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07-28-2019, 11:17 PM - 1 Like   #1
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BruceBanner's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
Posts: 3,788
AF.C Focus-Priority vs FPS-Priority

I'm undecided as of yet what is the best mode for capturing a subject walking towards the user from afar. Like a flower girl coming down the aisle or something etc. Actually.. not like a flower girl coming down the aisle but actually the flower girl followed by maid of honour followed by father of the bride (& bride)!

I've chosen for this task to shoot Jpg as my last wedding I shot this RAW and the buffer will rear its head if the purpose of the shot is to collect as many shots of each party member coming down the aisle as possible so that upon reflection you can choose which shot best captured the moment (such as which shot showed the flower girl tossing the petals into the air with a gorgeous smile the best, or which shot best showed a nice wry nervous smile from the maid of honour, or which shot best captured a proud father and smiling bride etc). Yes you can try and just squeeze of a few shots here or there but really I think AF.C is the best option here (and really only time I would use AF.C at a wedding). Jpg is not a problem if you get your exposure right, perhaps even locking it in before the shots and of course a suitable WB. I'm not scared or put off about Jpgs in this scenario, give me the best fps and buffer limit to capture the best moments vs dynamic range.

So then, my settings currently are;

- 1st Frame Action in AF.C; Focus-Priority (as I feel its best to start off on the right foot and at least get the first burst correct by only firing the shutter once focus is achieved).
- Action in AF.C Cont.; Focus-Priotity
- Hold AF Status; Off
- AF Active Area; SEL (single point, typically one above centre)
- Shooting Mode; High Continuous
- Aperture wide, f2.8 or wider (I am not interested in stopping down for these moments, I want focused subject isolation shots).

I'm starting to dither now however, I tried a few tests with my daughter walking towards me, and whilst not conclusive I think I am getting more keepers with 'Action in AF.C Cont. set to FPS-Priority'. It could be that because I am shooting Jpg and can fire off 20 shots in super fast succession that it's fluking the firing of the shutter in sync with her pace or something. I'm starting to feel as though the Focus Priority in AF.C mode can't really keep up, like by the time it feels it has focus and the shot is fired the subject has slightly moved on.

I am a huge fan of Focus-Priority in Live View mode, especially Face Detection AF mode, but here I'm just not so sure...

I'm curious to what others have found, perhaps my scenario relates to wildlife shooting, or sport or some other endeavour where good focus of a moving target trumps all other aspects. Has Pentax Forums done K-1 and KP tests thoroughly and explored all the AF.C options (and compared) for such a scenario? Really this is the stuff that stresses Pentax AF the most imo, however it's the most common thing most photographers face and want to capture right, a dog running towards the owner for example or a kid playing in the backyard. I'm not even needing to stress the AF that much, I'd be happy to setting for a high success rate of a person slowly walking towards the camera.

If time allows I'll do more tests and compare and show results here. I would love for this to become a genuine thread that shows peoples results from their attempts and list their different configurations, post all the shots (1-20 if you like) and mark the shots A, B, C and D for successful focus etc.



Last edited by BruceBanner; 07-28-2019 at 11:24 PM.
07-29-2019, 08:37 AM   #2
normhead's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Near Algonquin Park
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 33,339
I get out in the aisle raise my hand to stop the party, then compose with single point AF.s selecting the focal point that will centre the DoF where I want it. Then I shoot a burst, and give them the thumbs up to let them know they can start moving again.

I generally don't post images of other people's weddings, a sort of client privilege thing.

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