Autofocus - Action
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Autofocus - Action

The D850 3D Tracking performance doesn't quite match the D5, but it's still capable of a very impressive performance. 3D Tracking will generally do a good job of recognizing the subject you initially point it at, then track it around the scene, using whichever AF point is closest to your subject's current position. It'll occasionally fall off the precise point you chose, and you're limited to the camera's comparatively small focus sensor region, but it'll generally do a great job and offers enough configuration options to cope even with complex action.

The Sony does a great job of keeping things in focus if you can keep the AF point over them, but its subject tracking isn't as surefooted as the D850's. Worse still, unlike Nikon's system, you can't specify which part of the subject you wish to track: the camera tries to identify the subject and then tracks all of it. This usually means focusing on whatever element is closest. Depending on your subject, that may not be good enough.

Verdict: Nikon D850 wins