It is important that your Alpha series (for sure the A7ii, maybe others) have better range finding and focusing support on-screen, like so:
Be able to toggle the focal distance indicator between Meters and Feet (aka Imperial units). Currently the firmware ONLY supports Meters.
When it is in meters, the on-screen the distance indicator should be improved by showing partial meters (tenths in decimal units)
This will improve the Alpha series’ ability to focus on more-precise distances, helpful to many areas of general photography.
Here is why... like many, I enjoy shooting travel, street and sometimes photo-journalism photos. These are not uncommon photographic styles, and they frequently use the following techniques:
a. Zone focusing
b. Hyperfocal distance shooting
Other types of photography use these techniques also, especially if you need to take pictures quickly. Both techniques involve selecting a specific 'manual' focal distance and doing point-and-shoot photography, trusting that subjects will be in focus if they reside between your Depth-of-Focus NEAR and FAR limits. There are many advantages to this common technique, the obvious one being that photos are more reliably and predictably in focus while taking fast shots of (often) not-centered subjects.
Sadly, I find that the Alpha 7ii does not facilitate this well AT ALL. Surprising for an otherwise all-around good camera.
Specifically, with the current Sony equipment I cannot accurately focus to the exact distance I want (say: "12 feet”) because the Sony/Zeiss lenses are fly-by-wire focus systems and rely mostly on on-screen user interface cues to get subjects in focus (e.g., a digital range indicator and focus peaking).
The biggest offender, in my opinion, is the current distance indicator, which shows only 'whole' meters... e.g. 2m >> 3mm >> 4mm etc. And the distance indicator is a sliding scale between each value… but I find it is hard to see if you are focusing on, for example, 2.2 meters (7.2 feet) or 2.6 meters (8.5 feet) because, as I understand it, the scale isn't linear. And even if it was linear, it's hard to eyeball. Note that in the U.S. market, for one, many photographers prefer to eyeball in imperial units, not metric. Anyway, in photography the difference in a few feet can be extremely important and can ruin shots you thought would be in focus.
For those that state that Focus Peaking might help here, I would argue that it is not a good fit for zone focusing. Photographers still need a subject at a fairly specific distance to focus on. There are numerous apps (like PhotoPills) and web-based calculators that will help you define your ideal focal plane distance. With the current Alpha cameras, I have two inconvenient alternatives for focusing on those distances: picking objects with a third party range finder or just eyeballing. And if the subject is not properly lit, thus offering enough contrast, focus peaking isn’t as helpful.
In summary: for zone focusing and hyperfocal to work best, you want to set your camera to focus at a specific distance. Many other cameras make this easier because the distance index scale is ‘notched’ onto the outside ring of the lens itself. Because the Sony Alpha relies on firmware and computer-screen UI, I would ask that you improve the UI to include the two important changes mentioned above.
With feet (imperial units) some of us are better at judging distances in feet and can be more accurate… and
in meters it will greatly help if we can see on screen when a lens is focused at 2.2 meters vs. 2.6 etc. through the use of a decimal fraction (tenths place should be sufficient).
Sony A mount can use a few lenses to compliment the new sensor and autofocus capabilities of a99ii. To start many of Sony lenses can be updated to SSM. I would like a 24-105 f4 that is optically comparable to the one from Sigma or an update on the Minolta 28-135. Then there is a need for 600mm f4 and maybe 400 f4 for wildlife & sports.
byphenix_eye01-23-201704:49 AM - edited 01-23-201704:58 AM
Sony A6300 is an amazing camera. but there are a few things that could be improved with a firmware update.
Please add a feature that allows you to save custom settings to the movie mode including picture profiles.
Every time i want to shoot a video, I have to switch to intended picture profile before i start recording and then turning it back off if I want to take photos. Sometimes i missed the shot because I was too busy trying to turn off picture profile etc.
I've had to use up one of my custom buttons for picture profile for slightly easier access.
If only I could save a specific picture profile to the movie mode, it would make it less inconvenient to record a video and free up one of my custom buttons.
I came across this post from SAR (SonyAlphaRumors) that people who have their hands on the A99II have tested that 79 af only works with the third party lenses and not the additional 399 af points. Please Sony why?
bydishe11-30-201511:52 AM - edited 12-10-201509:15 PM
Many of the modern Sony cameras, including the A7S, A5100 and A6000, include a "smooth skin" filter feature. I'm sure some end users out there like this, but in video it gets horribly annoying and fake looking, especially since it sort of turns on and off depending on whether or not the camera can detect a face, even in the middle of a clip. Thankfully the option is greyed out when the camera is in video mode, because this is obviously a feature that should stay disabled... but the problem is, some of these cameras automatically apply the effect in video mode, even when disabled or greyed out from the Sony menus! And when this happens, there is no way to disable it!
There are quite a few discussions across the internet about this problem- the solution proposed has been to turn off face detection entirely. But there are two problems with this. 1) We lose the other benefits of face detection, such as autofocus tracking. 2) When the camera isn't recording internally, the live HDMI out still does face detection / skin smoothing, even if face detection is disabled!
This means when sending the camera's feed out to an external recorder, TV, monitor, live internet streamer, etc, we get intermittent skin smoothing that sort of looks like the subject's skin has turned into wax. Then back into skin again if they move their head the right way, and repeat.
I can confirm I've seen this problem effects the A7S, A5100 and A6000. (EDIT: It seems a firmware update for the A7s has quietly fixed it. Thank you for that! It still very much effects the A6000 and A5100, however. Please help us fix those!) It likely also effects other cameras but I haven't seen them to confirm it. Please, please PLEASE correct this bug and let skin smoothing remain off on a global level if we turn it off in the camera menu. Or, just get rid of it entirely as it is a feature we can easily apply in post if desired. As it stands now, it is ruining our video footage!
I have an A7R mark 2 and an A6300 both have silent shutter modes. Could a silent shutter mode be introduced into the A99 mark 2 via firmware update. If this were the case I would abandon my Nikon D810 and move completely to Sony!
The A5100 and A5000 have a few buttons including a dedicated "help" button that can be customized. Those few customizable buttons can only be assigned to single item settings options such as white balance, iso, drive mode, etc... However, unlike any other sony mirrorless camera, on the A5100 there is no quick "function menu" option that can be assigned to the customizable buttons and THIS IS A MAJOR FLAW.
All the other sony mirrorless camera have this quick "function menu" feature, including the Sony NEX-3, NEX-3N, NEX-5 , NEX-5N, NEX-5R, NEX-5T, NEX-6, A3000, A6000, A7, etc... Some of these are much older and cheaper cameras that the A5100 should surpass in every way, especially when it comes to software!
This "quick menu" option is extremely important, it allows the user to access camera settings through one of the customizable button very efficiently without the need to navigate through countless pages in the cumbersome and annoying full menu. Furthermore this "Quick Menu" is customizable, allowing users to assign the settings they use the most to be available directly in this multi-item quick menu.
Sony can and should immediately add this feature back in the A5000 / A5100. Sony has previously shown this is something they can do. Back when the original NEX-5 was released, it did not have this "function menu" option, but it was later added through a firmware update, and it became a standard feature on all NEX cameras.
This feature isEXTREMELY important, without it the A5100 / A5000 are severely crippled cameras and become annoying to use.
Personally, as a past loyal Sony NEX customer I was excited when I bought the new A5100 but this excitement quickly turned into disappointment and utter shock... Now, I am just angry, I cannot believe Sony removed such a useful feature, especially on a camera where it is needed the most. We can only assume that Sony decided to remove this feature intentionally in an attempt to manipulate us into buying the more expensive A6000... Unfortunately, having been a NEX enthusiast user for years and having using that features for years, this is unacceptable, that such a basic feature gets intentionally removed, I feel betrayed and cheated, and I deeply regret my purchase. This is a direct slap in the face to all loyal nex customer who helped make the sony mirrorless camera such a succes.
IMPORTANT: Please share and support this idea by VOTING for it, post your comments too, together we can make a difference! Even if you dont own a A5000 or A5100, you still stand to gain from voting for this issue has it will clearly show Sony that we wont stand for this! Making their higher end models more attractive by adding new / improved features is OK, but purposedly completely crippling / removing basic and well established feature from lower-mid range model just to make the higher end models more attractive is not acceptable, especially when those features are found in much older / cheaper models. This tactic is unacceptable and Sony should never attempt anything like this on any of their product line.
Until this is fixed, I will not buy another Sony product.
We love the big RAW-files, but for some types of work we also benefit to work in lower resolution. Could you please give us the option to choose the resolution of the RAW-files? There is this options for JPEG, so give us the same on the RAW-files.
L:42M M:18M S:11M
Quick win for Sony developers, big Win for A7r2 owners!