We have just released a new firmware update for Canon EOS R and EOS RP cameras that has highly increased the performance of the Eye AF function.
This firmware update is now available for customers to download, free of charge, from the customer support page. It's easy to install and it re-imagines the Eye AF system that is in the EOS R system already. The Eye AF system is designed to track eyes when you're shooting portraits. We’ve improved its response and speed, making it much more accurate and 'sticky'. This means that when the person you're focusing on moves, the AF will stay with the eye much better. Previously, if you focused on an eye and the subject moved too fast, it would lag, rather than be stuck to the eye. Now it's much more responsive.
It also detects eyes further away - five times further away than it did before. Before the update, you could only be three meters away, whilst now you can be 15 meters away and it will still detect where the eye is - it's a big difference. As soon as you point your camera to a person it will lock on to their eyes and adjust the focus as they walk towards you.
We’ve also simplified the interface. Where it previously had multiple boxes moving around in the frame at the same time, it now only has one box for the eye. When you try to photograph a subject, you don't want multiple distractions.
With portraiture photography it's all about capturing that magic moment, framing the right facial expression and the eyes not blinking. With kids photography, for example, that look they have in their eyes may only last a split second and you want to make sure you capture it. You're waiting for that moment and you don't want to be distracted. They won't pose on command for you, you may just get that cheeky smile once, and you want to be in a position to capture it as it happens. With the new update, the camera does what you want it to do, so the user experience will enable you to feel more confident and get the expressions you want.
We've also improved the tracking, so the camera is follows moving objects much better. Even for objects far away, it sticks on to it more accurately (not just eyes).
Canon Ambassador and travel photographer Martin Bissig tried the new update on his EOS R camera. He likes to photograph people and loves the EOS R because of the light weight and high-performance RF-lenses. A keen user of the Eye AF function, this helps him build rapport with his subjects, as it enables him to hold the camera away from his eye and connect with the subjects in his portraits more directly.
Martin found the updated firmware made the Eye AF function much more reliable, and also found it easier to switch between two eyes. He also used it with wide aperture lenses, where you work with small depth of field. In which case it’s easy to make a mistake and end up with a shot that is out of focus or focus in the wrong place.
“To sum it up. One of my favourite features on the EOS R got even better. I just LOVE Eye AF and it's spot on. What I thought was really cool were that faces that only cover a very small part of the frame are being recognised" – Martin Bissig
Download the firmware update from the customer support page.