ac12

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Did anyone who is commenting actually watch the video?

Yup.
IMHO, he did a decent job of a difficult subject.
But he did not do the one test that I consider critical, Center point, Single Shot AF.
If the camera cannot nail that, the AF fails.
 

Derrel

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Did anyone who is commenting actually watch the video?

Yup.
IMHO, he did a decent job of a difficult subject.
But he did not do the one test that I consider critical, Center point, Single Shot AF.
If the camera cannot nail that, the AF fails.

Kind of like testing a car to see how it handles in straight line driving for 500 feet...
 

Derrel

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TechRadar has a nice test of 9 beginner cameras...their winner is the Nikon D3500.
 

ac12

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Did anyone who is commenting actually watch the video?

Yup.
IMHO, he did a decent job of a difficult subject.
But he did not do the one test that I consider critical, Center point, Single Shot AF.
If the camera cannot nail that, the AF fails.

Kind of like testing a car to see how it handles in straight line driving for 500 feet...

Yes you are right.
One would ass-u-me that the camera WILL AF correctly with the center point and single AF.

IMHO, if one is going to do an AF test, the base line should be set and tested.
I recall once reading that someone's camera just could not focus sharply. Move the lens to another camera and it focused sharply. So the camera's AF was defective, and had to go back for warranty service.
So, doing a baseline test would tell you if the camera does focus the lens properly.​
 
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@ac12
I did that test to make sure they focused accurately (on a side note I had issues with the t7 in regard to white balance and other things and wrote to Canon whether that would be normal - they didn't reply. So I do take a lot of that into account, but if Canon wouldn't reply, I take the camera as is). But as Derrel said, that is pretty much a no-brainer. AND: if you checked the low-light focus test where I did exactly that in more difficult lighting situations. If they can do it there, they can do it in good lighting too.

When you say you have no issues with your cameras focusing: yes, of course, there are situations where it is much easier to focus, like a subject running parallel to the sensor plane. Which lenses did you use?
I wanted to do some of the more difficult stuff, like a kid or dog running towards you. Because that is what challenges cameras. Sure I could have asked our neighbor boy to run towards me with a soccer ball to make it even more real life. But that is not 100% repeatable and that would lead to not statistically relevant data.

Regarding face detection. On many cameras, you can register faces, but it has to work reliably, which it doesn't on the Olympus ;). As many people said (not here, but everywhere in the web): if face detection works properly, it is a game-changer.
 

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I might be wrong, but I think beginning at 11:43 in the low light test that Wolf might have used center-point AF, but he does not specify. The Nikon D3500 and the Canon T7i nailed the test perfectly.


Glad to know that you are so enthusiastic about using a modern 3-D tracking capable digital camera as if it's a first-generation AF film SLR from 1990....from (multiple times over the past year) reading your lengthy scenario list it's clear that you are unaware of the nuances of Nikon's 3-D (distance and color aware focusing and metering, and it sounds like you need to re-configure your Lock-On setting so that your camera does not immediately scream to find a new focus target when you momentarily swing by something in the foreground. Center-point AF ONLY is wasting a lot of the capability. Have you ever tied Group Dynamic AF in a Nikon? Are you telling us that you think and react faster than a microcomputer that measures object color,reflectivity,and distance.

I have read multiple times of your difficulties when shooting crowded, multi-player sports events...I would suggest you buy a Thom Hogan "Guide to The Nikon ______" for whatever Nikon you wish to use for sports shooting, and read and learn about more-nuanced use of a modern, multi-point AF System….currently you are advocating using sophisticated AF cameras as if they were three-AF-point cameras from the 1990's.

Center point, single focus use? Kind of like evaluating a sports car by how it drives in first gear at 15 MPH.....
 
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Derrel

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Seriously...buy and read the Thom Hogan "Guide to The Nikon D ____" and read about different ways to use a modern AF system...there are many situations where the 11-point or 21-point AF options will work wonders. Using single-point, center AF is sooooo 1990's.
 

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Why, the best beginner camera would be a Nikon D700 with low shutter count from the used market, really. Even better a D4, which are now getting really cheap recently.

Pro build, direct controls for everything, and really cheap really high quality glas available in spades, like:

- Nikkor AF 24mm f2.8
- Nikkor AF 35mm f2
- Nikkor AF 60mm f2.8 micro
- Tokina 100mm f2.8 macro
- Nikkor AF 180mm f2.8
- Nikkor AF 80-200mm f2.8

The socalled entry level bodies however are a massive waste of money. They lack essential features, they require menu surfing to operate, they have poor viewfinders, yada yada yada. No thanks.

P.s.: Oh, and none of the cheap but well built and optically amazing lenses from that list will autofocus on them, because those lenses all need an autofocus motor in the camera.



Something that requires film.
Thats a great choice if you have too much money and too much time, to get rid of both for little effect.

A good entry level camera needs one thing...an automatic setting.
Or they could, like, take a minute or two to learn the exposure triangle ?

Would be interesting (also I'm curious) to see the different responses from the sales staff at the camera store I work in.
The most expensive camera the client can still afford.
 
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Dave Maciak

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Simplicity
Wow, all that new "stuff" with all those switches and dials! Think I'll load up my FM and just set "asa" and then
concentrate on composition and just having fun! What a great way to learn.
 

ac12

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@Derrel, I tried it.
  • On my D7200, for sports, I generally set the AF to C-D9. Center + 1 point all around it, in a 3x3 matrix. This gives me a bit of fudge when I miss tracking the subject.
  • On the Canon T7i, there is not a setting comparable to the Nikon D9, so I set to single point. On the Canon, it is either single point or zone/area. Canon zone AF uses closest subject logic. And that is the problem and the reason I don't use Canon zone AF. Because often, MY subject is not the closest subject in the AF zone.
  • So for purposes of sport photography, as I shoot it, the Nikon D9 AF mode works better than Canon's zone AF.
  • Both are DX/APS-C dSLR cameras.
The majority of my focus misses are not from tracking, but when I switch subjects from A to B.
When I do it FAST (like in volleyball), when I swing the camera, because of inertia, I sometimes overshoot the subject, so the AF point is on the background when I press the shutter. The Nikon AF needs the AF point to start ON the subject. In this scenario, the Canon zone might work better, IF there is no one closer to me in the AF zone.
Other times (soccer) it is just me trying to figure out where the ball in going to come down. After 3 years, I've gotten better at this, but I don't shoot enough soccer to get that skill sorted out.

Because I generally do not have trouble tracking people, I only use D9.
If I were trying to track a fast moving bird or small animal, I might use D21 or D51.

I generally shoot plays, not tight individual shots. So there are usually several players in the shot. This is another reason Canon's zone AF does not work for me. Invariably, some of the players will be closer to me than MY subject.
If I need an individual, I crop into the image to get that individual.

In most sports, the team is wearing the same uniform, so Nikon's color 3D tracking cannot keep track of a specific individual. See note below for tennis, where I tested the 3D AF.

Football/soccer/lacrosse.
  • Nikon lens is 70-200/4. Olympus 12-100, 40-150.
  • The QB sometimes runs behind other players. So other players are closer to me than the QB.
    • This specific scenario has been an issue of mine.
    • I could slow down the AF, so that it would ignore momentary interruptions, like a player or the ref running in front of me. But then the AF also slows down when trying to follow the player who is not always running a straight line. So setting the AF speed is a compromise.
Volleyball
  • Nikon/Canon lens is 35, 50 or 17-50/2.8. I was hoping to try the 35-150/2.8-4, but the spring season closed down before I could try it.
  • Canon zone AF fails because of how the players are in the image.
    • One of my target subject is the front spiker on the far side of the court. This is because I can see the face of the far spiker, which I can't for the near spiker. But there are 2 players between the far spiker and me; the near spiker and the setter.
    • If I am shooting the middle player in the back row, the close player is between the middle player and me.
  • Sometimes I shift subject FAST from player A to B, and it is here where I have most of my OOF misses. Simply from overshooting player B, and not having the AF point on player B when I press the shutter.
Basketball
  • Nikon/Canon lens is 35 or 17-50/2.8. Olympus 12-45/2.8
  • Like football, the player that I am after is often inside a group of other players, some of whom are closer to me than my subject.
Tennis
  • Nikon lens is 18-140, 70-200, 75-300. Olympus lens is 12-100, 75-300.
  • With just ONE subject, no other players to distract the AF, I tried the Nikon 3D tracking, and it failed. It would lose the player and lock onto the lines on the court :confused: It did that so often that I gave up using 3D tracking.
  • I used zone AF with my EM1-mk2, and it worked pretty good.
Baseball/softball
  • This is usually easy to use a Zone AF with, as most of the time the players are individual shots.
 

ac12

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@ac12
I did that test to make sure they focused accurately (on a side note I had issues with the t7 in regard to white balance and other things and wrote to Canon whether that would be normal - they didn't reply. So I do take a lot of that into account, but if Canon wouldn't reply, I take the camera as is). But as Derrel said, that is pretty much a no-brainer. AND: if you checked the low-light focus test where I did exactly that in more difficult lighting situations. If they can do it there, they can do it in good lighting too.

When you say you have no issues with your cameras focusing: yes, of course, there are situations where it is much easier to focus, like a subject running parallel to the sensor plane. Which lenses did you use?
I wanted to do some of the more difficult stuff, like a kid or dog running towards you. Because that is what challenges cameras. Sure I could have asked our neighbor boy to run towards me with a soccer ball to make it even more real life. But that is not 100% repeatable and that would lead to not statistically relevant data.

Regarding face detection. On many cameras, you can register faces, but it has to work reliably, which it doesn't on the Olympus ;). As many people said (not here, but everywhere in the web): if face detection works properly, it is a game-changer.

I shoot on the sidelines and court floor, so I have motion in all directions.

When I shoot basketball/volleyball/soccer/lacrosse, and do a FAST switch from player A in the distance to B closer to me (or visa versa). Some/many times the lens is still focusing on player B, on the first shot of the burst. But has reached focus on the 2nd shot of the burst. In that case, it is simply the inability of the lens to change focus fast enough. The camera is fine, because shot #2 and on are in focus. So in this scenario, it is not only the camera but the AF speed of the lens that is important. Some lenses focus faster than others, and some focus slower.

Canon T7i: Soccer = Tamron 35-150/2.8-4, 70-210/4. Basketball/Volleyball = Tamron 17-50/2.8, 35-150/2.8-4
Nikon D7200: Football/soccer/lacrosse = Nikon 18-140/3.5-5.6, 70-200/4. Volleyball = 35/1.8, 50/1.8. Basketball = 35/1.8.
Olympus EM1-mk2: Football/soccer/lacrosse = 12-100/4, 40-150/2.8 Basketball/volleyball = 12-40/2.8, 12-100/4

Yes the face AF is a game-changer, IF it works properly, and IF the situation is suited to us face AF. As I said, I found face AF to be more trouble than value when shooting at parties and group events. So I am much more selective when I choose to use face AF.
 
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@ac12
I did that test to make sure they focused accurately (on a side note I had issues with the t7 in regard to white balance and other things and wrote to Canon whether that would be normal - they didn't reply. So I do take a lot of that into account, but if Canon wouldn't reply, I take the camera as is). But as Derrel said, that is pretty much a no-brainer. AND: if you checked the low-light focus test where I did exactly that in more difficult lighting situations. If they can do it there, they can do it in good lighting too.

When you say you have no issues with your cameras focusing: yes, of course, there are situations where it is much easier to focus, like a subject running parallel to the sensor plane. Which lenses did you use?
I wanted to do some of the more difficult stuff, like a kid or dog running towards you. Because that is what challenges cameras. Sure I could have asked our neighbor boy to run towards me with a soccer ball to make it even more real life. But that is not 100% repeatable and that would lead to not statistically relevant data.

Regarding face detection. On many cameras, you can register faces, but it has to work reliably, which it doesn't on the Olympus ;). As many people said (not here, but everywhere in the web): if face detection works properly, it is a game-changer.

I shoot on the sidelines and court floor, so I have motion in all directions.

When I shoot basketball/volleyball/soccer/lacrosse, and do a FAST switch from player A in the distance to B closer to me (or visa versa). Some/many times the lens is still focusing on player B, on the first shot of the burst. But has reached focus on the 2nd shot of the burst. In that case, it is simply the inability of the lens to change focus fast enough. The camera is fine, because shot #2 and on are in focus. So in this scenario, it is not only the camera but the AF speed of the lens that is important. Some lenses focus faster than others, and some focus slower.

Canon T7i: Soccer = Tamron 35-150/2.8-4, 70-210/4. Basketball/Volleyball = Tamron 17-50/2.8, 35-150/2.8-4
Nikon D7200: Football/soccer/lacrosse = Nikon 18-140/3.5-5.6, 70-200/4. Volleyball = 35/1.8, 50/1.8. Basketball = 35/1.8.
Olympus EM1-mk2: Football/soccer/lacrosse = 12-100/4, 40-150/2.8 Basketball/volleyball = 12-40/2.8, 12-100/4

Yes the face AF is a game-changer, IF it works properly, and IF the situation is suited to us face AF. As I said, I found face AF to be more trouble than value when shooting at parties and group events. So I am much more selective when I choose to use face AF.

And that's exactly why I did two things in the video:
  1. tested different lenses on the same body to show people that lenses are important
  2. told people "If working properly, that is a game-changer, because the camera detects the face in your frame and you don't have to constantly change the focus points you want to use, then do the framing and finally take the image."
It "almost" seems as if we are running in circles here ;)
 
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Why, the best beginner camera would be a Nikon D700 with low shutter count from the used market, really. Even better a D4, which are now getting really cheap recently.

Pro build, direct controls for everything, and really cheap really high quality glas available in spades, like:

- Nikkor AF 24mm f2.8
- Nikkor AF 35mm f2
- Nikkor AF 60mm f2.8 micro
- Tokina 100mm f2.8 macro
- Nikkor AF 180mm f2.8
- Nikkor AF 80-200mm f2.8

The socalled entry level bodies however are a massive waste of money. They lack essential features, they require menu surfing to operate, they have poor viewfinders, yada yada yada. No thanks.

P.s.: Oh, and none of the cheap but well built and optically amazing lenses from that list will autofocus on them, because those lenses all need an autofocus motor in the camera.



Something that requires film.
Thats a great choice if you have too much money and too much time, to get rid of both for little effect.

A good entry level camera needs one thing...an automatic setting.
Or they could, like, take a minute or two to learn the exposure triangle ?

Would be interesting (also I'm curious) to see the different responses from the sales staff at the camera store I work in.
The most expensive camera the client can still afford.

In general I agree, but "cheap" is relative and people have different needs.
 

RVT1K

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Why, the best beginner camera would be a Nikon D700 with low shutter count from the used market, really. Even better a D4, which are now getting really cheap recently.


A D4 as a beginner's camera? Really?
 

ac12

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I just bought a Nikon D5600 + 18-140 for the high school athletic dept., for the sports leadership students to use to take pictures for the athletic dept.
In a sports photography environment, the high school kids are about as beginner as I can think of, once you get beyond a phone camera.

Yearbook will probably be buying a couple Canon T8i cameras, to add to their T7i, and replace the old T3 and T5.
Yearbook has Canons, so they are going to stay Canon.
 

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