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DanBailey

Fuji X-T1 AF Tracking Performance - Real World Examples

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DanBailey

It seems that with all the hype surrounding the new X-T1 and all the features that they packed into it, what people really want to know is how well the AF system works. Totally legitimate question in my book. Does it perform like Fuji says it does? Does it really track moving subjects well?

I've had my X-T1 for a week now and have been putting it through the rigors shooting a variety of subjects, and I can report that yes, the X-T1 does track. It tracks quite well, actually. It's not perfect, but neither is my Nikon DSLR.

I've posted a detailed look on my blog at how well the AF system works and I've included some image examples that, in my mind, represent the capabilities and limitations of the X-T1 in regards to how it handles real world situations.

http://danbaileyphoto.com/blog/the-fuji-x-t1-af-tracking-performance-how-good-is-it/

I know that some of you have been able to get your hands on the X-T1 for review purposes, what have you found in this area?

Fuji X-T1 autofocus performance

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K1W1_Mk2

Fantastic thanks. You have answered most of my questions in a way I haven't seen answered previously.

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Guest

Great review, it's nice to see the system put through its paces and hold up pretty well. I am curious to try it myself in the context of street photography.

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ramso

This totally answers most of my questions . . .

I would still like to know things like handling, battery life, is the viewfinder the quantum leap forward the hype says . . thanks for the great review, look forward to more.

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artuk

Thanks for your report on the AF tracking abilities.

Do you find the AF still slows down substantially (not tracking, just focusing for a single shot) in low contrast light? This was a widely reported issue of the X100s and X-E2, and there has been very little said on the subject with regard to the X-T1.

Do you have any of the older prime lenses such as the 35mm or 60mm, and if so, how well do they focus?

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flysurfer

Thanks for the article. Finally another look at AF tracking.

However:

"This is what sets the X-T1 apart from the rest of the lineup. Whereas the X-100S and X-E2 both focus very fast and will even acquire moving subjects, they won’t track past the first frame. The X-T1 will."

This is of course wrong. The X-E2 tracks, too.

Btw, which AF frame and frame size did you use for the bird shots?

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pominpocket

Thanks for the article. Finally another look at AF tracking.

However:

"This is what sets the X-T1 apart from the rest of the lineup. Whereas the X-100S and X-E2 both focus very fast and will even acquire moving subjects, they won’t track past the first frame. The X-T1 will."

This is of course wrong. The X-E2 tracks, too.

Btw, which AF frame and frame size did you use for the bird shots?

So is the X-T1 a huge improvement over the XE2?

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DanBailey

flysurfer - True, the X-E2 tracks, but only in single frame mode. Once you press the shutter, even if you're set to AF-C, it stops tracking beyond the first shot. It doesn't do predictive AF or stay locked onto the subject across multiple frames. That's where the X-T1 is different. It tracks through continuous frames at up to 8 fps. From that standpoint, yes, it is a big improvement over the X-E2.

Pominpocket - The bird shots are 8 fps, Large/Fine Jpegs.

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artuk

I see Sony have just announced their response, the ILC-6000 - a very different kind of MILC camera, but claiming world's fastest AF, 11fps, and 92% coverage for the PDAF on sensor.

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Niko

I have XE-2 and tried to track my kids at the beach (they were jumping and running away the waves in random directions) using 3 fps AF-C (supposed to adjust AF for each frame) and 55-200mm zoom lens. Conclusion: it´s useful but fails in aprox. 1/3 of frames during the burst. Maybe I need to learn some tricks to increase the success rate.

But for travel vacation purposes, it´s ok. Specially because mosty I use it for street, enviromental portraits and some landscapes.

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flysurfer

flysurfer - True, the X-E2 tracks, but only in single frame mode. nce you press the shutter, even if you're set to AF-C, it stops tracking beyond the first shot. It doesn't do predictive AF or stay locked onto the subject across multiple frames.

No. No. And no.

See http://flickr.com/gp/25805910@N05/jB0e49

Back to the X-T1: What about the active AF frame for the impressive bird shot?

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flysurfer

I see Sony have just announced their response, the

ILC-6000

- a very different kind of MILC camera, but claiming world's fastest AF, 11fps, and 92% coverage for the PDAF on sensor.

Looks like the new benchmark. This will probably also be Fuji's next gen sensor in 2015.

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artuk

I see Sony have just announced their response, the

ILC-6000

- a very different kind of MILC camera, but claiming world's fastest AF, 11fps, and 92% coverage for the PDAF on sensor.

Looks like the new benchmark. This will probably also be Fuji's next gen sensor in 2015.

That is exactly what I was thinking regarding sensors. Most manufacturers such as Nikon and Pentax have started to move to the latest version of the 24Mp Sony sensor, whereas some of the lower end Pentax and Sony use either the older 16Mp or newer 20Mp Sony devices.

The 16mp Sony sensor is one of the longest running sensor designs, although it has been tweaked along the way with changes to the circuit paths and the addition of PDAF pixels. Whatever "improvements" exist in the X-T1 (to image quality) are purely the result of those minor changes plus changes to the camera jpeg engine.

Sony seems alone in currently using their 20Mp sensor (a mix of virtue and vice between the 16Mp device, with which it shares a great deal of architecture by all accounts, and the 24Mp device). The newer version of the 24Mp device (first used in the Sony A77, but with rather unspectacular noise performance) seems to have become the enthusiast standard now for APS-C cameras. With the addition of PDAF over most of the frame, with the A-6000 Sony has effective defined the new standard for mirrorless cameras (resolution and PDAF ability) - which ironically already makes the X-T1 look a little "last year".

Personally, I was never very happy with the 24Mp performance of the first generation Sony device (as seen in the NEX-7 and A77), but newer implementations in Nikon and Pentax cameras with whatever changes have been made to the device since introduction, have started to demonstrate that it is capable of excellent results that are finally starting to nip at the heals of the previous generation of full frame cameras.

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flysurfer

which ironically already makes the X-T1 look a little "last year".

Ironically, this is what I told Fuji back in July 2013, when I issued my initial feedback on the X-T1 concept.

Of course, Sony is once again kicking themselves by using a lower-res EVF (not acceptable for me, as I'd rather expect stepping up to retina, which will happen, trust me), its lens selection isn't my cup of tea, and I tend to change systems only twice per quarter-century. So Sony can ask me again in ten years or so. ;)

But even as a happy Fuji user who is interested in expanding his system and making the best out of it (instead of hyperventilating about changing brands systems 2 or 3 times per year), I am still very curious about this new Sony device: How will the sensor perform with adapted lenses (we know the old NEX 7 sensor was bad at this)? How would it work with Fuji's short flange-back and existing XF lenses?

Of course, Fuji might just as well use a different sensor from another manufacturer, like Nikon did in the D7100. This is all pure speculation, I don't have any specific information regarding Fuji's X-Trans III.

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gryphon1911

The AF tracking performance shows promise and a move in the right direction.

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artuk

Of course, Sony is once again kicking themselves by using a lower-res EVF (not acceptable for me, as I'd rather expect stepping up to retina, which will happen, trust me), its lens selection isn't my cup of tea, and I tend to change systems only twice per quarter-century. So Sony can ask me again in ten years or so. ;)

I am still very curious about this new Sony device: How will the sensor perform with adapted lenses (we know the old NEX 7 sensor was bad at this)? How would it work with Fuji's short flange-back and existing XF lenses?

I certainly agree the Sony NEX lens range leaves me rather cold too, and frequently vacillating between camera systems can be a somewhat futile and expensive exercise (my own partial move to Fuji was my first move away from Minolta/Sony for more than a decade).

You're right about the NEX-7 and wide angle legacy lenses. Sony seems to have learnt somewhat with the A7 cameras, though reports of colour casts etc with wide angle adapted lenses still remain. Perhaps it is somehow inevitable with very high resolution sensors used in cameras with small flange depths?

It is interesting that even the native NEX lenses test much worse on the NEX-7 than they do on the 16Mp sensor variants (NEX-6 etc), so you are right to wonder how the new NEX-6000 will fare... a shame since in most cases the current crop of 24Mp SLRs does quite well.

(As an aside, I have heard conflicting reports on the Nikon D7100 sensor. Some rumours suggested it was being made by Toshiba, but Sony signed a joint venture with Toshiba some time ago to share facilities and build new ones together to increase Sony's capacity. Others have reported that the die of the D7100 sensor is near identical to the 24Mp Sony sensor used in the A77, and that therefore it is based on the same device...)

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jcx

Thanks for posting Rico. The X-E2 looks pretty impressive at AF tracking as well at 3fps. So, if I understand correctly, the only major difference being the frame rate at which each camera can do this?

I confess I'm a little confused at your response to DanBailey above, where you appear to refute his suggestion that the X-E2 doesn't autofocus whilst tracking and yet, in your own First Look at the X-T1 there is a line that reads "unlike the X-E2, the X-T1 offers predictive object tracking". Maybe I'm missing something, but is there a contradiction here?

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flysurfer

I confess I'm a little confused at your response to DanBailey above, where you appear to refute his suggestion that the X-E2 doesn't autofocus whilst tracking and yet, in your own First Look at the X-T1 there is a line that reads "unlike the X-E2, the X-T1 offers predictive object tracking". Maybe I'm missing something, but is there a contradiction here?

Fuji is always confusing. In December they stated: no prediction. In February they stated: prediction. Go with the flow. So I retested and posted my results. Tracking was of course always available.

I will have to update my blog accordingly.

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K1W1_Mk2

3 fps tracking is way to slow for my use. If I need focus tracking I need 8 fps focus tracking. If you are trying to shoot action regularly particularly sports way too much happens between frames at 3 fps.

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EternalHope

Super jacked for the xt-1! Not to mention the 56mm! Seriously, I can't hardly stand myself. I got the 23mm just today and I freaking love this lens. A huge step up in my opinion from the zoom, and even a step ahead of the x100s...dare I say...sure did love that camera, but love the 23mm on my x-pro even more...and I suspect on the X-T1 It'll be even more amazing.

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artuk

Super jacked for the xt-1! Not to mention the 56mm! Seriously, I can't hardly stand myself. I got the 23mm just today and I freaking love this lens. A huge step up in my opinion from the zoom, and even a step ahead of the x100s...dare I say...sure did love that camera, but love the 23mm on my x-pro even more...and I suspect on the X-T1 It'll be even more amazing.

How's the focusing in good and not-so-good light (e.g. domestic interior at night)?

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EternalHope

I have no clue how the X-T1 performs as I do not have it yet. However, the 23mm is a quick focuser on my x-pro even at night with just interior lighting. It wasn't blazing fast by any means, but I'd say that it was reliable and workable.

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artuk

I have no clue how the X-T1 performs as I do not have it yet. However, the 23mm is a quick focuser on my x-pro even at night with just interior lighting. It wasn't blazing fast by any means, but I'd say that it was reliable and workable.

Thanks - I was asking about the 23mm on your X-Pro, obviously.

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