Why is PDAF so much better for continuous autofocus

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Humansvillian Senior Member • Posts: 2,807
Why is PDAF so much better for continuous autofocus

I own a Canon Rebel T5i that I paid $250 for the camera and kit 18-55 IS STM.  I’ve used it to shoot my daughter at rodeos running barrels, and while I don’t care that much for the camera, the AI-Servo (continuous tracking autofocus) is far better than any comparable autofocus in my Olympus bodies.

Even my old 2004 Canon Rebel XT (EOS 350D) had really good continuous autofocus.

By comparison, my Olympus doesn’t have that performance.

I just bought a $135 55-250 IS STM just to shoot rodeos with, and only because of the better phase detect 9 cross point system on my Canon T5i.

Today Olympus offers PDAF in their M5.3, M1.3, and M1X.  The M1 and M1.2 also had it.

Why is PDAF so much better for continuous tracking autofocus, and why has Olympus only reserved it for their upper tier camera bodies?

Except for better autofocus, my M5.2 is I think superior in every way to an entry level APC  DSLR.

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