Z6 II Eye and face focusing--Sux

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
MrHollywood Senior Member • Posts: 3,655
Re: Z6 II Eye and face focusing--Sux

MrHollywood wrote:

TheGrilledCheese wrote:

beatboxa wrote:

HRS wrote:

In answer to a request for a sample illustrating my problem--the camera claims it has focused on an eye, but then either focuses on the other eye or on neither:

Image taken at 1/200 sec., f4, with flash. Auto-area AF (people)/AF-C focusing. No other non-default focusing settings.

Claimed Focus Point

Actual Focus Point

Why do you say that the camera claims it has focused on an eye that is not in focus? (To me, the camera doesn't claim it has focused on an eye, but rather placed an AF box where the eye is and focused on something within that box. This distinction is not intuitive / subtle, but very important).

I see high-contrast vertical lines (hairs) that are in focus at that focus point.

As I've said on this site many times, eye-AF is a subject recognition / tracking mechanism and not an autofocus mechanism. Eye-AF tells the camera where to put the AF box, but not how to focus (since the focusing is primarily PDAF-based rather than CDAF-based--and a true "eye-AF" would require at minimum a CDAF trim step).

What happened here was almost certainly that those hairs, being high-contrast (and vertical) are what happened to get focused on. Unfortunately, these things can happen sometimes--it's largely a game of chance. If you want a better guarantee that they won't, use Pinpoint (though obviously then you have to do the "eye recognition & tracking" yourself, which may not be practical).

(BTW, this above scenario can be a challenge as AF algorithms & sensor scans get more & more precise in terms of pixel information...in other words, a lower-resolution PDAF comparison could have missed those hairs and ironically focused correctly. And this is where more sophisticated AF algorithms, including more CDAF, will come into play).

Here are a few writeups I did a while back on this topic:

Sorry, but this is crappy Nikon software. Does Sony EyeAF suffer from such issues? Eye focus means EYE FOCUS. Not hair-in-front-of-eye focus. Seems like Nikon needs to hire some real software coders instead of the jockeys they currently use. Software should absolutely address this situation.

Offering up excuses is not a solution, especially for a feature designed to work the way YOU do instead of vice versa. Nikon should be lambasted for this and not excused. They need better software.

Shooting with the A7III, it did indeed focus on hair in front of the eye several times. Maybe it's improved since then.

Shooting with my Z7 II with 70-200 FL and Sigma 135 ART 1.8, I'm getting excellent results with eye AF. But I don't always use it because I often prefer having full control.

I'm happy enough with the Z7 II to have my D850 packed up and ready to be sold. The Z7II AF is more consistent, especially with zooms.


If I were to complain about one thing relating to eye-AF, it would be that I'd like it work from longer distances.


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Nikon D850 Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Nikon 200-500mm F5.6E ED VR Nikon AF-S 70-200mm F2.8E FL ED VR Sony RX100 VI +19 more
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