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Archive 2012 · Canonís AF vs. Nikon
  
 
Lan11
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p.1 #1 · Canonís AF vs. Nikon


Canonís AF. An interesting read confirming my experience: www.diglloyd.com/index.html

Quote: ďTodayís tests with my factory serviced D800 and D800E + Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G were a huge disappointmentÖÖ..In my testing today under the same conditions, the Canon 5D Mark III + 85mm f/1.2L II achieved both high precision and high accuracy, similar to what I found with the Canon 1D X autofocus.Ē

Over the years the AF on 10D, 5D, 5D2, D300 and recent D800 tests were all disappointing.
The1D4 seems best (I didnít try yet the 5D3 or 1Dx).

This may be enough to justify the 5D3 higher price.



Aug 12, 2012 at 02:51 PM
molson
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p.1 #2 · Canonís AF vs. Nikon


Lan11 wrote:
Canonís AF. An interesting read confirming my experience: www.diglloyd.com/index.html

Quote: ďTodayís tests with my factory serviced D800 and D800E + Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.4G were a huge disappointmentÖÖ..In my testing today under the same conditions, the Canon 5D Mark III + 85mm f/1.2L II achieved both high precision and high accuracy, similar to what I found with the Canon 1D X autofocus.Ē

Over the years the AF on 10D, 5D, 5D2, D300 and recent D800 tests were all disappointing.
The1D4 seems best (I didnít try yet the 5D3 or 1Dx).

This may be enough to justify the 5D3 higher price.



This is consistent with my experience with the D800E as well; it's at least an order of magnitude worse than the 5D Mark II was.







Aug 13, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Ralph Conway
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p.1 #3 · Canonís AF vs. Nikon


molson wrote:
This is consistent with my experience with the D800E as well; it's at least an order of magnitude worse than the 5D Mark II was.


Interesting to read this, molson. When I told my experience from a year ago, that my 5D II (using center AF) provided much more keepers at a wedding than the D700 did (using the whole AF system) people where crying and calling me "bullshit". Now you say the D800Es AF is still worse than 5D IIs. What at least is the truth next to testing and finding out for oneself?

Ralph



Aug 13, 2012 at 02:04 PM
Bruce Sawle
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p.1 #4 · Canonís AF vs. Nikon


I laugh at posts like these. I use both Canon and Nikon and I have used my Nikons primarily over the canon because of the much better continous focus. In one shot Canon is quicker but shooting sports, and moving subjects Nikon has been better. My camera rarely if ever is in one shot mode. DLoyd complains non stop about the f1.4 glass inability to focus accurately at mid to long distances when shooting landscapes wide open this may be the case for him but to the normal shooter who is stoping down or using there f1.4 lenses for portraits this is not the case. Although the canon 85 in my opinion is way better then the Nikon could ever be. My primary camera is now the D800 but with years of shooting the 1dsmkII 5dmkII, D3x, D3s I can honestly say the D800 betters each of these in everyway except build quality and high ISO d3s. I have not tried the 5dmk III so i cannot comment on it as of yet. I am however looking forward to adding on to my bag eventually. No substitution for the canon 85 and 135.

Edited on Aug 13, 2012 at 02:27 PM · View previous versions



Aug 13, 2012 at 02:22 PM
AGeoJO
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p.1 #5 · Canonís AF vs. Nikon


molson wrote:
This is consistent with my experience with the D800E as well; it's at least an order of magnitude worse than the 5D Mark II was.

Cliff, are you referring to the AF performance of the Mark II or Mark III? I know you put down Mark II but was that a typo?



Aug 13, 2012 at 02:24 PM
molson
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p.1 #6 · Canonís AF vs. Nikon


Ralph Conway wrote:
Interesting to read this, molson. When I told my experience from a year ago, that my 5D II (using center AF) provided much more keepers at a wedding than the D700 did (using the whole AF system) people where crying and calling me "bullshit". Now you say the D800Es AF is still worse than 5D IIs. What at least is the truth next to testing and finding out for oneself?

Ralph


Using each camera is the only way to know for sure, since most "reviewers" out there are beholden to the manufacturers, if only for free samples to test, and don't want to say anything bad about a product (no matter how bad it really is). Just look at what happened to Rob Galbraith when he called Canon out on the 1D Mark III AF issues... he was made a pariah on the various forums, but was ultimately proven right. Coincidentally, I found some aspects of the D800E's AF behaviour to be similar to the 1D Mark III, in that it seemed to handle moving subjects much better than stationary ones.

And yes, the 5D Mark II centre-point AF is much more accurate than the Nikon D700, which itself was really only reliable in centre-point mode.



Aug 13, 2012 at 02:27 PM
molson
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p.1 #7 · Canonís AF vs. Nikon


AGeoJO wrote:
Cliff, are you referring to the AF performance of the Mark II or Mark III? I know you put down Mark II but was that a typo?


Not a typo...



Aug 13, 2012 at 02:28 PM
molson
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p.1 #8 · Canonís AF vs. Nikon


Bruce Sawle wrote:
I laugh at posts like these. I use both Canon and Nikon and I have used my Nikons primarily over the canon because of the much better continous focus. In one shot Canon is quicker but shooting sports, and moving subjects Nikon has been better. My camera rarely if ever is in one shot mode. DLoyd complains non stop about the f1.4 glass inability to focus accurately at mid to long distances when shooting landscapes wide open this may be the case for him but to the normal shooter who is stoping down or using there f1.4 lenses for
...Show more


I laugh at posts like this, too... where people who have never used the equipment being discussed chime in to laugh at people who are speaking from experience...

I agree that continuous AF works better on the D800E than one-shot AF (of course manual focus also seems to work better than one-shot AF... ) but given that Nikon's preferred approach to getting in-focus images is to machine-gun the subject in the hope of getting at least one "keeper", they should have made the buffer on the D800 a little bigger.



Aug 13, 2012 at 02:35 PM
pKai
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p.1 #9 · Canonís AF vs. Nikon


As far as it goes with the 1DX vs D4, these guys seem to think the 1DX is superior. Superior enough to dump an entire Nikon system including a new D4 to switch to Canon.

http://xerodigital.ca/canon-1dx-nikon-d4-compare-wedding-photogrpahers/


My friend has a D800 which I got to play with for a day. No scientific tests here... but VS my 5D2, the D800 felt quicker in the AF department. Against my 7D there was no comparison... the 7D smokes it. I played with all-points, one-point, one-shot, and continuous. All anecdotal, but backed by 30 years of experience. If I were a landscape, still-life, product, etc., shooter, I'd no doubt prefer a D800. For anything that moves, Canon is it. Count the number of white lenses at the Olympics VS black.



Aug 13, 2012 at 02:38 PM
AGeoJO
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p.1 #10 · Canonís AF vs. Nikon


molson wrote:
This is consistent with my experience with the D800E as well; it's at least an order of magnitude worse than the 5D Mark II was.

Cliff, are you referring to the AF performance of the Mark II or Mark III? I know you put down Mark II but was that a typo?


molson wrote:
Not a typo...



OK, and you are not referring to the wide-spread left side AF issues of the D800/e either, are you?



Aug 13, 2012 at 02:51 PM
 

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fhammond
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p.1 #11 · Canonís AF vs. Nikon


In theory, the D800E and D4 should be similar in AF performance. I have a D4 (and also a 1D X right now, which is interesting) and I had a D800E to play with for a week. I didn't do any significant AF testing on the D800E but I do find the AF performance on the D4 to be fantastic. I'll have long sequences of 5 frame per second bursts where every single frame is in focus. It's mostly horse riding or soccer, so it's not incredibly challenging, but it's much better than my old 1D Mark III was.

I'm doing some AF testing this week with the 1D X side-by-side with the D4, and I'm very eager to compare the two cameras. The 1D X is definitely faster to acquire focus initially but tracking performance is more important to me. The 1D X is also definitely worse than the D4 in very low light but it's probably low enough to not really matter.



Aug 13, 2012 at 03:33 PM
form
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p.1 #12 · Canonís AF vs. Nikon


My unofficial experience differs from the trend in this Canon-partisan thread. I had 0 problems with focus accuracy with my first D800's center point - it was more accurate and more consistent than the center point of any of my 5d2s. However, the outer points were not working well. With the replacement D800 I received, I can honestly say that 50 out of 50 consecutive photos are in focus with my 85 f/1.8g, taken with center, outer points, corner points, many points somewhere in between, etc...on both sides of the frame, etc...


Aug 13, 2012 at 04:41 PM
AmbientMike
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p.1 #13 · Canonís AF vs. Nikon


I was all bent out of shape about af accuracy (or the lack thereof) a couple years ago and thoughtabout switching to Nikon. Molson did about as much as anybody to talk me out of it (Thank You!) pointing out that with all their noise reduction it was hard to tell what was in focus! I shot a few photos with a D2x which gave me similar hassles compared to Canon and that was that. The jpegs were awful the only thing I can figure is that it was set on low sharpness. I have been consistently disappointed with Nikon for over 15 years although some of my best work was done on Nikon. My old nikkors consistently lose lens tests even the 75-150. My greatest photographic triumph was with 100/4 ais that finished dead last to other lenses at 30 ft. or so. I doubt there's a lot of difference in af performance and I doubt I'll switch. To be fair Canon has screwed up some stuff too see 100-300 L. But Nikon gets on my nerves and was so overrated for so long. I'm no purist though and if I'd won the D800 keh gave away I'd have used it.


Aug 13, 2012 at 05:48 PM
snapsy
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p.1 #14 · Canonís AF vs. Nikon


Ralph Conway wrote:
When I told my experience from a year ago, that my 5D II (using center AF) provided much more keepers at a wedding than the D700 did (using the whole AF system)


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias



Aug 13, 2012 at 06:23 PM
kewlcanon
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p.1 #15 · Canonís AF vs. Nikon


I can't believe this...why did somebody swim across the forum just defend his/her camera brand .


Aug 13, 2012 at 06:54 PM
galenapass
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p.1 #16 · Canonís AF vs. Nikon


I use both systems and there are some differences between cameras (my D700 ran circles around the 5DII, for my type of shooting), but on the whole C. is not that much better than N. and vice versa. Different results will also be obtained depending on the the style of photography and the lenses used. I have noticed that many wedding photogs were quite unhappy with the 5DII and switched over successfully to a D700. Many that shot landscapes with the 5DII had no problem, etc... As mentioned above, one really needs to try each camera for themselves, and avoid blanket statements regarding C vs N. YMMV.


Aug 13, 2012 at 07:00 PM
snapsy
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p.1 #17 · Canonís AF vs. Nikon


kewlcanon wrote:
I can't believe this...why did somebody swim across the forum just defend his/her camera brand .


Says the poster with a brandname as their forum handle. I use both systems.



Aug 13, 2012 at 07:03 PM
rscheffler
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p.1 #18 · Canonís AF vs. Nikon


If you haven't yet, take some time to read the "Autofocus Reality" blog posts by Roger over at lensrentals. This is the summary post: http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/08/autofocus-reality-part-3b-canon-cameras

It's interesting that the 5DIII, and likely the 1DX, performs consistently better in terms of AF accuracy than older Canon cameras, so obviously Canon has made considerable improvements to the latest AF system and most recent lenses. And it would be interesting for Roger to repeat this test with various Nikon cameras and lenses...

Regarding Canon vs. Nikon, it would seem, at least in the 5DIII and D800 camera class, that one has to prioritize the importance of certain features. I.e., is AF precision/accuracy/consistency more important than a banding-free sensor with more shadow recovery latitude? After dealing with Canon's backwards AF performance slide in the late 2000s, it's great to see the latest system is once again looking to be best-in-class. Unfortunately it means spending money to get it...



Aug 13, 2012 at 07:28 PM
kewlcanon
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p.1 #19 · Canonís AF vs. Nikon


What's in the name ?. I use both systems.... but I don't go across the forum just to defend my brands...it's useless...somewhat fanboyish .

snapsy wrote:
Says the poster with a brandname as their forum handle. I use both systems.




Aug 13, 2012 at 07:48 PM
snapsy
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p.1 #20 · Canonís AF vs. Nikon


rscheffler wrote:
If you haven't yet, take some time to read the "Autofocus Reality" blog posts by Roger over at lensrentals. This is the summary post: http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/08/autofocus-reality-part-3b-canon-cameras

It's interesting that the 5DIII, and likely the 1DX, performs consistently better in terms of AF accuracy than older Canon cameras, so obviously Canon has made considerable improvements to the latest AF system and most recent lenses. And it would be interesting for Roger to repeat this test with various Nikon cameras and lenses...

Regarding Canon vs. Nikon, it would seem, at least in the 5DIII and D800 camera class, that one has to prioritize the importance
...Show more

Roger's series is great and he plans to repeat the test on some Nikon bodies as well. I suspect the Nikon bodies will do about as good (or bad?) as the pre-5DM3/1DX results. It's a not-so-well-kept secret that Phase Detect AF has not been up to the task as of late, esp for the higher density sensors. The 1/3 stop margin of error that is usually quoted is just not good enough for large aperture shooting. Before the 5DM3/1DX there was no body that could consistently focus accurately for medium-to-long distances at f/1.4 or f/1.2, and this unfortunately includes the D800 as well. It's telling that Canon is not talking much about the single-shot AF accuracy improvements of the 5DM3/1DX + newer lenses, as doing so would be admitting that the previous system was underwhelming. With Roger's help we're finding out that Canon is doing a silent upgrade to the entire system. Hopefully Nikon will as well.



Aug 13, 2012 at 07:59 PM
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