NEX-6 major design flaw

Started Jun 2, 2013 | Discussions thread
kaiser soze
Regular MemberPosts: 188
Re: Mike - It's not a 'flaw' but I agree with you...
In reply to bzx, Jun 4, 2013

bzx wrote:

Could you explain how to achieve that setting? I don't have a NEX-7 but would like to try setting this behavior of AF/MF button in a store, and would like to switch this on quickly.. I assume it would be in Setup but please confirm which setting is this. Thanks!

tn1krr wrote:

This annoyance is one of the very main reasons why I prefer my Nex-7 over my Nex-6. In 7 one can configure HW button MF/AF to "hold" so that the camera only autofocuses when AF/MF button is held down. Saves battery, makes it easier to prefocus with AF, then fine tune/follow with MF, gets rid of "must hold down shutter button" button of Direct Manual Focus.

The technique he is describing is a useful technique that genuinely has the advantages relative to DMF, that he describes, i.e., not having to hold down the shutter button at the half position while manually focusing after the camera first focus in auto style. This is real. But as concerns saving battery per se, it is not better than using the AF/MF switch in toggling mode. And no one has yet provided hard evidence to back up the implicit assertion that this feature consumes appreciable battery in comparison to the screens, and why the obvious solution to saving battery is not the one that Sony has provided: set the power save to 10s and use the Menu key to wake up the camera. And as the shooting technique that is described, it is useful for some people, and in fact I intend to try it and see if I like it, however I would think of it as a variation on MF and not the best technique for anyone who prefers to shoot mostly AF, because you have to press the AF/MF button every time you want the camera to automatically focus. Anyone who prefers to mostly let the camera focus would surely find that annoying.

Because of my long history as a software engineer and systems engineer, one of my habits with a new camera is to write up my own manual of sorts. I can use it later, which is a big advantage, but also this is how I tackle the learning curve. Following is an excerpt from what I have been working on over the past few days, SPECIFIC TO THE NEX-7:

- The focusing methods are: Autofocus (AF), Manual focus (MF) and Direct Manual Focus (DMF).
- For AF, the Autofocus Mode (accessed via the Camera menu) determines what happens when you press the shutter button halfway. If Autofocus Mode is set to Single-Shot, focus will lock. If Autofocus Mode is set to Continuous, the camera continues adjusting the focus as long as you hold the shutter button at the half-way position.
- For DMF, the Autofocus Mode has no effect. When you press the shutter half way the camera finds focus and then indicates that focus has been found. It does not continue adjusting the focus, and you can make fine adjustments to the focus manually, for as long as you keep the shutter button half-pressed.
- The autofocus selection that you make in the Camera menu has a more dominant effect than the AF/MF button. The selection that you make in the Camera menu determines which method applies when you turn the camera on (notwithstanding that the selection that you see in the menu reflects the changes you make via the AF/MF button).
- The AF/MF button has either toggling behavior or press-hold behavior, in accordance with a selection you make in the Setup menu. If press-hold behavior is selected, the focusing method changes for as long as you continue to hold down the button, and then changes back as soon as you release the button. If the method selected via the Setup menu is AF or DMF, MF will apply while the button is held down. If the method selected via the Setup menu is MF, AF will apply while the button is held down. If toggling behavior is selected for the AF/MF button, the transitions are similar. If the selection you made in the menu is either AF or DMF, you toggle to AF, and if you toggle again, you return to the focusing method you selected in the menu. If the selection you made in the menu is MF, you toggle to AF, and if you toggle again, you return to MF.
- The display will indicate which method is in effect only if the display in effect is one of the two that provides the most complete information. There are other ways to deduce which method is in effect. If Focus Peaking is enabled, highlighting will be visible only if MF or DMF is selected. If the AF Illuminator is set to Auto, then assuming a shooting mode where the AF Illuminator is allowed to be used, you can cause the AF illuminator indication to appear on the display by placing your hand over the lens. This indication reveals that either AF or DMF is selected. If you see this indication simultaneously with the highlighting, you know that DMF is selected.

I think that pretty much covers it. If anyone wants me to write up something similar for the NEX-6, you'll have to loan me your camera for five or ten minutes.

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