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Manual focus peaking levels.

cheddar-caveman Avatar
cheddar-caveman 20 1.3k England
17 Aug 2020 3:51PM
Exactly what are Peaking Levels and how do they help achieve sharp focus when in manual mode.
My Sony RX10M4 has three peaking levels, low, medium and high. When should one use which? I am trying (and usually failing) to obtain sharp astro (stars) images.

JJGEE Avatar
JJGEE 18 8.1k 18 England
17 Aug 2020 4:49PM
Not an astro photographer but would you not just set the focus to infinity ?

cheddar-caveman Avatar
cheddar-caveman 20 1.3k England
17 Aug 2020 4:57PM
Believe it or not, no!
Tianshi_angie Avatar
17 Aug 2020 5:32PM
I suspect that the only way to get really sharp star photos is by stacking them. As far as I understand peaking levels (and I never use it as I find it is just a step too far for me to cope with!) it is really concerned with exposure rather than sharpness - i.e. under or over exposure will be shown by a flashing on the screen. A book I have on the Sony A7 recommends setting it to medium or low as high is way too sensitive. But personally I wouldn't turn it on for astro photography. Speed and light are your first priorities which is why stacking is the means that many photographers use to take clear photos. Stacking can also give you the advantage of making the surrounding area clear enough to gove a backdrop to your skies.
Tianshi_angie Avatar
17 Aug 2020 5:40PM
Sorry - I thought you were referring to exposure peaking - I know 'stupid'! There are a number of good videos on YouTube which use focus peaking. But my thoughts on stacking hold true.
randomrubble Avatar
randomrubble 19 3.1k 12 United Kingdom
17 Aug 2020 9:25PM
I can’t see any likelihood of peaking being useful for Astro.

It’s a form of contrast detection, a bit like using ‘find edges’ in photoshop. By definition stars have a high level of contrast to the background, so will almost always show peaking effects well before they are in sharp focus.

It’s probably best to use live view or EVF enlarged as far as it can be rather than peaking for very high contrast subject like stars or the sun/moon on waves.
cheddar-caveman Avatar
cheddar-caveman 20 1.3k England
17 Aug 2020 10:30PM
Thanks for your input random rubble but errr what's EVF please?
saltireblue Avatar
saltireblue Plus
13 14.5k 89 Norway
18 Aug 2020 7:29AM

Quote:Thanks for your input random rubble but errr what's EVF please?

Electronic ViewFinder.
As opposed to an Optical Viewfinder., you see the changes to settings as you adjust them - i.e. if you, for example, alter the aperture or shutter speed, you actually see the image in the viewfinder getting darker or lighter - what you see is what you get, in other words.
cheddar-caveman Avatar
cheddar-caveman 20 1.3k England
18 Aug 2020 8:18AM
Oh yes, hate all these acronyms!! Cheers 😁


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