D800 Firmware Update Focus Improvement!

Started Apr 2, 2013 | Discussions thread
michaeladawson
Veteran MemberPosts: 7,254Gear list
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Re: Again, I am using only one point for these
In reply to m_appeal, Apr 6, 2013

m_appeal wrote:

michaeladawson wrote:

What is the release mode set to on your camera?  I have just tested my D800 in AF-C mode using single point, 9 point, and 21 point.  I put the center focus point on a featureless white wall with a picture hanging close by under one of the 9 or 21 outer points.  The results were reproducible every time.

If AF-C release mode is set to Release or Release+Focus the camera will choose one of the adjacent focus points, snap to focus and fire.  You can view the red focus box chosen in playback and clearly see that the focus point has moved from what I selected.  It will even move beyond the 9 points from what I observed.  It doesn't matter if you have set single, 9 point, or more.  The camera will lock onto an adjacent focus point if it finds nothing suitable under the chosen point and it will fire.

In AF-C mode if the camera is set to focus release mode and you have chosen 9 or 21 point mode it will again seek a suitable focus target outside of your selected focus spot and fire.

In AF-C mode with single point and the release mode set to Focus the camera will NOT fire unless it finds a suitable focus target under the chosen focus spot.  I could reliably reproduce this over and over again.

With the AF spot on the featureless white wall and the picture frame close by the camera will quickly lock on to "a target".  But the AF indicators in the lower left corner show the double triangle, not the green dot.  The shutter will not release.  I tried this test repeatedly with the same results every time.

If I focused the camera on a part of the white wall with nothing contrasty nearby then the focus hunted far and near and then gave up.  The shutter does not release.

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Mike Dawson

I am using "focus priority"

OK.  Then I would suggest that your camera did NOT change the AF point on you as suggested by some here.  In fact, your View NX screenshot "proves" that the AF point did not shift.  In my testing, when the AF point moves to find a higher contrast target the red box in View NX moves as well.

To clarify what I found, however.  You have to hold the camera steady.  When you press AF-ON the camera will attempt to focus.  If you are in Focus release mode the shutter will not fire unless the camera gets a lock.  That AF lock only has to be for a VERY brief instant.  Once a lock has been obtained the camera will now fire no matter whether the area under the AF spot has moved or not.

That point is critical.  In AF-C single point mode the camera will continue to adjust focus.  If you do not hold the camera steady enough the AF spot could move over an area where it may obtain a lock.  At this point, the camera will now take a photo when you release the shutter.  Regardless of whether the area under the AF spot is in focus or not.

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Mike Dawson

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