I find it hard to use a DSLR!!! Can someone tell me how to...

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by jyc860923, Apr 25, 2013.

  1. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    first of all I've been an SLR user since primary school age and never thought I'd have a problem with nowadays DLSR, until last weekend I tried with an entry level Nikon D3100, the results all turned out terrible.

    I'm not starting an APS-C vs :43: or DSLR vs EVIL, I'm just saying if there's anybody who can tell me how to focus with the shabby PDAF system. The PDAF seems to be slow and highly inaccurate, didn't know if it was my fault. The liveview with CDAF however seems to be correct, and not actually slower. Is that what everybody's talking about when regarding "CDAF not matching PDAF" really?

    And I'm so spoiled to have found that I can't focus without a touchscreen. How do you guys when using a DSLR (I mean a better model) focus on what you want (pets, moving sub) without a touchscreen, do the cameras know what to focus on?
  2. Liamness

    Liamness Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 20, 2011
    Most DSLRs by default these days will try to decide for themselves what the most interesting thing in the frame is, and the autofocus will be based off that. I find it's better to manually select a focus point (usually in the centre of the image, as the AF sensors are more densely packed here) and half-press to focus, then recompose your shot.
  3. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    :eek: that's not good, but thanks. I used to do that when I was using P&S, and that will affect metering as well.
  4. darosk

    darosk Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 17, 2013
    Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
    There are some differences, but in general contrast based has historically been more accurate albeit much slower than PD. Of course, with advances in technology, and as has been proven with the latest m43 bodies, this is nowadays not the case.
  5. teddoman

    teddoman Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 22, 2013
    Your settings has a lot to do with it. Check a DX forum somewhere for how to set up the camera or get one of Thom Hogan's books.

    I only use Liveview in very rare circumstances. Liveview uses CDAF. Stick to the OVF.
  6. bluzcity

    bluzcity Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 17, 2012
    Memphis, TN
    I don't know if you can program to separate the focus and meter buttons on the D3100. I separate them on my Canon 5D II so I can meter and focus off different buttons. I've done it so long I can hardly use a one button system. If you can't you may consider changing your meter mode to center weighted or spot metering to achieve a more accurate metering. But be advised that takes some getting used to.
  7. jziegler

    jziegler Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 15, 2012
    Salem County, New Jersey
    I never used a D3100, but i had the D60 that came before it. Check your af mode, i think default is probably af-a, whet the camera chooses the point and single or continuous. You will see a big difference changing to af-s.

    Sent from my LG-LS840 using Tapatalk 2
  8. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    1. are you selecting the focus point yourself?
    2. The lens used will have a massive impact on how slow/fast your autofocus is
    3. On a body without microadjust, your PDAF may well be less accurate than the CDAF
    4. It's not like AF and tracking AF on cheap DSLRs is all that great anyway, but takes practice and reading the manual to figure out what the best setup/mode is. There's a learning curve to tracking AF.
  9. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    Hi Mattia

    1 didn't know how to select the af point using the OVF, but was using af+mf, there are few af points on the D3100.
    2 it was the 18-55 kit, it doesn't seem like to be able to focus quite quick anyway
    3 don't know actually, wish there was a split screen
    4 there are several AF modes to select from, however there wasn't much difference due to my very limited time and experience. I wanted to know how do I focus on the area that's not equipped with af points? e.g. af point is on the nose but I want to focus on the eyes, guess I have to focus on the eyes and then reframe?

    and thanks to all the replies too, the D3100 sure is a not so good model and there's so much to get used to, so glad I chose :43: to stick to:tongue:
  10. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    with all due respect but that sounds like too slow to work for moving subject?
  11. mnhoj

    mnhoj There and back again

    Dec 3, 2011
    Los Angeles
    John M
    The weakest point in the link is the 18-55.

    Not being accustomed to the D3100 is certainly a factor.

    Learn the tool and acquire a lens made for fast focus and you will have the potential for more than m43 can at this time offer.
  12. rklepper

    rklepper Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 19, 2012
    Iowa, USA
    It is like everything. There are positives and negatives. You just need to learn how to use the system and then learn how to work within its limitations. DSLR or m4/3, doesn't matter. You need to work within its limitations.
  13. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    aside from IQ I thought a kit lens should at least work well with the camera like :43:'s, well I was wrong about that
  14. Just Jim

    Just Jim Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 20, 2011
    if it's a kit lens are you, or have you tried focusing manually overiding the AF motor? If you have you may have busted the motor, or caused damage to it. Those cheaper AF units, are only about as speedy a m4/3 anyway in less than ideal light, and maybe even worse in low light. You want the real speed you need a USM,HSM, or whatever Nikon calls thiers. Those things are push button, in focus before you can really react.
  15. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    Hi Jim
    that was helpful

    I was using the af then overiding with mf when the af stopped, is that a problem? so the kit lens of CaNikon aren't really designed to work the camera full out.
  16. jziegler

    jziegler Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 15, 2012
    Salem County, New Jersey
    Some Nikon kit lenses can, done can't. The 18-105 can, i don't think any version of the 18-55 can. I dint know about the others. You can tell by the label on the af switch. If it says af on one side and mf on the other, you can't override without changing the switch. Of it says af/mf and mf you can.

    Sent from my LG-LS840 using Tapatalk 2
  17. lorenzo1910

    lorenzo1910 Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 10, 2013
    Massa Carrara,Tuscany
    Maybe you expect too much from an entry level DSRL/Lens....
  18. the_traveler

    the_traveler Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 12, 2011
    Columbia, MD
    Lew Lorton
    Reading the manual would answer many questions.