NEX-6 major design flaw

Started 10 months ago | Discussions
Mike Sivcevic
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Re: NEX-6 major design flaw
In reply to baltimorecaesar, 10 months ago

baltimorecaesar wrote:

have you tried switching to MF?

Yes, but that's not the point. I do want the auto-focus, just not all the time

The camera should have the option to turn off the pre-focusing if the user wishes so.

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Mike Sivcevic
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Re: NEX-6 major design flaw
In reply to Letsgokoulos, 10 months ago

Letsgokoulos wrote:

Mike, just a little word : leaving the camera in preview mode is costing you much more in battery life than the constant pre-focusing...

Marc

Thanks Marc. I thought otherwise, this is why. My understanding is that when in preview mode the only power consumed is for displaying the picture from the card to the LCD screen.

When in live mode, the camera is using power to prefocus, process the picture by the sensor (in order to send it to EVF or LCD), and of course for displaying. Also, according to the manual, the EVF consumes more power than the LCD.

So, unless I turn the camera off, or let it go to sleep mode, I thought that review mode would be more economical than the live mode.

I went out today but not for as long as I was hoping to, so couldn't really measure how the battery performed as I was turning the camera off whenever I knew I'd have more than a minute or two between shots.

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Jun2
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Re: NEX-6 major design flaw
In reply to Mike Sivcevic, 10 months ago

Try different lens. Power zoom uses more battery.

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GaryW
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Ha! I was right.
In reply to GaryW, 10 months ago

See if I'm right.  On the Nex-6.... Cycle through all of the display options until you get to the one that doesn't have a live view, but a DSLR-like display.  Wave the camera around and aim at something.  Put your eye up to the EVF, and NOW it focuses!  Just like my DSLR.  There's probably an option to turn off the LCD too.....

The Nex-6 has all sorts of tricks.  You should see how it will even use PDAF when you're at f8 in P mode....

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Mike Sivcevic
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Re: Ha! I was right.
In reply to GaryW, 10 months ago

Sorry to rain on your parade, but I have just tried exactly that and no luck, it's already focused, i.e. it's still pre-focusing.

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zackiedawg
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Mike - It's not a 'flaw' but I agree with you...
In reply to Mike Sivcevic, 10 months ago

Likely the reason you got jumped on a bit is that this forum, as well as many here, are polluted with people who come here with sole intention of stirring the pot by posting negative things about the camera line, which naturally creates a tense forum environment where every post that pops up with anything seemingly negative gets the same reaction: pitchforks and fire.  Your wording, especially in the title, is likely what got the reaction the most - calling it a flaw.  If you had asked if it was a flaw, or if you had noted that it's annoying to you...that would have probably made it through without as much reaction.

It's not a flaw because it was done on purpose, and by design.  And it's very similar to how many P&S cameras and mirrorless cameras work.  So 'flaw' was not a great word for it.  But 'Annoying'?  Yes - I would agree with you completely.  I've never liked that - it's one of the very few little irks I have with the NEX that I've called for fixes in firmware since the first days I had a NEX.  Just adding the option to turn it on or off would make a huge difference for those of us who do not like it.  Fortunately, it's not the worst problem a camera can have, it's easy enough to get used to or accept, and the battery life was never going to be in DSLR territory with these cameras anyway, so the small difference in battery draw doesn't really grate on me.  I do fine with the NEX despite the pre-focus which I don't like, and regularly switch from DSLR to NEX.  I can live with it because there's so much else to like about the NEX - would I disable it if I could? Yes, in a heartbeat.

You're not alone in disliking the behavior, but the question is can you just learn to get past it and enjoy the camera.  I can.  And who knows, maybe in some lucky world, a firmware update may address it someday...but probably not!

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tn1krr
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Re: Mike - It's not a 'flaw' but I agree with you...
In reply to zackiedawg, 10 months ago

zackiedawg wrote:

It's not a flaw because it was done on purpose, and by design.  And it's very similar to how many P&S cameras and mirrorless cameras work.  So 'flaw' was not a great word for it.  But 'Annoying'?  Yes - I would agree with you completely.  I've never liked that - it's one of the very few little irks I have with the NEX that I've called for fixes in firmware since the first days I had a NEX.  Just adding the option to turn it on or off would make a huge difference for those of us who do not like it.  Fortunately, it's not the worst problem a camera can have, it's easy enough to get used to or accept, and the battery life was never going to be in DSLR territory with these cameras anyway, so the small difference in battery draw doesn't really grate on me.  I do fine with the NEX despite the pre-focus which I don't like, and regularly switch from DSLR to NEX.  I can live with it because there's so much else to like about the NEX - would I disable it if I could? Yes, in a heartbeat.

You're not alone in disliking the behavior, but the question is can you just learn to get past it and enjoy the camera.  I can.  And who knows, maybe in some lucky world, a firmware update may address it someday...but probably not!

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.

I sure hope this was possible with all Nex models, not just 7.

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bzx
bzx
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Re: Mike - It's not a 'flaw' but I agree with you...
In reply to tn1krr, 10 months ago

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.

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kaiser soze
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Re: NEX-6 major design flaw
In reply to AllMankind, 10 months ago

AllMankind wrote:

DtEW wrote:

What you are ranting about is called pre-focus, and is a feature common to many large-sensor MILCs.  This feature is aimed at solving (or merely lessening) a common problem of large-sensor MILCs: that focus speed is relatively slow compared to a dSLR.  The idea of pre-focus is that the camera periodically focuses on any scene in front of it, without any request from you.  This is so that the moment you frame your shot and select a particular focus point, it is not caught completely flat-footed but is in-fact already rather close to that focus point.

This is NOT a feature.  This IS a design flaw.

What Sony should have done is given us a menu item to turn this 'pre-focus' off.  Some people, such as myself and obviously the OP, do not want the camera continuously AFing.  We want the camera to AF only when the shutter is half pressed, at least for AF-S.

It should also be noted, that with on-sensor PDAF, the speed to acquire focus would/should not be enhanced much (if at all) by pre-focus.

I also do not know of any other mirrorless camera/system that does this pre-focus.

Would it have been so difficult for Sony to have given us a menu option?

In general it is valid to argue that the user of any device should be given the option to disable anything that they do not like. The exceptions are (1.) it would cost too much, and (2.) when there already exists a perfectly good way to do the same thing. The question thus becomes why you have an issue with simply switching to MF when you want the camera to not do this. How would that be any less convenient, or any different in effect, from a selection within the menus? Certainly the AF/MF switch is as convenient as it could possibly be. (I assume the NEX-6 has an AF/MF button...) And as for the effect, the additional effect that MF has is that you are able to manually focus if you choose.

And besides, what is the big deal anyway? Battery consumption? It does not seem likely to me that the power used in moving the lens, or in the related processing, will stack up to the power associated with the LCD display and the EVF. As such, if there is anything here that is truly worth making any fuss over, it would be a way to make the displays go dark. And there is already a way to do that. Alternative techniques could potentially be added, but the one that already exists seems pretty good. I am of course talking about the power save feature. In the menu, you can set the timer value to a value as short as 10s, for serious battery conservation. When the timer expires and the camera takes a little nap, you wake it up by pressing the Menu button.

Between the use of the AF/MF switch and the flexibility of the power save feature, I just do not think that there is any need here that Sony did not address adequately well. To really save power, set the power save timer to 10s. If for some reason it just bugs you that the camera continually endeavors to achieve a crude level of focus, select toggling behavior for the AF/MF button and use it.

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Keit ll
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Re: NEX-6 major design flaw
In reply to kaiser soze, 10 months ago

Sounds reasonable but is in fact just rubbish ..... People complained about the ease with which the movie button could be easily accidentally activated but rather than come up with some pathetic workarounds Sony decided to fix that problem in a firmware upgrade & they could do the same to settle this issue which has aggravated many users ever since the NEX was launched.

Why is the paying customer always blamed for these kind of situations & why do a bunch of Uncle Toms try to put them down in defense of the indefensible ? Cynics among us might say that they had reasons to protect vested interests 

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kaiser soze
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Re: Mike - It's not a 'flaw' but I agree with you...
In reply to zackiedawg, 10 months ago

zackiedawg wrote:

Likely the reason you got jumped on a bit is that this forum, as well as many here, are polluted with people who come here with sole intention of stirring the pot by posting negative things about the camera line, which naturally creates a tense forum environment where every post that pops up with anything seemingly negative gets the same reaction: pitchforks and fire.  Your wording, especially in the title, is likely what got the reaction the most - calling it a flaw.  If you had asked if it was a flaw, or if you had noted that it's annoying to you...that would have probably made it through without as much reaction.

But, it was obvious upon reading his post that he was a real user just experiencing some frustration. A couple of people could have been a little gentler on him. It isn't like he insulted another person, and people do that all the time and no one complains until the person who got insulted loses his cool and goes on a tirade.

It's not a flaw because it was done on purpose, and by design.  And it's very similar to how many P&S cameras and mirrorless cameras work.  So 'flaw' was not a great word for it.  But 'Annoying'?  Yes - I would agree with you completely.  I've never liked that - it's one of the very few little irks I have with the NEX that I've called for fixes in firmware since the first days I had a NEX.  Just adding the option to turn it on or off would make a huge difference for those of us who do not like it.  Fortunately, it's not the worst problem a camera can have, it's easy enough to get used to or accept, and the battery life was never going to be in DSLR territory with these cameras anyway, so the small difference in battery draw doesn't really grate on me.  I do fine with the NEX despite the pre-focus which I don't like, and regularly switch from DSLR to NEX.  I can live with it because there's so much else to like about the NEX - would I disable it if I could? Yes, in a heartbeat.

You're not alone in disliking the behavior, but the question is can you just learn to get past it and enjoy the camera.  I can.  And who knows, maybe in some lucky world, a firmware update may address it someday...but probably not!

Why is this behavior annoying? Why can't you just switch it to MF? What is the downside to doing that, as compared to whatever behavior it is that you would prefer and propose? And what is the reason for thinking that this consumes an appreciable amount of battery power in comparison to the amount consumed by the LCD and EVF? And even if it is significant in a comparative sense, what is wrong with setting the power save timer to 10 s and then pressing the Menu button when you want it to wake up?

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kaiser soze
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Re: Mike - It's not a 'flaw' but I agree with you...
In reply to bzx, 10 months ago

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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kaiser soze
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Re: NEX-6 major design flaw
In reply to Keit ll, 10 months ago

Keit ll wrote:

Sounds reasonable but is in fact just rubbish ..... People complained about the ease with which the movie button could be easily accidentally activated but rather than come up with some pathetic workarounds Sony decided to fix that problem in a firmware upgrade & they could do the same to settle this issue which has aggravated many users ever since the NEX was launched.

Why is the paying customer always blamed for these kind of situations & why do a bunch of Uncle Toms try to put them down in defense of the indefensible ? Cynics among us might say that they had reasons to protect vested interests 

I strongly object to the uncivil tone of this and have clicked the "Complain" button. Specifically the use of the phrase "Uncle Toms" has strong negative connotations and is ENTIRELY out of place. And besides it is not even possible to figure out just what you are even trying to say and what the movie button even has to do with the topic of this thread. It is obvious that you are upset about something, but whatever it is, I had nothing to do with it and will not oblige in being the target of your misdirected anger.

Figure out what it is that you want to say, then say it in a coherent and civil tone. In particular, provide a rational, coherent argument for why the AF/MF button and the power save feature are not a fully adequate solution to the concern that is the topic of this thread. I reiterate: I STRONGLY take exception to people who come on forums and write the sort of rubbish that you wrote. It drives away people who genuinely have something intelligent to contribute and who genuinely participate in a good faith manner, which you are obviously not.

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zackiedawg
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Re: Mike - It's not a 'flaw' but I agree with you...
In reply to kaiser soze, 10 months ago

kaiser soze wrote:

But, it was obvious upon reading his post that he was a real user just experiencing some frustration. A couple of people could have been a little gentler on him. It isn't like he insulted another person, and people do that all the time and no one complains until the person who got insulted loses his cool and goes on a tirade.

Indeed it was, to you and to me.  But clearly not to some others who jumped on him.  I was just attempting to explain to him why some people might have jumped on his post so reactively so he doesn't feel the need to leave the forum, but I can only guess at why since I don't think this way.

Why is this behavior annoying? Why can't you just switch it to MF? What is the downside to doing that, as compared to whatever behavior it is that you would prefer and propose?

Because I don't want to have to switch it to MF...the downside is, I've had 4 previous cameras and one other current camera I use regularly which I've always been able to use the same way, and I'd like to also use my NEX the same way...but I cannot.  I want the camera to do nothing whatsoever until I decide to half-press the shutter button, which I would like to have initiate autofocus in Single AF mode, achieve focus where I intend, and lock.  I do not want to press a different button to trigger autofocus just because I'm very accustomed to doing it with the shutter button, as I have on all previous cameras and my other current one...so switching another button on the body to function as an AF/MF toggle is not as convenient or as intuitive for me, and also removes other functions I've mapped to that button which I might find much more useful.  Where prefocus interferes the most for me is when birding with the NEX - because I am walking around with a 357mm focal length with the camera pointed down at the ground, and the focus system prefocuses on the ground at minimum focus distance...when I need to pull the camera up to shoot a bird 60 feet away, it actually increases the focus time to acquire versus if the focus had stayed at the maximum focus distance from the previous shot and prefocus was turned off.

Again note that I'm someone who can easily live with it - I love my NEX and use it almost 50/50 with my DSLR, but given the CHOICE, I would turn off prefocus.  That's all.  I just always prefer choices.  When the NEX debuted, it didn't offer very many choices at all, and I had no interest in the camera.  When the first firmware was announced adding some custom button assignments, it was the first time choices were offered, and the first time I became interested in the camera. When the 5N debuted, it offered more choices, and I liked it even more.  Additional firmware updates added yet more choices, and I liked it even more.  If they were kind enough to offer the choice to turn off prefocus, I'd ramp up my like once again.  But it doesn't mean I dislike it now because of prefocus.  It's annoying to me personally because it's not the same workflow and shooting arrangement I have been accustomed to on all previous cameras, but by no means is it annoying enough to impact my purchase and thorough enjoyment of the NEX cameras.

And what is the reason for thinking that this consumes an appreciable amount of battery power in comparison to the amount consumed by the LCD and EVF? And even if it is significant in a comparative sense, what is wrong with setting the power save timer to 10 s and then pressing the Menu button when you want it to wake up?

Nothing.  I haven't complained about the power consumption being a major factor.  I have my power save set to 1 minute and even that's fine.  I use the EVF all the time, and I just carry two batteries.  I let my camera go to sleep, wake it with a menu or shutter half press as I'm bringing it up to my eye, and it's ready to go by the time it gets there...no problems for me.  The lifespan of the batteries is fine for what it is - 400 shots in normal mixed conditions has not been a problem for me, and I can push well over 1,000 shots using the EVF when I'm in wildlife shooting conditions (ie: no flash, rapid burst, no previewing, no chimping).  It won't approach my DSLR by a long shot, but that's no surprise - it isn't the prefocus, it's the size of the battery and the EVF/LCD constant live view that makes the difference there.

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kaiser soze
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Re: Mike - It's not a 'flaw' but I agree with you...
In reply to zackiedawg, 10 months ago

zackiedawg wrote:

kaiser soze wrote:

Why is this behavior annoying? Why can't you just switch it to MF? What is the downside to doing that, as compared to whatever behavior it is that you would prefer and propose?

Because I don't want to have to switch it to MF...the downside is, I've had 4 previous cameras and one other current camera I use regularly which I've always been able to use the same way, and I'd like to also use my NEX the same way...but I cannot.  I want the camera to do nothing whatsoever until I decide to half-press the shutter button, which I would like to have initiate autofocus in Single AF mode, achieve focus where I intend, and lock.  I do not want to press a different button to trigger autofocus just because I'm very accustomed to doing it with the shutter button, as I have on all previous cameras and my other current one...so switching another button on the body to function as an AF/MF toggle is not as convenient or as intuitive for me, and also removes other functions I've mapped to that button which I might find much more useful.  Where prefocus interferes the most for me is when birding with the NEX - because I am walking around with a 357mm focal length with the camera pointed down at the ground, and the focus system prefocuses on the ground at minimum focus distance...when I need to pull the camera up to shoot a bird 60 feet away, it actually increases the focus time to acquire versus if the focus had stayed at the maximum focus distance from the previous shot and prefocus was turned off.

That makes perfect sense to me. I understand now why you would just like there to be a setting in the menu to simply disable the prefocus. (Never let it be said that I cannot be persuaded by a coherent, rational explanation.) And with this bit of enlightenment, I now realize that the OP had a valid point.

And what is the reason for thinking that this consumes an appreciable amount of battery power in comparison to the amount consumed by the LCD and EVF? And even if it is significant in a comparative sense, what is wrong with setting the power save timer to 10 s and then pressing the Menu button when you want it to wake up?

Nothing.  I haven't complained about the power consumption being a major factor.

But unless I'm mistaken (and may be) part of the OP's concern was with battery use.

I have my power save set to 1 minute and even that's fine.  I use the EVF all the time, and I just carry two batteries.

According to the battery life tests that Sony did and made available somewhere (I read it just a few days ago but don't recall exactly where I found it), the EVF uses more power than the LCD. At first that surprised me, but physical size of the display would not be a meaningful basis for comparison except when comparing different sizes of display using the same technology. The LCD display very likely has LEDs inside it, and there are a different type of LED from the type used for the EVF, but my understanding is that with the OLED display, each color dot is an individual LED. That's a lot of LEDs.

I let my camera go to sleep, wake it with a menu or shutter half press as I'm bringing it up to my eye, and it's ready to go by the time it gets there...no problems for me.  The lifespan of the batteries is fine for what it is - 400 shots in normal mixed conditions has not been a problem for me, and I can push well over 1,000 shots using the EVF when I'm in wildlife shooting conditions (ie: no flash, rapid burst, no previewing, no chimping).  It won't approach my DSLR by a long shot, but that's no surprise - it isn't the prefocus, it's the size of the battery and the EVF/LCD constant live view that makes the difference there.

Is there good information on how much power live view consumes compared to using the LCD (or EVF) with live view disabled?

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kaiser soze
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Re: Mike - It's not a 'flaw' but I agree with you...
In reply to kaiser soze, 10 months ago

kaiser soze wrote:

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.

There is a mistake in what I wrote there. Should be "If the selection you made in the menu is either AF or DMF, you toggle to MF"

Sorry.

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franzel
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Re: Mike - It's not a 'flaw' but I agree with you...
In reply to kaiser soze, 10 months ago

kaiser soze wrote:

Why is this behavior annoying? Why can't you just switch it to MF ?

Sorry mate, but that is a bit silly, even if your Nex model has an AF/MF switch .

Many times, one will not remember that AF is disabled, not notice a slight blur on the display or VF, and happily take blurry pictures .
Also, it is one more, and completely unnecessary, adjustment to make before shooting .

I leave it on AF, no big deal, but it is yet another flaw of the Nex UI .

A flaw, because I don't believe anyone at Sony spend any thought on it . 
An intern checked a box on a list, and it was the same intern that messed up MF auto-enlargement, remote control and ordered control wheels that can be moved with a thought .

Not his fault, somebody just needs to give the kid a new list, with more 'disable option' check boxes .

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kaiser soze
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Re: Mike - It's not a 'flaw' but I agree with you...
In reply to kaiser soze, 10 months ago

kaiser soze wrote:

zackiedawg wrote:

Because I don't want to have to switch it to MF...the downside is, I've had 4 previous cameras and one other current camera I use regularly which I've always been able to use the same way, and I'd like to also use my NEX the same way...but I cannot.  I want the camera to do nothing whatsoever until I decide to half-press the shutter button, which I would like to have initiate autofocus in Single AF mode, achieve focus where I intend, and lock.  I do not want to press a different button to trigger autofocus just because I'm very accustomed to doing it with the shutter button, as I have on all previous cameras and my other current one...so switching another button on the body to function as an AF/MF toggle is not as convenient or as intuitive for me, and also removes other functions I've mapped to that button which I might find much more useful.  Where prefocus interferes the most for me is when birding with the NEX - because I am walking around with a 357mm focal length with the camera pointed down at the ground, and the focus system prefocuses on the ground at minimum focus distance...when I need to pull the camera up to shoot a bird 60 feet away, it actually increases the focus time to acquire versus if the focus had stayed at the maximum focus distance from the previous shot and prefocus was turned off.

That makes perfect sense to me. I understand now why you would just like there to be a setting in the menu to simply disable the prefocus. (Never let it be said that I cannot be persuaded by a coherent, rational explanation.) And with this bit of enlightenment, I now realize that the OP had a valid point.

I was just experimenting with the NEX-7 a little, and discovered that with the "FINDER/LCD Setting" set to "Viewfinder", that when the viewfinder goes dark when you pull your eye away from it (and the LCD remains dark) that prefocus does not occur until you bring your eye back to the viewfinder.

This still isn't exactly the same as having it not prefocus at all, but to me it seems very, very close to what you want the camera to do (to not do). To my way of thinking, the only notable drawback is that the LCD panel does not back come on until you go back into the menu and change the setting.

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kaiser soze
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Re: Mike - It's not a 'flaw' but I agree with you...
In reply to franzel, 10 months ago

franzel wrote:

kaiser soze wrote:

Why is this behavior annoying? Why can't you just switch it to MF ?

Sorry mate, but that is a bit silly, even if your Nex model has an AF/MF switch .

No apology necessary

Many times, one will not remember that AF is disabled, not notice a slight blur on the display or VF, and happily take blurry pictures .

Now where did I read this: 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.

Not to suggest that this is a perfect solution. Only that as long as you are always aware of the possibility of having switched to MF, that it isn't really very difficult to figure out which method is active. Again, by no means is this a perfect solution. It requires you to be always on the alert for MF and to push a button to make it go away.

Also, it is one more, and completely unnecessary, adjustment to make before shooting .

Yep, it is a workaround, to address the enormous and obvious problem with not being able to disable prefocus.

I leave it on AF, no big deal, but it is yet another flaw of the Nex UI .

A flaw, because I don't believe anyone at Sony spend any thought on it .

Whether they did or did not, that in and of itself doesn't make it a flaw. They could potentially have got this right without thinking about it, and they could potentially have spent an engineer-year thinking about this one issue and still not have come up with the implementation that you would consider ideal.

An intern checked a box on a list, and it was the same intern that messed up MF auto-enlargement, remote control and ordered control wheels that can be moved with a thought .

I'm not happy with the control wheel on the back, and think it is not a good design. But living with it is a choice that I made, to get a camera that I think is amazing overall but that has a number of minute imperfections. There will always, always, always be things to find that you don't like, and room for improvement. But the only legitimate downside of prefocus, that anyone here has thus far mentioned, is what the birder (zackiedawg, I think) said about how his long lens focuses on the ground when he would rather it stay focused at distance. I can understand that and I can understand why he would want to have a way to disable it. But what annoys me is when a bunch of people come piling on whenever someone mentions a characteristic of a camera that is not to their particular liking. I haven't looked at the threads for other camera families here, but it sure seems to me that with regards to the NEX, there is an awful lot of this piling on. There is no way to disable the prefocus. In the grander scheme of things, just how big of a deal is this? If that is the most serious flaw that I discover in the camera, I will be very, very happy with it.

And what's the deal with repeating the list of "potential flaws thus far identified" whenever someone starts a new thread with some new little nuance they discovered but don't like? If everyone does that, doesn't it seem to you that it will get a little tiring after a while? Why not just stick to what is being discussed in the thread?

Not his fault, somebody just needs to give the kid a new list, with more 'disable option' check boxes .

Yes, and if everyone gave their lists of wants, and Sony gave everyone what they wanted, the menus would get even more complex, and then everyone would complain about that, which they already do at many opportunities.

And please see the other recent comment I made re the fact that if you disable the LCD and use just the EVF (on the NEX-7, at least) that prefocus is not active until you put your eye up to the EVF. But then the rub is that the LCD does not come back on automatically. And so on and so forth ...

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Lightshow
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Re: NEX-6 major design flaw
In reply to GaryW, 10 months ago

GaryW wrote:

How would a camera be useable with it off?  As soon as I reframe the scene, everything would be blurry.  Then I'd half-press, then I'd see things in detail?  Bleah!  That just sounds annoying.  I'd be half-pressing all the time, even with a DSLR.

Wow, how lazy photographers have become, how did we survive with manual focus lenses?:)

Anyways, to the OP, the best workaround is to either use manual focus or turn off the camera till you plan to shoot, and turn it on as you bring it up to your eye, if you always do the same thing it will become 2nd nature and you will just do it without thinking about it.

The only real solution will have to come from Sony, contact them and explain the issues with per focus and birding, and the requirement for menus toggle for this "feature".

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