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View Poll Results: If you had to pick today, which camera would you get?
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02-24-2010, 01:09 AM   #211
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QuoteOriginally posted by str8talk83 Quote
How do you know which one you have activated? That would be more of my concern. If you focus/recompose I guess it wouldn't really matter that much. I generally choose the focus point closest to what I want to shoot and change my points frequently. That's why I was curious.
I find using center spot focusing/recomposing much faster and easier in general, can you provide examples where that would not work? Why are there even cameras with 11 focus points or 51 as in the D3s? Would that not just increase the odds that the camera will focus on the wrong thing?

02-24-2010, 08:13 AM   #212
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QuoteOriginally posted by kari Quote
I find using center spot focusing/recomposing much faster and easier in general, can you provide examples where that would not work? Why are there even cameras with 11 focus points or 51 as in the D3s? Would that not just increase the odds that the camera will focus on the wrong thing?
Interesting point. I like to know where the camera is focusing, even if it is something of an approximation. It does seem to me that, if you aren't letting the camera do everything, having more focus points might actually be a detriment. When I first started using an autofocus DSLR, I would let the camera focus, and I would get near misses of the intended spot. A near miss of a small area may mean the camera locked on the background, and the effect is huge. Now, the only time I take the focus off center to select a point is when the camera is on a tripod.
02-24-2010, 01:03 PM   #213
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QuoteOriginally posted by kari Quote
I find using center spot focusing/recomposing much faster and easier in general, can you provide examples where that would not work? Why are there even cameras with 11 focus points or 51 as in the D3s? Would that not just increase the odds that the camera will focus on the wrong thing?
I think it depends on your autofocus system. My 40D outer points are quite good, even in low-light, so I just find it easier to compose using the outer points and then move slightly to get the composition I'm going for. I take a photojournalist approach and like to shoot with a "candid" style, so being able to capture a moment quickly is important to me. It is possible to miss the shot when recomposing on occasion.

The reason that the Nikon 51pt system is highly regarded, is that they use a special metering system that detects color and lightness levels which allows all points to be activated for "3-D focus tracking" which I hear is very effective for tracking objects. I personally use center point for focus tracking because it is the best point on the 40D, but I have used outer points while tracking for slower moving things like portraits etc. with good results.

All that being said, the Canon 5D mark I and II is known for having bad outer points and almost everyone shooting that camera focus/recomposes using the center point (which is said to be very good). People get great results using this method. I think at the end of the day, either method works, it's just easier when you have a lot of points to be able to pick a point that is over exactly when you want to focus on and fire the shutter rather than: picking where you want to focus, moving to the center point, focusing, moving the camera for your composition, and firing off the shot.
02-24-2010, 01:06 PM   #214
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
Interesting point. I like to know where the camera is focusing, even if it is something of an approximation. It does seem to me that, if you aren't letting the camera do everything, having more focus points might actually be a detriment. When I first started using an autofocus DSLR, I would let the camera focus, and I would get near misses of the intended spot. A near miss of a small area may mean the camera locked on the background, and the effect is huge. Now, the only time I take the focus off center to select a point is when the camera is on a tripod.
Yeah, you are correct on not letting the camera focus. I always use the specific point I want rather than activating all 9 on my camera. Some of the pro cameras from Canon and Nikon allow you to pick a point but have "assist" points activated around that point in case the subject is moving erratically and is lost by the chosen point. I hear that this is handy for sports shooting, but I haven't actually used a "pro level" focus system unfortunately.

02-25-2010, 01:46 PM   #215
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I am new to SLR and was debating between getting a K-x or K-7. I decided to go with the K-7 and am glad I did!
02-26-2010, 11:04 AM   #216
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QuoteOriginally posted by str8talk83 Quote
How do you know which one you have activated? That would be more of my concern. If you focus/recompose I guess it wouldn't really matter that much. I generally choose the focus point closest to what I want to shoot and change my points frequently. That's why I was curious.
The simple answer is, you don't know. Unless you lock AF to the center point or manually pre-select a point, there's absolutely no way to know which AF point the camera chose before you press the shutter button (unless, of course, the ares of your subject matter which are in focus through the viewfinder make it obvious which point it must have been, but that's seldom the case).

Last edited by knoxploration; 02-26-2010 at 11:05 AM. Reason: clarifying my meaning slightly
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