Tag Archives: auto focus

The Sony a7 III Has Been Finally Announced, BUT I Am Not Salivating Over It!

by Anura Guruge


Click to access “DPReview” post.


Click to access September 2017 post.


Click to access October 2017 post.


The only thing that truly appeals to me is the new sensor — and that was always going to be the #1 reason to upgrade from my current Sony a7 II.

All the other features, e.g., enhanced “Eye Auto Focus (AF)”, faster shooting rate, larger capacity ‘Z’ battery, AF joystick and 693 AF points, are really of marginal interest. I seek excellent AF but I no longer need LOTS of AF points or “Eye” AF. Most of the time I go with straight ‘Center Point’ AF — but also do a LOT of manual focus.

The two posts shown above from September and October really tell much of the story — and those were BEFORE I got my Google Pixel 2 phone at Christmas. During the last 2 months I used the Pixel 2 more or less exclusively! Yes, the cold weather was a factor. The Sony a7 II is not rated for ‘below freezing‘ temps. and I wasn’t going to take any chances since it is not exactly a cheap camera. But, the Pixel 2 is also so much easier to carry around. {SMILE}

My big gripe with Sony is the lack of ‘reasonably’ priced Full Frame lenses. What I can get from my a7 II in the end is gated by the lenses I have rather than anything else. So, just upgrading the body will not get me much — if any. Hence, my thinking about waiting for a Full Frame mirrorless from Nikon or Canon. Right now I am willing to wait. No hurry — for a change — to get another camera. {Smile}. I do have three cameras not counting the Pixel 2.


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by Anura Guruge

The Supposed $6,000 Price Tag For The Rumored Sony a9 Full Frame Is BEYOND Crazy!

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.


IF it is priced at anything above $2,700 (US) it will just be confirmation that Sony executives just like their counterparts at the other Japanese digital camera manufacturers are ingesting drugs that are addling their brains.

It is a 20MP camera.

To prices it way above the a7S II or the new a99 II would mean that Sony is putting a $2,000 — $3,000 price on the NEW Auto Focus (AF).

That will be a hard-sell.

If it is priced at $6,000 the Sony a7 II will be one heck of a bargain.


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by Anura Guruge

Fuji With Its Unprecedentedly Large, 27-Item 2.0 Firmware Update To X-T2 & X-Pro2 Continues To Fine Tune Auto Focus (AF).

by Anura Guruge


Extracted from the Fuji press release for Firmware update 2.0. Click to ENLARGE and read here,


In July 2016 I decided that the Fuji X-T2, which I had thought was going to be my dream camera, was not so because I was getting increasingly disillusioned with Fuji’s AF prowess.

Reviews of the X-T2 vindicated my decision.

And now this 2.0 Firmware update.

While I am glad that Fuji, true to its reputation, continues to improve features of its cameras, this shows that there is still a lot that needs tweaking in the X-T2 when it comes to AF.

I do miss the brilliant JPEG color I could get from a Fuji. But, AF woes really got me down.

Hence my new found fondness for Sony.


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by Anura Guruge

Panasonic Lumix LX200 To Be A Reality — But Is It Too Little, Too Late; DFD AF The One Biggie.

by Anura Guruge


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Translated from “ixbt.com”. Click to ENLARGE and read snippet here. Use link below to access original at: “ixbt.com”

Click here to access original at “ixbt.com”.


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“The New Camera”, on June 23, 2016, also carried a story. Click image to access their original post.


So the much anticipated Panasonic Lumix LX200 is indeed going to be a reality — to be announced in September at ‘Photokina 2016‘.

But the current rumors don’t mention anything about a new lens (setup). If the lens continues to be the f/1.7 to 2.8, 24-75mm zoom, as in the Lumix LX100, that would be a dissapointment — though this is one heck of a lens. 

Much is being made of the 20MP sensor BUT there is no guarantee that the LX200 will actually offer a 20MP mode! Remember the LX100 has a 16MP sensor but the highest resolution offered by the LX100 is 13MP because of the ‘crop-compensation’ favored by Panasonic for this camera. IF they continue with that same approach the maximum resolution of the LX200 will be 16MP — which is respectable, but nothing special these days.

However, what will make the LX200 special, as is the case with the LX100, is a Micro Four Thirds sensor — a large sensor for a fixed-zoom, compact camera of this size and price.

And then there is Panasonic’s new ‘Depth of Defocus’ (DFD) autofocus system which claims to provide faster AF than what is possible with ‘Contrast Detect’ or ‘Phase-Detect’. That is a nice touch but AF on the LX100 wasn’t that sluggish or poor.

So it all boils down to image quality, IQ, versus price. Panasonic’s own DMC-ZS100, albeit with a 1″ sensor, can, per the reviews, match IQ and offer 3x the zoom for the same price.

Hence my concern that unless the lens is updated the LX200 might not be that compelling. The tiltable-screen a nice-to-have but unlikely to be a game-changer.


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Fuji X-T2 Likely To Face Stiff IQ Competition From Olympus E-M1 Mk II — 50% Cheaper?

by Anura Guruge


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Click to ENLARGE and read here. Original from “The New Camera” — see link below. Annotations by Anura Guruge.

Click here to access original “The New Camera” post from June 19, 2016.


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The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mk II has been on my radar for a long time.

Olympus was a brand I have considered as competition to the Fuji since they also do offer decent ‘direct control’ (i.e., lots of control dials) and attractive styling. Their main drawback, alas, is their unfaltering commitment to Micro Four Thirds sensors.

Over the last year with their 5-axis image stabilization and ‘High Resolution Mode‘ Olympus really has been pushing the envelope.

The HANDHELD ‘High Resolution’ would be a game changer. Especially if this also ends up offering better autofocus.

I actually suspect that Fuji brought FORWARD the X-T2 announcement so that it can get a head start on the E-M1 Mk II.

Focus and IQ wise Olympus may already have stolen the march over Fuji. Funnily enough a new thread on this very topic was started on the DPReview “Micro Four Thirds” forum yesterday (and it wasn’t done by I). Here is the link.


> >> Also refer to this “Fuji X-E2s — 1 Month Review” post. << << 

>> >> Fuji X-T2 vs Nikon D500. << << 


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Fujifilm X-E2s Anura Guruge cameraby Anura Guruge

Fujifilm X-E2s — One Month Review After Taking 2,499 Usable Pictures.

by Anura Guruge


DSCF3057


I received my brand new Fuji X-E2s, from Amazon, sealed,
on May 18, 2016.

Charged the battery overnight and updated the firmware to 1.01 before taking any pictures.
Took the first pictures on May 19.

Up to June 18th I had take 1,833 usable images.

But, June 19 was Father’s Day and we went to Boston and I took 666.

Hence the May 19 – June 19 figure of 2,499 usable images.

What is interesting is that with my Panasonic Lumix LX1000 I took 2,300 in the first month. So I am consistent, if nothing else.


8 pictures I took at the Boston Science Museum
& Boston Duck Tours on Sunday, June 19, 2016.

Click to ENLARGE (ditto for one at top).


No question (whatsoever), the Fujifilm X-E2s can, and will, take some stunning, very detailed, extremely pleasing to the eye images. Though I normally don’t bother with prints, in this all-digital age, I had about 90 of my initial pictures printed by Snapfish at 4×6. The quality, color and saturation was sumptuous. I like the camera. It is easy and fun to use. Everything is in the right place with little scope for confusion. Very solid camera. Given that this is NOT a cheap camera you would not, of course, expect anything less.

This was my first Fujifilm X-series camera. I had gravitated to Fuji because their X-series caters to two of my primary ‘needs’ in a camera: mirrorless and ‘direct control’ (i.e., lots of control dials). The Fuji X-T1, if not for the 16MP resolution and low ISO, would have, on paper, been a perfect BIG camera for me (with the X-E2s being the ‘compact’). This is why I have been waiting, for nearly 9 months, for the soon to be announced X-T2. I decided to get the X-E2s so I would be ready for the X-T2. The goal was to standardize on Fuji.

Well now that I have had the X-E2s for a month I am not 100% sure I want to standardize on Fuji!

Yes, that is one heck of an indictment — on Fuji. I have NOT been happy with focus — and I have applied all the June 9, 2016 firmware updates to the camera and the lenses. Both auto and manual focus is too erratic and temperamental for my liking.

So, the X-E2s may have prevented me from making an expensive mistake! Right now I am reevaluating EVERYTHING … from scratch. I realize that impeccable FOCUS is paramount when it comes to my needs. Image quality for me starts with razor-sharp focus. I am now beginning to realize that focus on mirrorless cameras MIGHT never meet my demands! That is very discouraging. I am bummed. I am renting a X-T1 for a week. That will help quite a bit.

But right now, thanks to the X-E2s I have had to throw away all of my previous criteria as to the kind of camera I want and start again. To be honest I am thinking I should just get a Nikon D500 and be done with it! Then I think how HEAVY and BULKY it is going to be.

And … And … And.

The soon to be announced Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mk II! Micro Four-Thirds! That is a bummer. I really, really, really don’t want to AGAIN regress from an APS-C size sensor. However I have this awful feeling that the Olympus E-M1 Mk II, in terms of IQ, will beat the X-T2 hands down — and, moreover, be less expensive. Plus, it will be small and light.


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Fujifilm X-E2s Anura Guruge cameraby Anura Guruge

Fuji X-T2 , To My Chagrin, Will Rate Below The Nikon D500 — Especially On Focus!

by Anura Guruge


Click here to access the DPReview
“2016 Roundup: $1200-2000 ILCs part 1 – Crop-Sensor”
Buyers Guide.

Below are some relevant excerpts.
Crop images to ENLARGE and read here.

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dprewcropsensor2222b

These were the ONLY 7 cameras included. Seems a tad limited. I would have liked to have seen at least ONE Pentax.

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We know that the Fuji X-T2, in terms of technical specifications, will be near identical to the X-Pro2, the difference being in the viewfinder department.

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And they CONCLUDE with this! Pretty conclusive.

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Having now owned a newly released 2016 Fuji X-series, the Fujifilm X-E2s to wit, for a month, the first Fuji X I have ever owned, I am having some serious doubts as to Fuji’s focus/autofocus capabilities. I will actually contend that, overall, it is rather poor — and that is after I have applied all the June 9, 2016 firmware updates to improve focus performance.

I have not paid any attention to any Nikon cameras over the last 2 years. For a start I love the notion of “mirrorless” and Nikon is all DSLR (though that could change shortly).

Over the last few days I have been forced to consider the Nikon D500. To get a Nikon DSLR would be a HUGE about-turn for me. Plus I am not sure I want to deal with a heavy cameras. I like that mirrorless cameras are light. But focus is paramount to I. So I am thinking whether I should just bite the bullet and get a D500 and say heck with the X-T2! And I thought the X-T2 was going to be my dream camera. I am renting an X-T1 soon. I guess I should rent a D500 too. Renting a Nikon would be more complicated and expensive. I don’t have any Nikon (compatible) lenses. Whereas with the X-T1 I can use all my X-E2s lenses.

This is big quandary. I know nothing about ‘new’ Nikons. Yes, I have owned Nikons but not recently and never at this level.

Yikes! I did not want to find myself here. 


>> >> Also refer to this “Fuji X-E2s — 1 Month Review” post. << << 


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Fujifilm X-E2s Anura Guruge cameraby Anura Guruge

Fuji X-T2 Looks Set To Be Announced On Thursday, July 7, 2016.

by Anura Guruge


xt2ncam32424

From the ‘New Camera’. Click image to access their original post.


Xt2newcamera

From the ‘New Camera’. Click image to access their original post.


Much earlier (thankfully) than the originally expected September 2016 date — but a few weeks later than the more recent expectations that it would be unveiled this month, i.e., June. ‘Fuji Rumors‘ also have these July 7th stories and even some new pictures of the X-T2.

By July 7th I would have had a chance to try out a rented Fuji X-T1 from Lumoid. I am no longer as enamored with Fuji as I used to be. I need convincing that their focus mechanisms, both auto and manual, are not flaky! The June 9 update does not seem to have gone far enough.

We will have to wait and see. I assume that X-T2 availability will be, at the earliest, August 2016.

Stay tuned. I have been waiting for the X-T2 for nearly a year.


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The New Pentax K-70 Is Not A Fuji X-T2 But It Is A Temptation.

by Anura Guruge


pentaxk70first

Click to access Ricoh (Japan (in English)) product page.


pentaxk70newcamera

The ‘New Camera’ that I read religiously every morning and every night has been promoting the Pentax K-70 for the last few days. It not for their incessant coverage I might have missed it altogether given that I am trying hard to be ‘ALL Fuji’. The “New Camera” Website is at: thenewcamera.com. Click to ENLARGE image and read here.


Oscar Wilde and I are one when it comes to this sentiment: “The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it… I can resist everything but temptation.” Temptation has been the greatest source of pleasure as well as the bane of my life — though I have always maintained, very truthfully, that I only succumbed, at best, to 10% of the temptation that came my way. When I was young, which (alas) was a long time ago, my temptations were mainly carnal. In my old age, having forgone my love of photography for 30 years because I was too busy with my career, the only temptations that stir me tend to be cameras! I am NOT sure whether I should be happy or sad about that — though I do realize that lusting after cameras, irrespective of how expensive they are, is still cheaper for me that lusting our my old temptations.

So, that is how the Pentax K-70 came into my life, with a resounding bang, yesterday.

A year ago I was convinced that the Pentax K-3 was going to be, as of September 2015, my MAIN camera. Well a lot of water and cameras have flown ‘under that bridge’, so to speak, in the last 9 months: Sony a77 II, Panasonic Lumix FZ1000, Sony RX100 II, Panasonic Lumix LX100 etc. etc. SMILE. Temptation. For I this is NOTHING!

These days, next to the U.K. “Daily Mail“, which I read, ‘cover-to-cover’, every morning (as I did when I lived in the U.K.), the only other publication that I do not miss is the “new camera“. They, over the last 3 days, have been shamelessly plugging the Pentax K-70. Eventually I took some notice.

WOW!

The Pentax K-70 really could be the camera for me!

Did I just say that. Isn’t the Fuji X-T2 THE DREAM CAMERA build to my exact specs?

As you might know I take a lot of pictures, every day — most of them outdoors. The ideal camera for me would be a very rugged one, WEATHER SEALED and able to work in New Hampshire’s below freezing winters.

The K-70 is for all-weather outdoor use, up to 14°F (10°C) in cold climes. That is still 9°F outside MY range of operation in that I will run in 5°F weather.

I will HAVE to monitor the K-70. There are claims that it’s auto-focus (AF) is very good and it’s image quality is exceptional. And then there is the ISO above 51,210. That I would like! So stay TUNED.

I might still surprise myself. As I saw in a forum, the K-70 could be as good as the Fuji X-T2 at 1/3rd the price! Yikes.


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by Anura Guruge

Sony RX10 III — Autofocus ‘Spatial Object Detection’ Still Based On Contrast AF.

by Anura Guruge


sonyrx103spatial111

From Sony’s announcement of the Sony RX10 III. Click to ENLARGE and read here. Use link below to access original.

Click to read original Sony Press Release for the Sony RX10 III.


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Click to ENLARGE. From Sony’s product page for the RX10 II at Sony.com.


sonyrx103amazondpreciere

Click to access DPReview ‘First Impressions’ video at Amazon (who own DPReview). At the 1.50 minute mark (show) there is a discussion on CONTRAST-based autofocus.


DPReviews ‘criticism’ of the Sony RX10 II, though  got a DPReview 82% rating Gold rating, mainly centered around its Auto Focus (AF) capability.

From what I can see the new RX10 III still uses the same Contrast-Detect AF, as in the RX10 II, rather than having Phase-Detect. The above video highlights this.

Appears that the ‘Spatial Object Detection’ touted in the RX10 III Press Release works with Contrast (and is really an enhancement to Contrast-Detect).

This worries me. Though I use Manual Focus more than most, I can only do so on still objects. This is the one RX10 III ‘issue’ that gives me serious pause.


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by Anura Guruge