A tracking idea that may help a few folks

Welcome to Our Alpha Shooters Community Forum

We'd love to welcome you on board, join today!

GracieAllen

Active Member
Followers
1
Following
0
Joined
Jun 14, 2022
Posts
65
Likes Received
6
Name
David Perez
I'm not sure if this is a different idea, or if everyone else already knows this, but mayhap someone will find it useful...

In the ebooks and online, there is periodic discussion of ways to get tracking with having to have fewer focus areas. It's usually implemented as
Create the normal focus areas you'll use.
Put "Switch Focus Area" on a button.
for BBAF shooters, put "AF On + Tracking" on a button. For non-BBAF, put "Tracking On" on a button.
Push the button and the "normal" focus areas switch to become Tracking focus areas.

BUT, it ONLY works while HOLDING the button. Which would have been OK (other than I dislike having to hold the button), except I was using Spot Small, and while shooting and holding the button, I needed to move the spot. I don't have enough thumbs OR enough coordination to do this, so I didn't like this method.

I couldn't find ANY way on the Alpha 1 to have the "Tracking On" as a Toggle.

I tried "Tracking Off Toggle", but it doesn't work since you have to be IN Tracking on a Tracking Focus Area. Then you can toggle tracking off and on. AND have all the normal focus areas and matching Tracking focus areas selected. Backwards.

Eventually I realized since it was backward to my thinking, I also needed to be backward. So instead
Create the TRACKING focus areas you'll use. I put Zone, Spot Small and Spot Large. MIGHT add Expand Spot at some point. But with 3 options, it's REALLY fast to switch through them.
Put "Switch Focus Area" on a button to change focus area without having to go into Focus area screen.
Put "Toggle Off Tracking" on a button - I'm not a BBAF shooter, so I put it on AF-ON to test.

Now, whenever the camera starts in Action Shooting mode, it comes up in Tracking, which I want most of the time. If I press the button, it switches to the normal focus area that's the equivalent of the tracking focus area. Hit the button again, back to tracking with the tracking focus area. If you stop and start the camera, back in tracking... I THINK if it goes to sleep, wakes up back in Tracking.

At least 90% of the time I'm either in Tracking Zone or Tracking Small - if the bird's in the open Zone works, if it's not, Zone focuses on junk so I switch to Spot Small. So my next change was to
Register Spot Small and put that on AF-ON, move the Tracking Off Toggle to AEL, and now I can very quickly switch between Spot Small and the focus area I was previously using. And very quickly toggle Tracking on and off.

I'm not SURE this will work for everything, but SO FAR in my test drive, it worked as I expected.
 

Brownie

Veteran Member
Followers
9
Following
1
Joined
Oct 22, 2021
Posts
1,459
Likes Received
867
Name
Tim
Country
United States
City/State
SE Michigan
I've found the best way to approach this is to set up a custom mode on your dial for the situation. If you're shooting a subject that needs tracking odds are you will need it for the duration, and if you do shoot a static subject it doesn't matter, the camera won't mind. There really isn't much use in defeating tracking. I have a mode set up that uses tracking, large, flexible. As long as you start in the middle of the frame and half-press focus, you can recompose all the way to the edge of the frame and it will follow. That probably won't work as well for BIF, but the same rules apply for setting up the custom modes.

If you feel you need options, do a custom mode for tracking with all of your desired settings, then another one without tracking. It's then a simple turn of the dial to get what you need without so many buttons. And if I'm out poking around and just taking shots of landscapes, people, or whatever, I just use M.
 

GracieAllen

Active Member
Followers
1
Following
0
Joined
Jun 14, 2022
Posts
65
Likes Received
6
Name
David Perez
This isn't geared toward any of the custom shooting modes. It's available in most an shooting situation. The focus areas are specific to shooting modes, so you can have different setups for general/portrait, Action, Landscape/Macro or whatever your preferences are.

It has nothing to do with defeating the tracking. I was advised in a different discussion, and by things I've read of Steve Perry's, that it's handy to be able to turn face/eye on and off quickly, tracking on and off quickly, and to very quickly jump from one type of focus area to another.

This is simply (possibly) a way for people to do that in a slightly different way than what I've seen explained in the e-books.
 

Brownie

Veteran Member
Followers
9
Following
1
Joined
Oct 22, 2021
Posts
1,459
Likes Received
867
Name
Tim
Country
United States
City/State
SE Michigan
This isn't geared toward any of the custom shooting modes. It's available in most an shooting situation. The focus areas are specific to shooting modes, so you can have different setups for general/portrait, Action, Landscape/Macro or whatever your preferences are.

It has nothing to do with defeating the tracking. I was advised in a different discussion, and by things I've read of Steve Perry's, that it's handy to be able to turn face/eye on and off quickly, tracking on and off quickly, and to very quickly jump from one type of focus area to another.

This is simply (possibly) a way for people to do that in a slightly different way than what I've seen explained in the e-books.
Person, Bird, Animal, face, eye etc. is a more refined tracking that you didn't mention in your OP. It sounded like you were talking about basic tracking like with none of those options activated.

I can see the value in being able to activate/defeat face/eye, but not tracking. Makes no sense to me, in tracking mode the camera doesn't care if the subject is moving or static, it will still focus.
 

GracieAllen

Active Member
Followers
1
Following
0
Joined
Jun 14, 2022
Posts
65
Likes Received
6
Name
David Perez
<shrug> I simply threw out the idea. I've been using it for a couple days. I like it. Other's may like it or not.
 

LikesToys

Newcomer
Followers
1
Following
1
Joined
Sep 12, 2021
Posts
5
Likes Received
0
Name
Jeff
Country
Canada
I'm not sure if this is a different idea, or if everyone else already knows this, but mayhap someone will find it useful...

In the ebooks and online, there is periodic discussion of ways to get tracking with having to have fewer focus areas. It's usually implemented as
Create the normal focus areas you'll use.
Put "Switch Focus Area" on a button.
for BBAF shooters, put "AF On + Tracking" on a button. For non-BBAF, put "Tracking On" on a button.
Push the button and the "normal" focus areas switch to become Tracking focus areas.

BUT, it ONLY works while HOLDING the button. Which would have been OK (other than I dislike having to hold the button), except I was using Spot Small, and while shooting and holding the button, I needed to move the spot. I don't have enough thumbs OR enough coordination to do this, so I didn't like this method.

I couldn't find ANY way on the Alpha 1 to have the "Tracking On" as a Toggle.

I tried "Tracking Off Toggle", but it doesn't work since you have to be IN Tracking on a Tracking Focus Area. Then you can toggle tracking off and on. AND have all the normal focus areas and matching Tracking focus areas selected. Backwards.

Eventually I realized since it was backward to my thinking, I also needed to be backward. So instead
Create the TRACKING focus areas you'll use. I put Zone, Spot Small and Spot Large. MIGHT add Expand Spot at some point. But with 3 options, it's REALLY fast to switch through them.
Put "Switch Focus Area" on a button to change focus area without having to go into Focus area screen.
Put "Toggle Off Tracking" on a button - I'm not a BBAF shooter, so I put it on AF-ON to test.

Now, whenever the camera starts in Action Shooting mode, it comes up in Tracking, which I want most of the time. If I press the button, it switches to the normal focus area that's the equivalent of the tracking focus area. Hit the button again, back to tracking with the tracking focus area. If you stop and start the camera, back in tracking... I THINK if it goes to sleep, wakes up back in Tracking.

At least 90% of the time I'm either in Tracking Zone or Tracking Small - if the bird's in the open Zone works, if it's not, Zone focuses on junk so I switch to Spot Small. So my next change was to
Register Spot Small and put that on AF-ON, move the Tracking Off Toggle to AEL, and now I can very quickly switch between Spot Small and the focus area I was previously using. And very quickly toggle Tracking on and off.

I'm not SURE this will work for everything, but SO FAR in my test drive, it worked as I expected.
Yes, this is the exact way I set my A1 up and it seems to work well. I too often move to Spot Focus which I think may be a throw back to DSLR days. I missed some shots of a life time because I was in Small AF and a lot of action happened too fast for me to switch into zone and there was no way I could track the bird manually - I am just not that good. I need more milage in the field to work that out. I don't use BBF either and so far I will stick with that. Perhaps another button for zone tracking and one for Spot Focus - if only I had more fingers and a faster brain.
 
Top