Animal Eye AF

Started 3 months ago | Questions thread
Chikubi Senior Member • Posts: 1,880
Re: Way less words...

golfhov wrote:


This is actually demonstrably wrong. Advanced cameras of every manufacturer tend to have MORE tools.

I should have been clearer. I was referring to things being stripped down in the sense of consumer-oriented hand-holding features like scene modes, Green Box modes, and so on. Compare a D5, 1DXII, A9, EM-1x, plus any of their direct predecessors and you will find none of these features on those bodies. These bodies are tailored for skilled users who don't need or desire such things.

Yes you didn't state things clearly at all. More pro cameras aren't "simpler". You are correct that they discard a lot of simpler "modes" for more tools of a different nature

and it's because they're designed for users that have a solid skillset to begin with and aren't willing to sacrifice performance and reliabilty for the sake of keeping up with the Jones'.

No they feature whatever they think their customers want to do the job.

Obviously, which is why bodies geared for pros lose the amatuer convenience features.

And they often feature myriads of options that somebody who does one type of photography .at never even touch. Then again another photographer may use the opposite tools

I don't think anyone really cares that new features are added to cameras as long as the option to not use them exists as well, like on most advanced cameras. Where people do get annoyed, however, is when those features are somehow touted as being necessary

Have you seen a single post here that said it was "necessary"? One? Where we have multiple posts calling it "useless" despite never having used it

I'm not talking about this thread only, but in general. The way that many users/reviewers across DPR and elsewhere go on about things like eye and tracking AF comes across as any camera that doesn't include them or has them at a lesser ability is somehow useless.

In this case the OP had a fairly specific question. You and others attempt to "generalize" some other problem you see has just diluted the conversation. If you want to have a general argument about what reviewers write then start your own thread

Even DPR's latest MILC reviews primarily determine the C-AF capability of a camera almost entirely on tracking and eye AF ability, never mind that users who have those cameras and shoot them in single-point C-AF post many times over that the C-AF works fine for everything they do.

I don't know if you noticed but "most" people on here actually aren't pushing their stuff that hard. If they don't care then why read the reviews or worry about comparisons.

The reviews here and other places often include disclaimers about features and their usefulness.

Lately, I see it particularly with Panasonic cameras, but other brands aren't exempt.


Also, animal eye AF may be new, but it's not hard to extrapolate it's ability and usefulness based on prior experience with eye AF in general.

So you have used some of the recent Sony bodies with fast glass?

If one finds std. eye AF not to be so useful, it's not a hard stretch to come to the same conclusion about animal eye AF as well.


If you're already getting the results you need easily without either, it's a safe bet to say that it's not going to improve your results much.

Correct. Fully agree. If your current equipment meets your needs then none of this matters. None of it. C-af, fps, regular tracking, video, resolution, battery life, IBIS, lens selection, we can do this with everything and anything. Somebody who got a Rebel kiss with a kit and has been happy has ZERO reason to bother with reviews and features. Then again that doesn't mean their old rebel can do all the things a more.capanle camera can. .......

And if the argument is that it will allow lesser photogs to better be able to get results, then my argument is that learning proper AF use w/o it will let them do the same and a whole lot more as well. You know, teach a man to fish and all that jazz.

Yes BUT the whole point of automation is to improve the efficiency and ability of the user. When metering and AF arrived it didn't replace professionals. The professionals just used the tools to further enhance their abilities. This conversation is as old as time.

The models with better eye af don't in any way diminish someone's skill. It just frees them to work on other things. Same as once good tracking started to come along photographers could use it and focus on other parts of their image knowing the camera would cover that part of the image for them

or become a primary determiner as to what make one camera better than another when most knowledgeable shooters know that not to be the case.

Did you not see the OPs question? And a "knowledgeable" shooter uses ANYTHING that gets the job done. You can pick any feature you want. Most comparably the intelligent/3d tracking systems on flagship DSLRs. A similar tool just the user has to find the eye first.

I saw it, what of it? No knock on the OP as it was an honest question, but anyone that has to ask if Canon or Nikon will have difficulty shooting pics of dogs and cats is not a knowledgeable shooter,

They may not be. I didn't assume nearly as much as you did

which is a salient point as it shows just how much marketing oriented features like animal eye AF can sway the less skilled/knowledgeable shooters into thinking it's something actually necessary to get the job done. THAT'S the reason we've been responding the way we have. It's not completely useless, but it's far far from necessary either.

Did you say as much? And have you actually tried it? No you assumed......

And as for 3D tracking, I've had it available on every pro Nikon I've owned since my D3 from 10 years back and the first thing I, and others I know with the same cameras, learned about it was to leave it off and ignore it. Nowhere near the reliability and consistency of std. single-point C-AF. Dynamic Point AF is quite helpful and reliable, but 3D can't say the same. I won't write-off trying it on any newer bodies I buy, but so far it's still sub-par.

What is the most recent you have owned? The 3d tracking is pretty good. The whole point is to automate fast and erratic subjects that a human would struggle to follow with a joystiq. So either you aren't shooting fast subjects are you are much more skilled than most of us. I also am not as Nikon literate as you are so if I missed something in terminology I apologize

I also think that a lot of cameras - particularly MILCs - are becoming over-bloated with features that, in my experience, can make them fairly overwhelming to a large number of shooters.

Agreed. BUT as you said most of these features can be activated/ deactivated. So it does give bloated menus BUT most of these models are highly customizable. A moot point once the camera is configured to a users preferences

I agree with you as long as we're talking about shooters who are knowledgeable enough to know exactly how they want their camera to behave and are able to wade through the options to find what it is they need to achieve a setup they're comfortable with. I can surely do it, you likely as well, but in my experience most beginners and quite a large number of intermediate shooters just get swamped and discouraged. MILCs in particular I'm finding really bad for this b/c of the expanded video and hybrid options they include. I know it's not going to happen, but I think most mfgs are really going to have to rethink this approach and start toning down the option bloat, or getting more specific about catering cameras to a particular demographic. Even as a well-experienced user I find wading through extensive menus starting to get a bit tiring and inefficient. YMMV

You are making WAY too many assumptions. .......and carrying the conversation way past where it started

I see it all the time in my beginning and intermediate photo classes and it's problematic - I have students that frequently feel they'll never be able to learn their cameras well and feel like giving up. That's not a good thing.

No BUT the animal eye af isn't in "entry" level models and is deactivated by default. So you are making a pedantic point. Cameras have become complicated IF a user chooses. At the same time they can throw it in auto and then tip toe through more control as they learn. And we have DOZENS of automated features that could be discussed same as you are dismissing animal eye af. Obviously this is a more niche feature BUT the OP asked. It isn't something that was raised for no reason........well unless the OP is being disengenuous

It's not a pedantic point at all. As I mentioned above, it's obvious the OP isn't very knowledgeable and yet he still asked the question anyway and here we now have this thread and discussion. Mass amounts of options make things confusing for less knowledgeable/skilled shooters who don't understand their application and potential usefulness or lack of usefulness. All of those options can indeed, and often are, discussed, but that doesn't necessarily imply that they're being better understood as a result. If they were you wouldn't see so many feature oriented questions like the OP's.

No. The OP asked a legitimate question as far as I know.

Based on experience shooting animals can be difficult because many don't pose. In the case of the posing ones it is irellevant. In the case of more fidgity ones or trying to get action shots the animal eye af is "helpful" but not infallible.

I agree that anyone can start from Auto and add options as time goes on like you state, but in my experience many people often start to get lost and confused along the way, then discouraged. Some come here, get help, and get on with things, but a lot of others get even more overwhelmed, confused, and uncertain, then get down on themselves for not being able to learn their gear as they think they should be able to, and may eventually just give up altogether. I have a student right now that's at that point, in fact. I'm doing everything I can to help them get up to snuff, but even so they're having a real hard time of it. Mfgs really need to start paying better attention to this, I feel.

I don't know or care. This part is wayyyyyy past the OPs question. I didn't set out to answer for the entire camera industry.

Although for fun......

I have no clue. Maybe you are right BUT for the people that think photography is too daunting they just use a cellphone. If they want a "dumb" camera they can just buy a much older or entry level body. BUT that one is hard for manufacturers. They still have to make money. And selling $300 rebels and D3xxx doesn't seem to be working for I really don't know where to go with that. Start a new thread about it if you want. Don't worry I won't join. Just like I didn't join the last "is Canikon dead" or any other thread like that

You know, at this point it's pretty obvious based on your replies to me and other posters that you're really only trying to win arguments and not much more. To be frank, I don't have the time to waste getting caught up any further with it, so I'm done. Take it whatever way you wish, I've said what I set out to and a bit more, others can read and decide for themselves the value in it. No hard feelings or ill intent towards you in any way, but time to move on.

Also FWIW, in my last intro to photo class, all 5 of my students had D3xxx series cameras. All were female, mainly middle-age, and wanting to move into real cameras over their phones for a variety of reasons. Make of that what you will, just relating it anecdotally.

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