With the world’s fastest autofocus system (A6000)

Started Feb 12, 2014 | Discussions thread
GaryW Veteran Member • Posts: 8,705
Re: re: few questions on practical aspects of the a6k

Digital Nigel wrote:

erringtont wrote:

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.

Why would it bother opening the aperture only to use CDAF and not PDAF?

Well, I'll continue to take my chances with P mode!

...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.

Can you do it in the opposite order?  You can half-press to compose focus, and then use the AEL button to lock the exposure, then frame how you want and fully-press the shutter.  (There's a menu option to turn off setting AEL with shutter.)

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.

What I meant is that Sony didn't seem to do this in its cameras in the past.  I'm not saying that it has never been done in other brands.  I had an old Nikon P&S that had it.  I even found it occasionally useful.  However, when deciding whether or not to purchase a Sony camera, I had to make the call -- can I work around that?  And it turns out that I've been able to, although turning a dial to a custom mode that you have set up at the start of your shoot can make things a lot easier.

The tiny Sony RX100 has three user memory settings, whereas my NEX-7 has none. It's obviously overdue in the Alpha range.

By the way, I just took a number of photos of kids sledding down an icy street.  Looks pretty good.  Movement was quick, I didn't have time to MF, so I had to rely on Af.  I used some continuous focus, but mostly single shots. Tried speed continuous, and sometimes the camera go confused and OOF. Aside from that, it was great, with few missed shots. I didn't notice a speed issue.

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Gary W.

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Sony E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS Sony E PZ 18-105mm F4 G OSS Sony Cyber-shot DSC-V3 Sony Alpha DSLR-A100 Sony Alpha NEX-5 +8 more
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