Its official. Oly AF sucks!

Started 10 months ago | Discussions thread
esco
Senior MemberPosts: 1,780
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Re: Canon and Nikon are bad for the overall camera market...
In reply to Beach Bum, 10 months ago

Beach Bum wrote:

bobn2 wrote:

Beach Bum wrote:

PerL wrote:

esco wrote:

Pentax, Sony, Olympus id say they're all pretty similar in AF performance. Its easy to think of Olympus as only being sub-par but the af-modules and lens motors on the above brands aren't too hot either!
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Photographer first, gear second

The AF-C on the Canon and Nikon prosumer models has constantly been better than those from competing models from other brands like Pentax, Olympus or Sony. They probably use the experience they have from the pro series. They put in more resources on AF R&D and have better know-how.

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I would be absolutely shocked (stunned really) if Canon or Nikon had better autofocus on their price competitive DSLRs than Sony.

Judging AF performance is very hard, because little of it is about specs. Most systems will focus pretty accurately and quickly if there is some pattern under the focus point and the subject isn't moving. From there on, it's downhill, and the shape and steepness of the slope can be unpredictably different. I have four DSLR's of three different brands with radically different AF systems. For static subjects really you can't tell much difference (well, so far as the different lenses let you predict which part of the performance is the camera). By far the most sophisticated of my cameras is the D800's 51 point, and certainly it works much better than the others with unpredictably moving subjects, low light and so on, but also it's trick, choose the wrong settings for a situation and you can make it work worse than the simple systems. So, I would always hesitate to make sweeping statements about AF systems.

Admittedly, I know nothing about Pentax. But, with regard to Olympus, they've been out of the mirror box market for a while, and it's well-known that the on sensor PDAF isn't up to the speed of the dedicated PDAF sensor yet, so it's absolutely no surprise that Canon or Nikon would beat out a two year old true DSLR by Olympus.

But Sony is still producing true DSLRs, and, like I said, I'd be shocked if you have any evidence of either Canon or Nikon having better autofocus.

Sony certainly doesn't any more make 'true DSLR's'. What they make are EVIL's with DSLR similar AF systems. As for Canon or Nikon having 'better AF', the AF of the tope end SLT's is lesser specified than Nikon or Canon's second tier AF. As to how it actually performs, I couldn't say, but AF performance is one of the most fiercely fought part of the competition between Canon and Nikon. Since Sony isn't a player in the top-end PJ market where that battle is fought out, it would be strange if Nikon and Canon's engineers had done worse. Certainly Canon's new 61pt AF system seems to be a blinder.

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Bob

First, let me clarify what I meant by "true" DSLR. I meant an ILC with a mirror that reflects light to a dedicated PDAF sensor. Clearly, sony produces SLTs not SLRs, but they still use a mirror, which is what I wanted to use to differentiate these from mILCs.

Second, it's also possible that having only 30% of the light reflected to the PDAF sensor has some impact on autofocus speed or accuracy. It certainly can't be good for it, but this is one of the compromises Sony had to make to create SLT technology and differentiate itself from CaNikon. And SLT tech has advantages of its own over SLR.

But, even if Canon and Nikon have the best AF in their very top tier, I can tell you that they seem to devote next to nothing in R&D with regard to their lower end cameras and it shows. I'm not trying to be argumentative but these two companies clearly capitalize on their top tier cameras to continue to sell junk at the lower tiers.

Meanwhile, companies like Sony, Panny, and Oly, are clearly devoting a lot of resources to their entire lineup. That's the thing that irks me about these two companies. They probably sell more lower end stuff than the other guys while clearly putting out an inferior product. The average consumer just has no clue about it and sees the name Canon or Nikon and just buys.

I will say that this applies far more to Nikon than to Canon, as their P&S's are bordering on unusable, and always have been.

So, you'll excuse me if I'm not going to line up to kiss their butts. And, yes, it is absolutely true that they're able to devote resources their very top tier (i.e. multiple thousand dollar) gear because they've cornered the market and they're the only two major players here (i.e. full frame SLRs). But they're not innovators by any stretch, and I would much prefer a company that has some desire to actually innovate would be in their enviable position. It's a virtual impossibility for any other manufacturer to break into this market and expect to succeed because of the massive user base and already available lenses. Even Sony, with all of their resources, couldn't attempt to break in directly. They HAD to go with SLTs to have any chance of differentiating themselves and gain market share.

Hrm. . .
Well you see i'm afraid you're a bit misinformed. Canon and Nikon also put tons of r&d into their other lesser lines because this is where the most profit is and well it's best not to neglect your bread and butter cash flow. . .we've all witnessed what happens when you do that on here. Some of canon's latest tech is actually introduced in the lesser bodies because those bodies are released more often and so they can have it out on the market in between pro model releases and to further refine the tech. They pioneered hd-video in dslr's with the 5dmkII and the 70d has become the benchmark of hybrid af comparisons, these are bodies that aren't top-pro either.
The beauty of being successful in the fiercely competitive and demanding pro market is that the tech does trickle down to the lesser bodies and it certainly shows. For example the d300 and 7d are still extremely good in the af department even years after their release - consider that these were e-3 era cameras that's pretty impressive and they are still tried and true bodies that are chosen over newer bodies from the competition. Meanwhile pentax, sony or olympus - three companies that have no top-pro offerings also have af performance that reflects that and they've yet to make a body that has actually cracked the af from the bodies canikon released 5years ago. . . .
This stuff may not matter to some but let me tell you, AF is incredibly important for many and it shouldn't come as a surprise. The best lenses and sensors aren't worth a d@m if you don't have great focusing.
The fundamentals matter a whole lot more than anything else.

Do you know of another critical mistake Olympus made? When they were in the dslr game very rarely did their top tech reach the lower bodies and if it did it was severely handicapped like the e-620's af. Want weatherproofing in anything other than the E-X? Nope can't have it. Respectable af? Nope. Can I have dual card slots? Nope. Faster fps? Nope. nope nope nope. You MUST purchase oly's top body to get any of that. Sounds pretty greedy to me because everyone else is offering major advancements across the board including weather proofing, high-end af all without buying a pro body. Catostrophic mistake. Many here including myself really just wanted an e-4xx size pro body with pro af. . .people here bought into the system for it's size after all.

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Photographer first, gear second

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