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Difference between AFC and 'Tracking'

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by btaylor, Sep 11, 2016.

  1. btaylor

    btaylor Mu-43 Regular

    48
    Sep 5, 2016
    Ben
    I have a Panasonic DMC G7 and I'm slightly confused about how I have two different methods of specifying AF.
    One is:
    AFS/AFF, AFC, or MF. (Page 149 of the manual ftp://ftp.panasonic.com/camera/om/dmc-g7_adv_en_om.pdf)
    Another, is:
    Face/Eye, Tracking, 49-Area, Custom/Multi. (page 151)

    Quick question: Basically, when should I use one, the other, and when should I use both?

    Slightly longer question:
    I read this G3/GX1 help - difference between AF tracking and AFC
    which seems to sort of explain it....
    What I gather from that is AFC specifies whether it carries on autofocussing, and Face/Eye, Tracking, etc, specifies what part of the screen it (carries on) autofocussing on. Right so far?
    But how does "tracking" with AFS make sense then - because Tracking is saying 'keep focussing on this object as it moves', whereas AFS is saying 'focus once and then don't readjust again'.
    Basically, if I'm shooting, say, moving vehicles, while panning (or trying to), what should I have it on?

    I tried this today and basically when I had the (latter) AF mode on Tracking, I found it unreliable, it wouldn't lock on. The auto focus area just flashed a red square in the middle of the screen.
    Was I just using it wrong?
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2016
  2. speedy

    speedy Mu-43 Regular

    163
    Nov 27, 2015
    Tracking is just for following your subject around the screen /viewfinder. AFC is for subjects the move closer, or further away from the camera. Where the subject is continuously changing its distance to the camera.

    Personally, I don't use tracking. Thats my job. If it's moving, pick your focus point, set the camera on AFC, and track the subject yourself. Then there's only one thing to blame when the wrong thing is in focus
     
  3. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Tracking moves the AF point around, trying to follow your subject. AFC continually focuses on your chosen point, so you need to move the camera to keep the point on your subject..

    AFC is generally more successful for action shots, as long as you follow well.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  4. btaylor

    btaylor Mu-43 Regular

    48
    Sep 5, 2016
    Ben
    ok, cheers. So tracking is more a lazy-man's tool rather than a helping hand.
    I thought maybe if I failed to follow well, tracking might somehow 'compensate', but I guess if at least my intention is always for the subject to be in the centre, then just AFC seems better.
     
  5. speedy

    speedy Mu-43 Regular

    163
    Nov 27, 2015
    I wouldn't say that. I personally prefer to track the subject myself, & leave all the cameras processing power available to track the focus as your subject moves towards, or away from you. Not saying 100% that this works, or is scientifically proven, but seems to work for me
     
  6. Giiba

    Giiba Something to someone somewhere

    273
    Aug 19, 2016
    Burnaby, BC
    My understanding is that the tracking mode is for tracking a subject in the frame when the camera is stationary, when you start moving your framing to follow a subject AF-C is the better choice,
     
  7. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    What's the difference between AFC and tracking?

    That's easy - one sort of works and the other is a massive fail!
     
    • Funny Funny x 2
  8. Duke Sweden

    Duke Sweden Mu-43 Regular

    66
    Aug 9, 2016
    Duke Sweden
    What do I use when I want the camera to focus on a subject automatically as the subject moves? I've read all the comments above, but I've tried AFC and it doesn't follow the subject unless I press the shutter button half way or touch the subject on the LCD screen. How do I get a stationary camera to follow focus me as I walk towards it, with no one manning the camera?
     
  9. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Walter
    I think there's a menu selection that allows you to set AF (on an Olympus) to be on Full-Time. That means it would focus even if you're not pressing the shutter halfway down. Check your camera manual to see if it has the same function on your camera.
     
  10. Duke Sweden

    Duke Sweden Mu-43 Regular

    66
    Aug 9, 2016
    Duke Sweden
    Sorry, I keep forgetting this isn't a G7 only forum. I meant for the Panasonic G7. I'll check it out. Thanks.
     
  11. Giiba

    Giiba Something to someone somewhere

    273
    Aug 19, 2016
    Burnaby, BC
    How do you plan to trigger the camera while it is unmanned?

    This might be a tall order. The Olympus OIShare app might work, but that would only be for Oly cameras. Does Panasonic have something similar? If you can remotely trigger the camera you should be able to get the AF to work as you want using the suggestion of full-time AF from above. What Pany calls it I do not know, sorry.
     
  12. Duke Sweden

    Duke Sweden Mu-43 Regular

    66
    Aug 9, 2016
    Duke Sweden
    Yes, Panasonic also has a remote control app. Even if it didn't I have no problem pressing "Record" and then getting in front of the camera. I was just playing with it and I see that the camera does focus on whatever is in the focus area, but it doesn't follow focus while shooting video, which is what I want it for. I don't shoot pictures.
     
  13. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Walter
    Well, that makes a big difference. IIRC, most video modes use AF-C (or C-AF) during video shooting. You should check the AF settings for your video modes. As far as triggering the video recording, I assume there is a way you can do it either wirelessly or wired.