I am debating about moving from my D90 to the D600. However, I came up with some foruns commenting about how small is the area the AF sensor in the D600 can cover, and that this may be a real problem. Since I don't have experience with anything beyond the D90, how much this can really be a problem? I most of the time take pictures of my kids around the house, portraits and in school presentations. Would that small area be a problem for such situations?
>>I most of the time take pictures of my kids around the >house, >>portraits and in school presentations. Would that small >area >>be a problem for such situations? > >No. The D600 spread is the same as other Nikon FX cameras >have had for years. It's just new to people coming from DX >cameras. > Not quite - see link below for AF spread comparisons:
Marcelo, its going to be better than the single (albeit wide) AF areas in the old film cameras, like the N70 and N90/90s which were vast improvements over the F4. The F5 brought us the five AF points and all cameras until we saw the D2 sensor and after.
Just because you have a wider spread and more sensors does not necessarily make it better or worse...sure 39 vs 59 can be helpful in say action shots, but if you keep your subject with the middle portion, lock focus and recompose, you should be okay, especially if you are shooting " pictures of my kids around the house, portraits and in school presentations."
Truth be told, may be I am a dinosaur, but I did like the wide AF area in my N70 over the five AF points of the N80. The F100, given its better AF sensors (vs. the N80) was also better than the N70. especially given the stronger AF motor in the body. Still, the simplicity of a single AF sensor for static (or slow to compose images) can be better, in some circumstances.
I've had a little time to play with it now (not as much as I would like though!) and the AF is a massive improvement over my previous D80 - both AFS and AFC.
One gripe, though it's not a deal breaker (could be for some, I suppose) is that the AF points aren't on the thirds. They're fine on the horizontal, but I'd have been happier if the vertical layout had been spread out a little more.
If you are a big follower of the rule of thirds, then you will need to focus and re-frame for a good many of your shots.
Tue 25-Sep-12 07:54 AM | edited Tue 25-Sep-12 07:55 AM by nrothschild
I don't think any Nikon FX cameras provide focus points that extend out to the rule of third points. It appears that the D600 points are even further away from the rule of thirds points than the D3/D700 outer points.
My understanding is that the D300 and D700 share the identical physical spacing of focus points but the focus points are relatively more compact due to the additional size of the sensor. It appears that the D600 inherited the same physical spacing as the D7000, in the same way?
For focus-tracking fast moving subjects, the tight cluster in the center is actually ideal. Indeed, on my D300, where the AF system covers nearly the entire frame, I limit it to 9- or 21-point anyway for shooting action.
For rule-of-thirds composing: If you're handheld it's no big deal at all to focus-and-recompose. If on a tripod, bigger deal, but you should use LiveView in this situation anyway, either for manual focus or contrast-detect AF which allows you to select anywhere in the frame for focus.
I noticed the smaller area when going from my DX D7000 to the FX D800. It is an issue for me when shooting portraits with the camera vertical. It is hard for me to fill the frame with my subject and focus on the eyes. Also, this is when shooting from my tripod. So no focus lock then recompose for me. It looks as though the D600 will have a bigger issue. People will need to get good at focus lock recomposing.
But like many things with the D600...You get to say...."it only cost me $2000".
My guess is that this will be an issue for 5% of the people on here 5% of their time. Nothing to worry about.
I doubt anyone who is willing to learn some minor technique or habit changes will be bothered at all. They will be too busy admiring their great shots;>) It will be interesting to see what that actual sensor coverage area is with the D600 since all we see now is the VF markings, which are not the same size of the actual sensors. Th D7000 version of the MultiCAM 4800 has larger FP sensors than the VF outlines. Probably they are the same sizes as the d7000. Stan St Petersburg Russia
>I noticed the smaller area when going from my DX D7000 to the >FX D800. It is an issue for me when shooting portraits with >the camera vertical.
Two immediate options (and I do both).
1. Shoot in LiveView 2. Focus manually
Because even with my D7000 and the older DX cameras before that, the one focus point that was generally high enough vertically to get in the same plane of the eyes, was centered, so it focused on the nose anyway.
In that situation, I would simply pick one AF point and try to keep it on the eye, but use a shorter focal length to give more margin for error as the little one moves around. It's simple (especially with the pixel count of a D600 or your D800) to crop to the desired framing afterwards.
Either way, add me to the list of those who don't see the tighter AF point grouping to be a problem in practice
>> >>Two immediate options (and I do both). >> >>1. Shoot in LiveView >>2. Focus manually >> > > >Thanks for the advice. But neither of those are options with >my 11 month old. Both are way too slow for that little girl. >My manual focus skills are not really skills at all. > >Although manual focus while in live view is my focus method of >choice for landscape
I'm a little bit confused by this. You say your girl moves too much to use LiveView AF or MF, but in this case working from a tripod isn't an even greater hinderance?
>I'm a little bit confused by this. You say your girl moves too >much to use LiveView AF or MF, but in this case working from a >tripod isn't an even greater hinderance? >
No, the tripod and shutter release are extra set of hands for me. No hinderance at all in my studio. I need all the hands I can get. I can only do so much when Im acting as the parent, studio assistant, and the photographer.
This has been the case, clustered FPs, on all FX from day 1 and it has not been an issue with photographers doing portraits at all. There are lots of ways of getting sharp images, such as the already mentioned LV or you can select some focus subject that is on the same focal plane as the eyes and use that as a target. I use that method and have gotten pretty good with estimating what is in the same plane at as the eyes. I go between the D7000 with more coverage to the D800 with less and there really is no problem such that until someone starts talking about it, that I even think about the smaller cluster. It is not a problem that would prevent most people doing the exact same shooting as you do, to reject a camera they like. Stan St Petersburg Russia