolution sequence, 64 Pictures, 83.8MB (Photos by Rob Galbraith/Little Guy Media) Track: Canon EOS 40D (firmware v1.0.8) + EF 300mm f/2.8L IS, AI Servo AF. Click thumbnail to download full-resolution sequence, 37 Pictures, 58.4MB (Photos by Rob Galbraith/Little Guy Media)

Q. When will you be writing about EOS-1D Mark III and EOS-1Ds Mark III autofocus again?

missing_card_wallet.jpg
MIA: The missing card wallet, before it went missing (Photo by Rob Galbraith/Little Guy Media)
Through the course of testing the EOS-1D Mark III and EOS-1Ds Mark III with the newest firmware, I managed to lose a memory card wallet (with three SanDisk Extreme Ducati Edition 8GB cards full of photos inside) and stumble off a ladder, twice, damaging an EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS the first time, then my BlackBerry 7130e and me the second time. So, the Photo Gods might be trying to say it's time to stop.

Okay, we're not that superstitious, but there are other reasons to wrap things up.
As we wrote in the introduction, Canon has been working hard in the first part of 2008 to make the AF system in its top-tier cameras work better, and the late-April firmware releases are one outcome of that. At some point, however, they're inevitably going to shift their attention away from improving the autofocus in current 1-series models to making sure their next 1-series camera provides strong autofocus from the start. The EOS-1D Mark III has been on the market about 14 months as this is being written, which means the transition point for Canon internally is probably coming sooner rather than later, if it hasn't come already. The company may still be working towards the release of The Ultimate Mark III Fix, but if it doesn't materialize soon it probably means it's not coming at all.

Therefore, you're reading what is probably the last installment of this article, unless we learn of new workarounds or Canon does in fact conjure up an additional change in the camera's firmware or hardware that fully corrects the camera's remaining autofocus limitations. Both of these things are possible, they just don't seem very likely.

Q. After more than a year, three firmware updates and a hardware fix, does the Canon EOS-1D Mark III now offer reliable AI Servo autofocus? How about the EOS-1Ds Mark III?

Both of Canon's current 1-series models now deliver acceptably stable and accurate autofocus of subjects that are stationary or whose distance to the camera is changing fairly slowly. With the lenses we own, from wide angle to supertelephoto, we have no significant complaints about the EOS-1D Mark III with firmware v1.2.3 and EOS-1Ds Mark III with firmware v1.1.2 when photographing things that are static or moving slowly. Are these camera reliable for shooting things that mostly hold still? In our experience, yes.

(It should be noted that we've had a number of complaints about static focus consistency with these cameras and the new firmware from owners of the EF 50mm f/1.2L and EF 85mm f/1.2L II, but because we've not used either lens we can't confirm an autofocus problem when they're used with the Mark III models.)

When using telephoto lenses at wide apertures and subject-to-camera distance changes more rapidly (as it does often when shooting sports), autofocus performance is mixed at best. The tendency of these cameras to frontfocus when tracking in any light, combined with autofocus performance in backlit or shadowy conditions that can at times be poor, means that the EOS-1D Mark III with firmware v1.2.3 and EOS-1Ds Mark III with firmware v1.1.2 produce too many out of focus frames of subjects that are moving quickly.

Canon has put considerable effort into correcting and improving EOS-1D Mark III autofocus in the 14 months since the cameras was introduced, but they have not yet made it, or its high-resolution counterpart the EOS-1Ds Mark III, deliver reliable autofocus of subjects in motion.
Next Page: May 29, 2009 update
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