5D Mark III Autofocus Settings

I am continually amazed at how well autofocus works in our digital cameras. I am also continually amazed that I got any sharp sports images focusing manually! The 6D has gotten some poor reviews for tracking a moving object, so I was interested in how well the 5D Mark III would compare.

So, I’ve done quite a bit of shooting with the 5D Mark III and really like it so far. Not as fast as the 1D, but full frame and 6 fps is very good.

Because shooting action is one of the things I do, the 5D Mark III’s 61 focus points were very high on my list of reasons to buy this camera.

For action, it performs much better than my 6D due to the increased number of focus points, but the 6D is very impressive given it’s size and price. 5D Mark III is heavier than the 6D, and slightly larger, but it feels good in my hand. The controls are all logically placed – very similar to the 5D Mark II. 6D controls are slightly different – mainly to accommodate the smaller body size.

I’m still getting used to customizing the 5D Mark III auto focus settings for action. They basically give you 6 different presets to control how it uses the focus points to track and focus (Case 1 – multi purpose setting, Case 2 – Track subjects ignoring potential obstacles, Case 3 – Instantly focus on subjects entering AF points, Case 4 – for Subjects that accelerate or decelerate quickly, Case 5 – for erratic subjects moving in any direction, Case 6 – for Subjects that change speed and move erratically). It’s taking me some time to figure out which one is the best starting point, and how to tweak the settings from there. I was shooing most of my action shots with Case 6, and it seemed to work well for football. As I test more, I will report on how the auto focus settings work for various sports, and how I modified the default cases to improve performance.

If you have any feedback on how you use these settings, please share them here. I would love to get some feedback on optimizing these settings for various situations, and different sports.

Here is a link to, in my opinion, one of the better and more comprehensive, reviews of the 5D Mark III: http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Canon_EOS_5D_Mark_III/