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EstaDive

Autofocus: Contrast detect vs. Phase detect?

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I have been using a Canon EOS-M and have found the autofocus pretty terrible. Even using the focus lights on my YS-D2, the camera struggles to focus on the subject correctly, and it often tries to focus on particulate matter. Its basically useless when trying to focus on far away, low contrast subjects such as schools of sharks or rays.

 

I am trying to figure out if this is a problem inherent in contrast detect autofocus, or more of a specific issue with the EOS-M. I was looking at upgrading to a Powershot G7XII, given the affordability of the camera and housing, but wondering if it will be sufficient or if I would need to go up to a mirrorless camera with phase detect autofocus like the EOS-M5.

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I don't believe it as simple as contrast vs phase detect, some cameras are better than others in implementing both technologies, though in general phase detect tends to be snappier. I would look for underwater reviews of the various cameras you are considering and posting back here asking for specific experience with each model.

 

Focusing on particulates can be an issue that is difficult to deal with. I use the EM-1 MkII. Previously I had the EM-5 MkII, both were pretty good but the EM-5 II would lock onto particulates if you focusing on a subject that was further away than the previous shot, but the EM-1 MkII is much better.

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