4 Years of Sony AF Innovation Compared

Dave Dugdale performed an interesting comparison between the Sony a7S and Sony a7RIII’s AF performance while shooting video and you can clearly see how Sony’s AF has improved over time. Mirrorless AF can be tricky and right now Sony has the best AF by far and I personally feel this is what will keep Sony users from going Nikon/Canon mirrorless in the future because good mirrorless AF is difficult to achieve.

“The AF speed has increased, the a7riii has become tenacious it will not let go of a face. AF has become much smoother, before you would get a shimmering If you have turned off face detect, obj tracking and touch spot focus, when you want the camera to continuously [AF-C] auto focus over the entire frame [Wide], basically allowing you to concentrate on other things besides focus, the area is heavily center weighted meaning it places priority on high contrast objects in the center of the frame, if something is around the edge of the frame that is higher contrast and closer, it will still focus on the center items. IF AF-C and Wide then focus only on center items regardless of distance, UNLESS there basically nothing in the center of the frame With af turned on you can press the shutter half way down to snap to the nearest high contrast obj, unless movie w/shutter is turned on Focus on nearest obj, press half way and hold the shutter button If you want to focus on an object (no face) outside the center weighted area then use obj tracking/flexible spot or use Touch spot focus a7s: With face detect turned off, it would only focus on a small portion of the center of the frame regardless if the area set to wide, once an object leaves that small area it focus to the back wall.”

Of course in the world of mirrorless, the lens matters as much as the body for determining peak AF performance, but this is a good example of how mirrorless AF performance used to be considered lacking.

Sony a7RIII: B&H Photo / Amazon / Adorama
Sony a7S: B&H Photo / Amazon / Adorama

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