Old 02-02-2011, 02:13 AM   #1
CN Railfan
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Question Using Servo AF

Hello, I looking for some feedback on Servo AF. I recently got a Canon SX30IS, which features from my old camera, an A540, servo AF, and I am looking on how to use this effectively and correctly. Maybe you could share some of your own techniques. Thank you for the help!
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Old 02-02-2011, 02:35 AM   #2
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I tend to hook up a big servo to my dslr because it makes it go w00t and sharp like. Lampshades also do wonders when trying to keep things in focus and stop glare, especially when snowing
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Old 02-02-2011, 05:20 AM   #3
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I tend to hook up a big servo to my dslr because it makes it go w00t and sharp like. Lampshades also do wonders when trying to keep things in focus and stop glare, especially when snowing


This is the only Servo I know...

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Old 02-02-2011, 11:08 AM   #4
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This is the only Servo I know...

Word, Tom Servo!
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:28 PM   #5
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I'm guessing that means you guys are going full manual focus?

Last edited by CN Railfan; 02-02-2011 at 10:01 PM.
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:55 PM   #6
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Full AF here or full MF.

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Old 02-02-2011, 10:15 PM   #7
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What I am not understanding is your question. Is there some sort of special technique when using AI Servo? Not really. It's more up to the capabilities of your camera. I have no idea about your P&S, as I have never used it so that's about the best I can do.

Some cameras are more capable in AI Servo than others. The 5D which I have totally sucks in servo. When I have to use AI Servo, I use my other camera, a 40D.

Being a P&S, I am not sure I would expect much out of it when it comes to AI Servo AF.

Also your question would likely be better served on a forum like DPReview, this is less a gear forum, more a actual photography/composition/processing/flamewar/social/sarcastic/action figure/SD60/paper/gate/snow/cropping forum

Last edited by troy12n; 02-02-2011 at 10:23 PM.
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:30 PM   #8
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I guess I am asking is the servo AI "smart" enough to pick up on the motion of a train so when it enters the frame of the camera the way I want it, that the nose of the locomotive is where it is putting its focusing efforts.
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:34 PM   #9
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I guess I am asking is the servo AI "smart" enough to pick up on the motion of a train so when it enters the frame of the camera the way I want it, that the nose of the locomotive is where it is putting its focusing efforts.
It all depends on the camera. On the more capable ones, definetly yes. You usually have to "half depress" the shutter button for AF tracking to start, once it is activated, it will track until the shutter is fully depressed. My understanding also is if you are shotgunning it, it will refocus before each actuation. It also depends on the autofocus points you are using. Does your camera have selectable AF points, or is it just center point AF? Or does it even have points? Again, I don't know.

I don't know how good this functionality is in your camera. It is better in some than others as I mentioned. It's really awesome in all "1" series cameras, the 40D and up, the 7D, and some older film cameras like the EOS 3, 1V, etc.
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:56 PM   #10
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My camera does allow you to move the focus frame around the viewfinder. So if I put the frame where the train was going to be in the frame, it would still pick up on motion and focus correctly it seems. Thanks for the help!
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Old 02-03-2011, 03:30 PM   #11
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My camera does allow you to move the focus frame around the viewfinder. So if I put the frame where the train was going to be in the frame, it would still pick up on motion and focus correctly it seems. Thanks for the help!
You need to pick the focus point in the frame that you want to be in focus, or most in focus and then follow the train with that point and pull the shutter when the train gets to where you want it to be in the background.

AI Servo just keeps the lens in focus while between the time you initially focus on it and when you actually release the shutter.

Ai: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AI_servo

If your subject is not moving then you don't need AI servo and if you are shooting portraits or something like that then AI servo is a pain because it will always try to refocus the lens - even when you don't want it to.

The other issue with AI servo is that you need to make sure that it focuses on what you want focused, not something else like the window you are shooting through or the bird behind your subject.

Last edited by Holloran Grade; 02-03-2011 at 03:32 PM.
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