One thing I miss about my DSLR

Started Jun 29, 2013 | Discussions
007peter
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I missed the "Care-Free Reckless Abandon" shooting style with 95% accuracy
In reply to rogatsby, Jun 30, 2013

I have been shooting with Canon DSLR for 8 years before I switch to M43 then to NEX last year. What I missed he most was my "Care-Free Reckless Abandon" shooting style with a canon DSLR. When I setup my canon in AI Tracking Servo with all 9 AF points in continuous shooting, I get nearly 90 ~ 95% accuracy. It is as simple as point n' shoot, I simply point at my subject, then spray like a machine gun in short burst. But this shooting style doesn't work well with NEX. I have to be much more careful, more methodical, more double-checking reviews to ensure a decent keeper rate.

I find NEX 7fps burst mode to be a double-edge sword:

  • NEX focus & exposure are locked at the 1st frame of a burst under burst mode
  • [+] if the 1st frame is in focus, I can shoot in rapid succession that few canon dslr can match
  • [-] but if subject move out of focus in the 1st frame, then I'm screw with rapid succession of out-of-focus images.

In time, Sony will perfect its NEX hybraid/PDAF to the level of its Sony SLT, but today, shooting action is still much easier done with a DSLR or SLT.

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BubbaHotepUK
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Re: One thing I miss about my DSLR
In reply to rogatsby, Jun 30, 2013

I agree with the OP - I know from experience that my NEXen simply aren't up to nailing focus on moving subjects whatever the shutter speed.  I often go out shooting with a friend of mine who takes motorbike shots and uses panning to capture the impression of speed. He uses a low-end Canon 600D.  I can't consistently match his results with my 5N or 7 no matter how hard I try.  I do get occasionally successful shots but they are are as much a matter of luck as skill. If I switch to his Canon I can nail shots like the OPs with no problems (though I'm familiar with Canons).

I'd be interested to see shots like this with the mixed PDAF focusing NEXen to see if they are any better, but for using the 5N, the only option is to pre-focus on a spot and hope your subject passes over it.

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GaryW
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Re: I missed the "Care-Free Reckless Abandon" shooting style with 95% accuracy
In reply to 007peter, Jun 30, 2013

007peter wrote:

I have been shooting with Canon DSLR for 8 years before I switch to M43 then to NEX last year. What I missed he most was my "Care-Free Reckless Abandon" shooting style with a canon DSLR. When I setup my canon in AI Tracking Servo with all 9 AF points in continuous shooting, I get nearly 90 ~ 95% accuracy. It is as simple as point n' shoot, I simply point at my subject, then spray like a machine gun in short burst. But this shooting style doesn't work well with NEX. I have to be much more careful, more methodical, more double-checking reviews to ensure a decent keeper rate.

The much-derided "spray and pray" style.  

I find NEX 7fps burst mode to be a double-edge sword:

  • NEX focus & exposure are locked at the 1st frame of a burst under burst mode
  • [+] if the 1st frame is in focus, I can shoot in rapid succession that few canon dslr can match
  • [-] but if subject move out of focus in the 1st frame, then I'm screw with rapid succession of out-of-focus images.

In time, Sony will perfect its NEX hybraid/PDAF to the level of its Sony SLT, but today, shooting action is still much easier done with a DSLR or SLT.

According to the manual, the PDAF will allow focusing to continue even in speed burst mode. (On the Nex-6 or 5r.)  10fps with continuous focusing... anyone try it?

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007peter
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Slow Motion Capture with Slow Shutter-Speed to Blur Out Backdrop
In reply to photo perzon, Jun 30, 2013

photo perzon wrote:

1/250, 1/500/ 1/800 and you will nail it

Sorry No. Fast Shutter-speed is good for Freezing Action with everything clear. The problem is when you FREEZe a motion, your subject is competely removed from any sense of motion.

His choosing of F10 @1/40 is an artistic choice. It is done on purpose to create a feeling of motion. For example, I shot this at just 1/8s to blur out the backdrop and create motion blur on purpose

I won 13th place in Compact Power: Panning

iso80 f2.8 1/8s

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Tuloom
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Re: One thing I miss about my DSLR
In reply to Digital Nigel, Jun 30, 2013

Digital Nigel wrote:

I wonder if the panning would have been more successful with a camera with a viewfinder (optical or electronic)? Certainly, with my NEX-7, if going for a panning shot like that, I'd use the EVF rather than the rear screen.

This is an important wrinkle. The OP mentions nothing in his post about panning technique, much less about panning itself, but I digress.

Without a viewfinder one is moving from 3 points of contact with the camera (parts of the face and both hands) to two points of contact (hands only).  Additionally, with no viewfinder, your arms will be extended. Extended arms and 2 points of contact is going to result in a loss of stability; not at all what you're after for panning.

A better question and thread would be how to better pan without a viewfinder.

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Tommygun45
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Re: One thing I miss about my DSLR
In reply to Tuloom, Jun 30, 2013

I went through this panning phase for a little bit with my 5n as well. Some other advice I would give is to practice more. Also during daylight its a bit harder to get the faster shutter speeds because if there is a bright sun it will over expose the images. Might need a polarizer if you are getting down to like 1/4. I'd go out to a busy road and just practice over and over again on cars driving by changing your settings and seeing what works best.

Here are a couple random ones i tried last year. You can hopefully see the exif. This was my first time trying but I learned some stuff.

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GaryR60
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Re: One thing I miss about my DSLR
In reply to rogatsby, Jun 30, 2013

rogatsby wrote:

Overall, I have been very pleased with my Nex-5N, and I am really glad I switched from my big, heavy Canon DSLR.

As many have pointed out, however, the Nex cameras have slow autofocus when it comes to moving subjects, and I am having a lot of trouble getting usable actions shots. Undoubtedly, part of my problem is probably lack of skill in getting the Nex to get nice focus of moving subjects, but it was pretty easy for me with my DSLR.

Of course, I have seen some very nice shots posted by other members, and I know many of you will be able to show terrific action shots taken with your Nex cameras. But I think it's pretty clear that it is more difficult with the Nex's limitations in autofocus speed.

Here is a shot that I just took today. I got the composition and angle I wanted, but I just couldn't nail the focus, and I eventually gave up. Guess I need to keep practicing.

The NEX-6 takes care of the slow autofocus problem, which is why I'm upgrading to one from my 5N.

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teaberry
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As someone who had 5n and 6, and now 7, PDAF is not...
In reply to GaryR60, Jul 1, 2013

that great. you'll notice it's a bit better than 5n in focus, but if you're upgrading just for PDAF, you'd be disappointed. Of course, other things like EVF, the quick dial, and better in-camera fixes for some lenses are great features.

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mike winslow
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OSS and pan
In reply to GaryW, Jul 1, 2013

Good thought.. the oss might work against you

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tomtom50
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Re: OSS and pan
In reply to mike winslow, Jul 1, 2013

Tracking focus is something DSLRs are better at. The only mirrorless camer with DSLR-competitive tracking focus is the Nikon 1 series (provided light is good).

Nikon has some secret cause for on-sensor PDAF that works really well. They even have an adapter that allows you to use F-mount lenses with fast AF. It doesn't need a pellicle like the LA-EA2.

Don't like the Nikon 1 for other reasons? Neither do I.

I tried an Olympus EPL5 before settling on NEX. There is no doubt that the Olympus camera do single-shot AF lightning fast. It is amazing. In touchscreen trigger mode you touch anywhere on the screen and it focuses to that location and shoots almost instantly. It is a killer feature, so much so that I settled on Nex with regrets. If you do action m43 is the next best platform after Nikon 1.

Sticking with NEX, if you really value fast tracking focus get an LA-EA2 and you have it. The problems are it's not cheap, you need more lenses, and the setup is no longer compact.

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zackiedawg
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Late to the thread, but my cents or pence...
In reply to rogatsby, Jul 1, 2013

After reading through all the responses, I see some others have hit upon the point I feel is most relevant to your situation, while others are going off on other topics i think are unrelated.

First off, motion blur is indeed the issue at hand, not focus, in the shot.  Motion blur in this case was desirable, as you wanted a slower shutter speed to make the background blur past the subject for implied motion, but this requires a degree of steadiness during the panning which can be fairly difficult if you don't have a higher degree of skill or experience with it - and it would seem the camera was moving not only in the panning motion, but likely slightly out-paced or under-paced the bike's movement (uneven speed during the pan didn't perfectly match the bike's speed), and also a bit of up-and-down wobble motion.  As some others mentioned, this result would be very similar with a DSLR, assuming the same user errors were made.

Where the DSLR may give a slight advantage to you is in your familiarity with it, the ergonomics of the body which may help your stability, and the optical viewfinder to your face which helped you pan more evenly and avoid up-and-down wobble.  If you were doing this with your 5N off the LCD, that would indeed require a re-learning of your technique to figure out how to more evenly pan with your subject and avoid straying up or down or moving too fast or slow.  If you were to learn this technique using the EVF on the NEX-5N, I think you'd find it much more similar to your DSLR, and therefore easier.

I do not find the stabilization system to be in any way detrimental during such panning - in fact, I find it to possibly even be helpful - it doesn't interfere with the panning on the subject in the direction of travel, but possibly helps even out the 'bumps' in the up-and-down motion you may make while panning.

I've done some slower shutter speed pans with the NEX, and lots with DSLRs, and for me, the NEX presents no additional difficulties - my caveat being that I always do so on the NEX using the EVF...I could imagine trying to do so with the LCD would make things a bit more unsteady and difficult as it would force me to relearn my panning speed and technique a bit.

Also, depending on the type of action, sometimes a little blur in the subject isn't necessarily bad, as it can increase the feel of urgency and movement.  With something like birds in flight, I tend to like to see the subject sharper, but with a vehicle sometimes a little motion blur on the subject along with much more blur in the background can make it feel even faster.

Here are a few examples with my NEX-5N using slower shutter speeds and panning:

Admittedly I've done it more with the DSLR, mostly just because I've shot with it much longer...but when I do try it with the NEX, it's not really any different or more difficult since I stick with the EVF that gives me the same natural stance and ability to pan with my head and eye rather than my arms or hands.  Focus is never the issue for me - with this type of subject, immediate focus acquisition is rarely necessary since you are panning at the same speed as the subject and usually for several seconds - more than enough time for the slowest of cameras to get confirmed focus...the issue always comes down to how smooth and how perfectly synched your panning is with the subject.

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GaryR60
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Re: As someone who had 5n and 6, and now 7, PDAF is not...
In reply to teaberry, Jul 1, 2013

teaberry wrote:

that great. you'll notice it's a bit better than 5n in focus, but if you're upgrading just for PDAF, you'd be disappointed. Of course, other things like EVF, the quick dial, and better in-camera fixes for some lenses are great features.

PDAF, a built-in EVF, a better controls layout, WiFi, apps....

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mike winslow
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Re: Late to the thread, but my cents or pence...
In reply to zackiedawg, Jul 1, 2013

OSS on or off with these?

I liked the effect, and was messing around with it while walking back from church, but with a 28mm m42..panning cars in the street as they drove by  One came out OK..  bit no AF or OSS on that.  I would guess that these might get in the way more often than they helped.. subject dependant, distance etc..

I like the effect, but wonder if turning off the AF and  OSS is better or worse in general..  It certainly keeps camera surprises minimized.

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zackiedawg
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Re: Late to the thread, but my cents or pence...
In reply to mike winslow, Jul 1, 2013

All of mine were with OSS on, and regular AF-S single shot mode.  With this type of panning, tracking AF is rarely needed - most of the time when you want implied motion blur, you're tracking a subject mostly from side to side, so the focus stays relatively the same distance to the camera - that's why focus has essentially been a non-issue for me with these types of shots.  If I pan with a subject moving across the frame at 40MPH, all I need to do is keep my pan at the same speed as the moving target, giving the camera oodles of time to acquire focus in single AF mode and lock, then I fire.  I may release focus and reacquire several times during the pan, to readjust for slight differences as the subject heads past, slightly changing the focal distance.

So far, OSS in the NEX lenses or sensor-based stabilization on my DSLR has never had to be turned off, and has never interfered with the pan.

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evoprox
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Re: One thing I miss about my DSLR
In reply to rogatsby, Jul 1, 2013

I do that a bit myself and haven't found that the type of camera makes any significant difference as long as you have any control over shutter speeds. Just do some dry shots with different shutter speeds to get an idea of the amount of motion blur you'd like to see and practice-practice-practice. You could also use some fill-in flash to freeze some of the movement in the foreground. (Since they prohibited smoking in airports you can find me somewhere in the departure area, shooting people, panning cars, while having a smoke or two and waiting for my flight

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C.Eaton
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Re: One thing I miss about my DSLR
In reply to rogatsby, Jul 1, 2013

Personally I think you're being a bit hard on yourself, your shot is fine for what you were trying to acheive.

To give yourself the best chance of a keeper, I'd suggest going multi-shot and firing off a burst then cherry picking the best. For a bit of added spice, try rattling off four or five frames while also zooming.

Hard to pull off but satisfying when it works.

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rogatsby
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Re: Late to the thread, but my cents or pence...
In reply to zackiedawg, Jul 1, 2013

zackiedawg wrote:

After reading through all the responses, I see some others have hit upon the point I feel is most relevant to your situation, while others are going off on other topics i think are unrelated.

First off, motion blur is indeed the issue at hand, not focus, in the shot. Motion blur in this case was desirable, as you wanted a slower shutter speed to make the background blur past the subject for implied motion, but this requires a degree of steadiness during the panning which can be fairly difficult if you don't have a higher degree of skill or experience with it - and it would seem the camera was moving not only in the panning motion, but likely slightly out-paced or under-paced the bike's movement (uneven speed during the pan didn't perfectly match the bike's speed), and also a bit of up-and-down wobble motion. As some others mentioned, this result would be very similar with a DSLR, assuming the same user errors were made.

Where the DSLR may give a slight advantage to you is in your familiarity with it, the ergonomics of the body which may help your stability, and the optical viewfinder to your face which helped you pan more evenly and avoid up-and-down wobble. If you were doing this with your 5N off the LCD, that would indeed require a re-learning of your technique to figure out how to more evenly pan with your subject and avoid straying up or down or moving too fast or slow. If you were to learn this technique using the EVF on the NEX-5N, I think you'd find it much more similar to your DSLR, and therefore easier.

I do not find the stabilization system to be in any way detrimental during such panning - in fact, I find it to possibly even be helpful - it doesn't interfere with the panning on the subject in the direction of travel, but possibly helps even out the 'bumps' in the up-and-down motion you may make while panning.

I've done some slower shutter speed pans with the NEX, and lots with DSLRs, and for me, the NEX presents no additional difficulties - my caveat being that I always do so on the NEX using the EVF...I could imagine trying to do so with the LCD would make things a bit more unsteady and difficult as it would force me to relearn my panning speed and technique a bit.

Also, depending on the type of action, sometimes a little blur in the subject isn't necessarily bad, as it can increase the feel of urgency and movement. With something like birds in flight, I tend to like to see the subject sharper, but with a vehicle sometimes a little motion blur on the subject along with much more blur in the background can make it feel even faster.

Here are a few examples with my NEX-5N using slower shutter speeds and panning:

Admittedly I've done it more with the DSLR, mostly just because I've shot with it much longer...but when I do try it with the NEX, it's not really any different or more difficult since I stick with the EVF that gives me the same natural stance and ability to pan with my head and eye rather than my arms or hands. Focus is never the issue for me - with this type of subject, immediate focus acquisition is rarely necessary since you are panning at the same speed as the subject and usually for several seconds - more than enough time for the slowest of cameras to get confirmed focus...the issue always comes down to how smooth and how perfectly synched your panning is with the subject.

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Justin
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Some irrelevant comments in this thread, but some also very constructive and helpful comments as well - especially yours, Zackiedawg. Your shots are amazing. You are probably right that there may have been motion blur with the camera, although I was trying to be smooth and steady. You are right, all of these types I have tried in the past were using a DSLR with a viewfinder. I didn't have much trouble getting shots like this with the DSLR, and I was getting frustrated with the 5N. I guess I need more practice using the LCD screen for panning shots, or maybe I need to invest in the EVF for my 5N.

On the bright side, I don't think I was off that much for my first try with the Nex, and I was actually pleased with the overall effect of my shot. Now I need to get out there and keep working at it for the perfect shot

Again, thanks for your help.

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rogatsby
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Re: One thing I miss about my DSLR
In reply to C.Eaton, Jul 1, 2013

C.Eaton wrote:

Personally I think you're being a bit hard on yourself, your shot is fine for what you were trying to acheive.

To give yourself the best chance of a keeper, I'd suggest going multi-shot and firing off a burst then cherry picking the best. For a bit of added spice, try rattling off four or five frames while also zooming.

Hard to pull off but satisfying when it works.

Thanks for your kind comment. I didn't mean to sound like I was complaining. I was actually satisfied with the overall effect as well, but wanted some insight as to why I couldn't nail the focus like I used to with my DSLR.

And thanks to helpful members like you, I now know for sure that the biggest reason is that I'm a Nex noob, and I need to practice these types of shots a lot more with the new system

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zackiedawg
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Re: Late to the thread, but my cents or pence...
In reply to rogatsby, Jul 1, 2013

Thank you - and may I say I regret not mentioning one very important thing in my post to you: I actually like your shot and the result as it is - I wouldn't consider that a failed shot by any measure.  It has good action and motion, is cropped right, with the empty space to the right of the bike, and the subject and bike are clear enough to see the details, but have a sense of dynamic action to them.

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teaberry
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ditto your shots are very well done...
In reply to zackiedawg, Jul 2, 2013

And I am convinced oss is not an issue. For me I have another chance by attending Le Mans this year in Austin to try again. I picked up la-ea2 and sigma 18-250 OS lens to compare panning against my sel18200. Will post back results in Sept

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