Photography Gear: The Camera & Lenses Thread

A pretty boring but nevertheless important piece of equipment when you’re hiking and need to carry your camera in an easily accessible spot are camera straps and clips. Of course you don’t want this permanently attached to your camera so I use the Peak Design Camera clips. Pretty expensive for what it is but very convenient. They have Arca Swiss and Manfrotto RC2 compatible plates that can simply clip onto their anchors. You might have noticed the little Anchor links on my EOS R5 - That’s what they’re for

These look very interesting. Clean, functional. Better than having the camera sway about around your neck via the camera strap and then having to hold it to stop that.


What are your thoughts on firmware updates? Has Canon been pretty stable in regard to the quality of their updates? I just got a notification that firmware 1.2 is out for the R10.

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There have been some pretty decent firmware updates for my EOS R, especially the AF. For the R5 I have skipped some updates but I am now on 1.6 I believe. Some Updates are needed for compatibility with new lenses.

BTW you can now download firmware updates to your camera via the Canon App. Much more convenient than putting it on an SD or CF Express card and then applying it manually.

Edit: Just read some previews of the EOS R6 II, same launch price as the R6 with some nice upgrades so if you plan on going full frame at some point it’s a very good option

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A quick back button auto focus setup guide up for @Wes

I don’t have the same camera but the process and menus should be very close.

We’ll start by setting up your default AF settings.

Go into your menu and select the AF menu. The first tab should look something like this:

Set AF operation to SERVO AF. You shouldn’t really need ONE SHOT AF - in situations where I could use it I always end up using manual focus.

AF method should be set to your preferred method.

Subject to detect - as required.

Note that Eye detection is greyed out and set to Disable. This is only because by default I am not in subject tracking, the way it is set up, it will work by simply pressing the AF-ON button without constantly going into the menu and enabling it. But you might have to temporarily switch to EYE AF via the quick menu and enable it once after you have everything else set up.

Continous AF - Disable. The naming on this one is a bit confusing. Having it enabled simply means that your AF will always try to focus on something which can quickly drain the battery and is simply not needed the way I have my AF set up.

Touch & drag AF settings as desired.

Set Inital Servo AF pt for subject tracking as required. I have it set so that it tries to find something to track around the area where I have my AF point when I activate EYE AF

There are more options hidden within the other submenus but these are the most important aspects.

Next up we need to customize some buttons:

First, lets decouple AF from your Shutter button and set the half press to Metering start only.

Next, scroll down, and select the AF-ON button. Set it to Metering and AF start and press INFO to set up the details. This is where the magic happens.

Set AF operation to SERVO and AF method to subject tracking with face/eye detect. You can even set the different AF cases for your servo AF but I don’t want the button to overwrite my AF case settings so I have it disabled.

Do the same for your *-Button but this time, instead of setting it to subject detect, simply leave the detailed settings disabled. This way it uses whatever AF operation and AF method you have currently selected to focus.

That’s basically it. It also doesn’t matter which button you use for subject tracking and which one you use for simply activating the AF.

There are of course a lot more options that modify your auto focus’ behaviour that I have also customized but this is very situational and you need to find out what works best for you.


You must have a sharp eye for correct focus, or have you enabled the focus guide?

My menu looks different and eye detection is not greyed out even when subject tracking is disabled.

Understand what it is for, fortunately I can’t screw this one up as my camera does not have the option.

My camera lacks this entire capability it seems, I do not have it in the menus. I’ll add as well that I do have the advanced user guide downloaded, and searching for it turned up no results found (tried different search terms in case there was no literal match.)

Interesting - I will have to play with it a bit, on first try though it feels a bit awkward. Perhaps that is because the R10 is a smaller body and it is a bit more ergo on a larger body.

:pensive: No magic for me then, there is no submenu for me when setting AF-ON to Metering + AF. I suppose those are paywalled software features to the more expensive R5 body.

Lens Quality

While I was playing around with the settings above, I was focusing around my room and noticed the camera would get lost a lot and start hunting - it didn’t seem to be metering some of the time, at least that is what I assume because when it did go, the screen (image from the sensor, not the whole display) lightens up for a moment just before it would focus whereas when it did not succeed the screen never brightened up. I had the RF-S 18-45mm attached so on a hunch I switched over to the RF 50mm and it had a much higher success rate.

My room has quite a lot of stuff in it - a visually busy environment - so it would be easy to miss judge the target and/or catch a shadow and get a bad sample I suppose, even on spot AF. It’s perhaps 3.3m x 3.3m room and lit by one 60W equivalent LED bulb in a dome fixture… ideal lighting it is not.

The wider aperture & larger actual diameter pay off even before you fire the shutter!

Using a Tripod

To quote from the Where You Are photos here as it is a better topic to discuss…

That is a really nice shot. The 1 second exposure time reminded me of something I read. When researching the cameras and lenses, I had come across Ken Rockwell’s site which seems to be the best for straight technical data & details out of some of the review sites. I saw a large sum of the internet’s other photographers are not of fan of him for always using the same backyard for lens testing and his art style - but that is another story. The point is getting multiple opinions matter!

So, to tripods - Ken is apparently quite against the tripod in most general use cases and talks about learning to shoot hand-held most of the time. Even with my limited skillset I found that idea a bit strange, unless you are trying to challenge yourself to not use it - like not carrying around every focal range of lens, and instead moving yourself instead of the zoom ring all the time which was another point he made.

I am not so steady as to pull off 1 second without making some blur. Do you sort of have a cutoff for when you’ll use a tripod exposure wise? What about choosing the longer exposure vs. perhaps a higher ISO?

Software Updates

The update that just came out a week or so for the Canon connect app is way better so far. Much less finnicky with the WiFi connection it seems now. And it seems I can do GPS data with Bluetooth now as the old version would only do GPS data with WiFi which was not ideal. I also applied firmware 1.2 for the R10.

Control Rings

Speaking of software updates, the R10 does need some lens data for the RF lenses. My 18-45’s control ring does the expected and configured full-time manual focus. The 100-400 also does, but it has a dedicated focus ring and then a control ring on top of that which the R10 doesn’t seem to acknowledge. The 50mm’s control ring will not work for full-time manual focus, but will work in the “allow before one-shot mode” and “allow after one shot” mode (not the actual mode names - that’s just the actual result they give).

Camera Modes- Fv "Flex" Priority

Something that Canon was praised for in reviews that caught my attention was the Fv Flex-Priority mode, which I honestly love. All the settings, whichever auto and whichever manually set as you please. The only thing I wish it could have was the exposure meter (it is disabled as you can vary exposure compensation). I know I can use M Manual mode mostly the same, but the way the two dials work in Fv is just way better functionally - with one changing what setting is “active” and the other adjusting its value.

Nahh, my eyes are terribble :joy: It’s usually when I am on a tripod or doing macro photography. I do have the focus guide on but when it’s too dark for the camera to properly focus where I want I simply use the 10x digital zoom to focus. For macro photography I set the lens to MF at minimum focus distance and simply move the camera so that the focal plane is where I want it to be. I usually do a short burst at 20fps while slowly moving the camera so that I have a decent chance to get a good shot.
This one is a good example of that technique:

Maybe, the R5 has a very comfortable grip and my thumb is naturally in a position to hit the AF-ON button. The *-button isn’t as comfortable to reach but I don’t use it that often.

That’s a shame. There’s still value in doing back button focus but what I like most about it is that I have two focusing modes available at the press of a button without having to go into the menu. That doesn’t seem to be an option on the R10 then. Maybe there’ll be a Magic Lantern firmware at some point :smiley:

Ken is weird and a bit of a joke but there’s no denying he has some influence. It really depends on the kind of photography that you do. In this light I might have been able to get a sharp picture handheld at 24mm after a couple of tries (the combination of IBIS and lens IS on the R5 is really good) but 1s at 50mm as in this photo is next to impossible and in the time I would need to get just one decent shot the nice light will be gone lol.
At 15mm I can hold 1s shots with IBIS+lens stabilization pretty consistently but anything longer and I need a tripod and disable image stabilization entirely (it gets confused when doing longer exposures on a tripod and you end up with a blurry image).
As for his comments about focal range, yes there is value in taking a few steps instead of simply zooming in and out. It forces you to try different perspectives and you might have a better chance to find something really nice but of course you can and should do the same with a zoom lens soooo… meh?

It’s situational. If I expect movement that I want to freeze → ISO goes up and the shutter is probably fast enough so that I don’t need a tripod (Astro being the exception). Anything else and I am on a tripod, especially if I need to take multiple exposures for the photo that I have in mind. In that situation hand held will absolutely not do - regardless of exposure time.

Canon lenses can come with up to three rings. You always have a focusing ring, zoom lenses of course have a zoom ring and then there’s what Canon calls the control ring. It’s possible that you first need to assign something for the ring to control. It should be in the custom controls menu.

About 95% of the time I am in manual mode, sometimes in TV and the rest in bulb mode, I am afraid I can’t help you there. I use the histogram as my main reference for exposure. If this mode works well for you that’s good, I just like to have complete control over every setting. There isn’t really a right or wrong way to do things though, just be careful that you don’t use unnecessarily high ISO in situations where you could have gotten the same image with a longer exposure or wider aperture.
Here’s a look through my EVF:

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Picked up my new toy:

RF 100-500mm

I’ll go for a walk to take some pictures of swans and ducks before the bad weather rolls in.


First impressions: Really nice although of course it’s a lens for sunny weather. You will need to push the ISO when you’re taking pictures out at 500mm F7.1 but image quality is excellent. I have some pretty decent shots of some ducks, a blue tit and there were two hunters hunting rabbits with a ferret and hawks. I’ve managed to get some nice shots of a hawk sitting in tree.

Will post them in the Where are you Photos 2022 thread:

More coming soon™

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Wild ride to read that technique. Stupidly brilliant - as in, sounds stupid - is brilliant. Or perhaps better summed up by my personal catch phrase:
“It’s not cheating, I’m just smarter than you!” :rofl:

I have larger hands and long fingers, so if the FF bodies are a tad larger, then I’ll likely end up in the same boat.

Had to look this up - interesting project!

So with the R10 it is mostly set up by default. The front of the body has a AF/MF toggle switch with a DOF preview button in the middle. The switch is there for lenses without a switch of their own.

If the lens has a switch, that takes over from the body switch.

In either case, when set to AF and full-time RF control ring MF set to on, it should work with compatible lenses - and it seems to also enable the focus ring to do that instead, if the lens has one - as with the 100-400.

Turns out the 50mm is not on the supported list for control ring MF though:

Not sure if this function exists on the R5 and other bodies not on the list (perhaps they have their own list?)

Ok, I am learning to work with the histogram myself and turn it on more often now.

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It’s a very common technique for macro photography. Even at apertures like F11 or F16 the depth of field is so shallow that unless you’re in a studio with lights, a tripod and a static subject, you can’t precisely control your focal plane, especially with living insects. So the way to get these pictures is to get your focal plane as close as possible and then fire a burst while slowly moving the camera towards your subject. Takes a little practice but with modern cameras and their high frame rates it has become much easier to get good results.

Yes the FF bodies are a little larger. I’d recommend to try them in a camera store before you buy. The R6/R6 II are a little bit smaller than the R5 but it’s not a big difference.

Yep, you need a lens that has what Canon calls the control ring.

Btw, while the lens is pretty heavy it’s still light enough to be carried around like this:

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My local stores now have the new R6 Mk II in stock, which means the pricing is out.

R6 Mk II Body - $3300
Kit with the 24-105 f4-f7.1 stm for $3600
Drop $200 on either for the R6 Mk I.

R5 locally is $5300 with a sale at the moment for $150 off.

I have been looking at some of the math of how lenses work and this comment came in to mind. It makes sense since the sensor size is the same but the pixel count is way less, so larger pixels on the R6 will mean better low light performance.

Body Resolution Pixel Size Sensor
R10 24.2MP Approx. 3.72 µm square APSC 22.3 x 14.9 mm
RP 26.2MP Approx. 5.76 µm square FF 35.9 x 24mm
R6 Mk II 24.2MP Approx. 6.00 µm square FF 35.9 x 24mm
R5 45.0MP Approx. 4.40 µm square FF 35.9 x 24mm

Threw the RP in just because it was the same price bracket as the R10. Looks like 18% larger pixels going R10 → R5, or 61% larger for R10 → R6, but no resolution improvement. Guess there is not a market for something in the middle like 30-36MP?

Ah future speculations… :rofl:

The differences are quite negligible unless you’re constantly taking pictures at ISO12800 and higher

Modern cameras are amazing pieces of technology.

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@Derbysieger any tips for metering against snow?

In my bird shots, I ended up with a lot of grey-ish snow which I fixed in Lightroom.

Some of the photos I managed to get nicely in camera, but I don’t have that nailed down for a consistent result.

The only way to get reliably consistent results is to go full manual. Any automatic mode will result in at least some variation. TV mode with auto ISO and exposure compensation can be a good compromise for wildlife though, especially with rapidly changing lighting conditions.

If you shoot RAW you don’t need to worry about white balance as that can always be fixed in your editing software of choice but you can not fix blown highlights or black shadows.

If you shoot .jpg make sure you nail the white balance as well.

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What an awesome thread. I’ve got some reading to do lads.


Same @chipwich !

I came looking to see if Mudspike had a photography section or thread, I shot over Christmas with this and I’m in love.


Ah, the AE-1. What a camera. In college I shot for the yearbook staff and newspaper. I had a black bodied AE-1 with an 85 1.8 that lived under my right armpit. A friend of mine was shooting for the Miami Herald and he taught me how to always have it with you and how to carry. With a sun hood mounted and the lens facing aft, you didn’t need a cap to protect it and could swing it up one-handed to shoot candids in an instant. I went with him on some of his newspaper gigs and they could get dicey at times. Walking into bars in rough parts of town at night and covering a KKK rally were two that came to mind. Charlie was fearless. Seeing that AE-1 sparked a lot of memories. I need to dig up those photos, 99% are B&W.


Very cool.

I played with a DSLR quite a bit in high school and early college, but it walked away at a car show many years ago and I’ve just used an iPhone since.

It’s amazing what a joy shooting with a camera can be, and the discipline required for film adds a nice touch for someone accustomed to blasting away with endless iCloud storage.

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