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"AF On" and manual mode

Discussion in 'Sony RX1 Forum' started by dmullis, Jul 16, 2014.

  1. dmullis

    dmullis SC Rookie

    12
    Nov 9, 2012
    I am wondering how many RX1 owners program the focusing function (AF/MF control hold) to the "C" button on the top of the camera. Separating the focusing function from the shutter button is very popular in the DSLR world, but I wondered if there is any real advantage to doing this with the RX1. The usual argument is that focus could change in the instant between between the half press which focuses and the full press which triggers the shutter. That makes sense when you have camera with a continuous autofocus but since the RX1 offers only single (non continuous) focusing when shooting in manual mode, it would seem that you might as well stick with the from the factory half shutter press technique. Does anyone see an advantage to attaching the focus function to its own button?
     
  2. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    As long as you somehow can separate the focus from the exposure (which you can easily do with the AEL button) I don't see much need for an AF-ON function in the RX1. Not to say others don't. But it functions pretty differently on a DSLR. On Nikon DSLR's, and from what I understand Canon too, using the AF ON button coupled with C-AF basically becomes one stop shopping for any auto-focus approach. You want to shoot the equivalent of S-AF, just hold down the button to achieve focus and then release it to lock focus. Want to track action with C-AF, just keep the button pressed while you follow the action and take shots as appropriate (with your focus area set appropriately). Want manual focus, just keep your finger off the button and turn the focus ring. No need to ever mess with changing focus modes - it's all right there.

    The only trick I ever do with the RX1 AF is just use the tracking AF to hold focus on a particular subject while I recompose rather than manually move the AF point around prior to focussing. It's not much good for tracking moving subjects, but it works pretty well for maintaining focus on a subjet while I reposition where that subject is in the frame. This can be really useful for really narrow DOF shots. Other than that, I just use the half press to lock focus and the AEL button to lock exposure when I want to de-couple the two. I do have the C button set as an AF/MF toggle just to save me from having to always flip the little physical switch when I want to move between the two. But there's no indication on the screen or in the EVF whether you're in AF or MF, so I can occasionally do that and forget where I've left it until I try to AF and it won't move...

    -Ray
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. dmullis

    dmullis SC Rookie

    12
    Nov 9, 2012
    The tracking focus trick had not occurred me. Here all this time I've been vainly trying to keep Fido in focus with tracking AF and you suggest a actual practical use for this feature. Thanks.
     
  4. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Nope, the RX1 is not fast enough to follow Fido, but it can sometimes follow a flower or a fork out of the center of the frame... :wink:

    -Ray
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. ccrevasse

    ccrevasse SC Regular

    48
    Nov 20, 2013
    Lookout Mountain, Tennessee
    Chris Crevasse
    I have my focus mode dial set to manual focus and my C button set to AF/MF control hold, and that's how I usually focus. My left button is set to AF/MF control toggle, so I sometimes switch to AF that way or with the focus mode dial, either to use the shutter button to lock focus or, like Ray, to use the center button on the control wheel to engage tracking focus, which works pretty well in a focus and recompose situation. Because I usually focus with the C button, my shutter release is set to lock exposure on half press, so I've separated focus and exposure that way. Also, my AEL button is set to spot AEL toggle. Frankly, though, the RX1 files are so robust, as they say, and the multi metering so good, that I rarely feel like I need to lock exposure.
     
  6. dmullis

    dmullis SC Rookie

    12
    Nov 9, 2012
    I couldn't agree more about the metering on this camera. It beats the pants off my full frame DSLR in that regard, which frequently overexposes in mixed sunlight and shade. Also, I have come to rely on the real time histogram, which is of course not available with the optical finder in a DSLR.