Friday, May 6, 2011

Nikon D7000 AF capability

This is the test I was planning since Feb, sorry for myself for not realizing this until today.

Nikon D7000 has 6 type of AF-area mode, with the selections of Auto, 1, 9, 21, 39 and 3D.

Most of the time, this AF selection is to be selected based on the scene which you engage. If you are shooting sport, wildlife, or fast moving object, by opting correct AF determine your image quality. You do not want to bring bunch of photos back and realized all are blurry!

Let's get on. In Live View/Movie AF, the selections are Face Priority, Wide-area, Normal-area and Subject-Tracking. In this blog, I've tried both viewfinder and live view for image sharpness. I would say the image is sharper when capturing in viewfinder.

This is my setting for all these images: Aperture mode, ISO800, f/5.6, a3: focus tracking with Lock-on at Normal(*), Spot metering, no flash.

Capture by lock-on the focus on the subject and hand-panning the camera.

Captured by both subject and camera steady.
Can you see the difference? The 1st image appears blurry on the wordings.

Come on, this is how I do it. In viewfinder, half press the shutter and it will lock the subject, when I keep panning the camera, the AF will track the subject and focus it. See below video:

1st shot while panning the camera

2nd Shot while panning the camera
3rd shot by keeping the camera steady
Can you notice the sharpness, the 1st image is sharper, but the 2nd is not bad too.

Ok, let's try out the Live View/Movie AF, half press the shutter to focus on the subject and press OK button to lock-on the subject. By press again the OK button, it will reset the focus point/subject tracking. I find both AF-S or AF-F gives quite satisfactory subject tracking. I used timer for shutter release.

Shot in Live view by moving the subject
The image shot in Live View seems blurry compare with the shots in viewfinder.

So, if your subject is moving quite fast, please use viewfinder to get as sharpest possible image.

Actually, there are some recommendation from me on how to improve the sharpness when capturing moving subject.

1. If the subject is moving in back and front direction, use higher f-number to get more depth of field.
2. If the subject is moving in left and right direction, use higher shutter speed (S mode) to freeze the motion.
3. Use flash or bump up the ISO (at your own risk).
4. OFF (*) the a3 (Focus Tracking with Lock-on) so that whenever there is movement of the subject, the camera will adjust focus immediately. The options allow you to determine how fast you prefer the camera to adjust the focus tracking.

Enjoy and love Nikon so much!!

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