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03-21-2011, 10:35 AM   #1
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Differences between 5 or 11 points AF

Hello there

Can someone please tell me which setting is best for "normal use", and why?
When to use one or preferring the other?
I can't find anything in the manual covering it.

My K5 came standard with 11 points

Many thanks in advance

Bernard

03-21-2011, 10:41 AM   #2
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besides 6 more points? Well it depends on how you use your autofocus I guess.. myself I choose to center focus and then recompose most of the time, or manual focus.. so 5, 11, 500 point matters very little.
03-21-2011, 10:55 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chex Quote
besides 6 more points? Well it depends on how you use your autofocus I guess.. myself I choose to center focus and then recompose most of the time, or manual focus.. so 5, 11, 500 point matters very little.
With my first dslr, i used the auto 11 with the K10. But then i would have to double check what it focused on to see if its what i wanted. then i drifted to center focus so i always had in focus exactly what i wanted for dof. i use multiple point auto focus less than 10% of the time if i'm doing street or casual photography; landscape or cityscape, theatre or portrait - never. i don't see the point (sorry for the pun). Center point af for me :-)
03-21-2011, 11:16 AM   #4
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hi :0

My two cents, depending on your definition of normal use. I have now decided that there is no such thing as normal use with DSLR....:ugh:

Unless you are with a nikon, maybe, with some bazillion points AF, point, shoot. Even then i doubt it.

As you use your camera more often, you'll start shooting RAW, you would start post processing your images, and so on and so forth.

In this case, the definition of normal use becomes the use at which you manage to take your best photos at. And in that case, I leave less to the machines (Auto focus points), and more to the human (centre point). If you are shooting completely auto, cant be bothered or have no time to fix your focuses, sure, select 11 AF points and shoot away. You will get some keepers.

If you have more time, select centre point, choose live view. You will have more keepers.

I think the question is when. If i were to shoot street shooting, i guess i wont bother manually focusing. Shoot from the hip, shoot quick, and dont waste time focusing. If i do posed shots, i would never leave focusing to the camera.



03-21-2011, 11:30 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by D4rknezz Quote
hi :0

My two cents, depending on your definition of normal use. I have now decided that there is no such thing as normal use with DSLR....:ugh:

Unless you are with a nikon, maybe, with some bazillion points AF, point, shoot. Even then i doubt it.

As you use your camera more often, you'll start shooting RAW, you would start post processing your images, and so on and so forth.

In this case, the definition of normal use becomes the use at which you manage to take your best photos at. And in that case, I leave less to the machines (Auto focus points), and more to the human (centre point). If you are shooting completely auto, cant be bothered or have no time to fix your focuses, sure, select 11 AF points and shoot away. You will get some keepers.

If you have more time, select centre point, choose live view. You will have more keepers.

I think the question is when. If i were to shoot street shooting, i guess i wont bother manually focusing. Shoot from the hip, shoot quick, and dont waste time focusing. If i do posed shots, i would never leave focusing to the camera.

I think you've nailed it here. I manually focussed my cameras for years - tens of years, in fact. Autofocus is a boon when I'm shooting fast and hard - situations where I missed focus often anyway, back in the day, when I was shooting an ME Super and a Canon F1. In shots where I had more time, I virtually never missed focus. Looking through my friend's photostreams on flickr, I see that *all* systems miss focus occasionally - far more often than their owners would acknowledge, in fact. So me and my KatzEye will do the focussing in more staid situations, while I'll let the camera drive in high-volume environments
03-21-2011, 11:34 AM   #6
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I also just use the centre point, very rarely will I use all points. With certain subjects I might select another point. But 99% of the time I will use just one AF point. I also want to be sure I have in focus what I do want to have in focus. Not what the AF systems tells me
03-21-2011, 12:06 PM   #7
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Based on observations with the K-5;
- I use only 5-point/AF-C for BIFs to keep from snagging a focus on the outer edge of the frame
- I use only 11-point in portrait orientation after I noticed the camera has a hard time focusing on some objects with 5-point (due to the physical type of AF points enabled I assume).
- On everything else I shoot it does not seem to matter as its always centered and recomposed anyway.
03-21-2011, 11:38 PM   #8
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Original Poster
Thank you guys for you're opinions
And for info, I shoot mostly in Av Tav and M mode. On my Kr I mostly used 5 points but with the K5 I thought that using 11 points could give a little sharper image around the focusing point that I choose.

Cheers

03-22-2011, 01:26 AM   #9
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As a K20D user who has shot young soccer with a 55-300/F4-5.8 for the last 2 years (and the season starts again next month), I'm tempted by the K-5 for 5 reasons:

  1. High burst rate : helps when someone is kicking (particularly for goal) to get the ball in frame and in a good location.
  2. Electronic leveling: although I shot on a tripod, this would help (as long as it doesn't slow down shooting too much).
  3. Lower read & photonic noise: would help when I'm shooting with the sun behind the players and I have to dodge their faces.
  4. Hopefully better AF.C performance. I've lost a lot of shoots with two players due to the camera focussing on a background point between the two players (in Auto focus selection point) rather than on one or the other of the nearer players. Or in a tracking shot of a player, having the AF locking on to another closer player who comes into frame as I track the player with the ball. At high FL, there's not much DOF at f/5.6 and I can't really afford to stop down too much. I hope the K-5 is better in situation 1, but I doubt it would be any better in situation 2.
  5. Instead of a max. usable ISO of 1600, I'd hope to be able to use ISO3200-ISO4500. This would help with shutter speed with this relatively small aperture on cloudy days (although f/2.8 would be better for AF performance).
Dan.

Last edited by dosdan; 03-22-2011 at 11:53 AM.
03-22-2011, 08:42 AM   #10
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I had the same thoughts which what and why so did some extensive tests.

Previous to this I was using centre only with my k20d

But the k5 has some advantages fro 5 and 11 point in different situations

1 11 point for low light static subjects, the camera is more likely to achieve lock with low contrast situations with more points selected.

2 5 point for target tracking in af-c performance is quicker and more secure.

3 centre point for all other situations where you want control.

3 would be different if you are comfortable with af point selection , then you may prefer 11 point to have maximum af areas to select from.
03-22-2011, 02:36 PM   #11
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big question is how do you focus?. By this I mean: do you use the "half-pressed" shutter release button or the AF button at the back of the camera (or both interchangeably??).

m

ps. I use the AF button 99,9% of the time (that is when I do not need to hand over the camera to my wife, when she uses it for the remaining 0,1% as a P&S). But I find the position of that button a bit un-ergonomic (to press it I need to squeeze my right thumb between my cheekbone and the back of the camera, which makes me hold the camera a bit away from the eye...)
03-22-2011, 03:26 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by maciek_w Quote
big question is how do you focus?. By this I mean: do you use the "half-pressed" shutter release button or the AF button at the back of the camera (or both interchangeably??).
Both, depending on circumstances. If you use the half-pressed shutter button, you have to refocus on the target point each time you take a shot. This can cause delays or missed shots if you are focusing using the center point, and recomposing. To counter that, you can use the back AF button to focus, and hold it in, then you can fire as many recomposed shots as you want to, maintaining the original focused spot (while the AF button is pressed in, the shutter release focus function is deactivated, provided that your button customisation settings for AF are at default).
03-22-2011, 03:30 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by maciek_w Quote
ps. I use the AF button 99,9% of the time (that is when I do not need to hand over the camera to my wife, when she uses it for the remaining 0,1% as a P&S). But I find the position of that button a bit un-ergonomic (to press it I need to squeeze my right thumb between my cheekbone and the back of the camera, which makes me hold the camera a bit away from the eye...)
+1

This creates a bit of inconvenience for me as well. On my K-x, I used the AE-L button as the AF button, but I can't do this anymore on the K-5 :ugh:
03-22-2011, 03:37 PM   #14
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I like using 5 point as sort of an expanded center point focus that can catch things inside the five point focus box (four corner, one center). I use it especially for things like football, where center might be too specific, but 11 point has a nasty habit of picking something on the edge rather than the action center portion of the frame.
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