I recently got a Sony A7R II camera, to replace my Panasonic GH2. I also got the 55mm prime and the 24-70mm zoom lenses. It’s a great camera, and I’m still learning the ins and outs of it. One really nice feature of the camera is EYE AF, the ability to focus automatically on someone’s eyes. It works surprisingly well, and is a great feature especially if you have young children (who aren’t so keen on staying in one spot for very long). You can tell when the camera has locked onto someone’s eyes because it’ll draw little green boxes around the eyes.
Eye AF is great, but the way it’s implemented is a little quirky. With the default configuration of the camera, you must first half press the shutter button to focus the camera (as you would normally), then you have to press and hold the center button of the control wheel to activate the Eye AF (while still half pressing the shutter button). This is awkward, to say the least. I have reconfigured my camera to make things easier. I now use back button focus, tied to the AEL button. Also, I have configured the AF/MF/AEL switch level to toggle between normal AF and Eye AF. So now, to focus the camera, I hold down the AEL button, and then use the shutter to take the photo. Depending on which position the AF/MF/AEL toggle is in, when focusing I’ll either be in normal AF or Eye AF. I don’t have to hold down two buttons at once for focus, and I can quickly switch autofocus modes.
It took me a bit to figure out how to configure the camera to do this, so here are the steps required (2.5 means go to the second tab in the Menu, 5th screen):
- 2.5 AF w/shutter – Off
- 2.6 AEL w/shutter – Auto
- 2.7 Custom Key Settings
- AEL Button – Eye AF
- AF/MF Button – AF On
It’s also important to note that for Eye AF to work, the camera must be in AF-C (continuous autofocus) mode.
Also, here’s the Sony Help Guide for the A7RII.