Its official. Oly AF sucks!

Started Sep 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
Louis_Dobson
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Re: Its official. Oly AF sucks!
In reply to Dan, Sep 13, 2013

The D3 and the E3 came out at the same time, so it's not really a case of a lot more being learned over the years.  On static subjects I found the D3 and E3 to both be completely faultless, except in very low light indeed.  There is nothing to test here, they both work.
On moving subjects I found both much better than anything I have had before (or since), but the D3 was pretty persistently off on objects coming towards me, however hard I tried to use the clever bells and whistles.  And don't even consider using the outer focus points, only the central cluster are cross type.  I replaced the camera, but the new one was the same.  The E3 mostly got it right.  To learn how to use either camera for C-AF takes many hours, but longer for the D3 which has more functions (none of which are much use really because of the focus point clustering).
So there is clearly sample variation - mine behaved far better than Julie's.
And there are unreasonable expectations - tracking moving objects is hard, and nothing gets it right all the time.  
But finally, I'm still amazed Dan could use the D3 in C-AF mode for static objects.  I accidentally left my D3 in C-AF mode for an hour, and it missed every (static) shot.  Entirely my own fault, it isn't supposed to be used like that, but it is interesting that Dan's will put up with it and mine would not.
By the way I note that confused people think I am saying I didn't like the D3.  I liked the D3 very much - by the standards of six years ago the D3 was awesome, the DR (which was what I wanted it for) was excellent, the body was a pleasure to shoot with, the AF was excellent (though not as good, on mine, as some people seemed to think it should have been), the shooting rate was blinding, the reliability was good (although the water proofing didn't work), it was an excellent camera all round.
The whole system was way too big and heavy for my purposes though, and I'm delighted that, 5 years later, I can have the same performance in a tiny package with the OM-D.  Except the C-AF. I'll be interested to see if the E-M1 brings me back C-AF, I miss it, and there are things I can't/won't go shoot without it. 
Some random movement shots grabbed from the gallery - only the last is E3 I'm afraid, by the time I'd finished testing and learning the camera Eva had stamped her mark on it and left me with the D3.
Anything is possible with enough skill, time and patience, but all of these would be a menace to do with my E-M5.

Dan wrote:

Hi Julie...yeah I will have to try that in the morning sometime. All my testing was with static objects since I have really no doubt the D3 and any lens would outperform a 4/3rds camera in C-AF...lots have been learned over the years. Was odd to hear of Louis's issues with his two D3's though.

I definitely recall the E3 with the 50-200SWD going both ways...by that I mean going extreme close range and also all the way to the end of the soccer field...well actually past it(!) ie infinity focus. Even with the camera set up not to take a shot unless it thought something was in focus I'd get images that had nothing in focus.

Unfortunately I haven't shot any soccer with this E3 and 50-200SWD...I think it might actually do pretty well in S-AF...though my finger might get tired!

With small "complex" targets it struggles...I may try to shoot some eagles this Winter or "slower" birds this weekend. Who knows the Oly color is definitely still there.

Dan

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