While manufacturers go to war for our attention with cleaner high-ISO files, millions more pixels than any of us will ever need, and stabilization that counters our coffee addictions, some of the most useful features go completely unnoticed. In this video, Jordan Drake and Chris Niccolls take a look at a feature that made the Sony a99 but could really benefit every camera system.
As the processors in our cameras get more and more powerful, they get given all sorts of additional autofocus tasks, like detecting the eyes of a subject or in the case of Olympus' new cameras, finding trains and airplanes. Tracking moving subjects has become the norm, even in video. However, one feature that was in the a99 series of cameras that took very little processing power and no complex AI-based algorithms was a simple focus limiting system. The user could set minimum and maximum focus distances for the lens and have the autofocus system work only in that area.
As Niccolls and Drake discuss in the video, this could be really useful for sports shooters, YouTube creators, and wildlife photographers. But the instant thought I had while watching was how much it would be possible to speed up autofocus on slower systems like the Fujifilm GFX 50 cameras or Hasselblad X1D series. In your photography, what benefits could such a function bring? How would you like to see it implemented in your camera?