Today's latest digital cameras are equipped with astoundingly smart, sharp and swift autofocus systems. Take the latest Canon camera (opens in new tab)s – the Canon EOS R10 (opens in new tab) and EOS R7 (opens in new tab) APS-C mirrorless cameras that have been equipped with one of the most amazing AF systems for tracking moving subjects, taking much of the AF capability from the Canon EOS R3.
Autofocus with this much ability is brilliant, but you need to make clear choices for AF settings. Even the commonly used single point in the middle aimed at a subject has been given a new way of working by default.
The first lesson is that the new way of working applies to Servo focus, but it means that any subject that moves, like people, is better with Servo AF. Every AF area, from a tiny spot AF point to the whole frame area, tracks and follows a subject as they move within the frame, because subject tracking is enabled by default. Using a single AF point, you can identify a player in a game, and once you put the AF point on them, the camera knows that is the player you want to focus on and track.
The key is that, like the EOS R5, EOS R6 and EOS R3, there are settings for People, Animals, Vehicles, and no priority. It is essential that you choose the right subject type. If you choose Animal and there’s only a Person in the shot, the camera focuses on the person, but as soon as a dog walks through the back of the shot, the camera jumps to focus on the dog, ignoring the person. The current priority subject is seen on the quick control screen and can be switched using customized buttons.
Brian is a freelance photographer and photo tutor, based in Oxfordshire. He has unrivaled EOS DSLR knowledge, after working for Canon for over 15 years, and is on hand to answer all the EOS and photographic queries in Canon-centric magazine PhotoPlus (opens in new tab).
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Also taken from the R3 are the three flexible rectangular Zone AF areas for which you can change the size and shape. Using these you can choose an initial part of the frame to locate the subject you want to track, then like magic the camera tracks the selected subject even outside the initial zone.
Wildlife, sports and action photographers are going to enjoy using these new EOS cameras, but you need to spend time getting familiar with the essential settings for AF area, subject to detect and subject tracking, then think about AF case. Remember, DPP shows the details of the AF settings you used to take each photo.
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