Gear General Shoots

Canon R5 Animal Eye Autofocus – Good or Gimmick?

I have used many camera’s over the years and nearly all have promised excellent autofocus for photography, even the Panasonic GH5’s autofocus is quick and accurate on slow moving subjects when using native lenses! but fast tracking forget it!

Then along came the Canon R5/6 with its quoted super fast animal eye autofocus.

So how good it is in real life or is it all just hype? well the answer is quite simple, its unbelievable!

Rather than just say that and not qualify it I set about doing a little test, lab test are one thing but a real world test on a subject we can all relate too is far better.

Meet Frankie! an 8 month old Border Collie!

Probably one of the happiest dogs you will meet, oh and one of the liveliest as well!!!

To try the autofocus we got Frankie’s favourite toy and threw it for him to chase.

I was armed with the Canon R5 using the Electronic shutter with animal eye tracking enabled, the drive mode was highspeed so that’s 20 FPS in CRAW.

To really see the focus system working at its best you need to use a super fast lens, there aren’t much better or faster lenses than the RF70-200 F2.8 so that’s what we used.

Then to make it as hard as possible the lens was set to 200mm at F2.8 so the depth of field was extremely shallow! (as you can see!)

Below is a set of 20 images (one second in real time).

Amazingly in this set of images only one image is a ‘little’ soft!!!!

Below is a full resolution image (45MP).

Click to view the 45MP Original file! (Large download)

This camera truly is outstanding at this kind of photography! If you are used to a DSLR and thinking about jumping to mirrorless you will not be disappointed, these new camera’s are phenomenal!

Camera Firmware Ver:1.5.1

General Music Shoots

Billy Pilgrim Video Released

Colour TV’s Official Music Video for Billy Pilgrim is scheduled for release at 10pm on Friday the 11th Feb.

Filmed on the 16th January 2022 at three locations in Cornwall.

A little bit of BTS filmed by the lads. Jack (lead Guitar) playing with my R5 on the Ronin… No i didn’t see him doing that!!!!

First stop was the beach! shot at Par Beach, filming started later than was planned which meant the sun was higher in the sky than I’d have liked but no big drama just a little less time to get this done. The sand was quite wet so we didn’t have much of an issue with it blowing around but the Gimbal was protected just in case.

James bursting into song!
Being a bit later and brighter we needed a diffuser on a couple of shots.

Sadly most of the footage from the beach didn’t make it into the final video.

The streets were shot in a small town called Lostwithiel, a charming little village, shot in the winter months meant the streets were empty making it easy to move around freely with out too much traffic.

Lastly the performance elements were shot in St Neot Hall, we needed to darken the room down and use a projector and smoke machine to add a little back lighting and depth.

I wanted the black background as a stark contrast to the other scenes, also to enable the dramatic strobe effect to motivate the video in the finale. The track has a dramatic ending, it needed the visuals to match!

Sean being engulfed with smoke just before the alarm went off!
Final look

The outdoor footage was shot on the Canon R5 in CLog3 using the DJI Ronin and various lenses.

The static performance elements were shot on a Panasonic GH5 in VLog-L using a Viltrox EF-M2 speed booster and Canon 24-105mm L lens.

Editing and grading was done using Adobe Premier Pro 2022 and exported in a 2.39:1 widescreen ratio.

Special thanks to:

Alistair at Event Services S.W Ltd for the smoke and haze machines.

Janet at the St Neot Institute for the Hall and the instructions on how to stop the fire alarm! ha ha

Gear General Music Shoots

Lights, Camera, Action!

Finally a date has been set for the start of principle filming for the upcoming Colour TV Billy Pilgrim Music Video.

16th January has been penciled in so provided the weather stays with us we should be all set.

I can’t say anymore at this stage other than most of the equipment is ready, the full details are under wraps.

Return soon for some behind the scene’s goodness!

Gear General Shoots

Canon R5 – Football (Firmware Ver 1.5)

I had an opportunity to test the Canon R5’s autofocus with firmware v1.5 at high ISO at the weekend, a local football match under floodlights seemed like the ideal test!

Liskeard AFC vs Falmouth Town.

With a 3pm kick-off the light soon faded and at halftime the flood lights came on!

Canon R5, EF100-400 F4.5/F5.6 1/1600 sec, F5.6, 400mm ISO3200.

The R5 performed superbly with the focus being super fast and snappy. Yes I missed a few shots where the autofocus locked onto the wrong player but the amount of keeps was excellent.

As the light faded the ISO started to climb, in fact the EF 100-400 got swapped out for the RF 70-200 F2.8 really early on. Below is the last shot taken with the EF 100-400, it was only 10 minutes into the game! the light was so hit and miss, one minute it was bright (as below) then the next…

The 2 stops of extra light from the F2.8 made a massive difference.

At high ISO the image shows excellent detail and is more than usable.

The shot below was taken at 4:43PM. The floodlights were patchy to say the least!

Canon R5, RF70-200 F2.8. 1/1250 sec, F2.8, 119mm ISO16,000. 4:43PM.

100% crop. Adobe Lightroom noise reduction applied.

The RF70-200 F2.8 was lightning fast at focusing on the extremely fast action and noticeably faster than the EF 100-400 L II. The R5 was set to setup 4 for autofocus with eye detect switched on.

As it was fast action and under lights the mechanical shutter was used to prevent banding and rolling shutter, the camera settings were fixed in Manual mode 1/1250sec F2.8 with Auto ISO.

Canon R5, RF70-200 F2.8. 1/1250 sec, F2.8, 153mm ISO640.
Canon R5, RF70-200 F2.8. 1/1250 sec, F2.8, 200mm ISO6400. (Yes it rained!)

The mechanical 12fps was fast enough to catch the action and the focus was up to the task of keeping this sharp, even with the rain coming down!

Overall I was super impressed with the Canon R5 on Version 1.5.

Final score was 1 – 3 to the visitors (Falmouth).

Gear General

DJI Ronin RSC2 Pro Gimbal

What a great tool!, the DJI Ronin has so many great features and functions it’s hard to know where to start.

Mounted here with the Canon R5 and RF 24-105 F4 L lens, the focus motor is being used to control the Zoom function on the lens.

Extremely easy to balance especially when compared to my original ‘glidecam’ style gimbal which could take an age to balance.

The Raveneye HDMI transmitter, Active Track and force mobile really finish the package off great.

Really looking forward to using this bit of kit in anger in my upcoming projects.

General Shoots

Pawton Gate Farm Clay Pigeon Shooting

On Sunday the 19th September 2021 I attended Pawton Gate Farm Clay Pigeon Shooting range. The event was a ladies introduction session. Each attendee had 25 shots, 5 shots at 5 different clay traps, from high in the sky to a rabbit runner on the ground.

Highly stylized image for Instagram!

Canon R5 – RF24-105 F4 L @ 1/8000 sec ISO1600 f7.1

I was amazed to see the lead shot could actually be seen in some of the images!

Highly stylized image for Instagram!
Highly stylized image for Instagram!

Gear General Shoots

“Colour TV” Band Photoshoot

Had some good fun with the Band Colour TV last night, the location for the photoshoot was the Cheesewring on Bodmin Moor.

The brief was to capture a selection of images which could be used for the marketing and help promote the new single “Charlie” due for release on the 24th of September.

Two locations were planned. Keeping the kit to a minimum was important as both locations were quite remote and require a good walk on uneven ground to get too.

Bag packed with two bodies, R5 and 5D Mk2, an RF and EF 24-105 F4 L, RF 70-200 F2.8, EF16-35 F4 with RF adapter. Lighting was taken care of with two Yongnuo YN660 flash guns and remote trigger. Modifiers 150cm Octa, 60cm square popup soft-box, 90cm 3in1 reflector and light stand. I also packed a few LED light panels to help with the journey back when it was dark.

The trusty Canon R5 performed incredibly well making focus in very low light easy. I used the Canon RF24-105 F4 L for the wide shots, the RF 70-200 F2.8 for pretty much everything else.

I used a 150cm Octa with a remote flash triggered to paint the light on the lads in the dark shots, also to control the light in the day shots.

The images have had very little work done on them other than colour tone, levels and a little tough-up. No sky replacement has been done, I used a slow shutter speed to retain the detail in the sky and used the flash to ensure the main image was tack sharp.

You can find out more about the band Colour TV on their Instagram. Link Here…

General Shoots

Equestrian Photography

More information to follow…

General Music Shoots

The Kites – Underground Plymouth

The 24th June saw me shooting a music Gig in the Underground in Plymouth.

It was the first Live gig i’ve shoot with the Canon R5 and 24-105mm F4 L lens, I also had the 50mm F1.8 but found the R5 did not need the extra light, i was quite excited to see the results! I should not have worried because the images were amazing, the low light performance of that camera is simply incredible!

Canon R5 – RF24-105 F4 L @ 1/200 sec. f/4 105 mm ISO12800
Canon R5 – RF24-105 F4 L @ 1/200 sec. f/4 105 mm ISO12800
Canon R5 – RF24-105 F4 L @ 1/200 sec. f/4 33mm ISO10000

Some of these shots were taken at ISO12800! The camera was set to full manual to ensure control of the exposure.

Gear General

The tools of the trade!

Beautiful aren’t they!

Front to back! My trust Canon 5D Mk2 with 24-105mm F4 L lens, this has been the main work horse for so long but now used as a backup.

The Newbee on the block! the absolutely incredible Canon R5 with RF24-105 F4 L lens! sometimes things do not live up to expectations… this camera goes over and above what I expected! Paired to the RF 70-200 F2.8 it’s simply just stunning!

And rounding up the trio, at the back the Panasonic GH5 with 12-60mm lens. The versatility of this camera is superb, easy of use and video quality as amazing!