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Low Light Focusing with EOS Cameras

 
 
Roger
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      08-06-2003
Hi, all,

I have a Canon G3 and overall it is a superb camera. About the only thing I
don't like is its somewhat poor ability to focus in low light. I was at a
wedding party last weekend and took lots of pics, with my Canon 380EX flash
on the hotshoe. With my Elan IIE, if you activate the center focus point,
the camera uses the infra-red device on the 380EX flash to do its focusing,
and it is quick and sharp even in near-darkness. Whereas the G3 has a hard
time with low light focus. Its autofocus assist beam is OK in a small room
but can't cope with a larger hall. The G3 can't seem to use the 380EX
infrared beam which is such a pity. Something to do with the G3 using the
green horizontal sensor or some such thing. I tried the spot and center
weighted metering modes to see if that would activate the 380EX infra-red,
but no go.

Someone had a new Canon 10D digital at the party, and they seemed to
struggle a little bit as well, as it has a similar auto focus assist light
as the G3.

Ah well. My next digital will be sure to have an infra-red assist light for
low light focus!!!! Or at least the ability to use an external flash's
infra-red device. With some EOS cameras, like for instance the EOS 3, you
can slide a little remote device called the ST-E2 on the hotshoe and can use
its infra-red transmitter to help focus. But the problem is that you cannot
use the flash of the camera. This makes the ST-E2 useless: what's the use of
accurate focus in the dark if you don't have a flash!!!???

Roger


 
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Jim Townsend
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      08-06-2003
Roger wrote:

> Hi, all,
>
> I have a Canon G3 and overall it is a superb camera. About the only thing I
> don't like is its somewhat poor ability to focus in low light. I was at a
> wedding party last weekend and took lots of pics, with my Canon 380EX flash
> on the hotshoe. With my Elan IIE, if you activate the center focus point,
> the camera uses the infra-red device on the 380EX flash to do its focusing,
> and it is quick and sharp even in near-darkness. Whereas the G3 has a hard
> time with low light focus. Its autofocus assist beam is OK in a small room
> but can't cope with a larger hall. The G3 can't seem to use the 380EX
> infrared beam which is such a pity. Something to do with the G3 using the
> green horizontal sensor or some such thing. I tried the spot and center
> weighted metering modes to see if that would activate the 380EX infra-red,
> but no go.
>
> Someone had a new Canon 10D digital at the party, and they seemed to
> struggle a little bit as well, as it has a similar auto focus assist light
> as the G3.


I use the 380EX with my 10D.. The focus assist lamp works great. Even in
total darkness.

The AF lamp on my 380EX is hardly infra-red.. It's a very bright red light and
casts a pattern of vertical stripes on the subject. I find it very bright.
(Enough to make you squint if you look directly at it in the dark).

It's a shame the speedlight AF assist only works with EOS cameras.. I used it
for quite a while on my old Pro90 and I would have loved to be able to have
used the AF assist.


 
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Todd Walker
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      08-07-2003
In article <DKdYa.4371$(E-Mail Removed)>,
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) says...
> Someone had a new Canon 10D digital at the party, and they seemed to
> struggle a little bit as well, as it has a similar auto focus assist light
> as the G3.
>


Actually it doesn't. The light on the front of the 10D is just for
redeye reduction and self timer countdown. For low light assist, the 10D
strobes the flash, like many cameras do for redeye reduction. It looks
kinda funny but it works very well, allowing the 10D to focus in
complete darkness.

Yes it is VERY annoying that the Powershot cameras can't use the AF
light on the EX series of external speedlights. I went through this with
my Pro90/420EX combo and even called Canon. They basically told me that
the camera wasn't engineered to use it and didn't have the "necessary
connections" inside to do so. Very annoying. My 420EX to go with my 10D
will be here tomorrow and I'll enjoy low light focusing with the bright
red light

--
________________________________
Todd Walker
http://twalker.d2g.com
Canon 10D:
http://twalker.d2g.com/canon10d
My Digital Photography Weblog:
http://twalker.d2g.com/dpblog.htm
_________________________________
 
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