Best auto focus digital cameras ?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by David J Taylor, Apr 25, 2005.

  1. Define best.
    David J Taylor, Apr 25, 2005
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  2. David J Taylor

    james Guest

    Canon. What's especially great, is that the same basic strategy and
    tech is in the Powershot as in the 20D and Rebels.

    Now, like everything else in photography, when you ask what is the
    "best" anything, the answer depends on your situation and your needs.

    But Canon's AF system is really versatile, and it gives you a bit of
    control. It's quite nice that the Powershot models and the EOS models
    share some of the same basic architecture, such as the autofocus and
    the "creative zones" control. I bought a Powershot A85 along with my
    EOS 20D. The truth is, I would have been pretty happy just with the
    A85. I find myself in a lot of situations where I just won't carry a
    $1600 camera. Not giving up the EOS though. These 2 cameras make a
    nice complement to each other.

    Anyway, your question only asked about Autofocus. I've had bad
    experiences with HP and Sony (not that the cameras have really been
    *bad*), but Canon has been a relief. No buyer's remorse, even though
    I'm fully camera-poor after buying the 20D and a couple of lenses.

    Try out any Canon in the shop, and I'm sure you'll enjoy the way the
    autofocus works. And Canon cameras give you exposure control if you
    want it, and also can be easily set to the mode you need, before you
    hand it to someone's grandmother to take your snapshot. I can't say
    the same for any HP or Sony camera I've tried.

    I got tired of buying $300 and $400 cameras, only to be frustrated and
    give them away. That is the lash that flogged me into getting the EOS
    20D, which is WAY more camera than I need, and WAY more expensive than
    I needed to spend, but I have no regrets. And a lot of the great things
    about the EOS are also there in the very cheap Powershot A85.

    I'm not shilling for Canon, if it sounds like I am. Try these cameras.
    james, Apr 25, 2005
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  3. David J Taylor

    Steve Guest

    Difficult to answer that. Do you mean speed, accuracy or both? Some
    cameras even have the ability to track moving objects and 'predict'
    the correct focus when the shutter opens.

    If it's an SLR (with the ability to change lens) then the lens you use
    can have a significant impact on the focusing performance you get.

    If it's a fixed lens camera you're after, then I would try something
    in your price range from the big players - Nikon, Canon, Sony,
    Olympus, Fuji etc.etc. in the shop to ensure it does what you want it
    Steve, Apr 25, 2005
  4. David J Taylor

    CeeBee Guest

    "David J Taylor" <-this-bit.nor-this-> wrote in
    Better than better.
    CeeBee, Apr 25, 2005
  5. David J Taylor

    hjmler Guest

    which digital cameras do the best auto focusing ?
    hjmler, Apr 25, 2005
  6. David J Taylor

    Steve Guest

    Maybe your pics are in focus but just not very sharp? It may be down
    to the camera's image processing. Have you tried changing the
    sharpness settings on the camera or using photoshop to sharpen up the

    Maybe in low light situations your camera cranks up the sensitivity
    (ISO equivalent) to allow you to use workable shutter speeds - may be
    worth checking this - this will introduce a lot of noise into your

    I understand your camera is 3 megapixel? The reality is this
    resolution is not going to give a fantastic level of detail and
    sharpness - not that i'm saying you have a bad camera or anything -
    but the reality is you can't really expect a 3 megapixel digital to
    compete with a decent 35mm film camera in terms of image quality.
    Steve, Apr 25, 2005
  7. David J Taylor

    Alan Meyer Guest

    I don't know which one is best. Comprehensive reviews are available
    on a number of websites including and I'd check them.

    I presume there's no dirt or smudges on the lens, and that the
    camera hasn't been dropped, cooked, or soaked. If any of those
    are the case, you've found your problem.

    Depth of field is normally very good for small cameras. The
    smaller the lens, the better the depth of field. It's the big
    SLRs with fast lenses that have the most DOF problems.

    Before writing off your camera, be sure to test it on a tripod
    or by putting it on a table top and using the self timer.

    Lightweight point and shoot cameras are much harder to hold still
    than heavy SLRs. You could have a camera shake problem that would
    look like a focus problem. If _everything_ in the image is
    blurred, it's unlikely to be a focus problem. Shoot an image of
    something that has objects at many different distances. If all
    are out of focus then it's definitely not a focus problem, since
    _something_ would have to be in focus in the scene.

    Another important factor in getting a good focus is understanding
    how your autofocus works. Most cameras focus by looking at what
    appear to be sharp edges in the image and changing the focus until
    they are sharp. Therefore, you get a better focus if you aim the
    camera at something with a sharp edge. On my camera, I have the
    focus area set to spot focussing (the Toshiba may not have that
    capability) then I aim at something sharp on my subject, or at the
    same distance from me as the subject. I push the button part way
    down to lock the focus, then recompose if necessary, and press the
    rest of the way to shoot.

    Finally, it's conceivable that your camera is a lemon and just
    has a blurry lens. But don't conclude that for sure until you've
    tested on a tripod or tabletop in good light, using the self-timer.

    Good luck.

    Alan Meyer, Apr 25, 2005
  8. David J Taylor

    hjmler Guest

    I started with a $250 Toshiba 3 years ago and then moved up to a Fuji
    S602... the stuff I shot with both was never as crisp as it should be,
    especially shooting in lower light situations... and even when the direct
    object I was shooting was as in the best focus as the camera seemed capable
    of (and I was shooting at max resolution most of the time) I could never
    achieve decent depth of field, no matter if I was shooting at the highest

    used to be w film in my Canon EOS autofocus if I was shooting at f 5.6 - f8
    not only was the primary object crisp but the immediate foreground and
    almost infinite background was sharp too... near Ansel Adams look...
    hjmler, Apr 25, 2005
  9. David J Taylor

    hjmler Guest

    I see a lot of stuff shot with 1 megapixel res and perfectly in focus...

    I'm looking for a point-and-shoot that will focus crisply even in low-light
    and give me depth of field...
    hjmler, Apr 26, 2005
  10. David J Taylor

    Sheldon Guest

    I had a Sony p and s that produced sharp well focused photos. Often the
    problem is caused by low light and camera movement, and you are often
    relying on the camera to choose the proper focus point. You may have to
    lock the focus, THEN, reframe and shoot. Try a tripod and manual focus and
    see if things get better. You need to experiment a bit to figure out where
    the problem is. Don't trust the camera to do everything for you.
    Sheldon, Apr 26, 2005
  11. Alan Meyer wrote:
    I find that I can use 1 stop or more slower exposures on my P&S cameras
    than I could get away with on my SLRs.

    David J Taylor, Apr 26, 2005
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