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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Small Compact Digitals by Canon 
Thread started 11 Jul 2012 (Wednesday) 13:29
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Fast autofocus P&S?

 
Gig103
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Jul 11, 2012 13:29 |  #1

Hi everyone,

My brother turned to me for camera advice since I have an SLR, but I'm not sure what advice to give him. Him and his wife try to take photos of their infant daughter but by the time their SD1300 focuses and snaps, she's moved or changed. I don't think an SLR is what they really want, so I thought I'd post and see who can recommend a fast P&S?

I did try to tell him to try cameras at Best Buy and look for f/2.8 if he can find it, since more light might help with indoor AF. But I wasn't sure what else he could look for, or if anyone has a specific recommendation?


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tmwag
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Jul 11, 2012 13:49 |  #2

I can't see an infant moving around too fast. Maybe when they're two or three that's another story. Most of the recent Canon P&S offerings are pretty quick little cameras. If they are prefocused (half pressed shutter button) and then pressed fully the shutter is very quick. On most you can shoot at a high frame rate (300hs 8fps) although with reduced resolution.




  
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hnikesch
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Jul 11, 2012 14:39 |  #3

+1 to tmwag's comment. All Canon's (and most others) are as fast on a single shot basis as a DSLR if you pre-focus. Even a DSLR slows to focus. I pre-focus all my cameras including both my DSLR's and my Pentax Kr is one of the fastest. Just 1/2 press the shutter and wait for the shot you want, re-1/2 press as often as required to keep the camera focused

Hans


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teekay
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Jul 11, 2012 18:02 as a reply to  @ hnikesch's post |  #4

With all respect, I don't think anyone has yet addressed the OP's question.

Sure, if you pre-focus before that last half-press, most cameras are about the same, but there is certainly one heck of a difference between the time it takes my SX40 to focus (far too long for many occasions) and the almost instantaneous focus on my 60D when the button is half pressed.

I don't have the answer to the original question but will be very interested to know if there is indeed a P&S camera that focuses appreciably faster than the average.




  
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tmwag
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Jul 11, 2012 18:56 as a reply to  @ teekay's post |  #5

A P&S isn't going to focus as fast as a DSLR..I THINK most understand that or they should if reading these forums for any length of time. The OP is speaking about using a P&S camera for a very simple subject. No need for a great deal of debate on how to shoot it:).




  
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hnikesch
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Jul 11, 2012 19:28 |  #6

teekay wrote in post #14703783 (external link)
With all respect, I don't think anyone has yet addressed the OP's question.

You are correct so I looked at http://www.imaging-resource.com (external link) They measured "Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture" and it was interesting. I looked the cameras I have and the Canon Rebel T2i DLSR

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture

Canon Rebel T2i DSLR ~ 0.252 Secs
S100 ~ 0.571
SD1100 ~ .042 Wide ~ 0.75 Tele
SD900 ~ 0.6

And using pre Focus shutter 1/2 pressed

Canon Rebel T2i DSLR ~ 0.097 Secs
S100 ~ 0.071 Secs
SD1100 ~ 0.067 Secs
SD900 ~ 0.071 Secs.

So what does all that mean, most new P&S are about 1/4 sec. slower than the Canon Rebel T2i and faster when pre focused. Now some DSLR's are faster I have one that is 0.105 and pre focus 0.097. The Canon 5D @ $2800 is 0.120 sec.

Just look under the performance tab in the reviews not all cameras are reviewed

The SD1100 is close to the SD1300 the OP was talking about and when on Telephoto it is much slower than most.

Hans


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eyalg
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Jul 12, 2012 08:55 |  #7

As the saying goes - "there are no good white basketball players, my friend".

http://www.youtube.com​/watch?v=vPB2g1y2VFk (external link)

I mean - a P&S is a P&S, is doesn't focus quickly,
there are faster ones and slower ones, but all are relatively slow.
Getting a camera with an f/2.8 max aperture won't help,
but in general, premium compact cameras focus a bit faster.
The best option is to pre-focus, no getting around it.

-eyalg


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kfyount
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Jul 12, 2012 09:46 |  #8

I recently bought and have been playing with the new SX260 HS (the SX 240 HS is the same without GPS). The focus is pretty fast in general and if your brother and his wife are going to be using AUTO mode, there is a constant tracking focus feature (makes for faster focus before a shot, but you might need to fight the camera into tracking and focusing on what you want it to focus). There is a "burst" mode where it takes shots at an amazing rate - but it only saves the one shot that it thinks is best - would probably work well for baby pictures. But the features that might be exactly what they would like are the baby settings (optimized for babys as subjects with a smile recognition mode so it only snaps when the baby smiles) and a facial recognition mode that not only recognizes faces in general, but you can also store the baby's face in memory, the camera sees it and not only focuses on that face, but adjust the exposure to optimize that face no matter what or who else is in the picture.

I bought it to take BTS shots and for times when I can't or don't want to carry my DSLR gear. It has a 25-500mm (equivalent) and a pretty impressive IS system. There are full controls, even manual for when I get tired of the camera "thinking" too much. I can't make any comparison to any other P&Ss but from what I have seen in the couple of months since I got it, the SX 260 HS is not a bad little camera.


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ceremus
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Jul 12, 2012 10:10 |  #9

The crux of it is that P&S systems use contrast detect AF, which is as a rule, slower than the phase detect that DSLRs use.

Mirrorless cameras like the Lumix G series, Olympus PEN and OM-D also use contrast detect, but since their models are aimed more at enthusiasts their systems are better optimized for faster focus. Still not as fast as phase detect in most situations, but better performance than most point and shoots.


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-MasterChief-
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Jul 12, 2012 10:14 |  #10

^^ someone give this man a prize! phase detect > contrast detect focus. :)




  
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ceremus
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Jul 12, 2012 10:48 |  #11

-MasterChief- wrote in post #14706496 (external link)
^^ someone give this man a prize! phase detect > contrast detect focus. :)

:cool:


And you know, now that I'm looking at it the Nikon 1 series of mirrorless cameras has a hybrid of both phase and contrast detect AF, maybe similar to what Canon is doing with the T4i. So if they're still looking for a compact camera, but one with that performance edge, that may be the way to go. Assuming they don't end up getting a full blown DSLR of course.

edit for linky: http://www.dpreview.co​m/reviews/nikonv1j1/8 (external link)


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Keyan
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Jul 12, 2012 12:12 |  #12

ceremus wrote in post #14706626 (external link)
:cool:


And you know, now that I'm looking at it the Nikon 1 series of mirrorless cameras has a hybrid of both phase and contrast detect AF, maybe similar to what Canon is doing with the T4i. So if they're still looking for a compact camera, but one with that performance edge, that may be the way to go. Assuming they don't end up getting a full blown DSLR of course.

edit for linky: http://www.dpreview.co​m/reviews/nikonv1j1/8 (external link)

I just don't get the point of these...If I am going to haul around a camera that needs a bag with multiple lenses, etc, I'm just going to get a DSLR and have all of the options of that system.

To the OP:

I have the S100, and it performs VERY well as far as focus speed and shutter release. It has an F/2 lens, great dual wheel ergonomics, and it's pocketable.


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ceremus
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Jul 12, 2012 12:54 |  #13

Keyan wrote in post #14706956 (external link)
I just don't get the point of these...If I am going to haul around a camera that needs a bag with multiple lenses, etc, I'm just going to get a DSLR and have all of the options of that system.

It's a question of how much stuff do you want to haul around? You could pack something like a μ4/3 camera, a standard zoom, tele zoom, fast prime, macro, and strobe into a compact shoulder or messenger bag. To pack the equivalent DSLR gear you'd probably need a large backpack that would be exponentially heavier.

Are they pocketable? Not usually, not unless you're talking about the camera with a prime lens going into a jacket pocket. But if you're wanting to tote around a full kit there's a definite weight/size advantage.


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Gig103
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Jul 12, 2012 14:05 |  #14

Thanks for all the information. I now know *why* my DSLR focuses faster. I told my brother to show my sister-in-law how to prefocus but at the same time I'm glad I posted about it on here.


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Keyan
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Jul 13, 2012 07:32 |  #15

ceremus wrote in post #14707185 (external link)
It's a question of how much stuff do you want to haul around? You could pack something like a μ4/3 camera, a standard zoom, tele zoom, fast prime, macro, and strobe into a compact shoulder or messenger bag. To pack the equivalent DSLR gear you'd probably need a large backpack that would be exponentially heavier.

Are they pocketable? Not usually, not unless you're talking about the camera with a prime lens going into a jacket pocket. But if you're wanting to tote around a full kit there's a definite weight/size advantage.

I get that..but I guess I figure if I am carrying a bag regardless it doesn't matter that much to me personally if it's a big bag or a small one. Generally when going places we use the top of my bag for the kid stuff and the bottom for the camera kit so I'm usually stuck with my big bag anyway :)


Cameras: 7D2, S100
Lenses: 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM, 18-135 STM, 24-70 f/4L IS USM, 50 f/1.4 USM,70-300L IS USM
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Fast autofocus P&S?
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