Canon 80D continuous AF problems

LukeLovesLenses

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Hi!

The continuous autofocus (eg. AI Servo in Canon-ese) works fine for my 80D when shooting in live mode. . . which is something I literally never do, always opting to use the viewfinder. I use back button focus, but once I lock focus (single-point) on a subject while using my viewfinder, it won't track it as it moves. (eg. if I focus on someone, keep the af-on button pressed, and they walk forward, it stays focused on the point where they were standing originally.) Could this potentially be a software issue or am I just a noob?
 

Derrel

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Sounds like a conflicting situation between the way Canon and the end-user expect the AF system to perform, with the way the camera is set up currently.

Autofocusing systems are complicated, and there are user-based settings and preferences that can be changed.

here's a tip: be aware that back-button focus CHANGES the way an AF camera was fundamentally designed to be used, years ago. BBF is one of the single most over-hyped, pain in the ass "features" touted by noobs doing videos on YouTube. BBF causes more hassles than it solves, for many people. One of the top sports shooters in Canada has utterly no use for BBF, and NEVER uses it. He wants the focus hooked to the shutter release.

Different cameras are different, and there are user preferences, and there are different levels of AF systems; depending on the level of the AF system, there can be multiple ways the AF system can be programmed to respond.

Best idea: restore the camera to default condition, and stop using BBF until you absolutely know the answer to a plethora of questions regarding preferences and user modifications to the AF system and every control it offers.

Again...BBF is the most over-hyped, most-problematic AF issue I have seen since YouTube hit the scene...BBF is recommended by many who 'discover it' and think it's great, and immediately recommend it to people who would be better off using the AF system as it was initially designed to be used--where you use the SHUTTER release to focus, and use a back button as an AF-LOCK or "af-hold" button! This solves 99% of focus issues, in a way that actually works, and which KEEPS the focusing where it belongs in 99% of situations: on the shutter release. Where every press of the shutter button gets you a new focus, but where you can can, if desired, press a thumb-operated button to LOCK the AF distance.

The real danger of BBF....forgetting to focus! or....shooting an entire sequence at a slightly-wrong, initial AF focus lock. Both things suck!
 

TCampbell

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Hi!

The continuous autofocus (eg. AI Servo in Canon-ese) works fine for my 80D when shooting in live mode. . . which is something I literally never do, always opting to use the viewfinder. I use back button focus, but once I lock focus (single-point) on a subject while using my viewfinder, it won't track it as it moves. (eg. if I focus on someone, keep the af-on button pressed, and they walk forward, it stays focused on the point where they were standing originally.) Could this potentially be a software issue or am I just a noob?

There are a few issues here that may be confusing.

First, keep in mind that the 80D is not a 7D II or a 5D III, IV, nor 1D X or 1DX II. It doesn’t have those ultra-sophisticated focus systems... but it does have a pretty nice focus system.

“AI Servo” means that the set of focus points YOU selected will continue to track the focus. Suppose you set single point focus mode and you picked the center point. The camera says “I’m supposed to keep tracking focus ON THE CENTER POINT.” It wont follow the subject if they move off the center point. But if you keep the center point on your subject, focus will continue to adjust for their changing distance.

If you want the camera to follow a subject as they move, then you’re going to have to take the hand-cuffs off the camera and let it choose any focus point it wants. Now you’ve given it the freedom to wander from AF point to AF point.

Check out this article: Canon DLC: Article: EOS 80D: Sophisticated AI Servo AF Control
 

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