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a6300 on the field - sometimes apparently minor features are major


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#1 stoppingdown

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 09:46 AM

I'm back from four days in southern Tuscany - at last four days of landscape!    :)

 

So I could try the a6300 on the field. At the moment I have only to share preliminary impressions, because it will take some days to prune and post-process all the photos.

 

It's the first time I in my life I went out with a three-camera-bodies approach. Basically I bought a new camera body for this main reason: to minimise the lens changes on the field. I admit this is greatly due to my laziness  :rolleyes: , but there is also an objective reason: in Tuscany I drive for hundreds of kilometres through white roads. My car is so filled of dirt than it usually takes months for completely remove it from the inner parts, and thus there are higher ratios than usual to have dirt on the sensor. The typical setup I used was to have the 16-70, the 70-200 and the 150-600 almost mounted and ready. In some cases, the 150-600 is removed in favour of the 10-18. In this season the countryside is also filled with flowers, and an alternative take could have been to have the 150-600 replaced by a macro setup - I didn't go for it because I've been shooting flowers for almost three months and I was a bit fed up with them.

 

Closed this long introduction, I discovered a minor feature of the a6300, that I wasn't even aware of, to possibly be one of the greatest ones: the capability of auto-focusing while in focus magnifier mode. Up to the a6000, when you press the shutter release focus magnifier mode is cancelled. With an option of the a6300, you can stay in that mode, and auto-focusing still works (there's a cross shaped marker which indicates where focusing is performed). My experience with the NEX-6 and the a6000 is that contrast-based focusing is overall more precise than the phase-based focusing I was using all the time with my DSLRs; but a minor fraction of shots get it completely wrong. Usually I notice the problem in the EVF (less on the a6000 because of the lower resolution) and I repeat focusing and shooting a few times: in most cases at least one attempt is fine. But a subset of this percentage always fails. If the shot is really valuable and I have time, I use to switch to manual focusing and fix it (this is not always feasible: with longer focals and without a tripod, the image in the EVF is not stable enough to manual focus).

 

The thing repeated in some circumstances with the a6300; but in all cases in which I activated the focus magnifier and refocused while in that mode, I achieved a sharp result. In some rare cases I see that the auto-focusing still has problems, but the thing is now very clear with the focusing magnifier mode, I never risk that the thing goes undetected. At that point I can decide whether it makes sense to spend some more time and fix it in manually mode.


stoppingdown.net

 

Sony a6300, Sony a6000, Sony NEX-6, Sony E 10-18mm F4 OSS, Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS, Sony FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS, Sigma 150-600mm ƒ/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary, Samyang 12mm ƒ/2, Sigma 30mm F2.8 DN | A, Meyer Gorlitz Trioplan 100mm ƒ/2.8, Samyang 8mm ƒ/3.5 fish-eye II | Zenit Helios 44-2 58mm ƒ/2 
Plus some legacy Nikkor lenses.

#2 Brightcolours

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 03:35 PM

Closed this long introduction, I discovered a minor feature of the a6300, that I wasn't even aware of, to possibly be one of the greatest ones: the capability of auto-focusing while in focus magnifier mode. Up to the a6000, when you press the shutter release focus magnifier mode is cancelled. With an option of the a6300, you can stay in that mode, and auto-focusing still works (there's a cross shaped marker which indicates where focusing is performed).

Strange, I did not know that. The EOS M has normally done that since always.

#3 stoppingdown

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 03:47 PM

Strange, I did not know that. The EOS M has normally done that since always. 

 

 

 

In my opinion Sony has got a number of stupid limitations in their user interface. The focus magnifier reset is one of those, and fortunately it has been fixed. On the other hand, the option to disengage auto-focusing from the shutter release wasn't part of the "memory recall", a.k.a. user presets, in the a6000 and still isn't in the a6300. :angry:  It would be useful: e.g. I have preset 1 for static subjects, which includes "single" AF (contrast-based), and preset 2 for moving subjects, which includes "continuous" AF (phase-detection based). It would make sense to have auto-focusing automatically engaged in the latter case, but I have to go through the menus to do that. Perhaps the AE-lock button that I've reprogrammed to work as the AF switch is placed in a slightly different position than in the a6000 and it could be more comfortable to keep the two buttons pressed at the same time; I'll be able to tell you only when I meet some birds again.


stoppingdown.net

 

Sony a6300, Sony a6000, Sony NEX-6, Sony E 10-18mm F4 OSS, Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS, Sony FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS, Sigma 150-600mm ƒ/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary, Samyang 12mm ƒ/2, Sigma 30mm F2.8 DN | A, Meyer Gorlitz Trioplan 100mm ƒ/2.8, Samyang 8mm ƒ/3.5 fish-eye II | Zenit Helios 44-2 58mm ƒ/2 
Plus some legacy Nikkor lenses.

#4 obican

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 09:00 PM

5DSR does that too, and I absolutely hated that. I was using manual focus and sometimes I want to have another look at the composition on the rear screen and with my Sony A7, all you have to do is half-press the shutter. With the 5DSR, I had to double click the focus magnify button, which means I had to reposition my hand. Absolutely hated the whole experience.

 

If you switch your camera to manual focus, can you still exit the magnified view by a half press?



#5 stoppingdown

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 09:27 PM

 

If you switch your camera to manual focus, can you still exit the magnified view by a half press?

 

There's an option for that: if you disable "AF in focus mag.", half pressing the shutter resets to normal EVF mode.


stoppingdown.net

 

Sony a6300, Sony a6000, Sony NEX-6, Sony E 10-18mm F4 OSS, Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS, Sony FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS, Sigma 150-600mm ƒ/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary, Samyang 12mm ƒ/2, Sigma 30mm F2.8 DN | A, Meyer Gorlitz Trioplan 100mm ƒ/2.8, Samyang 8mm ƒ/3.5 fish-eye II | Zenit Helios 44-2 58mm ƒ/2 
Plus some legacy Nikkor lenses.

#6 stoppingdown

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 09:37 PM

In any case, I programmed the "C1" button for focus magnifier cycle (off, half mag, full mag) which is near the trigger: I can easily cycle the finger over the two buttons.


stoppingdown.net

 

Sony a6300, Sony a6000, Sony NEX-6, Sony E 10-18mm F4 OSS, Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS, Sony FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS, Sigma 150-600mm ƒ/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary, Samyang 12mm ƒ/2, Sigma 30mm F2.8 DN | A, Meyer Gorlitz Trioplan 100mm ƒ/2.8, Samyang 8mm ƒ/3.5 fish-eye II | Zenit Helios 44-2 58mm ƒ/2 
Plus some legacy Nikkor lenses.

#7 obican

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 10:05 PM

I have that button set to Focus Settings. Because if you're in AF, you can cycle between focus area and if you switch to MF, it automatically becomes the focus magnifier. Not sure if I'd like to magnify in AF like you though. In your case, Magnifier seems to be the better choice.






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