D800 Face Detection Questions

Started Mar 28, 2012 | Discussions
MattiusGB
Forum MemberPosts: 86
Like?
D800 Face Detection Questions
Mar 28, 2012

I can imagine how face detection in the D800 may divide opinion but I have a few queries which owners may be able to shed some light on (I don't have this camera myself yet): -

  • in general terms, how accurate is the focusing?

  • does it simply focus on the general face area / closest point to the camera, or does it identify the subject's eyes?

  • lastly, how effective is the face priority metering/exposure?

I do appreciate there is no substitute for doing it yourself but experience from users would be interesting.

Nikon D800
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
Paul Szilard
Contributing MemberPosts: 766Gear list
Like?
Re: D800 Face Detection Questions
In reply to MattiusGB, Mar 28, 2012

I know this wasn't the question, but face detection is only on in video or LiveView modes.
Did people realise this? I only did today!

Paul

MattiusGB wrote:

I can imagine how face detection in the D800 may divide opinion but I have a few queries which owners may be able to shed some light on (I don't have this camera myself yet): -

  • in general terms, how accurate is the focusing?

  • does it simply focus on the general face area / closest point to the camera, or does it identify the subject's eyes?

  • lastly, how effective is the face priority metering/exposure?

I do appreciate there is no substitute for doing it yourself but experience from users would be interesting.

-- hide signature --
 Paul Szilard's gear list:Paul Szilard's gear list
Fujifilm X100S Nikon D4 Fujifilm X-Pro1
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
MattiusGB
Forum MemberPosts: 86
Like?
Re: D800 Face Detection Questions
In reply to Paul Szilard, Mar 28, 2012

Paul - that's a surprise, perhaps I misunderstood but the official blurb says: -

"Nikon's exclusive 91K-pixel RGB sensor enables the Advanced Scene Recognition System to detect human faces even when shooting through the optical viewfinder..."

This is also stated on the Amazon product page.

Paul Szilard wrote:

I know this wasn't the question, but face detection is only on in video or LiveView modes.
Did people realise this? I only did today!

Paul

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Shockwave
Regular MemberPosts: 216
Like?
Re: D800 Face Detection Questions
In reply to MattiusGB, Mar 28, 2012

"Used with the viewfinder in modes other than M, it can balance exposure between portrait subjects and the background even when the subject is backlit."

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
rameshpkumar
Senior MemberPosts: 1,664
Like?
Re: D800 Face Detection Questions
In reply to MattiusGB, Mar 28, 2012

See my responses below:

MattiusGB wrote:

I can imagine how face detection in the D800 may divide opinion but I have a few queries which owners may be able to shed some light on (I don't have this camera myself yet): -

  • in general terms, how accurate is the focusing?

Very accurate. First it locks your face and then when you start moving around it will track you automatically. It even tracked when the subject left the frame and re- entered the frame.

  • does it simply focus on the general face area / closest point to the camera, or does it identify the subject's eyes?

It is the general area from what I can see.

  • lastly, how effective is the face priority metering/exposure?

Very accurate.

I do appreciate there is no substitute for doing it yourself but experience from users would be interesting.

In summary, I think it is a good mode for general people photography. It may not be reliable for critical focusing techniques when you need to focus on one eye with shallow dof etc.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Paul Szilard
Contributing MemberPosts: 766Gear list
Like?
Re: D800 Face Detection Questions
In reply to Paul Szilard, Apr 1, 2012

Please note: I was WRONG! Face Detection DOES work in full res, non-Live View mode as well. Interestingly it needs to be selected in Live View mode, but then you can switch back to ordinary mode and take the shot.

Aplogies for my mis-information. It was unintentional. Have a great day, folks.
-Paul

Paul Szilard wrote:

I know this wasn't the question, but face detection is only on in video or LiveView modes.
Did people realise this? I only did today!

Paul

MattiusGB wrote:

I can imagine how face detection in the D800 may divide opinion but I have a few queries which owners may be able to shed some light on (I don't have this camera myself yet): -

  • in general terms, how accurate is the focusing?

  • does it simply focus on the general face area / closest point to the camera, or does it identify the subject's eyes?

  • lastly, how effective is the face priority metering/exposure?

I do appreciate there is no substitute for doing it yourself but experience from users would be interesting.

-- hide signature --
-- hide signature --
 Paul Szilard's gear list:Paul Szilard's gear list
Fujifilm X100S Nikon D4 Fujifilm X-Pro1
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Hawaii-geek
Veteran MemberPosts: 7,794Gear list
Like?
Separation between AF and Exposure?
In reply to rameshpkumar, Apr 2, 2012

Ok, so I am not a manual reader ... and I have Never used Face Detection or even 3D AF before (not even to play around lol) ... but Separation between AF and Exposure?

Can anyone answer IF:
You can have "Exposure" to Face Priority, BUT, have Focus to a single point?

HG

rameshpkumar wrote:
See my responses below:

MattiusGB wrote:

I can imagine how face detection in the D800 may divide opinion but I have a few queries which owners may be able to shed some light on (I don't have this camera myself yet): -

  • in general terms, how accurate is the focusing?

Very accurate. First it locks your face and then when you start moving around it will track you automatically. It even tracked when the subject left the frame and re- entered the frame.

  • does it simply focus on the general face area / closest point to the camera, or does it identify the subject's eyes?

It is the general area from what I can see.

  • lastly, how effective is the face priority metering/exposure?

Very accurate.

I do appreciate there is no substitute for doing it yourself but experience from users would be interesting.

In summary, I think it is a good mode for general people photography. It may not be reliable for critical focusing techniques when you need to focus on one eye with shallow dof etc.

-- hide signature --

http://tourist-of-light.blogspot.com/

Please feel free to criticize, make suggestions, and edit any of my photos & re-post, to help show me 'the way'. * I am trying to Elevate the Level of my 'Snap Shots'

 Hawaii-geek's gear list:Hawaii-geek's gear list
Sony RX1 Nikon D700 Nikon D800 Sony SLT-A99 Sony Alpha 7R +15 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Robin Casady
Forum ProPosts: 11,199
Like?
Re: Separation between AF and Exposure?
In reply to Hawaii-geek, Apr 2, 2012

Hawaii-geek wrote:

Ok, so I am not a manual reader

Read the manual, young man. If you want to use the magic, you have to know the spells.

With face recognition on, will the D800 recognize me when I walk in the room?
--
Robin Casady
http://www.robincasady.com/Photo/index.html

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Oscarroos
Senior MemberPosts: 2,914Gear list
Like?
Confucius method
In reply to Robin Casady, Apr 2, 2012

Truth is: The "Manual" is not very clear. I read the manual and I'm not sure how to use face detection NOT using LiveView. I'm not a fan of live view so want to know how to use Face detection using the view finder and after reading the manual - still not clear. Obviously I will need to read the manual AND test it with/on the camera.

Chinese proverb (Confucius):

I hear - I forget
I see - I remember
I do - I understand

 Oscarroos's gear list:Oscarroos's gear list
Nikon Coolpix 5700 Canon PowerShot S95 Nikon D200 Nikon D700 Nikon D800 +13 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Hawaii-geek
Veteran MemberPosts: 7,794Gear list
Like?
LOL
In reply to Robin Casady, Apr 2, 2012

LOL
I need to be seriously funnier to be on this forum .....
HG

Robin Casady wrote:

Hawaii-geek wrote:

Ok, so I am not a manual reader

Read the manual, young man. If you want to use the magic, you have to know the spells.

With face recognition on, will the D800 recognize me when I walk in the room?
--
Robin Casady
http://www.robincasady.com/Photo/index.html

-- hide signature --

http://tourist-of-light.blogspot.com/

Please feel free to criticize, make suggestions, and edit any of my photos & re-post, to help show me 'the way'. * I am trying to Elevate the Level of my 'Snap Shots'

 Hawaii-geek's gear list:Hawaii-geek's gear list
Sony RX1 Nikon D700 Nikon D800 Sony SLT-A99 Sony Alpha 7R +15 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Julian Vrieslander
Contributing MemberPosts: 919
Like?
Re: D800 Face Detection Questions
In reply to Paul Szilard, Apr 2, 2012

Paul Szilard wrote:

Please note: I was WRONG! Face Detection DOES work in full res, non-Live View mode as well. Interestingly it needs to be selected in Live View mode, but then you can switch back to ordinary mode and take the shot.

I'm not sure what you mean by that explanation. If I run the D800 in Live View mode, and turn on AF-F and Face Detection, the camera will track the nearest face in the scene, and adjust focus and exposure for that target. It's actually amusing to watch the green box chasing the face around the screen. Sometimes the camera loses the target and hunts for a few seconds, scanning and racking focus. But it usually finds the face again.

Now, once the face is located, I can switch out of Live View and take a shot, using the view finder. But, if the camera or subject moves, the camera is no longer tracking the face, and (depending on other settings) the camera may change the focus and exposure settings when I press the shutter. So it seems that this technique is only useful for a stationary pose with camera on tripod. And in that case, why would I want to switch from Live View to view finder?

Am I missing something?

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Julian Vrieslander
Contributing MemberPosts: 919
Like?
Re: D800 Face Detection Questions
In reply to Paul Szilard, Apr 2, 2012

OK, I think I may have figured it out. Suppose you are composing a scene in Live View mode, using the Face Detection feature and AF-F focus tracking. You have a face locked in. Now you turn off Live View and use the viewfinder. The D800 will continue to track the face, if the following settings were already made:

1) Focus mode is set to AF-C
2) Focus area mode is set to 3D-tracking

I suspect that the camera will continue to bias exposure for the face, if metering is set to matrix (have not tested that).

Note that if you are using the viewfinder, the face focus tracking is constrained to the region within the frame where there are focus sensors. In Live View, the tracking can follow a target all the way to the frame edges.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
ShadowDiver
Regular MemberPosts: 495Gear list
Like?
LOL +1
In reply to Robin Casady, Apr 2, 2012

lol +1
One of the best I read on this forum that last few years!
Have to remember this - its great!

Chris

 ShadowDiver's gear list:ShadowDiver's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G +1 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Martin Grecner
Contributing MemberPosts: 518
Like?
Re: D800 Face Detection Questions
In reply to Julian Vrieslander, Apr 2, 2012

Nikon also claims face detection works using 91k RGB metering sensor.
Which means it works in optical viewfinder mode.

(Whether that claim is valid, I do not know for sure, but I believe it does work that way.)

Here is the information provided by Nikon on their "Advanced Scene Recognition System".

http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/dslr/d800/features01.htm#a2

Note the graphical chart showing all the components of the ASRS.

It clearly show that the 91k-pixel RGB sensor can also do face recognition, as well as the Image sensor can.

I believe you are not supposed to start with LiveView to detect a face. It should work with viewfinder from the start, provided you have Auto area AF mode.

The trick with LiveView first, then switching to viewfinder while having 3D tracking option enabled might seem to be face detection, but it is merely a subject tracking, being it a face or not, that is what I believe.

BTW, the ASRS does much more. Here is a short list:

1. Face detection - to detect a face. Based on that it will not only choose focus point closest to that face, but also adjust exposure to keep the face well exposed, for example to eliminate overexposed faces using flash

2. 3D tracking - to track an already selected focus point, regardless if it was selected by face detection or not

3. Highlight analysis for Active D-lighting

4. for Auto WB, it can detect sources of light and tune WB not to pure white, but accordingly to the light source color temperature (Auto 2 AWB mode).

All this is on paper, real world experience might be different.

Martin

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
tabloid
Senior MemberPosts: 2,679Gear list
Like?
Re: Separation between AF and Exposure?
In reply to Robin Casady, Apr 7, 2012

Robin Casady wrote:

Hawaii-geek wrote:

Ok, so I am not a manual reader

Read the manual, young man. If you want to use the magic, you have to know the spells.

With face recognition on, will the D800 recognize me when I walk in the room?

Only if u are sober....lol

Regards
G

-- hide signature --
 tabloid's gear list:tabloid's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
2482
Regular MemberPosts: 161Gear list
Like?
Re: Separation between AF and Exposure?
In reply to tabloid, Apr 7, 2012

I have one beside me and had a play... still dont have a clue with the face detc !! got it working i think in LV... work it out one day?
--
http://www.dougiewallace.com

 2482's gear list:2482's gear list
Fujifilm X100S Sony RX100 II Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Oscarroos
Senior MemberPosts: 2,914Gear list
Like?
Can-someone help show/explain? Thanks
In reply to Paul Szilard, Apr 7, 2012

Mind expanding on this? I can only get Face Priority to work in Live View. Yes, I read the manual and tried several times. I must be a dummy so would like someone to explain how Face Priority works thru the view finder.

Paul Szilard wrote:

Please note: I was WRONG! Face Detection DOES work in full res, non-Live View mode as well. Interestingly it needs to be selected in Live View mode, but then you can switch back to ordinary mode and take the shot.

Aplogies for my mis-information. It was unintentional. Have a great day, folks.
-Paul

Paul Szilard wrote:

I know this wasn't the question, but face detection is only on in video or LiveView modes.
Did people realise this? I only did today!

Paul

MattiusGB wrote:

I can imagine how face detection in the D800 may divide opinion but I have a few queries which owners may be able to shed some light on (I don't have this camera myself yet): -

  • in general terms, how accurate is the focusing?

  • does it simply focus on the general face area / closest point to the camera, or does it identify the subject's eyes?

  • lastly, how effective is the face priority metering/exposure?

I do appreciate there is no substitute for doing it yourself but experience from users would be interesting.

-- hide signature --
-- hide signature --
 Oscarroos's gear list:Oscarroos's gear list
Nikon Coolpix 5700 Canon PowerShot S95 Nikon D200 Nikon D700 Nikon D800 +13 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
2482
Regular MemberPosts: 161Gear list
Like?
Re: Can-someone help show/explain? Thanks
In reply to Oscarroos, Apr 9, 2012

I was wondering as well
--
http://www.dougiewallace.com

 2482's gear list:2482's gear list
Fujifilm X100S Sony RX100 II Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Martin Grecner
Contributing MemberPosts: 518
Like?
Re: Can-someone help show/explain? Thanks
In reply to Oscarroos, Apr 11, 2012

Oscarroos wrote:

Mind expanding on this? I can only get Face Priority to work in Live View. Yes, I read the manual and tried several times. I must be a dummy so would like someone to explain how Face Priority works thru the view finder.

Maybe it is time to ask Nikon technical support what their marketing meant by saying it works using the new 91k metering sensor.

As I do not have my D800 yet, and will probably not have one before May (as I was on the 11th place on the list and the dealer only got 5 cameras until now), I can only speculate.

Reading he manual, maybe I understand the confusion.
The Face-priority AF mode is really only available in LiveView (page 49).

BUT:

In viewfinder mode, what you have to select is Auto-area AF mode.

In that mode the camera should "automatically detect a subject and choose a focus point. IF A FACE IS DETECTED, the camera will GIVE PRIORITY TO THE PORTRAIT SUBJECT" (page 94)

So, do not try to activate face-priority mode. Rather, use Auto-area AF in viewfinder mode and check if it is selecting faces against other subjects or not.

Martin

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
benjaminblack
Regular MemberPosts: 478Gear list
Like?
Re: Can-someone help show/explain? Thanks
In reply to Martin Grecner, Apr 11, 2012

I have not seen an option to use face detection through the viewfinder, what I have experimented with is 3D tracking through the viewfinder in AF-C. I only shoot in M, would that explain why I have not seen face detection as an option? Or, is face-detection only an option in Live View? I haven't tried Live View at all, not something I use.

Concerning 3D tracking in AF-C, 3D tracking does not automatically move the focus point from one side of the viewfinder to the other. If you put your focus point in the center 3D tracking will move the focus point around in the center of the viewfinder tracking your subject's face. But if your subject veers to the left of your viewfinder 3D tracking won't jump that far over. Likewise, if you put your focus point on the left of the viewfinder, then 3D tracking will track the face of the subject in the lefthand side of the viewfinder. There could be a menu option to expand how far 3D tracking will move the AF point, but I'm not aware of such a setting.

How accurate is it? Well, at f1.4 it's not very helpful as you can imagine. 3D tracking will follow the face, but rarely hit the eye, and that's a real problem at f1.4. If you go up to f5.6 it's pretty decent. We did a test where I was heavily backlit and then I danced around. 3D tracking got my face in focus 10/13 shots, again at f5.6. But frankly the AF is so incredibly accurate in AF-C that you'll get much better results from selecting the focus point yourself. So in that sense, I think 3D tracking is not the most useful feature. By the way, all our tests have been handheld at 1/60.

Oh and keep in mind, 3D tracking is not available in AF-S.

 benjaminblack's gear list:benjaminblack's gear list
Nikon D700 Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +6 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads