D7200 Focus and Burst rate questions...

Discussion in 'Nikon Cameras' started by Dyslexicbloke, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. Dyslexicbloke

    Dyslexicbloke TPF Noob!

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    Camera still in the post... Irritated having paid for delivery yesterday...
    Point is I can't play with it yet.

    However I haven't been doing some digging and have questions.

    AF First.
    I have watched and read several, if not many, descriptions and tutorials about and I am just as confused now as I was when I started.

    I they the single point and there difference between Single and Constant but when it comes to multiple focus points I haven't seen a good explanation of functionality.

    I plan to use back button focus in AF-C, best of both worlds, and thus far I have only ever used single point, which doesn't take much understanding.

    However it occurs to me that BIF or more likely things going from stationary to moving, or vice versa, may be a good reason to actually learn how to use and what you expect from other focus settings.

    None of the explanations I have seen so far explain the difference between 3D tracking, which uses all 51 points and standard 51 points.

    The 3D seems to attempt to remember some aspect of the original focus point and try to follow it... which looks useful.
    The problem is I thought that is what multi point did! As I said confused.

    Not withstanding group size of position, that seems obvious enough,
    what is multi point doing, when is it doing it?

    Burst rate, more specifically, what you compromise, if anything, to maximise it.

    The D7200 is way faster than the D90 but if 14bit RAW is still slower than its own maximum.
    I don't want to shoot JPG because I realise that post is going to be important given my challenging choice of subject matter,

    Cropping seems counter productive so I am assuming that is off the table but what about dropping some RAW info?
    The body offers RAW compression, which seems like an oxymoron right now, and also the ability to use 12bit as opposed to 14 bit.

    Given that 12bit is still a silly amount of colours and I never noticed an issue with this on the D90, which I think is 12 bit, is there a good reason to use the 14bit.

    dropping to 12 bit, from 14, and enabling RAW compression seems to offer an additional 2FPS, which is huge as a %, and it seems like too had a trade off to me.
    Is there likely to be a net gain in outcome?

    I realise I am actually loosing information but I wonder if it matters much, especially as one of those extra frames may any the one I wanted in the first place.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks,
    Al


     
  2. Dyslexicbloke

    Dyslexicbloke TPF Noob!

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    Appologies for respoonding tio my own post... but another thread seemed exessive.

    I just found what I believe is a realy good explanation of the focus issue I was asking about.
    Aparantly, prety much all I thought I knew was wrong and it is way more involved than I gave it cred for.

    Autofocus Modes Explained - Photography Life

    If anyone believes the explanation is not corerect, or in some way lacking, I would love to hear it but as far as I know I have my answer, RE focus at least, which will save some kind sole an hours worth of typing.

    Hope this helps somone else... I honestly believe that many folk, perhaps not the profesionals or more experianced among you, can I say us yet?, are likely to be unaware of some or the newances.

    Still up for comments on bit depth reduction. to gain burst rate...
     
  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    "I plan to use back button focus in AF-C".

    Not really a good idea, in my opinion, unless you are already used to it.

    Yes, 3D tracking, here's what to do. Use the 4-way controller on the back of the camera to literally move the AF point to a specific subject at the start of a sequence...this requires the use of your right thumb...the camera can then follow the subject,even if it moves across the frame position during a sequence. The right thumb is useful for gripping and supporting the camera/lens weight. The right thumb is used to start the 3-D tracking sequence,and to move the AF point or point group around...because of this back button focusing is a huge pain in the ass, because it uses the right thumb, and makes holding the camera more difficult, and takes away the thumb from the 4-way controller. My advice? Forget about BBF...it's a dumb idea for most situations, especially for highly-active subjects. BBF is great for baseball, and slow-paced shooting, when you want to lock down a focus distance and KEEP it set. Otherwise, keep the focusing action where it BELONGS, on the trigger button, and use the back button as an AF-LOCK if you need it; that's the smart way.

    Back Button Focus, or BBF, is one of the absolute worst ideas for many situations, and can lead to forgetting to focus, missed focus, etc. BBF is NOT a panacea, but the people on YouTube who have just discovered it seem to think it is.

    I want to say this plain and simple. For many people, single-area, dead-center focusing using just one,single AF square, is the wrong method to use. Modern Nikons have incredibly capable, 51-area AF systems. Using MORE than one AF square is going to lead to higher success rates on action subjects--but you MUST do it "the right way". Read the manual. Practice. Understand the way the system is designed to work. You will read a lot of people telling you to use one, single, centrally-located AF point. For action work on things like birds in flight, that is utterly stupid. There are many,many fine shooters here who do not use multi-area AF, and have no idea how to use the new, modern, 3-D, color-aware, and distance-aware Nikon focusing and metering.

    12 bit is fine for almost anything, but 14 bit might,and I say might, deliver slightly more information in the deepest shadow areas on RAW files.Yes, shoot raw, shoot compressed raw if you want to. Higher frame rate is nice, but better shutter button timing is worth more than higher frame rates. If you want to shoot action, your index finger's timing in pressing the button is the critical factor, not so much the firing rate of the camera.
     
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  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Nasim's article Autofocus Modes Explained - Photography Life on autofocus is very good, and he covers very important information in an easy-to-understand manner.

    He is an expert shooter, and he understands that there is quite often MUCH power in using MORE than one, single AF square. It is no longer 1988....AF systems are super-capable now, but there are a lot of people who do not understand how, or why, using 21, or 51 AF points, might actually be better than using one point. Or how Dynamic Area AF works, etc..

    Sophisticated AF systems are now harder to understand than they used to be back in 1988, so a lot of people just throw in the towel,never read the manual, never understand the technology, they give up on multi-point or dynamic AF without even understanding what is possible, and they use one AF square, and they give bad advice to others when the subject of AF systems comes up. And these people often are pretty experienced photographers. Yet still, they tell you to always use a camera made in 2018 as if the year were 1988.

    Read Nasim's article carefully. He has a lot of good explanations in it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
  5. Dyslexicbloke

    Dyslexicbloke TPF Noob!

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    Interesting points RE BBF, I guess I thought I just needed to practice but the point about urganomics and hasving to do other critical stuff with your thumb is definatly food for thought...

    I said 'plan to', because I havent tried it yet, at least not long enough to actually have my own opionion.

    Bsed on what you have offered as a counterpoint, all of which I might add sounds just a relavent and reasoned as what I thopught was thre whole story in the first plasce, I find myself wondering if ther function button on the front might be a better choice to get the same functionality without ther thumb issue?

    I did hear your point RE missed focus, and appreciate it for what it is.
    Right now I am basing my judjment on my experiance, well lack therof.

    I susdpect I will change my parspective considderably if I get my head around a reasonable thecnique, and learn to make use of the auto focus to its best advantage.

    However, right now I still like ther idea of being able to use a single button, perhaps not under my thumb, to essentally switch between whatever AF mode is set and manual.

    I guess perhaps thre best course of actiac is to leave thre focus in the shutter whilst I get to grips with focus and technique in general and then considder trying a seperated control setup when I have something real to compare it with.

    Shutter and timing.... Well that is essentrally skill and I hope it will improve with practice but right now I am at about 50% planning, not all of it good, 30% luck with the last 20% potentally attributable to skill.
    I know how poor my technique must be but it is much better than it was so I have to conclude I am learning something.
    However right now if I can give luck a better chance I will take it...
    I will try and do some tests but I think, based on yoiur comments, that a marginal reduction in qwuality is a good tradoff for me, at the moment.

    It is also probably worth noting that my poor planning, RE setup was making things harder and I suspect masking small improvements in other techniques which in turn lead me to think there were other issues to solve... As it turns out simply missing thre point when it come to shutter speed being thre most obviuous and likeky horible error.

    I may be wrong but given that I got, well sort of, the martins at 1/800 I cant be doing everything wrong.
    Granted 1/800 was a big rooky mistaske, feel free to chuckle, but at the same time what I thought were focus, technique and even kit issues, were probably mostly motion blur meaning I am not as far away as I thought.

    OK still pretty silly, but finding such a big issue has to cast the pool of other stuff in another light.
    Wrong plan, wrong settings as a result and wrong conclusions about what I should do about it.
    Last week that was just silly, this week is a huge step forward.
    Or perhaps I am just cutting myself too much slack...

    I really apriciate the insight folks.
    I hope you dont think I asm being disingenuous, wanting to try things anyway. but it seems that everyone does things slightly diferently, sometimes for the same reasons.
    I feel that the great info I am getting will help me find what works for me whilst avoiding, or at least recognising potental issues.
    It is clear I have a great deal to learn, much more than I thought toi be fair, and I am going to have to find time to get out there in diferent conditions and put some work in to improve.

    What you are giving me is the tools to actually do that in a useful way and I am most greeatful.

    I would love to give something back but right now I dont have a graet deal to offer.
    That said I do have a varied background as a technition and programmer so perhaps there is hope when the subject is not photographic. At least for now.

    Thasnks,
    Al
     
  6. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    As Derrel said, AF modes require that you THINK about the situation, then select the AF mode that works best for THAT situation, then TEST it to make sure.
    It is NOT a "one size fits all."

    Example, when I shoot mixing sports, the AF group modes get confused and cannot track the subject. Think of a soccer game and the player going through a bunch of other players of his team (same color uniform) and the opponents. Color tracking does not work, cuz his teammates are in the same color uniform. And when they mix it up, how will the camera figure out who is the subject? :confused:
    I normally shoot football, soccer and basketball in Dynamic-9 point, where I track the subject, and I have a 9 point buffer where the AF will keep lock, if I don't track the subject well enough.

    Tennis on the other hand, group/area AF works fine. Tennis is not a mixing game, each side stays on their side of the net.

    I tried 3D on tennis, and had trouble with 3D loosing lock on the player and locking onto the lines on the court :confused:
    So I do not use it for tennis.

    Sometimes even in the same sport I will use different modes.
    Example I might use D21 or D9 for baseball, but when I am composing a shot where the subject is right next to another player, but at different distance, I would use single point, to force the camera to focus on MY subject.

    In your situation, shooting BiF. Shooting against clear sky might be one AF setting, and shooting with a busy background may require another AF setting.
    Then when they are on the ground in a group, you may have to switch to single point, to get YOUR selected bird in focus.

    One of the AF things that has burned me a few times is when someone/something crosses between the subject and me.
    The AF will shift focus to object that has crossed, and looses focus of the subject.
    Example tracking a soccer player, then the line ref runs past, in front of me. The camera lost focus on the player, and locked onto the ref. :mad:
    There is a setting to minimize this focus shift, but it comes with it's own trade-offs. I am still tinkering with this setting, to find what setting works for ME.
     

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