With the world’s fastest autofocus system (A6000)

Started Feb 12, 2014 | Discussions thread
erringtont Regular Member • Posts: 337
Re: re: few questions on practical aspects of the a6k

GaryW wrote:

Certainly we'll have to wait for full reviews of the actual performance, but so far no one has asked if the limitations on the NEX 6's Hybrid PDAF AF system will continue to be the case with the a6k.

For example:

On the NEX 6 PDAF only works with compatible lenses used at apertures of f6.3 or wider. Has that been addressed/changed in the a6K?

Actually, in P mode, you can use any aperture you want -- the camera will change the aperture between focusing and snapping the photo. You can watch the aperture in the lens and see! This is in single-shot mode, though (AF-S) not AF-C.

Thanks for the tip regarding Program mode. I'll give that a try, however Sony is pretty specific about the limitation. In the NEX 6/5R Handbook Page 131:

"When the aperture value is greater than F6.3, Phase Detection AF is unavailable. You can only use Contrast AF."

It may well be focusing wide open, but using CD not PD.

Will earlier lenses that had firmware updates to enable the NEX 6's PDAF system still work on the new model or will additional FW updates be needed?

Will the viewfinder image still pulsate when AF-C is active and aperture values are greater than f6.3?

Interesting. Even in P mode, it'll still do this pulsing over f6.3.

Will third party lenses be able to take advantage of this new AF performance (after all Sony did open the E-Mount spec)?

Other NEX 6 issues:

Focus point selection is a multi-button press exercise. My sense is there is no change in that function on the a6k.

Per jpr2 it appears that one cannot configure an "AF-On" function to any of the configurable buttons removing focus from the half shutter press.

I haven't noticed this on the Nex-6. What would you use it for?

Many DSLR's have an AF-On button on the rear of the camera (Canon & Nikon in particular) and can be configured so the half shutter press does not activate AF. This is not dissimilar to how we used to focus SLRs before AF. Very handy for focus then recompose without having to use AF-L among other benefits.

The NEX 6 had no provision for saving user settings. This appears to have been addressed with the MR on the mode dial, but we'll have to wait and see how flexible that feature will be.

Is this new for Sony? The past cameras I've seen in the past don't have any custom setting modes.

Not sure about other Sony models, but many cameras have such a feature. Even my little LX-5 has two user settings memory selections. It helps to avoid menu diving considerably.

I own a NEX 6 and enjoy shooting with it, however I have missed shots due to its relatively slow AF performance.

I must have a different kind of Nex-6. I find the AF fast. In the IR review, they give it a figure of .26", IIRC, and that sounds about right. Faster than some, slower than others.

Sometimes it doesn't focus on what I want it to (or doesn't focus), but it will snap the photo pretty rapidly...and usually it works. If a DSLR gets a few more keepers, I can live with that. In really low light, especially with the 55-210, all bets are off (it might take a while!), but aside from that....

Gary W.

As one example, while out shooting with the 18-200 LE (with the FW update for PDAF) recently, a white tailed kite flew up nearby and began to hover in mid air as they will do when hunting. I swung the camera up zoomed out to 200mm and the camera refused to focus for several seconds. Long enough for the bird to fly off. Now normally if I was out birding I'd be toting the Nikon and would have gotten the shot, but this simple example illustrated to me that MILC AF is not up to DSLR levels yet. Maybe the claimed improvement with the a6k will narrow that gap. We'll see.

 erringtont's gear list:erringtont's gear list
Nikon D810 Nikon D500 Sony a6300 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G +10 more
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