What's all this about "slow" AF with X-E1/X-Pro1??

Started Feb 7, 2014 | Discussions thread
viking79 Forum Pro • Posts: 14,137
Re: The "complainers" probably are used to DSLRs

David McGaughey wrote:

A modern DSLR with a USM/linear motor/whatever lens focuses NOW (seriously, they almost focus faster than you can think). The X-Pro1/X-E1 focus far slower.

Don't believe me - look at the imaging-resource timings. A 70D can focus and take a picture in 0.075 seconds. They timed the X-E1 at 0.438 seconds. That's over 5x slower. Which is noticeable.

Read the header, Imaging resource measures shutter lag, not focus speed.  All it has to do is confirm focus, they state they don't defocus the lens between runs.  A limitation of mirrorless cameras is they often have to refocus to make sure they are still focused, a DSLR can just check and say "yes, I am focused, take the shot." Really, what they are saying the shutter lag is 0.075 seconds (75 ms), and not that it will always focus that fast.  This is not really a realistic use case.

In good light I find my DSLR a bit slow (A99).  In that I mean it isn't faster than a mirrorless camera with a fast lens, and it really surprises me as people say that camera is fast focusing.  In low light it is much better of course.

I think the issue is a group of people are very familiar with how DSLR cameras act, and don't cope well with how mirrorless cameras differ, and don't understand their limitations (definitely much worse in low light).

One of the tricks I have learned with mirrorless is to put the camera in AF-S and press the shutter all the way down and the first shot off is almost always in focus if the camera has significantly short shutter lag (usually on electronic first curtain cameras).

The X-Pro1 was very slow focusing in part because the lenses were slow.  The 35mm is a slow focusing lens, no getting around that.  The 14mm focuses almost instantly on the X-A1/X-M1.

If you judged SLR focus speed by the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G you would think SLR cameras had terrible focus performance.


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