D100 AF performance - something to calm everybody down
So there has been a couple of D100 vs whatever comparison threads recently which got on some people's nerves so here is something to help everybody cool off and show some real life performance that a typical camera review does not present that well. I found this link to a test Chausseur D'image did for autofocus performance for various DSLR's and DZLR's. I thought I would share it with you and I hope I will not upset anybody. As you will see, the D100 rocks. My french is quite weak but here is what I understand the numbers tell you. French speaking people please correct me.
Minimum lighting for AF to work properly (LUX)
Minimum contrast for AF to work properly (%)
The bar with the the legs beside it is the slow moving object focusing test result. The distance shown is the distance a person moved from pressing the shutter till the photo is taken.
The other bar is AF test for objects moving at 55MPH. The number of triangles is the burst of pics taken. The green ones are good, orange acceptable and red not acceptable. The D100 acheives 6/6 .. impressive.
The nice results for the D100 were not achieved with Nikon's AFS lenses, which might even give better results. The lenses used were Sigma's 24-70HSM lens for the slow moving subject test and 70-200 HSM for the fast moving target.
The test results are here
The testing procedure is here
#1. "RE: D100 AF performance - something to calm everybody" | In response to Reply # 0slow_driver Basic MemberTue 28-Jan-03 03:46 AM
For one I never really cared about all the fuss about CP5700 or D60 or Kodak 14n or anything else being better than D100. It's a great camera. A few silly design issues aside, the limitations I have with this camera are from myself and not from the camera.
Secondly, the D100's AF works very well for most situations. Sure, it's not up there with a D1 series, or EOS 1D series, but I've got plenty of in-focus shots from a soccer match, water skiing, motor biking, or in dark alleyways etc.
Thirdly, the poor AF performance of the DZLRs (as you call them) is one key reason that I avoid this type of camera. That, and I do like taking a lens from my 2002 D100 and dropping it onto my FM2, designed 20 years ago.
Finally, it seems there is a massive AF performance gap between the D100 and the S2 in the tests. The S2 did poorly; the D100 did very well. That really surprised me. They have the same AF module and were tested with the same glass. My D100 & F80 both perform identically in my experience, so I'm not sure what happened there. My only guess is that the cameras were both tested in their default AF settings. I.e., the S2 comes with the Dynamic blah blah blah AF rubbish switched on; the D100 wisely disables this out of the box. I had these settings on the F80 and it took me a while to realise that I was missing shots because of it.
Thanks for drawing this to our attention!
#2. "RE: D100 AF performance - something to calm everybody" | In response to Reply # 1sagittarius Registered since 18th Aug 2002Tue 28-Jan-03 03:55 AM
>For one I never really cared about all the fuss about CP5700 or D60
>or Kodak 14n or anything else being better than D100. It's a great
Neither do I. I would love to own a D100 any day. I am just an observer of the digital developments till a decent DSLR comes at a good price point
>Secondly, the D100's AF works very well for most situations.
One reason I was excited by those test results is that I own an N80
#4. "RE: D100 AF performance - something to calm everybody" | In response to Reply # 1oneiro Registered since 20th Jan 2003Tue 28-Jan-03 07:00 PM
>Finally, it seems there is a massive AF performance gap
>between the D100 and the S2 in the tests. The S2 did poorly;
>the D100 did very well. That really surprised me. They have
>the same AF module and were tested with the same glass. My
>D100 & F80 both perform identically in my experience, so I'm
>not sure what happened there. My only guess is that the
>cameras were both tested in their default AF settings. I.e.,
>the S2 comes with the Dynamic blah blah blah AF rubbish
>switched on; the D100 wisely disables this out of the box. I
>had these settings on the F80 and it took me a while to
>realise that I was missing shots because of it.
JB, can you please tell me what was the mistake you did with your AF settings and how do you set it up now and for which purpose?
Thanks in advance,
A happy D100 and Sigma 24-70mm owner
Be aware of your dream world!
Be aware of your dream world!
#5. "RE: D100 AF performance - something to calm everybody" | In response to Reply # 4slow_driver Basic MemberWed 29-Jan-03 03:55 AM
It wasn't so much a mistake as a discovery. For the D100, it comes set "properly" by default. Specifically, the "dynamic" AF is switched OFF. Essentially, this means that the AF system is only running on the centre AF sensor. You need to have this setting because the other mode will take longer to aquire the target - it simply cannot process all the information at once. I can't recall the CSM numbers, but if you have a look in your manual, read up about the different AF modes - you can find out more about it there.
#6. "RE: D100 AF performance -" | In response to Reply # 0
I work with 3 other photographers who all use the Canon D60 .. and my Nikon D100 smokes them in terms of autofocusing speed and being able to latch onto a subject, especially in dim light .. which is what you inevitably have when you shoot weddings. The D100 is noticably faster and more sure of itself in autofocusing, and the other photographers agree with me.
#7. "RE: D100 AF performance - Low light" | In response to Reply # 6Pursuit Nikonian since 04th Jan 2003Fri 07-Feb-03 05:16 AM
I just rented a D100 to shoot promotion pic's of a theater production. This was my first digital attempt at theater shots. Normally, I use Fuji NPZ 800 in my F5.
The D100 did ok. It wasn't focusing as fast as my F5 does, but it did quite well. This particular play was significantly darker than most, especially around the perimeter of the central cast of characters. In one scene, I was able to focus with only candlelight from about 4 candles being held by actors. I had to cover the focus-assist light on the D100 to keep from lighting up the theater, and the D100 still managed to focus.
My problem now is figuring out how many 1GB microdrives I need to use this beast. I can easily see needing about 4GB for an afternoon's work.
Wandering the Cascades
#8. "RE: D100 AF performance - Low light" | In response to Reply # 7ojm_webf1_com Registered since 03rd Dec 2002Fri 07-Feb-03 06:03 AM
Jim, just curious... Why didn't you turn off the focus-assist lamp permanently. I did this the first week I got the camera. I realized then that I really don't need it b/c the low light focusing ability of the camera is excellent.
I did also do a theater play at my son's school using the Nikkor 50mm 1.4 D lens. The pictures came out very well.
On your microdrive "dilema," I have 2 and an image bank. As long as it would take me about 45 minutes to fill up a microdrive 2 is enough. When I finish working with one, I start dumping the pictures to the databank while I shoot with the other drive. And I do have 3 spare 128Mg cards from when I had a P-and-S Kodak camera that I carry with me just in case.