Last Updated on 03/27/2017 by Chris Gampat
For a really long time in digital photography’s history, you needed to drop major cash on a Canon or Nikon DSLR for the best autofocus. Simply put, smaller and more affordable cameras just couldn’t keep up. Then more and more mid-range cameras started getting decent AF, which was great from an affordability standpoint, but still left a lot to be desired for those who wanted to have fast AF and not have to carry around a brick.
Well, times have continued to advance and now even small low profile cameras are starting to have some really impressive and accurate AF performance, to the point that one can actually use one of these camera and not feel like the AF is holding them back at all.
So today we are taking a look at the various low-profile options out there with fast AF. Enjoy!
Are you at all surprised here? How could we have a listing of low profile cameras with fast AF without mentioning the current king of the category, Sony’s A6500. This is one of the more expensive cameras on this listing, but it without a doubt has the best AF performance and is also still really small. If you have the budget for it, this should really be near the top of your list. It’s fantastic for concert photographers, street photographers, etc.
“The Sony a6500 is a really solid camera. I can’t sit here and deny that. But if you’re a Sony a7 series camera owner, you’ll see just how much better that is.The Sony a6500 is a really solid camera. I can’t sit here and deny that. But if you’re a Sony a7 series camera owner, you’ll see just how much better that is.” — Read Our Full Review
A6500 Pricewatch: [amazon_link asins=’B01M586Y9R’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’d9964526-10ad-11e7-8de1-6b97c8a464d6′]
Yes, we have the X-T20 on this list ahead of the flagship X-T2 and X-Pro2 cameras, but really this is for one reason – it is smaller than them and the AF is virtually the same. So in the X-T20 you are getting Fujifilm’s current smallest camera featuring their newest 24MP sensor and this is honestly the best bang for your buck right now with the X-Series at only $900. Considering it has basically the same autofocus as the higher end models too, it’s going to be fantastic.
“The Fujifilm X-T20 is quite honestly a fantastic camera. It’s small, lightweight, can perform very well, has fast autofocus and really nice image quality, and overall can deliver quite a lot of great images in the hands of the right photographer. But at the same time, there are things holding it back, like the battery life being drained too fast…” — Read Our Full Review
X-T20 Pricewatch: [amazon_link asins=’B01N10DKLK’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’9f5b2092-10af-11e7-b753-47a8db4486ee’]
Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II
Another relatively expensive option, though still cheaper than the A6500, the Olympus OM-D E-M1 II is a great low profile option for those looking to get some incredible performance out of a really small and compact kit. You do need to be okay with the sensor size, but if you are looking to shoot wildlife or action sports from a distance than chances are that the x2 crop factor will actually be something that you like.
“The Olympus OMD E-M1 Mk II is a fantastic camera in many regards. But it’s expensive. However, I’ve sat there debating the price point back and forth. In the long run though, you’ll be incredibly rewarded with a fantastic camera. And if Olympus keeps up with their promises to provide greater support to professionals, then it all will just make it so much better.” — Read Our Full Review
Pricewatch: [amazon_link asins=’B01M4MB3DK’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’14b63d54-10b2-11e7-9fb4-85d5b2ac0021′]
Yeah, yeah, we already talked about the latest and greatest A6xxx series camera, but we would be remiss if we did not mention the incredible deal that the original A6000 is right now. The camera is still a great performer in many respects, and its AF still holds up really well against even these other new bodies.
“The Sony A6000 hands down has what could arguably be called the best autofocusing system out there. While it isn’t the fastest, it by far is the smartest and the most responsive–putting some DSLRs to shame in our tests for sure. Granted, Sony did this with an APS-C sensor and have yet to do this with a full frame sensor. If that doesn’t bother you, then you’ll have an autofocusing beast in the palm of your hand.” — Read Our Full Review
Pricewatch: [amazon_link asins=’B00I8BICCG’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b8e9a675-10b3-11e7-bcba-ff9eaae7446a’]