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12-17-2010, 04:57 PM   #1
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The end of slow autofocus?

PENTAX has long had a reputation for slow AF. Now that SAFOX IX is here, it seems that this is no longer a major issue. Is this the end of slow autofocus with PENTAX? A YouTube video showing a PENTAX K-7 compared to what is now a 20 year old entry-level Canon EOS 700 35mm camera (introduced March 1990) demonstrates the problem with SAFOX VIII. Notice the hesitation from the K-7 :


It seems that SAFOX IX is noticeably faster than SAFOX VIII, with less hesitation :


Is this the end of slow PENTAX AF? What do you think about SAFOX IX?

--DragonLord


Last edited by bwDraco; 10-30-2011 at 09:36 PM.
12-17-2010, 05:09 PM   #2
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I think it would have been better to use spot focus on all systems.
Otherwise the AF jump can/will affect AF lock timing.
12-17-2010, 06:59 PM   #3
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this is pretty useless to me...
12-17-2010, 09:40 PM   #4
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It has been seven years since the *ist D was introduced with the SAFOX VIII system. It's about time PENTAX caught up. The new SAFOX IX system in the K-r, K-5, and 645D is a significant improvement, based on everything I have read online.

--DragonLord

12-17-2010, 10:04 PM   #5
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I've never seen the AF as slow as long as there's some contrast in your subject. What it does lack is 'predictive' AF like in some Nikon models but that's not enough to have me switch brands.
12-18-2010, 05:06 AM   #6
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Pentax cameras (up to the K5/Kr) have always had hesitations right before they lock focus, when shooting in dim light. This is true with every lens I have tried, both screw driven and SDM. Looks to me like the newer cameras don't do this and therefore end up locking focus faster. It does look as well, as though the K5 has decent tracking ability.

Of course, there are only 11 auto focus points, but I am not certain that adding a bunch of extra points necessarily speeds up you autofocus or increases the chance that you will focus on the wrong thing.
12-18-2010, 07:23 AM   #7
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We would all have to see a test between K5, D300s and 7D re: cfs to see if Pentax has "caught up"

Until then the new af system is "smoke in the wind";-)
12-18-2010, 09:11 AM   #8
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The K-R is noticeably faster AF than my K200D. So Pentax is going in right direction.

12-18-2010, 09:49 AM   #9
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Too be quite honest I get 100% accuracy most of the time with my ancient 10D

BUT you HAVE to admit even the latest Pentax dslrs have archaic af compared to the other brands

What year is Pentax in?? Yes they are going in the right direction - but the long way round;-)
12-18-2010, 12:41 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by dylansalt Quote
Too be quite honest I get 100% accuracy most of the time with my ancient 10D

BUT you HAVE to admit even the latest Pentax dslrs have archaic af compared to the other brands

What year is Pentax in?? Yes they are going in the right direction - but the long way round;-)
I disagree. The issues with Pentax SLR's auto focus have been two-fold: poor performance in low light settings and poor performance when tracking moving objects.

When using AF-S in decent lighting, the K7 keeps up just fine with regard to other brands.

I have not shot with a K5 yet, but from what I can see, both low light auto focus and AF-C are significantly improved. Comments indicate that they are similar at this point to the D300s. To me, that says that they are living in the present.

Is there room for improvement? Always. But, to base your judgment of Pentax auto focus on the K10D is to be living in the past.
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