Canon A2 Eye Focusing Feature: How good? : LUSENET : Canon EOS FAQ forum : One Thread

What do you think the real value of the high end Canon feature for focusing (A2, A3) which makes the focus target whatever your eye is on when the shutter is tripped? Is this really a useful feature or a gimmick? And what is the real value of paying a premium for the higher priced Canon SLRs?

--Steve Board

-- Steve Board (, November 13, 1999


Note: I copied the following excerpt from my answer to Tom Smart's question on this forum. Hope it's helpful: I highly recommend Eye-Controlled-Focusing! So, if you go with the Elan, spend a tiny bit more and get the ElanIIe.It performs exceedingly well in all but the toughest of conditions (as likely would any AF system). The ElanIIe offers eye-control in both horizonal and vertical positions (unlike the horizontal-only A2E)and it really does get more sensitive to your eye the more you calibrate it in as many levels of light as you can. Calibration takes only a few seconds and involves setting CAL on your mode dial and staring at flashing index squares while you depress the shutter button half-way. It beeps and you're done. ( Don't forget to do it vertically as well.) Eye-control focus has it all over other AF modes (also available on the Elan, though I never use them). For example, I'm shooting a model standing in an archway. If the focusing index points are on the arch and it's closer, of course the AF will focus on it. With eye-control I simply look at the focus index square that falls on the model and press the shutter to focus on her. Another example: I'm shooting in a crowd situation and someone is standing closer to the lens that my subject whom I've framed in my 'finder. Once again, I simply look at my subject and press the shutter button half-way. If I then want to shoot the nearer person, I simply have repeat the procedure, ALL WITHOUT EVER HAVING TO RECOMPOSE. This makes you faster and more likely to "capture the moment". By the way, though the manual tells you to look at the focusing index square to select it, you can look anywhere ABOVE the squares, press the shutter half-way, and the camera will select the focusing square nearest to where you're looking!

I'm sure if you go with the ElanIIe and a Canon or Canon-dedicated autofocus lens such as the Tamron, you will soon forget your frustrations with old-fashioned split-prism finders. You're in for a treat.

I think some people are a bit intimidated by eye-control. That's a shame, because I believe if more people had experienced what I have using it, eye-control would sweep the industry.

You can even use it to lock an exposure without moving the camera either at all or very much: say you're concerned that a bright white subject will fool your light meter and cause underexposure. You might LOOK AT a medium toned area in your 'finder such as green grass in sunlight, focus on it (thereby taking an exposure reading via Canon's AIM system) press the exposure lock button to retain the reading, take your finger off the shutter, look at your subject, and press the shutter. Wild, huh?

Good luck. Roy

-- Roy Kekewich (, November 14, 1999.

I have the A2, not A2e. I have talked to some photographers who love the A2e & some which don't. My problem is when shooting I purposely run my line of sight about the edge of the frame. I have found this technique gives me a better insight into all of the elements that makeup the image. Of course, my technique would probably not work very well for sports photography & the like but it has suited me well.

-- gary przyborski (, January 26, 2000.

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