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Sony RX1R II Autofocus: Ruined the Shoot

Get Sony RX1R II at B&H Photo. Strongly recommended: optional Sony LHP-1 lens hood to protect the front of the lens (and as a secondary consideration, stray light).

So small and light and compact...what a joy to carry—as if no camera at all. The tripod felt like there wasn’t a camera there and I hardly noticed the RX1R II around my neck. Sony has really achieved something with a full frame camera this tiny. And yet that’s a negative too: I’d prefer something a bit larger and the buttons are tiny and badly placed; the play button is particularly awkward. The aperture ring is tricky; I find myself grabbing the focusing ring along with it. It’s all a bit too tight in placement for my hands.

I shot some material tonight with the Sony RX1R II, thinking to present some initial evaluations. The autofocus was so inaccurate in low light that a good chunk of the effort was ruined. That and the focus-hunting problems in low light.

How hard can it be for contrast-detect AF to focus on a high-contrast target?!

See the crop (click): focus is so badly off (front-focused) that that secondary color errors (greenish blurs) can be seen in what should have been crisp focus.

Not every image was misfocused, but that’s the point: 80% or 90% (or maybe 60% in tonight’s shoot) is not good enough. Anything short of 99% is problematic. Presumably low light is an issue—and that’s an issue.

Looks like all evaluation images in low light are going to have to be done with manual focus and I wonder about it in general: I need certainty that the focus won’t be off. Egads, gimme a Zeiss Loxia on the Sony A7R II and I can just use manual focus, reliably every time.

Out of focus mushroom
f2 @ 4.0 sec, ISO 100; 2015-12-09 17:05:46
DSC-RX1RM2 + 35mm F2.0

[low-res image for bot]

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