D4 AF - Question to Pros

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
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jeminijoseph
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D4 AF - Question to Pros
7 months ago

or to experts

This is about D4's autofocus and auto focus only.. Interested only in action especially wildlife.

I've been using Nikon since 1996 and shooting wildlife for around 10 years. I've used film cameras including F5 with Sigma 500mm f/4.5, then same lens with D70 and D300. Sigma was replaced with Nikon AF-S 500/4 (I) in 2008 mainly to get better AF and then that lens was replaced in 2010 with latest VR. The biggest difference I noticed with AF performance was with D300 and that's the camera gave me my best ever shot (6 shots in 0.7 seconds) (Sorry posted this here before)

http://wildbirdimages.com/eaglefishing.aspx

My next big jump was with D4. I bought it for two reasons. Much better high ISO (I got that) and much better AF (not sure I got this)

D4 AF is much faster than D300's and it snaps almost everything if I can aim at the subject

EXCEPT A SUBJECT WITH BUSY BACKGROUND

Here are some proof.

If you know how random this fish jump out of water, you know how difficult to catch this

It was still before sunset when I shot this. The day was cloudy and foggy.

So I can see a huge jump in AF performance compared to D300. But there are many occasions where the camera goes for background. I missed many shots because of that. Here's a perfect example. Camera was tracking the bird perfectly fine until it moved to a place with busy background

I can't remember D300 had same issue. These days I'm very curious about Canon side too. If 1DX is far better in wildlife auto focus, I don't mind switching. If D4s is the answer, I can upgrade too. Anyway I have to wait another year to upgrade or switch because of financial reasons.

BTW, one solution I'm using these days is to manually focus the camera while the subject is moving (help the camera a bit). Once the camera get the subject in focus, it may follow it. So I made some improvement there. Above pictures were from a trip to a Osprey nesting area couple of weeks ago. I got some nice shots in the trip (nothing worth going to the web site. So I put them in a temp folder

http://wildbirdimages.com/temp.aspx

In short, does D4 struggle to focus a moving subject with busy background? All answers appreciated. If someone think I've wrong settings can you please share your AF settings?

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Canon EOS-1D Nikon D300 Nikon D4 Nikon D4s Nikon D70
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