Thom Hogan's assessment of a D400

Started Apr 8, 2013 | Discussions thread
photoreddi Veteran Member • Posts: 7,973
Crazy high frame rates?

jfriend00 wrote:


Has anyone ever done fast phase focus on sensor that tracks focus while shooting a sequence.  Nikon 1 can't do that.  That seems to be a limitation and a sports/action camera must track during the sequence.  I'm sure Nikon is working on this, but I'm not expecting mirrorless to show up at the top-end of the DX line first where the bar is highest for AF.  It seems more likely to show up in the low/middle end of the line first.

Nikon 1 can. The J1 is more limited because its buffer is smaller than the V1's buffer, but still...

Default continuous mode speed was quite good at about 4.85 frames per second, but a little shy of Nikon's 5 fps spec. The Nikon V1 also offers an "Electronic Hi" mode which uses its electronic shutter instead of the mechanical one. Options are 10, 30, or 60 frames per second at full resolution. When 10 fps is selected, the V1 is capable of focusing at the center of the frame between shots, but at the higher settings focus and exposure are locked at the first frame of a burst. In 10 fps mode, we managed 9.85 frames per second in our tests, which is quite fast.

Buffer depths were outstanding when shooting in the standard continuous mode, at 35 frames for any file type. In 10 fps mode, buffer depth was just slightly shallower, at 34 frames. Note that our target for this test was designed to be difficult to compress, so JPEG burst lengths should be longer with typical subjects. Buffer clearing was quite slow when shooting maximum burst lengths, though not a complete surprise given their depth.

This was demonstrated in DPReview's review, including 10 photos and crops from a 10 frame burst.

Phase-detection AF is a particular gift for the 'soccer mom' and indeed anyone who finds themselves regularly needing to capture moving subjects outdoors, albeit one of the many aspects of the cameras' feature set which cannot be manually controlled. This sequence of images shows a 10-frame burst at 10fps, shot on the V1 in AF-C mode using the 1 NIKKOR VR PD-Zoom 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6. As you can see, the camera's hit rate is impressive.

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