Canon EOS-1D X and 5D mk III, Single Point vs Single Point Spot AF

(If you find yourself wondering what the modes under discussion are, refer to the 1DX manual page 69, available for download here.  These exact same features are also available on the 5d mk III.)

I love the single point spot AF modes in Canon’s 5D mk III and 1D X cameras.  If you’re trying to get focus lock on a small point such as a burning candle, and the camera keeps focusing on the background instead of the flame, the spot AF mode can quickly solve this problem.  Another great use is if you’re trying to photograph a face framed by bushes or tree foliage.  In this case the camera often grabs focus on the surrounding leaves, rather than seeing through them to the face behind.  Spot AF can solve your troubles and keep you moving quickly to the next shot.

I liked them so much, in fact, that I started to leave the camera set to this mode all the time.

Then I began noticing a little less consistency when shooting in low light than I’d like, so I gave CPS a ring.  I’ll be going back to the normal single-point (non-spot) AF mode, thankyouverymuch.

The spot mode is great for the specific situations outlined above, but according to the CPS rep I spoke with, I’m also forcing the camera to attempt focus based on one quarter of the information available in the non-spot single-point mode.  This causes more hunting and less overall accuracy.  According to the rep, the spot AF mode was originally intended for macro photographers who routinely work at incredibly close distances.  Yes, it works great under the conditions I outlined above, but other than that it’s best to give the camera as much info as possible.

Photosmith for iPad – A Brief Reaction

This isn’t a full-fledged review of the Photosmith app, because frankly I couldn’t get deep enough to learn as much as I would have liked.  On my iPad 3, it crashes so often as to be useless.

To be fair, Photosmith promises to be many things that I’d love to have.  A way to cull and rate images from LightRoom on my iPad?  Yes please!  I don’t need heavy-duty color correction, just let me select the best from the thousands of images that come out of a day of wedding photography.

There are two pieces to Photosmith.  The app on the iPad is the first piece, and the plugin for Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is the other.  Using the Photosmith plugin, Lightroom can export JPG files that are linked to the RAWs in your Lightroom master library.  You can then change the ratings, colors, tags, and rotation of the images in your iPad, and those changes will later sync back to the RAWs in Lightroom. Continue reading Photosmith for iPad – A Brief Reaction