Best camera/system for predictive AF accuracy?

Started Feb 1, 2014 | Discussions thread
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Jack Hass Regular Member • Posts: 392
Best camera/system for predictive AF accuracy?

I will preface this thread with a small bit of context. I am not interested in IQ or features like dual card slots ect. I already have my own preferances for IQ and other features, i am only interested in AF performance here. I am also not interested in LV mode. I never shoot moving subjects in LV, i much prefer to have my eye involved when following motion so things like Canon's dual pixel AF is not important in this thread (to me at least). Lastly, i understand lenses make a difference so try to keep your conclusions based on averages (or based on a medium speed lens for that system). Im not interested in how much better a $6000 lens is as i will never buy that. With that being said.

I am basically asking which camera or camera system is the most sensitive to small movements. To most people, this kind of tracking would be included in predictive tracking. A video i recently watched comparing two cameras is HERE. The 70D and D7100 are tested, both showing good results in most situations but the 70D did slightly better in all situations, and considerably better when shooting into the sun.

I rarely shoot objects that move extremely fast, like race cars or speeding horses ect. I may however take advantage of faster AF in the future for sports like football or baseball, and fast moving children. My main considerations here are Canon Nikon Sony and Pentax. While i like mirrorless for some things, im not one to claim they can match a DSLR in tracking, so plz don't suggest mirrorless.

As for specific cameras, i completely expect FF to win here, but the only FF i would consider buying at the moment is the 6D. I am thus only paying attention to all sub FF cameras (apsc) and the 6D. So assuming i would be using an average performance lens for any particular system, is there any one system that stands out?

I know Canikon is known for sports, but how do they compare to Sony or Pentax? The new K3 has 25 x-type focus points, that sounds very good, but how accurate and fast are they? How about the A77? At this moment i am leaning towards the 70D, is it really better than the 6D for center point only? I ask about center point only for two reasons: One, i usually shoot center point only unless i can't stay centered on my subject, and two, because the 6D only has one cross type point. If the 6D was more responsive in center, i would consider that a win.

What i am mostly interested in when i use words like responsive and accurate, i mean the ability to detect and react to very small changes in focusing distance. If i am locked on to my subject using C-af, and my subject moves back a half inch, will the camera "see" this and follow it, or will it need more movement before it shifts the focal plane?

I wouldn't want a camera that ignores small movements that could shift the subject too far out of the focal plane, this is why i specify responsiveness. I assume there will be all kinds of opinions and that is great, just keep in mind im just trying to get a feel for the AF performance without having to try each out. It's very hard to get any real context when everybody says their camera's AF is awesome, but that doesn't mean it is good compared to another option. Is there a real reason Canikon are used by pros for sports (other than long lenses i mean)?

In the video i linked, they guy said the 70D scored in the 90 percentile for both coming and going predictive tracking. That is pretty good by my standards. The Nikon also scored well and he assumed the one it tested lesser on was because of the non cross type FPs came into play, which may not be an issue for many of my uses.

So, all opinions are welcome. I have my flak jacket on, but understand i will probably ignore most non constructive comments. At this time, i assume the "best" will be one of the major brand APSC flagships, (70D, 7D, D7100, K3, A77), or even the 6D. If you want to recount how your D5200 tracks your puppie amazingly, great, but that doesn't really offer any context. Context is the magic word here, it's all im really looking for. Thanks to everybody in advance and let the poo fly!

Canon EOS 6D Canon EOS 70D Canon EOS 7D Nikon D5200 Nikon D7100 Sony SLT-A77
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