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View Poll Results: How reliable do you find Alpha autofocus?
100% Rock solid, no effort required. 2 28.57%
80% It's OK if I am careful. 4 57.14%
60% Mostly OK but sometimes mistakes. 0 0%
40% Not good enough, I need to check shots to be sure it worked. 1 14.29%
20% Rarely any use at all. 0 0%
0% I use manual focus, I don't trust it. 0 0%
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Old Jan 3, 2010, 1:25 PM   #1
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Default Autofocus effectiveness poll!

How reliable do you find the autofocus on your Alpha?

I'd put my own experience at the 'not good enough' level.
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Old Jan 3, 2010, 2:18 PM   #2
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I see these types on a regular basis from new dSLR owners, not realizing the differences in DOF and more with a dSLR.

Here's one example:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/ca...it-lenses.html

I'd suggest reading through the other thread you just started and post some examples of what you're seeing, so that we can help you figure out what's going wrong.

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/so...ml#post1035006

You could have a body or lens issue (and lens issues with third party lenses are not uncommon, especially with an ultra wide lens like a 10-20mm), sometimes requiring a trip back to the manufacturer for "rechipping" so that they'll work properly with a newer camera. That's why I suggested checking it with a focus chart (see the link in the other thread you started).

Or (more likely), it's something that you don't realize about how the camera works as compared to your Fuji point and shoot model, as a model like that with a very tiny sensor is going to have a lot more DOF for a given aperture and subject framing, so that focus point is not as critical.
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Old Jan 4, 2010, 8:28 PM   #3
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I would rate my a350 a 90%. But I come from the manual focus, manual camera era so I'm usually very careful about checking which area the camera is using to focus. The thing I miss the most, though, is a depth of field preview button. Not too useful in quick shots, but great when you have time to really line up your shot. I find the 350 makes mistakes most often when I trust it too much.
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Old Jan 4, 2010, 10:13 PM   #4
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I don't believe there is any camera out there whose AF system is 100% accurate. There's always a shot here and there where for some odd reason the camera did not focus properly. A lot has to do with how the AF is setup. I personally hate the multi-point setting on any camera because I never know what the camera will choose to focus on. I've had the A300 and A200 and IMO, they both have a pretty decent AF system. Much much better than the Oly E520 I had.
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Old Jan 5, 2010, 7:42 PM   #5
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OK, one last comment. If you're shooting with a tripod make sure its a GOOD tripod. Most of the under $50 crowd I've seen wobble like a pipe cleaner when the column is up. So the best focusing system in the world won't do any good if a light breeze makes the camera sway on the tripod.
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Old Jan 6, 2010, 5:25 PM   #6
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Tullio is right, not a single AF system is perfect. I was previously a Konica Minolta user and sometimes had missed focus and now I use a selection of middle and high end Canon cameras and ever using top end lenses there are still missed shots. Yes, they are less often but they are still there. Learning how the AF works and what is needed for a good AF lock will help. So for example find areas of good contrast will help focus be achieved.
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Old Jan 7, 2010, 5:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REODonnell View Post
OK, one last comment. If you're shooting with a tripod make sure its a GOOD tripod. Most of the under $50 crowd I've seen wobble like a pipe cleaner when the column is up. So the best focusing system in the world won't do any good if a light breeze makes the camera sway on the tripod.
Well, are we talking focus or camera shake issues? The sturdiness of tripods is more related to image blur caused by camera shake rather than missed focus.
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Old Jan 7, 2010, 7:02 PM   #8
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Ditto about the factors that contribute to missed focussing (JimC and Mark1616).
All the more reason to take multiple shots at slightly different positions if you're relying on auto-focus.
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