Hasselblad announces innovative new auto focus system.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Padaung, Sep 28, 2009.

  1. Padaung macrumors 6502

    Padaung

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Now I think this is pretty cool and is something I've had problems with over the years. I've never really adjusted to using multiple focus points in the viewfinder - still preferring to use just the central point and recompose.

    I like the fact they took inspiration form something completley different and rejigged the idea for their needs. I wonder if Nikon/Canon will license it or come up with rival systems in the future, much like Sony/Microsoft are playing controller catchup with the Wiimote.
     
  2. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #2
    I am not sure that it is a bid to win over Canon/Nikon users though. Hasselblad operates in a completely different user space than Canon/Nikon. A new AF system is not going to make a photo enthusiast or even a working pro move to MF digital cameras vs. the 35mm system. They're still simply too big and too expensive and too high of resolution to be practical for many uses, and new AF technology isn't going to change that.

    The AF technology sounds intriguing, but I'm not entirely sure how novel it really is. VR works on the same principle as the Wiimote- using accelerometers to detect motion in space and compensate appropriately. This kind of thing is not new. And modern AF systems have focus points that are significantly off-center and newer systems incorporating more and more off-axis cross-type AF sensors in their arrays. Also what is wrong with continuous AF mode which repeatedly polls the AF sensor to ensure constant focus? I recall reading in a book that SLR AF systems use predictino algorithms that track how the focus is moving with time and adjust the focus a little ahead of where it is supposed to be when you press the shutter, so that by the time the mirror has moved out of the way and the sensor/film is exposed, the subject has moved into correct focus.

    Maybe focusing technology is different in MF territory who knows.

    Ruahrc
     
  3. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #3
    This isn't all that different from continuous AF servo is it? If for example I place my camera on Continuous and use all focus points it can track a subject as it moves (or as I move I presume).

    It's just using gyros to do it, which I suppose could be a lot more accurate and perhaps faster, but only corrects for camera movement and not subject movement.

    SLC
     
  4. Padaung thread starter macrumors 6502

    Padaung

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    No, I can't imagine this is a bid to win over Nikon/Canon users. Hasselblad cameras are in a totally different market segment and price point. MF has it's own set of unique features over 35mm systems and vice versa.

    I don't think this new focus system is meant to track moving subjects (maybe it can, but I don't recall the marketing blurb saying so though). It is made to detect the small shift in distance as the camera is recomposed after focusing on a point on the subject (as we all know the subject of a photo is rarely ideally positioned centrally in the picture) and compensate accordingly. Imagine taking a portrait with a very shallow depth of field, you focus on the eye, recompose, take the picture and find out later that the small shift in position of the lens has made the ear beautifully sharp and the eye soft.

    This chap explains this well - scroll down to 'Focusing tips'.

    Using the Hasselblad system the photographer can focus on the subject's eyeball, recompose (which changes the focus distance) and the camera can track this movement and compensate the focus distance. If you were using cont. AF servo it would keep trying to focus where the focus point is moved too (imagine if you recomposed so the focus point then went onto the background - with cont. AF it would snap to that). If you have a focus point that falls exactly on the right spot then great, but this is rare. There are arguments for more focus points, but I for one mostly use just the central point and recompose. I just find it easier that way (call it my preferred way of working). Even if the focus point is close to where you want the camera composed you often still need to recompose. It could also be argued that moving the focus selection point around the frame is distraction from focusing on the scene in front of you and taking the picture. If you are having to work quickly then constantly selecting different focus points can be impractical too.

    I for one would find a focus system like this really, really useful and I do hope that the technology filters down into 35mm cameras at some point soon(ish).

    Just my 2c.
     
  5. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #5
    Camera moves, subject moves, it all really just depends on your frame of reference :).
     

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