Started Jan 25, 2013 | Discussions thread
michaeladawson Forum Pro • Posts: 10,979
Re: AF-ON button behavior

chlamchowder wrote:

What actually happens (on the D600, and I assume on the D4/800), is that the camera is in the selected priority mode while AF is activated. If the AF-ON button is not held down and the shutter release isn't set to activate autofocus, it goes to release priority.

And you don't think that's a bug? I have the camera set to focus priority and the camera decides that it's going to switch itself to release priority? Sorry, can't accept that. You're right in the sense that this may have been intentional by Nikon. But it was a wrong decision.

I guess there are two different interpretations of what focus priority should mean.

One interpretation is focus priority = only release when focus can be confirmed

The other interpretation is focus priority = allow autofocus operation to finish before release

With the second interpretation, the shutter can be released when there's no autofocus operation going on (the camera doesn't have to wait for something to finish).

With the first interpretation, I can see problems as well. You won't be able to instantly switch over into manual focus with an AF-S lens without first pushing AF-ON and waiting for AF to finish. Otherwise, the camera will refuse to release unless what's under the selected AF sensor is in focus, defeating the point of MF override. I don't know if that's what actually happened with previous Nikon cameras.

I'm personally fine with how my D600 works as is with respect to focus/release priority. It's actually always in release priority anyways, so I don't care too much. However, it does seem like a lot of old Nikon owners aren't so happy about this, so an option to switch between focus priority modes would be nice.

With all due respect I don't think you have really learned how the current cameras operate when you have AF activation set to AF-ON only.

Set the camera AF activation to AF-ON Only.  Set priority selection to focus priority.  Set it this way for both AF-C and AF-S mode.  Now point the camera at something that is out of focus.  Do not press the AF-ON button.  Now press the shutter button.  The camera takes a photo.  It doesn't matter whether you have the camera in AF-C or AF-S mode.  There is no difference between focus or release priority behavior.  You lose ALL focus priority logic.  Who cares about AS-S lens manual AF override at this point?

If you want AF-S lens manual AF override you can have exactly the same capability with the old camera behavior in release priority mode.

Perhaps I'm missing something.  I'm certainly open to hearing where I am going wrong on my understanding of the new behavior.

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Mike Dawson

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