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Anybody Miss Eye Controlled Focus?

Eric Verheul , Dec 23, 2008; 12:35 a.m.

My A2E went belly up a while back. Though I have no plans for a replacement since I shoot mostly digital now, I did get to wondering if I'm the only one missing the ecf feature of cameras like the A2E and eos3.

So what do you say? Miss it or not?


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Eric Freedman , Dec 23, 2008; 12:59 a.m.

I went from an Elan IIE to a 40D. I really did like the ECF on the Elan - but I bit the bullet early this year and bought the 40D. I actually haven't missed ECF one bit. With the 40D and others, you pick your focus point with a little dial at your finger tip ( I usually have it on the center). Focusing hasn't really been that much of a problem.
I was really conscious of film and processing cost with the Elan. I have never had so much fun than with the 40D. It's addicting. Though, there's a lot more time spent on the PC with downloading and adjustments.
Anyways, good luck with your new purchase, you won't look back.

Denis Germain , Dec 23, 2008; 01:03 a.m.

My prediction: give it another two generations and it will be part of the digital cameras too!
Canon had to keep a few features in their back pockets to "force" people to upgrade now that the MP war is almost over :)
My prediction:
Next Generation: Built-in IS
Then: Eye Controlled Focus

Eric Verheul , Dec 23, 2008; 01:15 a.m.

I'm not bemoaning the "loss" of ecf. In fact, I love shooting my 20d. I'll add an upgraded body somewhere down the line but plan on keeping my d20 until it does belly up. I'd like to hold out for that generation when they do add ecf back into the mix, but that won't be THE deciding factor on what I buy.

For now, I'll save up for some glass...the 10-22, 400mm f5.6 on either "extreme" end of things.

Eric Freedman , Dec 23, 2008; 01:27 a.m.

Well, I do not think you will see an image stabilized camera for quite some time with Canon - they have too much invested on the IS lenses.
As for ECF - somewhere I read that Canon didn't think there was much demand for it. So, I highly doubt that ECF will be on a digital body anytime soon.

Jim Strutz - Anchorage, AK , Dec 23, 2008; 01:32 a.m.

We may never see ECF again, but I wil never cease wanting it.

John Clark , Dec 23, 2008; 02:24 a.m.

As a spectacle wearer I've never been able to make reliable use of ECF, despite having it on my EOS 3. So, no, I don't miss it and would take in-camera IS over ECF any day. Or a MLU button :-)

Bob Atkins , Dec 23, 2008; 02:48 a.m.

I don't miss it. I had several film cameras with it (including the EOS-3) and I never really found a use for it.

Puppy Face , Dec 23, 2008; 03:04 a.m.

I used ECF on my Elans and EOS 3 about half the time, i.e., whenever I need to manually select AF points quickly. The QCD, Main Input dial or joystick are fine for manual AF point selection, just really slow compared to ECF. ECF is great for candids and portraits. I miss a lot of shots monkeying with the friggen joystick thingie...
The nice thing about Canon's ECF bodies is it was one of many choices for focus, so nobody is forced to use it exclusively.
I'd replace all my EOS DSLRs with an ECF version if it ever came out...

Jamie Robertson , Dec 23, 2008; 03:15 a.m.

I owned both the 50E (Elan IIE) and the EOS 3 and I thought ECF on the 50E was great, but I found it next to useless on the EOS 3. I think ECF works best on cameras with only a handful of AF points (5 or 7 at the most). Any more than that and you end up selecting the wrong AF point and keep missing shots. The ECF on the EOS 3 was a waste of time IMO. With all those AF points you just kept jumping from AF point to AF point and never managed to get the right one (apart from the centre point).

I personally prefer the 50E to the EOS 3, so much so that I bought another 50E earlier this year. I sold the EOS 3 years ago and don't miss it at all... too many flaws and silly design niggles for me.

So, yes, I would love to see ECF make a comeback but I think it would be sensible if Canon could somehow limit it to 5 AF points when ECF is enabled and make sure those AF points are clearly marked in the viewfinder (not invisible like on the EOS 3).

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