SONY FOCUS SYSTEM Outline (Sony's Mind Un-Scrambled)

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SONY FOCUS SYSTEM Outline (Sony's Mind Un-Scrambled)
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SONY FOCUS SYSTEM OUTLINE. (Sony’s Mind Un-Scrambled)

rx100m6 focus system used, stills only, for touch screen focus, see: X links.

Consider a full reset prior to making changes, to avoid interactive restrictions.

Focus Mode, Focus Area Size, Metering, Shooting Modes: Include them in your Fn Button Menu.

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I Focus Notes.

II Focus Modes. AF, MF, DMF, Tracking, Variations and Assists.

III Focus Area Sizes and Focus Area Locations

IV Focus Standard (movable focus areas: easily find, move, re-center focus areas)

V Image Stabilization

VI Minimum Focus Distance

VII Interactive Restrictions

VIII Custom Key Assignments

VIX My Setup

X Links to Sony Help Guides and My Related Threads

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  1. FOCUS NOTES.Find your subject, set focus distance to your subject, that’s all there is to it. Easy!

Control of the Focus System is the primary reason to “GET THEE OUT OF AUTO”.

I suggest beginners start with P mode (Program Mode), learn 1 thing at a time.

P mode is like Auto: camera still determines the 3 basics for you: Shutter Speed, Aperture, and ISO.

P mode also gives you control of the focus system, metering system, and flash system (settings Auto will not let you change). Aperture, Shutter and Manual modes give you those controls and more.

Start with Focus Control, then Metering. Then if needed/desired: S mode for Shutter Speed/Motion Control, A mode for Aperture Control, primarily to control Focus Depth (shallow or deep), finally Manual.

Hybrid AF Focus System (PDCD) combines Phase Detect (AF points on most of the sensor), with Contrast Detect which finds edges of objects (vertical edges primarily). Speed and Accuracy are enhanced. Super-Fast Continuous Shooting, with individual focus and metering for each shot. (PD points require AF-C focus mode)

Focus Depth (Shallow or Deep), and Backgrounds (Clear or Blurred): focus related, need separate threads

  1. FOCUS MODES

AF: Automatic Focus Modes, Methods, Variations, Assists, Restrictions: all to help you ensure the automatic focus system finds your subject: large, small, here, there, still or moving.

MF: Manual Focus you do it all. Two MF assists, notes below

DMF. Direct Manual Focus (Mix of initial AF and optional MF refinement). notes below

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AF Variations and Assists (Sony now calls Tracking Lock-On)

Pre-Focus; AF-S; AF-C; AF-A; AF-Eye; AF-Face; AF-Smile; Illumination; Center Lock-ON; Lock-On

  1. Pre-Focus, (default on) occurs before Half Press Focus Initiation. It pre-positions the lens so you can see your subject well, and the final focus requires very little lens movement, faster finish.

You don’t normally notice it. Aim at something near, it automatically pre-focuses, once, waits. Aim at something far away, it pre-focuses again, once, and waits. Option OFF if it causes shaking.

  1. Half Press: Focus Lock, or, Focus Initiation, distance is found and locked (AF-S), or found and continually updated (AF-C), (see below). Full press activates the shutter.

Metering. Two metering variations are related to Half-Press.

  1. Exposure Meteringoccurs at final press/not half press (default). (AEL w/ Shutter OFF).

Metering at your initial framing, shoot, or, if you reframe, the metering will be taken based on the light at that different view (which could result in poor exposure of your initial focused subject).

Optionally, you can lock both Focus and Metering at Half-Press (AEL w/ Shutter ON).

AEL Lock, if enabled, lets you lock the exposure metering independently, prior to a shot. For a single shot or keep that locked exposure for subsequent shots.

  1. Metering Option: Focus Point Link. IF you are using any off-center focus area box, the metering location can be linked, and will be taken wherever the focus box is located.

menu, camera 1, pg 6, bottom line, Spot Metering Point, change to Focus Point Link.

  1. AF-S, (Single). At half press, focus distance is locked and held. Confirm AF system set focus distance based on your subject. If not, release half press, aim slightly differently, half press again, now your subject? You can Hold Half Press Focus Lock, wait for something (baby smile, cloud to move, animal position, and/or reframe, whatever, finish the shot whenever. Nothing happening, release the half-press, start again.
  1. AF-C, (Continuous) at half press focus distance is initially found, then continually updated, until you finish the shot. Works with Continuous Shooting, Bracketing, other shooting modes. AF-C, like AF-S, sees only the objects in the focus area box, it is best for front to back movement. If side to side movement occurs, you must pan sideways to keep the focus area box on your moving subject. Note: Continuous Shooting, Lock-ON AF, Phase Detect all require AF-C).
  1. AF-A. Camera, not you, determines whether to use AF-S or AF-C. New option, I don’t trust it.
  1. AF-Eye; AF-Face; AF-Smile pre-assigned preferences.

AF-Eye, you choose when to shoot. Center Button Default. It can be reassigned elsewhere.

AF-Face: Multi/Large Area Size. you choose when to shoot. AF system looks for faces, uses light at faces for metering. Best if faces are essentially the same distance away.

AF-Smile: is a shutter trigger, automatically fires when a smile appears.

  1. AF Illuminator. An infrared beam of light, so the AF system can see in the dark.

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Two Lock-On (Tracking) variations (Sony now calls Tracking Lock-On)

Both work with all shooting modes: Single, Continuous, even Bracketing. Of course you would want appropriate steadiness and/or fast enough shutter speed for Motion, or any of the 4 bracketing modes. (single sequence exposure; continuous sequence exposure; white balance; DRO bracketing). Keep in mind: Lock-On does not require a Custom Key (available for something else), Center Lock-On requires a Custom Key.

  1. Lock-On AF. (AF-C focus mode only, enables PD points) (no custom key required)

It is an AF Focus Mode (oddly located in focus area size settings). It can use any area size, in any area location you choose. Once set up, it is quick to use.

  1. choose AF-C focus mode
  2. choose Lock-ON AF in AF Area Size options, bottom of the choices.
  3. Set which area size Lock-On will use via l/r rockers.
  4. white focus area box appears, move it where you want to start tracking
  5. aim at something in chosen location, half press, green PD points show initially in area location you chose, finds subject (if one), then it automatically tracks what it found in the initial location. Aim at blank wall or sky, white box, nothing to find, no green PD points, no tracking. You may need to Pan to help keep the tracking on your subject.
  1. Center Lock-ON AF. (It works with AF-S, AF-C and the new AF-A) (requires custom key)

Subject must be in the center to be initially assigned, then automatically tracked. CLO always uses small spot area size focus box.

  1. Set-up (turn on in menu, and assign CLO to a custom key)
  2. Turn it On: Menu, camera 1, page 4
  3. Assign Center Lock-On to a custom key. (I recommend rear center button).

Menu, camera 2, page 9, press top line Custom Key, press center button, rocker down to Center Button, press center button, rocker to pg 4, down to Center Lock-On AF, press center button to confirm choice, press Menu to exit.

Note: re-assigning center button, you lose its default Eye AF, other assignment options exist, perhaps C button if not wanting to use Focus Standard to find/move/re-center focus area boxes. Or, as noted, learn Lock-On (no custom key required) skip CLO.

  1. Use it. With your thumb, keeping your eye on the EVF/subject.

Press CLO assigned button, (i.e. rear center button), goes to CLO page.

Rocker down to ON, press center button again. White focus box appears, in the center, awaits assignment. (it retains ON, no need to rocker down after initial use)

Aim at subject in the white box, press center button, now subject assigned

White box starts tracking the assigned subject. Subject moves, you move, or both. Focus distance is taken when you half-press, so do a full press quickly.

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MF Manual Focus, you set focus distance with front ring. Two optional MF assists (menu, camera 1, pg 11)

Using the two assists, after a bit of practice, you get surprisingly quick using MF.

  1. Focus Magnifier: occurs when you turn the front ring. Toggle to any location.

Magnification Toggle. Initial magnification is 5.3x. Press center button, it toggles to 10.7x. Press again, back to 5.3x. Half-Press returns to 1.0x.

  1. Peaking: highlights the edges of objects in focus. Turn focus ring, easily see the peaking on the edges of your magnified subject. You can stay magnified, see something more easily, wait, finish the shot whenever. Peaking is best used while magnified.

To verify framing or re-compose, press shutter button halfway, magnification disappears, compose as desired, finish the shot. Ignore Peaking then.

I use Focus Magnifier; Focus Magnif Time: No Limit; Peaking: Low, Color Yellow (red works better on my RX1r evf). Once magnified, using no time limit, it stays magnified until I half press, or fully press the shutter. While viewing magnified, you can wait until something occurs, shoot.

AF/MF Toggle, Instantly toggles from AF to MF, back to AF. Keeping your eye on the EVF/subject

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/58890915

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DMF. Direct Manual Focus (Mix of initial AF and optional MF refinement).

Half press initiates and temporarily locks focus distance like AF-S. You can finish the shot or refine that focus distance manually with the front ring. Because AF has instantly occurred, very minor movement of the focus ring is required, thus focus time is faster than MF. If you hold the half-press, if magnification assist is on, magnification occurs, to assist refinement. Peaking, if on, highlights edges of focused objects.

  • FOCUS AREA SIZES and FOCUS AREA LOCATIONS (see Focus Standard below for moving focus areas)

Sony has changed the word movable to flexible.

Reduce the focus area size, progressively, as needed to help the AF system find your subject. Focus Boxes (green or white) indicate the area size and location you are using. If using Area Sizes: Zone, Flexible Spot, Expand Flexible Spot, or Lock-On AF, you can move the focus box anywhere within the frame.

  1. Multi/Large Area Size/Full LCD. (Default Area Size for Auto, Jpeg Extra Zooms SZ and CIZ).

AF-System looks at entire area, sees something, somewhere, and guesses that is your subject. At half press, a green box or boxes appear, indicating what the AF System is using to set focus distance. Your subject? Finish the shot. Not your subject? Release the half press, aim slightly differently, half press again, your subject? Finish the shot. This area size causes the camera to guess what your subject is. The primary reason to get out of Auto IMO. It is best for some uses.

  1. Zone (you set the size and location of a zone)
  2. Center/Medium Area Size (always centered, aim directly at your subject, shoot)
  3. Flexible Spot (movable) 3 spot sizes, l/m/s. you move the focus box anywhere. When the flexible spot is active, you can rotate the control wheel to toggle thru spot sizes l/m/s.
  4. Expand Flexible Spot (movable). starts with small spot area size, with option for AF system to automatically expand to medium spot size (i.e. you aim your small spot just to the side of a bird’s head, camera sees nothing, expands, sees head, uses head for focus distance).
  5. Focus Confirmation Audible beeps are default, however, that means AF system found ‘something’, not necessarily your subject, especially using Multi/Large Focus Area Size. IMO: turn it off, Confirm focus yourself! I turn that annoying shutter noise off also!
  1. FOCUS STANDARD (easily find, move, re-center any movable focus area box).

Importantly you can keep your eye on the EVF, finger on the shutter, while using this with your thumb.

  1. ASSIGN Focus Standard to a Custom Key (left and right rockers are excluded)

Options: up or down rocker, Center Button, or, my recommendation: C button.

Menu, Camera 2, page 9, top line Custom Key, press center button

2nd line C button, press center button takes you to 20 pages of choices.

Page 3, 4th line down, Focus Standard, press center button, press menu to get out.

Note: if not using Center Lock-ON, an additional Custom Key remains available.

  1. USE IT.

Press Focus Standard key once. It shows the white focus area box at its current location, active, move anywhere with the rockers, confirm with center button.

To automatically re-center the focus area box, press the Focus Standard button twice

  1. IMAGE STABILIZATION (IS) SteadyShot (Stills: menu, camera 2, page 5) (IS for Video: pg 3)

IS when active, anticipates some unwanted movement, nervously twitching, waiting to do its job.

ON for Handheld, what it is designed for

OFF for Tripod, or any Stable surface. (IS nervous twitching can be detrimental).

  1. MINIMUM FOCUS DISTANCE

24mm minimum focus distance is: 8cm/4”

minimum focus distance increases progressively as you zoom

200mm minimum focus distance is 100cm/39”.

As you zoom, the aperture narrows. This, combined with moving further away from subject, increases the amount of focus depth, and distance from subject effects clear/blurred backgrounds.

  • INTERACTIVE RESTRICTIONS. (Using AF-C is often required, use it to avoid those restrictions)

‘Operation Not Available’: look at the bottom line, it tells you the setting blocking that function’s use.

  • CUSTOM KEY ASSIGNMENTS.

Using these is an important way to master the Focus System, along with other Important settings, keeping you out of the huge main menu. I learned it because I don’t like losing to a machine! Also why I RTFM.

Many options exist, it is confusing. I suggest simply get started, then, after a while, change them.

Menu, Camera 2, page 9, top line, Custom Key. Press center button. 3 buttons & 2 rockers can be customized:

Control Ring, 4 pages of choices

C Button, 20 pages of choices

Center Button, 20 pages of choices

Left Rocker, 19 pages of choices

Right Rocker, 20 pages of choices.

First, set up your 12 item Fn Button Menu, for settings you might change shot to shot. Then you know what you don’t need the 5 custom keys to do.

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VIX. My Set-UP. (caution: write your set-up down, you may want/need a reset, get them back easily)

Fn Menu:

Shooting Mode, Flash Mode, Flash Compensation, AF Mode, AF Area Size, Metering Area Size

Image Size, ISO, DRO/HDR, WB, Creative Style, Picture Effect, Blank (to add something I am learning).

Control Ring: Standard (default).

C Button. Focus Standard (now). (default is ISO, it’s already in Fn Menu), Past uses: Smart TeleCon, Aspect Ratio; Finder/Monitor Select (turn LCD off in public places)

Center Button. Eye AF (default). I never tried it, it’s about time. Past uses: Monitor Brightness. I sometimes darken the LCD to -2. Dark, see just enough to frame in an audience, without disturbing others.

Left Rocker: AEL Lock. (default is Drive Mode, it’s already in Fn Menu). Left rocker because, when AEL is activated, an asterisk appears at the right end of the LCD info line, that puts the AEL left rocker intuitively adjacent to the asterisk.

Right Rocker, AF/MF Toggle. (default flash, flash is already in Fn Menu) Use AF all day long, want MF, keep eye on EVF, press right rocker, presto MF, use it, press the right rocker again, it toggles back to AF.

My Menu: New models have another way to help you stay out of the huge main menu. You put what you want, 30 items maximum. I made my list and put them in alphabetically, what a treat.

Flash Note: I leave flash on. camera 1, page 8, fill flash. It will not fire unless you manually release the flash, so: on, but off. Simply release it and blast away. I cut its strength in Fn menu: flash compensation.

If you learn to cut flash strength, shot to shot, you won’t hate flash like you probably do now. Always let it fully charge, even if strength is cut, so it is consistent shot to shot, and + or - adjustments are properly relative.

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  1. Links to Sony Support and my prior threads

You might want to rename these if you download them, Sony’s names are …… (is ridiculous fair?)

Sony rx100m6 Support Page

https://www.sony.com/electronics/support/compact-cameras-dsc-rx-series/dsc-rx100m6#manuals

Sony On-Line Help Guide, English (if you right click, save as, you get a shortcut web-link directly to this)

https://helpguide.sony.net/dsc/1750/v1/en/index.html

Sony On-Line Help Guide, pick a language

https://helpguide.sony.net/dsc/1750/v1/h_zz/index.html

Sony Operating Instructions, (PDF you can download, down arrow top line right side) (or, right click, save as)

https://www.sony.com/electronics/support/res/manuals/4737/c51dfb71c28329239474ae0b6e169c9e/47378101M.pdf

Touch Pad Focus

https://helpguide.sony.net/dsc/1750/v1/en/contents/TP0001212156.html

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My prior threads

Fn Button is the key to using the RX cameras

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/55937310

AF/MF Toggle

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/58890915

rx100m6 setup suggestions

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/61386351

rx100 m3,4,5 setup suggestions

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/59585222

collection of many of my prior threads

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/61457004

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End of outline

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Elliott

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