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Thread: Sony mirrorless cameras... Well this is the f*cking future

  1. #11
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    Ok I'm back to liking this camera.

    I could really sense that running the Sony with adapted lenses was hamstringing its capabilities. Every now and then the camera would just autofocus like a bag of crap. I saw no such complaints from people who used the camera with the proper lenses, so I broke down and bought a good Sony lens in my favorite focal length.

    I got a 50mm f1.4 Sony/Zeiss Planar lens for a pretty good deal used. I gotta say, this lens on this camera seems every bit as capable as the Canon 5D MarkIV with the 50mm f1.2.

    Gone are the issues I had with the camera struggling to find focus on low contrast areas. It just locks on now. What really impresses me about the Sony compared to the Canon is how assuredly it gets focus. The Canon will sometimes nervously dance around a little right before it locks on focus. The Sony just moves the lens elements where they need to be, and locks on, no drama.

    However, I have to admit that the technology in the Sony lens is a full TEN YEARS newer than the Canon, so I would expect the camera and lens to be a little more precise together. Also, the percentage of times that the Sony nails the focus perfectly sharp seems to be better than the Canon. Again, the Sony lens is just a better optical design than the Canon, but check out this photo, taken at f1.4, along with a 100% crop of it...



    _DSC0902.jpg _DSC0902 copy.jpg

    Even with someone who was not stationary, there were some strings of Christmas lights hanging across the room, and you can clearly see them reflected in his glasses. That is the kind of focusing I want.

  2. #12
    What does the Bat say? Jason's Avatar
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    Is it possible that adapted lenses are limited to contrast detect auto focusing?

  3. #13
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    That's an interesting theory Jason. It's possible, however based on the settings in the camera, they don't support this idea.

    I did notice when using adapted lenses that I cannot set the camera to "zone" autofocusing mode. The camera flat-out tells me that that option is not available with the lens I have mounted. However, there's also an option to use phase detect or contrast autofocus, and both of those options are available to me. So, unless the camera thinks it's using phase detect, but in actuality it is not, I don't think the camera is limited to contrast only when using adapted lenses.

    Along with this, the autofocus performance was still pretty good in a lot of conditions with adapted lenses, but when it messed up, it messed up bad, and that's what bothered me. It's not like the autofocus was sorely lacking with adapted lenses and is now spectacular, as if it was only using contrast autofocus before. It's just that I never felt like I could completely rely on it with adapted lenses. But I do with the native glass.

    Also, from what I've seen, I think your assessment of autofocus performance on mirrorless still being somewhat inadequate compared to DSLRs is out of date. The new Sony has seemed pretty capable, even in low light. As I said before, what I really love is how well it seems to nail focus with every shot when using wide apertures. The Canon seems to have a lot of inconsistency, and I think that's always been a struggle for DSLRs since they're using a completely separate sensor to achieve autofocus. This system has always seemed to be sort of a wonky old setup left over from the film days, and the consistency of the Sony's on-sensor phase detect autofocus seems to prove this point.

    Honestly though, I'm going to be watching for Canon's full frame mirrorless very closely. The functionality of a Canon combined with the great features that mirrorless allows for is going to be great. It also sounds like, even if Canon comes out with a new lens mount, EF lenses will be able to be adapted to it. This should be a good adaptation as well since it's all within one manufacturer. However, the realization that lens technology keeps progressing does make me curious about how well any new lenses Canon makes for its mirrorless system will perform. That Sony/Zeiss 50mm is just a beast, both optically and electronically.

    Lastly, I'm sorry, but I'm still not buying into this "mirrorless is so much smaller and lighter" nonsense. The Sony 50mm 1.4 is a massive lens compared to Canon's 50mm 1.2. Granted it's an optically better design, but the Sony A7 III with the Sony 50mm is much longer compared to the same Canon setup. It's probably almost as heavy too. And frankly, I don't like how small the Sony A7 III is. It doesn't fit into my hand in the great, natural, secure way that the Canon does. It feels like a toy.

  4. #14
    What does the Bat say? Jason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sad, little man View Post
    Also, from what I've seen, I think your assessment of autofocus performance on mirrorless still being somewhat inadequate compared to DSLRs is out of date.
    It's definitely getting closer and closer, but the vast majority of professional shooters in certain industries still use DSLRs due to reliable focusing speed (mostly things like sports and racing), but yeah the gap is almost non existent now in the high end arena. Sony has done an amazing job

    Edit: The separate sensor actually has been an advantage for DSLRs up until recently, because it was more sensitive to light than an integrated sensor could be. The major advantage of an integrated sensor, is that it can be married to contrast detection, to accurately nail focus more consistently than phase detection only.
    Last edited by Jason; July 11th, 2018 at 06:59 AM.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    It's definitely getting closer and closer, but the vast majority of professional shooters in certain industries still use DSLRs due to reliable focusing speed (mostly things like sports and racing), but yeah the gap is almost non existent now in the high end arena. Sony has done an amazing job
    That's true, but I'm not convinced that the reason is just due to the actual performance of the camera. I mean, firstly, old habits die hard. I don't even do this professionally and I'm still struggling a little bit to get used to a mirrorless camera. Why would a pro veer away from what works?

    Second, as you know, many pros are just shooting what their news agencies give them, which has been a Canon/Nikon DSLR for a long time. Especially with the long telephoto lenses, agencies that own camera equipment likely have hundreds of thousands of dollars tied up in camera gear. They're not going to switch that out overnight, and honestly will probably just plod along with it regardless of what actually performs better. Because let's face it, pro DSLR gear is still plenty good enough, even if Sony gets to be as good or slightly better.

    Last, Sony still has a laughable selection of long telephoto lenses. Looks like they're now coming out with a 400mm f2.8, and that's a good start, but still nowhere close to what Canon has.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    Edit: The separate sensor actually has been an advantage for DSLRs up until recently, because it was more sensitive to light than an integrated sensor could be. The major advantage of an integrated sensor, is that it can be married to contrast detection, to accurately nail focus more consistently than phase detection only.
    Yes but a separate sensor has been and continues to be a huge disadvantage for DSLRs because of the fact that only half of the light coming through the lens actually gets to the autofocus sensor. Half the light bounces off of the mirror and up into the viewfinder, leaving much less light to pass through the translucent mirror and actually reach the autofocus sensor.

    Up to now, the sensitivity of the DSLR sensors has just been that good that they have more than overcome this disadvantage. But ultimately, I don't think this focusing system stands a chance because at the end of the day the signal that the camera is processing (focusing on) is the light coming through the lens, and a DSLR splits the signal in half and only sends half of it to the autofocus sensor, whereas mirrorless cameras are directing all of the light coming through the lens onto the sensor at all times.

  6. #16
    What does the Bat say? Jason's Avatar
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    We're splitting hairs, at this point, but I do want to note, that mirrorless cameras are also pulling about "half the light" in that the phase detection photosites are half for the phase detection, and half for the image:





    Dunno if the images are clear, but for hybrid sensors, at the focus photosites, they mask off about half the site for color imaging, and then let the rest of the light through to the focusing array.

    But again, splitting hairs, in the hands of the vast majority of people, there's no different in focus speed between the top Sony mirrorless and the top Canon/Nikon DSLRs, you're absolutely right there. And my information on speed, and reliability over the course of an event may very well be out of date.
    Last edited by Jason; July 11th, 2018 at 10:53 AM.

  7. #17
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    Well, that's true, you're right in saying that Jason... In most cases.

    One reason I'm really excited about Canon getting into mirrorless is that they have the dual pixel autofocus technology that they introduced with the 5D MarkIV. My understanding is that each and every pixel is split into two halves, which effectively makes each and every pixel its own little phase detect autofocus point. Indeed, it's possible to do a tiny amount of focus adjustment after taking a photo with the 5D MarkIV if you have the camera set to record the data from each half of each pixel separately. However, the amount of adjustment is so tiny that it's not really even worth it, as the file sizes for every photo are doubled when you turn on that feature.

    But regardless of its extraneous uses, it seems like Canon has already figured out a very slick solution for on-sensor autofocus that is far more advanced than the compromised solution you pictured above. The 5D MarkIV is already praised for excellent focusing when in video mode, so when they finally do get seriously into mirrorless, their focusing abilities should be spectacular.



    Anyway, I hate the Sony again. I took it out to an event last night with the native 50mm lens. It was dimly lit, but not so much that the Canon couldn't have handled it. The Sony didn't do too badly, but it felt like it struggled just enough to hinder me. The real frustration came when I was trying to focus on a person's face. It was dimly lit, but the camera said it had focus, and even picked out her face and put the green outlined box around it, denoting that it had recognized it as a face and achieved focus. But, the camera absolutely was not focused on her face. I got a blurry face with the background in focus.

    So, to the Sony A7 III, I must say that if you show me in the viewfinder that you recognized a face and you've focused on it, but you haven't actually focused on it, that tells me that you don't know what the f*ck is going on. I had experienced similar things in the past with this camera, but I wrote it off as wonkiness related to using adapted lenses. I guess not...

    Sigh, this camera is so close to being right where it needs to be. But ultimately, I'm not going to be letting go of the Canon just yet. Really curious what Canon will come out with when they finally announce a mirrorless camera.

  8. #18
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    I think that both Canon and Nikon are going to hit it out of the park with their mirrorless designs.

  9. #19
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    Nikon's is coming: https://www.theverge.com/circuitbrea...stem-announced

    With a new, unique mount, so current lenses will need an adapter.

  10. #20
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    No F-Mount? Well, then no need to jump ship back from Sony to Nikon.
    Why should I buy a Nikon mirrorless if my F-mount lenses will have to go by an adapter anyway? Pff.
    A case of "probably too late to the game".
    Meanwhile Canon still sells loads with awful plastic lenses and those dumb M5 sets.

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