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

Started Feb 7, 2014 | Discussions
viking79
viking79 Forum Pro • Posts: 14,137
Re: The "complainers" probably are used to DSLRs
1

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.

Eric

 viking79's gear list:viking79's gear list
Sony Alpha a7R Samsung NX1 Samsung NX 30mm F2 Pancake Samsung NX 85mm F1.4 ED SSA Samsung NX 60mm F2.8 Macro ED OIS SSA +5 more
Albert Valentino Veteran Member • Posts: 6,068
Re: What's all this about "slow" AF with X-E1/X-Pro1??

One of the major keys to focusing any camera is to select a good focus target. The camera does not see and analyze the world the way a human brain does. This is at the heart of many disappointments. Learn how the camera sees, then think like the camera. have a good contrast target and adjust the size of the focus box accordingly to accommodate that contrast.

Even with nikon and canon products most people do not understand the difference between a cross sensor and non-cross sensor and know which are which. Many consumer DSLR's have only one cross center in the center. Once a person understands that, they get many more keepers. Fuji is not a speed demon but great for stills as it can take a few seconds to find a focus target and, if necessary, adjust focus box size.

If you shoot fast and can't slow down, then look elsewhere.

At least compared to a dslr focus on a fuji is dead on accurate when you do everything right, front and back focus problems not possible. Speed or accuracy? I know, I know. Both!

-- hide signature --

Fuji Silver XE1 w/14, 18-55, 55-200, Rokinon 8mm Fisheye & Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro

 Albert Valentino's gear list:Albert Valentino's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Olympus M.Zuiko ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 +10 more
bavarius6 Contributing Member • Posts: 578
Re: What's all this about "slow" AF with X-E1/X-Pro1??
6

Funny how if I miss a shot I generally blame myself and my failure to anticipate the moment whereas many seem to blame their equipments perceived shortcomings. I'm obviously too hard on myself....

Pat

lnbolch
lnbolch Senior Member • Posts: 2,277
Re: What's all this about "slow" AF with X-E1/X-Pro1??
5

bavarius6 wrote:

Funny how if I miss a shot I generally blame myself and my failure to anticipate the moment whereas many seem to blame their equipments perceived shortcomings. I'm obviously too hard on myself....

Exactly.

Clearly, there are a number of reasons for buying a camera, that have little to do with photography. One may be the endless pursuit of the magic bullet. A camera that is so empowering that the buyer will not need to do the 10,000 hours of learning and practice—or however many hours it takes. Rather than learning to use whatever they have, the camera failed them, and goes on sale while the next is on order. And the cycle repeats endlessly.

Typically, someone shows up on this forum—a new parent—and asks if an X-camera would be a good choice for photographing the kid. There will inevitably be someone who says that the moment the kid starts to move, there will be no more sharp pictures since the cameras won't be able to focus. Which of course, means that for the first 165 years of photography there were no pictures of children at all, since autofocus did not even exist. 

The person whose self-image depends upon the specifications of the possessions. The more pixels, the more frames per second, the more lines per millimeter, 4k video instead of HD, means being the king of the hill—at least for the moment. If the competing system announces a new camera with more of anything, clearly the supplier of your current system has let you down.

A variation would be the perfectionist. No camera, but big dreams. Avid reader of specifications, and highly opinionated as only a 13-year-old can be. A beginner who just bought an entry level camera shows up for the first time on a forum, with a basic question about lenses. The perfectionist declares the newbie must buy the f/2.8 holy trinity of zooms. No alternative exists. The newbie prices them out and finds they total ten times the price of the camera body and protests. The perfectionist snaps back, "Well, obviously you don't even care about the quality of your images..."

Those who buy cameras for photography will take the time to learn the age-old techniques to ensure results. Anticipate, and pre-focus. Use zone focus and depth of field will take care of you. There is no need to be focused on the subject, so long as they are in the zone. Our cameras are only as capable as the person using them.

-- hide signature --
 lnbolch's gear list:lnbolch's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix X100 Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1 Nikon D700 Fujifilm X-Pro1 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED +8 more
whiteyblack Regular Member • Posts: 168
Re: What's all this about "slow" AF with X-E1/X-Pro1??

Al Valentino wrote:

Two things. 1) It works for me, plus I also read the manual and know the tricks, 2) It is a camera for stills, not action. So buy if you shoot stills and plan on learning how the camera thinks. It is not a point and shoot camera. the important thing is to know your needs and match them to the right tool.

-- hide signature --

Fuji Silver XE1 w/14, 18-55, 55-200, Rokinon 8mm Fisheye & Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro

All photographs are stills.

"A still image is a single static image, as distinguished from a kinetic image (see below). This phrase is used in photography, visual media and the computer industry to emphasize that one is not talking about movies, or in very precise or pedantic technical writing such as a standard."

 whiteyblack's gear list:whiteyblack's gear list
Canon PowerShot SX720 HS Fujifilm X-E2 Fujifilm X-T1
pete_f69 Contributing Member • Posts: 662
Re: What's all this about "slow" AF with X-E1/X-Pro1??
2

bavarius6 wrote:

Funny how if I miss a shot I generally blame myself and my failure to anticipate the moment whereas many seem to blame their equipments perceived shortcomings. I'm obviously too hard on myself....

Pat

Couldn't agree more. I always shake my head in disbelief whenever I read about people complaining about the slow AF of the Fujis. Yes, it is slower than a DSLR but not that slow. How did photographers ever shoot action back before the days of autofocus?

I own an X-Pro1, an x100s and Nikon D700 full frame camera. If I miss a certain shot on the Fujis I will most likely make the same mistake on my Nikon (or any other camera).

 pete_f69's gear list:pete_f69's gear list
Fujifilm X100S Fujifilm X70 Fujifilm X-Pro1 Nikon D700 Fujifilm X-T1 +11 more
FBoneOne Contributing Member • Posts: 569
Re: What's all this about "slow" AF with X-E1/X-Pro1??

mistermejia wrote:

I am no camera engineer, but tricky focusing and hunting in deeper shadows and under street lighting, isn't that a sensor issue and has nothing to do with AF speed??

The dude in the video doing the AF testing in his room looks like he turned the lights off, and was using a very small amount of available light, but the camera focuses perfectly fine. But of course these cameras need contrast and you can't point at a plain black area because the camera won't focus, but that's a whole different subject already. No?

On the first part of the answer you are splitting hair. The total time to acquire focus is what matters to the experience and whether it is fast enough to capture the impromptu shot the relevant question. Whether it is due to sensor or AF motor I really could not care less.

To be clear though, the XP1 focuses just fine in 95+% of situations - and I have learnt to switch to zone focusing in those situations where I am not sure it will. I shot with an Hexar RF for a decade, this is no big deal to me and I actually like going back to the old ways.

The amusing part, at least to me, is denying that there are conditions under which focus acquisition with the XP1 is erratic based on one internet video that shows that it works fine in the dark vs. feedback from user experience. I love the XP1, best shooting experience I have had in a long time, but let's not pretend it is perfect, nothing is, especially not cameras.

So yes we can blame the sensor that has nothing to do with AF (right...) or my shooting technique (I should ask people to carry around black and white checkers when they are in shadows), fine by me, or folks can grab an XP1 or XE-1, go do a night shoot of people doing something interesting, and make up their minds based on experience.

 FBoneOne's gear list:FBoneOne's gear list
Fujifilm X-Pro1 Nikon D750 Nikon D500 Fujifilm XF 18mm F2 R Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R +9 more
Albert Valentino Veteran Member • Posts: 6,068
Re: What's all this about "slow" AF with X-E1/X-Pro1??

whiteyblack wrote:

Al Valentino wrote:

Two things. 1) It works for me, plus I also read the manual and know the tricks, 2) It is a camera for stills, not action. So buy if you shoot stills and plan on learning how the camera thinks. It is not a point and shoot camera. the important thing is to know your needs and match them to the right tool.

-- hide signature --

Fuji Silver XE1 w/14, 18-55, 55-200, Rokinon 8mm Fisheye & Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro

All photographs are stills.

"A still image is a single static image, as distinguished from a kinetic image (see below). This phrase is used in photography, visual media and the computer industry to emphasize that one is not talking about movies, or in very precise or pedantic technical writing such as a standard."

No argument. But sometimes the subject of the static image won't stay still. In that case, brand X, is not the best choice

-- hide signature --

Fuji Silver XE1 w/14, 18-55, 55-200, Rokinon 8mm Fisheye & Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro

 Albert Valentino's gear list:Albert Valentino's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Olympus M.Zuiko ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 +10 more
OP mistermejia Veteran Member • Posts: 3,340
Re: What's all this about "slow" AF with X-E1/X-Pro1??

FBoneOne wrote:

mistermejia wrote:

I am no camera engineer, but tricky focusing and hunting in deeper shadows and under street lighting, isn't that a sensor issue and has nothing to do with AF speed??

The dude in the video doing the AF testing in his room looks like he turned the lights off, and was using a very small amount of available light, but the camera focuses perfectly fine. But of course these cameras need contrast and you can't point at a plain black area because the camera won't focus, but that's a whole different subject already. No?

On the first part of the answer you are splitting hair. The total time to acquire focus is what matters to the experience and whether it is fast enough to capture the impromptu shot the relevant question. Whether it is due to sensor or AF motor I really could not care less.

To be clear though, the XP1 focuses just fine in 95+% of situations - and I have learnt to switch to zone focusing in those situations where I am not sure it will. I shot with an Hexar RF for a decade, this is no big deal to me and I actually like going back to the old ways.

The amusing part, at least to me, is denying that there are conditions under which focus acquisition with the XP1 is erratic based on one internet video that shows that it works fine in the dark vs. feedback from user experience. I love the XP1, best shooting experience I have had in a long time, but let's not pretend it is perfect, nothing is, especially not cameras.

So yes we can blame the sensor that has nothing to do with AF (right...) or my shooting technique (I should ask people to carry around black and white checkers when they are in shadows), fine by me, or folks can grab an XP1 or XE-1, go do a night shoot of people doing something interesting, and make up their minds based on experience.

I understand what you are saying.  Watching videos is different than using it yourself.  Tomorrow i'm heading to my local camera shop and will look into this, with the camera on my hand

 mistermejia's gear list:mistermejia's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro Fujifilm X-E1 Rokinon 85mm F1.4 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS +6 more
Albert Valentino Veteran Member • Posts: 6,068
Re: What's all this about "slow" AF with X-E1/X-Pro1??

mistermejia wrote:

FBoneOne wrote:

mistermejia wrote:

I am no camera engineer, but tricky focusing and hunting in deeper shadows and under street lighting, isn't that a sensor issue and has nothing to do with AF speed??

The dude in the video doing the AF testing in his room looks like he turned the lights off, and was using a very small amount of available light, but the camera focuses perfectly fine. But of course these cameras need contrast and you can't point at a plain black area because the camera won't focus, but that's a whole different subject already. No?

On the first part of the answer you are splitting hair. The total time to acquire focus is what matters to the experience and whether it is fast enough to capture the impromptu shot the relevant question. Whether it is due to sensor or AF motor I really could not care less.

To be clear though, the XP1 focuses just fine in 95+% of situations - and I have learnt to switch to zone focusing in those situations where I am not sure it will. I shot with an Hexar RF for a decade, this is no big deal to me and I actually like going back to the old ways.

The amusing part, at least to me, is denying that there are conditions under which focus acquisition with the XP1 is erratic based on one internet video that shows that it works fine in the dark vs. feedback from user experience. I love the XP1, best shooting experience I have had in a long time, but let's not pretend it is perfect, nothing is, especially not cameras.

So yes we can blame the sensor that has nothing to do with AF (right...) or my shooting technique (I should ask people to carry around black and white checkers when they are in shadows), fine by me, or folks can grab an XP1 or XE-1, go do a night shoot of people doing something interesting, and make up their minds based on experience.

I understand what you are saying. Watching videos is different than using it yourself. Tomorrow i'm heading to my local camera shop and will look into this, with the camera on my hand

Check the firmware for the camera and lens. Hold down display button when you turn it on and you will see the version number.

-- hide signature --

Fuji Silver XE1 w/14, 18-55, 55-200, Rokinon 8mm Fisheye & Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro

 Albert Valentino's gear list:Albert Valentino's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Olympus M.Zuiko ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 +10 more
Ed B
Ed B Veteran Member • Posts: 8,741
Re: Sigh

David McGaughey wrote:

mistermejia wrote:

David McGaughey wrote:

I completely understand that other and newer cameras are faster. But based on the videos i am seeing the camera focuses perfectly fine. I don't and have NEVER counted the AF seconds or amount of time from my fuji S5 PRO after owning the nikon D7000. I just know that it focuses and it does it very well. I have two kids and i have never had focusing speed "issues" with even the older S5 or the X10.

I just think that people just plainly WANT more, even if they don't even need it. There is nothing wrong if a camera focuses even "faster", but like i said, i have never paid attention tho this millisecond thing going on here. That's just my opinion.

Ah, so people who want something different than you are stupid sheeple. Makes sense.

No sir, there is nothing wrong if someone wants something different and that's not stupid.

I just don't see where the AF is failing from those videos that i have watched. I don't know, maybe the videos are fake of made up?

If you are requesting nikon D4 speed that's fine, i sure don't have a problem with that

So 5X slower than a "consumer" level Canon DSLR, in good light, is acceptable? In low light, the difference will get more severe.

Where is that 5X slower figure coming from?

57even Forum Pro • Posts: 11,316
Re: The "complainers" probably are used to DSLRs

David McGaughey wrote:

mistermejia wrote:

I have never owned or used any of these models, except my X10, but what's up with all this complaints about returning the camera because of AF? Are this type of people using the camera in COMPLETE darkness or something? I am just trying to understand what all this is about.

I do understand the X-E1/X-pro1 limitations comapred to other cameras out there, but only based on these two video samples bellow i don't see what the problem is at all. To me these cameras focus completely fine. They are not for fast continuous shooting, but i see that they focus just fine as any normal camera should.

Could it be that some of this claims are done by fuji marketters trying to brain wash you into having to spend money on the next new camera model making you think that you NEED it?

Again, based on what i am seeing in these youtube videos i honestly don't see what the problem is. Heck, my cheap X10 does not give me AF problems.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiifET2zFXI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-KNuvulFwY

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.

AF tests are based on pre-focusing to eliminate lens performance. Contrast AF always refocuses, phase detect does not if it detects correct focus. Hence its not reasonable to compare the two.

They timed the X-E1 at 0.438 seconds. That's over 5x slower. Which is noticeable.

Using the 35mm lens, which is the slowest. Its considerably faster with the 18-55. Also, if I defocus the 85 F1.8 on my D800 it will take more than a 1/10 of a second to reacquire focus.

Please note though its manual focus lag time was shorter than the 70D. If you want to capture street action, prefocusing using manual focus is always much faster.

And contrast detection was shown to be far more accurate on the tests at DPR for the 70D.

 57even's gear list:57even's gear list
Fujifilm X-Pro2
hellocrowley Senior Member • Posts: 1,282
Re: What's all this about "slow" AF with X-E1/X-Pro1??

So you don't have these cameras yet you're complaining about the people who do? Even the "world fastest" XE2 + 23/1.4 is noticeably slower than the ancient 5D + USM lens, in bright light. When I shoot my kids I bring out the Canon. When I shoot people posing I even use manual focus lenses on the Fuji.

OP mistermejia Veteran Member • Posts: 3,340
Re: What's all this about "slow" AF with X-E1/X-Pro1??

hellocrowley wrote:

So you don't have these cameras yet you're complaining about the people who do? Even the "world fastest" XE2 + 23/1.4 is noticeably slower than the ancient 5D + USM lens, in bright light. When I shoot my kids I bring out the Canon. When I shoot people posing I even use manual focus lenses on the Fuji.

Hu???  Complaining?

 mistermejia's gear list:mistermejia's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro Fujifilm X-E1 Rokinon 85mm F1.4 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS +6 more
Les Lammers
Les Lammers Veteran Member • Posts: 3,439
Re: The "complainers" probably are used to DSLRs

You can zone focus and not miss a shot.

 Les Lammers's gear list:Les Lammers's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix X100 Fujifilm X-T10 Fujifilm X-E1 Fujifilm X-Pro1 Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS +5 more
Les Lammers
Les Lammers Veteran Member • Posts: 3,439
Re: What's all this about "slow" AF with X-E1/X-Pro1??

FBoneOne wrote:

even with the latest firmware on lens and camera, the XP1 can hunt when doing street photography in at times tricky lighting conditions. I am not talking pitch dark here, just deeper shadows or street lamps.

you can look at it both ways, yes, top dSLRs usually will do better in similar conditions - my 1D mk4 beats my XP1 every day in this regard but nobody likes to be targeted by a 1D with 16-35 / 2.8 whereas the XP1 is simply incognito 99% of the time.

The other way is to remember that Cartier Bresson never had AF even as slow as the XP1 is and still did Ok. Zone focusing is still a photographer's best friend in those conditions.

+1 There are many people here that have never used a manual cameras. How were sports shot B4 AE/AF?

 Les Lammers's gear list:Les Lammers's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix X100 Fujifilm X-T10 Fujifilm X-E1 Fujifilm X-Pro1 Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS +5 more
Jeff Charles Veteran Member • Posts: 7,514
Re: What's all this about "slow" AF with X-E1/X-Pro1??

FBoneOne wrote:

The other way is to remember that Cartier Bresson never had AF even as slow as the XP1 is and still did Ok. Zone focusing is still a photographer's best friend in those conditions.

He may have used zone focusing, but he also used scale focusing, where he'd estimate the distance to the subject and set it on the lens focus ring, before raising the camera to his eye. He did take some out-of-focus pictures, which turned out to be pretty good anyway.

-- hide signature --

Jeff
Pastafarian, but with doubts, and a waskely wabbit too

 Jeff Charles's gear list:Jeff Charles's gear list
Sony RX100 III Fujifilm X100T Fujifilm X-E2 Olympus E-M1 Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS +5 more
DVT80111 Senior Member • Posts: 2,912
Don't just limit yourself to one type of camera.

David McGaughey wrote:

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.

I did not read the review above, but it is interesting that they came up with the 5x number.

I used both a 70D and X-E1 during a photoshoot last week. I count the number of shots I can make with a 70D versus X-E1, and came up with about 4-5X factor.

When I switch from one camera to another, I can feel the wide gap in speed immediately, it's huge. On the 70d, I just aim and shoot. The X-E1, aim, WAIT, then shoot.

Don't just limit yourself to one type of camera.

 DVT80111's gear list:DVT80111's gear list
Sony RX100 Fujifilm X-E1 Canon EOS 70D Canon EOS 6D Sony Alpha a7R II
prtsmnn1 Regular Member • Posts: 302
Re: What's all this about "slow" AF with X-E1/X-Pro1??

I own seven cameras and the one I use the most is my 5D2  with a wide assortment of Canon lens.

I have looked at the Fuji X system  and love the Fuji colors and some of the beautiful shots you folks get  but the deal killer for me is the focus system . If you have ever done any  fast action photography with a Canon DSLR such as photographing  a Quail Hunt  where the bird dogs are flushing quail  and you are paid to get these shots then you know the Fuji system is not even in the ball park. The focus system is just too slow. The Fuji X system is great for many different things but fast action photography is  not one of them. Now I am  certain someone will get on here and post a few hunting shots and talk about how good it is for that but my question is what is his percentage go keepers and is he someone who is paid to get the shots?

Then my next question is , why not use the best equipment to do fast action photography ? Every body knows that is not a Fuji.

 prtsmnn1's gear list:prtsmnn1's gear list
Canon EOS M Canon EOS 5D Mark II Sony a6000 Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM +13 more
bavarius6 Contributing Member • Posts: 578
Re: What's all this about "slow" AF with X-E1/X-Pro1??
1

I own seven cameras and the one I use the most is my 5D2  with a wide assortment of Canon lens.

I have looked at the Fuji X system  and love the Fuji colors and some of the beautiful shots you folks get  but the deal killer for me is the focus system . If you have ever done any  fast action photography with a Canon DSLR such as photographing  a Quail Hunt  where the bird dogs are flushing quail  and you are paid to get these shots then you know the Fuji system is not even in the ball park. The focus system is just too slow. The Fuji X system is great for many different things but fast action photography is  not one of them. Now I am  certain someone will get on here and post a few hunting shots and talk about how good it is for that but my question is what is his percentage go keepers and is he someone who is paid to get the shots?

Then my next question is , why not use the best equipment to do fast action photography ? Every body knows that is not a Fuji.

People pay other people to take photos at quail hunts!?! I'll stick with my slow focusing Fuji just so I'm never asked to do that!

I'm not saying this to be disrespectful to anybody but if somebody owns a camera that focuses instantly and bangs frames out at 10fps+ while tracking the subject across the frame that's great. However could you not give that equipment to a very average photographer and get very similar results?

Machine Gunner or sniper, which has more skill?

Pat

Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads