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Dbl

Attn: Canon 40D users

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I would love to get some feedback from those of you using the 40D, specifically when using the camera in AI Servo focus mode. Your impressions on how well it tracks and how fast it moves if it moves off track. Shooting horizontal or vertical, what lens, how many focus points selected? What type of subject were you shooting and conditions.

Rob Galbraith has commented on the occasional erratic AI Servo performance on this camera. I'm interested in hearing from real-world users and their experiences. Thanks so much for any feedback in advance.

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I've used my 40D for almost a year now, and must say I've been very happy with it. I have two 1D II bodies, and Al Servo is a tad slower than those, to be expected. Can't say that I've missed many shots because of camera problem - plenty because of operator error! grin Most of my shooting has been with either the 100-400L or the 17-40L. Actually, I haven't had any of my 2.8 glass on it because they're usually sitting on the 1D bodies. Might have to try them out.

Sorry, I usually use center focus only.

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I shot a fair amount of BIF this spring, mostly ducks. Took me awhile to get the swing down, but got a lot of good shots once I got into the rhythm.

Haven't used it for sports. Should really do that and give some rest to my 1D's.

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Thanks Ken and Steve you are correct, it is Rob Galbraith who mentions that, not Canon. I've heard the comments from some sports shooters as well about this issue, taking it all with a grain of salt. I've also heard it is very good in AI Servo! crazy

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Dan,

In my experience it has depended highly on the background. I've done a lot of waterfowl shooting in AI servo. I used to shoot with the Rebel XT then I upgraded to the 40D. In shooting against a blue sky background the 40 locks much more quickly and quite accurately. My "keeper" rate, so to speak, increased dramatically with the 40D. I have made it a habit of shooting waterfowl with the center autofocus point selected. Lately, I've been attempting a lot more habitat shots of waterfowl in flight. I've noticed the autofocus has a difficult time distinguishing between the bird and the background. This may be true for almost any body, but I can't really speak to it as I've never used a 1 series body. I should also qualify that the habitat shots I've been attempting have been with the birds at distance which really minimizes their contrast/separation in regards to the background. For the few shots where I have had birds in a little tighter, the AI servo did a better job of locking on target. All of my shooting has been with the 100-400, so I can't speak to the difference with an f/2.8 lens. I would love to get a 400 f/2.8 on the body to see what it can do, but alas I'm a little short on the six to seven thousand dollars one of those fetches. Hope this helps, I wish had a wider array of shooting situations and lens combos to comment on - but this is the best I can do.

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Dbl,

I have only had the 40d for about 6 months,also have the 20d.

It seems faster than the 20d by quite a bit.

I have it on AI Servo most of the time and for BIF shots with 100-400L I have had it go out of focus sometimes and I have to focus on some trees or something to get it back good enough to follow the bird again,this is usually against a blue sky and I think it may be me loosing tracking of the bird, more than the camera.

Like mcary says if the bird is out a ways and crosses in font of trees, I have had it seeem to jump to the trees.

For the times it goes way out of focus, there is a setting (function III-1 I think)that will stop it before it goes too far, but I have not tried it yet.

Thanks

Dan

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Mike and Dan thanks for you experiences. Sounds to me like you guys are experiencing typical operation. The circumstances you both mention are difficult for any camera and tough on the operator to keep on target, especially if a bird is at even a slight distance.

I'm used to my Mark IIN but have at least 75,000 sports images through a 20D and a 30D so I've got a wide range of experience on both good and and not quite as good. I'm just looking at a 40D as a third backup camera at this time next to a 50D and the Mark II. I'm just curious what other 40D users have found using AI Servo and tracking.

I am only shooting 2.8 lenses so the performance of the focus system should be a bit better than say the 100-400. Anyone notice any difference in tracking when shooting vertical or horizontal?

Again thanks to all for their experiences.

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Dan, I can't speak for the 40D, but a significant amount of my 30D shooting this last two years (and the 20D before that) has been with f2.8 lenses. I can say that in Al servo with the center focus point selected the camera/lens is noticeably faster and more accurate with focusing. I've used the 70-200 f2.8 and 400 f2.8 on this body. While my 400 f5.6L acquires focus a bit faster than my 100-400 did (just enough difference to be noticeable), there's a very clear difference with the f2.8 glass. I have to assume you'd find the 40D/50D comparably faster/more accurate with f2.8 or faster glass than the slower glass.

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Yeah I had the 100-400 for a summer on the 20D and switched to the 70-200/2.8 it did make a difference. I am guessing not much different than the 40D will be.

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