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03-05-2019, 09:54 PM - 3 Likes   #1
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How does Pentax AF-C compare to other brands?

In this controlled German study, not bad, actually, a dagger to enemies of the brand without proof.

Full paper with methodology and results at: https://www.image-engineering.de/content/library/conference_papers/2017_03/a...erformance.pdf

Note the performance of the much hyped Canon 7D MkII dual pixel and Fuji XT1 systems (wasn't Fuji calling it at launch time the fastest in the world or some such?).

Example test below … they also do the same Z-axis test in low light (300lx).

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03-05-2019, 10:28 PM - 2 Likes   #2
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I read all 8 pages of the report, the testing setup is impressive, but in the end the results aren't terribly conclusive. In bright light, in single shot mode, the K-3II is actually the best of the bunch, with the D7200 coming in second. In burst mode and low light (300 lux), the K-3II's performance drops more than average.

I did find their classification of constant, on/off, swinging and no track interesting. Basically the GH4 is almost never dead-on, but its performance is consistently better than average. The Leica T is terrible at tracking, the A6000 sometimes loses track after locking on and the D7200 is good at not losing track, but has problems finding focus consistently while it is tracking. The authors don't state any conclusions about the K-3II, but in low light, once it loses focus, it never seems to catch up. But you are right, while the 7DII is better than average in the burst tests, it isn't a leader and the XT1 is only competitive in single mode in bright light. I think it is safe to say that good auto-focus tracking is hard to implement.
03-05-2019, 10:36 PM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by RGlasel Quote
I think it is safe to say that good auto-focus tracking is hard to implement.
Yes, that's one of their conclusions, RGlasel, also amongst them is that it's very lens dependent. The slowest lens in a lineup can be between four to six times slower than the fastest.

Somebody with a Canon 1Dx and the 85mm f1.2 or a Pentax K-30 with the kit 18-55mm really needs to be on top of their technique.

But the internet rhetoric - and we see it from the same hostile posters here again and again without hard evidence and laboratory controls - is that Pentax shouldn't be getting these results. This confounds their opinions.

According to them, it shouldn't even be on the same page as other brands.

See what this Nikon shooter thought of Pentax tracking in other than the Z direction - a lot of debunking is involved - here:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/6-pentax-dslr-discussion/384120-how-good...-tracking.html

Last edited by clackers; 03-05-2019 at 11:07 PM.
03-05-2019, 10:37 PM - 3 Likes   #4
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The test conditions do not say how fast the camera holder has to run backwards to keep the cameras on track.

03-05-2019, 11:11 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
The test conditions do not say how fast the camera holder has to run backwards to keep the cameras on track.
Before people chime in, Biz-engineer's reinvention as an English style surrealist comic is complete - he's joking.

The approach speeds were of course both walking and running (0.4m/s and 1.0 m/s).

DPR naturally had a wobbling bicycle and testers who didn't know what they were doing.
03-06-2019, 12:22 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
DPR naturally had a wobbling bicycle and testers who didn't know what they were doing.
They used two bicycles for Pentax, because the only two tandems available in Seattle were already booked by Sony and Nikon.

QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Before people chime in, Biz-engineer's reinvention as an English style surrealist comic is complete - he's joking.
Haven't graduated from Mr Bean university yet, but I'll be thinking about it as a retirement project.
03-06-2019, 12:54 AM   #7
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Conclusion
The X-T1 is probably Fujifilm's best camera to date, offering a compelling combination of intuitive handling, excellent image quality, and one of best electronic viewfinders we've seen. It also features one of the most impressive autofocus systems on any camera at this price level, both in terms of accuracy with fast lenses and tracking moving subjects. Over all it's a hugely engaging and capable camera, and one that's fundamentally a joy to use.

Above is a copy and paste from april 2014.Not my words at all.

BTW its 2014 review,only two Fuji Xtrans generations ago

GH4 is a 2014 release

OMD M1 is a 2013 release

K-3ii is discontinued

So this 2017 analysis...is relevant now?..in 2019???

Last edited by surfar; 03-06-2019 at 06:35 AM.
03-06-2019, 01:01 AM   #8
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What impresses me is that the K-3 ii is one of only three cameras to last 14 tests ( )

03-06-2019, 02:12 AM - 2 Likes   #9
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Having used both, I'd say the d7200 is slightly better then the Kp for tracking, but there isn't a lot in it, and the Kp is quicker for me in very low light with fairly static subjects.
I mainly shoot fairly static subjects, often in low light, and I have Pentax lenses, so I'm happy with the Kp.
My findings are deeply dependent on my habit of riding the shutter button fairly carefully - I find that most cameras suck when I just hold town the shutter button and hope for the best.

If I shot a lot of wildlife or sports in good light (and didn't already own Pentax glass) I'd probably go for Nikon. I don't, and I didn't.

There's not a hell of a lot in it to be honest.
03-06-2019, 04:07 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by surfar Quote
BTW its 2014 review,only two Fuji Xtrans generations ago

GH4 is a 2014 release

OMD M1 is a 2013 release

K-3ii is discontinued

So this 2017 analysis...is relevant now?..in 2019???
It would be nice to see the same analysis for the current crop of DSLR and mirrorless cameras, that's for sure. But the relevance of this analysis in 2019, for me, is that it demonstrates how variable AF performance is between cameras of the same era when taking a wide range of conditions and circumstances into account, using a controlled and unbiased approach.

Manufacturers are still peddling the same hype and claims today that they have for years, and many folks willingly take them at face value. Yet, those claims are typically based on very narrow and specific manufacturer-designed test conditions that skew the results in a particular camera's favour. So far as I'm aware, despite manufacturers' claims, no company has perfected every aspect of AF in every conceivable situation. Yet they're all pretty good... Good enough, in fact, that the biggest differentiator in real-world shooting is going to be the photographer, not the camera.
03-06-2019, 04:21 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by surfar Quote
Conclusion
The X-T1 is probably Fujifilm's best camera to date, offering a compelling combination of intuitive handling, excellent image quality, and one of best electronic viewfinders we've seen. It also features one of the most impressive autofocus systems on any camera at this price level, both in terms of accuracy with fast lenses and tracking moving subjects. Over all it's a hugely engaging and capable camera, and one that's fundamentally a joy to use.

BTW its 2014 review,only two Fuji Xtrans generations ago

GH4 is a 2014 release

OMD M1 is a 2013 release

K-3ii is discontinued

So this 2017 analysis...is relevant now?..in 2019???
Did you read the AF-C summary that Beholder3 posted comparing the XT-3 with D500 and a couple of other cameras? I think things have changed less than we might imagine.

One of very, very few repeatable AF.C autofocus tracking tests - PentaxForums.com
03-06-2019, 04:27 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
no company has perfected every aspect of AF in every conceivable situation.
Will they ever?

Soonish the XT3,Z6/7 and $$$ony 3rd editions get their AF updated for eye AF(peoples eyes)....$$$ony gets animals eyes too.


The progress is coming thick and fast....The latest OLY has the object tracking thingo(planes/birds,cars and trains).


But then again,those Focus rings on adapted Ruskis still work!

---------- Post added 03-06-19 at 10:31 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Did you read the AF-C summary that Beholder3 posted comparing the XT-3 with D500 and a couple of other cameras? I think things have changed less than we might imagine.
Thanks, I looked at it.

I prefer to judge the XT3s performance while its in my hands though.
03-06-2019, 05:35 AM - 1 Like   #13
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So if I've understood the article correctly, none of the autofocus systems were able to match the accuracy of manual focus on a static subject 100% of the time. It would have been interesting if they'd also had a skilled photographer using the classic manual follow focus technique to compare against autofocus on the moving subject too.
03-06-2019, 05:59 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by surfar Quote
The X-T1 is probably Fujifilm's best camera to date
The best value for money is the XT2 because its AF is vastly improved over the XT1, and the XT3 doesn't bring any significant benefit over the XT2 (26Mp instead of 24Mp on a crop sensor doesn't even come out visible, and XT2 already does 4k vids). But the very best for stills is the K1, it smokes other FF camera models on IQ (DR) and it smokes all other FF models IQ when all conditions are aligned in pixel shift mode.
03-06-2019, 06:20 AM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by surfar Quote
Will they ever?

Soonish the XT3,Z6/7 and $$$ony 3rd editions get their AF updated for eye AF(peoples eyes)....$$$ony gets animals eyes too.


The progress is coming thick and fast....The latest OLY has the object tracking thingo(planes/birds,cars and trains).


But then again,those Focus rings on adapted Ruskis still work!

---------- Post added 03-06-19 at 10:31 PM ----------



Thanks, I looked at it.

I prefer to judge the XT3s performance while its in my hands though.
I have noticed your tendency to post links to reviews that agree with your preconceived notions about camera gear.
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