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Guide to New Features on the EOS M5 #4: Servo AF

One Shot AF and Servo AF are available as AF modes for the EOS M5. In this article I will explain the advantages of Servo AF, which is handy when shooting subjects in motion. (Reported by: Kazuo Nakahara)


Servo AF tracks moving subjects while maintaining focus

If the AF mode is set to One Shot AF when shooting moving subjects using the EOS M5, the focus remains fixed on the point where you focused even if you release the shutter immediately. Thus, there is a risk of the subject moving at high speed being out of focus due to a slight time lag between the focus time and the shooting time. It is in such situations that Servo AF mode will come to good use.

The EOS M5 has two AF modes available: One Shot AF and Servo AF.


Servo AF not only maintains focus on the subject while the shutter button is half-pressed, it also takes time lag into account as it predicts the movement of subjects in motion during autofocusing. This mode is effective for shooting subjects that come up close and move away from the camera, and works effectively for subjects that move in a certain direction in particular, such as trains, cars, and planes. Keep in mind that the continuous shooting speed is limited to 7 fps when using Servo AF. (This is 9 fps when using One Shot AF)

The EOS M5 has enhanced functions that demonstrates its strengths in shooting subjects in motion, with Servo AF, Touch & Drag AF, Smooth Zone AF, and high-speed continuous shooting. The EOS M5 is likely to deliver shooting performance that exceeds that of existing Canon mirrorless cameras.


In Servo AF mode, continuous shooting at 7 fps is possible





EOS M5/ EF-M55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM/ FL: 70mm (112mm equivalent)/ Shutter-priority AE mode (f/5, 1/640 sec, EV+0.3)/ ISO 160/WB: Auto
When using Servo AF (which predicts the movement of subjects in motion), the camera continued to focus on an approaching train at high-speed continuous shooting of 7 fps.


Tracking planes is possible with Servo AF!
EOS M5/ EF-M55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM/ FL: 200mm (320mm equivalent)/ Aperture-priority AE (f/6.3, 1/1,250 sec, EV+0.3)/ ISO 100/ WB: Auto
After the plane entered the frame, I used Servo AF to track it and pressed the shutter button once the plane reached the centre of the frame. The camera focuses properly on the subject.


AF operation modes

Servo AF

I used Servo AF to capture the image of a soap bubble that was constantly changing in shape as it was being carried by the wind. Despite the soap bubble’s translucency and unpredictable movement, the EOS M5 maintained focus on it. In Servo AF, when focus is established, the AF frame turns light blue.


One Shot AF

I used a macro lens to capture the image of a flower with vivid yellow stamens. To reliably focus on the tips of the stamens within the shallow depth of field, I used the One Shot AF mode.


Configuring Servo AF

1. Press the [Quick Set menu] button.


2. Select “SERVO” in the AF mode.


Note: If the AF frame size is set to "Small", Servo AF cannot be used

When using Servo AF mode, the continuous shooting speed is limited, and the "Small" AF frame size for 1-point AF and self-timer cannot be used.

If the AF frame size is set to "Small", Servo AF cannot be selected.


Head to EOS M5 Review Part 2: Enhanced AF Function to find out more about the AF system on the EOS M5.


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EF-M55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM

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Kazuo Nakahara


Born in Hokkaido in 1982, Nakahara turned to photography after working at a chemical manufacturing company. He majored in photography at the Vantan Design Institute and is a lecturer for photography workshops and seminars, in addition to working in commercial photography. He is also a representative of the photography information website studio9.


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