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RX10 anomalies on long zoom - advice request

Derell Licht

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I've had the RX10M3 for a couple of years now. After years of using Lumix large-sensor cameras, I've been stunned at how superb this camera is!!

However, there is one anomaly that I have had with this camera, and I'm hoping someone can give me some insight in to how to deal with it...
It annoys me enough that I upgraded to the RX10M4, hoping it would fix that, but from preliminary shooting yesterday, I think it is going to have the same issue.

So the issue is this... I often find myself shooting long-zoom images of flying objects, but the camera has a tendency to, rather than focusing on the object, it will actually throw it *way* out of focus instead!! To give a more-detailed description of the situation, I will zoom out to full 600mm, then try to locate the flying object. When the object first comes into the field, it is visible, and almost in focus - but when I half-press the button to force focusing, it throws it *way* out of focus instead!!!

It does this on all of Auto, P, and S shooting modes; I typically use S for long-zoom shooting, so I can force a fast shutter speed - my intent is that it will adjust ISO instead, to get proper exposures, because a moderately-high ISO still gives excellent images with this camera. However, the loss of focus is a show-stopper!! What is going on here, why does the camera do this??

I have found that I've if I zoom back out to 400mm or so, it will then focus happily, but then when I zoom back in again, with the object already mostly in focus, the half-press will *still* throw it way out of focus. Actually, in some cases, just the act of zooming back in on the object with cause this loss of focus event. This does *not* happen with objects on the ground, only with flying objects... I'm guessing that part of the problem is that the object is so small, but the fact is that the camera *is* able to focus on those flying objects, if it would just let itself do so!!

Does anyone have any insights on this situation???
 

gosman767

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I don't really have any insight as I am new to the RX10 Mk4 (1 month) but I have had some some success using Centre lock on AF, although most of the articles I have read about BIF have suggested using Wide or Flexible spot focus mode. Maybe another option to try would be to set it up for back button focus using the C1 button or the wheel centre button, again just a suggestion as I haven't tried this yet. HTH
 

Roger S

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My Nikons do the same thing. I find that using centre spot focus first and then locking it in with the back button works the best. There is a surprising amount of variance between 2 or 300 meters focus or wherever your object is and infinity which your camera is searching for when it goes out of focus like that.
 

Derell Licht

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My Nikons do the same thing. I find that using centre spot focus first and then locking it in with the back button works the best. There is a surprising amount of variance between 2 or 300 meters focus or wherever your object is and infinity which your camera is searching for when it goes out of focus like that.
That's in interesting thought on why the image jumps out of focus like that... I'll try the center-focus method that you both mentioned, and see if that reduces the problem significantly.

BTW, you both refer to a 'back button', but I don't know what this is?? I know the back button on my web browser, but no on my camera!! :) Could y'all clarify that? I'll also look it up in the manual...
[ 'back button' refers to any of the programmable buttons on back of the camera, such as AEL ]
 
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Classicbiker

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This should help
 

Derell Licht

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This should help
Yes, this is cool!! I'm working my way slowly through it...
He *did* trip me a bit, right at the beginning... he spends alot of time referring to 'iAF', but I couldn't find that in the manual, or anywhere on the cfg screens... it was only when I went back and carefully reviewed what he was doing, that I realized that he said 'Eye AF' !!!! Silly me...

Anyway, thank you again for this link.
 
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Ozzie_Traveller

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G'day Derrell

I am running Panasonics similar to your RX10 .... in my case the FZ-300 and FZ-2500. Both yours and mine all use a similar method for focussing - and unlike most dSLRs, our cameras do not have a half-silvered mirror bouncing the image onto special focus nodes underneath the mirror. It does mean that we need to consider how-to focus as quickly and accurately as possible and some settings do not always seem to be the most obvious

For successful, fast and accurate focus with the Panny cameras, I have found that
1) I need to reset the AF from "AF-close focus" mode to "AF regular focus to infinity" mode;
2) I set the AF nodes to a 2 x 2 focus point grid in the centre of the screen, and
3) I use an accessory called a Red Dot Sight clipped into the flash shoe to assist my eyes as I am waving the camera around following the bird / fast action / whatever so that I can keep the camera optically on-target as much as possible

If you want more info on Red Dot Sight use, email me at "Ozzie_Traveller@Yahoo.com" (my public email address) and I will bounce you a PDF explaining its use

Hope this helps
Phil
 
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