Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?

Started Apr 12, 2018 | Discussions
OP ATLshooter Regular Member • Posts: 385
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?

Marky12 wrote:

ATLshooter wrote:

New body arrived. Serial prefix is 337.

Issue still exists, without me changing any settings in the camera. I literally turned the camera on, hit af-c, then used the pre-programmed eye af button.

Front focused on my wife's nose on the second picture I took.

This has to be a firmware issue....:-x

I have the same serial prefix and I don't experience this issue. I tested it with the 85 f/1.8. Only other lens I have is a samyang 35 f/2.8.

Regards,

https://www.flickr.com/photos/22946100@N02/

You tested with the subject close enough so that their face fills the frame, and they were directly face on with you?

What aperture? Can you please post some pics where it nailed the eye consistently?

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OP ATLshooter Regular Member • Posts: 385
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?

For every one of these shots I had a medium spot AF centered on her face. She was literally barely moving at any speed towards me. Much slower than a normal adult walking.

Can you find a SINGLE picture where her face is in focus? A single one? I can't.

To say I'm disappointed is an understatement. I don't know what to do at this point. The af-c is unusable, on two separate bodies now.

Zoom up on her face and look how soft it is. How can the camera just be totally unable to get focus? I don't get it.

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osv Veteran Member • Posts: 9,970
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?
1

ATLshooter wrote:

For every one of these shots I had a medium spot AF centered on her face.

why medium spot?

the only face in the frame is hers, so the camera will easily find it, with face recognition turned on, using the standard wide area af setting.

with medium spot, you are cutting off most of the available af pixels.

-- hide signature --

dan

Horacecoker Senior Member • Posts: 2,455
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?
1

ATLshooter wrote:

New body arrived. Serial prefix is 337.

Issue still exists, without me changing any settings in the camera. I literally turned the camera on, hit af-c, then used the pre-programmed eye af button.

Front focused on my wife's nose on the second picture I took.

This has to be a firmware issue....:-x

I thought as much!

The thing is you have provided photos to prove your case but nobody who says their A7iii does not have this problem have posted photos to prove it doesn't!! In other words their 'good' cameras will be exactly the same in the same scenario as your bad copy. Another thing to consider is that there are a sight more folk that accept mediocrity than those that who will only accept perfection. In this case It's not even actual perfection you are looking for, all you are asking is for eye focus to work like it should do.

From what I've seen on the reviews folk are saying that eye focus is uncannily good because they can see the green box tracking the eye. The fact that the eye in question is not in focus is completely lost on them. Of course if these folk are stopping down to F4 or the subject is further away there is no problem because DOF takes care of it.

David

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OP ATLshooter Regular Member • Posts: 385
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?

I have to admit, I'm sort of transitioning from disappointment to anger.

As a last ditch effort I tried to just use face detect AF and run a burst.

The box was CLEARLY locked on the face, yet not a single picture had the face in focus. There are focused areas, they are either just severely front/back focused.

I can safely say without a doubt this camera has the worst autofocus I've ever used. Which is a huge disappointment since that was basically the only reason I bought it.

I am sad. I have been spoiled by mirrorless for the last 6 months or so. I was so, so excited about this camera. Not sure what to do at this point like I keep saying but I have to have a full frame working camera ASAP.

All of these pics are either front or back focused despite the camera having a lock on her face. She was moving towards me at a VERY slow pace, so motion blur isn't a problem. That is proven by the fact that the back/front focused areas are tack sharp.

The last picture is honestly pathetic. It's like the camera didn't even try.

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OP ATLshooter Regular Member • Posts: 385
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?

osv wrote:

ATLshooter wrote:

For every one of these shots I had a medium spot AF centered on her face.

why medium spot?

the only face in the frame is hers, so the camera will easily find it, with face recognition turned on, using the standard wide area af setting.

with medium spot, you are cutting off most of the available af pixels.

I figured someone would say that, so I took test shots using face detect AF and they were the same.

Please see the post above this one for example pictures.

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kaku Contributing Member • Posts: 681
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?
2

ATLshooter wrote:
The box was CLEARLY locked on the face, yet not a single picture had the face in focus. There are focused areas, they are either just severely front/back focused.

Many thanks for posting photos. Without zooming in, these pictures appear to be in focus. So I wonder if it is a broader issue and people aren't noticing.

I thought perhaps this issue might just be isolated to a single, defective camera, but this is the third camera you tested. FStoppers had also written about it in their review about inaccurate Eye-AF.
And I've seen it in Jason Lanier's video where he zoomed into the eyes and it showed slight front focused.

Anyhow, initially it seemed like it may have been just attributed to the 55 lens, but I see here you're using the 85. That's not good.

OP ATLshooter Regular Member • Posts: 385
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?

kaku wrote:

ATLshooter wrote:
The box was CLEARLY locked on the face, yet not a single picture had the face in focus. There are focused areas, they are either just severely front/back focused.

Many thanks for posting photos. Without zooming in, these pictures appear to be in focus. So I wonder if it is a broader issue and people aren't noticing.

I thought perhaps this issue might just be isolated to a single, defective camera, but this is the third camera you tested. FStoppers had also written about it in their review about inaccurate Eye-AF.
And I've seen it in Jason Lanier's video where he zoomed into the eyes and it showed slight front focused.

Anyhow, initially it seemed like it may have been just attributed to the 55 lens, but I see here you're using the 85. That's not good.

If you look at the image at the actual size, you can clearly see that none of the face is in focus. And that's using face detect AF....It should at least be able to get the nose....the eyes....SOMETHING.

I get what you're saying though, at a glance when looking at a small pic it can seem in focus. So some people may never look beyond that. Problem is, I need the pictures to be sharp. Other cameras can do it, so I need my 7iii to do it or I need to make a change.

I've been playing around trying to improve my results. Playing with every AF setting this camera has. Nothing is working. Sadly.

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Marky12
Marky12 Contributing Member • Posts: 750
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?

I'll try to post some pics tonight. Have you tried the micro adjustment in the cam? Never used it but just throwing it out there

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Magnar W
Magnar W Senior Member • Posts: 4,063
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?

Marky12 wrote:

I'll try to post some pics tonight. Have you tried the micro adjustment in the cam? Never used it but just throwing it out there.

No micro adjustment for native E mount lenses.

This option is for those using A-mount lenses with LAE4 adapter, which makes AF work like a DSLR - the adapter has a built-in AF module.

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OP ATLshooter Regular Member • Posts: 385
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?

Marky12 wrote:

I'll try to post some pics tonight. Have you tried the micro adjustment in the cam? Never used it but just throwing it out there

You can't micro adjust with native sony lenses. The option isn't available.

It's a software issue. I'm about to post a video showing how the camera doesn't even pay attention to where you're asking it to focus. This issue is deeper than simply eye af not working.

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OP ATLshooter Regular Member • Posts: 385
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?

Please excuse the off-the-cuff nature of this video but it's hard to record a video while shooting pictures.

This is extremely poor performance. The lock-on af really illustrates the issue since you can see where the camera chooses to focus.... OUTSIDE of where I tell it to.

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The Lotus Eater
The Lotus Eater Regular Member • Posts: 415
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?
4

I did a few Eye-AF test shots this evening with my A7III and 55/1.8.  Some closeups at f/1.8 and 2.8, a couple a little further away.  Used mainly AF-C, but AF-S seems to be just as accurate when the subject isn't moving obviously.

As far as I'm concerned, Eye-AF is working as it should - just as well as it does on my A6300.

f/1.8

f/2.8

f/1.8 - walking towards the camera

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OP ATLshooter Regular Member • Posts: 385
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?

The Lotus Eater wrote:

I did a few Eye-AF test shots this evening with my A7III and 55/1.8. Some closeups at f/1.8 and 2.8, a couple a little further away. Used mainly AF-C, but AF-S seems to be just as accurate when the subject isn't moving obviously.

As far as I'm concerned, Eye-AF is working as it should - just as well as it does on my A6300.

f/1.8

f/2.8

f/1.8 - walking towards the camera

Yep, those look great. Happy for you. I wish my 2 were working like that. I can only imagine I'd be taking pictures constantly.....and actually enjoying myself.

What are the first 3 numbers in your serial #?

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citrate Regular Member • Posts: 111
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?
1

The current algorithm of lock-on with flexible spot in Sony camera is not that smart enough.

In the case you showed in this video, I believe you can get much better results with AFC wide, zone or even AFC single spot ( you need to keep the spot on your subject).

There is another lock on function called "center lock-on", which can do a better job in pattern recognition.

slstr Senior Member • Posts: 1,022
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?

These look really good, what batches are your A7III and you FE55 ?

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The Lotus Eater
The Lotus Eater Regular Member • Posts: 415
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?
1

ATLshooter wrote:

Yep, those look great. Happy for you. I wish my 2 were working like that. I can only imagine I'd be taking pictures constantly.....and actually enjoying myself.

What are the first 3 numbers in your serial #?

3775xxx

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The Lotus Eater
The Lotus Eater Regular Member • Posts: 415
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?
2

slstr wrote:

These look really good, what batches are your A7III and you FE55 ?

A7III - 3375xxx

55/1.8 - 0189xxx

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PWPhotography Senior Member • Posts: 7,681
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?

ATLshooter wrote:

Please excuse the off-the-cuff nature of this video but it's hard to record a video while shooting pictures.

This is extremely poor performance. The lock-on af really illustrates the issue since you can see where the camera chooses to focus.... OUTSIDE of where I tell it to.

Try to register faces that might help.

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OP ATLshooter Regular Member • Posts: 385
Re: Major issue with eye autofocus on A7iii?

citrate wrote:

The current algorithm of lock-on with flexible spot in Sony camera is not that smart enough.

In the case you showed in this video, I believe you can get much better results with AFC wide, zone or even AFC single spot ( you need to keep the spot on your subject).

There is another lock on function called "center lock-on", which can do a better job in pattern recognition.

I get even worse performance with spot AF. I'll show it.

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