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02-08-2019, 05:54 AM   #1
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Looking for a camera with fast/reliable auto focus.

I have been using my Pentax K3 for a few years now. Its fine for most things but recently I have been getting into street and street portraits. Unfortunately the AF is just too unreliable in these situations. Even with primes, although they do focus quickly very few shots are actually really in focus. Looking for a camera with reliable AF for around 500 dollars secondhand, including lens if possible. Any ideas?? Thanks.

02-08-2019, 06:18 AM   #2
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have you looked at the user reviews and " in depth review " of the various Pentax cameras yet ?

____________________________

you can also use the comparison tool to set up 4 different cameras side by side

Pentax K-1 II vs. Pentax KP vs. Pentax K-70 vs. Pentax K-3 - Pentax Camera Comparison - PentaxForums.com

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perhaps you might find some useful info in these articles ?

Guide to Camera and Autofocus Settings for Shooting Sports

Read more at: Guide to Camera and Autofocus Settings for Shooting Sports - Articles and Tips | PentaxForums.com

DSLR Guide for Shooting Sports II: Horse Racing
How to set up autofocus and other DSLR settings


Read more at: DSLR Guide for Shooting Sports II: Horse Racing - Articles and Tips | PentaxForums.com
02-08-2019, 06:24 AM   #3
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Thanks, yes. The KP seems to have the most reliable AF and this is a possibility. However, I have become quite frustrated with my K3 autofocus so I am looking at other brands too. I don't need bells and whistles just something that focuses accurately. I am also considering mirrorless. I have a Ricoh GR which is wonderfully sharp and accurate. I want the same results but at around 50-85mm fov.
02-08-2019, 06:54 AM   #4
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is it your camera or the lenses ?

check out lenses review

would the HD Pentax DA 55-300mm f/4.5–6.3 ED PLM WR RE be too big for your photography?

. . . Enter the HD Pentax DA 55-300mm f/4.5–6.3 ED PLM WR RE, featuring a retractable design and a new Pulse Motor (PLM) system powering the autofocus.
Smaller, lighter, and 100% more silent than its predecessor, the new DA 55-300mm looks to be an upgrade in every way but one—its narrower aperture range. Still, we had to put it to the test to find out whether it can best a time-tested favorite. Come along as we find out!


Read more at: HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 PLM WR RE Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews

02-08-2019, 07:01 AM   #5
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A couple of years ago I bought a used Sony a6000 because of the fast autofocus. It was supposed to have the fastest autofocus of any camera when it was introduced. It is pretty fast, but I don't have any long lenses with it, what I use mostly are 20mm and 30mm primes, and have a seldom used 18-55mm zoom.. I did have a 50-200, which I guess was fast enough but it was not the sharpest lens, it seemed to miss focus too. Last summer I got the KP, since having the KP I have barely touched the Sony. That is not all because of the autofocus, but the KP is very accurate and faster than my K-50. And I do have the 55-300 PLM lens which is screaming fast. I got the Sony for it's fast autofocus and had hoped they would come out with a long lens that was affordable, but their consumer 70-300 lens is $1148! So the 55-300 PLM is a bargain compared to that, and performs beautifully. I only wish my DA 300* had the PLM focusing, even though it is a little faster on the KP, and focus is accurate. The only reason to keep the Sony for me is for street shooting and travel if I'm really limited for space. The Sony with the 20mm lens I have can easily fit in a pocket. Even though the my last airline trip I took the KP with no problem.
02-08-2019, 07:05 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alnjpn Quote
Its fine for most things but recently I have been getting into street and street portraits.Unfortunately the AF is just too unreliable in these situations.
In that case, you need to use the camera in AFS mode and press the shutter fully without waiting for AF confirm. Why so? Because when the person/portrait is moving slowing in the street, there must not be any time lag because single AF operation and shutter operation. When pressing the shutter fully without the intermediate focus step, the camera will focus and take the shot immediately as soon as in focus.
02-08-2019, 07:06 AM - 2 Likes   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alnjpn Quote
I have been using my Pentax K3 for a few years now. Its fine for most things but recently I have been getting into street and street portraits. Unfortunately the AF is just too unreliable in these situations. Even with primes, although they do focus quickly very few shots are actually really in focus. Looking for a camera with reliable AF for around 500 dollars secondhand, including lens if possible. Any ideas?? Thanks.
May I ask what AF mode and AF point selection you're using? Also, do you use the shutter button half press or back button for AF? Are you shooting at an aperture that gives suitable depth of field for the types of shot you're taking? Are you sure your shots are out-of-focus rather than blurred due to movement? Are your shutter speeds fast enough to freeze motion as necessary? Are you using lenses that focus quickly, and what are those lenses?

The K-3 isn't an ideal camera for fast AF.C tracking, but it's perfectly capable of accurate AF for most street photography. Of course, it won't do everything for you... with respect, you need to bring some skills and technique to the table. The photographer has just as much work to do as the camera.
02-08-2019, 08:02 AM   #8
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Are there many better cameras for street photos than the Ricoh GR ?

02-08-2019, 09:22 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
Are there many better cameras for street photos than the Ricoh GR ?
Not when you consider the price.

Edit: Actually, even ignoring the price I don't know of anything more perfect for it.

---------- Post added 02-08-19 at 09:29 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by aslyfox Quote
100% more silent
This is a very odd statement. I can't even fathom what math(s) they're trying to use there...and I have an engineering degree.

How can something be more silent than something that wasn't silent? They must mean 'less noisy' maybe...but then if it is 100% less noisy it would be utterly silent, which is not feasible. I can only imagine they really mean 50% as noisy...but then the marketing speak got hold of it and turned it into spurious nonsense.
02-08-2019, 09:53 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by victormeldrew Quote
. . .

This is a very odd statement. I can't even fathom what math(s) they're trying to use there...and I have an engineering degree.

How can something be more silent than something that wasn't silent? They must mean 'less noisy' maybe...but then if it is 100% less noisy it would be utterly silent, which is not feasible. I can only imagine they really mean 50% as noisy...but then the marketing speak got hold of it and turned it into spurious nonsense.
I'm giving 110 % trying to understand myself
02-08-2019, 11:23 AM   #11
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As others said, would you mind sharing which lenses and AF settings you're using ? The K-3 isn't the fastest AF camera on the market, but it's definitely capable of focusing on people walking on the street... Are you using AF-C ? Back button focusing ? Fast enough shutter speed ?
02-08-2019, 04:20 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alnjpn Quote
I have been using my Pentax K3 for a few years now. Its fine for most things but recently I have been getting into street and street portraits. Unfortunately the AF is just too unreliable in these situations. Even with primes, although they do focus quickly very few shots are actually really in focus. Looking for a camera with reliable AF for around 500 dollars secondhand, including lens if possible. Any ideas?? Thanks.
What aperture are you using?
Traditional street shooters used f/8.
02-09-2019, 01:07 AM   #13
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Thanks for the advice and feedback.Actually, I have changed lenses and am starting to get better results. I was using the FA50 1.4 at f3.5 and 1/500. I think part of the problem lies with this lens, it seems to be back focusing and front focusing randomly. (It was a recent acquisition and will shortly be going) I have tried my other primes and have had the best luck with the DA50 1.8. What I am doing is asking people to pose for me for street portraits. I was hoping to get a shallow depth of field. However, although its more static than traditional street photography, there is still bit movement - so you are right in suggesting a smaller aperture.

Apologies. Maybe I was just having a bad day and the K3 isn't as bad as I thought.... but KP is definitely on the horizon

Thanks again!
02-09-2019, 07:27 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alnjpn Quote
What I am doing is asking people to pose for me for street portraits. I was hoping to get a shallow depth of field. However, although its more static than traditional street photography, there is still bit movement - so you are right in suggesting a smaller aperture.
!
For this kind of pictures, I would say that f4 is a safe bet and usually work fine. You can give try to f2.8, but don’t expect 100% success rate since you won’t have any leeway for mis focus. Any movement from you or the subject could lead to a misfocus picture, even for a few inches. It’s even harder at full aperture like 1.4 or 1.8. This kind of pictures can look very good when you nail it, but they’re not easy to do although they look like it. Expect to have way more fails than keepers.

So, it depends on what you want to achieve. Either you play it safe and use a small aperture, or you go for the shallow dof and accept the possibility that you may end up with no picture at all...
02-09-2019, 09:35 AM   #15
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The Fuji XT-1 can be picked up for less than $500 and with firmware 4.0 it's definitely a better focusing camera than the K-3 in terms of accuracy.

Last edited by BigMackCam; 02-09-2019 at 10:32 AM. Reason: Removed inflammatory remarks
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