D780 and Z owners - AF-C Single Focus - LiveView vs OVF any different?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
24Peter Veteran Member • Posts: 4,633
Re: D780 and Z owners - AF-C Single Focus - LiveView vs OVF any different?

skyrunr wrote:

I'm posting this hear because I know some of you have a D780 as well, and the other forum didn't work out.

The background on this may help, but you can skip to the question at the end if you want.

I've been trying out the Z50/Z7/Z5/Z6II for over four months now and determined that mirrorless is still not for me YET. As much as I like the EVF and 80% of the time I get better photos than I do (side-by-side) with my D500 (sold,) I'm struggling using AF-C and other quirks. I've literally spent DAYS moving fnct buttons around and fiddling.

IMO the Z's are excelling at more "intentional" professional shooting, but aren't the best for fast pickup and on-the-fly photography. I can go pretty deeply into detail with this, as I have a background in UI and Q&A. I'm just not up for the drama that post would create here.

The best way to see/recreate the problem is to put any Z camera on "green" and change it to AF-C. I read a review on the D780 here and it pointed out the same thing, but I'm not sure if that was live-view or not. When you back-button or half-press to activate focusing it jumps all over the scene. in AF-Single it does the same thing, but a bit more unpredictable. Even with IBIS and VR off you can hear it nervously struggling away.

Q. Does the AF-C and Single focusing area using the OVF (versus LiveView) continue to no settle (nervous/jitter/search) or does it behave more like a DSLR?

My background: I own a Z50 and Z6. I've previously owned (and shot professionally) with a D850 and D750.

1. There's a difference between the "green" (I assume you mean auto) mode on the Z50 and Z6/Z7. On the Z50, there is no AF-S or AF-C option - it defaults to AF-A and you get green boxes which potentially could move around as you move the camera.

On the Z6, green mode does give an option for AF-S or AF-C; but I don't experience nervous/jitter/searching in either AF-S or AF-C w/ Single Point AF. By nature in AF-C mode the camera is trying to anticipate any movement in your subject. That's why AF-C is suggested for moving subjects. But unless either my camera or the subject is moving, at least on my Z6 even in green mode, the AF selection is pretty static - certainly nothing that would distract me or that feels any different than what I experienced on my former D850/D750.

2. I suggest using AF-S for static (and even slow moving) subjects and leave AF-C for faster moving subjects. I also don't recommend green mode for anyone other than complete newbies (which I don't think you are.)

3. I mean no disrespect but I'm going to gently suggest you're overthinking the issue. You seem to have already determined that mirrorless is not for you and are perhaps trying to reinforce that decision in your own mind. I'm guessing if you were not measuring and fiddling with function buttons, you adapt quite easily to the newer system and actually enjoy yourself! Obviously it's important to try before you buy to make sure you are on track - but perhaps you're focusing (pun intended) on the minutiae and missing out on something new. My 2 cents

EDIT: also you don't mention which lenses you're using, but that may also be a contributing factor to your jitters...

My DPReview Feature Article

 24Peter's gear list:24Peter's gear list
Nikon Z6 Nikon Z50
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