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 Post subject: Sony Eye Start AF
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 12:34 pm 
Just a few simple snaps going by the following criteria.

1) That the camera be held as steadily as possible so that the composition and eye-activated focus would not be changed.
2) Camera settings be unchanged.

One very important point I would like to note:The Eye Start AF works best with the subject centred in the viewfinder. Optionally, hold down the shutter release button halfway to lock the autofocus(whether centred or not) and adjust the framing as you like.


The first image(on top) was done using the technique mentioned directly above the photos. The second photo was tricky. I had to keep looking upwards for quite a few seconds and attempts. At first I thought it was because of my spectacles so I re-tried without them but the results were similar. In the end I 'aimed' the lens upwards a little to let the middle of the entire background to be centred.

To answer the question many have been asking: Centering the subject kinds of = pressing the shutter button halfway. From my use of the camera so far, it doesn't select the focal point around 90% of the time. And that remaining 10% of the time, it was probably that my subject was near the centre. Although, on a few occasions, one of the viewfinder's autofocus point markers(not the one in the centre) lit up but nothing was focused on.

FINAL VERDICT: The Eye Start AF is helpful for times which require immediate autofocusing e.g. sports, high-speed subjects but tends to be unreliable(doesn't work 100% of the time.) Also, some users may find it irritating as it will activate the focus if anything is in front of the viewfinder. However, it can be switched off. In the event of needing to pay more for it, I would recommend not any more than USD$50.


Your fellow CL reviewer,
SnS 8)

P.S.: All feedback from everyone, including current Sony Alpha users most certainly welcome!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 1:35 pm 
or just use MF :P

thanks for sharing tho, good stuff!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 1:43 pm 
Curious review. I'm a cynic when it comes to Sony's recent innovations in photography - the smile detection in their compacts, and this eye start AF is another one of those in their DSLR range. Undoubted it works, but is far from accurate. For this very reason, action/sports photographers will not be using such technology. Nothing will beat a fast AF system in the camera and fast AF motor in the lens controlled by the old-fashioned way: the finger. Failing that, there's the old-school method of MF and pre-focusing.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 1:45 pm 
Although I generally concur on the opinions,

    MF -then they had> AF -then they had> Eye Start AF

SnS 8)

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 1:57 pm 
That is true, eye-start AF could be the very start of a the next big thing in AF technology. I wonder why Canon's version never took off though.

Good review SnS.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 3:01 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2007 6:30 pm
Posts: 6953
Location: The Netherlands, Ridderkerk
Thanks SnS on your views on Sony's Eye Start AF system!
I must say I absolutely love the Eye Start AF, and I've never switched it off. I don't use it for final focussing though, just to get the viewfinder sharp when I'm looking through it. I agree that it may be the next step in focussing technology, and we could be some of the first users!

- Bjorn -

Street and documentary photographer | Google+ | Twitter

Leica M9-P (my article on Camera Labs) | Leica D-Lux 5 | 50mm Summilux

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