samueli wrote in post #18717471
I take pride in the fact that I've learned how to make the right choices to get the eyes in focus without auto eye focus, or can get reasonable hyperfocal off the top of my head for some preferred wide focal lengths. I've put a lot of time into learning photography, which includes focus; time that is valuable, and time that I cannot get back. So yes, focus should very much be a critical skill. Also, no one should be self proclaiming themselves a master without at least understanding these things. I don't interact much with you in htreads, but based on your high post count, I'd think you'd be better than to make a statement like that.
By the same token, somebody else here even older than your could say that "I put a lot of time in learning how to manually focus all of my shots, and I don't need AF at all. AF isn't a skill, people should learn a valuable and critical skill like MF to keep eyes in focus manually while both the person and I am both moving slightly back and forth."
If you use AF, then eye AF is just an extension of that, nothing more. You use what works for you and what you are comfortable with, others are going to extend their operations to other tools and features to accomplish the same thing.
That being said, as Levina alludes, we will get to the point that camera AI is so good, we will just configure it to focus on specific objects or events we are interested in, no matter how fast they are moving, and we just snap the shutter. At that point, we might as well just profile the camera on exactly what type of things we are shooting and what to focus on, set the camera down, and let it do all the work. The skill will only be in how well you know and can set up your equipment.
The only thing left for us in this type of future reality is to find where to put the camera for the right perspective, and nothing more. I fully envision a time where I can put a camera out aimed at home plate, configure it to take a small burst as it sees the bat being swung, and later I go pick up the camera to see how all the shots came out. Heck, I may even be able to just set it on a motorized head, and configure it to also track a player running between bases, follow the ball as it was hit to the outfield and snap the catch, etc. The hardware is here, the programming just isn't here yet.
More and more will become automated and there will be less and less manual intervention in much of what we do today. It won't be a good thing though, we might as well look to all the sci fi and fantasy movies for the last 20-30 years, they all have it right.