TWI by Dustin Abbott said:
Dustin thanks for another one of your excellent reviews which are always informative and accessible to the reader. Like you I have owned the EOS M for some time for the same reason as you and like many on the forum I am awaiting a good FF mirrorless from Canon. As you have noted in several reviews a key feature is a really good EVF, in my case because a high percentage of my lenses are MF and I like the process of MF. I also like using tilt/shift lenses and again an EVF would seem to be a potentially very helpful tool. Your review of the a7R3 is interesting not only because of the EVF but the AF performance. I was interested to learn more of its eye AF feature performance and the improved frame rate and buffer capacity because if I buy a FF mirrorless I want it to be widely useable in different photographic scenarios. Whilst my first choice has been and remains to wait for a Canon FF mirrorless if one does not materialise soon, getting the a7R3 when there is a good $ deal on offer will be an option.
Can I ask for more explanation as to how the zoom feature works in the EVF? Such as:
1) How do you activate the zoom/what controls do you use?
2) What settings are there to control the zoom feature (e.g. zoom extent)?
3) After you take a shot, what happens next time? Does the EVF retain the zoom or must it be reactivated again using the same sequence?
4) What point/region does the EVF zoom about?
5) Can you move the zoom region by touch dragging on the viewfinder?
6) Is there any "auto zoom" type feature like the EOS M5 has with native EFM lenses. For example can you set the body up to zoom automatically when you half press the shutter button?
I appreciate any info that you can provide on this. Thanks again. Phil
The nice thing about Sony is that you map most features (including focus zoom) to a number of buttons. I personally have it mapped to the AEL button. You do have choices about magnification level and what area of the image is magnified, and even choices on whether you want a color overlay added (I mostly don't use Focus Peaking as I feel it makes the shooting process less organic). Native mount manual focus lenses (with electronics) will trigger an automatic zoom when you move the MF ring, but not third party lenses. It's about as good as it gets right now for MF, particularly when you consider you also get true image stabilization on those lenses to boot.
Adding to Dustin’s response to Bod’s questions:
Regarding (1) and (6): AF lenses won’t let you manually initiate EVF zoom unless they’ve been switched to manual focus (silly programmatic decision IMO). Therefore I have the C2 button set to toggle AF/MF, and the C1 button to focus magnify.
Regarding (2): I’ve only used it with manual triggering, during which progressively zooms in 3 times. I don’t believe you have any control over it. Once you have reached the largest magnification, the next tap returns to the full image.
Regarding (3): magnify disables after you take a photo
Regarding (4): in MF, it defaults to the center, but you can move around with the thumbstick. In DMF, I believe it magnifies in the area of the last AF acquisition, but I could be mistaken.
Regarding (5): good question. Never tried. My touch screen is disabled.
That`s not correct if you are in DMF mode where the lens still AF, but you can choose focus peaking or magnification during that as well as additional help.
in MF you can pre-select any AF point and then press magnification to zoom so it does not have to be center always.
To clarify, since there are so many caveats, like everything else with the A7R3...
: you have a few configurations, none of which is perfect, though the feature itself is awesome.
a) There is a Zoom Magnify which you can program to a custom button. However, the button generates the most hideous error message that blacks out 95% of your viewfinder if you press it in Continuous Autofocus mode. This is a real pain, because Continuous Autofocus mode is the only mode that uses PDAF; which leaves you with AF-S and DMF (which are Contrast Detect) or MF.
The Zoom Magnify button is configured by default to NOT zooming (it can show an orange box around the area to zoom), but you can reprogram it to default zoom at 6.3x. From there, pressing it a the next two times takes it to more zoom, then back to 1x.
b) So realistically, people program another button to put them into MF mode. There are TWO ways to do this. One version is, it's in MF mode while you hold down a button; the second is a toggle (press once to be in MF; press again to be back in AF).
c) You can also set the camera to automatically go into zoom magnify if you adjust manual focus, or "MF Assist". Annoyingly, you can't set it to zoom automatically if it GOES into manual focus; you actually need to ADJUST manual focus to trigger it.
d) You can pick DMF, or "Direct Manual Focus", which sounds like the camera will let you just grab the ring and just focus. Sounds great, because in this mode, when it goes to manual focus, zoom magnify kicks in. But in fact, it isn't great at all, because DMF doesn't do what it sounds like. It only lets you grab the ring after successful autofocus
(wtf?). The idea is that it is for tiny adjustments to the AF. Worse, it only works in single autofocus, and worse yet, both AF-S and DMF are only contrast detect autofocus.
e) There is zoom magnified autofocus too. Set the camera to AF-S or DMF, and hit zoom magnify. Crosshairs come up and you can autofocus on that. It's super useful. Tee only problem is... it doesn't work in continuous autofocus, meaning you'll be in contrast detect AF. Which is fine for the magnified autofocus, but when you're not
magnified, it will still be in slow-as-a-pig CDAF.
- There is no way to regulate the magnification of he zoom other than initial zoom of 1x or 6.3x
- Once you take a shot EVF returns to normal (not zoomed)
- You cannot move the zoom region by touch dragging the VF, but you can use the joystick, which works great.
- You cannot make it auto zoom when you acquire autofocus.
This is a feature that Canon on its full frame mirrorless could make better than Sony, not by having better technology, but simply by a better implementation. Plus, DPAF will be dramatically better than CDAF, or the confusing PDAF/CDAF switching.