Animal Eye AF

Started 5 months ago | Questions
golfhov Forum Pro • Posts: 11,001
still all ears
1

Just because you "can" get the shot doesn't mean your camera actually does it or does it reliably. I got pics of my dog before eye af and even at play BUT as the technology gets better the ability to do repeatedly gets easier.

SO I am curious if the nikon models do actually see dog faces and focus on the eyes repeatedly or if it is just one offs. Like I said I could get my earlier a7 models to sometimes focus on my dogs eyes BUT it wasn't reliable or repeatable. Not enough that i would ever compare the two

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jshen808
jshen808 Forum Pro • Posts: 10,804
Re: still all ears

golfhov wrote:

Just because you "can" get the shot doesn't mean your camera actually does it or does it reliably. I got pics of my dog before eye af and even at play BUT as the technology gets better the ability to do repeatedly gets easier.

SO I am curious if the nikon models do actually see dog faces and focus on the eyes repeatedly or if it is just one offs. Like I said I could get my earlier a7 models to sometimes focus on my dogs eyes BUT it wasn't reliable or repeatable. Not enough that i would ever compare the two

..That's something you will need to keep in mind..

..and maybe do some forum or internet searchings..

..for me, I know it works, and have previously seen examples..

..Cheers, John..

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Chikubi
Chikubi Senior Member • Posts: 1,889
Re: All my cameras have it

golfhov wrote:

Chikubi wrote:

golfhov wrote:

Chikubi wrote:

Laybourne wrote:

Bob A L wrote:

They will all let me focus on any animal's eye as long as it is visible. But if my camera ever starts picking out what to focus on by itself, it's going in the trash bin. That's my job.

I would hate to see how you feel about your camera metering for you, tracking a subject, or bracketing on it's own......

Reminds me of the author who said it was his job to hunt and peck the keys on his keyboard. He drew a few chuckles and winces from the real authors in the room whose job it was to write stories.

And yet the author who said it was his job to hunt and peck the keys on his keyboard is what makes your story salient, not the others. Sounds like he was a bit more clever with his wordcraft and knew better what it takes to make oneself standout from the rest. Actual skill nearly always wins in the end.

it does but skilled people like tools too. Last time I checked the sidelines of sporting events weren't full of manual focus cameras, wedding shooters seem to have forsaken the assistant with the light meter for most of their event work, and I don't even know if you can still purchase flash bulbs....maybe black powder?

Skilled folks do indeed like tools, but they don't necessarily prefer tools that take away control from them, force too much reliance on the camera, or sacrifice consistency/reliability for innovation's sake. There's a reason why most flagship pro cameras are usually a lot more stripped down than the consumer models,

This is actually demonstrably wrong. Advanced cameras of every manufacturer tend to have MORE tools.

I should have been clearer. I was referring to things being stripped down in the sense of consumer-oriented hand-holding features like scene modes, Green Box modes, and so on. Compare a D5, 1DXII, A9, EM-1x, plus any of their direct predecessors and you will find none of these features on those bodies. These bodies are tailored for skilled users who don't need or desire such things.

and it's because they're designed for users that have a solid skillset to begin with and aren't willing to sacrifice performance and reliabilty for the sake of keeping up with the Jones'.

No they feature whatever they think their customers want to do the job.

Obviously, which is why bodies geared for pros lose the amatuer convenience features.

I don't think anyone really cares that new features are added to cameras as long as the option to not use them exists as well, like on most advanced cameras. Where people do get annoyed, however, is when those features are somehow touted as being necessary

Have you seen a single post here that said it was "necessary"? One? Where we have multiple posts calling it "useless" despite never having used it

I'm not talking about this thread only, but in general. The way that many users/reviewers across DPR and elsewhere go on about things like eye and tracking AF comes across as any camera that doesn't include them or has them at a lesser ability is somehow useless. Even DPR's latest MILC reviews primarily determine the C-AF capability of a camera almost entirely on tracking and eye AF ability, never mind that users who have those cameras and shoot them in single-point C-AF post many times over that the C-AF works fine for everything they do. Lately, I see it particularly with Panasonic cameras, but other brands aren't exempt.

Also, animal eye AF may be new, but it's not hard to extrapolate it's ability and usefulness based on prior experience with eye AF in general. If one finds std. eye AF not to be so useful, it's not a hard stretch to come to the same conclusion about animal eye AF as well. If you're already getting the results you need easily without either, it's a safe bet to say that it's not going to improve your results much. And if the argument is that it will allow lesser photogs to better be able to get results, then my argument is that learning proper AF use w/o it will let them do the same and a whole lot more as well. You know, teach a man to fish and all that jazz.

or become a primary determiner as to what make one camera better than another when most knowledgeable shooters know that not to be the case.

Did you not see the OPs question? And a "knowledgeable" shooter uses ANYTHING that gets the job done. You can pick any feature you want. Most comparably the intelligent/3d tracking systems on flagship DSLRs. A similar tool just the user has to find the eye first.

I saw it, what of it? No knock on the OP as it was an honest question, but anyone that has to ask if Canon or Nikon will have difficulty shooting pics of dogs and cats is not a knowledgeable shooter, which is a salient point as it shows just how much marketing oriented features like animal eye AF can sway the less skilled/knowledgeable shooters into thinking it's something actually necessary to get the job done. THAT'S the reason we've been responding the way we have. It's not completely useless, but it's far far from necessary either.

And as for 3D tracking, I've had it available on every pro Nikon I've owned since my D3 from 10 years back and the first thing I, and others I know with the same cameras, learned about it was to leave it off and ignore it. Nowhere near the reliability and consistency of std. single-point C-AF. Dynamic Point AF is quite helpful and reliable, but 3D can't say the same. I won't write-off trying it on any newer bodies I buy, but so far it's still sub-par.

I also think that a lot of cameras - particularly MILCs - are becoming over-bloated with features that, in my experience, can make them fairly overwhelming to a large number of shooters.

Agreed. BUT as you said most of these features can be activated/ deactivated. So it does give bloated menus BUT most of these models are highly customizable. A moot point once the camera is configured to a users preferences

I agree with you as long as we're talking about shooters who are knowledgeable enough to know exactly how they want their camera to behave and are able to wade through the options to find what it is they need to achieve a setup they're comfortable with. I can surely do it, you likely as well, but in my experience most beginners and quite a large number of intermediate shooters just get swamped and discouraged. MILCs in particular I'm finding really bad for this b/c of the expanded video and hybrid options they include. I know it's not going to happen, but I think most mfgs are really going to have to rethink this approach and start toning down the option bloat, or getting more specific about catering cameras to a particular demographic. Even as a well-experienced user I find wading through extensive menus starting to get a bit tiring and inefficient. YMMV

I see it all the time in my beginning and intermediate photo classes and it's problematic - I have students that frequently feel they'll never be able to learn their cameras well and feel like giving up. That's not a good thing.

No BUT the animal eye af isn't in "entry" level models and is deactivated by default. So you are making a pedantic point. Cameras have become complicated IF a user chooses. At the same time they can throw it in auto and then tip toe through more control as they learn. And we have DOZENS of automated features that could be discussed same as you are dismissing animal eye af. Obviously this is a more niche feature BUT the OP asked. It isn't something that was raised for no reason........well unless the OP is being disengenuous

It's not a pedantic point at all. As I mentioned above, it's obvious the OP isn't very knowledgeable and yet he still asked the question anyway and here we now have this thread and discussion. Mass amounts of options make things confusing for less knowledgeable/skilled shooters who don't understand their application and potential usefulness or lack of usefulness. All of those options can indeed, and often are, discussed, but that doesn't necessarily imply that they're being better understood as a result. If they were you wouldn't see so many feature oriented questions like the OP's.

I agree that anyone can start from Auto and add options as time goes on like you state, but in my experience many people often start to get lost and confused along the way, then discouraged. Some come here, get help, and get on with things, but a lot of others get even more overwhelmed, confused, and uncertain, then get down on themselves for not being able to learn their gear as they think they should be able to, and may eventually just give up altogether. I have a student right now that's at that point, in fact. I'm doing everything I can to help them get up to snuff, but even so they're having a real hard time of it. Mfgs really need to start paying better attention to this, I feel.

golfhov Forum Pro • Posts: 11,001
Way less words...
1

Snip,

This is actually demonstrably wrong. Advanced cameras of every manufacturer tend to have MORE tools.

I should have been clearer. I was referring to things being stripped down in the sense of consumer-oriented hand-holding features like scene modes, Green Box modes, and so on. Compare a D5, 1DXII, A9, EM-1x, plus any of their direct predecessors and you will find none of these features on those bodies. These bodies are tailored for skilled users who don't need or desire such things.

Yes you didn't state things clearly at all. More pro cameras aren't "simpler". You are correct that they discard a lot of simpler "modes" for more tools of a different nature

and it's because they're designed for users that have a solid skillset to begin with and aren't willing to sacrifice performance and reliabilty for the sake of keeping up with the Jones'.

No they feature whatever they think their customers want to do the job.

Obviously, which is why bodies geared for pros lose the amatuer convenience features.

And they often feature myriads of options that somebody who does one type of photography .at never even touch. Then again another photographer may use the opposite tools

I don't think anyone really cares that new features are added to cameras as long as the option to not use them exists as well, like on most advanced cameras. Where people do get annoyed, however, is when those features are somehow touted as being necessary

Have you seen a single post here that said it was "necessary"? One? Where we have multiple posts calling it "useless" despite never having used it

I'm not talking about this thread only, but in general. The way that many users/reviewers across DPR and elsewhere go on about things like eye and tracking AF comes across as any camera that doesn't include them or has them at a lesser ability is somehow useless.

In this case the OP had a fairly specific question. You and others attempt to "generalize" some other problem you see has just diluted the conversation. If you want to have a general argument about what reviewers write then start your own thread

Even DPR's latest MILC reviews primarily determine the C-AF capability of a camera almost entirely on tracking and eye AF ability, never mind that users who have those cameras and shoot them in single-point C-AF post many times over that the C-AF works fine for everything they do.

I don't know if you noticed but "most" people on here actually aren't pushing their stuff that hard. If they don't care then why read the reviews or worry about comparisons.

The reviews here and other places often include disclaimers about features and their usefulness.

Lately, I see it particularly with Panasonic cameras, but other brands aren't exempt.

Huh.......

Also, animal eye AF may be new, but it's not hard to extrapolate it's ability and usefulness based on prior experience with eye AF in general.

So you have used some of the recent Sony bodies with fast glass?

If one finds std. eye AF not to be so useful, it's not a hard stretch to come to the same conclusion about animal eye AF as well.

Perhaps.

If you're already getting the results you need easily without either, it's a safe bet to say that it's not going to improve your results much.

Correct. Fully agree. If your current equipment meets your needs then none of this matters. None of it. C-af, fps, regular tracking, video, resolution, battery life, IBIS, lens selection, we can do this with everything and anything. Somebody who got a Rebel kiss with a kit and has been happy has ZERO reason to bother with reviews and features. Then again that doesn't mean their old rebel can do all the things a more.capanle camera can. .......

And if the argument is that it will allow lesser photogs to better be able to get results, then my argument is that learning proper AF use w/o it will let them do the same and a whole lot more as well. You know, teach a man to fish and all that jazz.

Yes BUT the whole point of automation is to improve the efficiency and ability of the user. When metering and AF arrived it didn't replace professionals. The professionals just used the tools to further enhance their abilities. This conversation is as old as time.

The models with better eye af don't in any way diminish someone's skill. It just frees them to work on other things. Same as once good tracking started to come along photographers could use it and focus on other parts of their image knowing the camera would cover that part of the image for them

or become a primary determiner as to what make one camera better than another when most knowledgeable shooters know that not to be the case.

Did you not see the OPs question? And a "knowledgeable" shooter uses ANYTHING that gets the job done. You can pick any feature you want. Most comparably the intelligent/3d tracking systems on flagship DSLRs. A similar tool just the user has to find the eye first.

I saw it, what of it? No knock on the OP as it was an honest question, but anyone that has to ask if Canon or Nikon will have difficulty shooting pics of dogs and cats is not a knowledgeable shooter,

They may not be. I didn't assume nearly as much as you did

which is a salient point as it shows just how much marketing oriented features like animal eye AF can sway the less skilled/knowledgeable shooters into thinking it's something actually necessary to get the job done. THAT'S the reason we've been responding the way we have. It's not completely useless, but it's far far from necessary either.

Did you say as much? And have you actually tried it? No you assumed......

And as for 3D tracking, I've had it available on every pro Nikon I've owned since my D3 from 10 years back and the first thing I, and others I know with the same cameras, learned about it was to leave it off and ignore it. Nowhere near the reliability and consistency of std. single-point C-AF. Dynamic Point AF is quite helpful and reliable, but 3D can't say the same. I won't write-off trying it on any newer bodies I buy, but so far it's still sub-par.

What is the most recent you have owned? The 3d tracking is pretty good. The whole point is to automate fast and erratic subjects that a human would struggle to follow with a joystiq. So either you aren't shooting fast subjects are you are much more skilled than most of us. I also am not as Nikon literate as you are so if I missed something in terminology I apologize

I also think that a lot of cameras - particularly MILCs - are becoming over-bloated with features that, in my experience, can make them fairly overwhelming to a large number of shooters.

Agreed. BUT as you said most of these features can be activated/ deactivated. So it does give bloated menus BUT most of these models are highly customizable. A moot point once the camera is configured to a users preferences

I agree with you as long as we're talking about shooters who are knowledgeable enough to know exactly how they want their camera to behave and are able to wade through the options to find what it is they need to achieve a setup they're comfortable with. I can surely do it, you likely as well, but in my experience most beginners and quite a large number of intermediate shooters just get swamped and discouraged. MILCs in particular I'm finding really bad for this b/c of the expanded video and hybrid options they include. I know it's not going to happen, but I think most mfgs are really going to have to rethink this approach and start toning down the option bloat, or getting more specific about catering cameras to a particular demographic. Even as a well-experienced user I find wading through extensive menus starting to get a bit tiring and inefficient. YMMV

You are making WAY too many assumptions. .......and carrying the conversation way past where it started

I see it all the time in my beginning and intermediate photo classes and it's problematic - I have students that frequently feel they'll never be able to learn their cameras well and feel like giving up. That's not a good thing.

No BUT the animal eye af isn't in "entry" level models and is deactivated by default. So you are making a pedantic point. Cameras have become complicated IF a user chooses. At the same time they can throw it in auto and then tip toe through more control as they learn. And we have DOZENS of automated features that could be discussed same as you are dismissing animal eye af. Obviously this is a more niche feature BUT the OP asked. It isn't something that was raised for no reason........well unless the OP is being disengenuous

It's not a pedantic point at all. As I mentioned above, it's obvious the OP isn't very knowledgeable and yet he still asked the question anyway and here we now have this thread and discussion. Mass amounts of options make things confusing for less knowledgeable/skilled shooters who don't understand their application and potential usefulness or lack of usefulness. All of those options can indeed, and often are, discussed, but that doesn't necessarily imply that they're being better understood as a result. If they were you wouldn't see so many feature oriented questions like the OP's.

No. The OP asked a legitimate question as far as I know.

Based on experience shooting animals can be difficult because many don't pose. In the case of the posing ones it is irellevant. In the case of more fidgity ones or trying to get action shots the animal eye af is "helpful" but not infallible.

I agree that anyone can start from Auto and add options as time goes on like you state, but in my experience many people often start to get lost and confused along the way, then discouraged. Some come here, get help, and get on with things, but a lot of others get even more overwhelmed, confused, and uncertain, then get down on themselves for not being able to learn their gear as they think they should be able to, and may eventually just give up altogether. I have a student right now that's at that point, in fact. I'm doing everything I can to help them get up to snuff, but even so they're having a real hard time of it. Mfgs really need to start paying better attention to this, I feel.

I don't know or care. This part is wayyyyyy past the OPs question. I didn't set out to answer for the entire camera industry.

Although for fun......

I have no clue. Maybe you are right BUT for the people that think photography is too daunting they just use a cellphone. If they want a "dumb" camera they can just buy a much older or entry level body. BUT that one is hard for manufacturers. They still have to make money. And selling $300 rebels and D3xxx doesn't seem to be working for them........so I really don't know where to go with that. Start a new thread about it if you want. Don't worry I won't join. Just like I didn't join the last "is Canikon dead" or any other thread like that

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Chikubi
Chikubi Senior Member • Posts: 1,889
Re: Animal Eye AF
1

tbcass wrote:

Chikubi wrote:

You don't need eye AF to shoot moving animals and have them in focus. As someone already mentioned earlier, at most distances,

MOST? Well not all.

Being pedantic means nothing. Are you saying that no one ever has shot animals in motion w/o eye AF at any distance you can think of? I would venture to bet if you hopped on Flickr or Google yourself you'd be hard pressed to not find an example of nearly any situation you could think of.

with a decent lens and a properly chosen aperture, you should have more than enough DOF to have the eyes as well as the whole animal in proper focus.

Unfortunately that is not true, especially with large sensor cameras and at telephoto distances. What about in instances where the lighting and movement require f2.8 or greater and 1/500 sec shutter speed?

At 50ft, with a FF camera and a 200mm lens, at f/2.8 you have just over 3ft of DOF available to you. (https://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html) This is a pretty typical distance for that kind of focal length usage, so are you telling me that that's not enough to keep a dog, cat, bird, squirrel, etc. in focus? Again, I'm sure if you search you'll be able to find plenty of examples of acceptable photos at pretty much any distance/focal length combo you like.

Take a look at any BIF photos here or elsewhere. Birds in flight are far more demanding than cats, dogs, etc. and they have no problem getting the bird, eyes and all, in focus without using eye AF.

See for yourself: https://www.flickr.com/search/?text=birds%20in%20flight

How many shots were out of focus? You only see the ones in focus because people don't post their duds.

Results are all that matters. There isn't a single sports, event, wildlife, or general action shooter out there who has anything even close to a 100% keeper rate. It's par for the course for that kind of shooting.

Don't fall into the trap of thinking you need some fancy feature or a particular camera to do basic work.

I understand. Your camera doesn't have it and you desperately need to think that any feature you don't have is of no use. Don't fall into that trap because you are 100% wrong. None of my cameras have it either but I'm smart enough and broad minded enough to see the usefulness and possibilities even if I wouldn't need it myself. Denial of the usefulness of features that they don't have is all to common among DPR posters.

You understand nothing. What you have here is thread that was started by an inexperienced photographer who honestly had to ask the question if cameras without animal eye AF would actually be able to take photos of animals in motion competently like Sony is promoting its cameras being able to do so. The answer is yes they can; neither a Sony camera nor animal eye AF is even remotely necessary for that, which is what even the very first reply to his post more or less stated.

It has nothing to do with open or closed-mindedness, it's just stating a fact. Problem is, many people like yourself don't want to hear it or accept that. It's almost like they can't stand the fact that there are people out there who don't need what a particular company is pushing, are able to see past the marketing speak and pressure, don't feel like stepping into line with the crowd, and are willing to state as much publicly. If anything, they're the ones who're desperately looking for confirmation, not the other way around.

I personally have no problems trying out new technology and techniques, but they have to prove themselves beyond a doubt that they're better than what I have or know already before I'm willing to adopt them or make any recommedations to others.

Max Iso
Max Iso Senior Member • Posts: 7,992
Re: Animal Eye AF
1

rainydiary wrote:

Chikubi wrote:

George1958 wrote:

Animal Eye AF is a preset, a bit like landscape, fireworks , portrait found on a scene dial. Its nice to have but totally unnecessary. Attention to DoF and composition will get you the same outcome, and also avoids things like just off eyes with sharp lashes.

If its useful great, but to me its just another one of those marketing gimmicks designed to capture more photographers than images of animals.

Put the other way around , the history shows that photographers have been shooting everything from wild big game to the family pet pouch for decades without any problem, and before there ever was a Sony cameras and also without animal Eye AF.

This is pretty much it in a nutshell. Not necessary at all if you take the time to actually learn how to use AF as opposed to letting the camera drive for you.

How if you taken shot during the cat running ?

Does the cat's eye in image still sharp ?

I double dog dare you to shoot a cat running with that DOF shown in these two shots. Same FL, F stop and framing, the DOF looks to be maybe an inch or so of critical sharpness. Not only would you have trouble actually keeping the frame right on an animal's head bobbing around with that tight of framing, but there's no AF system in the world that can move such a thin focal plane responsively enough to stay on the eye with every shot.

You would have maybe a quarter inch behind or in front of the eye depth, that's how much wiggle room you have. This is why i haven't been extremely excited about eye AF for "action" shooting. If the DOF is thin enough to need eye AF specifically, then it's not likely to be consistent frame to frame.

It's also why the comparison with Canikon and Sony showing Canon not identifying eyes from very far away wasn't a big issue. The DOF is too wide to matter until the subject is closer.

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Bob A L Senior Member • Posts: 2,178
Re: All my cameras have it
1

Chikubi wrote:

golfhov wrote:

Chikubi wrote:

Laybourne wrote:

Bob A L wrote:

They will all let me focus on any animal's eye as long as it is visible. But if my camera ever starts picking out what to focus on by itself, it's going in the trash bin. That's my job.

I would hate to see how you feel about your camera metering for you, tracking a subject, or bracketing on it's own...…

I rely entirely on my camera's metering system, as I do it's auto focus abilities.  But I choose what it is to focus on and to meter. It focuses so much quicker than I can it's crazy and exposure accuracy of modern metering systems is just plain magic.

George1958 Contributing Member • Posts: 749
Re: Animal Eye AF

Surely you are not going to use a large aperture for animals at range? I have plenty of BIF images shot with my 7D mkii and EF400, they are sharp including the eyes, also pet dog running madly toward me on a beach, again nice and sharp around the eye.

what I have read is Eye AF is better closer up, but less so at range. The above set up works for me near or far depending on the choice of lens. The EF400 is 5.6 at its widest.

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Max Iso
Max Iso Senior Member • Posts: 7,992
Re: Animal Eye AF

Chikubi wrote:

Not necessary at all if you take the time to actually learn how to use AF as opposed to letting the camera drive for you.

Fully agree and, beautiful cat. Mine is buried in my back yard, she had a good life of over 16 years. Just before she died a neighbor's outdoor cat starting hanging around. It's been almost a year maybe and he's still here, he sleeps in our house often and comes and goes as he pleases. Cats are funny little things.

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Max Iso
Max Iso Senior Member • Posts: 7,992
Re: Animal Eye AF
2

George1958 wrote:

Surely you are not going to use a large aperture for animals at range? I have plenty of BIF images shot with my 7D mkii and EF400, they are sharp including the eyes, also pet dog running madly toward me on a beach, again nice and sharp around the eye.

what I have read is Eye AF is better closer up, but less so at range. The above set up works for me near or far depending on the choice of lens. The EF400 is 5.6 at its widest.

No, i quite agree with you and that's my point. Even if they could, nobody is using a 1" DOF with a telephoto lens for action shooting, not that there's a 300 f/1.4 out there. At distance the DOF is such that it doesn't matter if the focus point is on the eyes or somewhere else on the face.

On the other hand, up close when DOF may be very thin with faster lenses, people aren't likely to be shooting fast motion. The one way i see eye AF helping is it allows one to compose however you like without having to move AF points, or having to focus/recompose.

Is that useful? Yes, but not groundbreakingly so and definitely deserving of the attention it's getting. And this is coming from a current ML user.

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Don Lacy
Don Lacy Senior Member • Posts: 2,069
Re: Animal Eye AF
1

tbcass wrote:

rainydiary wrote:

How if you taken shot during the cat running ?

Does the cat's eye in image still sharp ?

That's the whole idea behind eye AF, to quickly and accurately focus on eyes on a subject that is moving around. Anybody can do it with a stationary subject.

Anyone can do it with a moving animal to it is really not that hard.

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tbcass
tbcass Forum Pro • Posts: 44,214
Re: Animal Eye AF
1

Chikubi wrote:

At 50ft, with a FF camera and a 200mm lens, at f/2.8 you have just over 3ft of DOF available to you. (https://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html) This is a pretty typical distance for that kind of focal length usage, so are you telling me that that's not enough to keep a dog, cat, bird, squirrel, etc. in focus? Again, I'm sure if you search you'll be able to find plenty of examples of acceptable photos at pretty much any distance/focal length combo you like.

Most DOF calculators use small 8x10 print as their basis of comparison. That calculator is useless because it fails to take into account print size, viewer eyesight and viewing distance. The following DOF calculator takes all those into consideration in the advanced mode. For a print with a maximum linear dimension of 20 inches, viewing distance of 25cm, 20/20 eyesight, FF camera, 200mm f2.8 the DOF is only about 7 inches.

https://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/dof-calculator.htm

The rest of your post assumes I care about eye AF. I do not, have no use for it and do not own a camera that has it. I am broad minded enough to see where many other people will find it a useful feature.

What I fail to understand is why people like you always seem to dismiss new features and capabilities every time one comes around.

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Tom

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Chikubi
Chikubi Senior Member • Posts: 1,889
Re: Way less words...

golfhov wrote:

Snip,

This is actually demonstrably wrong. Advanced cameras of every manufacturer tend to have MORE tools.

I should have been clearer. I was referring to things being stripped down in the sense of consumer-oriented hand-holding features like scene modes, Green Box modes, and so on. Compare a D5, 1DXII, A9, EM-1x, plus any of their direct predecessors and you will find none of these features on those bodies. These bodies are tailored for skilled users who don't need or desire such things.

Yes you didn't state things clearly at all. More pro cameras aren't "simpler". You are correct that they discard a lot of simpler "modes" for more tools of a different nature

and it's because they're designed for users that have a solid skillset to begin with and aren't willing to sacrifice performance and reliabilty for the sake of keeping up with the Jones'.

No they feature whatever they think their customers want to do the job.

Obviously, which is why bodies geared for pros lose the amatuer convenience features.

And they often feature myriads of options that somebody who does one type of photography .at never even touch. Then again another photographer may use the opposite tools

I don't think anyone really cares that new features are added to cameras as long as the option to not use them exists as well, like on most advanced cameras. Where people do get annoyed, however, is when those features are somehow touted as being necessary

Have you seen a single post here that said it was "necessary"? One? Where we have multiple posts calling it "useless" despite never having used it

I'm not talking about this thread only, but in general. The way that many users/reviewers across DPR and elsewhere go on about things like eye and tracking AF comes across as any camera that doesn't include them or has them at a lesser ability is somehow useless.

In this case the OP had a fairly specific question. You and others attempt to "generalize" some other problem you see has just diluted the conversation. If you want to have a general argument about what reviewers write then start your own thread

Even DPR's latest MILC reviews primarily determine the C-AF capability of a camera almost entirely on tracking and eye AF ability, never mind that users who have those cameras and shoot them in single-point C-AF post many times over that the C-AF works fine for everything they do.

I don't know if you noticed but "most" people on here actually aren't pushing their stuff that hard. If they don't care then why read the reviews or worry about comparisons.

The reviews here and other places often include disclaimers about features and their usefulness.

Lately, I see it particularly with Panasonic cameras, but other brands aren't exempt.

Huh.......

Also, animal eye AF may be new, but it's not hard to extrapolate it's ability and usefulness based on prior experience with eye AF in general.

So you have used some of the recent Sony bodies with fast glass?

If one finds std. eye AF not to be so useful, it's not a hard stretch to come to the same conclusion about animal eye AF as well.

Perhaps.

If you're already getting the results you need easily without either, it's a safe bet to say that it's not going to improve your results much.

Correct. Fully agree. If your current equipment meets your needs then none of this matters. None of it. C-af, fps, regular tracking, video, resolution, battery life, IBIS, lens selection, we can do this with everything and anything. Somebody who got a Rebel kiss with a kit and has been happy has ZERO reason to bother with reviews and features. Then again that doesn't mean their old rebel can do all the things a more.capanle camera can. .......

And if the argument is that it will allow lesser photogs to better be able to get results, then my argument is that learning proper AF use w/o it will let them do the same and a whole lot more as well. You know, teach a man to fish and all that jazz.

Yes BUT the whole point of automation is to improve the efficiency and ability of the user. When metering and AF arrived it didn't replace professionals. The professionals just used the tools to further enhance their abilities. This conversation is as old as time.

The models with better eye af don't in any way diminish someone's skill. It just frees them to work on other things. Same as once good tracking started to come along photographers could use it and focus on other parts of their image knowing the camera would cover that part of the image for them

or become a primary determiner as to what make one camera better than another when most knowledgeable shooters know that not to be the case.

Did you not see the OPs question? And a "knowledgeable" shooter uses ANYTHING that gets the job done. You can pick any feature you want. Most comparably the intelligent/3d tracking systems on flagship DSLRs. A similar tool just the user has to find the eye first.

I saw it, what of it? No knock on the OP as it was an honest question, but anyone that has to ask if Canon or Nikon will have difficulty shooting pics of dogs and cats is not a knowledgeable shooter,

They may not be. I didn't assume nearly as much as you did

which is a salient point as it shows just how much marketing oriented features like animal eye AF can sway the less skilled/knowledgeable shooters into thinking it's something actually necessary to get the job done. THAT'S the reason we've been responding the way we have. It's not completely useless, but it's far far from necessary either.

Did you say as much? And have you actually tried it? No you assumed......

And as for 3D tracking, I've had it available on every pro Nikon I've owned since my D3 from 10 years back and the first thing I, and others I know with the same cameras, learned about it was to leave it off and ignore it. Nowhere near the reliability and consistency of std. single-point C-AF. Dynamic Point AF is quite helpful and reliable, but 3D can't say the same. I won't write-off trying it on any newer bodies I buy, but so far it's still sub-par.

What is the most recent you have owned? The 3d tracking is pretty good. The whole point is to automate fast and erratic subjects that a human would struggle to follow with a joystiq. So either you aren't shooting fast subjects are you are much more skilled than most of us. I also am not as Nikon literate as you are so if I missed something in terminology I apologize

I also think that a lot of cameras - particularly MILCs - are becoming over-bloated with features that, in my experience, can make them fairly overwhelming to a large number of shooters.

Agreed. BUT as you said most of these features can be activated/ deactivated. So it does give bloated menus BUT most of these models are highly customizable. A moot point once the camera is configured to a users preferences

I agree with you as long as we're talking about shooters who are knowledgeable enough to know exactly how they want their camera to behave and are able to wade through the options to find what it is they need to achieve a setup they're comfortable with. I can surely do it, you likely as well, but in my experience most beginners and quite a large number of intermediate shooters just get swamped and discouraged. MILCs in particular I'm finding really bad for this b/c of the expanded video and hybrid options they include. I know it's not going to happen, but I think most mfgs are really going to have to rethink this approach and start toning down the option bloat, or getting more specific about catering cameras to a particular demographic. Even as a well-experienced user I find wading through extensive menus starting to get a bit tiring and inefficient. YMMV

You are making WAY too many assumptions. .......and carrying the conversation way past where it started

I see it all the time in my beginning and intermediate photo classes and it's problematic - I have students that frequently feel they'll never be able to learn their cameras well and feel like giving up. That's not a good thing.

No BUT the animal eye af isn't in "entry" level models and is deactivated by default. So you are making a pedantic point. Cameras have become complicated IF a user chooses. At the same time they can throw it in auto and then tip toe through more control as they learn. And we have DOZENS of automated features that could be discussed same as you are dismissing animal eye af. Obviously this is a more niche feature BUT the OP asked. It isn't something that was raised for no reason........well unless the OP is being disengenuous

It's not a pedantic point at all. As I mentioned above, it's obvious the OP isn't very knowledgeable and yet he still asked the question anyway and here we now have this thread and discussion. Mass amounts of options make things confusing for less knowledgeable/skilled shooters who don't understand their application and potential usefulness or lack of usefulness. All of those options can indeed, and often are, discussed, but that doesn't necessarily imply that they're being better understood as a result. If they were you wouldn't see so many feature oriented questions like the OP's.

No. The OP asked a legitimate question as far as I know.

Based on experience shooting animals can be difficult because many don't pose. In the case of the posing ones it is irellevant. In the case of more fidgity ones or trying to get action shots the animal eye af is "helpful" but not infallible.

I agree that anyone can start from Auto and add options as time goes on like you state, but in my experience many people often start to get lost and confused along the way, then discouraged. Some come here, get help, and get on with things, but a lot of others get even more overwhelmed, confused, and uncertain, then get down on themselves for not being able to learn their gear as they think they should be able to, and may eventually just give up altogether. I have a student right now that's at that point, in fact. I'm doing everything I can to help them get up to snuff, but even so they're having a real hard time of it. Mfgs really need to start paying better attention to this, I feel.

I don't know or care. This part is wayyyyyy past the OPs question. I didn't set out to answer for the entire camera industry.

Although for fun......

I have no clue. Maybe you are right BUT for the people that think photography is too daunting they just use a cellphone. If they want a "dumb" camera they can just buy a much older or entry level body. BUT that one is hard for manufacturers. They still have to make money. And selling $300 rebels and D3xxx doesn't seem to be working for them........so I really don't know where to go with that. Start a new thread about it if you want. Don't worry I won't join. Just like I didn't join the last "is Canikon dead" or any other thread like that

You know, at this point it's pretty obvious based on your replies to me and other posters that you're really only trying to win arguments and not much more. To be frank, I don't have the time to waste getting caught up any further with it, so I'm done. Take it whatever way you wish, I've said what I set out to and a bit more, others can read and decide for themselves the value in it. No hard feelings or ill intent towards you in any way, but time to move on.

Also FWIW, in my last intro to photo class, all 5 of my students had D3xxx series cameras. All were female, mainly middle-age, and wanting to move into real cameras over their phones for a variety of reasons. Make of that what you will, just relating it anecdotally.

Chikubi
Chikubi Senior Member • Posts: 1,889
Re: Animal Eye AF

Max Iso wrote:Fully agree and, beautiful cat. Mine is buried in my back yard, she had a good life of over 16 years. Just before she died a neighbor's outdoor cat starting hanging around. It's been almost a year maybe and he's still here, he sleeps in our house often and comes and goes as he pleases. Cats are funny little things.

Thank you and sorry for your loss. It never is easy and they never can be replaced. We have four total and the oldest is 13 right now. Still in good health, but you can tell he's slowed down quite a bit from when he was younger. All were freebies that showed up at our doorstep in one way or another. The photos I posted are actually a brother and sister pair and the first of the lot we took in.

Chikubi
Chikubi Senior Member • Posts: 1,889
Re: Animal Eye AF

tbcass wrote:

Chikubi wrote:

At 50ft, with a FF camera and a 200mm lens, at f/2.8 you have just over 3ft of DOF available to you. (https://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html) This is a pretty typical distance for that kind of focal length usage, so are you telling me that that's not enough to keep a dog, cat, bird, squirrel, etc. in focus? Again, I'm sure if you search you'll be able to find plenty of examples of acceptable photos at pretty much any distance/focal length combo you like.

Most DOF calculators use small 8x10 print as their basis of comparison. That calculator is useless because it fails to take into account print size, viewer eyesight and viewing distance. The following DOF calculator takes all those into consideration in the advanced mode. For a print with a maximum linear dimension of 20 inches, viewing distance of 25cm, 20/20 eyesight, FF camera, 200mm f2.8 the DOF is only about 7 inches.

https://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/dof-calculator.htm

Actually, thanks for posting the calc. Most people use DOF Master it seems, so good to have a bit of variety for comparison. You make a good point, but the one contention I have with it is that you have the viewing distance set for 25 cm, which is just under 10 inches. I typically print all of my show prints at 12x18" so very close to the 20" size you chose, and I have never seen anyone at one of my shows view one of my prints from that close. Not saying it's impossible, just highly unlikely in normal situations, I think. Most tend to view them at around 3', so if you adjust the calc accordingly you get a DOF of 2.24 ft which I feel is a bit more realistic.

The rest of your post assumes I care about eye AF. I do not, have no use for it and do not own a camera that has it. I am broad minded enough to see where many other people will find it a useful feature.

What I fail to understand is why people like you always seem to dismiss new features and capabilities every time one comes around.

I can only speak for myself, but it's not a matter of trying to dismiss new features outright, as much as not buying into them immediately simply because they now exist. I've been shooting for over 35 years now at this point and have seen a lot of things come and go in that time. Some of them proved to be very beneficial and have stuck around as a result, and a lot more fell by the wayside never to be seen again. Perhaps you could say I'm a bit jaded, but simple truth is that most new features are just not that impressive to me anymore, especially when I already have the skillset on hand to be able to do what they offer just as well without them.

Another thing also, is that I think a lot of mfgs these days, especially in the MILC side of things, are throwing everything but the kitchen sink into these cameras in order to cater to anyone and everyone to generate sales. I realize there are folks that will find various features useful that I and others won't, but the end result is that the feature bloat is getting a bit much and I find it makes the cameras notably more tiresome to use at times compared with older, less featured models. It also has the side effect of blinding less experienced users to the fact that they can also often achieve the same w/o the new feature if they just take the time to learn how. YMMV, but that's not a good thing as I see it as it promotes a limited skillset that can actually hinder one's photography in the long run.

Like I said earlier, I have no problem with new tech (I actually work in IT, so I'm used to it), but it has to prove itself to me as being something truly useful and better than what I already have or can do before I'm willing to adopt it.

Donald B
Donald B Forum Pro • Posts: 13,703
Re: Animal Eye AF

Good marketing. Concidering all face and eye detect are pdaf the camera is going to focus on the closest part of t h e animal anyway.guess which part of that's going to be

Don

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golfhov Forum Pro • Posts: 11,001
Re: Animal Eye AF
1

Donald B wrote:

Good marketing. Concidering all face and eye detect are pdaf the camera is going to focus on the closest part of t h e animal anyway.guess which part of that's going to be

No. It actually attempts to focus on the eye. Nothing else. In practice it can fail. Have you used it.

https://www.google.com/search?q=sony+animal+eye+af&oq=sony+animal+&aqs=chrome.0.69i59j69i57j0l2j69i60l2.8476j0j9&client=ms-android-samsung&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8

Don

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golfhov Forum Pro • Posts: 11,001
Wisdom
1

Snip

You know, at this point it's pretty obvious based on your replies to me and other posters that you're really only trying to win arguments

There is nothing to "win". You and others are dropping pointless arguments based on how you THINK the technology performs. Those that I am "arguing" with have zero experience first hand or even reading about it

and not much more. To be frank, I don't have the time to waste getting caught up any further with it, so I'm done.

You mean you realize you are wrong and taking the cowards way out?

Take it whatever way you wish, I've said what I set out to and a bit more, others can read and decide for themselves the value in it. No hard feelings or ill intent towards you in any way, but time to move on.

Before you do will you maybe look at this

https://www.google.com/search?q=sony+animal+eye+af&oq=sony+animal+&aqs=chrome.0.69i59j69i57j0l2j69i60l2.8476j0j9&client=ms-android-samsung&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8

You seem to pride yourself on knowledge .  Well there it is since you won't listen to the three of us that have actually used the feature. That frequent forums where it is discussed.

Also FWIW, in my last intro to photo class, all 5 of my students had D3xxx series cameras. All were female, mainly middle-age, and wanting to move into real cameras over their phones for a variety of reasons. Make of that what you will, just relating it anecdotally.

I make of that last comment you really want a pedantic argument about something that I am not having. This was a conversation about a feature. Since you pride yourself as an "educator" you would do well to learn about the topic you discuss. Speaking from a position of ignorance is .....well.......

Read through those first links (obviously skipping press releases and official Sony marketing) and watch a handful of those videos. They aren't even universal praise. On the average they all match up with what I laid out in my first post.

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Donald B
Donald B Forum Pro • Posts: 13,703
Re: Animal Eye AF

golfhov wrote:

Donald B wrote:

Good marketing. Concidering all face and eye detect are pdaf the camera is going to focus on the closest part of t h e animal anyway.guess which part of that's going to be

No. It actually attempts to focus on the eye. Nothing else. In practice it can fail. Have you used it.

https://www.google.com/search?q=sony+animal+eye+af&oq=sony+animal+&aqs=chrome.0.69i59j69i57j0l2j69i60l2.8476j0j9&client=ms-android-samsung&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8

Don

You wouldn’t no what it was focusing on because the dof on the dog was in front of the eye. The eye wasn’t in the center of the focus plane. Good PDAF though. I ve done a lot of reading and testing my own system. And eye detect is a big con.

Don

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golfhov Forum Pro • Posts: 11,001
Ignorance is bliss
1

Donald B wrote:

golfhov wrote:

Donald B wrote:

Good marketing. Concidering all face and eye detect are pdaf the camera is going to focus on the closest part of t h e animal anyway.guess which part of that's going to be

No. It actually attempts to focus on the eye. Nothing else. In practice it can fail. Have you used it.

https://www.google.com/search?q=sony+animal+eye+af&oq=sony+animal+&aqs=chrome.0.69i59j69i57j0l2j69i60l2.8476j0j9&client=ms-android-samsung&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8

Don

You wouldn’t no what it was focusing on because the dof on the dog was in front of the eye.

What are you going on about? Depends on the dog and angles

The eye wasn’t in the center of the focus plane. Good PDAF though.

I have no idea which article or video you are commenting on because there were many inn that link.

I ve done a lot of reading and testing my own system. And eye detect is a big con.

On YOUR system it may be. Same as the Z was recently heavily tested here and DPR explained the struggles. Sony's eye af has been used by hundreds or thousands of member here consistently over the years and is demonstrably accurate.

Don

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Sigh.......

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