10D focus problem - myth or reality? Yes there has been a lot of comment (particularly on DPreview) regarding this. At one time it seemed that every 10D purchased was a dud. What's going on?
1 - this camera has been scrutinized to death - by amateurs and experts. However, I have yet to read a respected reviewer report a focusing problem.
2 - many users of the 10D have bought it as a step up from a point n' shoot, or even as a first camera (bizarre but true!). I think we can right off many of the reports as user error.
3 - overly high expectations. Perhaps it is not unreasonable to expect state of the art AF
in a £1500 camera. But the sad fact is, the AF
module is lifted straight out the EOS 30 - a mid-range film camera. No one expects the EOS 30's AF
to be as accurate and responsive as the EOS-3 or EOS-1. The EOS 30 is a fine camera, but the AF
has its limitations. Its not broken, it just can't cope with every situation.
This is not to say there may not be some problems with some cameras, but not, I think, to the level reported.
So is your's a problem? Well the fact that you claim to have acheived 30% pin sharp makes me suggest not. The so called "front focus" problem is at least consistent - all shots in the sequence will be blurred, not some of them.
I think there are 2 possible explanations:
1 - shooting airliners can sometimes present AF
problems - typically there's a lot of flat surfaces with little contrast. AF
can't lock on these - in the situation you discribe, it is quite possible for the AF
to lock on to say, a window frame in one pick, but lose that edge in the next.
2 - sequence shooting can be prone to camera shake. I'm sure you have experience with appropriate shutter speeds on you EOS 5, however, the crop factor means you are effectively using a much longer lens, and shutter speed needs to be adjusted accordingly. Are you sure you are looking at out of focus shots or could there be a bit of camera shake involved?
Before you return to your dealer, set the camera up on a tripod and shoot some subjects in good light at varying distances and focal lengths. If these are fine, then you don't have an AF
problem, but simply need to adjust to the limitations of the AF
system in the 10D, and perhaps modify your technique.
Colin K. Work, Pixstel