Z6 - 1 year on

Started 3 months ago | User reviews thread
aniltulsi Regular Member • Posts: 291
Re: Computer Mouse.

beatboxa wrote:

aniltulsi wrote:

beatboxa wrote:

aniltulsi wrote:

beatboxa wrote:

Nice explanation of the focusing modes, which are a bit confusing and also, the most hated part of Z- System.

Could you also indicate which mode is better for which use case? For example, is Dynamic mode better or Wide area mode better for Birds in Flight? Single point is best for still objects, for sure.

I think it will depend on your preference. But Nikon already has an autofocus guide for use cases

I personally use:

  • Pinpoint for landscape, and portraits where I have time, and any critical focus
  • I generally use Single point or dynamic area for single point or subjects with movement. Believe it or not, single point and dynamic area are surprisingly similar--and dynamic area can be used in place of single point (but not the other way round for AF-C).
  • I also use Wide area for moving subjects. This is usually best for birds.
  • Auto area rarely, but just whenever.

About the Tracking part, you don't have to press OK the second time. After pressing the OK button once, you get the white box. After that, it works like DSLR, so you point the box on the subject, and half press the shutter release button. It starts Tracking. So it is one button less to press, though, still not as convenient as the DSLR implementation of 3D Tracking.

And sorry, but you are incorrect. You are correct that you do not have to press the OK button a second time (you can instead just press AF-On), but it does not work like a DSLR after that.

Because as I mentioned, on a DSLR, when you let go of AF-On, the camera stops tracking. The camera couples tracking to focusing so it tracks while you focus, and only while you focus.

On the Z6, when you let go of AF-On, the camera continues tracking, until you press OK again. Tracking and autofocus are decoupled.

So there is an OK press every time you want to re-initiate subject tracking on the Z, while there isn't on the 3D Tracking of DSLRs. When these are sub-second operations, the extra movement of thumb to press OK and then back to AF-On to autofocus is significant.

Big difference.

Thanks for the tip. I will try Wide area for BIF now. I haven't done BIF since I got my Z6 an year back, as I didn't find it suitable for it. However, I found that Auto Area mode worked well for birds, if they are flying in sky, without any other distraction.

I also use Face/Eye tracking for portraits and studio work. I just don't have to care anymore about where to focus, and camera does the job 100% of the times.

You are correct that Z doesn't work the same way as DSLR after it has lost the tracking, as you need to press the OK button again. However, I like the feature that the camera keeps tracking the subject even after you have released the AF-ON button, untill it doesn't loose it to background, which it often does. If Nikon has kept the tracking ON always, they should have given the AF-F feature for stills too, which is only available for video. But then, it would have consumed battery a lot, which is already not that great.

Glad to help. Even though the autofocus guide recommends dynamic area for birding, I've found wide area to generally be less distracted by the background. YMMV.

I think we will disagree on the coupling of the tracking and AF. I see no point in continuing tracking while not autofocusing, because it takes literally a split second to grab the AF point to track again on a DSLR. Look how fast and intuitive it is to grab a point and recompose:

The fact that any camera loses tracking to the background is the very reason I prefer the DSLR 3D tracking way of doing things--it is much faster to grab the right point and restart tracking. You will lose tracking eventually, whether its a DSLR or mirrorless. And the worse the tracking is, the more important it is to be able to reinstate tracking quickly.

Here's a good analogy: Imagine that you were rearranging icons on your desktop using a computer mouse.

When I use my mouse to drag an icon, I simply hold the mouse button down while dragging, and I let up when I'm done. When I want to drag the next item, I just repeat.

What I can't get used to is holding the mouse button to start dragging, but then when I let go, the mouse drops the icon, but then it continues to drag a silhouette of the object, waiting for me to press a completely different button to truly let go of the object. This is especially bad when every click of the mouse button initiates the drag action, so you can't just select an icon without dragging it around.

I agree that DSLR's tracking implementation is much better. I used 3D tracking for a decade, and that was the only focusing mode I used for all my requirements. But in Z, I have to figure out which focusing mode will be good for a given situation. And I am still not fully comfortable with any of them.

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