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Thread: Dpreview - "Sony Alpha 7R II can match or beat DSLR low light AF performance"

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    Dpreview - "Sony Alpha 7R II can match or beat DSLR low light AF performance"

    This is a bit of an earth shaker:

    Sony Alpha 7R II can match or beat DSLR low light AF performance: Digital Photography Review

    Having tested the A7rII in low light, I've found it to be much improved over the A7II. I'm blown away that an independent review verifies this, and goes so far as to say the Sony can now "match or beat" the top DSLR's.

    Equally interesting - the comments on the article have very few Sony hater posts. When/if Sony supports lossless RAW, what WILL those folks do?

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    Member Zlatko Batistich's Avatar
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    Re: Dpreview - "Sony Alpha 7R II can match or beat DSLR low light AF performance"

    I'd love to see Sony or anyone "match or beat" DSLRs, but that test is terribly flawed. DPReview should know better! First of all the photographer behaves differently with the cameras. In the so-called "burst", the video shows him slowing down for focus with each shot with the Sony. He doesn't do that with Nikon or Canon; instead, his motion is continuous, only slowing down for the last shot. The difference is so obvious. He admits the Sony will sometimes hunt a bit, but he's notably not clicking the shutter then. With the Canon in particular, he just shoots forward for that middle shot, no pausing, and of course that's the shot that's out of focus.

    Also, mounting Sony's best 35mm lens ($1,600) on the Sony and a 3rd party's 50mm lens ($950) on the Nikon and Canon is pretty wacky. 35mm lenses are pretty much always easier to focus than 50mm lenses. And neither Nikon nor Canon designed their AF systems for Sigma lenses. The video is a good lesson on how NOT to conduct product comparisons.

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    Re: Dpreview - "Sony Alpha 7R II can match or beat DSLR low light AF performance"

    Quote Originally Posted by Zlatko Batistich View Post
    I'd love to see Sony or anyone "match or beat" DSLRs, but that test is terribly flawed. DPReview should know better! First of all the photographer behaves differently with the cameras. In the so-called "burst", the video shows him slowing down for focus with each shot with the Sony. He doesn't do that with Nikon or Canon; instead, his motion is continuous, only slowing down for the last shot. The difference is so obvious. He admits the Sony will sometimes hunt a bit, but he's notably not clicking the shutter then. With the Canon in particular, he just shoots forward for that middle shot, no pausing, and of course that's the shot that's out of focus.

    Also, mounting Sony's best 35mm lens ($1,600) on the Sony and a 3rd party's 50mm lens ($950) on the Nikon and Canon is pretty wacky. 35mm lenses are pretty much always easier to focus than 50mm lenses. And neither Nikon nor Canon designed their AF systems for Sigma lenses. The video is a good lesson on how NOT to conduct product comparisons.
    All of these issues are addressed within the text of the article and the comments section. There are very valid reasons as to why certain methodologies were used.

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    Re: Dpreview - "Sony Alpha 7R II can match or beat DSLR low light AF performance"

    Quote Originally Posted by dandrewk View Post
    All of these issues are addressed within the text of the article and the comments section. There are very valid reasons as to why certain methodologies were used.
    No, not really. The video speaks for itself and shows what it shows. The comments have some denials and unfounded claims, but no evidence in the way that the video is evidence. There is no valid reason for the photographer to behave differently with the Sony — different behavior is bound to give different results. There's no valid reason to use a different focal length or a 3rd party lens. Perhaps that's all they had available, but that pretty much dooms the Canon and Nikon to whatever the Sigma can do. DPR can claim the Sigma is fast in the comments, but that's neither proven nor fair. You just have to take their word for it.

    I'm now invested in both Canon and Sony gear and would love to see the Sony do well. Sony offers a smaller & lighter system, easier to carry -- a big benefit for me. And I'm convinced the AF on the new A7RII is very good. But I can also see when a comparison is fundamentally faulty.

    By the way, people seem to be inclined to call anyone they disagree with a "hater" — which is just name-calling. That's not a rational response and doesn't address the criticism. It's just name-calling, which is a crummy way to deal with people and with problems generally.
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    Re: Dpreview - "Sony Alpha 7R II can match or beat DSLR low light AF performance"

    Quote Originally Posted by Zlatko Batistich View Post
    No, not really. The video speaks for itself and shows what it shows. The comments have some denials and unfounded claims, but no evidence in the way that the video is evidence. There is no valid reason for the photographer to behave differently with the Sony — different behavior is bound to give different results. There's no valid reason to use a different focal length or a 3rd party lens. Perhaps that's all they had available, but that pretty much dooms the Canon and Nikon to whatever the Sigma can do. DPR can claim the Sigma is fast in the comments, but that's neither proven nor fair. You just have to take their word for it.

    I'm now invested in both Canon and Sony gear and would love to see the Sony do well. Sony offers a smaller & lighter system, easier to carry -- a big benefit for me. And I'm convinced the AF on the new A7RII is very good. But I can also see when a comparison is fundamentally faulty.

    By the way, people seem to be inclined to call anyone they disagree with a "hater" — which is just name-calling. That's not a rational response and doesn't address the criticism. It's just name-calling, which is a crummy way to deal with people and with problems generally.
    Assuming you read the comments and responses from the article's author - we will have to agree to disagree. His reasoning seems logical.

    I also don't agree about the inclination to call anyone who disagrees as a "hater". There are some with very valid points. There are others who have zero clue what they are talking about and only post to inflame Sony users. This subject has been discussed extensively in the "Here we go again" thread.

    P.S. Dpreview has more than its share of such "haters", as evidenced by -any- article regarding Sony or mirrorless cameras.

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    Re: Dpreview - "Sony Alpha 7R II can match or beat DSLR low light AF performance"

    Quote Originally Posted by dandrewk View Post
    Assuming you read the comments and responses from the article's author - we will have to agree to disagree. His reasoning seems logical.

    I also don't agree about the inclination to call anyone who disagrees as a "hater". There are some with very valid points. There are others who have zero clue what they are talking about and only post to inflame Sony users. This subject has been discussed extensively in the "Here we go again" thread.
    I did read the comments (although more keep being added by the minute, so I can't say I've read every comment). The comments have some denials and unsupported claims, but they don't disprove what is shown in the video. For example, in the comments the author writes:

    "No, it's the exact opposite, in fact. I slowed down with the DSLRs far more than with the a7R II, to an almost standstill. Easily visible in our video at 1:38."

    ... and then you look at the video at 1:38 and it does NOT show that at all. It shows him slowing down for EACH shot with the A7RII but a smooth motion for the Nikon and Canon, slowing down only for the last shot. The video shows what it shows, the comments notwithstanding.

    Perhaps I missed it, but I didn't see the author explain why a 50mm lens was used. He says "Native lenses on the DSLRs yielded the same results". Maybe. Why not show it? And were those results also flawed by virtue of the author behaving differently with the Sony, as he did in the video.

    He claims "The Sigma 50 Art is actually very fast to focus, possibly faster than the native Canon 35/1.4 in our cursory testing (the Nikon 35/1.4 is very fast, though). The lens isn't what was slowing down the AF, as it works much, much faster in good light." What's the relevance of how the Sigma works "in good light"? Confusing ... You just have to take his word for it that it's a fair test.

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    Re: Dpreview - "Sony Alpha 7R II can match or beat DSLR low light AF performance"

    I agree that his methodology and reasoning should have been explained in the video and/or accompanying text. I suspect his editors gave him a hard word count ceiling.

    There are still many more reviews/tests/evaluations to be done. Even if flawed, this is still a feather in Sony's cap and should help nullifying some of the "Sony's AF in lowlight is crap" comments.

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    Re: Dpreview - "Sony Alpha 7R II can match or beat DSLR low light AF performance"

    For the setup in the test, the Sony should be superior, plain and simple. That's part of the point with new technology, isn't it? For low light levels stationary subjects and with face detection, the GH3 I had with the Zuiko 75mm f/1.8 was always more or less instant, particularly in cases like this where there's a clear contrast between the light on the face and the light on the background. While I haven't made a direct comparison, I would say that it was more instant than my current camera, the D810 in these cases. Change to a subject that moves in a non-linear pattern, and the tables are turned in dramatic manner.

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    Re: Dpreview - "Sony Alpha 7R II can match or beat DSLR low light AF performance"

    Fwiw, Jorgen, I think the GH3 with certain lenses is superior to A7RII when it comes to achieving low light focus lock on stationary objects. But the A7RII is much better than A7R.

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    Re: Dpreview - "Sony Alpha 7R II can match or beat DSLR low light AF performance"

    I see why they did the AF-C test this way. You do need to make sure your subject is still with such a long VF blackout.
    On a positive note, finally, A7RII owners can be proud of low light AF accuracy albeit with only one f/1.4 lens so far.

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    Re: Dpreview - "Sony Alpha 7R II can match or beat DSLR low light AF performance"

    In my hands, my A7r2 with my 35/1.4 beats any of my prior cameras, including my Nikon D4, for practical AF performance.

    I'll also take my A7r2 with the 90/2.8 FE Macro over my old D4 or D800 with my 85/1.4 G or 105/2.5 Macro for AF results, not to mention pure IQ. Although, I really liked the 85/1.4 G bokeh.

    The only significant area where my Nikon gear outperformed my A7r2 was in high frame per second applications where the Sony does not even make an appearance.

    In that arena, I am using my Samsung NX1, which is a credible substitute at 15fps and with a newly enhanced buffer thanks to the recent fw update.

    Also, both the Samsung NX1 and the Sony A7r2 shoot in camera 4K video which lends itself to quality frame grabs for really high frame rates.

    -Bill

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    Re: Dpreview - "Sony Alpha 7R II can match or beat DSLR low light AF performance"

    Quote Originally Posted by Malina DZ View Post
    I see why they did the AF-C test this way. You do need to make sure your subject is still with such a long VF blackout.
    On a positive note, finally, A7RII owners can be proud of low light AF accuracy albeit with only one f/1.4 lens so far.
    The 55/1.8 FE seems to do the trick on my A7Rm2 as well!
    With best regards, K-H.

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    Re: Dpreview - "Sony Alpha 7R II can match or beat DSLR low light AF performance"

    When I saw they weren't using native lenses (like the latest closed loop AF lenses on the Canon) I found the comparison puzzling.
    When I spotted they were using differing focal lengths I found the video moronic.

    Then the video on youtube had comments disabled at which point I forgot I even watched it.
    Chris Giles Photography
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    Re: Dpreview - "Sony Alpha 7R II can match or beat DSLR low light AF performance"

    I think it's great to have choices.
    Why worry about that video?

    My A7rII is already a great tool to further my education!
    With best regards, K-H.

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