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AF speed comparison: Nikon and Canon

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by arthury, May 31, 2007.

  1. Does anyone know of any websites that post a decent test comparison for AF focusing speed + accuracy between the Nikon's D2X(s)/D2H(s) and Canon's 1DsMkII/1Dn/1DMkIII?

    I am particularly interested to see data in tracking fast moving subjects, such as race-cars, birds, etc.

  2. Takeda


    Jun 9, 2006
    Durham, NC
    AF speed is also dependent on the lens.
  3. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    You are listing each brand's latest and greatest bodies, it is assumable that you would consider using the latest and greatest lenses of whatever focal length. Not sure about the Canon line, but Nikon's latest AF-S pro-catagory lenses focus lightning fast on the Nikon bodies that you listed.
  4. GBRandy


    Feb 28, 2006
    Green Bay, WI
    I never found one that did it unbiased. If you like Canon, there are sites that say the 1DMKIIN wins. If you like Nikon there are sites that say the D2Hs or D2Xs are fastest. So buy what you like and read the sites that make you happy :) 

    I am done talking about Canon on a Nikon forum anyway.....unless of course it involves the MKIII. :) 
  5. Kerry Pierce

    Kerry Pierce

    Jan 7, 2006
    What?????????? April 1st is already past, Randy........ :biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:
  6. Yes, Frank, I am referring to mounting pro lenses; especially, the longer primes. And, I am interested to know how well each behaves in sustaining the tracking of, say, a bird in flight.
  7. Looks like another Head Banging thread....most of the guys I know that put dinner on the table with there camera use both systems...one picks up the others weak points....When ever I go out with my D200 I always bring along my G7...just incase!
  8. GBRandy


    Feb 28, 2006
    Green Bay, WI
    Hey...seems you took some literary adjustments to my quote! :biggrin::biggrin:

    Besides...if you look at any of my posts, they are always in response to someone looking for Canon information. I do not think I ever started a Canon thread here....all in the name of sharing photographic experience....right? :biggrin:
  9. You are all cool, right ... let's keep this as a discussion ...
  10. I shouldn't, but I'm gonna anyway.

    Canon and Nikon have taken different approaches to AF, both of which work great, with some noticeable differences. In short, when Canon's AF the algorithm "figures out" (guesses) where a moving subject will be and focuses to that point. In the Nikon case, there is an added feedback where focus is "checked" once more after the lens has fully moved. The consequence of this is that at times, heavy emphasis on "at times", the Canon may aquire focus more quickly than the Nikon and where the Canon may not be spot-on the first shot in a sequence. I saw a post elsewhere the other day where someone, actually a Canon shooter, said the first shot was a 50-50 chance of being in focus. Personally, I doubt that is true, I suspect the Canon AF is correct far mor often than not, although with the added feedback the Nikon will be correct even more often. Neither is bad, just slightly different.

    My own experience with some shooting with both brands is that my feeble brain and eyes can't see any difference on equivalent body/lens combinations. At the high end they are WAY fast, really accurate, and all annoy the heck out of when they do miss focus, and both Nikon and Canon will, and do, lose focus and miss occasionaly, especially on small fast moving subjects.

    For those of us who know diddly-squat about Canon AF, here is a Link to a Post on Fred Miranda with a ton of good information and some other links to more info. Especially read the part about plane-of-focus and DOF. I believe that this applies to both systems as well.

    My opinion, and from doing a ton of research on this myself the past few months, is that you are not going to find any unbiased comparisons, if you make one yourself you have to somehow remove any lack of camera knowledge from the equation as well as your own bias. My conclusion is that I wasted a ton of my own time looking, and from my own limited testing they are both simply superb. More a matter of getting used to the differences.

    I spoke with someone just last night regarding the difference in focusing speed between the Nikon 400 f2.8 AFS-I vs. AFS-II version. While there may be some technical difference, my experience is that for all practical purposes, I sure can't tell.
  11. My understanding is that: With normal-sized subjects, in good light, they both acquire focus and track just as quickly and accurately. With small objects (like small birds in flight), the canons perform better. Under very low lighting conditions, the Nikons are quicker. Both are not perfect.
    The mk3 should be better than both the mk2 and the D2's. As expected. As will the next pro-Nikon body.
  12. Good to know.

    I would assume the Mk3 is better than anyone else until I read all the technical issues decribed all over the Net. Sounds like teething pain to me. :Crunk:
  13. Yeah. Always some bugs to be ironed out in a newly released product. Better to wait a few months, I say. Surely, they'll get it sorted out.
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