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07-27-2009, 06:01 PM   #1
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AF speed on K7...

Today, I happened to stop by a local camera store looking for something for my Pentax cameras when I got an opportunity to hold and play with a gently used Canon 40D + EFS 18-200. That was the first time I had handled a 40D and I have to say that I was blown away the AF speed in comparison to my K20.

For those of you who have used both the K7 and either the 40D or 50D, how would you say that the AF speed compares between them?

Thanks!
Heather

07-27-2009, 06:33 PM   #2
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I have the K-7 and often mess around with my brother's Canon 50D.

The K-7's AF speed is a very significant improvement over the K20D, especially indoors and in dim light. Even a slow-focus zoom lens like the DA55-300mm is quite usable indoors now, where it would previously focus-hunt or give up altogether.
With fast primes, AF is a breeze on the K-7.

In terms of absolute AF speed, the Canon 50D still wins, especially in AF-C mode (this issue has been debated endlessly in another thread).
07-27-2009, 07:08 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by hwblanks Quote
Today, I happened to stop by a local camera store looking for something for my Pentax cameras when I got an opportunity to hold and play with a gently used Canon 40D + EFS 18-200. That was the first time I had handled a 40D and I have to say that I was blown away the AF speed in comparison to my K20.

For those of you who have used both the K7 and either the 40D or 50D, how would you say that the AF speed compares between them?

Thanks!
Heather
Some months ago, while evacuated in Austin from Hurricane Ike and idling away some time, I played with a Canon 40D as well as a Nikon (the model of which I don't remember) and had the same reaction you described. I was astonished how responsive these cameras were compared with a K10/20D.

Now, I'm asking the same question as you are. With the K-7, which apparently relies on a tweaked version of its old AF system, how far has Pentax come in matching the performance of its competitors? Opinions and "impressions" seem to vary; it would be nice to see some actual data comparing Pentax, Canon and Nikon each with lenses of comparable FL and speed.

Jer
07-28-2009, 01:23 AM   #4
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Very improved on K7 face to K20, but not at the 50D' level.
(I own both)

07-28-2009, 01:35 AM   #5
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There's no doubt the big 2's AF in their mid- to high-end range of cams are a notch faster than Pentax's offers. But if you pay over twice as much for a camera, you'd expect a significant improvement in performance, which is what you'd get for a 40D/50D + USM lens.

If one has the money, wants fast AF and is willing to invest in the gear, it would be wise to go with a D300/D700 or 50D/5DMkII - and have the future extra costs of getting the VR/IS + USM lenses to go with these bodies...
07-28-2009, 02:32 AM   #6
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Played with the 40D, 50D, and K7 at work, and their AF speed all seem comparable (17-85 USM on the Canon bodies, 17-70SDM on the K7). The 50D might be slightly faster than the K7, but the difference is small enough to be a non-issue in decent lighting (Daylight flourescents). Tested with tradtional screw-drive AF lenses like the new 18-55 WR lens, it's slightly slower than the SDM lenses, but again, not by enough to make a difference under decent lighting.

The difference between traditional and SDM lenses seems narrower on the K7.
07-28-2009, 05:47 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
There's no doubt the big 2's AF in their mid- to high-end range of cams are a notch faster than Pentax's offers. But if you pay over twice as much for a camera, you'd expect a significant improvement in performance, which is what you'd get for a 40D/50D + USM lens.

If one has the money, wants fast AF and is willing to invest in the gear, it would be wise to go with a D300/D700 or 50D/5DMkII - and have the future extra costs of getting the VR/IS + USM lenses to go with these bodies...
my question is :

is it the 40d's body or the lens or a combination? how would the 40d's AF perform with a screw driven lens?

pentax's sdm is not very impressive. i actually went with sigma's HSM (50-150) over the 50-135. very nice lens, but even then, the HSM don't seem much faster than screw drive.
07-28-2009, 06:58 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by opiedog Quote
my question is :

is it the 40d's body or the lens or a combination? how would the 40d's AF perform with a screw driven lens?

pentax's sdm is not very impressive. i actually went with sigma's HSM (50-150) over the 50-135. very nice lens, but even then, the HSM don't seem much faster than screw drive.
There are NO screw-driven Canon lenses They all have motors in them. Now some in-lens motors are slower than others though

If the OP thought the 18-200 was fast on a 40D, she'd be totally blown away trying out a USM lens. Even my lowly 17-85 is blazingly fast (even in AI Servo) on my 40D.

07-28-2009, 07:22 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by egordon99 Quote
There are NO screw-driven Canon lenses They all have motors in them. Now some in-lens motors are slower than others though

If the OP thought the 18-200 was fast on a 40D, she'd be totally blown away trying out a USM lens. Even my lowly 17-85 is blazingly fast (even in AI Servo) on my 40D.
One other thing I was really impressed by is that even though the EFS 18-200 isn't a USM lens, the focusing noise was noticably more quiet than my Pentax.

I'm going to see my dad Labor Day weekend and I want to play with his T1i a bit--he has a L24-105/4 so I'll get to see just how quiet the USM is. A friend of his who has a 40D will also be around, so perhaps he'll let me play with it, as well--40D + 24-105...that could be very tempting.

Heather
07-28-2009, 07:26 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by hwblanks Quote
One other thing I was really impressed by is that even though the EFS 18-200 isn't a USM lens, the focusing noise was noticably more quiet than my Pentax.

I'm going to see my dad Labor Day weekend and I want to play with his T1i a bit--he has a L24-105/4 so I'll get to see just how quiet the USM is. A friend of his who has a 40D will also be around, so perhaps he'll let me play with it, as well--40D + 24-105...that could be very tempting.

Heather
The 24-105 is a nice lens. I just bought the 24-70L, no IS but I love the f/2.8

I now have three L zooms (24-70, 70-200 f/4 IS and 100-400), the next step in my "conversion to the dark size" is L primes....My wallet is really going to hate me!
07-28-2009, 08:29 AM   #11
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well, pardon my ignorance. i didn't realize canon has no screw-drive lenses
heather.... beware the dark side
it is indeed tempting, don't forget IQ, details, SR. AF is not the whole thing

on a more serious note, i have a k2000 and i'm ok with it's AF.
the k7 is in my target.... for next year

Last edited by opiedog; 07-28-2009 at 08:35 AM.
07-28-2009, 08:32 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by egordon99 Quote
The 24-105 is a nice lens. I just bought the 24-70L, no IS but I love the f/2.8

I now have three L zooms (24-70, 70-200 f/4 IS and 100-400), the next step in my "conversion to the dark size" is L primes....My wallet is really going to hate me!
Tell me about it, I'm lusting after the 85 f1.2 .
07-28-2009, 08:47 AM   #13
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Heather,
I had a similar experience the first time I picked up a 40D. I was totally blown away by the AF response as compared to my K10D. Now some would say that it should be better for the price difference, but the Canon is not really that much more money if fast AF is what you need. Maybe the K-7 AF is better. That would be good.

Now for me, it is pretty much a non-issue. I seldom shoot sports, BIF, or swiftly moving children/animals and actually have a strong preference for old manual focus lenses. I bought Pentax based on feature set, build, image qualities, and handling. AF speed was WAY down the priority list. Those people who are sensitive to the AF speed issue should ask themselves why they did not buy a Canon or Nikon and be satisfied with the answer.

Steve
07-28-2009, 09:14 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Labuzan Quote
Very improved on K7 face to K20, but not at the 50D' level.
(I own both)
QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
There's no doubt the big 2's AF in their mid- to high-end range of cams are a notch faster than Pentax's offers. But if you pay over twice as much for a camera, you'd expect a significant improvement in performance, which is what you'd get for a 40D/50D + USM lens.

If one has the money, wants fast AF and is willing to invest in the gear, it would be wise to go with a D300/D700 or 50D/5DMkII - and have the future extra costs of getting the VR/IS + USM lenses to go with these bodies...
QuoteOriginally posted by drewdlephone Quote
Played with the 40D, 50D, and K7 at work, and their AF speed all seem comparable (17-85 USM on the Canon bodies, 17-70SDM on the K7). The 50D might be slightly faster than the K7, but the difference is small enough to be a non-issue in decent lighting (Daylight flourescents). Tested with tradtional screw-drive AF lenses like the new 18-55 WR lens, it's slightly slower than the SDM lenses, but again, not by enough to make a difference under decent lighting.

The difference between traditional and SDM lenses seems narrower on the K7.
Thanks for the responses. I'm not particularly interested in changing systems; it's just a hobby, and my Pentax gear serves me well most of the time. However, as I consider the K-7, I want to benchmark its capabilities with those of competitors as well as with those of my K20D in order to judge what price point for the K-7 represents a good value for my needs.

Thanks again.

Jer
07-28-2009, 10:23 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sailor Quote
Thanks for the responses. I'm not particularly interested in changing systems; it's just a hobby, and my Pentax gear serves me well most of the time. However, as I consider the K-7, I want to benchmark its capabilities with those of competitors as well as with those of my K20D in order to judge what price point for the K-7 represents a good value for my needs.

Thanks again.

Jer
I don't think you'll be disappointed with the performance of the K7, but of course, my tests at work are a subjective thing. I just point them all at a wall and trigger them and see what kind of focusing speed I get. The K7 is definitely quicker on it's feet than the K20D or K200D, but again, this is just by feel.

The camera doesn't always make the image, remember. I can't tell you there aren't tons of sports photographers and wildlife photographers using Canon for a reason, but the importance of a camera's automated systems is far too overrated. They certainly make it easier, but capturing a moment is just as much a test of the photographer as it is of the equipment. I've captured many things in motion, in focus, with my Spotmatic body. You learn to work around your equipment to get the best results. If all you do as a photographer is point your camera at something and blindly fire off shots in hope of getting a good one, you're relying on your camera, not your skills.

Not that this is an excuse for Pentax to have slower AF, of course. Faster would be better, I just don't think it's the world-ending issue people make it out to be. Every photographer using ANY system, be they Canon, Nikon, Pentax or others, have to work around the limitations of their systems. The grass isn't that much greener on the other side.
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