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Canon MkIII Autofocus Problems: Update

It seems the Internet is changing things for the better. In my last post about the Canon EOS-1D MkIII autofocus, I commented how camera manufacturers get away with shipping inferior computerized cameras because we users cannot afford to properly test the single units we purchase. If you get a soft focuser or a stutterer you really can’t make a case with Canon or the dealer, because there are simply too many variables and it is too difficult to prove.

Well, that back focusing issue I highlighted has become a big issue, and the fine work done by the folks at ProPhotoHome is making big waves. NatureScapes now has a lengthy thread describing the issues nature photographers have had with the new MkIII, especially those trying to shoot flying birds. The Rob Galbraith people seem pissed, and were quick to test the new firmware release to see if it fixed the problem: it didn’t.

If the Internet enables grass roots action, we see it happening here. Some of the commentary from the very influential digital photogaphy websites, regarding this new $5,000 digital camera from Canon:

From Rob

…on sunny, warm days, the EOS-1D Mark III’s ability to grab focus initially, hold focus on static subjects and track moving subjects is both unusably poor and no match for the camera’s predecessor, the EOS-1D Mark II N…We’ve now shot and analysed about 3400 track, soccer and test frames taken over two days… and the results are effectively the same as before: lots of out-of-focus frames that should be crisply focused. And, as before, simply putting the EOS-1D Mark II N onto the same lens and shooting the same stuff produces a high percentage of in-focus photos.

Ouch. If we looked at the PPC payouts, for the DP sites, as a measure of how close they are to the purchase decision, we would see they are VERY INFLUENTIAL for high-end digital camera buying. That has got to hurt. Canon must be paying attention, but can they fix the problem?

One Comment

  1. John Kantor wrote:

    Why should they? What other choice do people with huge investments in Canon equipment have?

    That’s the problem with letting a single company monopolize the industry. (Nikon is just a niche player now.)

    Thursday, August 9, 2007 at 6:53 am | Permalink