I had two little persons at my disposal this morning and I thought I would use them for another real-world focus tracking demo on the Canon T4i with 40mm f/2.8 STM lens. Overall I am pleased with the results but clearly under tricky conditions and or with a subject moving toward or away from the camera it is not capable of keeping the subject in constant focus. If you need to focus on fast moving objects it seems your best bet is still a camcorder.
The video has three segments – first the subject is mostly moving parallel to the camera and I was filming at f/16 – this kept pretty much everything in focus and the camera didn’t have to do much work as the subject, a 5 year old who loves gymnastics, worked his way back and forth across the field. There were two spots where the camera started to focus elsewhere before refocusing on the subject. The tracking really wants to lock on to a face and when that isn’t available may search. I plan to retest using the FlexiZone focus next. 2nd segment, still at a very small aperture but the subject is moving perpendicular to the camera and as they speed up past a slow walk the camera struggles to keep them in focus. 3rd segment is the most challenging for the camera- subject walking most toward the camera with intersecting objects and I was now shooting at f/5.6, at one point the camera totally locks onto another object and I had to touch the screen to refocus, which it did, but slowly. I am really impressed with the quality and the sound quality out of this camera, both are top notch. Just don’t expect camcorder like focusing from the Canon T4i.
A few tricks I recommend for getting better results – use the smallest aperture possible, the more that is in focus the more likely your subject is to be in focus. move the camera slowly and steadily keeping the subject centered in the frame. Have a finger ready to touch the screen to re-focus if the camera loses focus.
I’d love to know your thoughts – leave a comment here or on the video.
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