|Bruce n Philly
Upload & Sell: On
sritri: Great shots!
Ok, since you opened it up, I agree totally with you that "AF Area Expansion" does have a really big impact on keeper rate. So much so, that I have it in my custom menu. Mostly, I have it turned off because as you show in your great photos, those branches and leaves throw off the focus. There are times, however, that having these ON is actually a good thing and that is when the background is relatively homogeneous. For example, shooting a bird against a blue sky. This is tough to keep your center point on these guys and the AF Area points help old on. Another is shooting Black Skimmers, again, against the homogeneous background of water surface.
But mostly, I keep these points turned off.
Now I am embarrassed to say, that popping off like I am doing here, I actually am pretty lousy as shooting birds in flight. I find it terribly difficult to track these buggers and keep their little bodies in the center of the frame. I even have a gimbal head and still can't do it well.
Read about my lame attempts to shoot Black Skimmers where I use AI Servo at my blog here:
Going totally off topic: I have these points turned off in One Shot mode also even though the manual says they only support AI Servo. I did some experiments last year where I shot a bird deep in a leafy bush with these points turned on and off and focus was way improved with them off (always center point only). I even sent an email to Canon support about this and they responded with a cut 'n paste from the manual that they only support AI Servo. I thing there is a software bug or something in that they do influence focus at other times. I think I am the only one in the world who believes this (the other voices in my head disagree too). But you can do an experiment and simply shoot a bird deep in a tree with alot of leaves and sticks around him that are nearer to you and not in the bird's focus plane. Watch how the focus gets thrown off with them on vs off. I think I may have totally discredited myself here, but that is my experience.