I just read that the Canon EOS 5 had eye-controlled focussing. How does this work? In this short article I found that it had to do with the coupling of infrared eye-tracking and the AF-point choice, but it sounds a bit vague to me.

Could someone give a more detailed explanation?

  • interesting question, the past reserves a lot of surprises :-) – Francesco Jan 20 '13 at 22:33
  • someone has been watching digital revolution ? – Nippysaurus Jan 20 '13 at 22:54
  • @Nippysaurus I have it from this. But I assume you mean the video that is linked there? Didn't watch it yet. – Saaru Lindestøkke Jan 21 '13 at 0:09
  • @BartArondson yep :) I watch all their videos and was also curious about the eye tracking. I thought he was joking at first. – Nippysaurus Jan 21 '13 at 1:15
  • I had this on Canon elan 2E worked great although that camera only had 3 focus points so it wasnt hard to tell which one to use. – user32456 Sep 17 '14 at 0:48

What is Eye-Control Focus(ECF)?

Through the tracking of eyeball movements, EOS cameras equipped with eye-controlled focusing (ECF) are able to choose the appropriate autofocus point based on where the user is looking in the viewfinder frame. (wikipedia)

How it works

More information can be found on the Photonotes.org Canon EOS Beginners’ FAQ Copyright © 2002-2013 NK Guy

A series of tiny infrared LEDs (light emitting diodes) shine harmless infrared energy onto your eyeball as you peer through the viewfinder. Light sensors record the infrared reflecting off your eye and calculate the focus point. A computer in the camera then examines this data and decides which of the focus points is closest to that point and selects it. If the camera is in AI Servo mode then it will also adjust focus automatically based on that selected point.


According to this page the camera employed infrared sensors to track eye movements and recognize which focus point had to be active.

This required a calibration with the eye: apparently 5 factory-made calibrations were available, and from the text of the page I infer that it was not possible to custom calibrate on one own's eye (don't know about the required accuracy, I guess that it also depends on the relative positioning of the AF points to discerne one from the other).

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