Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Tap to focus and shoot (updated 2)

The new Panasonic GF2 has a feature which on reflection I think is probably real dang useful and which I hope gets picked up by makers of other cameras with touch-screens:
You can set the camera to, when you tap the screen, not only focus on what you tap on, but also shoot at the same time, so you don't have to move your hands around to shoot after focusing.

Of course one must be careful about jagging the camera too much, but I think that's possible. Perhaps it helps if it has the feature the iPhone has: you hold on the subject, and the camera only fires when you lift you finger.

But I'm realising that normally it really takes some time to find the point you want to focus on, then move the focus point to it, then re-compose the camera, and then shoot. I haven't used the GF1 yet, but it seems to me this new way could be quite fast and simple. (Also the camera is rumored to be quite fast.)

Update: I have now had my hands on the GH2 which has the same function, and while you can't do the lift-finger thing, what you can do it just touch the screen and not let go and it will fire. I think this makes it easier to not jag the camera.
At the very least, I think this is a very new way of photographing, and quite interesting. Like having the web on an iPad in your hands, perhaps it puts you more in touch with the subject or summin'.

And by the way, the earlier Panasonic cameras of this type were already at the very top regarding focusing speed. The new generation is even quicker. In fact, for contrast-detection autofocus, the speed is simply startling. Until now, only DSLRs (which use another kind of focusing) could focus in about 1/10th second as these do. No other camera with contrast-AF comes close to this, I believe. And I even tested it in indoor light and with a long telezoom, both of which are challenges to autofocus, but it's still virtually instant. Well done Panasonic.


By the way, as seen here, the camera can use a 3D lens. I wonder how the heck that works and how it's recorded. (Also the parallax is very small.)


Alex said...

I thought Cannon had a DSLR which watched your eye through the viewfinder to figure where you wanted the focus to be. This must have been about 3 years ago as it was when I was looking for my DSLR.

eolake said...

Now you mention it.
Though I think it's longer ago.
I guess there must be problems with the technology since it has not taken off.

Alex said...


eolake said...

Good link, thanks.

Steve Weeks said...

That might be the EOS Elan 7 NE. Bought one thinking it would work magic. In practice the training of the eye control was more than I wanted to deal with. Much like any human training with computer/electronics. One just needs to find the groove to make it sing. Still makes a very good film camera with that function turned off.
Reminds me of a current post on TOP about innovations in camera equipment that work, but fail to find a buying audience.