Not much of an Achilles Heel. . .
Old 04-05-2012   #26
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Not much of an Achilles Heel. . .

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Originally Posted by rbelyell View Post
i love fuji, not only the great x100, but way back to the 605 series, and 645 medium format. but this is supposed to be an autofocus camera, and so lack of AF ability, especially after the x100 experience, and even more especially at this extreme price point, is really inexcusable.
Inexcusable? Just watch this: Fuji: I excuse you. There. That wasn't so bad, was it? Honestly, AF failure in a coal mine? Doesn't seem like much of an Achilles Heel to me.

Sorry: [/SnarkOFF] I guess if I was a concert-photographer, I would want to know about this limitation so I could plan around it. But isn't that the same as any other camera, regardless of price point?

BTW, I really like the photos you did make, even within the camera's limitations. I wonder if the answer to this isn't to use a fast RF lens like the C/V 35/1.2 and to avoid the autofocus issue altogether. Wouldn't prefocus work better in this situation anyway due to low light?
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Old 04-05-2012   #27
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Just a thought here, but since most (digital) cameras are infrared sensitive, isn't there some kind of accessory that you can clip on the hotshoe that will work like an infrared flashlight, illuminating the scene without that being visible to humanoid eyes?
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Old 04-05-2012   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by furcafe View Post
Do you recall in which AF mode the demo was set, "Area" or "Multi"? So far, it seems that setting the AF mode to Area in the X-Pro1's Shooting menu + setting the focus mode switch on the front to S (Single AF) is the most like using a RF or "single point" + "single servo" on a Nikon dSLR. With these settings, the X-Pro1's AF appears to work reasonably quickly & accurately (but more like my old Kyocera Contax G2 than an autofocus SLR) in decent to bad light, @ least in my current "test drive" use.
Yes, this is correct. It's how I use my Fuji and I don't have the issues people talk about.
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Old 04-05-2012   #29
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Aha! In my experience for shooting shows, multi (or "Auto-area" or "Dynamic-area" in Nikon dSLRese) = bad, bad, AF! E.g., even though the D700 has some modest facial-recognition programming, when set to Auto-area, it invariable chooses to focus on microphones instead of singers's faces. That's why I resort to using single-point on the D700, just like I would w/an RF patch or the old split-image circle on a manual focus SLR.

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Never thought of that. It was set to multi. I had it set to S although periodically I tried continuous focus. MF is a challenge for me at the best of times. I suffer from EOF (eyes over 50) ;0)
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Old 04-05-2012   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Marks View Post
Inexcusable? Just watch this: Fuji: I excuse you. There. That wasn't so bad, was it? Honestly, AF failure in a coal mine? Doesn't seem like much of an Achilles Heel to me.

Sorry: [/SnarkOFF] I guess if I was a concert-photographer, I would want to know about this limitation so I could plan around it. But isn't that the same as any other camera, regardless of price point?

BTW, I really like the photos you did make, even within the camera's limitations. I wonder if the answer to this isn't to use a fast RF lens like the C/V 35/1.2 and to avoid the autofocus issue altogether. Wouldn't prefocus work better in this situation anyway due to low light?

ben, calm down and read the entire post, where i went on to say i wouldnt trust AF in these conditions. however, there have been many posts taking issue with this cameras AF function, even in decent conditions. you might think that its fine to put out an autofocus camera for $2000 that doesnt properly autofocus, on the heels of putting out another AF camera for $1000 that had problems autofocusing, but i think its inexcusable, and i bet i,m not alone.
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Old 04-05-2012   #31
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Perhaps there just aren't enough people who learned how to use the G1 & G2s properly ! IIRC, the root of many complaints about the G1/G2's AF stemmed from the fact that they didn't focus like SLRs. It looks to me like the X100 & X-Pro1 are suffering from the same conceptual disconnect by many users. Bottom line: set it so it uses the central focus area (patch) & use it like an RF!

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Yes, this is correct. It's how I use my Fuji and I don't have the issues people talk about.
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Old 04-05-2012   #32
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Old 04-05-2012   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by furcafe View Post
Perhaps there just aren't enough people who learned how to use the G1 & G2s properly ! IIRC, the root of many complaints about the G1/G2's AF stemmed from the fact that they didn't focus like SLRs. It looks to me like the X100 & X-Pro1 are suffering from the same conceptual disconnect by many users. Bottom line: set it so it uses the central focus area (patch) & use it like an RF!
Well, you're right I think. I'm used to Leica M cameras and also used the G1. I'm so used to the focus with the middle patch (whether RF patch or AF patch) and recompose that I never understand people's frustrations regarding the AF. However, if I came from a multi-point, continuous AF camera, I guess I'd be having similar issues.
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Old 04-05-2012   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbelyell View Post
you might think that its fine to put out an autofocus camera for $2000 that doesnt properly autofocus,
doesnt properly autofocus is a bit of an overstatement. It's just not as fast as the fastest, and not as sensitive in low light as the most sensitive, that's all.
It's about the same as a Contax G (from memory, I've sold mine)

Also the lenses are incredibly light, in fact the lightest AF lenses I've ever seen, so this system has the potential to become very fast. Not sure what the bottleneck is, maybe the power supply or the algorithm, we'll see with future firmware updates.
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I with the OP's tittle had been help me improve my AF technique.
Old 04-05-2012   #35
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I with the OP's tittle had been help me improve my AF technique.

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Never thought of that. It was set to multi. I had it set to S although periodically I tried continuous focus. MF is a challenge for me at the best of times. I suffer from EOF (eyes over 50) ;0)
Using the APS-C X cameras in this situation with focus mode set to multi instead of area mode is like reporting a flaw in running shoes when you've put them in the wrong feet.

The APS-C X cameras contrast detection AF is not the systems strongest technology. This makes even more important to understand how to get the most out of the system. This requires reading the manual, reading tutorials on-line and practicing.

I would bet a lot of money the OP's keeper rate under identical conditions would be similar to any other camera lens combination once they learn how to use the camera.

When I bought a D200 it was my first camera with an advanced, multi- purpose AF system. The first time I tried to shoot a sports event the results were terrible... nothing was in focus. Then I read a detailed article on Nikonians about how to configure the D200 AF parameters for action photography. After some practice I got my first paid gig shooting sports and was even rehired numerous times.

It's Fuji's fault they did not put a more advanced AF system in the XP1. But it is not their fault someone was frustrated with the AF in difficult circumstances when the operational parameters were not optimized.
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Old 04-05-2012   #36
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Exactly. As I just mentioned to a friend, the artificial intelligence in the X-Pro1/X100's "Multi" autofocus is just plain stupider than that in a dSLR (& the AF AI in even a D700's AF is pretty stupid as I mentioned above), probably because it's got a smaller "brain," so users have to step up & be smarter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by willie_901 View Post
Using the APS-C X cameras in this situation with focus mode set to multi instead of area mode is like reporting a flaw in running shoes when you've put them in the wrong feet.

The APS-C X cameras contrast detection AF is not the systems strongest technology. This makes even more important to understand how to get the most out of the system. This requires reading the manual, reading tutorials on-line and practicing.

I would bet a lot of money the OP's keeper rate under identical conditions would be similar to any other camera lens combination once they learn how to use the camera.

When I bought a D200 it was my first camera with an advanced, multi- purpose AF system. The first time I tried to shoot a sports event the results were terrible... nothing was in focus. Then I read a detailed article on Nikonians about how to configure the D200 AF parameters for action photography. After some practice I got my first paid gig shooting sports and was even rehired numerous times.

It's Fuji's fault they did not put a more advanced AF system in the XP1. But it is not their fault someone was frustrated with the AF in difficult circumstances when the operational parameters were not optimized.
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Old 04-05-2012   #37
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I rechecked the camera settings and I had remembered to set the AF to area not multi. :0)It was exposure I hadn't changed to spot metering. Apologies for error. I too, use single spot AF for concert photography with my Nikons.
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Old 04-05-2012   #38
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Regarding the AF - yep - I noted that - but as soon as I know it's "dark" or "crappy" lighting I switch to MF.

The beauty about it is this: with third party lenses (i.e. Leica M or others) the focus throw is a LOT easier to handle in MF with the EVF than MF with the Fuji lenses whose throw is extremely long to get the focus down correctly...

This type of thing (the AF hunting) is something I'm familiar with from way back when right up to using the Canon 5D MkI (which also had really bad AF for the cost - at the time- of the camera). The only saving grace i can say is, at least the EVF on the Fuji is good enough (in my opinion mind you - and this is because I HATE EVFs in general) to use to focus manually. The caveat is the focus throw on the Fuji lenses is way too long...

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Old 04-05-2012   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willie_901 View Post
Using the APS-C X cameras in this situation with focus mode set to multi instead of area mode is like reporting a flaw in running shoes when you've put them in the wrong feet.

The APS-C X cameras contrast detection AF is not the systems strongest technology. This makes even more important to understand how to get the most out of the system. This requires reading the manual, reading tutorials on-line and practicing.

I would bet a lot of money the OP's keeper rate under identical conditions would be similar to any other camera lens combination once they learn how to use the camera.

When I bought a D200 it was my first camera with an advanced, multi- purpose AF system. The first time I tried to shoot a sports event the results were terrible... nothing was in focus. Then I read a detailed article on Nikonians about how to configure the D200 AF parameters for action photography. After some practice I got my first paid gig shooting sports and was even rehired numerous times.

It's Fuji's fault they did not put a more advanced AF system in the XP1. But it is not their fault someone was frustrated with the AF in difficult circumstances when the operational parameters were not optimized.
AF was actually set to area. Manual has been read. I've shot a lot of concerts so I'm familiar with the quirks of this genre. This was my first time out with the xpro1. I agree that once I figure a way around this weakness, my keeper rate will improve. That doesn't negate the fact that the AF system in this camera is much less than stellar considering the price tag.
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Old 04-05-2012   #40
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As an FYI - the Canon 5D was about $3300 for the body only - I can honestly say the AF system was no better on that body.

Not trying to "justify" Fuji's lack of a really good AF system (to be honest, I wish all cameras had the AF system of Nikon.. they seem to have nailed it) but my comment re: 5D is more to compare the fact that there are cameras that can and do cost a lot more which have equally "craptacular" AF systems

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Old 04-05-2012   #41
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I disagree. It's more expensive than some better performing AF cameras, sure. I find the IQ, handling, lens quality, etc etc, to make it more than worth the price. My experience (I own the 35 and the 18, not exp with the 60 but it's on the way). I do agree that the AF is a weakness, in that it could be both faster and consistent. It's not confusing to us that understood what we were getting and why??

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Originally Posted by Aristophanes View Post
I tried the X-Pro 1 in the camera store and, as I like to do when I go in in the evening and talk to the sales staff, I asked them to dim the lights to check out the low-light performance.

For an AF camera, the AF is not very good. For a very expensive camera, the AF is not very good. In fact, it wasn't very good in better light. Too many shots were a struggle. Used the 35mm lens at various apertures. I tried some manual focus...ugh.

So I took a Nikon D3100 out and tried the same and the D3100 blew the AF of the X-Pro 1 out of the water. No contest, the smaller Nikon DSLR won handily.

They did not have a Ricoh GXR for me to try as comparison. They were sold out of the Fuji X100's.

My conclusion is that the X-Pro 1 is an AF cameras by design, and the AF lags considerably what one would expect for the investment.

It was also bigger and heavier than I thought. Lenses look to be excellent and much cheaper than M-mount. Lens + body may be more compact than a DSLR, but giving up the DSLR's advantages like bang-on PDAF is a serious concern for the price of the X-Pro 1.

Confusing camera.
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Old 04-05-2012   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcsang View Post
As an FYI - the Canon 5D was about $3300 for the body only - I can honestly say the AF system was no better on that body.

Not trying to "justify" Fuji's lack of a really good AF system (to be honest, I wish all cameras had the AF system of Nikon.. they seem to have nailed it) but my comment re: 5D is more to compare the fact that there are cameras that can and do cost a lot more which have equally "craptacular" AF systems

Cheers,
Dave
That's sad. Maybe you should switch to Nikon . AF in low light is always a huge challenge but I've had better performance in club lighting with my D50 and D90 in past years but their hi ISO performance can't touch the xpro1. Don't get me wrong, I really like this camera in many many ways. I just wish that low light focusing was more reliable and I could leave the dSLR at home.
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Old 04-05-2012   #43
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That's sad. Maybe you should switch to Nikon . AF in low light is always a huge challenge but I've had better performance in club lighting with my D50 and D90 in past years but their hi ISO performance can't touch the xpro1. Don't get me wrong, I really like this camera in many many ways. I just wish that low light focusing was more reliable and I could leave the dSLR at home.
I already did switch to Nikon... 3 years ago - with the D700s I own. That's how I know how good and bad AF accuracy can be; even among the big players who "know" what they're doing in the game

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Dave
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Old 04-05-2012   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Marks View Post
Inexcusable? Just watch this: Fuji: I excuse you. There. That wasn't so bad, was it? Honestly, AF failure in a coal mine? Doesn't seem like much of an Achilles Heel to me.

Sorry: [/SnarkOFF] I guess if I was a concert-photographer, I would want to know about this limitation so I could plan around it. But isn't that the same as any other camera, regardless of price point?

BTW, I really like the photos you did make, even within the camera's limitations. I wonder if the answer to this isn't to use a fast RF lens like the C/V 35/1.2 and to avoid the autofocus issue altogether. Wouldn't prefocus work better in this situation anyway due to low light?
Even prefocus would be tough at very shallow DOF when band members are moving around a lot. It would be great for performers who are more static onstage. Norah Jones, Ray LaMontagne, Jann Arden and Sarah McLachlan come to mind. Bands, not so much.
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Old 04-05-2012   #45
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I already did switch to Nikon... 3 years ago - with the D700s I own. That's how I know how good and bad AF accuracy can be; even among the big players who "know" what they're doing in the game

Cheers,
Dave
If you are saying that the AF in a D700 can miss focus in dim light, I'll vouch for that. No AF system I have tried is perfect 100% of the time. On a lot of occasions the fault was mine for not having selected the correct AF configuration. It takes time to get to know a particular camera's AF system and have it properly set for the shooting conditions you are in.

Bob
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Old 04-05-2012   #46
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OK, never mind, then.

Even the D700's vaunted AF has failed to impress me in low-light environments (& even Canonphiles acknowledge the shortcomings of the 5D, Marks I & II), all of which really makes me wish Leica would just get on w/it & put a good modern sensor in the M10.

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I rechecked the camera settings and I had remembered to set the AF to area not multi. :0)It was exposure I hadn't changed to spot metering. Apologies for error. I too, use single spot AF for concert photography with my Nikons.
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Old 04-05-2012   #47
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How much does a camera body have to cost to actually work well out of the box? I mean, would it cost two grand a body to work for both Norah Jones AND Anti-flag?

(I know some of you find it working quite well for how you shoot. Good for you. But if Fuji techs are telling people that the "AF issue" will be fixed in future firmware upgrades, then the company is admitting they have released a horse from the starting gate that is simply not fit to race. Now Fuji corporate has to stand behind their tech and admit their charade, or say that the guy misspoke, and try to convince people like the OP that there's no problem at all. Tough position. That they stepped right into.)
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Old 04-05-2012   #48
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I found my D700 was excellent in low light. Perfect? No! But scary good. Just because you can find limitations in that system, doesn't mean that the camera that costs almost as much (X-1) isn't far far behind it.
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Old 04-05-2012   #49
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Also, I'll quickly note that the focussing speed will surely be upgraded through the next few firmware updates - the x100 started off as a slow focuser but after a few little updates it's truly quite impressive now. Focusses better than my 5d in most situations.
We don't know that, necessarily. The XP1 already has the benefit of the X100's year of firmware development. The X100 can also have AF optimized for a single, light lens.
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Old 04-05-2012   #50
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re: AF vs SLRs, I've never had a SLR with a fast prime that was legitimately slow to focus in low light from near to far using single point middle and recomposing. Not saying it was always dead on in accuracy, but everything from the Elan 7e to 5D to the D700 to my new 645N has been fast.
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