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11-26-2009, 02:34 PM   #1
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For Pentax's k-7 successor - new AF points?

Looking at my k200d, I am quite happy with the 11 point AF selection; however, seeing that the K7 offers the same and that some competitors like the D300 offer up to 51, should we expect to see a change in the AF point layour in the new generation?

Currently, the K7 can alternate between the following grid lines:

http://a.img-dpreview.com/reviews/pentaxk7/Images/vfscreens.jpg

...but does anyone expect (or want) to see more? I certainly would.

11-26-2009, 04:06 PM   #2
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To me it's not an issue. I use the center one 99% of the time as I shoot a ton of portraits and want to control exactly where the focus is locked then recompose.
What I want is faster AF.
11-26-2009, 04:18 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
What I want is faster AF.
I'm with you on that too...
11-26-2009, 04:50 PM   #4
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Are you really referring to af points or focusing screens?

11 AF points are already a lot.
There are only (almost)two reasons why you should add more. And often you can acheive the following by improving existing ones.
One is for density - having a better fill on the area they cover.
If it is properly implemented, it can avoid the loss of focus and hunting when the subject leaves the exact AF point (like a tree branch shaking in the wind with empty background).. but the AF reaction must be instant at all times on all areas, able to track subject from AF point to point, not picking random points.
Second is for Coverage - only few cameras extend their af points further from the center of frame. This is also technically limited by aperture, but still possible.

11-26-2009, 06:19 PM   #5
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Improving the AF is sort of the final frontier for them. The present system is getting pretty old, I believe it's original emulation was the *ist film camera. One of the things I don't understand is why they stick with the traditional focus point placement. They have a verticle grip that encourages the user to hold the camera a specific way when held vertically, so why not load the top of the frame with more points. I would like to see at least a couple of more points on the right side, making the outer point into a column.
My shooting method is very dynamic, focus and recompose doesn't work well for me, so I tend to put the top point on the near eye and settle for cropping the image somewhat.
11-26-2009, 08:33 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
To me it's not an issue. I use the center one 99% of the time as I shoot a ton of portraits and want to control exactly where the focus is locked then recompose.
What I want is faster AF.
I agree with this too. I use the center point 95% of the time. Other points are mostly when using a tripod and not using manual focus.

The advantage of the 51-point system of Nikon (and I've used it for several months) is that it is useful for the tracking-AF feature. Without sufficiently dense points, the camera would not be able to keep track as the subject could move between points. If this is a feature you anticipate using, then there is a point.

Otherwise it would be nice to make the center-point even faster. Sony has this double-cross system on the center-point of the A700 and it is extremely fast, plus the eye-start sensor primes the AF by default so on the half-press the A700 does AF-adjustment mostly. That I wish Pentax could do and would be more useful to those using the center-point mostly.

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11-26-2009, 08:54 PM   #7
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Id suggest the number of points less important to the AI behind what point in chosen.

I use center 100% of the time so i don't give a shit, but perhaps this is due to never using a AF system that worked 100% of the time automatically.
11-26-2009, 09:56 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
I tend to put the top point on the near eye and settle for cropping the image somewhat.
I do this too; I think a different array of focus points would be great.

11-26-2009, 10:43 PM   #9
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Looking through a Canon 1D viewfinder, it's almost psychotic the number of AF points there are.
Does anyone ever really need that many?
With 11 AF points, there isn't anywhere in the frame that is far enough away to cause any of the 'focus-lock and recompose' problems.

+1 on Peter's suggestion (sounds like a broken record now...) - faster and more reliable AF, esp. in the DA* lenses.
11-27-2009, 05:34 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by esman7 Quote
Looking at my k200d, I am quite happy with the 11 point AF selection; however, seeing that the K7 offers the same and that some competitors like the D300 offer up to 51, should we expect to see a change in the AF point layour in the new generation?

Currently, the K7 can alternate between the following grid lines:

http://a.img-dpreview.com/reviews/pentaxk7/Images/vfscreens.jpg

...but does anyone expect (or want) to see more? I certainly would.
Personally, I'm fine with the AF points as-is. More AF points means more processing for the camera (potentially increasing lag or slowing tracking performance), and more time spent in manually choosing a point, and for my personal use doesn't offer much advantage.

The only difference I'd personally like to see is a VF screen offered that shows the actual size and location of the AF points, so I can more easily place the point precisely where I want it. I wouldn't personally find this distracting in the least, and it'd save me having to guess what the AF point is on.
11-27-2009, 05:43 AM   #11
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I would like to see smaller AF points and if having more of them accompanies this, then fine. I would think, but don't know, that faster AF would accompany smaller AF points as well.

Thank you
Russell

Last edited by Russell-Evans; 11-27-2009 at 07:48 PM.
11-27-2009, 06:50 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by knoxploration Quote
Personally, I'm fine with the AF points as-is. More AF points means more processing for the camera (potentially increasing lag or slowing tracking performance), and more time spent in manually choosing a point, and for my personal use doesn't offer much advantage.

The only difference I'd personally like to see is a VF screen offered that shows the actual size and location of the AF points, so I can more easily place the point precisely where I want it. I wouldn't personally find this distracting in the least, and it'd save me having to guess what the AF point is on.
I'm not unhappy with the way they do it now with the illuminator on the screen. More etch marks on the screen would provide a wonderful distraction to composition. Lots of focu points doesn't mean that there is going to be slower performance. Canon and Nikon have already proven that.

QuoteOriginally posted by Russell-Evans Quote
I would like to see smaller AF points and if having more of then accompanies this, then fine. I would think, but don't know, that faster AF would accompany smaller AF points as well.

Thank you
Russell
This would be good. The AF points now are too large to be able to work with any real precision.

I'd like to too an AF point array something like this:



* * * *
| * 0 * *
* * * *

With 0 being the center point. This is only adding a two points nd would allow more flexibility when shooting vertical portraits.
11-27-2009, 07:14 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
I'm not unhappy with the way they do it now with the illuminator on the screen. More etch marks on the screen would provide a wonderful distraction to composition.
Which is exactly why we have interchangeable focusing screens. You find it distracting; you needn't use that screen. I wouldn't find it remotely distracting (my previous SLRs have had focus point indication etchings, albeit not precisely scaled to match the sensor point area) , and it would be a useful feature for me.

The current illuminate-only-when-focused method doesn't work well for me. I guess where the AF point is, focus, the indicator lights, and only then do I see I was actually off a hair. What it results in is my often having to perform two AF operations - one to confirm precisely where the AF point is, and a second to focus once I put the point where I want it.

QuoteQuote:
Lots of focu points doesn't mean that there is going to be slower performance. Canon and Nikon have already proven that.
...in pro-level SLRs with pro-level processors. There's no question if you have more AF points active (ie. in auto AF point selection), there's more data for the camera to deal with - and it *will* do so measurably slower than a camera with less active AF points. The only question is how much so, and that depends on the processor speed and - I'm presuming - the AF sensor type / resolution, and the sampling rate.
11-27-2009, 07:36 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by knoxploration Quote
Which is exactly why we have interchangeable focusing screens. You find it distracting; you needn't use that screen. I wouldn't find it remotely distracting (my previous SLRs have had focus point indication etchings, albeit not precisely scaled to match the sensor point area) , and it would be a useful feature for me.

The current illuminate-only-when-focused method doesn't work well for me. I guess where the AF point is, focus, the indicator lights, and only then do I see I was actually off a hair. What it results in is my often having to perform two AF operations - one to confirm precisely where the AF point is, and a second to focus once I put the point where I want it.
As long as you are the one buying the custom screen, I don't really have a problem with this.

QuoteQuote:


...in pro-level SLRs with pro-level processors. There's no question if you have more AF points active (ie. in auto AF point selection), there's more data for the camera to deal with - and it *will* do so measurably slower than a camera with less active AF points. The only question is how much so, and that depends on the processor speed and - I'm presuming - the AF sensor type / resolution, and the sampling rate.
This sounds like an apology for Pentax.
How about this, they come out with a camera that has real pro specs (the K7 only really lags on AF performance) and you don't have to buy it.
11-27-2009, 07:42 AM   #15
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For me the current amount of af-points is enough, but sometimes their too large size and the positioning relative to points seen in viewfinder results a wrong point in focus.

I think for advanced af-tracking more points are needed. Otherwise the gap between points looses the focus lock.

muus.
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