AF position: how bad is it to set without a touchscreen?

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AF position: how bad is it to set without a touchscreen?

Postby StephenCWLL » Tue Nov 11, 2014 12:31 pm

Still looking to decide which 1st camera to buy. My only knowledge of photography comes from my Samsung S3 which has been very good for me. I recently bought the Samsung S5 but sent it back for many reasons, one of which was the lack of manual AF repositioning which on the S3 you can set where you like on the touchscreen but on S5 you're stuck to the center of the screen.

I've read a few different camera reviews and the lack of a touch-screen to reposition the AF area gets brief mentions as being irritating, but makes me wonder, how irritating is it? How do you reposition the AF if you don't have a touch-screen on these cameras? Can you use buttons/dials to move the AF position or are you stuck with it in the center?
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Re: AF position: how bad is it to set without a touchscreen?

Postby Rorschach » Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:46 pm

Hi Stephen,

It literally does depend on the camera.

Would you mind establishing some context by saying which type of camera(s) you're referring to? The majority of, if not all, interchangeable lens cameras (without touch screens) of the past five years have buttons to allow you to reposition the AF point. The same is true of several bridge and high-end "compact" cameras.
DSLRs: Canon EOS 7D Mark II, Canon EOS 70D
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Lenses: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM, Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM, Canon EF-M 22mm f/2.0 STM
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Re: AF position: how bad is it to set without a touchscreen?

Postby StephenCWLL » Wed Nov 12, 2014 6:02 pm

I knew someone would ask for context ;) I've seen it mentioned on a few reviews but I've dug around and see this camera lacks touch screen on its EVF and thus no touch for AF adjustments ... http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Panas ... dict.shtml

Given my experiences with the S5 and my love of touching the screen on my S3, this lack of touch screen on this camera was enough to put me off buying :( I then thought, well, there must be a way of adjusting the AF position on cameras, or isn't there?
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Re: AF position: how bad is it to set without a touchscreen?

Postby Maestro » Thu Nov 13, 2014 1:58 am

In the "Panasonic Lumix TZ60 / ZS40 focusing" section of the review, Gordon writes:

if you want to move the single AF area, you first need to press DISP while in the AF menu, then use the cross keys to reposition the square

But for stills (as opposed to video), personally, I tend to find it easier and quicker to just use the center, half press shutter, and reframe - Mark
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Re: AF position: how bad is it to set without a touchscreen?

Postby StephenCWLL » Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:57 am

Sorry, newbie question; what does half pressing shutter do?
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Re: AF position: how bad is it to set without a touchscreen?

Postby Rorschach » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:31 am

It pre-focuses the image i.e. half-pressing the shutter button sets the autofocus point without capturing the image.
DSLRs: Canon EOS 7D Mark II, Canon EOS 70D
CSC: Canon EOS M3
Lenses: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM, Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM, Canon EF-M 22mm f/2.0 STM
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Re: AF position: how bad is it to set without a touchscreen?

Postby StephenCWLL » Thu Nov 13, 2014 1:23 pm

Ahh, so instead of telling it where you want to focus before, you are telling it where to focus when you half press the shutter?
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Re: AF position: how bad is it to set without a touchscreen?

Postby Rorschach » Sat Dec 06, 2014 12:48 pm

Sorry for the delay in replying.

It's not quite like that. You're not telling the camera where to focus per se. With the type of camera you're looking at, you're telling the camera to find the best guess for a focus point, generally based on contrast - presets such as face detection are likely to override this.
DSLRs: Canon EOS 7D Mark II, Canon EOS 70D
CSC: Canon EOS M3
Lenses: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM, Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM, Canon EF-M 22mm f/2.0 STM
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