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What I would like to see from DMF: DMF+

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by Junki Saita, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. Junki Saita

    Junki Saita TalkEmount Rookie

    10
    Sep 30, 2011
    Note: I've posted this on other forums as well, but thought I would post it here as well to see if any TalkNEX members had any thoughts on the topic:

    So I love DMF (Direct Manual Focus), I think it is a great feature that to a large extent eliminates the need for an AF/MF Select switch/button (something I am actually kinda missing on my NEX-5... but only because of what I consider to be DMF's limitations).

    The only problem with DMF is that it requires an AF lock to have first been achieved, before you can then activate DMF. This can be problematic in those times when you want to access MF the most... when you can't get AF to lock on at all. And besides, sometimes you just want to drop into MF instantly.

    I believe that this can be overcome with an enhancement to the manner in which DMF behaves, and would make DMF a far more powerful and useful interface feature. It doesn't even have to replace DMF, it can simply be a fourth option in the settings menu MF, DMF, DMF+ or AF.

    This is what I have in mind:

    DMF (Description of normal operation for those not familiar with DMF)

    1 - Half press shutter release
    2 - Obtain auto focus lock
    3 - Turn focus ring
    4 - DMF activates
    5 - Image zooms in on area previously locked in by auto focus while the shooter focuses manually
    6a - The shooter can choose to manipulate the zoomed in area (ie: increase the zoom and/or move it around),
    6b - The shooter can fully depress the shutter release and take the shot while the image is zoomed in.
    6c - The shooter can release (or stop manipulating) the focus ring (roughly a second after which the display will zoom back out to normal view), fully depress the shutter release and take the shot... or release his partial press of the shutter release and find something else to shoot.

    DMF+

    0 - DMF+ would essentially retain all of the above functionality of normal DMF, however...
    1 - User turns focus ring (without a previously established auto focus lock)
    2 - DMF+ activates
    3 - Image zooms in on the center of the frame while the shooter focuses manually
    4a - The shooter can choose to manipulate the zoomed in area (ie: increase the zoom and/or move it around),
    4b - The shooter can partially depress the shutter release, which will cancel out of the zoom (allowing the shooter to now compose his shot before fully depressing the shutter release to take the shot).
    4c - The shooter can release (or stop manipulating) the focus ring (roughly a second after which the display will zoom back out to normal view).

    Note: 4a-4c under DMF and 6a-6c under DMF+ are "and/or"s... probably would be clearer in flow chart form, but... it's late and...I'm going to bed.

    I dunno... seems like something easily achievable via a firmware update.
     
  2. rishio

    rishio TalkEmount Rookie

    12
    Aug 14, 2011
    I think they should just drop DMF and use a backfocus button like other cameras do. Basically, when the camera is in manual focus mode, you can press a button on the back of the camera to activate autofocus. When you let go of the button, you can still manually focus if you like. You wouldn't even need DMF if you had this. It allows you to stay in MF mode and just press the button to focus and recompose when necessary..
     
  3. adanac

    adanac TalkEmount Regular

    51
    Sep 30, 2011
    +1. I use the backfocus button on the X100 all the time. Often that's where I'll leave focus but sometimes (eyes in particular) I fine tune on the ring.
     
  4. Bugleone

    Bugleone TalkEmount Veteran

    210
    Aug 21, 2011
    Of course you could just learn to manual focus properly with a good lens and make better images while eliminating all this mumbo-jumbo.........

    ....These threads alway make me wonder how the great masters of photography were able to manage with their clutzy old cameras, and HCB actually had black tape on that crude old Leica!
     
  5. rishio

    rishio TalkEmount Rookie

    12
    Aug 14, 2011
    Let's hope the nex 7 af/mf button can be configured as such. Sony UK is letting me know tomorrow...
     
  6. adanac

    adanac TalkEmount Regular

    51
    Sep 30, 2011
    rishio, thanks for following up on that. It is one feature on the X100 I'd miss on the NEX-7 if not available. On the X100 the backfocus button for me is a lifesaver as often I'm focussing somewhere other than an AF point.

    Truth be told I'm not really a big AF fan and I'll mostly be using legacy manual focus glass (I think) on the body but would still want to see that capability on the NEX for when the inevitable AF lens for the platform creeps into my kit (likely for video primarily).
     
  7. rishio

    rishio TalkEmount Rookie

    12
    Aug 14, 2011
    So I finally got the answer. Richard, from dpreview, who has the final version of the camera says the following:

    "rishi o' wrote to me asking whether the AF/MF button on the NEX-7 will focus the camera when it's set to MF mode. And I'm pleased to be able to report that it does.
    If the camera is set to AF then the AF/MF button engages MF (and you can define whether you have to hold the button or not).
    If the camera is set to MF then the AF/MF button engages AF.
    I hope this helps.
    Richard - dpreview.com"

    Seals the deal for me! I'm selling my 60d and replacing it with the nex 7.

     
  8. Junki Saita

    Junki Saita TalkEmount Rookie

    10
    Sep 30, 2011
    That sounds like it would be pretty great.

    My post was mainly about taking DMF and improving it via something easily achieved via firmware update, thus allowing this improvement to propagate across the entire NEX line (including previous models). Something like that in newer NEX' with a button to facilitate that sounds like it would be great though.
     
  9. Junki Saita

    Junki Saita TalkEmount Rookie

    10
    Sep 30, 2011
    Hrm... I really don't see what there is to get all self righteous about here. This thread is simply about a feature that exists, that could be made better, possibly with an adjustment to the firmware of existing cameras.

    The fact of the matter is that something called DMF exists, there is no easy way to switch from AF to Manual Focus outside of DMF for e-mount lenses (at least not in the older NEXes) without menu diving. So what could possibly be wrong in making an existing feature work better, to help further facilitate the use of manual focusing?

    I for one, enjoy using the e mount lenses in AF, but I also like to mess around with manual focus from time to time (or when I really need to take control). The problem with the NEX is that switching between the two requires some menu navigation, and the NEX' solution to this (DMF, which could in fact be a fine solution) in its current implementation, has some issues that greatly limit its usefulness.

    That's not bitching about having to use manual focus (in case you weren't able to glean that), or even asking for a complex brand new feature. That's wanting a feature that is meant to help facilitate switching to manual focus tweaked a bit to work better than it does.

    And honestly, I don't really understand photographers that have a problem with "mumbo-jumbo", yet shoot with any kind of modern camera. Modern cameras are positively loaded with "mumbo-jumbo" (I certainly don't remember my old Nikon F having even 1/100 the "mumbo-jumbo" that any modern camera has... and I certainly don't miss loading film onto stainless steel reels in complete darkness, though I will admit there was some satisfaction in mastering that skill).
     
  10. Junki Saita

    Junki Saita TalkEmount Rookie

    10
    Sep 30, 2011
    That sounds awesome and addresses what I really want DMF to do for me anyway...

    Kind of a bummer that I would need to purchase a new body to get it though, as a DMF tweak could be pushed to my older NEX-5. But... every day that goes by I'm being tempted more and more by the NEX-7 (for a variety of reasons, now including this one - though I'm still iffy on some things like the increased size and things that are useless to me like the built in flash), so this may end up moot for me anyway.

    Still, I'd like to see DMF improved anyway (even if I purchase a NEX with this AF/MF button). I hate seeing a feature left in a not-quite-complete state.
     
  11. rishio

    rishio TalkEmount Rookie

    12
    Aug 14, 2011
    I don't know if this addresses what you want - but are you aware that, if the nex 7 is set to autofocus (DMF) mode, you can hold down the af/mf button and manual focus. Meaning you have to keep that button pushed down. So basically, if you can't lock focus, you can always hold down the af-mf button and manually set the focus. The nice thing about the nex 7 is that they are giving us a lot of control on how we want to customize the buttons so that the camera can work they way we want..