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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:36 pm 
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It's because your camera is some what old, 3 years is a long time for that market segment. The technology in these cameras advance faster since the time between new iterations is much shorter than most DSLR's, and given that conrast-AF is mainly about computing power it will have an even bigger impact.

Shhh, if we are quiet the mod's wont hear us :D

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:48 pm 
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Well it might be old, but still it has a better contrast-based AF than most DSLRs, and also the 5D I compared it against was actually the first 5D, so I wasn't comparing it against a really new camera either. Two things I have to say that are really nice that they were implemented were Sony's translucent mirror cameras and the new AF system for video introduced in the Canon EOS 650D. Those things really make AF quite better in video and live view mode.
Also, I'm not really sure how AF has improved over the last 3 years in this market segment you're talking about because I haven't had the chance to test any of these new cameras, but also in the DSLR market segment, in my opinion, even if progress is slower, there is still some progress so I think that the newest budget DSLR's phase-detection AF is still superior than the newest superzoom/bridge camera.

By the way, I'll stay quiet ;)

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:07 pm 
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I don't think contrast-based AF can get faster than phase-detection, because of how it works. However if they can get within 100ms of each other then I don't think it's particularly field relevant anymore.

Canon Powershot SX500 is really closing in on Sony Alpha A37, on AF speed.
http://www.ephotozine.com/article/canon ... view-19991

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:14 pm 
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Well there might be a point where in broad daylight, both AF systems are just so fast that you can't really tell a difference but where I think that phase-detection AF will start getting a bigger advantage over contrast-based AF is in low light situations. I'm assuming we both agree that low contrast situations are quite complicated for both, but when it comes to low light situations, I think that phase-detection AF has an advantage and will always have it, unless there's a new AF system invented... someday perhaps... :D
By the way, it's curious that the SX500 is so near to the Alpha A37 in AF speed, I would've never thought it possible on such short time. Oh well, technology is really progressing fast so it's no surprise.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:19 pm 
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Low light is an issue, so it's a good thing AF assist beam is a popular feature. ;)

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:21 pm 
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Yeah, but there are still some cameras, like the soon-to-be-mine Canon EOS 600D, that use those annoying flash strobes to aid in focusing :x
But hey, you can carry a small cheap flashlight that can be used as an AF assist lamp :)

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