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Old Dec 23, 2011, 10:36 AM   #1
BDD
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Default AF cross-type points

How beneficial is it to have "cross-type AF points"? Nikon's upcoming D4 is said to have 9. While Canon's 1D-X...41 (61 total AF points)..and not concentrated in the centre.

I don't know about you guys but it looks like to me that Nikon is just making incremental changes to their new models (e.g. D800/D4 successors to the D700/D3s). Nothing outstanding.

So for D700 or D3s owners...are the new models worth considering? I don't think so. Unless you need that 36 MP resolution in your photos for whatever the reason. For the D4..for an extra 2 FPS? 6.2MP more? 1080p video recording (vs the D3s at 720p)?

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Old Dec 23, 2011, 1:22 PM   #2
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i think first it's better to wait until there actually is a D4 to comment about. Rumor sites aren't always very accurate. Considering how successful the d3s is there isn't much need for more than an incremental upgrade. I'm a canon 1dIII owner and quite frankly from the pro shooters using the 1dIV, canon is still behind in AF performance (with the 1dIV, it seems to be only low light). So, again, nikon doesn't need to do much to stay ahead. It will be interesting to see what they do.
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Old Dec 23, 2011, 2:10 PM   #3
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True. I am going by rumoured specs. But assuming they are on the money...I think if either Nikon or Canon is going to introduce a new line (e.g. D4) there should be some landmark innovations. Something I think Canon has done with the 1D-X. And maybe do with the 5D Mark III including some "cinema" features. Features that would make their competitors nervous and the industry take notice.

Can you explain how Canon has been lagging behind in terms of AF performance? Do you mean with their pro bodies? I think the 7D's AF is fairly innovative (not that I've used a 7D). How it performs in use is another story. Seems very well though through. A DSLR I would have bought if I was in the market for my first APS-x DSLR. And why you think the 1D4 is ONLY suited for low light?

Last edited by BDD; Dec 23, 2011 at 2:17 PM.
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Old Dec 23, 2011, 2:59 PM   #4
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Sorry I wasn't clear. The d3s was in a much higher league than the 1dIII. Better AF and better high iso performance. THe 1dIV seems to do about as well as the d3s in good light but in poor light the d3s still performs better. So I didn't mean to imply the 1d4 is only for low light - my intent was to state that the D3s performs better than the 1d4 at AF tracking in low light. How do I base that? On the comments of professional sports photographers. The market segment the 1dIV and D3s is aimed at.

The 7d AF is indeed good - but don't confuse it with the performance of the 1d or the d3s. It's not in the same league. Canon needed to respond to the fact Nikon put a much better focus system in their d300s and d700 than what canon had in it's non pro line. Canon needed to respond to that. Thus the 7d's focus system. See, focus performance is also much more than a spec sheet. The real key is how the system TRACKS. You won't get that from a spec sheet. You don't know that from the number of cross type sensors. Canon failed when they re-designed the 1dIII af system (redesigned from 1dIIN). They re-designed it again in the 1dIV. And, having fallen still short of the d3s they've re-designed it again in the 1dX. It may be great - better even than nikon.
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Old Dec 23, 2011, 8:18 PM   #5
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Hi JohnG,

Thanks for clearing things up. I had no idea the D3s' AF tracking was that much better than current Canon flagship cameras. I assumed they are comparable. We'll see how the 1D-X compares. I'm sure the D4 (and maybe the D3s) will be used in comparisons when reviewed.
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Old Dec 24, 2011, 8:48 AM   #6
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Again what I said was the D3s is better in low light than the 1dIV. In good light, they're fairly equal. Don't expect reviews to give much useful info on focus tracking. That's a tough aspect to judge correctly and standard reviewers aren't really qualified to review focus tracking at the professional level. You have to wait for reports from working pros in the field.
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