Why does everyone want more AF points?

Started Aug 25, 2008 | Discussions thread
Suntan Veteran Member • Posts: 6,003
Re: try the D300 AF 3D tracking and dynamic area

Is the speed / sensitivity of 3D tracking
adjustable? My experience with it did not leave me impressed.

The time delay between jumping to focus on something that is at a different distance is adjustable (a medium to long delay will keep the camera from moving to focus on an announcer’s stand as it passes between you and a plane at an airshow for example.) If that’s what you are asking. But the speed at which the 3D tracking tracks an object is not adjustable to my knowledge.

Although I have not had the need to use its advanced tracking capabilities in real world shooting, I did test it out when first “getting to know” the D300 and I will give you my experience. When you first try the 3D tracking I believe your first inclination is to just hold the camera steady and watch the AF points as they track whatever erratically moving subject around the viewfinder. In reality, when shooting in real world conditions, you are most likely going to be trying to track the subject yourself and the 3D tracking shouldn’t have to work to “chase” the subject all over the frame.

Second, I did notice when shooting an indoor bird exhibit at a zoo (and intentionally testing the 3D tracking system) that the focus point LCD displays in the viewfinder kind of always lagged behind the fast moving birds, but the birds themselves were almost always in focus (not 100% but nothing’s perfect). Therefore, it is important not to get too distracted by the moving focus points, or assume that just because the focus points are not dead nuts on top of the active subject as it moves, that the subject isn’t in focus. With more time spent learning the system, you can clearly become comfortable with knowing when the 3D tracking is tracking the subject and when it has become confused and been lead astray by other objects in the frame.

As with everything mechanical, its not 100% perfect, but it is quite impressive and it works very well for certain situations. (Keep in mind, it’s not the only predictive focus option to choose from on the D300.)

-Suntan

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