With the recent release of firmware V 2.03 for Canon’s flagship sports and wildlife camera, the EOS 1DX, the camera’s already-excellent autofocus system has taken another step forward, with enhancements to both performance, and configurability. Before this firmware update, the 1DX already had the best autofocus in any Canon camera. Although the 1DX shares its AF sensor with the Canon EOS 5Dmk3, it outperforms the smaller camera, mainly due to greater processing power coming from its additional Digic 5+, as well as it’s higher-voltage power supply. The 1DX also uses information from it’s more sophisticated metering system to aid autofocus calculations.
With the new firmware in place, additional autofocus parameter options mean the 1DX is further differentiated from the Canon 5Dmk3 AF system. This guide refers to the 1DX although there will be much relevance for users of the 5Dmk3. Most of the settings and information in this post are directly related to Ai Servo focus operation rather than One Shot focus, and photography of subjects that may be moving.
Getting to understand the autofocus capabilities and set-up of the 1DX can take a little time, depending on which cameras you may have been using before you came to it.
It is quite feasible to just use the 1DX with its Ai Servo parameters set at Default, with spectacularly good results. However, writing as a wildlife photographer with a liking for moving subjects, there is much benefit to be gained from exploring just how well the camera can be fine-tuned for different AF scenarios involving action.
For me, getting the most from the 1DX AF system involves changing certain parameters for different situations. I have no magic combination of settings that I find ideal for every kind of moving subject that I photograph, and I also find that different lenses and focal lengths are important factors in how I set up my camera. I also set up my cameras so that I am able to quickly access the relevant AF menus and parameters, making the necessary changes quick and painless. When making adjustments to the 1DX AF parameters in order to learn what they do, I find it helpful to change just one parameter at any one time. That way I am able to understand better the changes brought about by each individual slider rather than changing several at once.
There are several groups of settings that affect different elements of the autofocus system. These settings are all found in the different tabs under the pink/purple AF menu tab on the 1DX menu.
Three parameters which have a powerful impact on how the AF points behave in terms of responsiveness, interaction and speed are clustered together under the AF Configuration Tool. By grouping these three parameters in this way, Canon have created 6 presets, which they call AF Cases. With the new firmware V2.03, two of the three parameters have had their range of settings expanded.
In an earlier post on the 1DX and 5D3 autofocus, I described how I prefer to copy those three parameters into the My Menu tab, where I can access them quickly and easily. I don’t find that the AF Case presets necessarily match my own choice of settings as a wildlife photographer. While it is possible to go into a Case and modify any or all of the parameters, I found this time consuming in the field.
I fully appreciate that for many shooters, the AF Cases do the trick, and make things easy, which is after all, what they are designed by Canon to do. Given that I will be fully describing each parameter and what it does on its own, I will not be working through the AF Cases nor trying to relate them to wildlife.
In order to set up my own, custom menu with these AF parameters, I go to the green tab My Menu, and choose the option, Register to My Menu.
Doing this brings up the all the menu items in a vertical list, and I scroll down until I get to those three AF parameters, that are grouped together in the AF cases. They are Tracking Sensitivity, Accel./decel. tracking, and AF pt auto switching. Pressing the Set button will select each parameter, and copy it into your own My Menu tab. Do that for all three of these parameters.
It takes longer to write up these steps for setting up My Menu than to actually do it on the camera, but I am detailing them clearly, as I am getting many requests from 1DX users who are finding the AF system setup a little intimidating.
Once this is done, merely choosing My Menu will bring up the three AF parameters, along with any other of the menu settings that you might wish to have rapid access to. You can display a maximum of 6 menu items in My Menu.
This setting controls how long the camera will ‘wait’ before refocusing, when a new subject/object moves between the camera, and the original subject that was being tracked by the active AF point. It is one of the most important of the AF parameter adjustments for most wildlife photographers. The adjustment slider has 5 different positions, with the default setting on 0. Firmware V.0.3 brings no changes to this slider.
An example to illustrate how Tracking sensitivity works, might take the form of a flying bird, which you are following with your active AF point placed on the bird. In its flight, the bird passes between a tree that is between the camera and the bird, and it is obscured, for a moment. If you keep on following the birds motion, which you must, the active AF point will temporarily now be placed on the tree. With this setting on Responsive +2, it is quite likely that the camera will instantly lock focus on the tree. Conversely with the setting on Locked-On -2, it is likely that the camera will hold off from refocusing for some time, without attempting to refocus, which may be long enough that when the bird comes out from behind the tree, it is still focused on its earlier lock, and hopefully the bird will not have moved much further away. This should then allow the bird to be clearly seen in the viewfinder and tracked again more easily.
Another example of when the Locked-On settings will be helpful, is when tracking a fast moving subject with an active AF point on the subject, and you accidentally allow the AF point to slip off the subject. It can easily happen that it locks onto the background before you are able to rectify your mistake whilst getting your AF point back on the target. With Tracking sensitivity set to -1 or -2, there will be more time available to relocate the subject, without having the camera lose focus completely or lock onto a distant background.
I find that I several factors may influence when I make changes to the Tracking sensitivity setting, with lens focal length being an important one.
When I am using lenses with focal length of 400mm and above, it can happen that with Tracking sensitivity set to 0, that I may find that I am dropping the focus point off the subject and onto the background, too often. In such instances, I will typically set Tracking sensitivity to -1. That is usually enough to stabilize the AF point on my subject for longer. I have even used settings of -2 at times, although that was only with 600mm or 800mm lenses. Set like that, tracking sensitivity on Locked-on -1 or -2, will help with keeping the active AF point focused at the subject distance whilst tracking. This can help prevent the AF locking onto the background. When that happens with very long focal length lenses, the image in the viewfinder can become so blurred that it is not possible to make out where the subject is, and it usually becomes impossible to relocate the subject in time. When this happens, it can make using long focal length lenses very frustrating, and the 1DX very effective AF tracking sensitivity adjustment goes a long way towards eliminating this.
With shorter lenses, and focal lengths of 300mm or less, I find that I can comfortably leave Tracking sensitivity on 0. At these focal length ranges, the amount of defocus is not usually so great that you cannot still see the subject in the viewfinder, and then it is easy enough to get the AF point back on the subject. Again, if I find that I am frequently getting focused on background or foreground whilst tracking, I may move Tracking sensitivity to -1.
When I first read a description of what Tracking sensitivity does when moved towards Locked On, I wondered to myself why I would not want it set up on -1 or -2 all the time. I mean, having my AF point stay on target for longer sounds ideal, right? And Tracking sensitivity adjustment is not only found on the 1DX and 5Dmk3. The setting can be found in the 70D, 6D, 7D, 1Dmk4, 1Dmk3 and 1DSmk3. On those cameras, it felt to me that setting AF tracking to the minus side of the slider did indeed keep the AF point from refocusing quickly, but it also slowed down overall AF response which I didn’t like. On any of those cameras, I don’t go more than one click left of the middle, to minimise this slowdown.
I find that with the 1DX, I am unable to notice any slowdown in re-acquiring or acquiring initial AF, regardless of where I have Tracking sensitivity set. That said, I usually keep it at 0 for shorter focal lengths, and then between -1 and-2 with long lenses if necessary.
Canon literature mentions that setting Tracking sensitivity to the Locked-On -1 or -2 settings, may result in the AF taking longer to re-acquire focus if focus is lost. Canon also state that initial AF acquisition is not affected by setting Tracking sensitivity to -1 or -2.
This parameter affects how the AF deals with the movement of subjects, with the system either being prioritized for predictable, steady, constant speed or rapid, erratic movement in multiple directions. With firmware V2.03, this parameter has been expanded from a 3 position slider to a 5 position slider, with 0 being the middle position. Most of the wildlife subjects that I photograph are unpredictable when it comes to speed and direction. It is also normal for them to change how fast they are moving. When evaluating the speed of your subject, it is important to take into account the direction of the subjects travel. If a subject is coming towards me, I have to be aware of the relative increase in speed that will occur as that subject gets closer to me and passes you by. As I like trying to shoot fast-moving subjects, I typically leave the Accelerate/Decelerate setting on 0 or +1. The +2 setting is for subjects that are changing speed and size in the frame, significantly between consecutive frames. For me typical examples of such subjects would be fast-flying birds, like bee-eaters, or African wild dogs at play. So far I have not found a need to go as far as +2 with the 1DX, although I have frequently used that +2 setting with the 5Dmk3.
The -1 and -2 settings are newly added with firmware V.2.03, and they make the AF more stable when working with subjects that are moving slower, or at a constant speed. As someone who prefers keeping my cameras in Ai Servo most of the time, selecting -1 or -2 means that I can optimize AF performance on occasions when I am photographing subjects that are not moving around too quickly. I might choose to do this when my subjects where not changing their location too much from frame to frame.
It would appear that both the Tracking Sensitivity and Accelerate/Decelerate parameters have similar effects, but there is a difference. Canon literature states that Tracking Sensitivity deals with how quickly the camera reacts to major changes in what the AF point sees, whereas the Accelerate/Decelerate minus settings adjust the AF systems response to minor changes in what the active AF point is seeing.
AF Point Auto Switching
This parameter is perhaps less complex in its function than some of the others. Also, nothing has changed with it since the new firmware has been implemented. It is only relevant if you are shooting with one of the AF point groupings that utilize more than a single AF point. There are four such AF area modes available on the 1DX, and they are Expand AF area (1 point+4), Expand AF area Surround (1 point+8), Zone AF and Auto Select AF (61 point). When you are shooting any one of those AF modes, there may be situations where the AF point that held initial focus is no longer on the subject, due to subject movement or camera movement. In such instances the camera then hands focus over to the next AF point which detects the subject. This parameter, AF Point Auto Switching, determines how quickly or slowly that handover from one AF point to the next, takes place. On the 1DX I have not had need to move this setting beyond 0 which is the default setting.
AF Menu, AF 2
Ai Servo Release (Speed) and Focus Priority
Moving to the right on the 1DX AF menu brings up the second tab, which deals with timing in a general way. Here, I can choose whether my camera fires as quickly as possible between frames, or whether it allow more time for focus to take place. Neither of these two AF parameters are linked to the AF Cases and these adjustments will not affect them nor be affected by them. With firmware V. 2.03 the settings that control just how this is applied, have been expanded for the 2nd Image Priority adjustments only.
Ai Servo 1st Image Priority
The first menu item here deals with Ai Servo shooting, and the very first image that you take in a burst, only. Pressing the Set button whilst Ai Servo 1st image priority is highlighted, will take you into the adjustment screen. Nothing on this screen or slider are changed from the earlier firmware.
This parameter controls how much time is allowed for focus to take place before the shutter fires, but applies only to the first image in a burst. The options on the slider go from Release on the left, to Focus on the right.
Moving the slider left, to the Release position, will limit how much time the camera will allow for focus to take place before the image is taken. The amount of time allowed will only be that which is needed for the camera to fire at its selected frame rate, which may be anything up to 12 frames per second. With the slider in the Release position, focus tracking will take place (there seems to be some confusion amongst some users whether focus takes place, which it always does), but, once the allocated time is up, the camera will fire the shutter regardless of whether focus was confirmed or not.
Moving the slider all the way to the right, to the Focus position, will mean that in Ai Servo, the camera will allow as much time as needed for focus tracking to confirm BEFORE it allows the shutter to fire. In reality, what this can mean is that in difficult focus conditions, such as subjects and backgrounds that are similar, or very high speed movement, or very low light, the frame rate of the camera may slow down to allow the extra focusing time.
Simply stated, focus tracking takes place for both the Release option or the Focus option, but with Focus, more time is allowed when needed. Again, it should be remembered that the setting you choose on this screen applies to the first image in a burst only. Your own preferences may differ according to your choice of subject matter and your own shooting style, but for me, I choose Release as my first image option. I know with Release enabled, that I am able to get off my first shot quickly, and with little hesitation. Whilst setting the option to Focus priority is likely to increase the percentage of in-focus first images, it can also increase the amount of time that it takes to get the first shot off. Canon recommend the use of the Focus priority setting in very low light situations.
The middle option on this screen is a balance between the two extremes.
(The settings and parameters for Ai Servo 1/2nd image priority here should not be confused with the 1DX ability to fire at 14 fps when set to jpg quality and with no AF focus tracking taking place between frames at all – a rather bizarre feature which I have no use for).
Ai Servo 2nd Image Priority
The second menu item on this AF 2 tab deals with Ai Servo shooting, and the timing versus focus priority for the second image and every subsequent one in a burst. Once you lift your finger up off the shutter button, it signals the end of that burst, (and 2nd Image setting), and the next image taken will then be the first image in what the camera sees as a new burst.
With two separate sets of controlling sliders, Canon make it possible for you to configure your camera AF timing exactly to your own liking, and to tailor it to different AF shooting situations.
With firmware V.2.03, the Ai Servo 2nd image priority slider has expanded on both ends, with 5 positions now to choose from (as opposed to only 3 with the earlier firmware or the 5Dmk3).
With this slider, you are again choosing how much time is allowed for focus to take place between each frame in a burst, after the first image (the timing of which is controlled by Ai Servo 1st Image Priority setting).
Moving the slider to the left, to the Release position, limits how much time the camera allows for focus to occur before the image is taken. The time allowed being only what is needed for the camera to fire at its selected frame rate (which may be anything up to 12 frames per second). In the Release position, focus tracking will still take place, (as it always does). The difference is that one the allocated time is up, the camera will fire the shutter regardless of whether focus is confirmed or not.
Moving the slider all the way toward Focus, +2, will result in focus being heavily prioritized with every frame from the second one onwards in an Ai Servo burst. The camera will delay firing until it confirms focus, or as close to it as it can come. This should result in more in-focus shots in a burst. However, choosing the +2 option can also result in the 1DX slowing down during a burst, and the frame rate changing. This may happen in response to difficult conditions where it is difficult for Ai Servo AF to confirm focus and is perfectly normal. If you are not accustomed to it, it may feel as if the camera is lagging behind the shutter release. Canon recommend the use of this +2 setting for very low light situations, to improve tracking accuracy. The male lion image below this text serves as a good example of the low light prowess of the 1DX. Even though the pre-dawn light was almost non-existent, it locked onto the lions eye using a single AF point instantly.
The in-between settings on the slider, which are -1,0 and +1, are fairly straightforward to understand, with 0 being an equal balance between release speed and focus priority.
I find that for my own shooting preferences, I tend toward opting for the 0 choice here with the 1DX, or I may move to +1 if I find that I am getting too many shots from bursts that are not properly focused. The camera is so fast that I don’t mind if ultimate speed is not maintained, as I still end up with more in-focus frames when I am using the 1DX than I do with any other Canon dslr.
AF Menu AF 4
There are several menu items in the AF 4 screen that I find important to my style of shooting.
The first item in this row is labelled ‘Auto AF Point Selection: EOS iTR AF.’ This setting enables intelligent tracking, which is effective only when using the Auto 61 point AF option. Choosing ON will mean that the AF system will attempt face detection as well as make use of colour information from the meter to aid AF tracking. As I don’t often personally use the Automatic 61 pt AF option, preferring to have more control over where my camera focuses, I set this to OFF.
‘Lens Drive when AF is impossible’ is the next menu item moving down. I choose to set that to ON. What this setting does is keep the AF drive going even when the lens has become so deeply out of focus, that the subject may be difficult to see, for the AF and through the viewfinder. This is something that tends to be more relevant for very long focal length lenses, like 500mm and over. Switching it to OFF may result in the lens drive stopping if it becomes deeply defocused, with the idea that it is better to have it stop instead of hunting back and forth. I find that a bit unsettling, and prefer to keep the lens drive active, and do my part to keep the lens focused on something big and with lots of contrast that may be close to the subject, even if I cannot locate the subject itself immediately.
‘Selectable AF Point’ – pressing Set here will take you into a screen of options. The EOS 1DX has 61 AF points. This provides quite extensive coverage of the frame.
Selecting this option will mean that all 61 are available for you to select from. The centre point, along with the two above and two below it, are ultra-precise diagonal cross-type points, that function as such when paired with an f2.8 or faster lens. There is an extensive list in the 1DX manual (and 5dmk3) of exactly which points function as cross-type and non-cross type with which lenses.
Selecting this option will mean that only the more sensitive cross-type points are available. There are 41 cross type points. Note that some coverage is lost, most importantly on the left and right sides of the AF grid. All other things being equal, cross-type AF points should be more accurate than non-cross types which are disabled in this option. Having fewer points also means it is easier to move around the grid.
Selecting either 15 or 9 AF points from the menu, reduces the number of points and coverage even further. With fewer steps to make between points, it becomes easier to move the AF point from one part of the frame to another, although the 15 and 9 pt options reduce coverage of the frame significantly, especially toward the edges.
In my own shooting, I tend to keep all 61 available or sometimes just the 41 cross-types, when I might need to move about the grid a bit faster.
AF Area Selection Modes
Pressing Set on this menu item will take you into the next screen, which displays all 6 different AF areas available. As these different ways of utilizing the AF points can be very advantageous for action photography, I will go through each mode describing advantages and disadvantages as I experience them. In the controlling screen shown below, it is possible to enable or disable any of the modes that you might not like using. That way, you can minimize time spent cycling through options that you don’t normally use.
Spot AF is the first option, which is a single point, shown on the rear screen, and inside the viewfinder, as a black square with a circle within.
With Spot AF, the actual size of the active part of the single AF sensor is reduced. It has it’s main use in situations where there may be a lot of distracting structure around the subject, as in shooting between blades of grass or bushes. It is a precise AF mode, but as the size of the active sensor is quite small, it will usually not be the best choice for fast moving subjects, and it is easy to drop tracking of a moving subject using this mode. Also, the name Spot AF is unfortunate, as it creates confusion with Spot Metering, which is an entirely different thing. In Spot AF, the active point is chosen by the user, and moved manually one step at a time.
Single point AF or one point AF, employs a single, normal-sized point that offers accurate and precise AF. On the rear screen, and in the viewfinder, it shows as a single, empty square. I use it all the time, for everything I photograph. Using Single pt AF, I can be almost certain that if I get the point positioned correctly on the subject, I will get a sharp result. With only a single point to read data from, Ai Servo AF response is also rapid. Drawbacks to using Single point AF are only that it can take a long time to shift the selected point from one side of the grid to the other. I also sometimes find it difficult to pick up birds against a sky background with just the single point. If I do manage to get the single point onto such a subject quickly, I usually get good results. In Single pt AF, the active point is chosen by the user, and moved manually one step at a time.
AF Point expansion (four surrounding points) displays in the viewfinder and on the rear screen as a single, empty square, with four black squares each containing a circle within, surrounding it. Using this AF mode means that I can choose an AF point, and focus will begin with the point that I have selected, wherever that may be on the grid. The active point shows in the grid as the empty square. Focus will continue with my original point, until I move it off the target, when focus should be handed over to the surrounding points. This can be a good balance between precise AF performance and some additional coverage, which can help with moving subjects especially. A disadvantage is that it can take a while to move from one side of the grid to the other. With AF point expansion (4) the active point is chosen by the user, and moved manually one step at a time.
AF Point expansion (eight surrounding points) displays in the viewfinder and on the rear screen as a single, empty square, with eight black squares each containing a circle within, surrounding it. Using this AF mode means that I can choose an AF point, and focus will begin with the point that I have selected, wherever that may be on the grid. The active point in the group shows as the empty square. Focus will continue with my original point, until I move it off the target, when focus should be handed over to the surrounding points. Whilst this option offers quite expansive coverage, I find it a little slower in response when compared with AF Point Expansion (4 points) . It also suffers a little in that it can take a while to move from one side of the grid to the other. With AF point expansion (8) the active point is chosen by the user, and moved manually one step at a time.
Zone AF displays in the viewfinder and rear screen as a group of 9 AF points, with each black square containing a circle. While it looks similar at first to AF Expansion (8Pts), there are big differences. With AF Zone, I can choose where I place the block of AF points, but the camera will choose which AF point gets focus from those in the group. In the viewfinder, I can see which point has found focus, as the inner circle within the square disappears. With AF Zone have control over where I wish to place the group of points. I find AF Zone to be very useful for focusing larger subjects, as well as for birds against a clear sky. Unlike 61 point AF, with AF Zone I can control where I place the group of points. AF Zone is not always the best choice when I am very close to a subject, as it is not as precise as Single point AF. It works best when I have a little more depth of field. With AF Zone, moving the block of AF points around the grid is very quick, as it moves a whole block at a time. With AF Zone, the active AF point is chosen by the camera, and the cluster of points moved manually, one whole block of points at a time.
Auto Select 61 Point AF displays in the viewfinder and the rear screen as small empty squares, with the selected or active AF point showing as a larger empty square. Using Auto Select 61 pt means that I can choose where focus begins by manually selecting any AF point. The active point in the group shows as the empty square. Focus will continue with my original point, until I move it off the target, or the target moves, at which point will then be handed over to the surrounding points. The Auto Select 61 pt option offers quite expansive coverage, and is generally at its best when tracking bigger subjects, or subjects with lots of contrast, against backgrounds that are very different to the subject, which makes AF easier. Birds flying in a clear sky are an example. A drawback of using Auto Select 61 pt AF is that focus may not always lock on the part of the subject that I want to have in focus. To make use of Canon’s iTR (intelligent tracking function), which is designed to work with Auto Select af 61, make sure to turn the setting ‘Auto AF pt sel: EOS iTR to ON,’ from the AF menu AF 4, as detailed in the text above. At the time of writing, I have not found iTR to be that useful for style of wildlife photography. When focus tracking with Auto Select AF 61 and iTR on, it is possible that AF response may be slowed slightly under certain difficult AF conditions. With Auto Select AF 61 pt, the initial AF point can be manually chosen by the user, and then further tracking will take place with the camera choosing the AF point.
To switching between these different AF areas whilst shooting, it simply done by just pressing in the AF button which is located on the top right of the back of the 1DX, and identified by a white cross symbol inside a white square. It is not necessary to hold this button in, pressing and letting it go activates the M.Fn button for about two seconds.
After pushing the AF button once, within a couple of seconds, press the small M.Fn button which is located right beside the shutter release. This will cycle you through all of the AF area options that you have enabled for your camera.
Returning to the AF 4 menu, and more changes that firmware V.2.03 brings to the 1DX, can be found with the ‘Orientation linked AF point feature.’
Orientation linked AF point is a feature that allows users to register a particular AF point and AF area (like Single, Expanded or Zone) in one location for horizontal shooting, and then another AF point and AF area in another location, for vertical shooting. Once this is done, simply rotating the camera in the hand from horizontal to vertical will cause the active AF point to switch to the location and AF area that was selected in the Orientation screen.
With the new firmware, there are now expanded options that control whether changing the AF area for one orientation automatically does so for the other, or they remain separated. Given that there is not very much predictability with the wildlife subjects that I shoot, I prefer to not make use of the orientation linked AF point feature and keep it disabled.
‘Initial AF pt, Ai Servo AF’ is new for firmware V2.03, and relates entirely to the use of Auto Select 61 pt AF. If you are shooting with any of the AF area modes where you are selecting the location of the AF point, like Spot AF, Single pt Af and Expand AF, and you switch quickly to Auto Select 61 Pt AF, you can now choose one option (Manual) whereby the location of your last AF point in one of the other AF areas is carried through to become the new AF starting point location in Auto Select 61 Pt.
Opting for the alternative setting will discard the location of the point in the earlier AF area mode, and require you to select one AF point for 61 pt tracking to begin focusing with. With these new settings, it becomes possible to switch to Auto Select 61 Pt AF from another AF area mode without having to relocate your last focus point, and this can be accomplished without looking away from the viewfinder.
AF Menu AF 5
The first four items in the AF 5 menu really do not have any effect on how the 1DX AF behaves, but are there to enable users to set up the AF point display in the viewfinder, to their own liking. Getting it right for your own preferences is simply a matter of trying each option, looking through the viewfinder, and making your choices. When I shoot with a 1DX I typically configure screen and AF point view as selected in the image above this text.
Using the Multi-controller for AF point selection
With the 1DX, as well as the 5Dmk3, it is possible to select or change AF points by means of the multi-controller which is the little joystick that is located to the top right of the rear LCD, on the back of the camera. In default setup, you first have to press the AF button on the far right on the back of the camera in order to activate the multi-controller. If, like me, you would prefer to do away with that extra step, just go to the orange C.Fn menu, find Custom Controls and select the symbol for the multi-controller, which is the very bottom right of the list of controls.
Choose the AF symbol as shown in the image above, and press Set. Now, the multi-controller will be activated for direct operation. Just touch the camera shutter to make sure the camera is switched on, and the multi-controller can be used directly to select the AF point, without having to first push the AF button. This makes moving the AF point that much less time consuming and more intuitive.
The 1DX has the most powerful AF system put into any Canon camera at the time of writing, and it is expanded and enhanced with firmware V2.03. It is very effective, even in the Default settings. However, there are so many ways to tailor it for specific AF scenarios, that it is well worth a little effort in getting to understand what it can do.
It is also important to remember that the photographer’s tracking skills and technique play a big role in how effective a camera like the 1DX can be. For many photographers, including myself, practising my subject tracking skills is something I need to do often, or else my success rates go down.
I don’t seek to present myself here as any kind of all-knowing expert on the AF system, but rather a wildlife photographer who gets to shoot a whole lot with a wide variety of subject matter. As such, I am happy to share what I have learned about the camera’s autofocus system so far. I can honestly say without any doubt, that each time I use the 1DX for action photography, I come away with more properly focused shots than with any other Canon camera.