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Old Oct 23, 2013, 7:10 PM   #1
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Default Not Oly but definitely interesting .. Nikon/Canon C-AF test

I stumbled across a Nikon D4 vs Canon 1DX AF test ..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppXT-jANmYM

What got me watching the vid's was the CAF of both cam's.. having messed about with the E3's CAF I was taken a back with the CAF of both systems and how quiet the 1DX seemed to be at full blast. Looking at the vid' those AF systems are on a totally different level compared to what we have in the E3/E5/E30 ..a bit disappointed he didn;t actually finish up with sample pics and what the keeper rates between the two cams was.

Final point, was that he was comfortable and confident in both systems ability to get the job done and what the name of that camera strap he was using.
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Old Oct 23, 2013, 9:14 PM   #2
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Very interesting video Harj,

I had the chance to use a Nikon D4 for 20 minutes and the AF tracking of it is just amazing, It has a function called 3D tracking and once it catch the subject in focus the camera automatic will follow it and keep it in focus while you shoot it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JU5Kq2DIdPs

Jared posted his commentaries and samples pictures in his website:

http://froknowsphoto.com/nikond4vscanon1dx/

The strap is a black-rapid sports:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ort_Strap.html
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Old Oct 24, 2013, 8:04 AM   #3
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Hey Marcelo

Thanks for hte followup links to Jared's website .. if anyones interested in retouching and PP in Lightroom then Jared's site is one of the best out there. He's also more than happy to provide a good and critical critique to any pic.

As I was watching the vids, my thoughts were on how the E3 even with the BG would behave in CAF and i can tell you right now that its nothing like the Canikon AF systems. The E3's AF in burst even HS would have really struggled and you would be spraying and praying.. with the occassional shutter lock up in the mix. I did think that the angles that he was using were'nt as challenging as they could have been but still it was great to see how much more advanced the AF systems are in the top tier pro models are.

I hadn't see anything like that strap before and its basically how I carry the E3 + 35-100F2 if I'm shooting and having something like that would be really useful. I'll need to see if I can pick one up here in the UK.
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Old Oct 24, 2013, 9:26 AM   #4
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This is very interesting. Thank you Hartj and Marcelo for sharing these links. The sad story is that the two bodies the test are ver pricey and second weight like hell.
I wonder how close the CAF is on the next lower and more normal body's.
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Old Oct 24, 2013, 10:32 AM   #5
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Hey Pascal

Yeah the 1Dx and D4 are beastily in size but I think the E3 with the Bg ends up being pretty close to them and then the cost of them makes your eyes water.

AF wise, I think the next group below like the 5DM3 are fairly close but not quiet up to that kind of performance and part of that is simply due to power. It'll be interesting to see how well m43 with native glass and the new K3 with its new AF system with tracking compare. I don;t think we'll see anything like that for FT lenses until an EM2 shows up. Watching Jared's video on what the A7 could do to m43 sales was interesting as he mentions at one point that the D800 has had some major AF issues which considering Nikon's expertise was a bit surprising.

What I would have liked to have seen was how the two systems AF's with runners or cyclists coming fast and head on and with a pan for testing. .. ok i'm being selfish there but it would be nice to see how well those cam's would handle that kind of action.

Last edited by HarjTT; Oct 24, 2013 at 10:35 AM.
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Old Oct 24, 2013, 11:19 AM   #6
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Comparing AF tracking performance at the upper end is difficult. Focus systems have evolved into something much more complex than the 80s when AF first came into vogue. What we see now is a realization that there are myriad different scenarios in real-world focus tracking. One tracking algorithm just doesn't work well for every situation. So, what you see with Canon and Nikon and now with some others is a lot of customization around behavior of the AF system. It used to be you just selected between a focus mode for static and a focus mode for moving. Now we see there is a LOT of customization around how the 'focus tracking' AF mode behaves. Those complexities are being moved down to the 2nd tier cameras now. So, it's no longer a simple switch to get the most out of AF tracking. It often takes some experimentation and adjustment.

So, because of all the complexities you might find that Camera A does really well at a runner/cyclist moving toward the camera at a steady pace. But Camera B does a better job of tracking a small bird across multiple focus points. And you might find that in certain lighting situations, performance changes. This was some of the biggest thing with the 1dIII fiasco from Canon - the camera would work fantastic in certain situations but do very poorly in others. Not as easy as "good" light and "bad" light. Then there's the matter of how a camera does when other subjects get in the way or when movement is more erratic and less predictable.

This is why the moving car or running dog tests some people try to do aren't very good predictors because the tests are just too simple and don't mirror the complexities photographers encounter in the field.

So, you have complex systems with a lot of different levers instead of the binary lever we all used to have (static/tracking). We have diferent shooting scenarios where subject behavior and interaction with it's environment requires different behavior from the gear AND as anyone who has ever shot BIF or sports at a serious level can attest - it isn't a point and shoot type of photography. It's a lot more difficult than a studio chart test.

Given all that - it's tough to find people that have the gear, are familiar enough with HOW to set up the focus systems well enough for different brands and have the experience to test the gear, and have the time to do the test.

AND, here's something making it even TOUGHER - I don't know about Nikon, but Canon has introduced changes to their newer super-teles that are designed to work with design changes in their new flagship 1dx focus system. So, you get certain benefits when the 2 are paired together. Complex stuff

Which is all a very long-winded explanation of why you don't see reviewers compare focus tracking much - it's a much more complicated test riddled with test methodology flaws. Much easier to compare ergonomics, static image results etc.

I think we're all kind of stuck with reports from the field - usually from people moving from A to B within a system and occasionally across systems. But beware - given all the different scenarios it's tough to make broad conclusions so you really want to get reviews from people that shoot what you specifically shoot.
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Old Oct 24, 2013, 11:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarjTT View Post
I stumbled across a Nikon D4 vs Canon 1DX AF test ..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppXT-jANmYM

What got me watching the vid's was the CAF of both cam's.. having messed about with the E3's CAF I was taken a back with the CAF of both systems and how quiet the 1DX seemed to be at full blast. Looking at the vid' those AF systems are on a totally different level compared to what we have in the E3/E5/E30 ..a bit disappointed he didn;t actually finish up with sample pics and what the keeper rates between the two cams was.

Final point, was that he was comfortable and confident in both systems ability to get the job done and what the name of that camera strap he was using.
I have read there are a few movie studios using the Canon to film certain scenes where compactness is a big plus.
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Old Oct 24, 2013, 1:51 PM   #8
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A friend of mine is a photojournalist whose business card lists his profession as "War Photographer". Which he is, and in some situations his life depends on accurate and immediate autofocus. He simply couldn't do what he does with the AF in the Oly E-X cameras.

I don't do that for a living and I'm fine with the AF on my Olys, but I sure understand why he carries two of the latest top pro Nikon bodies, with a 3rd back in the tent...

Ted
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Old Oct 24, 2013, 2:30 PM   #9
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I thought this was a reasonable take on 6D and D600

http://youtu.be/Q9HlxWqcG5Y
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Old Oct 24, 2013, 2:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkurkowski View Post
A friend of mine is a photojournalist whose business card lists his profession as "War Photographer". Which he is, and in some situations his life depends on accurate and immediate autofocus. He simply couldn't do what he does with the AF in the Oly E-X cameras.

Ted
same with 'sports' I think
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