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Merlinator

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Roy Priest
Who uses BBF with the A1. I have used BBF for my entire photography life. However with the tracking capability of the A1 do I really need BBF?
 

garuda

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.... I have used BBF for my entire photography life. However with the tracking capability of the A1 do I really need BBF?
.
I believe BBF serves the same function/advantage as in previous camera versions. It seems a matter of personal preference. I’m guessing its use on the a1 would be same reason as on older models. I believe the a9 and a7R4 also has tracking, and I for one, use it on mine for better results… I think. Unless the a1 does some extra magic I'm not aware of.

What do you think?
 
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Spiderx1

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Just used BBF this weekend on the A1. As far as I can tell no difference from A7III or A7RIV. For me the tracking on the A1 is better than the A7RIV so maybe some advantage in a fast moving environment. For me it depends on the situation. Also the A1 tracking in lower light high ISO conditions (8000-10000) were excellent.
 

AlphaWorld

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Something that I am experimenting with, inspired by Mark Galer, is using the AF ON button (the usual BBF button) for AF+Tracking, and getting my initial focus using shutter half-press. Once I'm confident that I'm focussed on the correct victim (er, subject), mash down AF ON, and the A1 locks on.

I have only started trying this, and I don't always remember to do it, so the jury is still out.
 

Merlinator

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Here's the conclusions of my experiment with not using BB focus. I just couldn't get used to it. Found myself shooting waaay more images than I intended to. I did use silent shutter so maybe I should have used the mechanical shutter so I knew when I was taking photos. One good thing about not using BB focus is there is another button on the back that I can use. When using BB focus it's very hard to set up another button on the back if it has to be held down. I do intend to revisit "the old way" of using the shutter button in the future.
 

garuda

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The more I read these various posts on a1 functions (particularly AF & tracking), the more confused I become. Different posts imply different functions with various combinations of buttons/settings. (It's no fun being the village idiot here) :rolleyes:

Who uses BBF with the A1. I have used BBF for my entire photography life. However with the tracking capability of the A1 do I really need BBF?
I always assumed that you must press-and-hold-down the AF-ON button on a1 to lock-on focus and then track target keeping it the focus area. But your post seems to imply the AF-ON (BBF) press-and-how need not be used w the a1 -- which then is diff from 7Riv. I always thought Sony's new "Real-time AF lock/track" function was common on the Riv, a9, and a1. But your post (and others also) suggests that using BBF (AF-ON) is an option but not necessary since the a1 will AF and track automatically w/o BBF to initiate it. Am I reading this post wrong?

.... using the AF ON button... for AF+Tracking, and getting my initial focus using shutter half-press. Once I'm confident that I'm focused on the correct victim (er, subject), mash down AF ON, and the A1 locks on.

Similarly, this post implies using the half-shutter-press to get initial focus first, then using the customized AF-ON button to lock-on the Tracking function. Suggesting that two functions are executed with two separate buttons.

Based on my Riv experience, I thought that merely pressing-and holding down AF-ON will automatically initiate focus using PDAF/CDAF, and then when focused, it would auto lock-on the already focused target and track it until AF-ON is released or target moves out of selected focus area.
And I assumed this to be case w a1 which shares the same Real-time AF tracking feature, I thought. Granted the a1 might be a bit more expedient in AF with their larger PDAF array. But the function and execution should be the same, I thought.

Therefore, I contend there is no need for two separate buttons. And holding down the AF-ON continuously was the only requirement to get both target acquisition w AF (PDAF/CDAF) and tracking-lock --- both being automatic w the depression of the AF-ON button only.

Am I wrong in my understanding? Or maybe I'm reading these various posts incorrectly? a1'ers pls clarify.
 

AlphaWorld

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Tony
The more I read these various posts on a1 functions (particularly AF & tracking), the more confused I become. Different posts imply different functions with various combinations of buttons/settings. (It's no fun being the village idiot here) :rolleyes:


I always assumed that you must press-and-hold-down the AF-ON button on a1 to lock-on focus and then track target keeping it the focus area. But your post seems to imply the AF-ON (BBF) press-and-how need not be used w the a1 -- which then is diff from 7Riv. I always thought Sony's new "Real-time AF lock/track" function was common on the Riv, a9, and a1. But your post (and others also) suggests that using BBF (AF-ON) is an option but not necessary since the a1 will AF and track automatically w/o BBF to initiate it. Am I reading this post wrong?



Similarly, this post implies using the half-shutter-press to get initial focus first, then using the customized AF-ON button to lock-on the Tracking function. Suggesting that two functions are executed with two separate buttons.

Based on my Riv experience, I thought that merely pressing-and holding down AF-ON will automatically initiate focus using PDAF/CDAF, and then when focused, it would auto lock-on the already focused target and track it until AF-ON is released or target moves out of selected focus area.
And I assumed this to be case w a1 which shares the same Real-time AF tracking feature, I thought. Granted the a1 might be a bit more expedient in AF with their larger PDAF array. But the function and execution should be the same, I thought.

Therefore, I contend there is no need for two separate buttons. And holding down the AF-ON continuously was the only requirement to get both target acquisition w AF (PDAF/CDAF) and tracking-lock --- both being automatic w the depression of the AF-ON button only.

Am I wrong in my understanding? Or maybe I'm reading these various posts incorrectly? a1'ers pls clarify.

First, if you have a focus area set to, say, Zone (without tracking), and you are in AF-C, then if your subject leaves the zone, or something comes between it and the camera, then the A1 will focus on the thing that comes between the subject and the camera immediately. If you are tracking, then it won't - it will stay on the obscured thing for a while before switching (how long? That's the "how sticky" setting ;))

Now if you are not in a tracking focus area, but you want to track the currently focused subject, you need a button with tracking, as I suggested doing using the AF-ON button. That's why you want two buttons, so you can have AF-C choosing different subjects until you hold down the Tracking On button.

Most importantly, all of this involves customising the A1 - it has to be the most customisable body Sony has made, and I'm trying to learn how to use that.

So don't try to apply the defaults you are accustomed to using on another body to the A1 - if something seems different, it's highly likely that it's because someone has customised it.
 

garuda

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Thanks for reply, Tony. Since I don't have a1 on my radar (waiting/hoping for a9iii), I haven't been delving into the a1 details, but obviously I'm curious about a1 new features. So, reluctantly I must resign myself from trying to make sense of the various a1-related posts, and download the a1 manual and wade through all that detail to really get a feel for its capabilities and setting options. Ughhh!

Currently my favorite best combo is 7Riv and FE 135 2.8 GM. Love it! In wide-area (or zone) setting. AF green box auto searches everywhere until a target is acquired and locks automatically. If wrong target, I move cam to change to new field of vision and place target in middle of frame. When AF acquires automatically, I press-hold-down AF-ON and it locks in track mode with no other buttons or assistance. What could be simpler?

If you want more and faster target acquisition accuracy, I back-button toggle the focus area to flex-sm (or whatever desired). What could be simpler? And since I assume a1 has the same (or more advanced) version of the same new Real-time AF Tracking feature as 7Riv, I can't imagine making it more complicated w more lock and track buttons to supersede what is already automatic w the new advent of RTAFT.

Even if I buy the a1, I'd set it up exactly like my Riv, for simplicity sake. With dual motor glass (135GM), it's lightning quick enough for me. The only variation w a1 might be button-toggling the "stickiness" aspect of AF lock --- for tracking in crowds or busy non-contrast backgrounds.
 

AlphaWorld

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You can run the A1 like that, too. It’s the most customisable camera I have owned, and the first one where I have felt compelled to customise it.

I watched Mark Galer’s video on customising the A1 and it’s a lot better than trying the documentation - the docs are just too terse.

BTW: Wide or Zone are the recommended focus areas for using the A1’s eye AF features - let it find what to focus on. I started using eye AF on the A7R3, then the A7R4, but the A1 is another level.

Oh, and the 135 GM has quad motors, not dual - It’s two motors on each of two focus groups; the 50 GM does, too.
 

garuda

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.... the A1 the most customisable camera I have owned....
....Wide or Zone are the recommended for using the A1’s eye AF features..
... but the A1 is at another level.
Are you a undercover secret marketing agent for Sony. Like many others here, you certainly (justifiably) tout the extraordinary performance of the a1. Secret agents are trained to do that, you know. :cool:


.... Oh, and the 135 GM has quad motors, not dual - It’s two motors on each of two focus groups; the 50 GM does, too.
You must be doing your homework. You seem a treasure trove of technical info in general, and specifically on the a1. Are you sure you're not one of those guys? :cool: ....... :)

And thanks for sharing the tech specifics/details.
 

AlphaWorld

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If I were a secret agent, I’d have to kill you to keep my cover. Assuming you are still alive, I think you have your answer 😇

I tend to investigate the things I find interesting, and I have a good memory for tech trivia.

I recommend the Lens Rentals blog, especially the posts by Roger Cicala. As well as being well-written, his posts are informative. The tear down of the Sony 135mm GM lens is thoroughly entertaining and shows things like how far those focus motors can move, and how elegant the lens is inside (it’s quite pretty!): https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2019/06/disassembling-the-sony-fe-135mm-f1-8-gm/
 

Jeff A

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Now I should not be commenting on this thread as my skill level is the bottom of the barrel. Having said that, I really appreciate the in depth analysis. When I got my a7iii I went through Mr. Galer's site on how to set it up. It was too early for me because after all the setup I could not remember what I had done or why I did it. I need to look at all of the functions separately before I dive into the whole thing. Sorry to interupt, please carry on.
 

AlphaWorld

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Now I should not be commenting on this thread as my skill level is the bottom of the barrel. Having said that, I really appreciate the in depth analysis. When I got my a7iii I went through Mr. Galer's site on how to set it up. It was too early for me because after all the setup I could not remember what I had done or why I did it. I need to look at all of the functions separately before I dive into the whole thing. Sorry to interupt, please carry on.
Not at all! You have the marked advantage of knowing that you don’t know. That means that you are open to learning. I went through the settings on the A1, and felt overwhelmed initially - so many knobs to turn, levers to tweak, toggles to adjust. The A1 is my fifth full-frame Sony, and I went through Mark Galer’s setup video, too, trying to understand how different settings interact. Guess what? I am still learning, too.

The best part about digital photography is that every image comes with a cheat sheet so you can see what settings you used (well, the results of the settings, at least) - that is a huge step up from chemical photography!
 
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