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  #1  
Old July 20th, 2007, 11:52 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Default Focus Issue Addressed in Firmware Update for 1DIII

I just recieved thus from Will Thompson!

EOS-1D Mark III Firmware Update, Version 1.0.9

Dear Canon Customer,

We have updated the firmware in your camera to the latest version (Version 1.0.9).


This firmware update incorporates the following improvements and fixes:

1. Improves the look of images when enlarged on the LCD monitor, Applies a slightly stronger sharpness setting to the LCD monitor when images are enlarged.

2. Counter measures for Main Dial response errors (Main, Quick Control, Vertical-grip Main). Fixes a rare response error in the Main Dials in which they either did not respond when rotated or would change several clicks' worth even if only clicked once.

3. Improves the consistency of AI Servo AF under certain conditions. Reduces the tendency of the camera to auto-focus on high-contrast backgrounds when shooting in conditions where AF detection is difficult, such as when the main subject is not completely covered by the AF frames or if the main subject's contrast is low.

4. Corrects errors in the Italian and Simplified Chinese menu screens.

Please note that this Version 1.0.9 firmware will be made available for download from the Web at the end of July. However you will not need to take any action as your camera has already been updated.

Thank you for your understanding.
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  #2  
Old July 20th, 2007, 12:04 PM
KrisCarnmarker KrisCarnmarker is offline
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Thanks Asher!

I wonder why they won't post a download until the end of July if they are already shipping with that firmware. Hmm...
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  #3  
Old July 20th, 2007, 03:25 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Asher,

It was nice of Will to update your camera.
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  #4  
Old July 20th, 2007, 03:44 PM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KrisCarnmarker View Post
Thanks Asher!

I wonder why they won't post a download until the end of July if they are already shipping with that firmware. Hmm...
Because it doesn't fix the whole AF issue?
http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/con...40-9006#july20

Bart
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  #5  
Old July 21st, 2007, 12:38 AM
KrisCarnmarker KrisCarnmarker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart_van_der_Wolf View Post
Because it doesn't fix the whole AF issue?
http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/con...40-9006#july20

Bart

Apparently so. There are other improvements beside AF though. No big deal; its just little more than a week away. I was just wondering why wait to post a download if it is already "in production".
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  #6  
Old July 21st, 2007, 12:51 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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I guess the're hoping to have more tweaks in the update. So I guess the firmware itself is just a stop gap.

Asher
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  #7  
Old July 21st, 2007, 08:05 AM
Nill Toulme Nill Toulme is offline
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Have you guys seen Drew's ongoing review on ProPhoto? He seems to have confirmed the good copy/bad copy aspect of all of this. There's also a report coming out of Deutschland of some selective hardware repairs available to those who are having definite problems with AF in good conditions, with a strong caution that not all cameras need to come in for it, all of which is consistent with the theory of a component defect that affects a very significant number of units (perhaps including all four of Rob's samples?), but not all or even necessarily most of them which theory is in turn consistent with the highly inconsistent user reports we've seen.

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  #8  
Old July 21st, 2007, 01:52 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Nill,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nill Toulme View Post
There's also a report coming out of Deutschland of some selective hardware repairs . . .
Do you have any link to that? I suppose it would be auf Deutsch, but I can probably muddle my way through that.

Thanks.

Best regards,

Doug
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  #9  
Old July 21st, 2007, 07:10 PM
Nill Toulme Nill Toulme is offline
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DPR thread here.

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  #10  
Old July 22nd, 2007, 09:08 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Nill,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nill Toulme View Post
DPR thread . . . .
Thanks so much.

Verrrrry interesting!

Best regards,

Doug
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  #11  
Old July 22nd, 2007, 08:06 PM
Ed Cordes Ed Cordes is offline
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Unhappy The $4500 Question

So the $4500 (plus tax and shipping) question is when will we there be some assurance that cameras at retail are "fixed". This is a rhetorical question of course as no one will know for sure.

RG and others may continually test newer and newer cameras and finally declare a few to be "good", but we still will never know. So, I still believe it is to Canon's advantage to make some announcement that there is/was a defect that it addressed. Yes, this will mean many units being sent in for the fix. However, this is not unlike Toyota or some other company recalling thousands of units to fix something.

I firmly believe that in the long run honesty is the best approach. Canon owes it to its customer base as well as itself to come clean and restore its reputation. A few years from now when other issues come up we will all be able to point to Canon and say "they did the right thing in 2007 so we can trust them now."
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  #12  
Old July 23rd, 2007, 04:13 AM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Cordes View Post
So the $4500 (plus tax and shipping) question is when will we there be some assurance that cameras at retail are "fixed". This is a rhetorical question of course as no one will know for sure.
Actually, since there is such a backlog on availability, it should not take long before only "fixed" units leave the store. I agree that a certain unease can remain with "before fix" unit owners.

Quote:
RG and others may continually test newer and newer cameras and finally declare a few to be "good", but we still will never know. So, I still believe it is to Canon's advantage to make some announcement that there is/was a defect that it addressed. Yes, this will mean many units being sent in for the fix. However, this is not unlike Toyota or some other company recalling thousands of units to fix something.
While it would be the honorable thing to do, it would also create a nightmare for the service centers, and as a result for the affected owners of presumed to need a "fix" bodies (months of waiting). My feeling is that, unless the issue can be traced to serial numbers, what is needed is a simple user executable test to determine if one's unit needs to be sent in. It could be someting as simple as checking for 'focus hunting' on stationary subjects of adequate contrast (say shooting a newspaper page perpendicular to the optical axis).

Quote:
I firmly believe that in the long run honesty is the best approach. Canon owes it to its customer base as well as itself to come clean and restore its reputation. A few years from now when other issues come up we will all be able to point to Canon and say "they did the right thing in 2007 so we can trust them now."
I agree.

What's becoming a completely different issue is the pricing difference between the Euro vs US$ countries. That may create pressure on the availability of US models due to grey imports in Europe.

Bart
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  #13  
Old July 23rd, 2007, 10:48 AM
Ed Cordes Ed Cordes is offline
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I would be very careful buying "grey imports" either in Europe or the US. With the reported issues I would be afraid of less dedicated back up from the local Canon service centers if you do experience issues.
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  #14  
Old July 23rd, 2007, 11:47 AM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Cordes View Post
I would be very careful buying "grey imports" either in Europe or the US. With the reported issues I would be afraid of less dedicated back up from the local Canon service centers if you do experience issues.
Careful is good, but there are limits as to how much price elasticity these products have. Besides, the price difference (16% on currency exchange after VAT once the prices gyrate towards the US$//₤ 4000 retail price level) pays for a lot of shipping costs, in the not always obvious case that 'local' service is problematic.

There are enough dealers that would have no problem with ordering a pallet with Mark III bodies. The European market is large enough to sell those in no time. I hope things don't go that direction, but I wouldn't be surprised either.

Bart
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  #15  
Old July 24th, 2007, 11:19 AM
Ed Cordes Ed Cordes is offline
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It's not exactly "breaking" news as it occured yesterday, but RG posted on his site that Canon has asked him to send one of his newer bodies with the new firmware in for inspection. He and Chuck Westfal have apparently discussed the issue at length and have worked out a test scenario.

Here is the link: http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/con...40-9006#july20

Apparently Canon is taking the question of a hardware defect seriously. I hope this means a fix is at hand.

Cheers,
Ed
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  #16  
Old July 24th, 2007, 01:35 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Ed,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Cordes View Post
It's not exactly "breaking" news as it occured yesterday, but RG posted on his site that Canon has asked him to send one of his newer bodies with the new firmware in for inspection. He and Chuck Westfal have apparently discussed the issue at length and have worked out a test scenario.
That is a good thing.

Best regards,

Doug
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  #17  
Old July 25th, 2007, 03:05 AM
Steve Saunders Steve Saunders is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Cordes View Post
I would be very careful buying "grey imports" either in Europe or the US. With the reported issues I would be afraid of less dedicated back up from the local Canon service centers if you do experience issues.
Thatr's a good point Ed. I could have had one in from the US for $1000 less than I paid here in Ireland, but with the conflicting reports about focusing I'm glad I didn't. Maybe when this is all sorted out I'll get a backup body in the US later on.
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  #18  
Old July 25th, 2007, 05:14 AM
John_Nevill John_Nevill is offline
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I was fortunate to get my hands on a MkIII at the weekend, so armed with this, a 1DMkIIN, a EF300 f2.8L IS and a EF300 f4, I decided to try this focus thing out for myself.

My young niece obliged as the athlete. Wearing white against a green background, she ran towards me from a distance of 30m. Both cameras were set up identically and I shot ~20 frames in AIServo mode with focus being on her face. Conditions were bright and sunny with temp ~24C

Both the 1DMkIIN and 1DMkIII had a hit rate of every other frame in focus using the EF 300 f4.
The 1DMkIIN dropped about 1 in 8 frames with the EF 300 f2.8, while the 1DMkIII dropped about 1 in 5 frames.

Admittedly, the test methods were less than ideal as I was hand holding the rig using IS and ~1/1250 shutter, but I can honestly say the 1DMkIII was a bigger step up from the 1DMKIIN than I had originally thought. It sure does shoot rapidly, my 1DMkIIN seemed buffer restricted by comparison. Furthermore initial focus aquistion was much faster.

As a budding "bird in flight" photographer, I can honestly see the 1DMkIII being a major advantage, once they AF is sorted.

Unfortunately I had to give the MKIII back, but over the next couple of weeks, I may get the opportunity to pitch the MkIIN and MkIII against each other, while photography birds of prey in flight. I'll keep you all posted.
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  #19  
Old July 27th, 2007, 01:32 PM
Nill Toulme Nill Toulme is offline
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"Canon Discusses Reasons Behind Mark III Firmware Update"

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  #20  
Old July 27th, 2007, 01:54 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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John,

Since you are interested in "Birds in Flight" as one area where the 1DIII increased buffer and claimed better focus and tracking might be be perfect, what do you think of the Arthur Morris' report here ?

Asher
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  #21  
Old July 27th, 2007, 02:50 PM
John_Nevill John_Nevill is offline
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Asher, to be honest I scan read AMs report, as my head's been tucked into his ABPII for the last week or so, along with 1000 other things.

I wasn't surprised to read that Arthur suggested a prefocus AF technique of sorts, as the AF aquisition of the MkIII seemed almost too fast and jittery (in the sense of over eager).

Clearly the custom function tweaks will enable one to get the best out of the camera for a specified task.

Equally, there's no doubt that many users may need to adapt their technique, i've learnt to shoot sharp full frame eagles in flight (straight raw, no pp tweaks whatsoever) with a 5D (it took a while mind). So I guess within a few months people will learn to adapt and the MKIII will be a killer dSLR.

As for AM's new book, its a must read. You get two versions (single and spread) on one dvd and its jammed packed with worked examples.
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  #22  
Old July 27th, 2007, 03:05 PM
Joseph A. Kurkjian Joseph A. Kurkjian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John_Nevill View Post
I was fortunate to get my hands on a MkIII at the weekend, so armed with this, a 1DMkIIN, a EF300 f2.8L IS and a EF300 f4, I decided to try this focus thing out for myself.

My young niece obliged as the athlete. Wearing white against a green background, she ran towards me from a distance of 30m. Both cameras were set up identically and I shot ~20 frames in AIServo mode with focus being on her face. Conditions were bright and sunny with temp ~24C

Both the 1DMkIIN and 1DMkIII had a hit rate of every other frame in focus using the EF 300 f4.
The 1DMkIIN dropped about 1 in 8 frames with the EF 300 f2.8, while the 1DMkIII dropped about 1 in 5 frames.

Admittedly, the test methods were less than ideal as I was hand holding the rig using IS and ~1/1250 shutter, but I can honestly say the 1DMkIII was a bigger step up from the 1DMKIIN than I had originally thought. It sure does shoot rapidly, my 1DMkIIN seemed buffer restricted by comparison. Furthermore initial focus aquistion was much faster.

As a budding "bird in flight" photographer, I can honestly see the 1DMkIII being a major advantage, once they AF is sorted.

Unfortunately I had to give the MKIII back, but over the next couple of weeks, I may get the opportunity to pitch the MkIIN and MkIII against each other, while photography birds of prey in flight. I'll keep you all posted.
Hi John:

Sounds like you had a lot of fun! I have a suggestion for you to think about for your next "hands on" preview. Maybe you could just get a friend to drive a car towards you at a fixed velocity; this approach "can be" a very repeatable. I had a friend do the same for me when I was comparing the 30D against the 1DmkII and it worked out very well because we could try out tracking various pre-determined car velocities. The only thing I wish I had done in advance of the car tests was to print out a resolution test target and tape in on the front of the car (oh well, next time). Anyway I don't think you want to get too dependent on a niece for testing cameras; she could be out on a date or later on get married, have babies, and of course the worst case long term scenario is she will REALLY slow down in her sixties. :-)

The problem I have with shooting runners coming towards you as a "test bed" is experienced fast runners have their head and shoulders forward of the waist or chest and most folks will AF somewhere on the chest or waist because they represent large target areas for easy manual aiming of the AF point; unfortunately, this means as the runner gets closer to the camera the head will be OOF when a fast (e.g. f/2.8) lens is used because of the small DOF.

Hand and arms flopping in/out of the AF aiming area is another factor in favor of using a target other than a human runner; of course the liability of flopping hands depends on specific AF settings. That said, I can certainly see why photographer that earn a living shooting human runners would prefer to test a camera using human runners; I mean, why not, you would want to test the camera's ability to ignore flopping arms that interrupt AF tracking.

Joe

Last edited by Joseph A. Kurkjian; July 27th, 2007 at 03:08 PM. Reason: clarification
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  #23  
Old July 27th, 2007, 06:24 PM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph A. Kurkjian View Post
Maybe you could just get a friend to drive a car towards you at a fixed velocity; this approach "can be" a very repeatable.
Exactly, what's needed to nail actual AF performance is calibration!

Quote:
The only thing I wish I had done in advance of the car tests was to print out a resolution test target and tape in on the front of the car (oh well, next time).
It would certainly help, although its size would change/'improve' with proximity. I've already posted a link to IMHO a good test target that a.) wouldn't trip the AF sensors and b.) even provides a means for quantification (although for distant subjects it might need larger printing than 100x100 mm at the indicated PPI, for the AF sensors to unambiguously pick it up): Test target for 600 PPI, or 720 PPI printers.

Quote:
Anyway I don't think you want to get too dependent on a niece for testing cameras; she could be out on a date or later on get married, have babies, and of course the worst case long term scenario is she will REALLY slow down in her sixties. :-)
ROTFLOL

Quote:
Hand and arms flopping in/out of the AF aiming area is another factor in favor of using a target other than a human runner; of course the liability of flopping hands depends on specific AF settings. That said, I can certainly see why photographer that earn a living shooting human runners would prefer to test a camera using human runners; I mean, why not, you would want to test the camera's ability to ignore flopping arms that interrupt AF tracking.
You've understood the underlying issue quite well. There's a huge variety of subjects from fighter jets, to birds in flight, to sports runners, to crawling infants, all at different approach angles, and stationary subjects, at various shooting distances, that may/should require a human intelligent setting of AF parameters.

Bart
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  #24  
Old July 27th, 2007, 08:26 PM
Ed Cordes Ed Cordes is offline
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So, this is the first time Chuck W. has spoken about the AF issue. While he is paid to say the party line he is also a man of integrity. So, apparently Canon and Chuck feel the basic AF system is good. They must feel the cameras that have had serious issues must just be part of a few bad ones?
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  #25  
Old July 30th, 2007, 07:10 AM
Steve Saunders Steve Saunders is offline
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Can't be too long now for the FW uodate to become available.
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  #26  
Old July 31st, 2007, 04:38 AM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Cordes View Post
So, this is the first time Chuck W. has spoken about the AF issue. While he is paid to say the party line he is also a man of integrity. So, apparently Canon and Chuck feel the basic AF system is good.
Not necessarily. Maybe the underlying issue is not yet understood well enough to comment on. In his monthly TechTips issue for this month Chuck says:"By the way, I'll have more on EOS-1D Mark III autofocusing in the next edition of Tech Tips". So maybe more will be known by then, maybe he'll just share tips how to set the parameters for different types of subjects, we'll have to wait and see.

Bart
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