Better low light AF than D5200

Started Apr 5, 2013 | User reviews
minircc
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Better low light AF than D5200
Apr 5, 2013

i am tossing between the 650d 18-135 STM and d5200 18-105 VR.
i went to Ted's Camera and played around with both for a while. The sales consultant was very helpful and didnt mind. What really surprised me was the speed of the auto focus on the Canon STM system. In real life lower light use, the focusing speed was much much faster and quieter on the Canon. It also did not require AF assist, whereas the d5200 struggled a bit more and the AF assist light came on more often when focusing on the same items and same low light. Both were on auto mode.  I was a little worried with Canon before i tested them because it doesnt have an AF assist light (it uses the pop flash as a strobe). Now i know why, it hardly needs to use it!
(I had my heart set on the D5200 after all my internet research, but that pretty much sold me the 650d. A 360 turnaround for me.
I also want to  add a 50mm F1.8 (approx $100) and an iTTL flash that allows off camera flash. I think a brilliant starter kit.
I wonder if anyone else has noticed the focus differences between the 2 systems? To me specs mean nothing when in reality one clearly outperforms the other.
Having said that, i do a lot of low light shooting. So in daytime there wouldn’t be any noticeable difference between the 2 with regards to AF speed and accuracy.

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Canon EOS 650D Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM
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Canon EOS 650D (EOS Rebel T4i / EOS Kiss X6i) Nikon D5200
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canuck dave
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Re: Better low light AF than D5200
In reply to minircc, Apr 5, 2013

"i went to Ted's Camera and played around with both for a while......  To me specs mean nothing when in reality one clearly outperforms the other."

Is this a 'review'?

I'm sorry, but opinions like this are not very helpful to anyone.

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Dareshooter
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Re: Better low light AF than D5200
In reply to canuck dave, Apr 5, 2013

canuck dave wrote:

"i went to Ted's Camera and played around with both for a while......  To me specs mean nothing when in reality one clearly outperforms the other."

Is this a 'review'?

I'm sorry, but opinions like this are not very helpful to anyone.

Agreed.

@ the OP. This is not a review.Start a discussion by all means but please don't label it as a review.

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Timbukto
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Re: Better low light AF than D5200
In reply to minircc, Apr 5, 2013

The difference is that some Nikon kit lenses just have slower AF. Not necessarily a body issue.  However figure out what lens you like and research their AF speed and accuracy.  It is true that STM provides speed and FTM for cheap and small.

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TTMartin
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Re: Better low light AF than D5200
In reply to Dareshooter, Apr 5, 2013

Dareshooter wrote:

canuck dave wrote:

"i went to Ted's Camera and played around with both for a while......  To me specs mean nothing when in reality one clearly outperforms the other."

Is this a 'review'?

I'm sorry, but opinions like this are not very helpful to anyone.

Agreed.

@ the OP. This is not a review.Start a discussion by all means but please don't label it as a review.

If the OP purchased the camera for that reason it is a valid review, as it was important enough for him to base his purchase decision on it.

It also brings to light (so to speak) some thing that I hadn't considered. I have my the AF assist set to disable the 'Disco Light' and only use the red grid AF assist from my 430EX II or 580EX II. I agree with the OP, I really haven't had focus issues without the 'Disco Light', as anytime light was low enough to need AF assist, it was low enough to need an external flash.

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Dareshooter
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Re: Better low light AF than D5200
In reply to TTMartin, Apr 5, 2013

TTMartin wrote:

Dareshooter wrote:

canuck dave wrote:

"i went to Ted's Camera and played around with both for a while......  To me specs mean nothing when in reality one clearly outperforms the other."

Is this a 'review'?

I'm sorry, but opinions like this are not very helpful to anyone.

Agreed.

@ the OP. This is not a review.Start a discussion by all means but please don't label it as a review.

If the OP purchased the camera for that reason it is a valid review, as it was important enough for him to base his purchase decision on it.

It also brings to light (so to speak) some thing that I hadn't considered. I have my the AF assist set to disable the 'Disco Light' and only use the red grid AF assist from my 430EX II or 580EX II. I agree with the OP, I really haven't had focus issues without the 'Disco Light', as anytime light was low enough to need AF assist, it was low enough to need an external flash.

Reading the first line of the review seems to indicate that the OP has not made  a purchase. Testing in Ted's camera's is not exactly the ideal place to carry out a review.

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Timbukto
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Re: Better low light AF than D5200
In reply to Dareshooter, Apr 5, 2013

Dareshooter wrote:

TTMartin wrote:

Dareshooter wrote:

canuck dave wrote:

"i went to Ted's Camera and played around with both for a while......  To me specs mean nothing when in reality one clearly outperforms the other."

Is this a 'review'?

I'm sorry, but opinions like this are not very helpful to anyone.

Agreed.

@ the OP. This is not a review.Start a discussion by all means but please don't label it as a review.

If the OP purchased the camera for that reason it is a valid review, as it was important enough for him to base his purchase decision on it.

It also brings to light (so to speak) some thing that I hadn't considered. I have my the AF assist set to disable the 'Disco Light' and only use the red grid AF assist from my 430EX II or 580EX II. I agree with the OP, I really haven't had focus issues without the 'Disco Light', as anytime light was low enough to need AF assist, it was low enough to need an external flash.

Reading the first line of the review seems to indicate that the OP has not made  a purchase. Testing in Ted's camera's is not exactly the ideal place to carry out a review.

Yes not ideal, however it is certainly a Canon advantage that once Canon rolls out the 18-55 IS STM, Canon will *not* have a single slow in-distribution APS-C zoom under their belt except for the 55-250.

The 17-55, 15-85, 18-135 STM, and I imagine the new 18-55 STM...they are *all* incredibly fast in AF.  The DX zooms for Nikon are not all that fast except for the 17-55 2.8 which is not stabilized.

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Dareshooter
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Re: Better low light AF than D5200
In reply to Timbukto, Apr 5, 2013

Timbukto wrote:

Dareshooter wrote:

TTMartin wrote:

Dareshooter wrote:

canuck dave wrote:

"i went to Ted's Camera and played around with both for a while......  To me specs mean nothing when in reality one clearly outperforms the other."

Is this a 'review'?

I'm sorry, but opinions like this are not very helpful to anyone.

Agreed.

@ the OP. This is not a review.Start a discussion by all means but please don't label it as a review.

If the OP purchased the camera for that reason it is a valid review, as it was important enough for him to base his purchase decision on it.

It also brings to light (so to speak) some thing that I hadn't considered. I have my the AF assist set to disable the 'Disco Light' and only use the red grid AF assist from my 430EX II or 580EX II. I agree with the OP, I really haven't had focus issues without the 'Disco Light', as anytime light was low enough to need AF assist, it was low enough to need an external flash.

Reading the first line of the review seems to indicate that the OP has not made  a purchase. Testing in Ted's camera's is not exactly the ideal place to carry out a review.

Yes not ideal, however it is certainly a Canon advantage that once Canon rolls out the 18-55 IS STM, Canon will *not* have a single slow in-distribution APS-C zoom under their belt except for the 55-250.

The 17-55, 15-85, 18-135 STM, and I imagine the new 18-55 STM...they are *all* incredibly fast in AF.  The DX zooms for Nikon are not all that fast except for the 17-55 2.8 which is not stabilized.

Indeed. Mind you any AF lens can focus faster than I can

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Timbukto
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Re: Better low light AF than D5200
In reply to Dareshooter, Apr 5, 2013

Dareshooter wrote:

Timbukto wrote:

Dareshooter wrote:

TTMartin wrote:

Dareshooter wrote:

canuck dave wrote:

"i went to Ted's Camera and played around with both for a while......  To me specs mean nothing when in reality one clearly outperforms the other."

Is this a 'review'?

I'm sorry, but opinions like this are not very helpful to anyone.

Agreed.

@ the OP. This is not a review.Start a discussion by all means but please don't label it as a review.

If the OP purchased the camera for that reason it is a valid review, as it was important enough for him to base his purchase decision on it.

It also brings to light (so to speak) some thing that I hadn't considered. I have my the AF assist set to disable the 'Disco Light' and only use the red grid AF assist from my 430EX II or 580EX II. I agree with the OP, I really haven't had focus issues without the 'Disco Light', as anytime light was low enough to need AF assist, it was low enough to need an external flash.

Reading the first line of the review seems to indicate that the OP has not made  a purchase. Testing in Ted's camera's is not exactly the ideal place to carry out a review.

Yes not ideal, however it is certainly a Canon advantage that once Canon rolls out the 18-55 IS STM, Canon will *not* have a single slow in-distribution APS-C zoom under their belt except for the 55-250.

The 17-55, 15-85, 18-135 STM, and I imagine the new 18-55 STM...they are *all* incredibly fast in AF.  The DX zooms for Nikon are not all that fast except for the 17-55 2.8 which is not stabilized.

Indeed. Mind you any AF lens can focus faster than I can

I'd have to say the OP also must not have really tried the 50mm 1.8 yet...since this is Canon's biggest stinker in AF performance!  You can be more accurate than the 50mm 1.8 can, except to do so means turning a terrible focus barrel, etc.

The Canon zooms are fast indeed, but their 50mm 1.8 is pretty stinky and they don't have a 35mm 1.8 for APS-C either.

But the OP is making the same mistakes a lot of reputable reviews do...equating AF performance with a given lens.  It varies completely with different lenses.  Its more useful to really profile AF performance for all lenses/bodies, but that would mean more work when a sloppy review suffices in pulling in page views and ad revenue.

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Artmech
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Re: Better low light AF than D5200
In reply to minircc, Apr 6, 2013

I have a 650D with the 16-135 STM lens and bought it to use in its video mode, but it has a problem when being used in either live view or video as it locks up and freezes the buttons and has to have the battery removed to reset. I got a replacement body and the second one did the same fault I have been waiting for a reply from Canon that was ten days ago. I thought of replacing it with a 5200 because of the pixel count but Nikon do not have a silent focus lens for video. The STM lens is quiet not silent but very quiet and it does focus in very low light, as it needs to as it doesn't have a focus assist light, it uses a low level flash first. I like the flip out screen, and the touch feature on the 650D is good when you get used to it. The 650D grip feels good, it fits my hand well. But I think I will stick with what I have got for now (D50 with a  18-55DX and my old 35mm lenses) and hang about until the 700D drops in price and see if that has got the same lock up problem as the 650D. Or perhaps go for the D7000 and forget about video.

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minircc
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Re: Better low light AF than D5200
In reply to Timbukto, Apr 7, 2013

Timbukto wrote:

Dareshooter wrote:

Timbukto wrote:

Dareshooter wrote:

TTMartin wrote:

Dareshooter wrote:

canuck dave wrote:

"i went to Ted's Camera and played around with both for a while......  To me specs mean nothing when in reality one clearly outperforms the other."

Is this a 'review'?

I'm sorry, but opinions like this are not very helpful to anyone.

Agreed.

@ the OP. This is not a review.Start a discussion by all means but please don't label it as a review.

If the OP purchased the camera for that reason it is a valid review, as it was important enough for him to base his purchase decision on it.

It also brings to light (so to speak) some thing that I hadn't considered. I have my the AF assist set to disable the 'Disco Light' and only use the red grid AF assist from my 430EX II or 580EX II. I agree with the OP, I really haven't had focus issues without the 'Disco Light', as anytime light was low enough to need AF assist, it was low enough to need an external flash.

Reading the first line of the review seems to indicate that the OP has not made  a purchase. Testing in Ted's camera's is not exactly the ideal place to carry out a review.

Yes not ideal, however it is certainly a Canon advantage that once Canon rolls out the 18-55 IS STM, Canon will *not* have a single slow in-distribution APS-C zoom under their belt except for the 55-250.

The 17-55, 15-85, 18-135 STM, and I imagine the new 18-55 STM...they are *all* incredibly fast in AF.  The DX zooms for Nikon are not all that fast except for the 17-55 2.8 which is not stabilized.

Indeed. Mind you any AF lens can focus faster than I can

I'd have to say the OP also must not have really tried the 50mm 1.8 yet...since this is Canon's biggest stinker in AF performance!  You can be more accurate than the 50mm 1.8 can, except to do so means turning a terrible focus barrel, etc.

The Canon zooms are fast indeed, but their 50mm 1.8 is pretty stinky and they don't have a 35mm 1.8 for APS-C either.

But the OP is making the same mistakes a lot of reputable reviews do...equating AF performance with a given lens.  It varies completely with different lenses.  Its more useful to really profile AF performance for all lenses/bodies, but that would mean more work when a sloppy review suffices in pulling in page views and ad revenue.

Apologies guys. I am new to dpreview so was not familiar with the rules to post here. Will keep it in mind for next time and post in forums.

My assumption when i read 'user reviews' was that i was able to post a review given i had used both the cameras for the lens i intended to buy. I also wasn't aware i had to have bought and owned the systems before i can add a review. Anyways, if it makes any difference i have ordered one (650d + 18-135 STM + 50mm f1.8) on the weekend because a lot of stores are out of stock now due to the 700d replacement

The other thing which swayed me was that the 650D has built in eTTL for auto off camera wireless flash (which i plan to buy soon), whereas i believe the D5200 does not have the iTTL feature built in. ie. Need to purchase the extra commander.

Also, I did try the 50mm f1.8 at Ted's as well and am aware it is slower and louder than the STM 18-135mm. However given I will be using the 18-135mm as my main lens and the 50mm to play around with I wasn’t too fussed given its a cheap lens. Having said that i also tested the 50mm f1.8 on the D5200 and it was pretty similar in noise and speed. Not really looking for a 35mm, although i am aware it equates to a full frames 50mm. Over time i might invest in a fixed f2.8 zoom, but that will come later if i think i need it. eTTL flash is what i am looking for next

 minircc's gear list:minircc's gear list
Canon EOS 650D Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM
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TTMartin
Senior MemberPosts: 6,099Gear list
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Re: Better low light AF than D5200
In reply to minircc, Apr 7, 2013

minircc wrote:

Timbukto wrote:

Dareshooter wrote:

Timbukto wrote:

Dareshooter wrote:

TTMartin wrote:

Dareshooter wrote:

canuck dave wrote:

"i went to Ted's Camera and played around with both for a while......  To me specs mean nothing when in reality one clearly outperforms the other."

Is this a 'review'?

I'm sorry, but opinions like this are not very helpful to anyone.

Agreed.

@ the OP. This is not a review.Start a discussion by all means but please don't label it as a review.

If the OP purchased the camera for that reason it is a valid review, as it was important enough for him to base his purchase decision on it.

It also brings to light (so to speak) some thing that I hadn't considered. I have my the AF assist set to disable the 'Disco Light' and only use the red grid AF assist from my 430EX II or 580EX II. I agree with the OP, I really haven't had focus issues without the 'Disco Light', as anytime light was low enough to need AF assist, it was low enough to need an external flash.

Reading the first line of the review seems to indicate that the OP has not made  a purchase. Testing in Ted's camera's is not exactly the ideal place to carry out a review.

Yes not ideal, however it is certainly a Canon advantage that once Canon rolls out the 18-55 IS STM, Canon will *not* have a single slow in-distribution APS-C zoom under their belt except for the 55-250.

The 17-55, 15-85, 18-135 STM, and I imagine the new 18-55 STM...they are *all* incredibly fast in AF.  The DX zooms for Nikon are not all that fast except for the 17-55 2.8 which is not stabilized.

Indeed. Mind you any AF lens can focus faster than I can

I'd have to say the OP also must not have really tried the 50mm 1.8 yet...since this is Canon's biggest stinker in AF performance!  You can be more accurate than the 50mm 1.8 can, except to do so means turning a terrible focus barrel, etc.

The Canon zooms are fast indeed, but their 50mm 1.8 is pretty stinky and they don't have a 35mm 1.8 for APS-C either.

But the OP is making the same mistakes a lot of reputable reviews do...equating AF performance with a given lens.  It varies completely with different lenses.  Its more useful to really profile AF performance for all lenses/bodies, but that would mean more work when a sloppy review suffices in pulling in page views and ad revenue.

Apologies guys. I am new to dpreview so was not familiar with the rules to post here. Will keep it in mind for next time and post in forums.

My assumption when i read 'user reviews' was that i was able to post a review given i had used both the cameras for the lens i intended to buy. I also wasn't aware i had to have bought and owned the systems before i can add a review. Anyways, if it makes any difference i have ordered one (650d + 18-135 STM + 50mm f1.8) on the weekend because a lot of stores are out of stock now due to the 700d replacement

The other thing which swayed me was that the 650D has built in eTTL for auto off camera wireless flash (which i plan to buy soon), whereas i believe the D5200 does not have the iTTL feature built in. ie. Need to purchase the extra commander.

Also, I did try the 50mm f1.8 at Ted's as well and am aware it is slower and louder than the STM 18-135mm. However given I will be using the 18-135mm as my main lens and the 50mm to play around with I wasn’t too fussed given its a cheap lens. Having said that i also tested the 50mm f1.8 on the D5200 and it was pretty similar in noise and speed. Not really looking for a 35mm, although i am aware it equates to a full frames 50mm. Over time i might invest in a fixed f2.8 zoom, but that will come later if i think i need it. eTTL flash is what i am looking for next

Congratulations on your new camera!

The Canon 430EX II is the workhorse flash of choice.

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canuck dave
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Re: Better low light AF than D5200
In reply to TTMartin, Apr 7, 2013

"Apologies guys. I am new to dpreview so was not familiar with the rules to post here. Will keep it in mind for next time and post in forums. My assumption when i read 'user reviews' was that i was able to post a review given i had used both the cameras for the lens i intended to buy. I also wasn't aware i had to have bought and owned the systems before i can add a review. Anyways, if it makes any difference i have ordered one (650d + 18-135 STM + 50mm f1.8) on the weekend because a lot of stores are out of stock now due to the 700d replacement "

No apology needed! I'm not aware of specific 'rules' as such. It's just that folks interchange the words 'opinion' with 'review' at times. Even some of the 'reviews' we see via Google are nowhere near as significant or accurate as those that our hosts here at DPReview do.

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Digirame
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Re: Better low light AF than D5200
In reply to minircc, Apr 7, 2013

No apology is necessary.  If anyone looks at the thousands of non-professional (consumer-type) reviews on the internet, they are similar to your review.  I'm not aware of any rule at Dpreview defining how we are to make reviews (other than being civil etc.).  If there is such a rule, can someone quote it for us to see?  It might be interesting to know, so that if any one of us make a review of a camera or lens, we'd know the guidelines to follow.

I found it interesting when you compared the Nikon to the Canon camera.  I do take lots of low-light pictures.  We recognize it's not to replace a professional review, but it is informative.  It's something to be aware of, so that we could ask more about it (if it was something we felt was important).

Congratulations on getting your new camera.  If you have any questions about it, please let us know.  Somebody out there hopefully should be able to help.

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minircc
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Re: Better low light AF than D5200
In reply to Digirame, Apr 22, 2013

I have been playing around with this for a week now and it is amazing! Very happy with my purchase indeed

It is much better than the Olympus 4/3 i had for 3-4 years. I had quite a few AF zuiko lens and MF OM, sigma, tamron lens with adaptors.

The requirements i had when i was looking for a new camera was as follows:

- fast low light focus without the need for AF assist (i don't use live view unless its for family portraits with the flippy screen)

- Good quality pics, especially indoors. I take a lot of party pics. hence, the need for a speedlite.

- touch screen that rotates/flips (note. putting my face on screen while using the viewfinder did not alter the settings because you have to touch the bottom left corner or one of the buttons first to activate the touch screen.

- built in 'off camera' speedlite eTTL. So I can just put the flash anywhere in the room and it will automatically calculate the right flash intensity for the correct exposures.

- relatively compact (hence APS-C, didn't really want to go FF although i was tempted)

This definitely fits the bill. Even when my wife used it for the first time she said "wow, this camera takes much better pictures".

To top if off, going to get a speedlite and i'm set! Very happy chappy!

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j2l3m7
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Re: Better low light AF than D5200
In reply to minircc, Apr 24, 2013

Thank you for your review.

-- hide signature --

Thanks for posting, have a great day.
John

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photosen
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Interesting
In reply to minircc, Apr 25, 2013

Wouldn't sway me but this sort of real life experiment is useful.

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Jared Huntr
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Re: Interesting
In reply to photosen, Apr 25, 2013

photosen wrote:

Wouldn't sway me but this sort of real life experiment is useful.

I wouldn't put much faith in that 'review'. AF systems can be tricky to setup and choosing the wrong mode can make a night/day difference in performance.

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minircc
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Re: Interesting
In reply to Jared Huntr, Apr 26, 2013

Jared Huntr wrote:

photosen wrote:

Wouldn't sway me but this sort of real life experiment is useful.

I wouldn't put much faith in that 'review'. AF systems can be tricky to setup and choosing the wrong mode can make a night/day difference in performance.

Hi, i used auto mode suppressed flash for both to ensure myself i was doing an even test for my own decision making.

I understand this is not a comprehensive test and i expect others to do the tests themselves before buying the cameras. Just highlighting to others what i found as part of buying mine. No harm intended and i respect everyones opinion.

now, time for me to go take some pics

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