Taking pictures of fast-moving subjects can be difficult. Pre-focusing often helps a lot.
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Taking images of fast moving subjects can be very difficult–and we’re using the term ‘fast moving’ very loosely here. A fast moving subject can be anything from a racing car coming your way at terminal velocity, to a snail trying to cross the street. Ultimately, what is fast depends on how quickly and how accurately your camera’s autofocus is able to lock on to a subject that is not holding still. Some cameras are better suited at this, while some have a hard time locking on to anything that moves only slightly.
This is one of the reasons why sports photographer usually go for high-end DSLRs, as these have the most elaborate and advanced AF systems. A very good AF system and a lens that is quick to focus are a necessity if you regularly take pictures of moving things, persons, or animals. But not every scenario that involves a subject on the move is as unpredictable as a tennis player pacing across the court. So for some situations, there is a simple but effective trick to work around your camera’s autofocus limitations: to pre-focus.
It’s been a while since the NEX-6 was announced, and we still love ours. But today for CP+, the company is announcing its successor: the 24.3MP APS-C sensor A6000. As Sony reported earlier, they’re getting rid of the NEX moniker and putting all cameras under the Alpha name instead. For what it is, the A6000 seems like a beast of a camera. Besides the large megapixel APS-C sensor, it has NFC, Wifi, 179 autofocus points, and loads more features.
Oh by the way, those focusing points are all phase detection points on the sensor. This coupled with the new sensor are two of the bigger upgrades to the camera.
While we’re still waiting for our review unit, we got some time to play with the camera at an event recently in NYC.
It’s been rumored for a while now, and Panasonic is announcing the brand new GH4 just in time for CP+. The new camera is the company’s flagship and is said to live above the GH3, but is not a direct replacement to it. On that note, the GH3 will continue to be sold. During our short briefing time with Panasonic, we learned about the heavy emphasis that the company is putting on video output with the latest offering. But overall, it so far seems like only minor improvements were added to the already pretty darned good GH3. And by minor, we’re talking about a brand new sensor and a couple of features that should have been included in the first place.
Think of this almost as the upgrade from the Canon 5D Mk II to the Mk III, but with less ergonomic changes. Except that with this one, they’re targeting it at Pros and enthusiasts.
Outside of Simga’s new line of USB hub connectable lenses, adjusting the autofocus on a lens has never really been an easy to access process, but now it seems Canon is also looking into improving user access with a new patent. The patent first spotted by Egami (translated) suggests the camera company could add an automated AF adjust feature to Canon cameras and lenses.
According to the patent description, researchers looked into automated AF microadjustment as a way to automatically fine tune the focus of their lenses to the DSLR body. It’s not completely uncommon that a lens will be calibrated slightly off, the focusing algorithms will have errors, or simply that two specific copies of a lens and a camera don’t go along so well out of the box.
Thus far, AF microadjustment on Canon DSLRs–and not all Canon models–and AF Tune on Nikon DLSRs requires digging into the settings to do some fine-tuning on lenses. Canon’s new patent suggests an easier auto-adjusting solution to fix lenses for users without the keenest eye or technical know how. The patent does not exactly say if the automated adjustment would come as a one-button fix on its new DSLRs or any technical information on how it would actually work.
As with most patents, we won’t hold our breath for it to actually become a real thing. That said, if anything else develops out of this automated AF microadjustment patent you can be sure we’ll report on it so stay tuned.
If you’re a Micro Four Thirds user, get ready to be very excited. At CES 2014, we had the opportunity to test the brand new Panasonic 42.5mm f1.2 lens. Typically, Zeiss lenses are really the only ones that leave us this speechless. But somehow Panasonic has not only left me speechless, but in serious lust.
This lens may be the most important to the entire Micro Four Thirds system so far. To date, it is the fastest aperture lens with autofousing abilities in a surprisingly small package. However, it is a tad pricy at $1,599. But when you really think about the folks that will want to buy this lens, then you’ll see that it’s an absolute no brainer. Professionals that do work with the Micro Four Thirds offerings (and yes, they exist) will have their hearts melt.
And when you see the images, you’ll exhibit a feeling synonymous to falling in love with photography all over again.
Sony has done something quite interesting. Back when they first committed the SLTs, they started introducing DSLRs left and right and creating markets. With the fusion of the Alpha and NEX line to just be the Alpha line, it seems like they may be doing the same thing again. They have a number of DSLRs already, and we can’t really tell where their new A5000 belongs. It can be said that it is above the A3000, but not quite there with the NEX 5T or the 3N. In fact, we’re still scratching our heads on this one.
Despite us scratching our heads, the camera still seems like quite the contender.