The new firmware update, 220.127.116.11, adds "Whole Area" AF. I have a couple of questions about it, based on the descriptions in the update notes:
I'm just not quite understanding the deal here. How is this different to having a small or large AF frame in the centre of the screen?
This is great, but it seems to also work with the AF frame set to small or large. With the frame set to small, AF mode continuous, and face tracking on, I can tap on someone's face and it displays the double-lined frame. So it seems you don't need to be in "Whole area" for this feature. Or am I missing something?
Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining; being able to set tracking while also having the small AF frame is great for me! Just wondering if there's something I'm not seeing here.
Regarding "Whole Area", I did some testing and found that as long as the defined area contains enough contrast, it will acquire focus.
Shown here are just two examples where I was using an AF Frame of "Large". When the frame was over an area with low contrast, it would hunt for focus. Whereas it would acquire focus once I introduced enough contrast.
Same for the the AF Frame of "Small".
With AF Frame of "Whole Area", since my overall scene had enough contrast, it would always acquire focus. However, it wasn't always the same item being in focus, especially if say the size of the area containing foreground elements was around the same size of the area containing background elements.
I'll try to test with object/face tracking later.
I haven't yet done lots of testing with face/object tracking, but here is what I observed today:
Settings: AF Mode "Continuous", AF Frame "Whole Area", Face Det. & Tracking "On", Face AF "Face Priority".
In this mode, I can pan around my office and tap the LCD screen to start tracking objects such as my globe and office artwork that contains faces.
If I then set AF Frame to "Large" with all other settings the same as above, I can no longer tap the screen to start tracking objects/faces. Instead, it just moves the AF Frame to the touched area and acquires focus there.
Setting AF Frame back to "Whole Area", I can once again tap to start tracking.
Ah, I think I have it -- face tracking can be turned on whenever face detection is active, by touching the detected face, regardless of AF frame mode. But for objects -- not faces -- you need Whole Area, or else use a custom button to activate tracking.
Reading the manual (version 18.104.22.168) more carefully, it does actually say that...