D800 live view focus slow and noisy

Started Jun 14, 2013 | Discussions thread
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u007 Senior Member • Posts: 1,681
Re: D800 live view focus slow and noisy

Focus in live view uses contrast detection, just like compact point and shoot cameras or mobile phones do. So it will always be a LOT slower than the focus using the viewfinder. Viewfinder-based focus is called "phase detection" and it is very fast, but also less accurate. However, it can be used for tracking subjects, which live view can't.

Basically Nikon have allowed you to choose:

Phase detection (viewfinder) - very fast, can track subjects, but can be inaccurate

Contrast detection (live view) - slower, can't track things, but extremely accurate

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