Its kind of funny that some people think snap focus is some kind of amazing innovation. It is a REALLY nice and convenient feature, but its basically just a shortcut to one of the oldest (and most nearly obsolete) photographic techniques there is. People USED to use zone focus because more precise manual focus was very slow, so it was a good way to capture different levels of action without having to really nail focus on it. With auto-focus in modern cameras there is less and less actual need for it. But for street photography, in particular, its still really nice because you can just concentrate on getting the moment right without worrying about getting the moment AND the focus right. I use it almost always for street shooting. And as shown in the shots on the first page of this thread, it can work for BIF shots and other action as well, depending on the lens used and some other variables.I was getting a little confused because I thought snap focus on the GRD is equivalent to zone focus. Thanks, Ray, for confirming that!
Shoot, I made an arbitrary division that I did not say. I make the difference between [Manual P&S] and [Larger sensors]. That's why I meant when I said "particular way of getting the shot". Manual P&S have a ""particular way of getting the shot" because of their great depth of field (small sensor), you simply preset at something like 1m and the rest of the image will be reasonably in focus. That does not happen with an APSC like the fujis, where you have to do the hyperfocal or trap focus.....So in all that you said I was more focused on the LX5 vs GRD...and classified "another issue" if you want to zone focus with something with a bigger sensor. My bad classification of cameras, sorry.ANOTHER issue? Snap focus is a shortcut to zone focus - that's EXACTLY what it is. My point is that it's a fine shortcut to zone focus, but far from the only really good one. The LX5 has exactly the same DOF as the GRD when it's set to 28mm, more when you zoom out to 24mm. The X10 has almost as much. And m43 has plenty in any sort of decent light. Snap focus IS zone focus and it's a great way to go about it, but it's not the only great way to go about it. I think that's on point, whether you agree or disagree with my conclusion.
OK, fair enough, but to be clear, the GRD and LX5 have the same effective sensor (the LX5 is very slightly larger only because its multi-aspect, but in use, its the same). The Fuji X10 is only very slightly larger and the same basic situation applies. M43 is larger, but at a focal distance of 5 feet at f8, the whole world is in focus - on the smaller sensor maybe you get the same thing at f4, but either one works fine in even half decent light. And really, this is a hyperfocal approach more than zone focus - zone focus works well with larger apertures because you don't really need EVERYTHING in focus, just maybe the "zones" between 3-7 feet or 5-20 feet, which is pretty doable even with larger sensor cameras in somewhat low light. In decent light, APS sensors are equally capable and in lower light, their high ISO performance is getting so good that even THEY work well for zone focus. And as Brian shows in the post after yours, its not like people haven't been zone focussing for years with full frame cameras too - I used to do it with a film SLR shooting football games for the school paper in high school.Shoot, I made an arbitrary division that I did not say. I make the difference between [Manual P&S] and [Larger sensors]. That's why I meant when I said "particular way of getting the shot". Manual P&S have a ""particular way of getting the shot" because of their great depth of field (small sensor), you simply preset at something like 1m and the rest of the image will be reasonably in focus. That does not happen with an APSC like the fujis, where you have to do the hyperfocal or trap focus.....So in all that you said I was more focused on the LX5 vs GRD...and classified "another issue" if you want to zone focus with something with a bigger sensor. My bad classification of cameras, sorry.
Now, put aside everything bigger than the GRD sensor, I believe that nothing comes close to the GRD, here's the reason: In any situation you can half press for AF, but you can also full press for snap mode. You can also change the distance without going into the menus. So you have the possibility of choosing between AF and Zone focusing from either full press of half press of the shutter release. Nothing comes close to it because in order to have something similar, you have to put your camera on manual, preset the focus and then shoot, if you want to revert back, you have to put the camera back into AF...
I agree, as I've said, that Ricoh's implementation is a fine one. Its my second favorite of all of the available options I've tried. I'm just saying its not more than a little bit easier than some of the others. Switching a Fuji X10 or X100 or X-Pro or Panasonic LX 3, 5, or 7 between auto and manual focus takes about a second and then dialing in the right focal distance takes another couple of seconds, except that you can set them up to recall your last manual focus setting, so its really only very slightly less convenient than pushing a fn button to switch from snap to auto focus. I've very happily shot with all of these cameras all day and had no trouble switching back and forth pretty frequently.Now on snap focus not being an amazing innovation...
Christopher Columbus, having been told that discovering the Americas was no great accomplishment, challenged his critics to make an egg stand on its tip. After his challengers gave up, Columbus did it himself by tapping the egg on the table so as to flatten its tip.
Snap is so stupidly simple (a shortcut to zone focus) that you are wondering why other manufacturers never imputed that. And that's exactly the point, only after Ricoh implemented it does it sound obvious, but it had to be implemented first.
Now I am not after building a religion after Ricohs, you can make great shots with whatever camera you have, but you have to give credit were credit is due, Ricoh made a way to skin the cat more efficiently(full press snap/half press AF), more conveniently(simplicity of snap). And only Ricoh has that implemented, but if you can do without, well the GRD wont be such a big deal anymore.
You too. I'm curious about whether/how Ricoh fixed the issue of how you change snap focus distance in the GRD4 - I know you had to menu dive initially but I THINK they updated firmware to improve it, but its still different from the GRD3. I'm not sure I understand how you do it though. I'd be interested for whenever they come out with a GRD5 or 6 or whatever's next. I didn't see enough upside to the 4 to upgrade from the 3 (and the snap focus implementation at that time was a real downside), but if they improve the sensor in the next version, I might have to take a serious look at that one. Or just find a really good deal on another used GXR-28 - I really did like that setup a lot...I agree with all that you say but my experience has been the opposite, like getting shots sharp in a moving car....I tried to do the same with the gxr but it mainly gave me muddy grain. Love my grd, ive been mourning it ever since I sold it -just got a iv- anyway, have a good one :}