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    I don't think that's entirely true. Specifically, I think that autofocus systems have been steadily improving, and that's something I hear from photographers as a reason that they transitioned to mirrorless. Personally, that's the main thing that would drive me to replace the A7SIII. The AF system is great, but it could be better. There are definitely situations where it struggles.

    But sure, as far as the rest of the camera system is concerned... I've seen blog posts comparing the 5dmk2 with the mk4 or maybe it was the R5. And the imagery totally holds up against the new models.

    The same thing with Leica. The photos from their 15-year old digital cameras look great. But the boot-up time is sluggish, the buffer is tiny, burst rate is slow, resolution is low... but now that those factors have risen to the point where most people don't need more, I agree that there is less and less of a reason for anyone to upgrade besides GAS
    www.VideoAbe.com

    "In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant. Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant." -Harvey

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      The photo AF is already so good though...

      It's like...who really needs even better AF? (Meaning are you and/or is your work that important that you do?)

      And in what kind of situations?

      Portraits, food, products, and landscapes don't - and that's pretty much half the industry.

      Obviously sports and nature could, but you will always miss a shot with so much action constantly moving. Even if your camera doesn't, you might (with bad framing).

      It's one thing if you're upgrading from a 5D Mark III to a R3, but from something like a R5? Or a 1DX Mark III? Another $5000+?

      It's not necessary but so many do because it's so hard to resist, ha.

      Comment


        Originally posted by ahalpert View Post
        I I've seen blog posts comparing the 5dmk2 with the mk4 or maybe it was the R5. And the imagery totally holds up against the new models.
        Absolutely not. Maybe if you get a comparison under best conditions with enough light and controlled dynamic range the lower numbers don't fall behind far. I had all the models in real life advertising jobs for high class clients and I did review the results very detailed. There was big improvement in each model from noise, high ISO and dynamic range.

        And what wasn't directly in the image quality: there was a huge improvement in the AF in each step. But in the end it affected the image as well.

        --
        I'm just a hobbyist with a business tax number and a specialist for everything.

        Comment


          Originally posted by NorBro View Post
          The photo AF is already so good though...

          It's like...who really needs even better AF? (Meaning are you and/or is your work that important that you do?)

          And in what kind of situations?

          Portraits, food, products, and landscapes don't - and that's pretty much half the industry.

          Obviously sports and nature could, but you will always miss a shot with so much action constantly moving. Even if your camera doesn't, you might (with bad framing).

          It's one thing if you're upgrading from a 5D Mark III to a R3, but from something like a R5? Or a 1DX Mark III? Another $5000+?

          It's not necessary but so many do because it's so hard to resist, ha.
          The primary failure points are heavily backlit situations, dark scenes, and scenes with a lot of people moving rapidly. Also, the touch tracking tends to shift to adjacent similar-looking elements. Sometimes, I want it to keep focus on a single word or letter in a sign. When it works, it's amazing. More often, it will shift to a different part of the word or a different word. Things like that could probably be improved with superior AI.​

          It would also be nice to have smoother transitions of focus. Perhaps the gyro info from the camera could inform the focus system that the camera is moving, and it could shift focus before it realized the subject is soft. There should also be options to throw the focus all the way out in either direction. Lastly, it would be amazing to tell it to shift before a subject enters the frame, as we can do so easily manually. Or if not that, them a seamless way of focusing manually and automatically in alternation.

          For most photographers, maybe they are more satisfied. I imagine that backlit and underexposed scenarios bother them all. And if you look at new features like AF tracking for cars/motorcycles, or animal eye-AF before that, there are clearly some common scenarios of subject selection that haven't been addressed yet.
          www.VideoAbe.com

          "In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant. Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant." -Harvey

          Comment


            Makes sense but that's a lot of use case nitpicking for something that could probably already have a pretty great hit/miss ratio in its current state.

            If anything, I would want to be able to adjust all focus in post, including AI keyframing.

            More work, but precise, customizable results.

            Comment


              The sonar based external AF system worked differently from the sensor based designs. A subject of one's affection wore a small RF reflector somewhere on his body and that identified him as the center of all the attention. LiDAR works differently too - it scans the frame from the center toward the outer edges and from the nearest subject to the frame to the furthest. IIRC, the sonar based pro systems cost tons and tons of money.

              Comment


                Originally posted by NorBro View Post
                Makes sense but that's a lot of use case nitpicking for something that could probably already have a pretty great hit/miss ratio in its current state.

                If anything, I would want to be able to adjust all focus in post, including AI keyframing.

                More work, but precise, customizable results.
                I encounter AF failures on every extensive b-roll shoot I do with it. So, you could argue that the system fails on 100% of my b-roll shoots.

                And it definitely seems like the type of thing AI could tackle. If the camera gets better at interpreting and identifying data, then it wont get tripped up by backlighting and could better pick out a subject in darkness.

                Adjusting focus in post has never been offered on this type of camera. And it would probably cost a lot of time in post-production whilst ceding control from the cameraman. And as I recall, at least the early light field cameras had low light sensitivity. But yes, in theory focusing in post could circumvent all these issues. I'm simply talking about incremental improvements to the current system that are probably within reach (and possibly even withheld by the cartel so they have improvements to offer us later). Certainly, a camera with the exact same specs as the A7SIII but a perfect autofocus system would raise my eyebrows.

                Generally, it would be nice if AF could interpret every subject I select as a specific object rather than a color/brightness value. And then it could understand how the look of the object changes as I circle around it. Or identify the letter T that I'm focused on. Etc. And certainly, sonnar/lidar wouldn't help with that. Not by itself anyway
                Last edited by ahalpert; 07-20-2021, 12:42 PM.
                www.VideoAbe.com

                "In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant. Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant." -Harvey

                Comment


                  Honestly, I don't disagree with your thought-process because I was saying the same exact thing in 2016 and AF has improved so much since then - including many new products with "new" features - but I just think we've reached the point where most people truly don't need any more improvements.

                  Before 100% V/H coverage and hundreds of points and AI and deep-learning and face and eye-AF, there was so much to improve upon.

                  Although great AF in pure darkness could be something really interesting (like night vision AI), if anyone requires much more than that and the above then I think it's either their work is really complicated or it's user error.

                  Comment


                    Originally posted by NorBro View Post
                    Before 100% V/H coverage and hundreds of points and AI and deep-learning and face and eye-AF, there was so much to improve upon.

                    Although great AF in pure darkness could be something really interesting (like night vision AI), if anyone requires much more than that and the above then I think it's either their work is really complicated or it's user error.
                    Panny has all those features and their AF sucks, all for lack of PDAF. I don't even understand what deep-learning does in this context. How can the machine learn anything without feedback, without being informed of what it did right and what it did wrong.

                    At the end of the day, you take the tool into the field and it works or it doesn't. As powerful as it is, it still fails me often. Ideally, it would never fail me.

                    It's not about AF in pure darkness. AF works substantially worse at ISO 12800 than at ISO 640. It's slower, more hunt-y, and more prone to fix on a bright background rather than the subject. And a good exposure at ISO 12800 1/50 f/2.8 or even 1.4 is not that dark. It's dim but comfortable lighting for human vision, and you encounter it all the time in doc/event situations during night interiors. Even day interiors drive me to ISO 12800 if they're not well-lit, though partially because it's cleaner than ISO 8000. But in that case I end up cutting out light and starving the sensor all the same.

                    My benchmark for these scenarios is my own vision. I can look at a subject on an actually pure dark dance floor who only has rim lighting, and aim to keep their rim in focus. But the camera can't, and it can't handle more common, less extreme scenarios well, either.
                    www.VideoAbe.com

                    "In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant. Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant." -Harvey

                    Comment


                      If you would like your camera to play God then you may have to wait a bit longer.

                      When human eyes are blinded by bright light or don’t have enough light, our subject/object identification is affected as well, even while having more dynamic range than cameras.

                      Currently the odds are stacked against it in your unfavorable conditions and it’s unreasonable to think it will perform perfectly 100% of the time when using it for 8-10-12 hours straight at everything you point it while you’re running around at weddings.

                      ___

                      And it's been like 8 years since reliable AF has made it into a camera.

                      You don't think Panasonic Corporation could have better AF if they chose to? Lol

                      Why it sucks is not up to me to answer, but they could program it to suck if they wanted to.

                      Comment


                        I think what the AF can do right now is mind-blowing. I was bringing this up in the context of upgrading cameras. Because there are times it fails, then a superior AF system might induce me to upgrade.

                        The same goes for high-ISO performance. If they could improve that from its terrific current standpoint, I would be interested. (I doubt they can unless there's some new fundamental technology yet to be developed, akin to BSI. It seems like the materials are performing at their limit).

                        Because the thing is that other specs increases and design changes will not induce me to upgrade. Until clients demand 8K, the A7SIII is giving me all I need from it in the application I use it for. Higher resolution, higher frame rate, internal RAW... none of it would induce me to upgrade.

                        eND or a better remote control system... two other things that would tempt me.

                        But I suppose all this discussion is me trying to agree with you that there isn't much reason to upgrade from here besides GAS. If anything, AF seems like the low-hanging fruit to me, even though it's already pretty good.

                        (There are little annoying things, though. Like if Eye AF is on but I tap on a hand to focus on their hand instead, the camera will snap back to focus on an eye if it's in frame. So, I have to turn off Eye AF altogether. But I can't do that during recording so I have to cut. Multiple layers of annoyance here. And this is a very frequent occurrence.)
                        www.VideoAbe.com

                        "In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant. Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant." -Harvey

                        Comment


                          Any modern camera above $1,500 should have both the PD and the CD for the AF ... and LiDAR, for the high ISO situations, when both PD and CD tend to falter.

                          In terms of the low light, Canon has that 1080p 2,000,000 ISO monster but there should be a much lower priced model, even if not with the same identical specs. Hypothetically, a 1080p-2.5K medium format unit would be even more awesome.

                          Of course, a medium format 8K camera should have been out by now too. Fuji's supposedly going to release a "cheap" MF model in another couple of months but it's very unlikely to have 8K.

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                            It might be 200 million ISO, but where is the limit of usability? For the A7SIII, I'd say 25600 even though the camera goes to 100k or 400k or whatever. and I certainly don't need an HD camera in any sensor size.

                            The only thing about medium format is I'm not sure that equivalent f-stop lenses are readily available. So maybe you can get more light gathering area on the sensor but you may have to use a slower lens. And certainly from a business perspective, full-frame hits a sweet spot of affordability because of the massive catalogue of vintage lenses and the huge number of current manufacturers in the space
                            www.VideoAbe.com

                            "In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant. Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant." -Harvey

                            Comment


                              The sensor has pixels measuring 19μm, allowing for 1080/60p video capture in light levels as low as 0.0005 lux at a gain setting of 75 Db, which is equivalent to over ISO 4,000,000.
                              https://www.dpreview.com/news/812484...-in-the-amazon

                              As to lenses, there's a 45mm 1.4 GFX mount.

                              https://www.diyphotography.net/irixs...film-gfx-lens/

                              But, clearly, as the medium format gets closer to the "not quite affordable but no longer insanely expensive" category, there's going to be more glass available.

                              Comment


                                That may be, but the fastest lenses Fuji themselves make for GFX are an f/1.7 and f/2. Which squares with what I've seen, that MF lenses are usually a stop slower than their FF equivalents. So, you can get a top-shelf AF normal prime with f/1.2 in FF or f/1.7 in MF, somewhat negating your light gain. There are manual focus 3rd party f/0.95 lenses in full-frame.

                                But one advantage of MF, on a different subject from exposure, is that you can get better optical quality at the same DOF vs full-frame

                                That dpreview article doesn't really give me the objective basis for comparison that I'd like, although obviously the ME-20H is LESS noisy than any camera I've ever used
                                www.VideoAbe.com

                                "In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant. Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant." -Harvey

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