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Old Mar 6, 2006, 9:58 AM   #1
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In reading numerous reviews of the DL, a common "issue" cited is the fact that the DL only 3 Autofocus sensors "spaced closely together" as opposed to the DS, for example that has 11, and as opposed toa number of other "comparable entry level DSLRs which have more than 3".

As I have posted before, I am looking to graduate into a DSLR and currently have a Tamron 28-200 lens from my older Pentax MZ-10. This facotr, coupled with the tremendous pricing on the DL Lens kit is pushing me towards the DL.

Here's my question. First, can someone explain in real world practical application, whether a "newbie" DLSR recreational user would realize significant benefit from 11 sensors, versus 3? Perhaps the better way to ask is whether a newbie DSLR recreational user would suffer from only having 3 AutoFocus sensors, rather than 11. Second, could someone explain the real significance? (Is the DL2 supposed to have more than 3?)

TIA (thanx -again- in advance)
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Old Mar 6, 2006, 11:24 AM   #2
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The only reason for having more is so that you can choose somewhere other than the center to be the focus point of your frame.

The DL has 2 choices for focus - center or wide, marked in the viewfinder. Still only uses 1 to focus on, but with wide - it chooses which one of the 3 to use.

Most of my shooting is of "subject center" type, so I only use center focus. If I want my subject to the side of the pic, I focus on them, half press, re-frame, full press. I think this is much faster an intuitive than trying to pick one of the other focus points using buttons or wheels, or other controls.


If you center focus most of the time, you will never miss the other focus points.
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Old Mar 6, 2006, 11:58 AM   #3
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I agree with the previous response. 11 focusing sensors just allow more points to focus from. I own a DL and found the 3 sensor focusing system to work very well.Even if you focus on subjects that are off-center, using the focus lock (i.e. partially depress the shutter to lock focus) allows you to re-compose theimage priuor to capturing it. I was having some issues on focusing accuracy, but that was due to the camera's focusing mechanism being out of calibration, which has since been fixed.
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Old Mar 6, 2006, 12:07 PM   #4
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Every DSLR I have used I have ended up turning off all of the focus points except the centre. Too hard to keep track of multiple focus points, result is too many pictures focused on the wrong thing.

I would not buy a DS just for the 11 focus points, although there are some other features that are more useful. I have a DL that I am quite happy with, first thing I did was select centre focus point only.

Ira
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Old Mar 6, 2006, 2:57 PM   #5
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I have the DS, thought the extra focusing points would be helpful. However, I'm usually using old K-mount manual lenses (from my ME days), so I'm using manual focus anyway. I used the center focus/spot meteringmost of the time with my old Sony F717, so I can't say having the extra focusing points has been particularly useful even when I use the kit lens. I wouldn't hesitate to get the DL if that's the only reason you are thinking of the DS over it.
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Old Mar 6, 2006, 3:03 PM   #6
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Thanx for all the replies. With the DL apparently available in the US with the lens kit for about $490 from reputable dealers, I am having difficulty justifying NOT buying it, even when compared to other manuf. (D50, etc.) or waiting for the DL2 which is supposedly coming to Canada.
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Old Mar 6, 2006, 3:27 PM   #7
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aint that the truth. wish i had enough for a backup cam.
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Old Mar 6, 2006, 4:52 PM   #8
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To me the advantage of a multitude of focus points is that I can select the one which best corresponds to the precise point of focus that I want - this is especially important in close up work where the focus lock would be lost if say for example it was fixed at the centre BUT you had to focus lock at the edge of the frame.

OK. It's an SRL so there's always manual focus & if memory serves me well on my Pentax K2 (no auto focus) focus was achieved by moving the camera in until the close up subject was visually seen to be in ficus & the shutter depressed.
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Old Mar 6, 2006, 6:48 PM   #9
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Just a sample, fun hockey (mockey) game here a few nights ago:
Pentax *istDL
ISO 1600
White Balance custom
Exposure compensation +1 stop
Centre Weighted Average metering
Continuous Focus mode (centre sensor only)
Takumar-F 70-200 f4-5.6 (wide open f5.6 at 170mm)
Shutter speed 1/125


This wasn't exactly the NHL so my camera had no trouble keeping sharp focus, however camera shake was an issue in some shots (hand held).
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Old Mar 6, 2006, 6:59 PM   #10
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Outdoor shot,
Pentax *istDL
program mode
Auto white balance
ISO 200
Kit lens 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 shot at 55mm and f8
Shutter speed 1/125
Centre Weighted Average metering
0 exposure compensation
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