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John Walker

Sony RX100 M6 focus area in auto?

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I used a Sony RX100 and RX100M3 on auto for most of my stock photos and they would focus around the central area with great success.

I notice that with my Sony RX100M6 it appears to focus on whatever is nearest the camera including the close foreground.  For instance, if I am on a shingle beach pointing the camera toward object in the near distance it will often focus on the shingle at the bottom of the frame.

 

As I see it, I have either got a faulty camera or Sony have drastically changed the focus area in the M6 model.  I don't think it's possible to change the focus area to 'Spot' in the auto setting.

 

Any thoughts?

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2 hours ago, John Walker said:

I used a Sony RX100 and RX100M3 on auto for most of my stock photos and they would focus around the central area with great success.

I notice that with my Sony RX100M6 it appears to focus on whatever is nearest the camera including the close foreground.  For instance, if I am on a shingle beach pointing the camera toward object in the near distance it will often focus on the shingle at the bottom of the frame.

 

As I see it, I have either got a faulty camera or Sony have drastically changed the focus area in the M6 model.  I don't think it's possible to change the focus area to 'Spot' in the auto setting.

 

Any thoughts?

I'm not familiar with the M6 but my M5 will focus on the closest area if I depress the centre of the control wheel and stay in that mode until depressed again

 

Maybe a thought? 

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When you say "I don't think it's possible to change the focus area to 'Spot' in the auto setting". do you mean the auto setting on the dial on top of the camera? If so then that is a very limited mode, really designed for complete beginners, and there is not a lot of leeway in what you can do with it. In other more traditional auto exposure modes such as Aperture or Shutter priority (A and S on the dial), then it is possible to choose a while range of auto focus modes with varying degrees of user control and you can focus on whatever you want.

 

I have the VA which is very similar to the VI and when I got it I found it incredibly confusing due to the vast range of possible settings. I bought :The Friedman Archives Guide to Sony's RX100 VI and RX100 VA Kindle Edition by Gary Friedman" available for £16 which was absolutely invaluable as a guide to the camera. I have had loads of different cameras over the years (Nikon and Canon digital as well as various film cameras). This was my first Sony and the first time I ever felt the need to buy a guide to using one, but the RX-100MVA and friends are complicated little beasts. Gary Friedman explains all in a very well laid out and clear manner - well worth the £16 for the Kindle edition which can be read on any computer or mobile device with a free app.

 

 

 

Edited by MDM
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Michael has this Sony-auto thing right on both points. Auto picks the Focus Mode, not us. And the fault with these tiny, super Sonys is they are unhelpfully complex. 

 

My own problem with the complexity is it pulls me away from functioning as a visually sensitive artist and forces me to be a techno gear head. So I don't use either of the Auto settings much. I do use Twilight in Scenes when I'm forced to so. Most of the time, I'm happy to be on A -- aptitude priority. 

 

Another good point to remember, John: know matter what we do we're going to miss a shot once in a while. 

 

Edo

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7 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

Michael has this Sony-auto thing right on both points. Auto picks the Focus Mode, not us. And the fault with these tiny, super Sonys is they are unhelpfully complex. 

 

My own problem with the complexity is it pulls me away from functioning as a visually sensitive artist and forces me to be a techno gear head. So I don't use either of the Auto settings much. I do use Twilight in Scenes when I'm forced to so. Most of the time, I'm happy to be on A -- aptitude priority. 

 

Another good point to remember, John: know matter what we do we're going to miss a shot once in a while. 

 

Edo

 

I agree Edo. The key is always to get so used to the machine you are using that it becomes second nature and you don't have to think about it. I find myself having to think more when using the little Sony than with my  Nikons. It is partly that I am still more used to the big cameras but a lot of it is down to the Sony being a very complex little machine. Also the tiny buttons don't help but no complaints - the RX100 is all about being tiny and it is an amazing piece of technology. I very rarely use anything other than manual exposure mode together with a couple of different AF modes on the Nikons but I tend to use S or A mode on the Sony and one of the simple AF modes. I tend to use the Sony for static shots but it does have some serious AF capabilities for moving subjects. It is definitely worth taking the time to understand its capabilities.

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I have all my Sony cameras set on "Manual". Only the ISO setting is set by the cameras and that is severely restricted depending on camera model.

 

Old fashioned I may be but that is how I grew up with film cameras.

 

Allan

 

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6 minutes ago, Allan Bell said:

I have all my Sony cameras set on "Manual". Only the ISO setting is set by the cameras and that is severely restricted depending on camera model.

 

Old fashioned I may be but that is how I grew up with film cameras.

 

Allan

 

 

I normally use manual exposure mode but the controls are much more fiddly on the RX100  than on a larger camera so I find it easier to use aperture or shutter priority and take care with metering. So are you saying you don't use the autofocus on your Sonys or are you just referring to exposure mode? 

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1 minute ago, MDM said:

 

I normally use manual exposure mode but the controls are much more fiddly on the RX100  than on a larger camera so I find it easier to use aperture or shutter priority and take care with metering. So are you saying you don't use the autofocus on your Sonys or are you just referring to exposure mode? 

 

Sorry I do use autofocus as it quicker than I am now. Old age y'know.

 

Allan

 

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The point I was raising is that my RX100M6 focusing in Auto Mode appears to be quite different to the RX100M1 and the RX100M3 that I previously used.  It seems as if the focus area is now very wide and focuses on what ever is nearest.    I wondered if any other M6 users had noticed this?

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1 hour ago, John Walker said:

The point I was raising is that my RX100M6 focusing in Auto Mode appears to be quite different to the RX100M1 and the RX100M3 that I previously used.  It seems as if the focus area is now very wide and focuses on what ever is nearest.    I wondered if any other M6 users had noticed this?

 

Hi John sorry for hijacking your thread.

 

Have you seen this. I bet you have read all you can in the instruction manual but it may shed a bit of light.

 

Allan

 

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3 hours ago, John Walker said:

The point I was raising is that my RX100M6 focusing in Auto Mode appears to be quite different to the RX100M1 and the RX100M3 that I previously used.  It seems as if the focus area is now very wide and focuses on what ever is nearest.    I wondered if any other M6 users had noticed this?

 

Yes that is what I said in my initial answer. It is by design in the VA and VI which are the same in this respect. You are handing almost total control to the camera including AF area mode if you use Auto mode. I haven't got any experience with the M1 or 3 so can't compare. You need to choose a different mode such as A, S or M and you can then choose from a range of AF modes including centre. You use the Fn or the menu system to make your choices of AF area mode.

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3 hours ago, Allan Bell said:

 

Hi John sorry for hijacking your thread.

 

Have you seen this. I bet you have read all you can in the instruction manual but it may shed a bit of light.

 

Allan

 

 

Hello Allan

 

I didn't feel you were hijacking my thread - all info and views are appreciated.

 

After many years of having very good focusing results from my previous RX100 models, I was surprised to find that my M6 focused differently to what  I had been used to.   Like others on here, I started in the film days with medium format cameras and everything manual.  I found myself concentrating more on the settings than the actual image at times.  Nearly every one of my 6000+ images on Alamy were taken in full Auto on Sony RX100 cameras.  It's a nice change to just concentrate on the image in my later years.  I could change to one of the program modes but after years of success on Auto, I don't really want to.  I wondered if it was a design change or it was a faulty camera.

 

Cheers

John

 

ps.  Thank you for the link :)

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John, another reason I would want to use the aperture priority setting instead of auto in the situation you describe is that changing the f-stop changes the dept of field. So if you look in your viewfinder (and I always use the viewfinder on my Sony 100/6) and see that the object in the foreground is sharp but the main subject in the distance is not, you change from say f-5 to f-8 or f-11 to get more DoF. 

 

As anti-tech as I am, I'm not comfortable with handing all the controls over to the camera.

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Don't know if this will help as I do not have access to a mark6 model but here goes.  I have carried out some trials on my mark3 model.

 

First are you using "P" program mode, "Gold camera" Superior mode or "Green camera" Intelligent mode?

 

In Gold and Green camera modes when utilising the "Fn" button the focus area box is greyed out so not accessible. IE fully auto.

 

In "P" program mode when utilising the "Fn" button the focus area box is visible and you are able to change the focus area to suit your shooting operation.

 

Allan

 

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11 hours ago, Allan Bell said:

Don't know if this will help as I do not have access to a mark6 model but here goes.  I have carried out some trials on my mark3 model.

 

First are you using "P" program mode, "Gold camera" Superior mode or "Green camera" Intelligent mode?

 

In Gold and Green camera modes when utilising the "Fn" button the focus area box is greyed out so not accessible. IE fully auto.

 

In "P" program mode when utilising the "Fn" button the focus area box is visible and you are able to change the focus area to suit your shooting operation.

 

Allan

 

.

Thanks Allan

I have always used the 'Green Camera' setting with great success until the M6.
However, I tried the 'P' program setting today and as you say, it does allow one to change the focus area.   Results look very favourable so it's just a matter of getting used to a different mode.

Cheers

John

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On 04/02/2020 at 19:38, Ed Rooney said:

John, another reason I would want to use the aperture priority setting instead of auto in the situation you describe is that changing the f-stop changes the dept of field. So if you look in your viewfinder (and I always use the viewfinder on my Sony 100/6) and see that the object in the foreground is sharp but the main subject in the distance is not, you change from say f-5 to f-8 or f-11 to get more DoF. 

 

As anti-tech as I am, I'm not comfortable with handing all the controls over to the camera.

'

Thank you Edo,  I'll try the aperture priority setting and see how I get on with it.  Today, I tried Allan's suggestion of using the 'P' program mode so I'll see which suits me best.

 

Cheers

John

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