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As I understand it, focus priority delays the shot till focus is achieved, while release priority potentially takes a mis-focused shot.

Wikipedia says that release priority is usually used in continuous AF mode, and focus priority in single-shot AF mode.

Does the "usually" apply to the NEX-5R? When exactly (other than with manual focus) does this camera use release priority? The manual doesn't say, and Google doesn't find anything.

And how can I turn it off, in situations where I'd like to wait a fraction of a second rather than end up with a mis-focused shot?

If you don't know the answer regarding this specific model, you can give me a generic answer that applies to the NEX family, or a test that helps me figure this out by myself.

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    Does this camera allow you to choose release mode? A quick search the manual turns up nothing. – Dan Wolfgang Sep 28 '14 at 10:41
  • Not to my knowledge. I'm trying to figure out if it silently chooses release priority in continuous AF mode. Or if it never uses release priority. – Vaddadi Kartick Sep 29 '14 at 7:35
  • Aren't you in the best position to figure that out? – Dan Wolfgang Sep 29 '14 at 10:02
  • How? That's the point of this question. – Vaddadi Kartick Sep 30 '14 at 5:29
  • Based on the very first sentence in your question, you know how this is supposed to work. Test it by verifying that focus must be achieved to release the shutter. – Dan Wolfgang Sep 30 '14 at 12:42
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As I understand it, focus priority delays the shot till focus is achieved, while release priority potentially takes a mis-focused shot.

More or less. Many cameras with focus priority will refuse to fire the shutter if focus cannot be confirmed. Some cameras with release priority just fire the shutter without attempting to focus at all, unless in some continuous or servo-focus mode. Other cameras will attempt focus, but fire the shutter with a quick focus attempt. Exact behavior depends on how the manufacturer defines terms.

... you can give me a generic answer ... that helps me figure this out by myself.

I would test by attempting to fire the shutter at an object that is impossible to focus, such as one that is closer than the minimum focusing distance of the lens. If the shutter does not fire, the camera is using focus priority. If the shutter does fire, it's likely using some variation of release priority.

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