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01-16-2016, 01:43 PM   #211
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Touchscreen focus point selection is the future. Most everyone who has used one raves about how good they are.


DSLR requires the optical viewfinder to be centralised above the lens, so is more likely to require mushing your face against the screen than an EVF, which can be side mounted.


I tend to use single point focus, and then recompose. AF points are painful if the subject matter is moving, but I can see the use for these if you're tripod mounted with a relatively static shot.


The problem with AF has always been advising it which point of the scene you're actually interested in. Likewise with tracking etc. Must say I'm super impressed with the tracking modes on mirrorless cameras where the AF is on sensor. Personally I'd love a hybrid camera where you can use on sensor AF when required. No reason why the mirrorless approach has sole rights to this concept.

01-16-2016, 01:58 PM   #212
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Sorry but i don't see the interest of touchscreen in DSLR.
This is part of the gimmicks smartphone users think "it is gonna be the future" just because they use it on their phone.
Particularly concerning AF, you have to choose between eyefinder and point-and-shoot... to which touch screen's logic belongs.

K-1 should not have touch-screen and that is for the best : an ergonomy that your fingers can memorise and interact with, allowing minimum visual action on the body during shooting action, in order to maximise shooting efficiency.

Of course when using tripod and LV that is different. But then you don't really need AF anymore (focus-peack), or you can take a few seconds to ajust focus area using 4-way pad.

Last edited by Zygonyx; 01-16-2016 at 02:24 PM.
01-16-2016, 02:08 PM   #213
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Here is new idea (or perhaps not, I really don't know) but why not have the shutter button also working as joystick?
Move the AF-point and fire without moving the finger from the shutter button. It's the future, I say.
01-16-2016, 02:55 PM - 1 Like   #214
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gimbal Quote
Here is new idea (or perhaps not, I really don't know) but why not have the shutter button also working as joystick?
Move the AF-point and fire without moving the finger from the shutter button. It's the future, I say.
I don't use multiple focus points, I focus and re-compose. I always use the back af button to focus, if this became a joystick with push to confirm and focus I might be more inclined to use multiple focus points.
Brian

01-16-2016, 03:16 PM   #215
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kunzite Quote
At least the tap tap tap process doesn't involve poking your eye with your finger when trying to set the focus point on a touchscreen while looking through the viewfinder
I doubt you would actually do that. I just held my camera to the eye, and tried to swipe on the screen. No issue at all, I can roughly use the right half of the screen with my right thumb. That's for people looking with the right eye, of course. Lefties have more problems, as usual. Yes, the nose touches the screen, but it doesn't move around on the screen. So the camera could easily recognize that that is the nose, thus not do anything, and only recognize moving input as change of focus point.

For the number of AF points in the K-5 having a touchscreen isn't necessary to move around. If there are many more though it may help.

Where it really does help is with live view. There it makes a difference, as there is a very large number of focus points possible. Having to push left, hold, hold, hold, hold even longer until eventually you get there is annoying and time consuming. Just being able to tap that place makes it faster and easier. To me it's something I'd use in studio, when the camera is on a tripod. I tend to use live view then, and just having to tap on the exact spot? I'd like that.

Much more important is to have the cursor be used for focus point selection by default, with the button to switch to WB etc. being only temporarily active. I rarely ever use those settings. Heck, my *istDS had the ISO selection there, so I frequently used it. It was NOT a problem. I got there fast, when I needed to, and it never was annoying. Such features should be usable by muscle memory, regardless of the current status of the camera. It is not with the K-5, K-3, ... Major oversight

@richandfleur: I disagree. Say you photograph a moving subject, but you want to keep it in the left portion of the frame. Focus then recompose doesn't really work, at least if you want to track the subject. But if you select the left focus point, you can easily do it. With my *istDS I used it all the time, because it was easy to access, and it is useful. With my K-5 it is still useful, but hard to access (no muscle memory possible), so I don't use it.

On sensor AF only works when the sensor gets the image, which only happens when the mirror is up. So while it would be possible to use with live view on, it wouldn't otherwise.

@Zygonyx: In OVF mode the touchscreen would act as a touchpad, like on a laptop. You can move around by swiping on it. Like you would move the mouse (in this case the AF point) with the touchpad. Muscle memory wouldn't be an issue, and you certainly don't have to look at the screen for that.

@BrianL: Did you ever have a Pentax with Fn button?
01-16-2016, 03:49 PM - 2 Likes   #216
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Touch screens can do other things aside from focus-point selection, and still be moderately useful. Eg the Nikon D5 - touch is about "allowing the user to easily pinch, zoom, swipe and scrub in playback, and also enter text faster than ever before" (according to the D5 press release), but has no role in focus point selection.

Plus touch with 50 (or more) individual focus points hardly seems practical for quickly selecting an individual point on a tiny 3-inch screen [especially in bright daylight], unless there is some sort of touch-zoom thing happening on screen. 'Group' or 'zone' AF selection might work efficiently with small-screen touch though.
01-16-2016, 03:59 PM - 1 Like   #217
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Touchscreen options shouldn't replace buttons, but should be offered in parallel as options. Pinch and zoom review is awesome and quick. There's a whole world of UI developments available to draw on.

Agree focus and recompose is useless on moving subjects coming towards you etc. Tracking options are rather limited in practice on Pentax presently. I can see the use of AF select points for fixed scene moving shots, but personally find them too slow to adjust to be bothered with.

Of course on sensor focus points only work in live view / mirror less mode
01-16-2016, 04:55 PM   #218
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I agree; if for no other reason that tactile feedback is very important, and a touchscreen offers none.
For me it's not an important feature; I would use it if available but that's it. I consider it yet another thing to check in reviews

QuoteOriginally posted by kadajawi Quote
I doubt you would actually do that. I just held my camera to the eye, and tried to swipe on the screen. No issue at all, I can roughly use the right half of the screen with my right thumb. That's for people looking with the right eye, of course. Lefties have more problems, as usual. Yes, the nose touches the screen, but it doesn't move around on the screen. So the camera could easily recognize that that is the nose, thus not do anything, and only recognize moving input as change of focus point.
So do I, but that's because I wear glasses - they would stop my thumb from reaching the eye
Tested with the K-5IIs, only the bottom right corner is reachable without much interference. I can't reach the upper right half without pushing into my glasses (or eye, if I take the glasses off). I don't see something workable out of this, but I won't mind being proven wrong.

01-16-2016, 10:32 PM   #219
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I've never used a camera with a joystick to select focus points. It sounds OK in practice, but how does it mesh with back button focus? One's thumb can't be in two places at the same time. I use the centre point to focus, then take my thumb off the AF-ON button and quickly recompose. That seems to work OK even with BIFs, but I'm happy to take on board any tips from more experienced people.

Edit: I forgot to mention, I have a camera with a touch screen that can be used to select focus point with the EVF to the eye, but it really seems less practical than my method outlined above.
01-16-2016, 11:51 PM   #220
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cynog Ap Brychan Quote
I've never used a camera with a joystick to select focus points. It sounds OK in practice, but how does it mesh with back button focus?
Seamlessly, as the Canon 1 series camera bodies and Nikon Dx series have buttons that are programmable as AF-on buttons, for example it is possible to configure the buttons on the D4s so you can use the joystick with your right thumb while activating AF with one of the Fn buttons on the front of the camera

Last edited by Digitalis; 01-17-2016 at 12:00 AM.
01-17-2016, 01:00 AM - 1 Like   #221
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I just don't get it. To me, multiple af points are for continous af where the action is fast and I hope and pray that the camera gets it right. No time to manually select a focus point. Or it comes in handy for focus stacking in macro photography. But using AF-S, multiple focus points and then manually selecting a focus point? Isn't simple focus / recompose infinitely faster and much more precise?

I imagine you have to frame the shot first, hold the camera in exactly that position with one only one hand while with the other hand you fiddle around with buttons, joysticks or touch lcd to select focus. Likely that means you have to move the camera away from your eye some way, too. That doesn't sound right to me.

Am I dense this morning or what am I missing?
01-17-2016, 01:28 AM - 1 Like   #222
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QuoteOriginally posted by eyeswideshut Quote
To me, multiple af points are for continous af where the action is fast and I hope and pray that the camera gets it right. No time to manually select a focus point.
With advanced AF modules you are able to select a zone of focus and the surrounding AF points will behave as AF assist points, or even for predictive focus. I don't know of many sports photographers that rely on a single focus point for AF tracking: the odds are better of catching the subject with multiple points which makes the AF lock acquisition less error prone.

these are common AF configurations on the Nikon D4s:


QuoteOriginally posted by eyeswideshut Quote
Isn't simple focus / recompose infinitely faster and much more precise?
Not really, in fact focus and recompose can be extremely imprecise due to field curvature.

QuoteOriginally posted by eyeswideshut Quote
focus stacking in macro photography.
I don't know of anyone who uses AF for 1:1 macro work, stacking is more common with 2:1 and greater magnifications where there is never enough DOF.

Last edited by Digitalis; 01-17-2016 at 01:38 AM.
01-17-2016, 01:46 AM   #223
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
With advanced AF modules you are able to select a zone of focus and the surrounding AF points will behave as AF assist points, or even for predictive focus. I don't know of many sports photographers that rely on a single focus point for AF tracking: the odds are better of catching the subject with multiple points which makes the AF lock acquisition less error prone.

these are common AF configurations on the Nikon D4s, and they can be moved to almost any position within the 51 point AF field:




Not really, in fact focus and recompose can be extremely imprecise due to field curvature.



I don't know of anyone who uses AF for 1:1 macro work, stacking is more common with 2:1 and greater magnifications where there is never enough DOF.
Thanks Digitalis but I continue unconvinced. I understand the various af arrays and their structures, I understand moving one or an assembly of active points around but as I said, forget sports, action and continous af. What about the workflow I outlined? Multiple af points in single af mode (general photography you might call it) Is that how you actually photograph - and if so what is the advantage? It seems slow, unneccessarily complex and rather imprecise (after all an array of >1 focus points is NOT more accurate than one central focus point)

Then again, I know that you know what you are talking about, so what am I missing?

P.s. re field curvature. I have never ever found that to be a problem. We are talking centimeters at great distances - something that dof usually more than take care of.

Last edited by eyeswideshut; 01-17-2016 at 01:57 AM.
01-17-2016, 01:55 AM   #224
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QuoteOriginally posted by eyeswideshut Quote
Multiple af points in single af mode (general photography you might call it) Is that how you actually photograph - and if so what is the advantage?
For a stationary subject it is largely a matter of preference whether to use the full 51 point AF field or just a single AF point in single shot AF, though if you are working with shallow DOF multiple point AF is useful as even a small amount of movement can cause a subject to go out of focus so using a wide zone AF pattern is technically a superior approach to using the central AF point. Multiple point AF can give you a much higher keeper rate, especially with faster lenses, and also when you need to track a subject that is in motion with a fast lens.

Last edited by Digitalis; 01-17-2016 at 08:53 AM.
01-17-2016, 02:37 AM   #225
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QuoteOriginally posted by kadajawi Quote
I doubt you would actually do that. I just held my camera to the eye, and tried to swipe on the screen. No issue at all, I can roughly use the right half of the screen with my right thumb. That's for people looking with the right eye, of course. Lefties have more problems, as usual. Yes, the nose touches the screen, but it doesn't move around on the screen. So the camera could easily recognize that that is the nose, thus not do anything, and only recognize moving input as change of focus point.

For the number of AF points in the K-5 having a touchscreen isn't necessary to move around. If there are many more though it may help.

Where it really does help is with live view. There it makes a difference, as there is a very large number of focus points possible. Having to push left, hold, hold, hold, hold even longer until eventually you get there is annoying and time consuming. Just being able to tap that place makes it faster and easier. To me it's something I'd use in studio, when the camera is on a tripod. I tend to use live view then, and just having to tap on the exact spot? I'd like that.

Much more important is to have the cursor be used for focus point selection by default, with the button to switch to WB etc. being only temporarily active. I rarely ever use those settings. Heck, my *istDS had the ISO selection there, so I frequently used it. It was NOT a problem. I got there fast, when I needed to, and it never was annoying. Such features should be usable by muscle memory, regardless of the current status of the camera. It is not with the K-5, K-3, ... Major oversight

@richandfleur: I disagree. Say you photograph a moving subject, but you want to keep it in the left portion of the frame. Focus then recompose doesn't really work, at least if you want to track the subject. But if you select the left focus point, you can easily do it. With my *istDS I used it all the time, because it was easy to access, and it is useful. With my K-5 it is still useful, but hard to access (no muscle memory possible), so I don't use it.

On sensor AF only works when the sensor gets the image, which only happens when the mirror is up. So while it would be possible to use with live view on, it wouldn't otherwise.

@Zygonyx: In OVF mode the touchscreen would act as a touchpad, like on a laptop. You can move around by swiping on it. Like you would move the mouse (in this case the AF point) with the touchpad. Muscle memory wouldn't be an issue, and you certainly don't have to look at the screen for that.

@BrianL: Did you ever have a Pentax with Fn button?
Function button, yes. Joystick with push function, no.
Brian
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