D300 - Top panel AF indicator

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by tom_luongo|1, Dec 19, 2007.

  1. In single servo mode (AF-S), the D300's AF indicator in the top panel only shows
    the center point selected. Using the AF selector only moves the AF indicator
    inside the viewfinder. This is a change from the D200.

    Does anyone see a reason for doing things this way? It has LCD elements for all
    51 ponts. I frequently looked at the D200's top panel when selecting the AF
    point before looking in the view finder. As a left-eyed person, this was
    slightly more convenient.
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I don't have my D300 with me at the moment, but I don't recall that being the case. Changing the AF point selection is reflected on the top LCD.

    Incidentally, on the D300, you can duplicate the info on the top LCD onto the back LCD by pressing the "info" button on the back. That is the same button as the key lock (protect image) button. As far as I recall, the AF point selection is indicated there also.
  3. Shun, Tom is right, you have to look at either the viewfinder indication, or the rear LCD info display. I am sure this will be corrected in a firmware update. This is a pretty annoying bug. I do love the rear LCD info display however.
  4. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I am sure that I have seen the AF point moves to other locations on the top LCD and the back LCD, but I might have been in the AF-C mode. I suppose Tom and Dave cannot be both wrong. I'll verify it when I am home tonight.
  5. ... bringing my D300 out. From what I can tell this is true. The top panel shows the dynamic
    AF area setting (a3 in menu) of 9, 21, 51 points with or without 3D tracking or single point or
    AUTO according to what you set for your AF-area mode selection on the back. I think the
    engineer's decision to emphasis the dynamic AF area as opposed to which AF point is
    selected was a wise one. The area is something you set and you're done. The active point is
    something you need to look in the finder for. I like it.
  6. Just to add: the reason I like it is that if you show the active AF point, then it's difficult to
    show the dynamic AF area on the top LCD. Since this is buried in a menu option, I like it's
    viewable up top. Which AF point is selected is viewable in the viewfinder, so we have
    access to as much information as possible with this approach. I don't think it's a bug and
    I don't want them to fix it.

    I guess if you have the AF-area mode selection set to single point, then they could show
    which AF point is active on the top LCD. But I don't need that feature. I don't see how it
    could hurt. I just know it wouldn't make sense to have the DYNAMIC AF area be moving
    around on the top panel.
  7. Paul, that's the way the D200 works. In single point mode, the D200 shows the selected AF point. In dynamic area AF point, the D200 shows 11 crosses.

    Shun, thank you for the info about the info key and the rear panel LCD. That's a very near feature.

    The rear panel seems to mimic everything on the top panel and vice versa _except_ for the single point AF indicator. It certainly seems like a bug (or a design flaw) although it's nothing more than a minor annoyance. Everything else I've learned about the camera seems like nice enhancements.
  8. Now I think it's a deliberate design feature, to be consistent with the way the dynamic AF indicator works.

    With dynamic AF selected, the multi-selector moves the grouping of 9 or 21 dynamic AF area points (as chosen by menu a3). The the rear LCD and the info key displays the position of the dynamic AF area points.

    With single AF selected, the single AF point works in the same way.

    As Paul suggests in his comment, showing the position of the 9 or 21 dynamic AF area points might not be clear on the top LCD and perhaps not useful. Maybe Nikon felt it would be more important to clearly express whether 9, 21, or 51 dynamic area AF points are selected.

    Note that whether using continuous-servo or single-servo AF, the user selects the initial AF point for all four dynamic modes.
  9. Shun,

    You're then lucky, I just checked mine, and there is no indication of the position of the focus point on the top LCD, that indicator is only telling me what focus point MODE I have selected on the back, which doesn't really make sense since I can see the switch position!! I have serial number 3019584, which is perhaps an earlier serial number than you have? Perhaps in later serial numbers they corrected this error. In any case, I will read my manual tonight to see if in fact the top LCD is supposed to indicate the position.
  10. You can see by the switch position whether you have selected single point or dynamic AF, but the switch position won't show whether you have set 9, 21, 51, or 51-3D dynamic mode.

    Note that the custom function button can be set to change the dynamic mode.
  11. Ahhh... I hadn't noticed that on the rear LCD the whole set of 9, 21, etc. dynamic AF points
    moves around. Even if a single point mode is selected, the rear LCD shows the exact
    position of the focus point. My guess is that the size of the rear LCD makes this more doable
    visually. Whereas on the top panel, it's so small. It still doesn't bother my shooting in any
    way. The fact that the AF for sports is 10X better than the D200 is what I care about.
  12. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    First of all, it is risky to provide such fine details without the camera with me. Some of the information I provided earlier in this thread was inaccurate. I apologize for those errors. The attached image shows the top LCD and the back LCD on a D300. Those are merely two separate images put together; they don't show the size difference between the two LCDs to scale. As I mentioned earlier, you press on the "Info" button (highlighted by the orange circle in my image, same as the "key lock" button) on the back, and the back LCD will display essentially the same information as the top LCD. In reality, the back LCD shows more information, probably because it is bigger. It turns out that the 51-AF-point display on the lower left of the top LCD merely indicates whether 1, 9, 21, or all 51 AF points are in use. It does not specify which 1 out of the 51 or which 9 out of the 51 are being used. That is why the AF points on the top LCD don't move around with the AF point positions selected. Each one of those 51 dots can only be switched on and off; hence it is hard to use them to specify position. On the back LCD, however, each one of the 51 dots can be displayed as a little cross to specify its location. The 1 selected AF point can be highlighted as a dark dot, and the other 8 or 20 also used for AF decision (for a total of 9 or 21, respectively) are highlighted in gray. That is why the 51 AF dots on the back LCD do move around to indicate which point and which group are selected. In another thread Tom also asked about which 15 AF points are cross type. They are the 3 vertical columns in the center. I put a red rectangle around them to indicate their position. So Dave, there is nothing wrong with your D300 and there is no bug. It is all by design. Hope this is not as clear as mud.
  13. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Here are the details of those 51 AF points on the back LCD. Each little cross indicates the location of the AF points. The 1 selected is indicated as a little black square. The others also used are little gray squares.
  14. Thanks Shun, that is very excellent information. I see you're way ahead of me on reading the manual!!
  15. Shun's posting is a better explanation than the manual!
  16. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Apparently, those little + (cross) signs indicate the AF points that are selectable. Here I switched to 11-point selection instead of all 51 (Custom Setting a8), making the selectable pattern similar to those on the D2X and D200. Now only those 11 AF points appear as + signs. And I switched to 9-point dynamic AF (Custom a3). The 1 selected AF point is shown as a black square and the surrounding AF points in the group are shown as gray, even though those 8 are not directly selectable in the 11-point mode. I first noticed that you could display whatever is on the top LCD on the back LCD when I first read DPReview's D300 preview. This feature was not available on the D2X and D200. See the bottom left among the first group of 4 images: http://www.dpreview.com/previews/nikond300/page3.asp It took me a little while to figure which button was "info." Now it all makes sense why Nikon displays such info on the back. There is simply way too much info among the 51 AF points such that they need the high resolution on the 900K-pixel/dot back LCD.

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