Our practical experience with the Dual Pixel AF of the Canon EOS C200 can be narrowed down quite well by answering two frequently asked questions:
Is Canon´s Dual Pixel Autofocus (example: the Canon EOS C200) the best in the S35 sensor range in the industry? Answer: Yes.
Does the Dual Pixel AF replace manual focus pulling? Answer: No.
We used lenses with STM (Stepping-Motors) for our test of the Dual Pixel AF of the Canon EOS C200 because, according to Canon, they work best with the Dual Pixel AF. For our short clip with Ricarda, we had prepared different scenarios for the dual pixel AF of the C200:
First we wanted to track Ricarda´s face as she moved towards the camera. As long as she didn´t wear the hood, the Dual Pixal AF of the C200 tracked her face reasonably OK. Occasionally there was a brief break off and several takes were needed to get acceptable results, but finally the AF worked OK.
When Ricarda was wearing her hood, however, even with a clearly visible face, the Dual Pixel AF with facetracking function was barely able to track her for longer periods - somewhat disappointingly, to be honest. Other AF parameters did not solve this problem. Here we are faster and more reliable with manual focusing. For our opening shot we chose the longest sequence where the facetracking worked reasonably well (which is rather short and not quite on the point if you look closely).
Good Dual Pixel AF on nearby objects
On closer objects (without face-tracking) the Dual Pixel AF worked very well.
For example, in the shot with a close-up on Ricarda´s mobile phone and then shifting the focus to her face.
You should also keep in mind that the Dual Pixel AF (Canon Focus Guide) can be switched on when using manual lenses and then shows the angle of rotation and focus indicator. Welcome support for determining the sharpness in 4K resolution with manual lenses.
Canon Focus Guide
All in all, we see the Dual Pixel AF of the C200 as a technology that has the potential to save a shot - especially in single-operator mode, for which the C200 primarily has been designed in our opinion. The Dual Pixel AF has become more than just a Nice-To-Have function.
But: when shooting important scenes that are difficult or impossible to repeat, we consider it risky to wholly rely on the Dual Pixel AF - though this is something that everyone has to decide for themselves.
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