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Old Jul 9, 2011, 7:37 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by fldspringer View Post
...There were plenty of reasons for the focus to mess up, like grass in front of the subject, but it just held onto the subject like glue. Very impressive!!!
Yes... It's a very nice AF system, and it's designed to ignore momentary obstructions (and it's also tunable in that area, but the defaults work quite nicely).

I used a D3 for a while a few years back and wrote a short article with my impressions of it here (and Nikon has probably continued to refine it with the newer D3s);


One of the things I tried to do was find a photo that emphasized how well the AF System works, even with a busy foreground and background, and I settled on a shot I took through a fence of someone riding a motorcycle through a parking lot after these comments about it:

The D3's predictive focus works extremely well, with almost effortless focusing in demanding conditions, performing better than expected. Like the D300, Nikon's new D3 has a Focus Tracking with Lock On feature that allows you to tune the camera so that it ignores abrupt focus changes for user specified periods of Short, Normal or Long. This helps the camera maintain focus on your subject when it is briefly obscured by another object passing through the frame. The D3's Focus Tracking also uses Color information for even better subject tracking. It's an extremely fast and reliable system, giving a high percentage of in focus images in the toughest of conditions.

But, even if you're not trying to shoot moving vehicles at night and use a single AF Point, the D3's AF system has an uncanny ability to find your intended target quickly and lock focus, even with a "busy" foreground and background that would could prove difficult for lesser systems.

I thought it was a really superb AF system, and the D3s may be even better.

I've spent some time with a D300, too; and even though the D300 and D3 AF systems look the same "on paper" (AF points, features, etc.), IMO, there's really no contest. Frankly, I thought the D300's AF System felt a bit "sluggish" compared to my Sony A700, despite how much better the D300 looks if you're comparing specification, especially considering the number of rave" reviews you can find about it.

But, I did not get that impression using the D3. It's AF system is really nice, and and the D3 series cameras are the *only* Nikon models that I "might" consider swapping my Sony A700 for.

But, I'm not so sure I'd want to lug one around all the time.
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Old Jul 9, 2011, 9:15 AM   #12
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Hi again Jim.

The reason I bought into the D3s was I had a chance to use its big brother (D3x) at a dam in Iowa shooting eagles for just a few minutes. My Oly E-3 was struggleing in a big way with the woods on the other bank, thile the D3x simply locked on and held it.

I'm going to open a new thread and show one of the sequences of my dog running on a path as an example of how well the D3s can do.


Last edited by fldspringer; Jul 10, 2011 at 10:47 PM.
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