Friday, April 1, 2022

Canon announces new Butt Detection Software (BDS) on the R5, R6 and R3!!!

I am really excited to announce a new feature added today to the Canon mirrorless cameras. For the past year we have been really spoiled by the amazing face detection of the Canon R5, R6 and R3 cameras. I have blogged about this many times. Now Canon has upped their game once more. Introducing butt detection!

For anyone lucky enough to join me on a photo tour, you know that there are lots of times when we are shooting and an animal turns their back side to us. When this happens, I have often hoped for a better focus mode for this situation. Well...last summer when teaching photo tours in Botswana and Tanzania, I was lucky enough to test Canon's new butt detection. I was not able to tell anyone about the special software that had been loaded into my Canon R cameras, but I was secretly using the feature throughout the trip.

After photographing these two elephants for a little while, they walked away from our vehicle. While the rest of our tour guests were discouraged, I was secretly testing the new feature and loving it. The new focus mode locked right into their back sides perfectly!

I wondered if the zebra stripes would throw off the butt detection, but no, the camera locked right onto the back of the animals and stayed super sharp at all times. 

These two made it even easier for the new focus mode, providing targets for the cameras to lock onto. 

For those of you looking to get this new feature on your cameras, you need to be using the Canon R5, R6, or R3. And you also need to upgrade to firmware 1.4.1. This will give you a new option instead of just "People" and "Animals". 

I wondered how the camera would handle this situation, with two animals facing away from me. It appears that the Butt Detection Software (BDS) defaulted to the closest wild dog.

I was concerned that a wagging tail would throw off the BDS, but nope, it locked in just fine.

For those of you wondering if the BDS will work in conjunction with the "people or animal" option, the answer is yes! For this shot, I selected I/O Servo, people detection and switched from eye detection to butt detection. Notice how the camera avoided the people who were sitting and focused on the derriere that was showing.

This subject was a good test to see how the new mode worked with very little contrast in the scene.

This would have been a perfect test of the butt detection on this cheetah but our driver was in a terrible position for that shot. Darn it!

I loved the accuracy of the new focus mode here, with so many subjects to detect. Butts everywhere. I started bursting off a lot of frames with a big smile on my face. When I looked up, I saw all our guests looking at me like I was nuts. Little did they know that I had BDS installed on my cameras.

As you can see from this photo, the new focus mode drifted from the female lions back side to the eyes of the cubs. What a huge disappointment!

The new feature is definitely not bullet-proof. In this case, it failed miserably. I wondered why the focus drifted to the face of the red-headed agama lizard. I called and talked to Drew and Tony (my technical contacts at Canon) to see why this was happening. Their first question was "Are you using the latest firmware 1.4.1?" and I told them "Of course I am!"  After a little more pushing on my part, they told me that there was a newer firmware being tested that would be better optimized for red-headed rock agama lizards. I am super excited to get that one.

If you have been waiting for butt detection on your camera, April 1st is your day! Look for this new firmware to be released later today. It will be posted to the following url:

Remember, I told you about this first!


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Ralph Hightower said...

Thank goodness that this is SFW and not NSFW (is that a double negative).

OnlyInCA said...

It was a life saver when we were doing our "Butts of Botswana" Calendar! I'll have to make sure I have the latest firmware installed before I leave in a couple of weeks!
Catherine D.

bearsfolks said...

I forwarded this to several friends, and my message said:

SUBJECT: I'm pretty careful, but he could probably sell me a bridge

MSG: This is from Jeff Cable, a great photographer, lecturer, photography tour guide, and ex-marketing guy. This was his blog entry from yesterday.

I am really glad that he has not chosen a life of confidence crime, as he would have been very successful!