No "Z" Yet - What's Your Reason?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
beatboxa Senior Member • Posts: 5,683
Re: No "Z" Yet - What's Your Reason?

incoherent1 wrote:

beatboxa wrote:

incoherent1 wrote:

interesting: your comments on focus capabilities. I have been considering a Z7 *FOR* the focus (in comparison to my 810). The multitude of focusing points and their frame coverage, the eye-AF, elimination of 'tuning'.

and then the sensor stabilization capability to my sigma 135 and 50 A's....

Is the area of each focus point smaller (more precise) in the Z line?

ps. I am an amateure with varied photo interests, people in social situations being where I think these specifics would apply.

The issue is that people use simplified language.

Yes, the Z7's AF should be more precise (smaller points), more accurate, and cover a larger area than your D810.

If your subjects aren't running all over the place as you're shooting, you'll find the Z7's autofocus to be superior to the D810's.

Thank you.

Are you writing from actual experience?

[edit]: have reviewed your posting profile, confirmed you are a user, and am continuing to learn from your posts

Thanks, I'm glad they're helpful. And as far as experience, yes.

I cannot compare D810 directly to the Z7, (I sold my D810 long ago, and I have a Z6 instead of Z7), but I can use my experience with the D810 & Z6, and reputable sources for an idea.

First, let's talk the easy stuff. AF area. The Z6 & Z7 cover pretty much the entire frame. The D810 is concentrated around the center (through the viewfinder). Also, AF points: The Z7 has smaller AF points than the D810.

Now comes the complicated part: accuracy. Start with this: through the rear LCD, both cameras should have the same accuracy, though the Z7 should focus quicker and more decisively. The OVF is a different story.

I won't rewrite an explanation of the optical differences in how the PDAF systems work differently. See my post in the Science forum for details:

And yes, this does come up in real life:

For performance, the Z6 (and from what I've seen, Z7) AF is not as bad as people who have not used the camera suppose that it is. In fact, it works very well when you tell the camera what your subject is, whether in AF-S or in AF-C. For example, in DPReview's bike test , the Z7 got a nearly 100% hit rate in AF-C, single point. The Z7 also works pretty well for more than 1 AF points (group AF and similar), especially with the right settings, like d8 (that again, people who have only played around with the camera at best have probably not activated):

As you use an increasingly wider area, the AF gets worse.  And where the AF starts to tank is when you give the camera no information about your intended subject ("Auto-Area AF"). This can be in either AF-S or in AF-C. And it also affects its subject tracking.

You'll also hear about "low light AF."  But when I have time, in pitch black conditions, my Z6 does better than my D750 .  When not quite pitch black, things get complicated.  Sometimes the D750 does better, and sometimes the Z6 does.  It's just different.

And the D850 isn't perfect either with 3D tracking.  What's funny is that people will say "oh that's a bad test" or "that doesn't happen in real life when I use it" or "I use group AF, not 3D tracking" when it comes to the D850; and yet they use the same types of results to justify why they think the Z7 has bad autofocus.  It's a case of "pick the evidence to justify your opinion" rather than "form a conclusion based on the evidence."

And because the crowd is sometimes so sensitive, I'll even throw out a disclaimer:  this does not mean the D850 has bad autofocus.  If you shoot sports or wildlife or erratic subjects, the D850 is a better camera, with better autofocus hands down.  If you shoot portraits or landscapes or macro or any still subjects, the Z7 is probably better.

Over time, I've come to realize that my Z6 generally has better autofocus than my D750 in single-point or group AF.  And it definitely has better accuracy, which clearly translates to sharper images.  The D750 generally has better tracking.  I'd expect the D810 vs Z7 to be similar.

Don't worry about people who are basing their opinions on other people's opinions, which in turn is based on limited time with the cameras or limited understanding of which settings to use.  AF is just very different between the cameras.  There are parts that are better and parts that are worse.

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