Michael, thanks for the as usual interesting and informative report!
With regards to the AF performance:
- The DPR review was not happy with the AF performance. They felt it had trouble tracking in burst stills mode. I wonder about two possible differences between Michael's experience and theirs. First off, DPR could be shooting differently and seeing a different problem - e.g. maybe they are trying to track a subject moving both towards them and across the field where they could simply be failing to keep the AF sensor on the subject. Or, perhaps the difference is between video and stills. In video, with the aperture forced wide open there really is continuous AF tracking. In stills it seems the camera must stop AF during exposure because when the aperture is stopped down for the exposure the AF system won't work.
Anyway, glad to see something interesting and innovative in the market. Probably not the camera for my particular uses though.
That may be the explanation for this discrepancy. I found several videos which all seem to show impressive focus following,
Sony promotional video of moving subjects, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86Yu9FJMEpg&feature=related
Video of quick AF changes as camera moves from subject to subject,http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9nLcv6hLsQ&feature=related
Toy speed boat with 70-300,
Another short video (stock lens)?,
Sony UK intro video for the Axx series:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKwLICLPUoY
Video AF-speed comparison between Canon 550D and Sony a55:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHPaVD0pHpQ
so between Michael’s report and these videos, it looks like the AF tracking works pretty well to me. I have been looking for a dual capability camera like this for my daughter to use at her children’s soccer games (keeps me from standing there in the hot sun during the summer), and for a friend in France to use to shoot a unique dog sport (Campagne) he competes in. I have sent small pocket camera that rate well in tests, but none work well, and he is not up on things photographic, so the camera has to be foolproof. He send the card from the camera to me and I process the images and video from it. I just had to find an image a breed magazine could could use on a composite cover, and none of the action shots were salvageable.
I know absolutely nothing about Sony lenses. The 70-300 f4.5-5.6 looks like a good choice for sports, assuming its AF is quick enough. Anyone know about shorter focal length lenses? I assume a zoom would be best for them to use.