What is the best m43 for focus tracking?

Started Mar 31, 2013 | Questions
Anders W
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Re: Another true believer
In reply to PerL, Apr 2, 2013

PerL wrote:

richarddd wrote:

PerL wrote:

Is it a mistake to trust experiences and opinions and reviews more than a simulated test, where the simulation seems to go against all user reports?

An example from another field. Try testing people's ability to distinguish high bit rate audio from low bit rate audio, for example, 320kbps mp3 compared to 160k.  Everyone I know can easily tell which is which when they know which is which. Approximately no one (beyond random chance) can tell which is which in a double blind test.

People who don't like to believe they can't distinguish usually complain in the terms you use.

Of course, it's not always easy to create a well designed test, but the objection should point out why the test is not well designed. Saying it can't be a proper test because it doesn't correspond to general experience is not a good objection.

I guess you also believe that you can buy a GF5 and get the same AF-C performance as a Nikon D4. I just feel sorry for those people who actually base purchase decisions on what they read here.

This is a forum for the true believers, I realize that now.

On the contrary, the forum seems to be invaded by "true believers" from outside. What Richard pointed out was exactly what distinguishes "true believers" from those ready to evaluate new evidence not on the basis of whether it matches some preconceived notion of the truth but on the basis of the quality of the evidence itself.

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Anders W
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Re: So what is the fuzz about?
In reply to PerL, Apr 2, 2013

PerL wrote:

Anders W wrote:

PerL wrote:

Anders W wrote:

PerL wrote:

Anders W wrote:

PerL wrote:

Anders W wrote:

The only site I am aware of that actually tries to test AF-C performance in a systematic fashion is the French Fnac labs.

In one of their tests, they simulate a car approaching the camera at a speed of 50 km/h. The camera is fired in burst mode with a 200 mm (EFL) lens. At the outset, the car is fifty meters away. Obviously, it gets more and more difficult for the AF system to keep up, the closer the car gets. So one significant measure is the distance of the car from the camera when the last reasonably sharp shot is caught. Here are the results from this year's roundup:

CDAF

Panasonic GX1: 2.5

Panasonic G5: 8

Panasonic GF5: 8

Panasonic GH3: 9.5

Sony NEX F3: 11

Sony NEX 7: 12.5

Sony NEX 5R: 13

Sony NEX 6: 15

Samsung NX1000: 19

..........................

CDAF/PDAF

Nikon J2: 6.5

..........................

PDAF

Canon 650D: 6

Canon 7D: 6.5

Nikon D4: 7

Nikon D800: 8

Canon 5DIII: 8.5

Nikon D5100: 8.5

Nikon D600: 8.5

Canon 1100D: 9

Nikon D3100: 9.5

Pentax K-5: 9.5

Pentax K-30: 9.5

Nikon D3200: 10

Sony SLT-A57: 10

Nikon D7000: 10.5

Sony SLT-A65: 10.5

Canon 600D: 11.5

Sony SLT-A37: 11.5

Canon 60D: 12.5

Sony A-77: 13.5

I have been critical about these tests before.

And I have dealt with that criticism in some detail. Those interested find my latest response in the exchange between us here:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/50851802

If you Per have anything further to say, I suggest you start where we left off (the post I linked to) so that we don't have to repeat everything from the beginning again.

To many odd results IMO (even if one excludes the most strange ones like G2X)  that seems to be at odds with common sense and practical user experience. A few samples:

"Common sense" and "user experiences", both often rife with confirmation bias, are hardly infallible. That's precisely why we need systematic and objective tests like this, isn't it?

G5 and GF5 faster than G3H?

As I pointed out, a test like the one at issue here must by necessity involve a statististical error margin and you shouldn't put too much stock in each individual data point but look at broader patterns. The difference between the G5 and GF5 on the one hand and the GH3 isn't all that large and all three are in the latest generation of Panasonic MFT cameras. So I don't find too much to be surprised about here.

G5 and GF5 in the same ballpark as Nikon D4? (8 vs 7)

Yes. Isn't it amazing how quickly MFT has made progress, now rivalling the D4 in a test of AF-C?

Consider the fact that in the FNAC report of two years ago (the one where they tested the GH2 that you have personal experience with), the average value for the mirrorless camera tested was 16.25 meters. Two years later, that figure is down to 11. For MFT cameras specifically, the value two years ago was 13.5. By now, the average is down to 7.  In the meantime, the results for DSLRs haven't changed much. PDAF is a rather mature technology. CDAF has been developing rapidly in the last few years and is now catching up.

If we look in a broader view - the low end m43 Panasonics matches the semi pro cameras like Nikon D800 (same AF system as D4) and Canon 5D3?

See above.

The low end m43 Panasonics and the also slower GH3 clearly beat the prosumer and middle of the line DSLRs like Nikon D7000, Canon 60D, Sony A77?

See above.

Even the results in the DSLR group is confusing with entry level models beating the more expensive ones.

The only really unexpected result here is for the 650D. Other than that, the expected cameras (recent pro/semipro cameras) top the chart.

You can pick out a lot more strange stuff here, I would not put much trust in this.

So one can choose to believe this "test", or one can remain sceptical. Count me in the second category.

Yes, we know that you belong to that category. While it is not unusual for people to reject any test that does not confirm their preconceptions and prejudices, I personally try to avoid that mistake. How much stock I place in a test depends primarily on what I know about the methods used rather than on whether the results are what I thought they would be.

I dont think I am alone, not even in this forum. I have not seen a single post from a dual system user with a high end DSLR and an entry level m43, claiming that the CDAF m43 has better or equal tracking performance.

Noone said you were alone. The mistake I described above is rather common.

Is it a mistake to trust experiences and opinions and reviews more than a simulated test, where the simulation seems to go against all user reports?

That depends on the quality of the test versus the quality of the user reports. I try to carefully evaluate data sources of all kinds based on the methods whereby the data were generated. I do not, however, reject a data source off hand just because it does not agree with "conventional wisdom". If science would have done that, it would never have made any progress.

Furthermore, the scenario you outline is not the one we are actually facing. The user reports I see about this matter are rather variegated.

Would you without a doubt recommend someone aimng for a career in sports photography to get a couple of G5s to compete with the guys with the   high end DSLRs, based on this test?

No. What have I said to make you think that? The D4 beats the G5 with regard to the test figures I reported. It also beats the G5 with regard to those I just mentioned but didn't report: number of successful shots before the targets gets too close, where the D4 manages 32 versus nine for the G5. Furthermore, the D4 has better high ISO-performance (provided DoF is sufficient) and can be combined with a considerable number of high-performance tele lenses. So why should I recommend the G5 for professional sports photography? Unlike the D4, it is certainly not optimized or optimal for that particular purpose.

Well, since the difference was only 7 for D4 vs 8 for G5, in the test you showed the G5 looks like the AF-C bargain of the year. Who would have thought that the 600 dollars G5 and the 400 dollars GF5 would be in the same ballpark as the 6000 dollars pro camera, specially designed for action shooting.

Right. Remarkable, isn't it?

Anders, let me ask you, do you shot some sports your self, in low light with shallow DOF?

Not that this is at all relevant, but for the fun of it, let me ask you Per: Have you shot regularly with any more recent MFT camera than the GH2?

Note in addition that the test I linked to isn't a test of tracking performance. It is a test of AF-C and burst-mode performance.

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PerL
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Re: So what is the fuzz about?
In reply to Anders W, Apr 2, 2013

Anders W wrote:

PerL wrote:

Anders W wrote:

PerL wrote:

Anders W wrote:

PerL wrote:

Anders W wrote:

PerL wrote:

Anders W wrote:

The only site I am aware of that actually tries to test AF-C performance in a systematic fashion is the French Fnac labs.

In one of their tests, they simulate a car approaching the camera at a speed of 50 km/h. The camera is fired in burst mode with a 200 mm (EFL) lens. At the outset, the car is fifty meters away. Obviously, it gets more and more difficult for the AF system to keep up, the closer the car gets. So one significant measure is the distance of the car from the camera when the last reasonably sharp shot is caught. Here are the results from this year's roundup:

CDAF

Panasonic GX1: 2.5

Panasonic G5: 8

Panasonic GF5: 8

Panasonic GH3: 9.5

Sony NEX F3: 11

Sony NEX 7: 12.5

Sony NEX 5R: 13

Sony NEX 6: 15

Samsung NX1000: 19

..........................

CDAF/PDAF

Nikon J2: 6.5

..........................

PDAF

Canon 650D: 6

Canon 7D: 6.5

Nikon D4: 7

Nikon D800: 8

Canon 5DIII: 8.5

Nikon D5100: 8.5

Nikon D600: 8.5

Canon 1100D: 9

Nikon D3100: 9.5

Pentax K-5: 9.5

Pentax K-30: 9.5

Nikon D3200: 10

Sony SLT-A57: 10

Nikon D7000: 10.5

Sony SLT-A65: 10.5

Canon 600D: 11.5

Sony SLT-A37: 11.5

Canon 60D: 12.5

Sony A-77: 13.5

I have been critical about these tests before.

And I have dealt with that criticism in some detail. Those interested find my latest response in the exchange between us here:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/50851802

If you Per have anything further to say, I suggest you start where we left off (the post I linked to) so that we don't have to repeat everything from the beginning again.

To many odd results IMO (even if one excludes the most strange ones like G2X)  that seems to be at odds with common sense and practical user experience. A few samples:

"Common sense" and "user experiences", both often rife with confirmation bias, are hardly infallible. That's precisely why we need systematic and objective tests like this, isn't it?

G5 and GF5 faster than G3H?

As I pointed out, a test like the one at issue here must by necessity involve a statististical error margin and you shouldn't put too much stock in each individual data point but look at broader patterns. The difference between the G5 and GF5 on the one hand and the GH3 isn't all that large and all three are in the latest generation of Panasonic MFT cameras. So I don't find too much to be surprised about here.

G5 and GF5 in the same ballpark as Nikon D4? (8 vs 7)

Yes. Isn't it amazing how quickly MFT has made progress, now rivalling the D4 in a test of AF-C?

Consider the fact that in the FNAC report of two years ago (the one where they tested the GH2 that you have personal experience with), the average value for the mirrorless camera tested was 16.25 meters. Two years later, that figure is down to 11. For MFT cameras specifically, the value two years ago was 13.5. By now, the average is down to 7.  In the meantime, the results for DSLRs haven't changed much. PDAF is a rather mature technology. CDAF has been developing rapidly in the last few years and is now catching up.

If we look in a broader view - the low end m43 Panasonics matches the semi pro cameras like Nikon D800 (same AF system as D4) and Canon 5D3?

See above.

The low end m43 Panasonics and the also slower GH3 clearly beat the prosumer and middle of the line DSLRs like Nikon D7000, Canon 60D, Sony A77?

See above.

Even the results in the DSLR group is confusing with entry level models beating the more expensive ones.

The only really unexpected result here is for the 650D. Other than that, the expected cameras (recent pro/semipro cameras) top the chart.

You can pick out a lot more strange stuff here, I would not put much trust in this.

So one can choose to believe this "test", or one can remain sceptical. Count me in the second category.

Yes, we know that you belong to that category. While it is not unusual for people to reject any test that does not confirm their preconceptions and prejudices, I personally try to avoid that mistake. How much stock I place in a test depends primarily on what I know about the methods used rather than on whether the results are what I thought they would be.

I dont think I am alone, not even in this forum. I have not seen a single post from a dual system user with a high end DSLR and an entry level m43, claiming that the CDAF m43 has better or equal tracking performance.

Noone said you were alone. The mistake I described above is rather common.

Is it a mistake to trust experiences and opinions and reviews more than a simulated test, where the simulation seems to go against all user reports?

That depends on the quality of the test versus the quality of the user reports. I try to carefully evaluate data sources of all kinds based on the methods whereby the data were generated. I do not, however, reject a data source off hand just because it does not agree with "conventional wisdom". If science would have done that, it would never have made any progress.

Furthermore, the scenario you outline is not the one we are actually facing. The user reports I see about this matter are rather variegated.

Would you without a doubt recommend someone aimng for a career in sports photography to get a couple of G5s to compete with the guys with the   high end DSLRs, based on this test?

No. What have I said to make you think that? The D4 beats the G5 with regard to the test figures I reported. It also beats the G5 with regard to those I just mentioned but didn't report: number of successful shots before the targets gets too close, where the D4 manages 32 versus nine for the G5. Furthermore, the D4 has better high ISO-performance (provided DoF is sufficient) and can be combined with a considerable number of high-performance tele lenses. So why should I recommend the G5 for professional sports photography? Unlike the D4, it is certainly not optimized or optimal for that particular purpose.

Well, since the difference was only 7 for D4 vs 8 for G5, in the test you showed the G5 looks like the AF-C bargain of the year. Who would have thought that the 600 dollars G5 and the 400 dollars GF5 would be in the same ballpark as the 6000 dollars pro camera, specially designed for action shooting.

Right. Remarkable, isn't it?

Anders, let me ask you, do you shot some sports your self, in low light with shallow DOF?

Not that this is at all relevant, but for the fun of it, let me ask you Per: Have you shot regularly with any more recent MFT camera than the GH2?

No, and if the improvement has been so radical as your test suggest, every reviewer I have read has  missed it. Now, your turn - could you compare the shooting experience of a high end DSLR vs a m43 in a demanding sports situation?

Note in addition that the test I linked to isn't a test of tracking performance. It is a test of AF-C and burst-mode performance.

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PerL
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Re: Another true believer
In reply to Anders W, Apr 2, 2013

Anders W wrote:

PerL wrote:

richarddd wrote:

PerL wrote:

Is it a mistake to trust experiences and opinions and reviews more than a simulated test, where the simulation seems to go against all user reports?

An example from another field. Try testing people's ability to distinguish high bit rate audio from low bit rate audio, for example, 320kbps mp3 compared to 160k.  Everyone I know can easily tell which is which when they know which is which. Approximately no one (beyond random chance) can tell which is which in a double blind test.

People who don't like to believe they can't distinguish usually complain in the terms you use.

Of course, it's not always easy to create a well designed test, but the objection should point out why the test is not well designed. Saying it can't be a proper test because it doesn't correspond to general experience is not a good objection.

I guess you also believe that you can buy a GF5 and get the same AF-C performance as a Nikon D4. I just feel sorry for those people who actually base purchase decisions on what they read here.

This is a forum for the true believers, I realize that now.

On the contrary, the forum seems to be invaded by "true believers" from outside. What Richard pointed out was exactly what distinguishes "true believers" from those ready to evaluate new evidence not on the basis of whether it matches some preconceived notion of the truth but on the basis of the quality of the evidence itself.

What is the quality of the evidence? Just because there are numbers and graphs?

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Anders W
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Re: Another true believer
In reply to PerL, Apr 2, 2013

PerL wrote:

Anders W wrote:

PerL wrote:

richarddd wrote:

PerL wrote:

Is it a mistake to trust experiences and opinions and reviews more than a simulated test, where the simulation seems to go against all user reports?

An example from another field. Try testing people's ability to distinguish high bit rate audio from low bit rate audio, for example, 320kbps mp3 compared to 160k.  Everyone I know can easily tell which is which when they know which is which. Approximately no one (beyond random chance) can tell which is which in a double blind test.

People who don't like to believe they can't distinguish usually complain in the terms you use.

Of course, it's not always easy to create a well designed test, but the objection should point out why the test is not well designed. Saying it can't be a proper test because it doesn't correspond to general experience is not a good objection.

I guess you also believe that you can buy a GF5 and get the same AF-C performance as a Nikon D4. I just feel sorry for those people who actually base purchase decisions on what they read here.

This is a forum for the true believers, I realize that now.

On the contrary, the forum seems to be invaded by "true believers" from outside. What Richard pointed out was exactly what distinguishes "true believers" from those ready to evaluate new evidence not on the basis of whether it matches some preconceived notion of the truth but on the basis of the quality of the evidence itself.

What is the quality of the evidence? Just because there are numbers and graphs?

Not quite the right answer. Try again.

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Aleo Veuliah
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Re: what is the best m43 for focus tracking? / No, but.
In reply to micksh6, Apr 2, 2013

micksh6 wrote:

Aleo Veuliah wrote:

I say two cameras, the OMD and the GH3.

Only two? You haven't tried another two, Olympus E-PL5 and E-PM2, have you?

No.

But I know that all recent Micro 4/3 cameras are better doing AF tracking. And they will improve.

I have E-PL5 and I compared it with OM-D. They are almost the same except that E-PL5 got smaller AF rectangle than OM-D. With 14x elongated AF rectangle E-PL5 and E-M5 have about the same focusing speed, but with the smallest square rectangle E-PL5 is faster. E-M5 doesn't have that small AF area.

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51100254

I didn't test focus tracking, that was S-AF test. But, with CDAF it's a given that if camera is faster with S-AF it will be faster in C-AF and AF tracking too.

I like better the GH3 but both are good.

It's not "both", it's 4 cameras now, two of them are better than one of the two you tried. I can't say a thing about GH3, though.

We can not still compare to the best DSLR's regarding the  AFT. But I had already seen some good sports pictures from Micro 4/3 cameras.

This is true. And the quality of the pictures we see mostly depends on photographer skills, the camera AF tracking ability importance is a distant second (and it's essential to distinguish just C-AF vs C-AF with tracking), sometimes C-AF is used, sometimes it's not. I haven't seen many examples of successful tracking. There are good C-AF examples without tracking, though.

True, the photographer skills are important, I have got many good pictures with manual focus film cameras.


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captura
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Re: what is the best m43 for focus tracking?
In reply to Anders W, Apr 3, 2013

Anders W wrote:

captura wrote:

Anders W wrote:

captura wrote:

If I may be forgiven for straying, the best mirrorless cameras for continuous focus tracking may be the Sony NEX's, models 5R and 6. They employ hybrid phase detection auto-focus. (PDAF)

Sure about that? Did you see this test?

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51199228

Here is a discussion:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3295085#forum-post-50198435

From the first link, I see that the NEX models had the highest scores, save the NSX1000.

Sony NEX 7: 12.5

Sony NEX 5R: 13

Sony NEX 6: 15

I had expected the GH3 to win this one.

It's only that in this case a lower value is better (see the test description). So in fact all the MFT cameras tested are ahead of all the NEX cameras tested.

I don't think so. The reporter talked about the 5R outperforming his older 5n while doing test shots of his running toddler, at a Best Buy store. The 5R had the numerically higher score. It is designed for this purpose (same as the 6) with the addition of the new hybrid PDAF.

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JamieTux
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Re: Another true believer
In reply to PerL, Apr 3, 2013

PerL wrote:

Anders W wrote:

PerL wrote:

richarddd wrote:

PerL wrote:

Is it a mistake to trust experiences and opinions and reviews more than a simulated test, where the simulation seems to go against all user reports?

An example from another field. Try testing people's ability to distinguish high bit rate audio from low bit rate audio, for example, 320kbps mp3 compared to 160k.  Everyone I know can easily tell which is which when they know which is which. Approximately no one (beyond random chance) can tell which is which in a double blind test.

People who don't like to believe they can't distinguish usually complain in the terms you use.

Of course, it's not always easy to create a well designed test, but the objection should point out why the test is not well designed. Saying it can't be a proper test because it doesn't correspond to general experience is not a good objection.

I guess you also believe that you can buy a GF5 and get the same AF-C performance as a Nikon D4. I just feel sorry for those people who actually base purchase decisions on what they read here.

This is a forum for the true believers, I realize that now.

I would hope that anyone that does read this conversation reads that no one is saying that the g5 is as good at tracking focus as a D4, and that it is definitely not as good a system as a high end Nikon or Canon for shooting sports.

On the contrary, the forum seems to be invaded by "true believers" from outside. What Richard pointed out was exactly what distinguishes "true believers" from those ready to evaluate new evidence not on the basis of whether it matches some preconceived notion of the truth but on the basis of the quality of the evidence itself.

What is the quality of the evidence? Just because there are numbers and graphs?

Per, the point here is that a true believer cannot be swayed and does not have an open mind.  You seem to have it in your head that all of us are trying to convince people that mft is better at af tracking than a high end slr, but actually Anders points to a test where they found that mft are comparable in one area, an object coming straight towards you.  That shouldn't be so unbelievable as it is something that pdaf does not find easy (look up Canon 1D mk 3 focus issues) then also look at the fact that the high end slrs are shooting at a higher frame rate and so have less time to focus between frames and all of a sudden you start to see things that could explain the results if mft is still improving (having been a user of the system since the G1, it was only the OMD that convinced me to sell my SLR gear, so I think its improving).

You keep misreading that as G5 is better for sports (even after Anders categorically disagreed with that) and its the constant correction and reframing of the same argument that I think is confusing for people.

P.S. Apologies for any typos, this is on my mobile phone and the cursor keeps jumping

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JamieTux
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Re: GH3 - for focus tracking
In reply to sgoldswo, Apr 3, 2013

He's a happy looking chap!  Mine is arriving today, so I am out testing tomorrow (rain or shine!)

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josbiker
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Re: So what is the fuzz about?
In reply to PerL, Apr 3, 2013

PerL wrote:

Anders W wrote:

PerL wrote:

Anders W wrote:

PerL wrote:

Anders W wrote:

PerL wrote:

Anders W wrote:

PerL wrote:

Anders W wrote:

The only site I am aware of that actually tries to test AF-C performance in a systematic fashion is the French Fnac labs.

In one of their tests, they simulate a car approaching the camera at a speed of 50 km/h. The camera is fired in burst mode with a 200 mm (EFL) lens. At the outset, the car is fifty meters away. Obviously, it gets more and more difficult for the AF system to keep up, the closer the car gets. So one significant measure is the distance of the car from the camera when the last reasonably sharp shot is caught. Here are the results from this year's roundup:

CDAF

Panasonic GX1: 2.5

Panasonic G5: 8

Panasonic GF5: 8

Panasonic GH3: 9.5

Sony NEX F3: 11

Sony NEX 7: 12.5

Sony NEX 5R: 13

Sony NEX 6: 15

Samsung NX1000: 19

..........................

CDAF/PDAF

Nikon J2: 6.5

..........................

PDAF

Canon 650D: 6

Canon 7D: 6.5

Nikon D4: 7

Nikon D800: 8

Canon 5DIII: 8.5

Nikon D5100: 8.5

Nikon D600: 8.5

Canon 1100D: 9

Nikon D3100: 9.5

Pentax K-5: 9.5

Pentax K-30: 9.5

Nikon D3200: 10

Sony SLT-A57: 10

Nikon D7000: 10.5

Sony SLT-A65: 10.5

Canon 600D: 11.5

Sony SLT-A37: 11.5

Canon 60D: 12.5

Sony A-77: 13.5

I have been critical about these tests before.

And I have dealt with that criticism in some detail. Those interested find my latest response in the exchange between us here:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/50851802

If you Per have anything further to say, I suggest you start where we left off (the post I linked to) so that we don't have to repeat everything from the beginning again.

To many odd results IMO (even if one excludes the most strange ones like G2X)  that seems to be at odds with common sense and practical user experience. A few samples:

"Common sense" and "user experiences", both often rife with confirmation bias, are hardly infallible. That's precisely why we need systematic and objective tests like this, isn't it?

G5 and GF5 faster than G3H?

As I pointed out, a test like the one at issue here must by necessity involve a statististical error margin and you shouldn't put too much stock in each individual data point but look at broader patterns. The difference between the G5 and GF5 on the one hand and the GH3 isn't all that large and all three are in the latest generation of Panasonic MFT cameras. So I don't find too much to be surprised about here.

G5 and GF5 in the same ballpark as Nikon D4? (8 vs 7)

Yes. Isn't it amazing how quickly MFT has made progress, now rivalling the D4 in a test of AF-C?

Consider the fact that in the FNAC report of two years ago (the one where they tested the GH2 that you have personal experience with), the average value for the mirrorless camera tested was 16.25 meters. Two years later, that figure is down to 11. For MFT cameras specifically, the value two years ago was 13.5. By now, the average is down to 7.  In the meantime, the results for DSLRs haven't changed much. PDAF is a rather mature technology. CDAF has been developing rapidly in the last few years and is now catching up.

If we look in a broader view - the low end m43 Panasonics matches the semi pro cameras like Nikon D800 (same AF system as D4) and Canon 5D3?

See above.

The low end m43 Panasonics and the also slower GH3 clearly beat the prosumer and middle of the line DSLRs like Nikon D7000, Canon 60D, Sony A77?

See above.

Even the results in the DSLR group is confusing with entry level models beating the more expensive ones.

The only really unexpected result here is for the 650D. Other than that, the expected cameras (recent pro/semipro cameras) top the chart.

You can pick out a lot more strange stuff here, I would not put much trust in this.

So one can choose to believe this "test", or one can remain sceptical. Count me in the second category.

Yes, we know that you belong to that category. While it is not unusual for people to reject any test that does not confirm their preconceptions and prejudices, I personally try to avoid that mistake. How much stock I place in a test depends primarily on what I know about the methods used rather than on whether the results are what I thought they would be.

I dont think I am alone, not even in this forum. I have not seen a single post from a dual system user with a high end DSLR and an entry level m43, claiming that the CDAF m43 has better or equal tracking performance.

Noone said you were alone. The mistake I described above is rather common.

Is it a mistake to trust experiences and opinions and reviews more than a simulated test, where the simulation seems to go against all user reports?

That depends on the quality of the test versus the quality of the user reports. I try to carefully evaluate data sources of all kinds based on the methods whereby the data were generated. I do not, however, reject a data source off hand just because it does not agree with "conventional wisdom". If science would have done that, it would never have made any progress.

Furthermore, the scenario you outline is not the one we are actually facing. The user reports I see about this matter are rather variegated.

Would you without a doubt recommend someone aimng for a career in sports photography to get a couple of G5s to compete with the guys with the   high end DSLRs, based on this test?

No. What have I said to make you think that? The D4 beats the G5 with regard to the test figures I reported. It also beats the G5 with regard to those I just mentioned but didn't report: number of successful shots before the targets gets too close, where the D4 manages 32 versus nine for the G5. Furthermore, the D4 has better high ISO-performance (provided DoF is sufficient) and can be combined with a considerable number of high-performance tele lenses. So why should I recommend the G5 for professional sports photography? Unlike the D4, it is certainly not optimized or optimal for that particular purpose.

Well, since the difference was only 7 for D4 vs 8 for G5, in the test you showed the G5 looks like the AF-C bargain of the year. Who would have thought that the 600 dollars G5 and the 400 dollars GF5 would be in the same ballpark as the 6000 dollars pro camera, specially designed for action shooting.

Right. Remarkable, isn't it?

Anders, let me ask you, do you shot some sports your self, in low light with shallow DOF?

Not that this is at all relevant, but for the fun of it, let me ask you Per: Have you shot regularly with any more recent MFT camera than the GH2?

No, and if the improvement has been so radical as your test suggest, every reviewer I have read has  missed it. Now, your turn - could you compare the shooting experience of a high end DSLR vs a m43 in a demanding sports situation?

Note in addition that the test I linked to isn't a test of tracking performance. It is a test of AF-C and burst-mode performance.

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"No, and if the improvement has been so radical as your test suggest, every reviewer I have read has  missed it. Now, your turn - could you compare the shooting experience of a high end DSLR vs a m43 in a demanding sports situation?"

When and let us see?

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Anders W
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Re: So what is the fuzz about?
In reply to PerL, Apr 3, 2013

PerL wrote:

Anders W wrote:

PerL wrote:

Anders W wrote:

PerL wrote:

Anders W wrote:

PerL wrote:

Anders W wrote:

PerL wrote:

Anders W wrote:

The only site I am aware of that actually tries to test AF-C performance in a systematic fashion is the French Fnac labs.

In one of their tests, they simulate a car approaching the camera at a speed of 50 km/h. The camera is fired in burst mode with a 200 mm (EFL) lens. At the outset, the car is fifty meters away. Obviously, it gets more and more difficult for the AF system to keep up, the closer the car gets. So one significant measure is the distance of the car from the camera when the last reasonably sharp shot is caught. Here are the results from this year's roundup:

CDAF

Panasonic GX1: 2.5

Panasonic G5: 8

Panasonic GF5: 8

Panasonic GH3: 9.5

Sony NEX F3: 11

Sony NEX 7: 12.5

Sony NEX 5R: 13

Sony NEX 6: 15

Samsung NX1000: 19

..........................

CDAF/PDAF

Nikon J2: 6.5

..........................

PDAF

Canon 650D: 6

Canon 7D: 6.5

Nikon D4: 7

Nikon D800: 8

Canon 5DIII: 8.5

Nikon D5100: 8.5

Nikon D600: 8.5

Canon 1100D: 9

Nikon D3100: 9.5

Pentax K-5: 9.5

Pentax K-30: 9.5

Nikon D3200: 10

Sony SLT-A57: 10

Nikon D7000: 10.5

Sony SLT-A65: 10.5

Canon 600D: 11.5

Sony SLT-A37: 11.5

Canon 60D: 12.5

Sony A-77: 13.5

I have been critical about these tests before.

And I have dealt with that criticism in some detail. Those interested find my latest response in the exchange between us here:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/50851802

If you Per have anything further to say, I suggest you start where we left off (the post I linked to) so that we don't have to repeat everything from the beginning again.

To many odd results IMO (even if one excludes the most strange ones like G2X)  that seems to be at odds with common sense and practical user experience. A few samples:

"Common sense" and "user experiences", both often rife with confirmation bias, are hardly infallible. That's precisely why we need systematic and objective tests like this, isn't it?

G5 and GF5 faster than G3H?

As I pointed out, a test like the one at issue here must by necessity involve a statististical error margin and you shouldn't put too much stock in each individual data point but look at broader patterns. The difference between the G5 and GF5 on the one hand and the GH3 isn't all that large and all three are in the latest generation of Panasonic MFT cameras. So I don't find too much to be surprised about here.

G5 and GF5 in the same ballpark as Nikon D4? (8 vs 7)

Yes. Isn't it amazing how quickly MFT has made progress, now rivalling the D4 in a test of AF-C?

Consider the fact that in the FNAC report of two years ago (the one where they tested the GH2 that you have personal experience with), the average value for the mirrorless camera tested was 16.25 meters. Two years later, that figure is down to 11. For MFT cameras specifically, the value two years ago was 13.5. By now, the average is down to 7.  In the meantime, the results for DSLRs haven't changed much. PDAF is a rather mature technology. CDAF has been developing rapidly in the last few years and is now catching up.

If we look in a broader view - the low end m43 Panasonics matches the semi pro cameras like Nikon D800 (same AF system as D4) and Canon 5D3?

See above.

The low end m43 Panasonics and the also slower GH3 clearly beat the prosumer and middle of the line DSLRs like Nikon D7000, Canon 60D, Sony A77?

See above.

Even the results in the DSLR group is confusing with entry level models beating the more expensive ones.

The only really unexpected result here is for the 650D. Other than that, the expected cameras (recent pro/semipro cameras) top the chart.

You can pick out a lot more strange stuff here, I would not put much trust in this.

So one can choose to believe this "test", or one can remain sceptical. Count me in the second category.

Yes, we know that you belong to that category. While it is not unusual for people to reject any test that does not confirm their preconceptions and prejudices, I personally try to avoid that mistake. How much stock I place in a test depends primarily on what I know about the methods used rather than on whether the results are what I thought they would be.

I dont think I am alone, not even in this forum. I have not seen a single post from a dual system user with a high end DSLR and an entry level m43, claiming that the CDAF m43 has better or equal tracking performance.

Noone said you were alone. The mistake I described above is rather common.

Is it a mistake to trust experiences and opinions and reviews more than a simulated test, where the simulation seems to go against all user reports?

That depends on the quality of the test versus the quality of the user reports. I try to carefully evaluate data sources of all kinds based on the methods whereby the data were generated. I do not, however, reject a data source off hand just because it does not agree with "conventional wisdom". If science would have done that, it would never have made any progress.

Furthermore, the scenario you outline is not the one we are actually facing. The user reports I see about this matter are rather variegated.

Would you without a doubt recommend someone aimng for a career in sports photography to get a couple of G5s to compete with the guys with the   high end DSLRs, based on this test?

No. What have I said to make you think that? The D4 beats the G5 with regard to the test figures I reported. It also beats the G5 with regard to those I just mentioned but didn't report: number of successful shots before the targets gets too close, where the D4 manages 32 versus nine for the G5. Furthermore, the D4 has better high ISO-performance (provided DoF is sufficient) and can be combined with a considerable number of high-performance tele lenses. So why should I recommend the G5 for professional sports photography? Unlike the D4, it is certainly not optimized or optimal for that particular purpose.

Well, since the difference was only 7 for D4 vs 8 for G5, in the test you showed the G5 looks like the AF-C bargain of the year. Who would have thought that the 600 dollars G5 and the 400 dollars GF5 would be in the same ballpark as the 6000 dollars pro camera, specially designed for action shooting.

Right. Remarkable, isn't it?

Anders, let me ask you, do you shot some sports your self, in low light with shallow DOF?

Not that this is at all relevant, but for the fun of it, let me ask you Per: Have you shot regularly with any more recent MFT camera than the GH2?

No, and if the improvement has been so radical as your test suggest, every reviewer I have read has  missed it.

It follows that you didn't read the tests and reports I have already linked you to. So you are once again showing that you are not ready to put your preconceptions and prejudices to trial.

Now, your turn - could you compare the shooting experience of a high end DSLR vs a m43 in a demanding sports situation?

As I already pointed out in a prior post, I would think that a D4 would be preferable to a G5 (or other recent MFT body) in that particular situation on, among others, the following grounds:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51209574

Note in addition that the test I linked to isn't a test of tracking performance. It is a test of AF-C and burst-mode performance.

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clengman
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Re: what is the best m43 for focus tracking?
In reply to peevee1, Apr 3, 2013

peevee1 wrote:

clengman wrote:

JamieTux wrote:

Hey everyone, since selling my Canon gear to move to m43 I've been shooting with just one top quality body (I have a gf2 as well buits really lacking in dr for my style of shooting so one useful camera only scares me!) I had the money put aside to get the new improved AF all singing all dancing Oly when its announced but all seems quiet on that front at the moment.  So I'd like to get a complementary camera to go with my om-d.  If that is the top at the moment then I guess I will need to hire where needed until the new one is announced and make a decision then.

I've even been looking at the GH3 despite its size, but I can't find anyone willing to put their neck on the line and call a winner!

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

I see the discussions of "focus tracking" a lot and I wonder when this is actually useful. As Mick, Anders and axlotl pointed out there's a big difference between C-AF (which seems to be very good in all the newer m43 cameras), and C-AF with tracking.

To take the commonly cited examples; sports, kids playing, and flying birds, why is the tracking part really useful? Why would you want to keep the camera absolutely still and rely on the camera to follow the subject. Seems to me that it's preferable to track the subject by panning the camera. As long as you can keep the AF box on your subject,

And this is a real problem often.

an E-M5 (or even an E-PL3 or G3 and all subsequent cameras from what I understand) should do just fine in C-AF mode at keeping whatever is in the focus box in focus.

C-AF with tracking seems like a separate issue. Whether it's a CDAF or PDAF camera it still requires some sophisticated software dedicated to object recognition. (i.e. determining that a particular patch of light projected on the sensor represents a discrete, permanent object and then following it even as it's color, luminance, shape and size change.) This is more a machine vision problem and not a focusing problem. Are there really any cameras that are good at that?

True, and PDAF is not necessary for object recognition. Just like you can recognize objects with one eye closed (without depth information), a proper algorithm can do it too. 3rd dimension can help a little in difficult conditions.

So you think it's kind of a depth map added to the 2D projection that helps with object recognition and tracking? I was just trying to think about it conceptually to get an idea why an SLR would have an advantage for tracking over a mirrorless camera. I can understand why cameras with PDAF would have an advantage for C-AF (though it seems like CDAF systems are definitely closing the gap.)

But what is needed is massive pixel binning, turning output of 16 mpix sensor to something like 0.01 mpix first (similar to what color array on focusing sensors in DSLRs have). No camera processor can do object recognition on 24 Mbytes of noise raw data in real time yet even if a sensor could output that (and it cannot or even close, so line skipping is used, leading to low-res noisy picture). You would need a supercomputer for that.

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PerL
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Re: Another true believer
In reply to JamieTux, Apr 3, 2013

JamieTux wrote:

I guess you also believe that you can buy a GF5 and get the same AF-C performance as a Nikon D4. I just feel sorry for those people who actually base purchase decisions on what they read here.

This is a forum for the true believers, I realize that now.

I would hope that anyone that does read this conversation reads that no one is saying that the g5 is as good at tracking focus as a D4, and that it is definitely not as good a system as a high end Nikon or Canon for shooting sports.

On the contrary, the forum seems to be invaded by "true believers" from outside. What Richard pointed out was exactly what distinguishes "true believers" from those ready to evaluate new evidence not on the basis of whether it matches some preconceived notion of the truth but on the basis of the quality of the evidence itself.

What is the quality of the evidence? Just because there are numbers and graphs?

Per, the point here is that a true believer cannot be swayed and does not have an open mind.  You seem to have it in your head that all of us are trying to convince people that mft is better at af tracking than a high end slr, but actually Anders points to a test where they found that mft are comparable in one area, an object coming straight towards you.  That shouldn't be so unbelievable as it is something that pdaf does not find easy (look up Canon 1D mk 3 focus issues) then also look at the fact that the high end slrs are shooting at a higher frame rate and so have less time to focus between frames and all of a sudden you start to see things that could explain the results if mft is still improving (having been a user of the system since the G1, it was only the OMD that convinced me to sell my SLR gear, so I think its improving).

You keep misreading that as G5 is better for sports (even after Anders categorically disagreed with that) and its the constant correction and reframing of the same argument that I think is confusing for people.

I mention the G5 vs D4 as just one example of many very odd results. I can say a few more: Panasonic GX1 - best of all cameras in AF-C? Panasonic G3H - worst of all m43? Anders took out the OM-D values, because he thought they were flawed. That is 3 out 5 cameras in the m43 group with strange results.

Lets go to the DSLRs. Best of all - Canon 650D? The super cheap Canon 1100D - very close to 5DIII and Nikon D800, better than all medium DSLRs, including Canons own? Lets look at the SLT Sonys. The top of the APS-C line, Sony A77, slower than a NEX 7? The results are all over the place, contradicting AF system sophistication and processing power.

And finally - m43 CDAF vs PDAF DSLRs. Judging from this, the low end m43 Panasonics are now in the class of pro or semipro DSLR cameras in AF-C performance (Nikon D4, Nikon D800, Canon 5DIII, Nikon D600) and also better than all Sony SLTs and capable DSLRs like Nikon D7000 and Canon 60D.

You mention that the test may be a special case where CDAF works better - AF-C head on. Well, here good DSLRs perform excellent - at least on real targets. This is a series from a Nikon D300S (green indicates sharp)

I am getting out of this discussion now since it leads nowhere, too much waste of time and energy.

Happy shooting,

PerL

P.S. Apologies for any typos, this is on my mobile phone and the cursor keeps jumping

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PerL
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Re: So what is the fuzz about?
In reply to Anders W, Apr 3, 2013

Anders W wrote:

PerL wrote:

Anders W wrote:

PerL wrote:

Anders W wrote:

PerL wrote:

Anders W wrote:

PerL wrote:

Anders W wrote:

PerL wrote:

Anders W wrote:

The only site I am aware of that actually tries to test AF-C performance in a systematic fashion is the French Fnac labs.

In one of their tests, they simulate a car approaching the camera at a speed of 50 km/h. The camera is fired in burst mode with a 200 mm (EFL) lens. At the outset, the car is fifty meters away. Obviously, it gets more and more difficult for the AF system to keep up, the closer the car gets. So one significant measure is the distance of the car from the camera when the last reasonably sharp shot is caught. Here are the results from this year's roundup:

CDAF

Panasonic GX1: 2.5

Panasonic G5: 8

Panasonic GF5: 8

Panasonic GH3: 9.5

Sony NEX F3: 11

Sony NEX 7: 12.5

Sony NEX 5R: 13

Sony NEX 6: 15

Samsung NX1000: 19

..........................

CDAF/PDAF

Nikon J2: 6.5

..........................

PDAF

Canon 650D: 6

Canon 7D: 6.5

Nikon D4: 7

Nikon D800: 8

Canon 5DIII: 8.5

Nikon D5100: 8.5

Nikon D600: 8.5

Canon 1100D: 9

Nikon D3100: 9.5

Pentax K-5: 9.5

Pentax K-30: 9.5

Nikon D3200: 10

Sony SLT-A57: 10

Nikon D7000: 10.5

Sony SLT-A65: 10.5

Canon 600D: 11.5

Sony SLT-A37: 11.5

Canon 60D: 12.5

Sony A-77: 13.5

I have been critical about these tests before.

And I have dealt with that criticism in some detail. Those interested find my latest response in the exchange between us here:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/50851802

If you Per have anything further to say, I suggest you start where we left off (the post I linked to) so that we don't have to repeat everything from the beginning again.

To many odd results IMO (even if one excludes the most strange ones like G2X)  that seems to be at odds with common sense and practical user experience. A few samples:

"Common sense" and "user experiences", both often rife with confirmation bias, are hardly infallible. That's precisely why we need systematic and objective tests like this, isn't it?

G5 and GF5 faster than G3H?

As I pointed out, a test like the one at issue here must by necessity involve a statististical error margin and you shouldn't put too much stock in each individual data point but look at broader patterns. The difference between the G5 and GF5 on the one hand and the GH3 isn't all that large and all three are in the latest generation of Panasonic MFT cameras. So I don't find too much to be surprised about here.

G5 and GF5 in the same ballpark as Nikon D4? (8 vs 7)

Yes. Isn't it amazing how quickly MFT has made progress, now rivalling the D4 in a test of AF-C?

Consider the fact that in the FNAC report of two years ago (the one where they tested the GH2 that you have personal experience with), the average value for the mirrorless camera tested was 16.25 meters. Two years later, that figure is down to 11. For MFT cameras specifically, the value two years ago was 13.5. By now, the average is down to 7.  In the meantime, the results for DSLRs haven't changed much. PDAF is a rather mature technology. CDAF has been developing rapidly in the last few years and is now catching up.

If we look in a broader view - the low end m43 Panasonics matches the semi pro cameras like Nikon D800 (same AF system as D4) and Canon 5D3?

See above.

The low end m43 Panasonics and the also slower GH3 clearly beat the prosumer and middle of the line DSLRs like Nikon D7000, Canon 60D, Sony A77?

See above.

Even the results in the DSLR group is confusing with entry level models beating the more expensive ones.

The only really unexpected result here is for the 650D. Other than that, the expected cameras (recent pro/semipro cameras) top the chart.

You can pick out a lot more strange stuff here, I would not put much trust in this.

So one can choose to believe this "test", or one can remain sceptical. Count me in the second category.

Yes, we know that you belong to that category. While it is not unusual for people to reject any test that does not confirm their preconceptions and prejudices, I personally try to avoid that mistake. How much stock I place in a test depends primarily on what I know about the methods used rather than on whether the results are what I thought they would be.

I dont think I am alone, not even in this forum. I have not seen a single post from a dual system user with a high end DSLR and an entry level m43, claiming that the CDAF m43 has better or equal tracking performance.

Noone said you were alone. The mistake I described above is rather common.

Is it a mistake to trust experiences and opinions and reviews more than a simulated test, where the simulation seems to go against all user reports?

That depends on the quality of the test versus the quality of the user reports. I try to carefully evaluate data sources of all kinds based on the methods whereby the data were generated. I do not, however, reject a data source off hand just because it does not agree with "conventional wisdom". If science would have done that, it would never have made any progress.

Furthermore, the scenario you outline is not the one we are actually facing. The user reports I see about this matter are rather variegated.

Would you without a doubt recommend someone aimng for a career in sports photography to get a couple of G5s to compete with the guys with the   high end DSLRs, based on this test?

No. What have I said to make you think that? The D4 beats the G5 with regard to the test figures I reported. It also beats the G5 with regard to those I just mentioned but didn't report: number of successful shots before the targets gets too close, where the D4 manages 32 versus nine for the G5. Furthermore, the D4 has better high ISO-performance (provided DoF is sufficient) and can be combined with a considerable number of high-performance tele lenses. So why should I recommend the G5 for professional sports photography? Unlike the D4, it is certainly not optimized or optimal for that particular purpose.

Well, since the difference was only 7 for D4 vs 8 for G5, in the test you showed the G5 looks like the AF-C bargain of the year. Who would have thought that the 600 dollars G5 and the 400 dollars GF5 would be in the same ballpark as the 6000 dollars pro camera, specially designed for action shooting.

Right. Remarkable, isn't it?

Anders, let me ask you, do you shot some sports your self, in low light with shallow DOF?

Not that this is at all relevant, but for the fun of it, let me ask you Per: Have you shot regularly with any more recent MFT camera than the GH2?

No, and if the improvement has been so radical as your test suggest, every reviewer I have read has  missed it.

It follows that you didn't read the tests and reports I have already linked you to. So you are once again showing that you are not ready to put your preconceptions and prejudices to trial.

Now, your turn - could you compare the shooting experience of a high end DSLR vs a m43 in a demanding sports situation?

As I already pointed out in a prior post, I would think that a D4 would be preferable to a G5 (or other recent MFT body) in that particular situation on, among others, the following grounds:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51209574

Note in addition that the test I linked to isn't a test of tracking performance. It is a test of AF-C and burst-mode performance.

Anders, I am pulling out now, I dont think this will lead anywhere.

Happy shooting,

Per

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texinwien
Senior MemberPosts: 2,876Gear list
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Re: So what is the fuzz about?
In reply to PerL, Apr 3, 2013

PerL wrote:

Anders W wrote:

PerL wrote:

Anders W wrote:

PerL wrote:

Anders W wrote:

PerL wrote:

Anders W wrote:

PerL wrote:

Anders W wrote:

PerL wrote:

Anders W wrote:

The only site I am aware of that actually tries to test AF-C performance in a systematic fashion is the French Fnac labs.

In one of their tests, they simulate a car approaching the camera at a speed of 50 km/h. The camera is fired in burst mode with a 200 mm (EFL) lens. At the outset, the car is fifty meters away. Obviously, it gets more and more difficult for the AF system to keep up, the closer the car gets. So one significant measure is the distance of the car from the camera when the last reasonably sharp shot is caught. Here are the results from this year's roundup:

CDAF

Panasonic GX1: 2.5

Panasonic G5: 8

Panasonic GF5: 8

Panasonic GH3: 9.5

Sony NEX F3: 11

Sony NEX 7: 12.5

Sony NEX 5R: 13

Sony NEX 6: 15

Samsung NX1000: 19

..........................

CDAF/PDAF

Nikon J2: 6.5

..........................

PDAF

Canon 650D: 6

Canon 7D: 6.5

Nikon D4: 7

Nikon D800: 8

Canon 5DIII: 8.5

Nikon D5100: 8.5

Nikon D600: 8.5

Canon 1100D: 9

Nikon D3100: 9.5

Pentax K-5: 9.5

Pentax K-30: 9.5

Nikon D3200: 10

Sony SLT-A57: 10

Nikon D7000: 10.5

Sony SLT-A65: 10.5

Canon 600D: 11.5

Sony SLT-A37: 11.5

Canon 60D: 12.5

Sony A-77: 13.5

I have been critical about these tests before.

And I have dealt with that criticism in some detail. Those interested find my latest response in the exchange between us here:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/50851802

If you Per have anything further to say, I suggest you start where we left off (the post I linked to) so that we don't have to repeat everything from the beginning again.

To many odd results IMO (even if one excludes the most strange ones like G2X)  that seems to be at odds with common sense and practical user experience. A few samples:

"Common sense" and "user experiences", both often rife with confirmation bias, are hardly infallible. That's precisely why we need systematic and objective tests like this, isn't it?

G5 and GF5 faster than G3H?

As I pointed out, a test like the one at issue here must by necessity involve a statististical error margin and you shouldn't put too much stock in each individual data point but look at broader patterns. The difference between the G5 and GF5 on the one hand and the GH3 isn't all that large and all three are in the latest generation of Panasonic MFT cameras. So I don't find too much to be surprised about here.

G5 and GF5 in the same ballpark as Nikon D4? (8 vs 7)

Yes. Isn't it amazing how quickly MFT has made progress, now rivalling the D4 in a test of AF-C?

Consider the fact that in the FNAC report of two years ago (the one where they tested the GH2 that you have personal experience with), the average value for the mirrorless camera tested was 16.25 meters. Two years later, that figure is down to 11. For MFT cameras specifically, the value two years ago was 13.5. By now, the average is down to 7.  In the meantime, the results for DSLRs haven't changed much. PDAF is a rather mature technology. CDAF has been developing rapidly in the last few years and is now catching up.

If we look in a broader view - the low end m43 Panasonics matches the semi pro cameras like Nikon D800 (same AF system as D4) and Canon 5D3?

See above.

The low end m43 Panasonics and the also slower GH3 clearly beat the prosumer and middle of the line DSLRs like Nikon D7000, Canon 60D, Sony A77?

See above.

Even the results in the DSLR group is confusing with entry level models beating the more expensive ones.

The only really unexpected result here is for the 650D. Other than that, the expected cameras (recent pro/semipro cameras) top the chart.

You can pick out a lot more strange stuff here, I would not put much trust in this.

So one can choose to believe this "test", or one can remain sceptical. Count me in the second category.

Yes, we know that you belong to that category. While it is not unusual for people to reject any test that does not confirm their preconceptions and prejudices, I personally try to avoid that mistake. How much stock I place in a test depends primarily on what I know about the methods used rather than on whether the results are what I thought they would be.

I dont think I am alone, not even in this forum. I have not seen a single post from a dual system user with a high end DSLR and an entry level m43, claiming that the CDAF m43 has better or equal tracking performance.

Noone said you were alone. The mistake I described above is rather common.

Is it a mistake to trust experiences and opinions and reviews more than a simulated test, where the simulation seems to go against all user reports?

That depends on the quality of the test versus the quality of the user reports. I try to carefully evaluate data sources of all kinds based on the methods whereby the data were generated. I do not, however, reject a data source off hand just because it does not agree with "conventional wisdom". If science would have done that, it would never have made any progress.

Furthermore, the scenario you outline is not the one we are actually facing. The user reports I see about this matter are rather variegated.

Would you without a doubt recommend someone aimng for a career in sports photography to get a couple of G5s to compete with the guys with the   high end DSLRs, based on this test?

No. What have I said to make you think that? The D4 beats the G5 with regard to the test figures I reported. It also beats the G5 with regard to those I just mentioned but didn't report: number of successful shots before the targets gets too close, where the D4 manages 32 versus nine for the G5. Furthermore, the D4 has better high ISO-performance (provided DoF is sufficient) and can be combined with a considerable number of high-performance tele lenses. So why should I recommend the G5 for professional sports photography? Unlike the D4, it is certainly not optimized or optimal for that particular purpose.

Well, since the difference was only 7 for D4 vs 8 for G5, in the test you showed the G5 looks like the AF-C bargain of the year. Who would have thought that the 600 dollars G5 and the 400 dollars GF5 would be in the same ballpark as the 6000 dollars pro camera, specially designed for action shooting.

Right. Remarkable, isn't it?

Anders, let me ask you, do you shot some sports your self, in low light with shallow DOF?

Not that this is at all relevant, but for the fun of it, let me ask you Per: Have you shot regularly with any more recent MFT camera than the GH2?

No, and if the improvement has been so radical as your test suggest, every reviewer I have read has  missed it.

It follows that you didn't read the tests and reports I have already linked you to. So you are once again showing that you are not ready to put your preconceptions and prejudices to trial.

Now, your turn - could you compare the shooting experience of a high end DSLR vs a m43 in a demanding sports situation?

As I already pointed out in a prior post, I would think that a D4 would be preferable to a G5 (or other recent MFT body) in that particular situation on, among others, the following grounds:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51209574

Note in addition that the test I linked to isn't a test of tracking performance. It is a test of AF-C and burst-mode performance.

Anders, I am pulling out now, I dont think this will lead anywhere.

Happy shooting,

Per

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tex

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PerL
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That was funny
In reply to texinwien, Apr 3, 2013

texinwien wrote:

PerL wrote:

Anders W wrote:

PerL wrote:

Anders W wrote:

PerL wrote:

Anders W wrote:

PerL wrote:

Anders W wrote:

PerL wrote:

Anders W wrote:

PerL wrote:

Anders W wrote:

The only site I am aware of that actually tries to test AF-C performance in a systematic fashion is the French Fnac labs.

In one of their tests, they simulate a car approaching the camera at a speed of 50 km/h. The camera is fired in burst mode with a 200 mm (EFL) lens. At the outset, the car is fifty meters away. Obviously, it gets more and more difficult for the AF system to keep up, the closer the car gets. So one significant measure is the distance of the car from the camera when the last reasonably sharp shot is caught. Here are the results from this year's roundup:

CDAF

Panasonic GX1: 2.5

Panasonic G5: 8

Panasonic GF5: 8

Panasonic GH3: 9.5

Sony NEX F3: 11

Sony NEX 7: 12.5

Sony NEX 5R: 13

Sony NEX 6: 15

Samsung NX1000: 19

..........................

CDAF/PDAF

Nikon J2: 6.5

..........................

PDAF

Canon 650D: 6

Canon 7D: 6.5

Nikon D4: 7

Nikon D800: 8

Canon 5DIII: 8.5

Nikon D5100: 8.5

Nikon D600: 8.5

Canon 1100D: 9

Nikon D3100: 9.5

Pentax K-5: 9.5

Pentax K-30: 9.5

Nikon D3200: 10

Sony SLT-A57: 10

Nikon D7000: 10.5

Sony SLT-A65: 10.5

Canon 600D: 11.5

Sony SLT-A37: 11.5

Canon 60D: 12.5

Sony A-77: 13.5

I have been critical about these tests before.

And I have dealt with that criticism in some detail. Those interested find my latest response in the exchange between us here:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/50851802

If you Per have anything further to say, I suggest you start where we left off (the post I linked to) so that we don't have to repeat everything from the beginning again.

To many odd results IMO (even if one excludes the most strange ones like G2X)  that seems to be at odds with common sense and practical user experience. A few samples:

"Common sense" and "user experiences", both often rife with confirmation bias, are hardly infallible. That's precisely why we need systematic and objective tests like this, isn't it?

G5 and GF5 faster than G3H?

As I pointed out, a test like the one at issue here must by necessity involve a statististical error margin and you shouldn't put too much stock in each individual data point but look at broader patterns. The difference between the G5 and GF5 on the one hand and the GH3 isn't all that large and all three are in the latest generation of Panasonic MFT cameras. So I don't find too much to be surprised about here.

G5 and GF5 in the same ballpark as Nikon D4? (8 vs 7)

Yes. Isn't it amazing how quickly MFT has made progress, now rivalling the D4 in a test of AF-C?

Consider the fact that in the FNAC report of two years ago (the one where they tested the GH2 that you have personal experience with), the average value for the mirrorless camera tested was 16.25 meters. Two years later, that figure is down to 11. For MFT cameras specifically, the value two years ago was 13.5. By now, the average is down to 7.  In the meantime, the results for DSLRs haven't changed much. PDAF is a rather mature technology. CDAF has been developing rapidly in the last few years and is now catching up.

If we look in a broader view - the low end m43 Panasonics matches the semi pro cameras like Nikon D800 (same AF system as D4) and Canon 5D3?

See above.

The low end m43 Panasonics and the also slower GH3 clearly beat the prosumer and middle of the line DSLRs like Nikon D7000, Canon 60D, Sony A77?

See above.

Even the results in the DSLR group is confusing with entry level models beating the more expensive ones.

The only really unexpected result here is for the 650D. Other than that, the expected cameras (recent pro/semipro cameras) top the chart.

You can pick out a lot more strange stuff here, I would not put much trust in this.

So one can choose to believe this "test", or one can remain sceptical. Count me in the second category.

Yes, we know that you belong to that category. While it is not unusual for people to reject any test that does not confirm their preconceptions and prejudices, I personally try to avoid that mistake. How much stock I place in a test depends primarily on what I know about the methods used rather than on whether the results are what I thought they would be.

I dont think I am alone, not even in this forum. I have not seen a single post from a dual system user with a high end DSLR and an entry level m43, claiming that the CDAF m43 has better or equal tracking performance.

Noone said you were alone. The mistake I described above is rather common.

Is it a mistake to trust experiences and opinions and reviews more than a simulated test, where the simulation seems to go against all user reports?

That depends on the quality of the test versus the quality of the user reports. I try to carefully evaluate data sources of all kinds based on the methods whereby the data were generated. I do not, however, reject a data source off hand just because it does not agree with "conventional wisdom". If science would have done that, it would never have made any progress.

Furthermore, the scenario you outline is not the one we are actually facing. The user reports I see about this matter are rather variegated.

Would you without a doubt recommend someone aimng for a career in sports photography to get a couple of G5s to compete with the guys with the   high end DSLRs, based on this test?

No. What have I said to make you think that? The D4 beats the G5 with regard to the test figures I reported. It also beats the G5 with regard to those I just mentioned but didn't report: number of successful shots before the targets gets too close, where the D4 manages 32 versus nine for the G5. Furthermore, the D4 has better high ISO-performance (provided DoF is sufficient) and can be combined with a considerable number of high-performance tele lenses. So why should I recommend the G5 for professional sports photography? Unlike the D4, it is certainly not optimized or optimal for that particular purpose.

Well, since the difference was only 7 for D4 vs 8 for G5, in the test you showed the G5 looks like the AF-C bargain of the year. Who would have thought that the 600 dollars G5 and the 400 dollars GF5 would be in the same ballpark as the 6000 dollars pro camera, specially designed for action shooting.

Right. Remarkable, isn't it?

Anders, let me ask you, do you shot some sports your self, in low light with shallow DOF?

Not that this is at all relevant, but for the fun of it, let me ask you Per: Have you shot regularly with any more recent MFT camera than the GH2?

No, and if the improvement has been so radical as your test suggest, every reviewer I have read has  missed it.

It follows that you didn't read the tests and reports I have already linked you to. So you are once again showing that you are not ready to put your preconceptions and prejudices to trial.

Now, your turn - could you compare the shooting experience of a high end DSLR vs a m43 in a demanding sports situation?

As I already pointed out in a prior post, I would think that a D4 would be preferable to a G5 (or other recent MFT body) in that particular situation on, among others, the following grounds:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51209574

Note in addition that the test I linked to isn't a test of tracking performance. It is a test of AF-C and burst-mode performance.

Anders, I am pulling out now, I dont think this will lead anywhere.

Happy shooting,

Per

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Come back when you have something other than faith to offer in the discussion

tex

Comments like that makes me feel like this is a kind of a sect. Now, what did you contribute?

Have you shot a m43 and a DSLR side by side?

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peevee1
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Re: what is the best m43 for focus tracking?
In reply to Anders W, Apr 3, 2013

Anders W wrote:

peevee1 wrote:

Anders W wrote:

JamieTux wrote:

Hey everyone, since selling my Canon gear to move to m43 I've been shooting with just one top quality body (I have a gf2 as well buits really lacking in dr for my style of shooting so one useful camera only scares me!) I had the money put aside to get the new improved AF all singing all dancing Oly when its announced but all seems quiet on that front at the moment.  So I'd like to get a complementary camera to go with my om-d.  If that is the top at the moment then I guess I will need to hire where needed until the new one is announced and make a decision then.

I've even been looking at the GH3 despite its size, but I can't find anyone willing to put their neck on the line and call a winner!

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

The only site I am aware of that actually tries to test AF-C performance in a systematic fashion is the French Fnac labs.

In one of their tests, they simulate a car approaching the camera at a speed of 50 km/h. The camera is fired in burst mode with a 200 mm (EFL) lens. At the outset, the car is fifty meters away. Obviously, it gets more and more difficult for the AF system to keep up, the closer the car gets. So one significant measure is the distance of the car from the camera when the last reasonably sharp shot is caught. Here are the results from this year's roundup:

CDAF

Panasonic GX1: 2.5

Panasonic G5: 8

Panasonic GF5: 8

Panasonic GH3: 9.5

Sony NEX F3: 11

Sony NEX 7: 12.5

Sony NEX 5R: 13

Sony NEX 6: 15

Samsung NX1000: 19

..........................

CDAF/PDAF

Nikon J2: 6.5

..........................

PDAF

Canon 650D: 6

Canon 7D: 6.5

Nikon D4: 7

Nikon D800: 8

Canon 5DIII: 8.5

Nikon D5100: 8.5

Nikon D600: 8.5

Canon 1100D: 9

Nikon D3100: 9.5

Pentax K-5: 9.5

Pentax K-30: 9.5

Nikon D3200: 10

Sony SLT-A57: 10

Nikon D7000: 10.5

Sony SLT-A65: 10.5

Canon 600D: 11.5

Sony SLT-A37: 11.5

Canon 60D: 12.5

Sony A-77: 13.5

Looks random, like a result of a single try.

To you perhaps.

Not to you? Was it a result of statistically significant number of experiments (that would be hundred or so at least)? Do you really beleive that tracking in 650D is better than the one in 5D3?

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peevee1
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Re: Question should be "what is the least worst"
In reply to Cane, Apr 3, 2013

Cane wrote:

peevee1 wrote:

Cane wrote:

Where does the gh3 or OM-D rank in AF speed and tracking of ERRATIC AND QUICK moving objects when compared to all cameras on the market? Also, where does it compare using live view and not a viewfinder? Most dslr's seam to lag at this. Anyone tried a recently released dslr live view or something similar vs. m4/3? I'd think you'd start to be comparable here.

No, it is not comparable. Recently I tried Nikon D600 with 70-300 and D7000 with 55-300. Both, even with a viewfinder/PDAF, are significanly slower in S-AF compared to OM-D with Oly 40-150 (especially that 55-300 takes its time), in Live View they are simply unusable. Times (for focusing between an object approximately 30 m away to an object about 3 m away, in Costco warehouse light) are about like this:

OM-D + 40-150 - less than 1 s, probably closer to 0.5s, feels like "snap"

D600+70-300

PDAF 1.5-2s

CDAF ~5 s (hard to say, long time)

D7000+55-300

PDAF 2-3s

CDAF a lot of hunting and inconsistency, 6+ s.

I don't even think it is primarily the cameras' fault, the lenses just have heavy focusing groups and relatively (in relation to the weight of the focusing groups) weak motors. DSLR lenses would focus slow on OM-D too.

Thanks, that's interesting insight. Thanks. Would you say then that a dslr beats OM-D through the viewfinder

Not for single focus. At least not those combinations of bodies and lenses. How can 2-3 s beat 0.5s?

For tracking - obviously depends on body and lens combination, there are those DSLRs which are significantly better (mostly pro bodies with native lenses), there are those which are similar, there are few which are worse. There are some which are better if you manage to keep your subject in the center but completely fail otherwise (i.e. unusable for erratically moving subjects).

and the reverse through live view?

"Live view AF" on DSLRs (at least with those lenses I tested, but I think in general too) is unusable, even MF is faster.

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peevee1
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Re: Question should be "what is the least worst"
In reply to JamieTux, Apr 3, 2013

JamieTux wrote:

Cane wrote:

peevee1 wrote:

Cane wrote:

Where does the gh3 or OM-D rank in AF speed and tracking of ERRATIC AND QUICK moving objects when compared to all cameras on the market? Also, where does it compare using live view and not a viewfinder? Most dslr's seam to lag at this. Anyone tried a recently released dslr live view or something similar vs. m4/3? I'd think you'd start to be comparable here.

No, it is not comparable. Recently I tried Nikon D600 with 70-300 and D7000 with 55-300. Both, even with a viewfinder/PDAF, are significanly slower in S-AF compared to OM-D with Oly 40-150 (especially that 55-300 takes its time), in Live View they are simply unusable. Times (for focusing between an object approximately 30 m away to an object about 3 m away, in Costco warehouse light) are about like this:

OM-D + 40-150 - less than 1 s, probably closer to 0.5s, feels like "snap"

D600+70-300

PDAF 1.5-2s

CDAF ~5 s (hard to say, long time)

D7000+55-300

PDAF 2-3s

CDAF a lot of hunting and inconsistency, 6+ s.

I don't even think it is primarily the cameras' fault, the lenses just have heavy focusing groups and relatively (in relation to the weight of the focusing groups) weak motors. DSLR lenses would focus slow on OM-D too.

Thanks, that's interesting insight. Thanks. Would you say then that a dslr beats OM-D through the viewfinder and the reverse through live view?

Peevee1 is saying that the OM-D wins against the dslr full stop.

Not all dslr+lens combos, just those available in Costco that I tested for this particular purpose.

I guess with the right lens for S-AF he's probably right, but in practical terms with decent light I find them pretty much equal for S-AF (I can't remember ever having a 2 second hunt on any Nikon in normal light) but as soon as you go to live view the OM-D is a whole different beast compared to the SLR.

I never have "normal" light for indoor sports, in fact the light in a tipical gym is much worse than in the Costco warehouse. And 2-3s for PDAF with 55-300 was not "hunt" (unlike CDAF), it was simply slow stroll.

Personally I wouldn't use any SLR in live view for autofocus of anything that wasn't static, I had a brief play with a Nikon D7100 at the weekend and neither that nor the D800 is catching up in terms on live view AF.

They are both better at tracking AF through the viewfinder though.

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Anders W
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Re: Another true believer
In reply to PerL, Apr 3, 2013

PerL wrote:

JamieTux wrote:

I guess you also believe that you can buy a GF5 and get the same AF-C performance as a Nikon D4. I just feel sorry for those people who actually base purchase decisions on what they read here.

This is a forum for the true believers, I realize that now.

I would hope that anyone that does read this conversation reads that no one is saying that the g5 is as good at tracking focus as a D4, and that it is definitely not as good a system as a high end Nikon or Canon for shooting sports.

On the contrary, the forum seems to be invaded by "true believers" from outside. What Richard pointed out was exactly what distinguishes "true believers" from those ready to evaluate new evidence not on the basis of whether it matches some preconceived notion of the truth but on the basis of the quality of the evidence itself.

What is the quality of the evidence? Just because there are numbers and graphs?

Per, the point here is that a true believer cannot be swayed and does not have an open mind.  You seem to have it in your head that all of us are trying to convince people that mft is better at af tracking than a high end slr, but actually Anders points to a test where they found that mft are comparable in one area, an object coming straight towards you.  That shouldn't be so unbelievable as it is something that pdaf does not find easy (look up Canon 1D mk 3 focus issues) then also look at the fact that the high end slrs are shooting at a higher frame rate and so have less time to focus between frames and all of a sudden you start to see things that could explain the results if mft is still improving (having been a user of the system since the G1, it was only the OMD that convinced me to sell my SLR gear, so I think its improving).

You keep misreading that as G5 is better for sports (even after Anders categorically disagreed with that) and its the constant correction and reframing of the same argument that I think is confusing for people.

I mention the G5 vs D4 as just one example of many very odd results. I can say a few more: Panasonic GX1 - best of all cameras in AF-C? Panasonic G3H - worst of all m43? Anders took out the OM-D values, because he thought they were flawed. That is 3 out 5 cameras in the m43 group with strange results.

Lets go to the DSLRs. Best of all - Canon 650D? The super cheap Canon 1100D - very close to 5DIII and Nikon D800, better than all medium DSLRs, including Canons own? Lets look at the SLT Sonys. The top of the APS-C line, Sony A77, slower than a NEX 7? The results are all over the place, contradicting AF system sophistication and processing power.

And finally - m43 CDAF vs PDAF DSLRs. Judging from this, the low end m43 Panasonics are now in the class of pro or semipro DSLR cameras in AF-C performance (Nikon D4, Nikon D800, Canon 5DIII, Nikon D600) and also better than all Sony SLTs and capable DSLRs like Nikon D7000 and Canon 60D.

You mention that the test may be a special case where CDAF works better - AF-C head on. Well, here good DSLRs perform excellent - at least on real targets. This is a series from a Nikon D300S (green indicates sharp)

I am getting out of this discussion now since it leads nowhere, too much waste of time and energy.

I am afraid that it is indeed a waste of time to argue with you. Having dealt with objections like those you now raise for the umpteenth time already in my first post on the subject as well as in several later posts, I have now lost any hope of having you understand why there is a need for elementary statistical tools like averages, standard deviations or correlation coefficients when dealing with data of the present kind. If you are ever to pass Statistics 101, you need to find a more patient teacher.

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