Two features keeping me from getting the NEX

Started Apr 10, 2012 | Discussions thread
ProfHankD Veteran Member • Posts: 5,138
NEX focus speed and body-based anti-shake

pureaxis wrote:

A-mount user here. I been eyeing the NEX-7 for quite a while and even considered dumping some of my Alpha gear for it, but after playing with it at the Sony store I just feel that the AF system on the NEX is too slow compared to the PDAF on the Alphas. Also the lack of In-body stabilization is not something I can live without which is a lifesaver in many situations. If these two features are implemented I would jump ship without hesitation.

As a computer engineering professor, here's my take on this:

Focus speed: Manual focus using peaking is much faster and more reliable (although it requires two hands -- no one-handed grabbed shots). PDAF is available for the NEX via the LA-EA2, but the SLT miror wouldn't fit behind E-mount and other PDAF methods have "issues" too. The advantage to PDAF over CDAF is that with fast enough lenses a single CDAF sampling gives an estimate of how far out of focus and in which direction -- CDAF normally readings to do that and is reading the entire sensor, not just a line or cross array. However, it is possible, but requires much more compute power, to to estimate everything from one sensor sample... that's where I'd be headed with future NEX models (and everything else ;)).

Body anti-shake: Mechanically moving the sensor is feasible, but it's a mechanically complex device that consumes significant power and contributes to sensor heating. If I were Sony, I'd have put it in NEX, but they instead opted for computational photography processing combining multiple images captured in a rapid sequence. This often works quite well, works for subject motion as well as camera motion, and does not need to know the lens focal length to work. Basically, this processing can evolve into a single-shot reprocessing, and that's where I expect Sony is headed.

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