Save 15% On Excire Foto Software With Code: EXCIRE-EP

Bring back eye-controlled AF?

zogfield 14 54 United Kingdom
15 Mar 2009 2:44PM
Anyone know why digital SLRs have never adopted the old eye-controlled focusing systems of the older EOS bodies like the EOS 5, 50E etc?

Surely such technology (first implemented in 1992) could be incorporated into the latest DSLRs? I for one miss the old eye-controlled focusing & would rather have that than some of the latest gimmicky features...
User_Removed 18 455 13 United Kingdom
15 Mar 2009 3:41PM
I liked it, although it was never that good with glasses and did need quite a bit of setting up and practice. Once working it was an excellent idea.

I think it was one of those things that not may people actually used, though, and some saw as one of those 'gimmicky features'. I would guess Canon did their research before they dropped it (although they don' t listen to the need for a simple mirror lock-up button, so maybe not).

Hazelmouse 15 379 United Kingdom
15 Mar 2009 5:05PM
I liked it too, but other people seemed to think it was no good. Took some getting used to but I am pleased to see some other people would like to see it used again.
Little Jo 20 2.3k United Kingdom
15 Mar 2009 10:15PM
I don't think there will be a return of eye control AF until new battery technologies allow for more efficient power sources. Battery power is an issue with DSLRs and that is a major factor.

Carabosse 18 41.8k 270 England
15 Mar 2009 10:16PM
As I recall Canon was asked about this, a couple of years back, and said they had no plans to bring it back.
16 Mar 2009 2:19PM
I have an EOS 5 in the cupboard and got on moderately well with eye-controlled focus - although it didn't seem to like my contact lenses....

Another really neat trick the EOS 5 did that I haven't seen since was the three click depth-of-field mode.
Click 1 - center focus point on nearest bit you want sharp
Click 2 - center focus point on furthest bit you want sharp
Click 3 - take the shot
It set the aperture and focus distance needed to achieve the desired depth of field - flippin brilliant!
It was probably ditched as being over-complicated for most users, but to my mind it's no worse than auto-bracketting.
Also, the info screens on a modern digital could make it much more obvious what is going on.
Mr_Tog 13 48 United Kingdom
16 Mar 2009 3:48PM
That was good. Shame they dropped it.
User_Removed 18 455 13 United Kingdom
17 Mar 2009 6:51AM
I can't say I have used it, Duncan, but isn't what you describe the same as the A-DEP mode - Depth of Field mode - that Canon still have? It's on the 40D and was on the 350D. I think it's standard.

strawman 18 22.2k 16 United Kingdom
17 Mar 2009 9:07AM
Yes A-dep replaced the mode you mention. Eye control, I never found it reliable and it bugs the heck out of me if the AF points as I look around the frame to check for distracting elements. So I do not miss eye control.

Also check out how much your eye moves to give you a view, it scans, so as AF points become more dense it gets harder to use.
17 Mar 2009 9:11AM
Morning! I'm afraid it isn't..
The label on the dial is DEP, they changed what it does with A-DEP.
Have a look at page 45 of the manual

More recent EOS cameras try to get everything covered by the focus points in focus - which I've never used as it never seems to be the same bits of the photo I want in focus.
Have a look at page 91 of the manual
zogfield 14 54 United Kingdom
17 Mar 2009 12:24PM
The eye control only came on when the shutter button was half pressed didn't it? Therefore you could scan the frame first to compose the shot then just half press to finally focus...
strawman 18 22.2k 16 United Kingdom
17 Mar 2009 12:26PM
It is so easy to move the focus point with the little joy stick why bother?
User_Removed 18 455 13 United Kingdom
17 Mar 2009 7:05PM
I can see strawman's point that it would be impossible to make eye control work consistently with more AF points. It was fun at the time though and useful once it was calibrated.
bradleysmith 17 157 United Kingdom
19 Mar 2009 11:46AM
I agree with strawman except when wearing gloves when it becomes difficult to fiddle with any button other than the shutter. I guess ECF could be useful in that case but when I had my EOS 5 it was never reliable. I think it was a case of having a technology and trying to find a use for it rather than photographers screaming out for the feature.
JohnHoppy 12 5 United Kingdom
4 Apr 2009 8:58PM
I'm amazed so many seem to have had problems with Eye Control. I used it all the time on my EOS30 and thought it one of the most brilliant innovations of the past 20 years. No probs with spectacles either. As to moving joysticks and pressing buttons - why, when Eye Control was so immediate and (for me anyway) trouble-free? I'd buy a Canon again if they brought it back but Canon don't appear to be good listeners. Maybe Olympus could be persuaded.

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.