/////Nikon D810 Dynamic vs Group AF Tracking for Sport
Nikon D810 Dynamic vs Group AF Tracking for Sport2015-08-03T16:46:48+02:00

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Nikon D810 Dynamic vs Group AF Tracking for Sport

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  • a2i Photo
    Participant
    Post count: 209

    The Nikon D810 boasts one of the most advanced Autofocus systems in the Nikon lineup (only superceded by the D750 – or so they say). Though I would mostly agree, I have been battling to “master the art” in sport photography.

    There is really only two options here – Dynamic 9-point AF or Group Area AF.

    As I understand it, from the limited number of trialed and tested reviews I read, they work as follows:

    Dynamic 9-point AF

    Focus tracking is done by a cluster of 9 cross-type autofocus points. The center point is illuminated and where focus priority is initially given, but assisted by the 8 surrounding points to help track the movement of subject (the center point appears as a red rectangle whilst the surrounding points are just black dots). The subject will remain in focus as long as any of the 9 points are kept on the moving subject. Though the tracking “speed” could be adjusted to account for any other subject moving in front of the subject you are tracking, it will generally try and stick to the selected subject as much as possible.

    Group Area AF

    When selecting Group Area AF, it will similarly provide a cluster of 9 focus points, though each point will have the same priority while tracking (in this case all 9 points appear as illuminated red rectangles). Acquiring focus on the subject, and this is where the main difference comes in, will always be on the closest subject within the 9 focus points. You hence have no real control when any other subject moves in front of the selected subject.

    There are a number of different views and experiences out there as to which method works best, but I would like to hear from fellow sport photographers what they have found work best and why.

  • Peter Connan
    Participant
    Post count: 818

    Brian, I can’t really help yet, having just got my D750 this weekend.

    However, as I understand it:

    Neither of these modes are limited to the cross-type sensors. If you leave the center point centred, they will by default use cross-type sensors, but as you move it around it will use whatever points are adjacent to the selected center point, irrespective of type.

    Also, I am under the impression group-area AF uses 5 points?

    However, the best explanation I have read is here:

    https://photographylife.com/reviews/nikon-d810/4

    According to this article, dynamic 9 will try to focus using the center point, and only if it fails will it start using the surrounding 8 points, whereas group area AF will use all five points simultaneously.

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