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Nikon's flawed dynamic AF modes. D5/D500
Hi ikka,

             Wow there's a lot there to take in there, it looks like you have made a good study of the modes and their effects, certainly more than I have so far achieved!  I will have to refer to it in smaller bite sized chunks.


 So...(BTW I shoot the D500) get to changes made in dynamic mode between pre and D5/D500 cameras; as far as Steve Perry and the forum users  (me included) on Fred Miranda's site; it seems that the three dynamic modes only use their focus "area" for the duration of the focus hold setting in c3 menu, that is from about 1/3-1 second (depending on the setting chosen) after that only the center point chooses focus and whatever is under it will be in focus, it ignores the rest of the are.

   Whereas the D750 for example uses the whole area "all the time" switching points to remain on the subject. For birding this renders the new three dynamic modes pretty much useless, as you have to keep the center point on the bird,and only have one second before it reverts to whatever is under the center point of th group. You have also had a Nikon FW update that gave you 9 point dynamic area on the D5, which the D500 did not get.

  Your experiences add much additional information to the "way" they work which as a birder I haven't been able to notice, it seems that larger subjects are best suited to have much hope to achieve tracking! 

  The general feeling on the forums though is, that these new dynamic modes have been poorly received, often to the point of being tried once or twice, missing focus, and then abandoned mostly for group mode, without the user understanding what went wrong...this has been one of the reasons why the changes went for so long unnoticed.

 Anyway I'm still on an AF learning curve and have configured the D500 in the following way from the menu.

 On the AF/M switch button I chose 3D.(as the primary setting)

 BBF gives me single point and activates AF

 PV button gives me 3D and activates AF

 FN1 button gives me group mode and activates AF

 The AF joystick center button gives me Auto area mode and activates AF.

  So there are four instant AF modes available.......but I haven't used dynamic modes.

  This gives you the opportunity to change focus points instantly at the press of a button "on the fly" without removing your eye from the VF and offers you "a spectator view in real time" not only the view of the subject, but of the effects of the changes of AF, and how well the used mode has coped with the situation. Add to that, that the position of the single focus or group mode continues from one button press to another without starting from scratch, the downside though is when lost you have reset the AF point from either the center button or from the AF joystick.


That is huge! and brilliantly conceived from Nikon.



 Auto area mode: I use that as the alternative to dynamic modes, it works on focusing on the nearest subject in the frame, which, with an erratic BIF,  means it finds the bird and locks on it, so once on it, you can go the group mode and continue to track it....etc.

 3D mode can be used in a similar fashion.


 But it's all horses for courses, and much won't apply itself to what you are shooting, there is so much to take in from your post I will have to read it several times to get the flow.


  To sum up, many are annoyed with the new changes, many never used dynamic AF, most use group for following action and others swear by 3D, I'm still on the fence with the latter, sometimes it works nicely others it just can't follow or even won't recognize you initial subject and see something next to what you want.


  I think the majority want to see a FW update to restore dynamic AF modes back to how they were on the D4/D750/D810, but as Nikon are not well known for uturns, I doubt we will see anything over and above stating that the system has been changed in the D5/D500,  others may well like these changes...there not for me...but there's so much there you can get round things by using  another mode! 


Your thoughts?

Dave's clichés

Messages In This Thread
Nikon's flawed dynamic AF modes. D5/D500 - by ilkka_nissila - 04-05-2017, 02:42 PM
Nikon's flawed dynamic AF modes. D5/D500 - by davidmanze - 04-06-2017, 11:24 AM
Nikon's flawed dynamic AF modes. D5/D500 - by ilkka_nissila - 04-07-2017, 03:54 PM

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