ILCE-9

Focus Setting Guide

Tracking subject (Tracking function)

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.
* Update the camera's system software to the newest version.

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.

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

If you set [Face/Eye Priority in AF] to focus on faces/eyes beforehand, a focusing frame will automatically appear around any detected face or eye while tracking a 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.]

If you set [Face/Eye Priority in AF] to focus on faces/eyes beforehand, a focusing frame will automatically appear around any detected face or eye while tracking a subject.

Switching the tracking function on and off while using the flexible spot (Reg Cust Shoot Set)

When you want to switch quickly between subjects during autofocus, it is recommended that you set the focus area to the flexible spot. However, if you are shooting freely composed shots of a subject with rapid movement, it is useful to combine the flexible spot with tracking. Assigning the tracking function to an easily accessible button such as the AF-ON button allows for smoother switching between functions.
Pressing the shutter button halfway down enables you to focus with the flexible spot. Pressing the AF-ON button starts tracking of the subject.

Operating procedure

MENU → (Camera Settings 2) → [Custom Key] → [AF-ON Button] → [Recall Custom hold 1] → Set [Focus Mode] to [AF-C], [Focus Area] to [Tracking: Flexible Spot M], and [AF On] to [On].

  • [Focus Mode]: [AF-C]
  • [Focus Area]: [Flexible Spot: M]
Examples of scenes where switching between [Flexible Spot] and [Recall Custom hold] is effective

If there are multiple subjects, shoot using the flexible spot. If there is only one subject or if the subject is moving rapidly, press the AF-ON button to start tracking.

Right after the start of a marathon, when runners are constantly switching places, shoot each runner with the flexible spot function.

At the last stage of the race, use the tracking function with the AF-ON button to shoot a single runner with the desired composition, taking into account the balance between the subject and the background.


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