Eye-controlled Autofocus Is Coming to More Canon Cameras

Eye-controlled Autofocus Is Coming to More Canon Cameras

Eye-controlled autofocus, in which the camera selects the autofocus point by detecting which one you are looking at, is one of the niftiest features in the Canon EOS R3 mirrorless camera. In a bit of good news, Canon has confirmed that the feature will be coming to more mirrorless models in the future.

The Canon EOS R3 contains some of the company's most advanced features, some of them exclusive, like eye-controlled autofocus, which alleviates the need to select autofocus points manually by detecting which point you are looking at, which can be quite a useful feature for anyone photographing fast action where milliseconds matter or anyone who simply appreciates the convenience. 

In a recent interview with DPReview, the company shared the news that they will be adding the feature to more EOS R cameras in the future with "improved performance and usability." Nonetheless, they did note that the feature is complex and costly and would require patience from customers before it is seen in other models. I would expect such a feature to be limited mostly to upper-end models, and thus, the next camera we might see it in would probably be the EOS R1 or EOS R5 Mark II. Nonetheless, it's a neat and useful feature, and it'll be nice to see it in more models in the future. 

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Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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Canon has tried this before. I had one of the cameras and it didn't really work maybe because I wear glasses. There's been like 20 years of technology so it'll probably work this time 8^)

To be precise, it was an EOS 3, which was available from 1998 to 2007. At the time, I had the EOS 1N and my buddy had the EOS 3. Even without glasses, the technology wasn't really usable back then, unfortunately.
It would be good to know how reliably this technology now works on the EOS R3?!

With glasses on using the R3 it's far less accurate than without. With either method the more your eye/glasses covers the viewfinder, the better it works but not particularly as accurate you might think. Pretty much useless for sports, don't have time to choose a moving target. The wider the shot the more useful since you would have time to look around and find what to focus upon. Overall it's not a feature that makes AF and composition really much better. Just like like the touch AF button on the back of the R3 and 1dx3, never gets used.

There were actually quite a few EOS film bodies with eye controlled focus: EOS 5 (A2E) pioneered it, then came EOS 55 (Elan 2E), 7E (Elan 7E / 30) and 3. I first got the EOS 7E and even though it had only 3 focus points, the feature was useful and worked well, so much so that I eventually splurged for EOS 3, where it really came to life with 45 focus points. It was very accurate for me and I was sad to let the EOS 3 go when switching to digital. Now I am quite curious about the R3's implementation.

Cutting edge technology is usually embraced by younger users that are not hung up about how grandpa used to do it.
If Canon ads it to future cameras they must be confident that itis maturing and good enough to add to more cameras.
Way to go Canon, keep up the innovation.