ILCE-9 Focus Setting Guide

Tracking subject (Tracking function)

In the ILCE-9 (system software Ver. 5.00 or later), the existing [Lock-on AF] has been updated to feature [Tracking]. Set the subject by pressing the shutter button halfway down to make the camera automatically track the subject. Also, when the subject is a person, depending on the condition of the subject, the focusing frame moves seamlessly between the face and eyes.

Setting the start position to track by focusing area

Tracking starts by using the focus frame set in [Tracking] option in [Focus Area] as the starting point. You can pinpoint a subject to target, or increase the chances of capturing a subject moving at high speed by aiming at the subject and setting [Tracking].

When there are multiple athletes or when the subject is small, set [Tracking] to [Flexible Spot M] or to [Expand Flexible Spot]. When you start Tracking , the focus will stay on that athlete without being affected by surrounding subjects.

When there are no other subjects in the area and you want to track a subject that is moving excessively, set the [Tracking] settings to [Zone] or [Wide]. This decreases the likelihood of focus shifting to the background and makes it easier to capture the subject.

Changing the setting for [Focus Area] to [Tracking] temporarily

To track the subject temporarily (Tracking On)

You can temporarily change the setting for [Focus Area] to [Tracking] while you press and hold down the custom key to which you have assigned [Tracking On] in advance. The [Focus Area] setting before you activated [Tracking On] will switch to the equivalent [Tracking] setting.

For example:

[Focus Area] before you activate [Tracking On] [Focus Area] while [Tracking On] is active
[Wide] [Tracking: Wide]
[Flexible Spot: S] [Tracking: Flexible Spot S]
[Expand Flexible Spot] [Tracking: Expand Flexible Spot]

Situations when [Tracking On] is effective

Tracking when the subject you want to track is small or not visible due to an obstruction

  1. Track with [Flexible Spot] when the subject is far away and small, or not visible due to an obstruction
  2. When the targeted athlete gets closer, keep the shutter button pressed and held halfway down and press [Tracking On]
  3. You can vary the composition during tracking

To stop tracking and track a subject with [Flexible Spot]

  1. Set [Flexible Spot] position to where it is easy to capture the subject. Track A while pressing [Tracking On] assigned to a custom key.
  2. To change the tracking target subject to B
  3. Release the Tracking On custom key and track B with [Flexible Spot] that was set previously. You can switch between [Tracking] and [Flexible Spot] as desired.

The link between Tracking and [Face/Eye AF Set.]

In advance, set the following in the MENU: [Face/Eye AF Set.] → [Face Priority in AF] → [On]. When the face or eyes of the subject are detected while tracking the subject in tracking mode, the camera will automatically focus on the face or eyes. This is effective for sports photography or for photographing portraits of a model making spinning motions.

  1. Tracking distant subjects
  2. If a face is detected once the subject is closer, the focusing frame will move to the face or eyes。

This allows you to photograph scenes where focusing on the eyes is usually difficult.

Where a gymnastics ribbon, etc. obstructs the eyes

Timing an athlete facing forward during a crouching start

Timing a boxer facing forward