Thom finally resurfaces, with comments sure to be controversial, at least here ...

Started Apr 17, 2014 | Discussions thread
OP photoreddi Veteran Member • Posts: 7,973
Re: OK, "sure to be controversial" doesn't seem to have panned out. That's a good sign.

Bill Robb wrote:

What Thom seems to be saying is that in one of the outlier niches of photography, some cameras are better than others. No surprise there. I think what was really telling was his thoughts that DSLR AF hasn't improved much in the past 7 years or so. Coming from Pentax, which finally this year got decent auto focus, I am surprised. It sounds like Pentax has been a decade behind everyone else in AF technology.

On sensor PDAF is brand new tech. No surprise is isn't up to separate sensor PDAF.

The original on-sensor PDAF was developed by Fuji for the F300EXR. It was a total flop. The initial claim was that it was deactivated when the light level dropped, but I (and many others) so now AF speed increase even in the brightest light over the older F70EXR and F80EXR. On sensor PDAF improved greatly over two years ago with Nikon's V1 and J1. Their PDAF is actually surpassed only by the most expensive DSLRs (such as the D3s and D4) and the AF performance is actually much better in some ways. The ability to AF each photo in a high speed burst (in full resolution RAW+PEG) has steadily increased from 10f/s (V1) to 15f/s (V2) to 20f/s (V3). I'm not aware of any DSLRs that can shot at 15f/s or 20f/s because the mirror needs to be lowered after each shot in order to reacquire focus, and the mirror can't move that quickly.


The original PDAF was pretty rudimentary by today's standards, but we all thought it was fabulous in the 1980s.

The N8008's AF worked well enough to replace my Nikon F in the late 1980's, but I never thought that it was fabulous. Maybe that's because my lenses were all pretty slow and the N8008 probably had a much less powerful AF motor than the "pro" film bodies.

The only lenses that I still had by the time I bought a DSLR (D50) was an old "push pull" 75-300mm and the 50mm micro Nikkor. For some reason I never liked the push pull mechanism on that lens, but years later I bought an old 70-210mm Nikkor (a similar push pull zoom) and didn't mind it at all.

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