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12-23-2007, 09:38 AM   #1
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AF Speed vs Accuracy

I've read a lot of posts where one of the main complaints about the K10D is autofocus speed.
It's all relative though, isn't it? I mean certainly very fast and very accurate is the Holy Grail.
What about slower+more accurate vs. faster+less accurate, which is better? I suppose you need to answer questions like how much slower and how much less accurate? I suppose it also depends on your photographic subjects.
How does it all play out in the real world? I mean drag races are won and lost by milliseconds but the reality is that both cars are pretty darn fast and both would beat my corvette with only half their cylinders firing.
From what I've seen on this forum the C and N are "noticably" faster but the human brain is capable of differentiating between some very small time intervals. Is it of practical importance or is the K10D "fast enough"?
I know your replies will be interesting and informative.

12-23-2007, 09:48 AM   #2
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For my uses, the k10d is plenty fast enough. With my DA and DA* lenses, I can have fingers on the zoom ring and an index finger ready to touch up the focus on the focus ring as well. I really don't think it is in my best interests to let the camera decide where I should have the focus, anyway.
12-23-2007, 10:53 AM   #3
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I think the speed & accuracy scenario has been setup with the big assumption that both could not be achieved at the same time. There is no question that there are users found the Pentax AF performance lacking in some situations, low light and AF tracking for instance, and I agree. I dare say tracking race cars does not really challenge any AF ability to its limitation. As to myself, trying to follow fast action like weddings or parties at close range really put the Pentax AF performance to the test.
12-23-2007, 11:51 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
I think the speed & accuracy scenario has been setup with the big assumption that both could not be achieved at the same time. There is no question that there are users found the Pentax AF performance lacking in some situations, low light and AF tracking for instance, and I agree. I dare say tracking race cars does not really challenge any AF ability to its limitation. As to myself, trying to follow fast action like weddings or parties at close range really put the Pentax AF performance to the test.

One must assume that the purpose of the introduction of the SDM is to address speed and noise complaints of the screw drive AF mechanisms. SDM has not yet percolated throughout
the Pentax family. As it appears that SDM will percolate further through the Pentax family
in the coming year, it would seem that comparing last years pentax technology to
the SDM type products of the the competition is a zero sum game. It gets us no where.

Now wishing that the SDM's would percolate faster--that's anoher story, but alas it seems
reasonable to expect that the long delayed long lenses with SDM will surface soon.

12-23-2007, 12:30 PM   #5
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[QUOTE]

QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
I think the speed & accuracy scenario has been setup with the big assumption that both could not be achieved at the same time. There is no question that there are users found the Pentax AF performance lacking in some situations, low light and AF tracking for instance, and I agree. I dare say tracking race cars does not really challenge any AF ability to its limitation. As to myself, trying to follow fast action like weddings or parties at close range really put the Pentax AF performance to the test.
A fast action wedding? I thought the dragon dances are lot faster than any wedding that I have seen and yet they are well captured by PENTAX. There were a lot of action sports from the other forum that were posted and incredibly, most of the shots are good. Granted they were done in good light, but even my D80 shooting friend is having a hard time capturing subjects in a low light dancing hall. The keepers are low, that tells me that the issue with the PENTAX AF is getting blown out of proportion.

Cheers,

Rene
12-23-2007, 12:53 PM   #6
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[quote=OPTMEKX&;138722]
QuoteQuote:
A fast action wedding? I thought the dragon dances are lot faster than any wedding that I have seen and yet they are well captured by PENTAX. There were a lot of action sports from the other forum that were posted and incredibly, most of the shots are good. Granted they were done in good light, but even my D80 shooting friend is having a hard time capturing subjects in a low light dancing hall. The keepers are low, that tells me that the issue with the PENTAX AF is getting blown out of proportion.
Cheers,
Rene
There are many ways, or some say styles, of shooting weddings. Some can be done with Leica M, some need fast AF. I am not talking about the dances (and there are many more weddings than just western style btw), but rather, trying to capture the moments up close as it goes. But really, these days one cannot discuss the limitation of Pentax equipments without getting being accused, can we?
12-23-2007, 01:58 PM   #7
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IMO the AF performace issue is somewhat blown out of proportion but still, I'm the first toadmit that under bad lighting and e.g. inside my house with kids moving (not that much, it's not the garden, just in house) the K10D has a very hard time keeping up especially in C-AF mode with my 16-45.

I thought my 18-55 would be quite worse beacuse of /5.6 at the long end but no. So there's indde quite a lot of improments possible.

However, stating that Pentax AF plain sucks is stupid. It may suck for certain applications but when it works it does work well, and IS precise.
12-23-2007, 04:32 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
IMO the AF performace issue is somewhat blown out of proportion...
Exactly, don't take my word, here's what a respected reviewer, Klaus Schroiff, says about K10D's AF, and he has a lot of experience handling all the DSLRs:

Pentax K10D Review / Test Report


QuoteQuote:
AF Performance
Fast - really fast! AF speed and the accuracy of the K10D are impressive even with the cheap kit lenses and also in dark conditions. The brilliant AF speed also shows up in continuous AF mode.


12-24-2007, 08:08 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Workingdog Quote
What about slower+more accurate vs. faster+less accurate, which is better?
How about "faster and more accurate" and "slower and less accurate"??

QuoteQuote:
Is it of practical importance or is the K10D "fast enough"?
I know your replies will be interesting and informative.
That depends on what you shoot and your applications.
12-25-2007, 08:19 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by nosnoop Quote
Exactly, don't take my word, here's what a respected reviewer, Klaus Schroiff, says about K10D's AF, and he has a lot of experience handling all the DSLRs:

Pentax K10D Review / Test Report
nosnoop, thanks for the link. An excellent read.
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