Please no, not again! D5200 AF problems?

Started Jan 14, 2013 | Discussions
HansN46
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Please no, not again! D5200 AF problems?
Jan 14, 2013

"Nikon D5200: Same autofocus issues as some D7000 models experienced?"

That is what Pocket-lint asks in their next article: http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/49243/nikon-d5200-39-point-autofocus-system-problem-not-sharp-d7000-error

Let's hope they are wrong to avoid another discussion about this like we had with the D7000.

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toomanycanons
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Re: Please no, not again! D5200 AF problems?
In reply to HansN46, Jan 14, 2013

HansN46 wrote:

"Nikon D5200: Same autofocus issues as some D7000 models experienced?"

That is what Pocket-lint asks in their next article: http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/49243/nikon-d5200-39-point-autofocus-system-problem-not-sharp-d7000-error

Let's hope they are wrong to avoid another discussion about this like we had with the D7000.

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Happy photographing!

You just dreamed that, man.  There are no autofocus issues with the D5200.  Just a dream.

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HansN46
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Re: Please no, not again! D5200 AF problems?
In reply to toomanycanons, Jan 14, 2013

toomanycanons wrote:

HansN46 wrote:

"Nikon D5200: Same autofocus issues as some D7000 models experienced?"

That is what Pocket-lint asks in their next article: http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/49243/nikon-d5200-39-point-autofocus-system-problem-not-sharp-d7000-error

Let's hope they are wrong to avoid another discussion about this like we had with the D7000.

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Happy photographing!

You just dreamed that, man. There are no autofocus issues with the D5200. Just a dream.

Well, I read it and posted it. Let's hope Pocket-lint dreamed it.

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Happy photographing!

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Mako2011
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Many more
In reply to HansN46, Jan 14, 2013

HansN46 wrote:

toomanycanons wrote:

HansN46 wrote:

"Nikon D5200: Same autofocus issues as some D7000 models experienced?"

That is what Pocket-lint asks in their next article: http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/49243/nikon-d5200-39-point-autofocus-system-problem-not-sharp-d7000-error

Let's hope they are wrong to avoid another discussion about this like we had with the D7000.

-- hide signature --

Happy photographing!

You just dreamed that, man. There are no autofocus issues with the D5200. Just a dream.

Well, I read it and posted it.

And you are not the first to do so today in this forum

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/50650336

Many more to come I would think.

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HansN46
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Re: Many more
In reply to Mako2011, Jan 14, 2013

Mako2011 wrote:

HansN46 wrote:

toomanycanons wrote:

HansN46 wrote:

"Nikon D5200: Same autofocus issues as some D7000 models experienced?"

That is what Pocket-lint asks in their next article: http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/49243/nikon-d5200-39-point-autofocus-system-problem-not-sharp-d7000-error

Let's hope they are wrong to avoid another discussion about this like we had with the D7000.

-- hide signature --

Happy photographing!

You just dreamed that, man. There are no autofocus issues with the D5200. Just a dream.

Well, I read it and posted it.

And you are not the first to do so today in this forum

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/50650336

Sorry, didn't notice that.

Many more to come I would think.

Let's hope not!

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blue_cheese
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Im noticing a trend here
In reply to HansN46, Jan 14, 2013

So far:

- D7000 AF issues

- D800 AF issues

- D600 AF issues

-D5200 AF issues

And im prettty sure i saw a couple about D3100 and D3200 AF Issues...

All in all, i now ignore all focus related threads.... it appears their value-add is nearing zero.

BTW the cannon form doesn't seem any better, I checked it out a couple of times to see if they are any better.

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Reilly Diefenbach
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Re: Im noticing a trend here
In reply to blue_cheese, Jan 14, 2013

It's getting ridiculous.

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prasanaphoto
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Its true the D5200 AF is problematic
In reply to Reilly Diefenbach, Jan 14, 2013

Hi

Iam a professional photogapher and I own a Nikon D800 and got the D5200 as a backup body and for the articulated LCD in December in India.The AF is definitely problematic and at 100% most of the shots are OOF or not so sharp even while mounted on a tripod with VR off.I have tested with three  lenses 18-55 ,24-70 2.8 and the 70-200 VR2.Its there and i hope Nikon finds a solution.

regards

Prasana

www.rprasanaphotography.com

www.rprasanna.com

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toomanycanons
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Re: Its true the D5200 AF is problematic
In reply to prasanaphoto, Jan 14, 2013

prasanaphoto wrote:

Hi

Iam a professional photogapher and I own a Nikon D800 and got the D5200 as a backup body and for the articulated LCD in December in India.The AF is definitely problematic and at 100% most of the shots are OOF or not so sharp even while mounted on a tripod with VR off.I have tested with three lenses 18-55 ,24-70 2.8 and the 70-200 VR2.Its there and i hope Nikon finds a solution.

regards

Prasana

www.rprasanaphotography.com

www.rprasanna.com

You're just pulling our leg(s).  No way a "professional photographer" can't figure this out and blames it on his equipment.

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blue_cheese
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Re: Its true the D5200 AF is problematic
In reply to toomanycanons, Jan 14, 2013

I am skeptical of anyone who claims an AF system that has been around for over 2 years and already used in two higher end camera is problematic due to being "new"

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mosswings
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Re: Im noticing a trend here
In reply to Reilly Diefenbach, Jan 14, 2013

Reilly Diefenbach wrote:

It's getting ridiculous.

The initial confusions with the D5200's AF system are understandable...it's a bit TOO versatile and guidance in its use a bit too hard to come by solely by use of the user's manual.

What I find ridiculous is that Nikon sees no need to provide some form of AF field calibration capability for a camera with a higher pixel density than the D800.  This is simply punch-list market differentiation. Consider:

This camera, if history is any indication, will be purchased not only by new DSLR customers but by established Nikon users moving either up- or down-market.  They will already have lenses of indeterminant age, useage, and manufacturer.  Those lenses will have been initially calibrated according to the needs of their generation of cameras - or will have drifted a bit over time - and now don't provide optimal performance on the D5200 generation.  Unfortunately, you now can see that, painfully, at the 100% blowups that we keep telling people aren't always appropriate to use.

The only recourse that the D5200 owner has is to send it the whole kit to Nikon Service for recalibration and compatibility check - at a cost of at least $200, perhaps approaching $400 if you have several lenses - and only if they're all Nikon.  That's about the cost differential between a D5200 and the D7000 replacement.

So all I can see in this is Nikon telling me that their product line really starts at the D600, but that we'll start you off at the D7000 if you really insist.

The more sophisticated the camera, the more field-calibratable it needs to be, or the less needing of same it needs to be.

I suspect that the advent of 24MP DX cameras will hasten the day of DX mirrorless.  Manufacturers simply can't afford to support the mass market with a camera that balances so many marbles to do its job.  Mirrorless systems eliminate the dual-path manufacturing tolerance blues.  They can't yet beat off-sensor PDAF.  But that day is coming. Quickly.

This is very much like what happened when Lexus and Infiniti disrupted the luxury car market.  The European brands that dominated it previously were (and still are) notorious maintenance hogs; you couldn't just drive them and change the oil every few thousand miles.  The same design-for-manufacturability techniques that enabled Japan to produce reliable, inexpensive mass market cars also enabled them to produce reliable, just-drive-em luxury cars as well.

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john Clinch
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Re: Im noticing a trend here
In reply to mosswings, Jan 14, 2013

I suspect that the advent of 24MP DX cameras will hasten the day of DX mirrorless. Manufacturers simply can't afford to support the mass market with a camera that balances so many marbles to do its job. Mirrorless systems eliminate the dual-path manufacturing tolerance blues. They can't yet beat off-sensor PDAF. But that day is coming. Quickly.

I think thats a fair point.

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stuntmonkey
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Trend will be away from off-chip PDAF in the future
In reply to mosswings, Jan 14, 2013

mosswings wrote:

I suspect that the advent of 24MP DX cameras will hasten the day of DX mirrorless. Manufacturers simply can't afford to support the mass market with a camera that balances so many marbles to do its job. Mirrorless systems eliminate the dual-path manufacturing tolerance blues. They can't yet beat off-sensor PDAF. But that day is coming. Quickly.

Try this year. Nothing says "mirrorless APS-C" like on-chip PDAF. It's one of the few bright spots of the Nikon 1 system, and it's in cameras like the EOS-M and the X100s. Probably not this year, but by the end of next year, we might see Nikon's first mirrorless APS-C, probably for the D3xxx line. Traditional PDAF is faster and more sensitive, but eliminating the mirror assembly, PDAF assembly, and exposure meter and consolidating all into one chip will reduce manufacturing costs big time.

(Corollary... the early days of m4/3 and NEX... even though sales weren't as big as dSLR's, profit margins were good because of the reduced manufacturing complexity and because they could still price at dSLR levels)

Also, as I noted in the other thread, I think Pocket Lint is seeing more mirror-slap than misfocusing with the D5200.

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mosswings
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Re: Trend will be away from off-chip PDAF in the future
In reply to stuntmonkey, Jan 14, 2013

stuntmonkey wrote:

mosswings wrote:

I suspect that the advent of 24MP DX cameras will hasten the day of DX mirrorless. Manufacturers simply can't afford to support the mass market with a camera that balances so many marbles to do its job. Mirrorless systems eliminate the dual-path manufacturing tolerance blues. They can't yet beat off-sensor PDAF. But that day is coming. Quickly.

Try this year. Nothing says "mirrorless APS-C" like on-chip PDAF. It's one of the few bright spots of the Nikon 1 system, and it's in cameras like the EOS-M and the X100s. Probably not this year, but by the end of next year, we might see Nikon's first mirrorless APS-C, probably for the D3xxx line. Traditional PDAF is faster and more sensitive, but eliminating the mirror assembly, PDAF assembly, and exposure meter and consolidating all into one chip will reduce manufacturing costs big time.

(Corollary... the early days of m4/3 and NEX... even though sales weren't as big as dSLR's, profit margins were good because of the reduced manufacturing complexity and because they could still price at dSLR levels)

Also, as I noted in the other thread, I think Pocket Lint is seeing more mirror-slap than misfocusing with the D5200.

Yeah, I've been straining at every press release for something that looks like the Series 1 in the DX/FX line.  It is coming, but I think that maximum available main sensor area may be something that will limit the first implementations of DX/FX hybrid PDAF to something like the Phase-Aided Contrast Detect AF we're seeing on Sony and (more poorly) Canon mirrorless offerings.  That and changing the sensor readout architecture to include vastly more parallelism.  When you look at the overall area of conventional PDAF sensor arrays, that's a large fraction of a DX sensor's area that would be partially lost for image capture.

I sure wish something would come out by early August, but I doubt that eventuality.  2014 it likely is.

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GMack
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FoCal is tracking a focus error trend.
In reply to blue_cheese, Jan 14, 2013

blue_cheese wrote:

So far:

- D7000 AF issues

- D800 AF issues

- D600 AF issues

-D5200 AF issues

And im prettty sure i saw a couple about D3100 and D3200 AF Issues...

All in all, i now ignore all focus related threads.... it appears their value-add is nearing zero.

BTW the cannon form doesn't seem any better, I checked it out a couple of times to see if they are any better.

See this.

Seems FoCal has been tracking thousands of cameras with their software and a trend is showing.  Nikon seems to favor back-focusing errors far more than Canon from the info in the above link.  Many of Canon's cameras hover around "zero" AF tuning, whereas Nikon seems to be towards the -15 numbers with the exception of their 85mm lenses that go to the front-focusing area.  Go figger that one.

Seems Canon, along with their ability to set the tele and wide positions of their zooms in the camera's menu where Nikon only sets one, may be winning the focus battle.  Nikon really does need to fix their AF QC up and maybe the complaints about focus would cease.  As it stands, they do have a problem, especially since Olympus and Canon allows one to tune their zooms far better too.

Mack

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stuntmonkey
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Re: Trend will be away from off-chip PDAF in the future
In reply to mosswings, Jan 14, 2013

mosswings wrote:

Yeah, I've been straining at every press release for something that looks like the Series 1 in the DX/FX line. It is coming, but I think that maximum available main sensor area may be something that will limit the first implementations of DX/FX hybrid PDAF to something like the Phase-Aided Contrast Detect AF we're seeing on Sony and (more poorly) Canon mirrorless offerings. That and changing the sensor readout architecture to include vastly more parallelism. When you look at the overall area of conventional PDAF sensor arrays, that's a large fraction of a DX sensor's area that would be partially lost for image capture.

Actually, it isn't. Fuji has been using on-chip PDAF since the F300 EXR. It almost went unnoticed because the F-series has in terminal decline by that point. But they've described their system as using "tens of thousands of PDAF dedicated pixels", which is still a very small portion of the 16mp on the X100s.

On the Fuji system, the PDAF pixels don't really take away from the area of the information gathering pixels... the system is really quite simple: adjacent pairs of green photosites have corresponding masks applied to either the left or right of the light gathering substrate so that a pair of green photodiodes "sees" a split image the way conventional PDAF does.... it can still contribute "green" information to the final image, albeit at reduced sensitivity, but proportionally, they don't make up that much of the sensor surface, and there are more greens than reds or blues.

Also, their system doesn't seem to require a radical rethink of the readout architecture (as far as I know). Once the data is off loaded from the sensor, you only have to look up the addresses of the demi-masked green photodiode pairs and compare signal strength between left and right photodiodes.

I used to think that the lower end dSLR's deserved automatic 3-dimensional focus calibration maps (focal length, distance, +/1 adjustment) so that non-technical people wouldn't have to grapple with focus tolerances. To heck with it... on-chip that does lots of things well is a better and cheaper solution. I don't think we'll see on-chip PDAF with D4 levels of focus performance, but it will be good enough for a lot of people.

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stuntmonkey
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Re: FoCal is tracking a focus error trend.
In reply to GMack, Jan 14, 2013

GMack wrote:


See this.

Seems Canon, along with their ability to set the tele and wide positions of their zooms in the camera's menu where Nikon only sets one, may be winning the focus battle. Nikon really does need to fix their AF QC up and maybe the complaints about focus would cease. As it stands, they do have a problem, especially since Olympus and Canon allows one to tune their zooms far better too.

I think I see what you're seeing, but the sample sizes for the Nikon set don't seem as large as the ones for Canon. Also note that some lens body combinations don't have reported sample sizes.

One lens stands out to me: the 24-70, which they're reporting with high variability at the wide end across different Nikon bodies.

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Reilly Diefenbach
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Not even close to buying this
In reply to HansN46, Jan 14, 2013

A focus test at 4 inches away on a pair of glasses?  Since when did that become acceptable practice?  They've got to be kidding.  Give my the freaking camera, I'll show you sharp.  Your D7000 too, while I'm at it.

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mosswings
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Re: Trend will be away from off-chip PDAF in the future
In reply to stuntmonkey, Jan 14, 2013

stuntmonkey wrote:

mosswings wrote:

Yeah, I've been straining at every press release for something that looks like the Series 1 in the DX/FX line. It is coming, but I think that maximum available main sensor area may be something that will limit the first implementations of DX/FX hybrid PDAF to something like the Phase-Aided Contrast Detect AF we're seeing on Sony and (more poorly) Canon mirrorless offerings. That and changing the sensor readout architecture to include vastly more parallelism. When you look at the overall area of conventional PDAF sensor arrays, that's a large fraction of a DX sensor's area that would be partially lost for image capture.

Actually, it isn't. Fuji has been using on-chip PDAF since the F300 EXR. It almost went unnoticed because the F-series has in terminal decline by that point. But they've described their system as using "tens of thousands of PDAF dedicated pixels", which is still a very small portion of the 16mp on the X100s.

On the Fuji system, the PDAF pixels don't really take away from the area of the information gathering pixels... the system is really quite simple: adjacent pairs of green photosites have corresponding masks applied to either the left or right of the light gathering substrate so that a pair of green photodiodes "sees" a split image the way conventional PDAF does.... it can still contribute "green" information to the final image, albeit at reduced sensitivity, but proportionally, they don't make up that much of the sensor surface, and there are more greens than reds or blues.

Also, their system doesn't seem to require a radical rethink of the readout architecture (as far as I know). Once the data is off loaded from the sensor, you only have to look up the addresses of the demi-masked green photodiode pairs and compare signal strength between left and right photodiodes.

I used to think that the lower end dSLR's deserved automatic 3-dimensional focus calibration maps (focal length, distance, +/1 adjustment) so that non-technical people wouldn't have to grapple with focus tolerances. To heck with it... on-chip that does lots of things well is a better and cheaper solution. I don't think we'll see on-chip PDAF with D4 levels of focus performance, but it will be good enough for a lot of people.

I read that article, too..and that's why I used the phrase "partially lost". Fuji gets kudos for taking the bull by the horns. My deeper point in my comment is that what we've seen so far in hybrid AF implementations, including Nikon's, is poor low-EV/low-contrast performance, which I contend is a direct consequence of the sensing area involved. We haven't yet seen an on-sensor PDAF implementation that is capable of focusing at EV-1 like even the D3200 is. If we assume for purposes of discussion that the Fuji PD implementation used perhaps 100K pixels, this is less than 1% of the sensor area. That's 1% for a single focus point. Nikon's implementation features 73 in a 4x larger sensor. It also can't handle light levels lower than EV10 - a cloudy overcast day. So something had to give; I doubt they're dedicating 15% of total sensels to PDAF.

On the other hand, a PD-assisted CD system can be very useful; you don't need such extreme sensitivity to reach similar performance to a pure PD system because the PD portion primarily provides direction and range-limits information to the CD portion. This would get rid of almost all the hunting and much of the tracking problem with pure-CD systems. And the faster you can get the PD data out (through dedicated channels, one possibility), the less hunting there will be.

I agree with you, though...the correct strategy is for the DSLR manufacturers to move to mirrorless for their entry level systems - even an empty-mirror-box or PR mirror system for legacy lens support - rather than try to implement an idiotproof AF fine tuning system. As soon as they can offer comparable AF performance to DSLRs. Sony, bless their hearts, has the right idea with NEX and SLTs; even if it ain't quite there yet.

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Shunda77
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Re: Im noticing a trend here
In reply to mosswings, Jan 14, 2013

mosswings wrote:

Reilly Diefenbach wrote:

It's getting ridiculous.

The initial confusions with the D5200's AF system are understandable...it's a bit TOO versatile and guidance in its use a bit too hard to come by solely by use of the user's manual.

What I find ridiculous is that Nikon sees no need to provide some form of AF field calibration capability for a camera with a higher pixel density than the D800. This is simply punch-list market differentiation. Consider:

This camera, if history is any indication, will be purchased not only by new DSLR customers but by established Nikon users moving either up- or down-market. They will already have lenses of indeterminant age, useage, and manufacturer. Those lenses will have been initially calibrated according to the needs of their generation of cameras - or will have drifted a bit over time - and now don't provide optimal performance on the D5200 generation. Unfortunately, you now can see that, painfully, at the 100% blowups that we keep telling people aren't always appropriate to use.

The only recourse that the D5200 owner has is to send it the whole kit to Nikon Service for recalibration and compatibility check - at a cost of at least $200, perhaps approaching $400 if you have several lenses - and only if they're all Nikon. That's about the cost differential between a D5200 and the D7000 replacement.

So all I can see in this is Nikon telling me that their product line really starts at the D600, but that we'll start you off at the D7000 if you really insist.

The more sophisticated the camera, the more field-calibratable it needs to be, or the less needing of same it needs to be.

I suspect that the advent of 24MP DX cameras will hasten the day of DX mirrorless. Manufacturers simply can't afford to support the mass market with a camera that balances so many marbles to do its job. Mirrorless systems eliminate the dual-path manufacturing tolerance blues. They can't yet beat off-sensor PDAF. But that day is coming. Quickly.

This is very much like what happened when Lexus and Infiniti disrupted the luxury car market. The European brands that dominated it previously were (and still are) notorious maintenance hogs; you couldn't just drive them and change the oil every few thousand miles. The same design-for-manufacturability techniques that enabled Japan to produce reliable, inexpensive mass market cars also enabled them to produce reliable, just-drive-em luxury cars as well.

That is absolutely spot on mosswings.

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