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Animal Eye AF with Camera/Lens suggestion

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A68noob View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote A68noob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Animal Eye AF with Camera/Lens suggestion
    Posted: 18 February 2021 at 12:07
Hello.

I would like to dive into E-Mount to use animal eye AF to finally be able to make nicer and also much easier pictures of lizards, snakes, mice, fire salamander. Only close ups. I would also like to photograph rally cars in the future, so good and reliable AF is needed.

My questions are:

1) I would really love to use the AF on the animals listed above, especially lizards - is there maybe someone on the forum that could test this for me please?
I only found an article of someone testing the animal eye AF on the computer by just aiming the camera at images and it worked on lions, cows, seals and SNAKES. Not on dolphins.. but i am not into this. I couldnt find more info, sadly.
Maybe someone has done some testing on this already.


2) Camera desicion:
I would only use a mirrorless APS-C camera due to crop factor, probably a6600 because it is currently the only available camera to support my good amount of screwdrive lenses via LA-EA5. Inferior A6xxx series would also lack the SteadyShot to fully use the screwdrives. Some A7r would be too much for me and overkill (although i have FF a7 and i like it a lot)

The 6600 feels awkward because in some cases it is inferior to my old a77ii (which broke some time ago, now only A68 remains - not happy with it), but i think it is still a nobrainer due to best eye AF, strong battery, SteadyShot, full LA-EA5 support. It's overpriced, so i would buy 2nd hand. Any critizism in camera descision is welcome!


3) Dedicated close up animal lens desicion:
As much as i like my Beercan + Big Beercan, Tamron 70-200 2,8 and maybe even to purchase Minolta 100-400 or Sigma 100-300 F4 - they are all screw drive.. this is surely not the best way to use the most advanced AF system available yet, so i would need at least one good telezoom for the close ups mentioned above for reliable AF.
I am still an owner of 70-400G1 and it proved even on A68 the highest keeper rate + overall excellent performance. Even at close ups @ 400mm with very thin DOF it was very reliable to shoot with - handheld. Currently on sale because it is really heavy and clumsy and due to age i am afraid of AF failure..

Luckily E-Mount offers 70-350G and new 70-300G (i was not happy at all with A-Mount one). 70-350G looked like a nobrainer first due to cheaper price, weight, 50mm more and my thoughts of having even better magnification: BUT i was wrong (at least according to lens info here on dyxum) as 70-300 focuses @ 0,9m with 0.31x (1/3.2) and 70-350 @ 1,1 with only "poor" 0.23x (1/4.3) magnification (odd, because A-Mount 70-300 focuses @ 1,2m @ 0,25x).
70-350 also only offers 7 aperture blades, but i am not a fan anyway of the extreme bokeh close up anyway.


Thanks for any input! Kind regards.
 



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QuietOC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote QuietOC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 February 2021 at 12:46
I haven't really tried the animal Eye AF of my A7III. I believe it is mostly dog Eye AF.

I don't want to use an A6x00 camera ever again, but they must work for some. How much for 1/4000 s max shutter? No 20 FPS stacked sensor. Poor IBIS? Not even A-mount Lens Compensation? It just seems all sorts of wrong for A-mount lenses. Something more like the Panasonic G6 form factor could house Sony's 5 year-old APS-C sensor just fine. Nikon Z 50? Canon M5?

If you do get an A6x00, I'd say 70-350 G. The G zooms all lose focal length at close focus. The 100-400 GM is basically a 200mm lens at MFD. The Sony DT 55-300 SAM does 0.27X at 1.4 meters! There are cheap extension tubes for E-mount that work alright.

My current telephoto zoom lineup is FE 200-600 G + 1.4X, Tamron 70-300 RXD, and Canon 70-200 F4L USM.

The A68 worked well for motorsports. I'd recommend picking up a DT 55-300 SAM for it.

Edited by QuietOC - 18 February 2021 at 13:13
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nandbytes View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote nandbytes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 February 2021 at 13:57
None of the Sony cameras (bar the A1 which is largely untested at the moment) have animal AF that I'd call usable or useful for tracking/action. You are better off trying to use subject tracking in that case.

On the other hand canon R5/6 seem to have animal eyeAF that works incredibly well (some even claim better than the A1). So if that's you main subjects might be worth considering those bodies.

Edited by nandbytes - 18 February 2021 at 14:44
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mariuszlo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 February 2021 at 14:01
I tried animal eye AF with a6400 and 70-350G. You can see here.
The camera focused very quickly on the eye. But the dog did not move.
Sony A99II with Sony, Minolta, Sigma, Tamron A lenses, Sony A7R with Minolta MD lenses, Sony A6400 with Sony E lenses.
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addy landzaat View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 February 2021 at 15:26
The problem with the A6400 (amd A7r4) is that there is no tracking with animal eye AF


(and if there is, please tell how)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mariuszlo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 February 2021 at 15:41
Originally posted by addy landzaat addy landzaat wrote:

The problem with the A6400 (amd A7r4) is that there is no tracking with animal eye AF



Yes you are right.
Sony A99II with Sony, Minolta, Sigma, Tamron A lenses, Sony A7R with Minolta MD lenses, Sony A6400 with Sony E lenses.
 



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Post Options Post Options   Quote QuietOC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 February 2021 at 15:49
I thought it did. The A7III doesn't have the Real-time tracking, but it has Real-time Animal Eye AF if Subject Detection is set to Animal. It will track dog eyes in just normal wide focus area mode.
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momech View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote momech Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 February 2021 at 15:56
I have the A7R4 with the LA-EA 5 adapter - will try it out with the 70-400 II this weekend. It does well with relatively stationary subjects - I've used it mostly on perching birds.
I also have the Canon R5, using it with adapted Canon EF mount lenses and it does lock on and track well - used it on deer and birds, mostly ducks this time of year.
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mariuszlo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mariuszlo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 February 2021 at 16:03
Originally posted by momech momech wrote:

I have the A7R4 with the LA-EA 5 adapter - will try it out with the 70-400 II this weekend. It does well with relatively stationary subjects - I've used it mostly on perching birds.
I also have the Canon R5, using it with adapted Canon EF mount lenses and it does lock on and track well - used it on deer and birds, mostly ducks this time of year.


Now I tried on the following settings:
Focus mode: AF-C
Focus area: Wide
Subject detection: Animal

And on a stationary object (photo of a dog on the monitor :) AF keeps up and moves across the frame.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote nandbytes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 February 2021 at 18:22
A7RIV does have realtime animal eyeAF but not realtime tracking with animals. Realtime tracking on A7RIV only works with human.
On A7C it has realtime tracking for both humans and animals.

But in both cases for tracking animals its not great or rather basically doesn't work and you are better off with subject tracking.
Also with birds (or basically anything other than cats and dogs) its very hit and miss. so I could not rely on it like I could with humans.

Really the canon R5/6 is leading in this area.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 February 2021 at 19:50
Yeah, Canon did a great job. At the moment it is a two horse race with Nikon a distant third. But that could change when Nikon releases their pro mirrorless... we'll see.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote nandbytes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 February 2021 at 07:46
Originally posted by addy landzaat addy landzaat wrote:

Yeah, Canon did a great job. At the moment it is a two horse race with Nikon a distant third. But that could change when Nikon releases their pro mirrorless... we'll see.


So far nothing I have seen suggests there are catching up any time soon. May be by end of 2022.
Canon already has a lens line up to go with their pro body plus their adapter provides native like performance unlike Sony or Nikon.
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