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D7000 AF-ON

Jeff Becker , Jul 21, 2011; 10:15 a.m.

I recently programmed my AE-L/AF-L button on my D7000 to perform the 'AF-ON' function, since I sorely miss that button after using my D300.
Anyway, I have noticed that I can attain focus faster in my viewfinder (noted by the dot that appears to signal focus is attained) by using this ad hoc 'AF-ON' button, than I can if I simply press the shutter button down halfway. This both surprised me and alarmed me. I was shooting live music under very dark conditions, and this was my first time using the D7000 but I was curious if any other D7000 owners have experienced this, or could test it also.
I love the quality of the D7000. I just am not sure why they chose to exclude the very helpful AF-ON button that was on the D300.


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Matt Laur , Jul 21, 2011; 10:19 a.m.

Are you using a VR lens?

Jeff Becker , Jul 21, 2011; 10:23 a.m.

No. For the show, I was using the Nikon 35mm 1.8 AF-S.

Shun Cheung , Jul 21, 2011; 11:12 a.m.

Nikon had to eliminate the dedicated AF-ON button because the D7000 is a smaller camera; there is just not enough space for both AF-L/AE-L button and AF-ON button. Otherwise, it would be very crowded and it is easy to press the wrong button.

If you must have AF-ON, you can always adjust your Custom Setting f5 and turn that AF-L/AE-L button into an AF-ON button. The main issue is that you cannot have it for both functions at the same time.

D7000 and D300

Jeff Becker , Jul 21, 2011; 11:38 a.m.

Ergonomically, I like the D300 better than the D7000 by a long shot....but this is from a traditionalist - and I don't care for the video or Live View options of the new cameras...and I know that a lot of the real estate on the new camera bodies is eaten up by these new features. I did program my AE-L/AF-L button on my D7000 to work as 'AF-ON' but the button is a little too far to the left to be perfectly positioned for a thumb when holding the camera properly. Plus, it seems to work faster for AF than pushing the shutter button down halfway.
I think the D300 is work of art, and with the battery grip it's an absolute steal of a deal right now on the used market. For someone who doesn't need FX or video, the D300 is a tremendous bargain currently. I'm keeping mine!! :)

Shun Cheung , Jul 21, 2011; 11:52 a.m.

Sorry Jeff, I sort of mis-read your opening post.

Pressing the shutter release button half way to initiate AF has been around as long as AF itself. I have been using that feature since the N8008 and F4 like 22 years ago.

Jeff Becker , Jul 21, 2011; 12:11 p.m.

No apology needed Shun. By the way, your postings on here are always top notch and I've learned from many of them! Thank you!
I used the D7000 at ISO 3200 and the results were fabulous.

Mike Halliwell , Jul 21, 2011; 05:23 p.m.

Seems you D7000 guys are saying the AF-ON button, works quicker than the half-press on the shutter button to 'lock-on' focus? That's worth knowing!

Anyone know WHY this should be so??

Tom Boston , Jul 22, 2011; 03:04 a.m.

Mike, it's only the original poster that said AF-ON works quicker. And there is no reason why that would be. I'm sure there is some other explanation.

However, am I delighted to learn I can restore my AF-ON button by function f5. Didn't know that I could do that as I am used to the dedicated AF button.

ningning gao , Jul 22, 2011; 04:58 a.m.

D7000+ Nikon 50mm 1.8D +16-85.

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