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5D3 vs 5D4 focusing in the dark...?
  
 
leethecam
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · 5D3 vs 5D4 focusing in the dark...?


I've been shooting a rather badly light gig, where the band were tricky to focus on.

Flash solved the problem a little, but of course it quickly kills any ambience even when used as just fill.

To give an idea, I was shooting at between ISO 6400 and ISO 12800 sometimes to get 1/00 to 1/200 sec exposures.

The band were moving quite a bit, (soul / Motown with all the dance moves...) and were mainly dark skinned so there wasn't much contrast to work with against.

Now, ignoring the inevitable motion blur risks, (I found I could get some great shots even at the lower shutter speeds if I timed it right), I did find my poor old 5D3 was struggling often to find and acquire focus. Even when it thought it had, it sometimes had hopelessly missed the mark.

(With the amount of movement f2.8 is as open as I'm going to shoot this stuff, and my lenses of choice were the Canon 24-70 Mk2 and 70-200 Mk2 anyway).

So my question goes to how much better a 5D Mk4 may have faired?

I hear that it has improved focus ability in low light and is snappier, but is it a big difference or just a small one - ie, would it have changed my shooting experience?

I do sometimes wonder how we managed when our ISO max was 1600 and we feared to go even that far...



May 08, 2017 at 10:32 AM
leethecam
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · 5D3 vs 5D4 focusing in the dark...?


I guess no one has noticed a difference then...


May 10, 2017 at 05:45 PM
tiggy
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · 5D3 vs 5D4 focusing in the dark...?


There are two answers to this. The simple one is that the camera focuses consistently with about a stop less of light, as did the 6D.

The other answer deals with the results of your shooting. The 5D3 and 5D4 do not at first appearances seem to produce very different images in low light. The stats derived from straight-out-of-camera pictures shows slight improvement in the 5D4 files. But those files take a great deal more pushing and pulling (roughly 1.5 more stops).

So your first hurdle is to get focus in the first place. The mark 4 will help. And then the files you get out of that will be able to be pulled brighter quite a bit more. Of course in the use case you mentioned, what you would have wanted to do would be to shorten the shutter speed another stop to freeze the motion more surely, and then pull the exposure up in post. You can do that with the mark 4. Best, -tig



May 11, 2017 at 04:57 AM
leethecam
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · 5D3 vs 5D4 focusing in the dark...?


Thanks for that.

Yes sometimes I'm asked to shoot in impossible circumstances. On this particular shoot, (and others), I've looked up and assumed that the lighting hasn't been rigged yet - only to find that no, that's it... that's as good as it gets... And then the lighting "engineer" slaps a few coloured gels on everything and flashes the lights hopelessly.

I wonder how I ever photographed with my old 5D Mk1. More flash in those days methinks...



May 11, 2017 at 07:09 AM
elkhornsun
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · 5D3 vs 5D4 focusing in the dark...?


I would not handicap the camera by using a f/2.8 zoom. The lens is at the largest aperture while the camera is focusing and then stops down when the shutter is released. With a f/1.4 lens the camera's autofocus sensors are getting 4 times as much light to work with as with a f/2.8 zoom lens. That will make for a huge difference in autofocus performance.

The other thing to understand is that autofocus depends on areas of contrast. A face provides very little in the way of contrast regardless of the individual. I focus on a collar or neckline or other area with hard dividing lines and then lock the focus and shoot.

Good idea to know the DOF with your lenses at the distances at which you are shooting. For peoples faces in a group I want 18" or more DOF but do not need more than that. A 70mm at f/2.8 and a camera to subject distance of 10 feet has a DOF of 12 inches, OK for an individual but not a couple or group. A 50m lens at f/2.0 provides double the light to the camera's autofocus sensors as the 70mm f/2.8 setting and still provides 1.45 feet of DOF. The 85mm f/1.4 provide 4x as much light for autofocus and at 10 feet and f/2 aperture setting it provides a DOF of 1/2 a foot which is enough for a head shot of a performer.

If you are close enough the Canon ST-E2 sitting on the hot shoe will provide a IR beam for autofocus assist for the camera. It is often good enough for usable pictures. I have used it and the Nikon SU-800 in situations where the lighting was too poor for me to see the dials on my camera and gotten in-focus shots consistently.



May 12, 2017 at 12:31 AM
leethecam
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · 5D3 vs 5D4 focusing in the dark...?


Alas for this sort of work, a zoom is an essential. Primes are lovely things but you need a huge amount of flexibility to cover these things. As it is, I'm swinging two cameras and zoom combos just to keep up.

With the distances, lighting and need for speed an ST-E2 won't cut it, (mine has sat in the draw for years...)

I take your point about allowing the focus sensor more light and it is a good point.

The second they produce a 70-200 f1.4 lens, I'll be there...!



May 13, 2017 at 07:22 PM
pjbishop
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · 5D3 vs 5D4 focusing in the dark...?


You might rent some telephoto primes and see what might be useful. Of course some of those lenses are super-expensive. The 135L at f/2 is a great lens at a very good price and the f/2 aperture might work for you if you can get the right distances. In better light it is still very good and gives 189 with a 1.4X extender.


May 14, 2017 at 12:04 AM
Ziffl3
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · 5D3 vs 5D4 focusing in the dark...?


Nobody has discussed AF spot mode and has not been mentioned.

What AF spot mode do you use?

I would think the expanded option with only the cross points active is your best bet.

If the ST-E2 does not cut it on a 5Dmkiii ... then you should rent a 1DX and give it a go.

You can find a good price on a used one.


-Mark



Jun 06, 2017 at 02:42 PM
 

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EB-1
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · 5D3 vs 5D4 focusing in the dark...?


leethecam wrote:
I guess no one has noticed a difference then...


Yes, the difference is noticeable.
The 5D IV will AF in lower light where the 5D III or 5DsR will fail to AF.

EBH



Jun 11, 2017 at 05:34 AM
leethecam
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · 5D3 vs 5D4 focusing in the dark...?


EB-1 wrote:
Yes, the difference is noticeable.
The 5D IV will AF in lower light where the 5D III or 5DsR will fail to AF.

EBH


Thanks for the info. (Part of me was hoping there was no difference, so I wouldn't have to think about spending more )



Jun 13, 2017 at 09:10 PM
Vancouver47
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · 5D3 vs 5D4 focusing in the dark...?


Ziffl3 wrote:
Nobody has discussed AF spot mode and has not been mentioned.

What AF spot mode do you use?

I would think the expanded option with only the cross points active is your best bet.

If the ST-E2 does not cut it on a 5Dmkiii ... then you should rent a 1DX and give it a go.

You can find a good price on a used one.

-Mark


The 1Dx low light AF is very poor compared to the 1DxII and 5D4. Both are even better in Live-View and will focus on things you can barely see. Live-View AF is very fast and accurate now.



Oct 08, 2017 at 10:28 AM
Ziffl3
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · 5D3 vs 5D4 focusing in the dark...?


Vancouver47 wrote:
The 1Dx low light AF is very poor compared to the 1DxII and 5D4. Both are even better in Live-View and will focus on things you can barely see. Live-View AF is very fast and accurate now.

What is very poor? A little or major difference?




Oct 09, 2017 at 10:01 PM
Vancouver47
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · 5D3 vs 5D4 focusing in the dark...?


Ziffl3 wrote:
What is very poor? A little or major difference?



I have mentioned this several times, but I have a vase on a mantle in our family room that with only the corner light at night, my 1Dx would not AF with a 70-200 MkII. The 1DxII and 5D4 will AF the vase with the 70-200 and a Tele1.4x MkIII attached. That's a big difference. Live-View AF is that much better again.



Oct 11, 2017 at 11:34 AM
Ziffl3
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · 5D3 vs 5D4 focusing in the dark...?


Vancouver47 wrote:
I have mentioned this several times, but I have a vase on a mantle in our family room that with only the corner light at night, my 1Dx would not AF with a 70-200 MkII. The 1DxII and 5D4 will AF the vase with the 70-200 and a Tele1.4x MkIII attached. That's a big difference. Live-View AF is that much better again.


lets just agree to disagree. You have your experience... cool.
I have mine.
Mine being the 1DX may not be the same as the 1DXII ... but it is not very far off. Particularly when it comes to shooting weddings in dark situations.

-Mark




Oct 12, 2017 at 12:49 AM
Vancouver47
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · 5D3 vs 5D4 focusing in the dark...?


Ziffl3 wrote:
lets just agree to disagree. You have your experience... cool.
I have mine.
Mine being the 1DX may not be the same as the 1DXII ... but it is not very far off. Particularly when it comes to shooting weddings in dark situations.

-Mark


If you are using Ai-Servo AF at weddings? Then I would agree, there is not as big a difference.

Do you have a 1DxII?



Oct 12, 2017 at 10:54 AM







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