NEX 7 autofocus problem

Started Apr 1, 2013 | Discussions thread
zackiedawg Forum Pro • Posts: 29,509
Re: NEX 7 autofocus problem

There are a few things to consider when using stabilization (Steady shot) systems...that could be causing your issues.

First off, it is always advisable to turn OFF any form of stabilization when shooting from a tripod or a level surface.  Stabilization systems are reacting to perceived motion by countering that motion to achieve a neutral status - but it relies on the camera being in free motion - the floating lens assembly system or sensor (depending on the type of stabilization) counters any motion the camera body makes.  When on a tripod, the action of the focus assembly moving, or the shutter triggering, can be perceived as movement to the stabilization system, especially because the body is fixed to a hard point and therefore any minor movements are reverberated through the body - the 'counter' movement it creates therefore isn't actually countering anything, but in fact can actually cause motion blur.  Note it won't always happen - some folks have shot with stabilization on from a tripod and nothing happened - but it's not always going to be the case, and you're better off and safer turning it off.  The higher-res sensor of the NEX7 might have been more sensitive to finer movement, or you were just particularly more unlucky!

Secondly, stabilization systems can usually counter any movement, but that doesn't make them foolproof - you can move too much, beyond what they can correct, or you also can occasionally shoot 'in between' stabilized counter movements, still resulting in occasionally blurred shots.  Often this will be very small motion blur, the sort that will look like OOF similar to what you are seeing.  It's usually best to half-press to acquire focus and trigger the stabilization system, then shoot fairly quickly after - the longer you hold at half-press the more the stabilization has to keep working to counter any movement.

It might be worth doing a series of tests, with stabilization on and off, handheld, and see if when stabilization is turned on, no matter the shutter speed, you are having issues with sharpness or minor blur.  Also, try a few different stabilized lenses if you have others.  That way, you can eliminate any potential stabilization system problems with the lens, or confirm it.  Either way, your camera is not the likely culprit, but the lens itself, since that's where the stabilization resides.  It's more likely one of the first two scenarios above, but if it turns out to be a problem with the stabilization system, you might be able to send the lens in for repair or warranty replacement.

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