Do you like Eye-AF?

Richard Crowe

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Eye-AF is the main reason why I switched from Canon to Sony cameras. I liked it with the A6500 but both the A6400 and A7iii with their latest full-time and animal Eye-AF has even exceeded the original Eye-AF. All the other benefits, size, adaptability to use other lenses, etc. are secondary to Eye-AF for me.

Many of my Canon and Nikon friends belittle Eye-AF, calling it a gimmick! Sure, I realize that it hurts them to see some upstart company like Sony produce cameras that surpass their well known brands in focusing ability. Sure, Canon has face detect but only in live-view for their DSLR cameras and Nikon is desperately trying to implement a decent Eye-AF in their mirrorless cameas...

However, I wonder if other Sony users are as fond of Eye-AF and Animal Eye-AF as I am?
 

WNG

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Eye-AF is the main reason why I switched from Canon to Sony cameras. I liked it with the A6500 but both the A6400 and A7iii with their latest full-time and animal Eye-AF has even exceeded the original Eye-AF. All the other benefits, size, adaptability to use other lenses, etc. are secondary to Eye-AF for me.

Many of my Canon and Nikon friends belittle Eye-AF, calling it a gimmick! Sure, I realize that it hurts them to see some upstart company like Sony produce cameras that surpass their well known brands in focusing ability. Sure, Canon has face detect but only in live-view for their DSLR cameras and Nikon is desperately trying to implement a decent Eye-AF in their mirrorless cameas...

However, I wonder if other Sony users are as fond of Eye-AF and Animal Eye-AF as I am?
Don't worry about your friends, they enjoy the taste of sour grapes. :D
 

JonathanF2

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I like Sony's implementation of Eye-AF. The fact that I can activate it using a custom function button is really handy, since I don't need to have it on all the time.
 

bdbits

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I have mostly manual lenses, and seldom shoot people (that didn't come out right). So Eye-AF is mostly irrelevant to me.

I originally went mirrorless for size and lens adaptability with a NEX-5N. Ironically, in the last year I have switched almost entirely to all e-mount lenses, mostly manual aperture/focus Voigtlanders. I still appreciate the flexibility though, and would not have come this far without being able to start with affordable vintage (and interesting) lenses. I've also gone to full-frame. While still somewhat smaller than the alternatives, the size definitely isn't like the NEX-5N anymore. But I still prefer Sony for the technology. I would never go back to mirrored cameras, and the always-live-display is essential for me now.

As I am getting up there in years, as my eyes age I may at some point need to rely more on autofocus. Time will tell.
 

Drd1135

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I'll be curious to try it. It's one of the reasons I'm looking at certain A7 bodies. Every review I've read says really good things about it, and that kind of consistency is usually meaningful.
 

MWhite

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You bet I like it! And it is hardly a gimmick. My eyes are not what they used to be, but after recently scanning a number of slides taken with my much younger eyes and my Canon FTb & T70 (both of which had really good focusing screens)* I see that even then I missed focus far too often. The ability to quickly nail focus allows me to more easily maintain contact with the subject. Technology that improves human contact is a good thing.

*I hesitated to mention my previous auto-focusing gear (Pentax) because, well, Pentax fans are sometimes a bit defensive. I took some great photos with Pentax, but the auto focusing with Sony (whether eye AF or not) is simply from another planet. And, of course, there is no eye AF at all.
 
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Thad E Ginathom

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I didn't bother much with it using the a6000. Anyway, face-detect felt good enough. With the a6500, where it works in AF-C, I definitely like it! Perhaps this approaches the a6400 experience, because it sticks to the eye.

On the other hand (not eye) it needs a big enough face. I use it a lot with my 85/1.8 (and the lens button takes the button yoga out of the question) but not so much when photographing the same people with the 50/1.8.

I can live with the button press, and using other ways to focus with cats. Maybe the a6400-series always-on is more wow, but I feel wowed enough for now.
 

Richard Crowe

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Thanks, I was pretty sure that many Sony users do not consider the Eye-AF a gimmick but, rather an evolution of auto focus that most manufacturers are trying to copy/emulate...
 

SpecFoto

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Eye-AF is a game changer and makes portrait shooting a breeze.
THIS!!

Long time Nikon shooter here with most of the great Nikkor portrait lenses, 58G f1.4, 85mm f1.4, 105F2 DC and 135mm F2DC. But last year I bought into Sony for the Eye AF and it has been etremely useful, so much so that I now rarely every use my Nikon gear for portraits. Too many camera companies overuse the term 'game changer", but it applies 100% in this case. Really love my Batis 135mm with the OIS, and for that reason I recently upgraded my FE 85 f1.8 to the Batis 85mm f1.8 that also has the OIS. The combo of EyeAF and OIS allows me to get so many shots that would have been missed with my Nikon gear.
 
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Richard Crowe

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Steve wrote...

"I'll be curious to try it. It's one of the reasons I'm looking at certain A7 bodies. Every review I've read says really good things about it, and that kind of consistency is usually meaningful. "

I think that you will notice; the comments about Eye-AF by owners of Sony cameras with these features are usually the positive ones and that the owners of other brand cameras (who have never used the Sony Eye-AF) are usually the ones that post negative comments.

However, the newer A7 full frame bodies (A7iii and A7Riii), and of course the A9 and A9ii, as well as the A6400 and newer crop factor bodies have the best AF in the Sony line...

I have my last Canon lens posted on eBay right now (have sold the rest of the Canon glass). I will be posting my last Canon cameras (7D2 and 6D2) this weekend). That signifies my total conversion to Sony with the A7iii and A6400 for tandem shooting after a career with Canon which ad stretched back to the SLR days of the 1960's......

I have been shooting my Canon gear for eBay sale with the A6400 which is a final insult to Canon.
 

Drd1135

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I used the Eye AF over the weekend with my granddaughter who is 17 months old. I had a much higher hit rate than usual (70%). In those case, the eyes were in sharp focus. I lost a few to back AF, some to focussing on a different eye, and most to motion blur. I was really pleased and consider this a reasonable test. These shots are all jpegs, cropped and downsized (5-7 MP) only. Somehow I had jpeg only set and not jpeg + raw. All the indoor shots were 1/40 s, f2.8, iso 500-1000.
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bdbits

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Wow - I am almost positive my younger daughter had a pink coat just like that one, but this would have been 30 years ago. I will have to ask my wife if my memory is correct.
 

Strider64

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I never really did EYE-AF until Sony made it so it would work on animals. The squirrel below is the first time Animal EYE-AF worked for me as I don't have any pets to try it on.

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