Z6 - 1 year on

Started 3 months ago | User reviews thread
mosswings Veteran Member • Posts: 9,601
Re: Into the mind of Z6 Autofocus. Bookmark this.

beatboxa wrote:

j_photo wrote:

beatboxa wrote:

Wide area small, Wide area large, & Auto Area:

These are all the same thing, covering different areas.

Interesting way to relate these three. In use, only Auto Area shows the active focus point changing as the scene changes. Are you saying that the same thing is happening in the wide area modes but simply not displayed?

This is a great question. And yes, I think so.

All of these modes allow the camera to use algorithms to pick what to focus on (meaning various AF points); and no doubt part of this is finding contrast and shapes, looking for subjects at closer distances, etc.

Auto area looks around the entire frame and shows the actual boxes (since the overall area is obviously larger), but the wide areas also look around the portion of the frame you've selected. I suspect it was too small or distracting to fit boxes in the small area of the Wide modes, though they conceivably could have used the dots (like they do in dynamic area)--though that also may have been distracting.

There is an irony that the Wide Area modes have among the least user-input (user telling the camera what to do), but they also provide the least user feedback from the camera (telling the user what it picked). Despite this, I've found wide-area to be reliable in usually picking the right subject, so the feedback is a nice to have, but less necessary.

Thanks, beatboxa. Great info.

Wide area small and large sound like the equivalent to the ZONE focusing mode found on Sonys.

Generalized subject tracking (GST) interfaces are really useful things to have - just like a fast, high resolution 3D-tracking is. It's odd that Nikon just buried it. There's really no reason to, because it works well.

One of the interesting differences between the Z cameras and the Sony cameras is how they treat eye/face tracking - it's just an option on a GST interface that is ALWAYS looking for eyes and faces and telling you where they are. If you then target the general area of an eye or face, it will go to the eye/face. The problem with Sony's interface is that it is tough to get OUT of eye/face tracking without menu diving (although, curiously, you can ENTER with a programmed button). With the Z cameras, eye/face is the sole domain of auto-area-AF.

I do not understand why Nikon separated tracking control and autofocus control. In practice I can't think of a reason why you'd want to continue tracking but not focus. GST AF could replace the joystick/D-pad/touch screen prepositioning of Nikon's DSLR interface with some sort of "focus box position hold" step...maybe this is what Nikon was thinking with the control separation. Something like: start subject tracking with the OK button...move to the composition you want...stop subject tracking with the OK button...then begin autofocusing with the AF-on/shutter. The box needs to stay put when you stop tracking, but I don't think it does. I'll have to recheck. But this is a clumsy way to use subject tracking.

The Z 50 is very similar to the Z 6/7 in AF - just some additional optioning available.

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