Autofocus speed comparison of mirrorless?

Started Apr 26, 2014 | Discussions thread
Chris R-UK Forum Pro • Posts: 18,126
Ficusing speed v. continuous focus/other problems

I shoot wildlife with both a Canon 7D and a Panasonic GH2. I have owned two other M4/3 cameras (G1 and GF1) and recently had an opportunity to shoot with an E-M1.

Amongst other things in the last few months I have shot, or tried to shoot, breaching whales, jumping dolphins and birds in flight.

IMHO just about all mirrorless cameras have single shot AF which is fast enough for everything that I shoot.  Faster AF wouldn't really bring me anything.

In my experience when shooting wildlife there are other problems with AF/EVFs on mirrorless v DSLRs as follows:

  1. Ability to maintain continuous focus on a small fast moving object like a bird in flight.  So far the Nikon 1 series and the E-M1 are the best at as far as I can tell neither is as good as a DSLR.  The Sony A6000 and the Panasonic GH4 have not yet been around long enough for their continuous focusing to be seriously tested, but both seem promising.
  2. FPS rate while still maintaining live view.  Improving fast and approaching the best DSLRs(?).
  3. Momentary blackout at high shooting rates.  Also improving.
  4. EVF wake up time from start up/sleep mode.  Absolutely crucial for things like breaching whales unless you force the camera to stay on the whole time.  I don't think that any EVF yet gets near a DSLR for this - on a DSLR there is no OVF delay unless the cameras is badly out of focus.

1,2, and 3 are definitely improving but I am not sure about 4.

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Chris R

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