AF performance D600 vs. D800

Started Dec 10, 2012 | Questions thread
chlamchowder Senior Member • Posts: 2,083
Re: AF performance D600 vs. D800

On D800 AF "issues" so far I make it 95 posting images at dpreview complaining about D800 AF - with images showing they did not test sensibly - and no images posted using a test target likely to reasonably confirm an AF fault.

Hmm, so everyone on DPR who had trouble obtaining accurate focus with the left points, and went through the trouble to test whether their camera had a problem didn't test their camera properly?

If no one here has a D800 with the left focus point problem, then why are there 95 postings about it? I don't recall seeing any threads about the D600, D700, or D3(s/x) left focus points not being able to focus accurately.

Let's put it this way: No one likes to do a test. It's boring, time consuming, and unrewarding. The only situation under which I would do a test is if some part my camera was consistently underperforming so badly that I'm wondering if there's something wrong. I suspect the same applies to other people (who does time consuming focus tests for fun, anyways?).

Eight months after launch Nikon have not issued any formal guidance. Either, as some proclaim, Nikon have abandoned good customer service, - or maybe - sensibly tested - there is a lot more talk about D800 AF faults than there are D800's with an AF issue to talk about.

I highly, highly doubt this. Again, no one is going to waste time testing if there isn't something getting in the way of taking sharp pictures. And on a $2000+ DSLR, there should never be anything getting in the way.

Also, how are people testing improperly? This test should be pretty simple to run. With a lens that focuses perfectly using the center point (after AF micro adjustment, if necessary), the left AF points should also be able to obtain perfect focus on the same target as long as there's horizontal detail. That's how it works on my D600...all of the focus points give perfect focus with a f/1.4 lens wide open. Should it work any differently?

Or, if the D800 can only nail focus under completely ideal conditions, where the target is a nice, straight line drawn on a white background, then that's pretty sad. My D600 gives perfect focus on complex subjects, and often on moving subjects even when the outermost points are used. And it's not like Nikon made some magical improvements that make the D600's AF system better than preceding cameras. I tried a D3 briefly too, and while I had it, the AF system behaved like the D600's: it was fast, consistent, and accurate even with the outer line-type points. It's hard to believe that the D800 should be anything different, especially since its AF system is similar to the D3's.

Also, check out, and Thom Hogan's site. is also an interesting read. He states that " autofocus on the D600 is fast, accurate and positive even with moving subjects; perhaps feeling a little more ‘solid’ than the D800 – more like the D700, in this sense."

 chlamchowder's gear list:chlamchowder's gear list
Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 Nikon D600 Sony DT 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 SAM +8 more
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