Wanted to show a series on the tracking of the A7rII camera. Now these images posted are part of a big gig I do twice a year one in LA and the other in NY and shooting the 4 days of the event i average about 14k images in those four days. A lot of work and very hard on any system. I have a assistant that helps and we take turns to churn this all out. Now my wife owns the company so that means i control the production booth and can control the output of lighting. The runway lights this year the spread was slightly uneven during this completion so shooting at ISO 1250 the shutter would jump from 1/250 to start than drop to 1/200 than go back up to 1/400. 1/200 in that area ever so slight movement so be aware of that 2 frames after the first but has nothing to do with tracking, its model movement. Anyway i posted a series here of 10 frames of a model that i just randomly picked. Thats about the average per contestant is about ten shots, its takes about 5 to 7 seconds for a model to walk the runway which is about 50 feet long. Here i am using the A7RII in CROP MODE with a Sony 70-200 F4 in APC mode and drive set to low continuous and my AF points either set to Eye AF which this series is or I use Zone and push the zone to the far right which in turn on verticals is the very top. Now the debate is DSLRs better than Sony and in reality I could care less, i shoot Sony and thats all that matters to me but i come from 40 years of shooting DSLRs and some of the nice features i like on the Sony is the 399 AF points . In the past i could not get any DSLR to the very top or to the edges with AF points and on a vertical shooting these runway shots my AF would only go as high as the chest area with the Sony I can or should say the camera can get right to the eye because of the much bigger AF spread. For me this has always been a big downside with DSLRs. But here I can set to EyE AF in that upper zone and if you give the system a second to capture the the eye it will track with great accuracy which for me is huge as I do not have time to edit anything. I shoot these in Raw in Crop mode which give me a effective 300mm at the long end . I bring them into C1 make a few adjustments than batch 2 or 3 thousand at a time to the exact size i need to upload to smug mug for images to be sold. Trust me its actually faster to shoot Raw and process than take in camera jpegs and reduce to size. I have tested it both ways and also to have the ability to make some adjustments is a plus. Besides that if i take some of these images to use as our marketing material i have a 18mpx raw to work with. Sometimes these are made into posters so i want that ability also.
Back to tracking I find this system to be one of the best I have used for this over many years as i finally get to the AF of someones eyes even at full length images. This is a big plus as I find this system more accurate in actually nailing almost every frame. In the past there where a lot of misses. Now it may not be the fastest system but it is the most accurate i have come across and in doing this type of work Ill take accurate anyway.
Okay Images shot at ISO 1250 at 5.6 at the 172mm lens setting which multiply that by 1.5 because Im in crop mode so here in this series a effective 252 mm lens. This varies for me by size of model. Little kids I'm at the full 300mm setting. i also rotate camera during these sometimes for different looks. Bottom line whatever sells and they sell very very well.
Now I should point out which I find really works well is have my AF button be my back button and shutter button the release . What this means is I separate these two functions from the default set up. What I finds i can continually hold the AF button than shoot whenever I want without any interruption plus with review off I never have to deal with that interruption and in turn saves some battery as well. Again Sony system is complicated and you really need to learn the way this system functions a lot of options and its a little complicated plus a menu system that rivals a jet its very confusing. Its a mess . LOL
Point one other thing out here as well . If your shooting 14k images having your eye to camera is a PITA on every shot. Nice thing is I can do this all with the LCD back screen and never put my eye to the camera which on these long days is a huge plus. Also my nose does not get deformed at the end of the day.
BTW i am on a monopod the whole time. Such a under used piece of gear that folks totally ignore. Buy one and use it folks.
Now I'm not here to solve this debate if a DSLR is better at tracking but i am here to tell you Sony has done a very nice job of this and i expect even more improvement as newer models come to market. I will tell you this having owned the whole 7 series cameras, i would not buy back any of them given what the A7rII has today except as maybe a backup. So if you ask me the question which to buy it will be the A7rII without question. Break the piggy bank and upgrade.