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Archive 2012 · 1DX: Have you observed these perfmnce oddities ?
  
 
PetKal
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · 1DX: Have you observed these perfmnce oddities ?


I have spent about a month testing 1DX performance, mostly the AF system, although if I wasn't faced with a shortage of suitable test targets I could have completed it in about a week.
Also, if I had some captive birds (capable of repetitive flights) at my disposal, the testing would have progressed faster. However, we can only try to do our best with what we've got, and it's done now.

My objective hasn't been to publish an evaluation/review report, and attract traffic to my website......oh wait, I do not have a website .....but I wanted to determine if 1DX was worth keeping in light of its unpalatable price.


During that process I have observed the following delays in the camera response, and I wonder if anyone else has noticed them:

(1) When the camera "wakes up" from its dormant mode, there is some hesitation/delay with the Servo AF start, more so than with 1DMkIIN and 1DsMkII which start AFing practically instantaneously.

(2) When starting to use Servo AF on a rather dark and fast moving target, in normal operating mode and not out of "dormancy", the camera's response is often delayed for some reason, thus I have kept rebooting it in order to get it going. Once it starts AFing, things go reasonably well from then on.
In a similar scenario, both 1DsMkII and 1DMkIIN lurch promptly and attempt to focus (i.e., initiate the lens AF drive) although in practically all instances they do not manage to focus right at all.

It almost feels like 1DX refrains from starting to move the lens AF group before sufficient data becomes available for a positive focus. Either way, that apparent lack of AF responsiveness doesn't amuse at all. I have also tried to increase the AF tracking sensitivity, but to no avail.
(NB.: on a well lit target the AF response is practically instantaneous and very good.)



Aug 22, 2012 at 11:48 AM
Rav13
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · 1DX: Have you observed these perfmnce oddities ?


I've noticed issues and posted in other threads about the low light issues with the 1Dx locking up, this could be an attributed to this too, the camera needs more information for it to work, day light isn't an issue but in very low light it is.

I spoke to the canon tech in the UK, they said a firmware update will be available soon, whether it fixes all the low light issues, I'm not sure, but I'm hoping a lot of this issues will be sorted.




Aug 22, 2012 at 12:16 PM
uz2work
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · 1DX: Have you observed these perfmnce oddities ?


I have no idea whether this is relevant, but, after Canon released the 1D Mark IV, I recall reading a number of threads in which people expressed their impression that, while the 1D Mark IV was more accurate in focusing in most light than was the 1D Mark III, they felt that it was slower to focus and less capable of focusing in very low light than was the 1D Mark III. The theory was expressed that, in order to optimize focusing capabilities in most light, it was necessary to compromise and reduce focusing capabilities in very low light. Again, I have no idea whether this theory is true or not, but I offer the possibility that the same design decisions had to be made with the 1DX and that it could be that you can optimize focus capabilities in most light or you can optimize those capabilities in very low light, but the technology won't allow you to do both.

Les



Aug 22, 2012 at 12:44 PM
PetKal
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · 1DX: Have you observed these perfmnce oddities ?


Thanx Rav, with an AF system rated to -2 e.v. light sensitivity and which is alleged to AF in moonlight, as well as oodles of processing power to execute the AF routine, I'd say we should rightfully expect 1DX to be very prompt and very effective on dark targets.





Aug 22, 2012 at 12:49 PM
PetKal
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · 1DX: Have you observed these perfmnce oddities ?


uz2work wrote:
I have no idea whether this is relevant, but, after Canon released the 1D Mark IV, I recall reading a number of threads in which people expressed their impression that, while the 1D Mark IV was more accurate in focusing in most light than was the 1D Mark III, they felt that it was slower to focus and less capable of focusing in very low light than was the 1D Mark III. The theory was expressed that, in order to optimize focusing capabilities in most light, it was necessary to compromise and reduce focusing capabilities in very low light. Again,
...Show more

Thanx Les, that was my first thought as well......that by design the AF is barred from starting the lens move prematurely, i.e., before sufficient phase detect data is accumulate for a positive focus making. Unfortunately, we can't tell what the progress of the AF routine is, the only thing we can perceive is the lens AF group movement.
In other words, an early lens movement by 1DMkIIN doesn't really mean that the camera has executed the AF routine fully and well, and the results corroborate that because very seldom such prompt lens AF action in low light results in good focus making.



Aug 22, 2012 at 12:55 PM
ggreene
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · 1DX: Have you observed these perfmnce oddities ?


uz2work wrote:
I have no idea whether this is relevant, but, after Canon released the 1D Mark IV, I recall reading a number of threads in which people expressed their impression that, while the 1D Mark IV was more accurate in focusing in most light than was the 1D Mark III, they felt that it was slower to focus and less capable of focusing in very low light than was the 1D Mark III. The theory was expressed that, in order to optimize focusing capabilities in most light, it was necessary to compromise and reduce focusing capabilities in very low light. Again,
...Show more

I remember reading this as well. I had a chance to briefly use a 1D3 for a basketball game in a low lit gym. It did seem to find initial AF lock a little quicker then the 1D4 especially on low contrast subjects. Once locked though the 1D4 tracked AF much better. Hard to say with such a short time to compare.

It's good to hear that the FW for the 1DX is coming soon. Be interesting to see what it actually fixes.



Aug 22, 2012 at 01:00 PM
fraga
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · 1DX: Have you observed these perfmnce oddities ?


I don't know if this will help or not, probably not, but here it goes anyway.
One of the things that amazed me time after time with my 1DMIII was that when it was "dormant" and I half pressed the shutter button to wake it up, if I had a fast focusing lens attached (like the 135L) the camera would immediately "beep" with a focus lock confirmation.
I mean, really immediately.
I'm not talking about starting to AF.
I'm talking about actual focus confirmation.
Even indoors.
My previous 1DMIIn would never do this, not even close.
A slight touch on the button, with the sole intention of waking up the camera when I reached for it (not even looking through the viewfinder, just grabbing the camera out of the bag, for example), and it would just lock focus (unless it had to drive the AF from one extreme to the other or if it in very low light, of course).
That was truly amazing.

My D3s is, overall, the best focusing camera I ever owned, but it just can't do this.
Well, at least with the lenses I own, which I must admit are not renowned for lightning fast AF.


BTW, I skipped the 1DMIV because of reports of poorer performance in low light (AF wise), in which I shoot a lot.

Regarding the 1Dx, if it's not specific to your particular camera, i.e. it affects all 1Dx's, I hope a future firmware will solve this.
It will be interesting to see if others corroborate your findings.



Aug 22, 2012 at 01:14 PM
PetKal
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · 1DX: Have you observed these perfmnce oddities ?


Thank you, Luis, it is interesting that you have found 1DMkIII AF to be more responsive than 1DMkIIN. I have no 1DMkIII experience, but I have always felt 1DMkIIN is a pretty responsive camera.


Aug 22, 2012 at 01:32 PM
Will Patterson
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · 1DX: Have you observed these perfmnce oddities ?


My 1D X is the quickest focusing camera in all respects, better than the 1D3's, 1D2n's and 1D2's I've had in the past. Everything about it is quicker. For example, I photograph "pro" kickball at night under some stadium lights downtown. I had shot with my 1D3 and 70-200 II for a year before getting my 1D X, and despite the challenging conditions, I get many more keepers with it.

One thing that applies to what you're talking about is if there is a lul in the action, the camera may go to sleep. But then someone may kick a line drive RIGHT into the arms of the third baseman, and I am able to aim at the third baseman and get him catching the ball as it comes into his arms. This all happens in less than a second. I am very happy with its responsiveness.



Aug 22, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Tim Kuhn
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · 1DX: Have you observed these perfmnce oddities ?


My 1D X is the quickest focusing camera in all respects
+1

I'm at just under 9000 clicks on mine. I haven't done any testing, I just use the camera. Most of the shooting I have done so far is IF shots and mostly hummingbirds. I have a 1000 or so big slow birds, Osprey, GBH and with the big guys the keeper rate is 90+%. For the hummers I have shot in perfect light and very low light. The majority of the low light work was with a 36mm tube and the 800mm 5.6. When I say low light I mean, no sun, heavy cloud deck, ISO 6400. Not shooting in deep shadows but dim light for sure and sometimes with busy, close backgrounds. It is that shooting that I think I would experience the delays you are talking about Peter. There is lots of waiting, the camera goes dormant, the bird suddenly appears and I press the shutter and get extremely fast focus lock. Considering all the work with tubes I have done, they really slowed focus lock on my mk4, I would have noticed a delay and I haven't.

Tim



Aug 22, 2012 at 03:05 PM
 

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ruhikant
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · 1DX: Have you observed these perfmnce oddities ?


Hi Peter,
Shooting side by side 1D4 and 5D3, I too have noticed the delayed in the jump start the AF drive from sleep. I therefore set the camera auto sleep time to 30 mins or keep it on all the time when I am expecting an action at anytime unexpectedly.



Aug 22, 2012 at 03:30 PM
PetKal
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · 1DX: Have you observed these perfmnce oddities ?


ruhikant wrote:
Hi Peter,
Shooting side by side 1D4 and 5D3, I too have noticed the delayed in the jump start the AF drive from sleep. I therefore set the camera auto sleep time to 30 mins or keep it on all the time when I am expecting an action at anytime unexpectedly.


That's it, Ruhikant.....I'll have to do the same thing. A fraction of a second that delay might be, however, it is a bit of an irritant, especially if one is used to instantaneous response (in my case 1DsMkII and 1DMkIIN). In fact, when one has two seconds or less of a window of opportunity, then even 1/3 of a second camera wakeup could make an impact.

I wonder now if the delay is present in one shot AF as well ? Heck, come to think of it, I have hardly used one shot AF in over 6,000 accumulated frames so far.



Aug 22, 2012 at 03:51 PM
PetKal
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · 1DX: Have you observed these perfmnce oddities ?


Tim Kuhn wrote:
My 1D X is the quickest focusing camera in all respects
+1

I'm at just under 9000 clicks on mine. I haven't done any testing, I just use the camera. Most of the shooting I have done so far is IF shots and mostly hummingbirds. I have a 1000 or so big slow birds, Osprey, GBH and with the big guys the keeper rate is 90+%. For the hummers I have shot in perfect light and very low light. The majority of the low light work was with a 36mm tube and the 800mm 5.6. When I say low light
...Show more

Thanx Tim, I am sure if the delay was there you would have noticed it.



Aug 22, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Imagemaster
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · 1DX: Have you observed these perfmnce oddities ?


PetKal wrote:
Also, if I had some captive birds (capable of repetitive flights) at my disposal, the testing would have progressed faster.


Have you thought about raising homing pigeons



Aug 22, 2012 at 03:55 PM
PetKal
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · 1DX: Have you observed these perfmnce oddities ?


Will Patterson wrote:
My 1D X is the quickest focusing camera in all respects, better than the 1D3's, 1D2n's and 1D2's I've had in the past. Everything about it is quicker. For example, I photograph "pro" kickball at night under some stadium lights downtown. I had shot with my 1D3 and 70-200 II for a year before getting my 1D X, and despite the challenging conditions, I get many more keepers with it.

One thing that applies to what you're talking about is if there is a lul in the action, the camera may go to sleep. But then someone may kick
...Show more

OK, thanx Will, yet another happy camper, I guess.



Aug 22, 2012 at 03:56 PM
PetKal
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · 1DX: Have you observed these perfmnce oddities ?


Imagemaster wrote:
Have you thought about raising homing pigeons


Markle, in fact I have.....but then I decided to get a little bird bath setup in my backyard......much less hassle and easy shooting sitting in a blind 8 ft from them birds.



Aug 22, 2012 at 04:06 PM
Don Clary
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · 1DX: Have you observed these perfmnce oddities ?


a little bird bath setup in my backyard......much less hassle and easy shooting sitting in a blind 8 ft from them birds

Blind? Hummingbirds? What for? One day I was standing next to my hummingbird feeder, in plain sight. I was taking a picture of a hummer sitting on a branch about 6' away. I was moderately still, not perfectly still. My right elbow was 1/2" from the feeder. At that moment, another hummer flew to the other side of the feeder, and plopped down the ring perch. This bird was 6" from my elbow. I looked down at him from 18" away. He looked back up at me as if to say "so what, this is MY feeder".



Aug 22, 2012 at 04:43 PM
rscheffler
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · 1DX: Have you observed these perfmnce oddities ?


Peter, what lenses are you using when you notice this?

I also set my cameras to a longer delay before going to sleep.

Regarding your second point: I just did a basic AF comparison at home between the X, IV and III. Obviously this is different than BIF, but might be informative. Using the center point, with a lens like the 70-200 f/4L IS, at 200mm, focusing on very dark folded textiles where there are some areas with contrast and other areas with no contrast, all of the cameras have trouble finding focus in AI Servo, but when there is sufficient contrast, it seems the X and III lock more reliably. The IV isn't that far behind. With the 135L, not surprisingly all focus more reliably/faster. There really doesn't seem to be a huge difference between any of them with AI Servo and initial focus acquisition, but as mentioned, would rank the X and III a bit ahead of the IV for initial acquisition. But this is in really low light and low contrast, in the ISO 1600 1/30 f/2 range. Most of my low light action shooting is done in stadiums, with the worst being here in Hamilton at ISO 3200 1/500 f/2.8, which is four stops brighter than this mini test at home. I have yet to try the X in this situation, but the IV and III have generally been OK, though when a team is in a dark uniform, sometimes the cameras have trouble maintaining AI Servo tracking, as a result the fps drops (I have the cameras set for focus priority on second and subsequent frames) and focus consistency decreases.

From this mini test, the biggest difference between the three is in One Shot. Aiming at an extremely low contrast area of black textile, in an area about a stop lower in light, only the X will lock focus. With the f/4 lens it will lock in two stages. First coming close, then taking about half to a full second to confirm the lock. With the 135L, AF lock is instantaneous.

I suspect some aspects of the AF tracking performance will be lens dependent. With f/2.8 and faster the central stripe of sensors should be better. But of course with BIF, you're probably at f/4 or f/5.6 to start and will lose the second cross sensor array on these points. I also wonder what your AI Servo 1st image priority and 2nd image priority settings (in pink AF2:AI Servo tab) are? Those shouldn't affect AF initiation speed, rather, image capture, but you never know... I've left both at equal until I get a better feel for the X. With the IV and III I always went for release priority on the first frame and focus priority on subsequent frames.



Aug 22, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Imagemaster
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · 1DX: Have you observed these perfmnce oddities ?


PetKal wrote:
Markle, in fact I have.....but then I decided to get a little bird bath setup in my backyard......much less hassle and easy shooting sitting in a blind 8 ft from them birds.


But if your pigeons don't co-operate, you can always have pigeon pie.



Aug 22, 2012 at 06:48 PM
skibum5
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · 1DX: Have you observed these perfmnce oddities ?


Don Clary wrote:
Blind? Hummingbirds? What for? One day I was standing next to my hummingbird feeder, in plain sight. I was taking a picture of a hummer sitting on a branch about 6' away. I was moderately still, not perfectly still. My right elbow was 1/2" from the feeder. At that moment, another hummer flew to the other side of the feeder, and plopped down the ring perch. This bird was 6" from my elbow. I looked down at him from 18" away. He looked back up at me as if to say "so what, this is MY feeder".


earlier this summer I had a hummingbird zoom past me, turn back, fly right up to my face, stare me in the eye from like 6" away for a couple of seconds and then zoom off again

once I had one land on me



Aug 22, 2012 at 07:29 PM
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