Please remember that this was with the Hi-ISO NR set as LOW in camera.
Samples with the in-cam Hi-ISO NR set at OFF
DO NOTE that in the lower ISOs, with both the NE switched OFF or at LOW, I can see the screen dot print on the card very clearly.
Even at ISO 25600, with the noise reduction switched off, I'm seeing a lot of detail where words and graphic elements are concerned. Also, from what I believe, switching DRO and HDR off is the best way to go for minimal noise, but I'm checking with SONY SG techs on this aspect.
I'll be gone for a few days as I will be very busy, and will try to post up some samples of "Sony’s revolutionary AF system with the world's highest number of phase-detection AF points*1 (79*2 including 15 cross points), which stays locked on moving subjects!"
Last edited by Dream Merchant; 17th June 2014 at 01:16 AM.
woah much better iso than the prev camera
Let's go back to the description of the AF system, and the 12 FPS function for a moment ...
http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1411846 Posts #1 and #2. That really describes the AF functions as well as it's behaviour.
But It's easier to get an interpretive version of it, in real-life testing. That's what these reviews are about.
Meanwhile, I'll run you through the other AF settings.
WIDE: Determines the focus area from any of the AF points in the camera, usually the closest / most contrasty from experience.
ZONE: Determines the focus area you want to set in a particular zone.
CENTER: Only the AF point in the middle is activated.
FLEXIBLE SPOT: Allows you to select only ONE AF point area as the focus position from all the available focus areas. To make it simpler: It's like the CENTER ONE AF point, BUT you can move it anywhere around.
EXPAND FLEXIBLE SPOT: Let's you select ONE AF area from what's available, but if that one AF point can't focus properly, the surrounding AF points gets activated.
The above is pretty much standard in many cameras, but this is where it gets interesting. Something called 'LOCK-ON'
I could tell you straight off that if you want to shoot action, go straight into this AF setting: LOCK-ON AF: EXPAND FLEXIBLE SPOT.
If you're NOT shooting at 12 FPS, you can also switch on Face Detection (NOT Smile detection) with this setting, and a double-green bow will keep on appearing in the EVF/Screen when it picks up a face. Great for shooting kids or people in a cafe or at play.
What this setting does quite sums up the amazing AF capabilities of the a77ii. I'll show you some high-speed action shots later, but the videos below also give you a very good visual idea of how the whole AF system works.
However, here's another run through of the different Lock-On AF settings:
Lock-On AF: Wide: The camera automatically determines the subject (usually the subject closest or with the most contract closest to the camera from experience). Tracks the subject across the entire AF field. In practice, it's not a sure way as the camera does not know what your main intended subject is in the first place, so tracking might not be on what you want.
Lock-On AF: Zone: This helps you determine which zone you want to start with, and once the subject moves, or you move, the entire AF field gets activated for tracking as long as the shutter button is half pressed continuously.
Lock-On Center: Determines the subject you want to focus on (in the center of the screen) and activates tracking across all available AF points as you keep the shutter button half pressed.
Lock-On AF: Flexible Spot: You select ONE spot AF anywhere in the AF field and the AF tracks the subject continuously as long as the button is half-pressed.
Finally, the Lock-On AF: Expand Flexible Spot: You determine the main AF point to place on your subject, and the AF system tracks it as long as you keep the shutter button pressed halfway. If the subject falls outside of the main AF point, it gets picked up by the expanded AF points.
Again, this video should give you a visual idea of how this works:
OK, so what can 12FPS and Lock-On AF: Expand Flexible Spot do?
Couple of things that needs mentioning is that in 12FPS setting, your aperture is locked at 3.5 (for the three lenses I have - 16-50 2.8, 50 1.4 and 70-200 2.8).
The other thing is that once you're in 12FPS, you can't adjust the Hi-ISO NR. It's greyed out, but it says 'Normal', which is the highest NR setting. However, SONY informs me that "The high ISO NR is disabled when 12fps mode is use for shooting".
Let's dive in!
Very overcast early evening, basketball. 12FPS. Lock-On AF: Expand Flexible Spot. Cropped. AF Tracking Duration: Mid or Medium so that the tracking does not jump too quickly from one subject to another.
In this series, as well as other basketball ones with many more players, once you know what tracking duration works best for the situation, your hit rates can be pretty high. I know that initially, I did have quite a few slightly OOF shots until I could fine tune the AF system a little.
Last edited by Dream Merchant; 19th June 2014 at 11:37 PM.
Very overcast later afternoon. Day started out bright, but started drizzling just before I got to Ski360! Rope skiing. 12FPS. Lock-On AF: Expand Flexible Spot. Uncropped. AF Tracking Duration: Mid or Medium IIRC.
In some ski series, the AF jumps to the very bright wake in front of the water, which was not made better by the bright spot lights switched on later in the evening. If you're shooting at an angle, with tele and fast lenses, instead of perpendicular to the skier, you could be front or back focusing ever so slightly, depending on where the wake is located. However, on the whole, do remember that the a77ii was not designed to be a pro level sports camera, and bearing that in mind, you'll find that the AF system is more than capable. Some have said quite revolutionary.
It's FAST. LOCKS ON very quickly, and TRACKS like a HOUND-DOG!
After the Ski3560 series, I chanced across a small strip of secluded beach where a Shih Tzu was playing chase! Would the a77ii be able to track subjects that are going at blazing speed, and very off center?
Again, similar conditions. Very overcast. Low contrast scene. 12FPS. Lock-On AF: Expand Flexible Spot.
I'll let the photos speak for themselves.
To conclude this high-speed AF tracking series, I would say that it's quite a treat to use, especially for a camera in this segment! And with a little understanding of how the AF tracking behaves and practise, you should be able to go full blast with quite a high keeper rate quite quickly!
Apologies for the WB. Also, SONY SLT users might be so used to this, but I still get a kick out of how quiet the camera is, even at 12FPS!