Thom finally resurfaces, with comments sure to be controversial, at least here ...

Started 8 months ago | Discussions thread
photoreddi
Senior MemberPosts: 4,651
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Re: We're getting closer ...
In reply to Clayton1985, 8 months ago

Clayton1985 wrote:

...

You would say that if you were familiar with the interminable number of long, heated threads in the Nikon Pro DX forum, full of complaints about the long overdue replacement for the near ancient D300/D300s. Faster AF, more accurate AF, and larger buffers are all desired and enough are convinced that the long awaited D400 isn't even in the works that some are no longer willing to wait and have switched brands. They take issue with Nikon's calling the D7100 the new DX flagship camera when it lacks the performance controls found not only on the D3s and D4 full frame models, but also on the old D300. They'd like a better sensor, sure, but would be perfectly satisfied with the the image quality of the D7000 or D7100 if the D400 had the higher write bandwidth that the new Expeed4 provides. They aren't even demanding faster frame rates than the D300s, just enough buffer memory so it doesn't slow down to the "buffer full" rate too soon, like the D7100 does.

Well I shot Nikon for quite a few years including the D7000 so I'm definitely familiar with the discussions about the D300s vs D7000. I haven't followed it as much lately though. But IMO D300s users really weren't asking for better AF... they were/are asking for D300s body/AF with better sensor tech - and perhaps incremental AF improvements. So it isn't demand for AF improvements over what is already available today which is what Thom seems to be saying.

Actually, there are many complaints about Nikon's DSLR AF. The substantial improvements of mirrorless AF is clear writing on the wall, and Nikon's Live View has only improved from pathetic to poor. It's now accurate in some of the latest bodies but painfully slow. So the choice is relatively fast PDAF, with frame rates limited by the mirror, but with poorer AF accuracy compared to LiveView, even if AF fine tune is optimized, which is only optimal for a particular lens at one focal length, one camera-to-subject distance, and one aperture due to focus shift at different apertures.

The writing on the wall spells out that Nikon's DSLRs will have to eventually be replaced by mirrorless bodies. Then they might have the AF speed and tracking performance improvements enjoyed by the N1 cameras. DSLRs can only AF and track subjects during high speed bursts when the mirror is down, and the faster the burst rate the less time that's available for focusing between shots. So eventually pro sports photographers will be replacing their DSLRs and shooting with mirrorless cameras. Nikon is probably busy developing mirrorless models that will have lens adapters that don't limit the capabilities of the hugely expensive exotic, wide aperture telephoto lenses the way the FT1 lens adapter limits the lenses on the N1 bodies. By that time though, Fuji will undoubtedly have some new tricks up its sleeves as well.

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