So, another one of those questions about older systems. How is the H1 system? I wont be shooting weddings or so and i see this as maybe a stepping stone before buying a newer kit. I will be shooting commercial stuff, portraits, artists. But i still want the AF to be decent. Whats your thoughs on it? Is it close to the H3DII for focusing or alot worse? Handling in general?
Differences are not huge.The differences are not make or break in any given situation. Only subtle improvements when compared to more modern AF in other systems.
The real jump in focusing ability was only made with the H4D. Lighting contrast makes quite a difference though. In soft low light you will see more of a difference.
This is where a focus assist beam can come in handy. Even if you are shooting natural light or continuous light on many cameras you can use an on camera flash with a focus assist beam to aid focus. I do this at times with an old Canon 1ds when shooting high iso for a "nasty digital look". I put the flash on the camera and set the flash to manual at it's lowest power and cover the flash so it does not affect the photos when shooting. The focus assist of the flash projects a nice contrasty light that helps the focus. It also
helps to have the flash slightly raised from the camera. This way it projects a crisp little shadow under the nose and eyelids. While the focus assist beam is a bit annoying for the subject it does have the advantage of shrinking the pupil a little as the subjects eyes react to the light beam. This gives the eye more color and brightness. I once saw a photographer using a modified flash with a particularly harsh focus assist beam.
You might also be able to use the YongNuo ST-E2 Wireless TTL. It's a reasonably prices on camera IR flash remote and has quite strong focus assist beams... they claim 25 feet.
This obviously wont help that much with shots from far away.
I am also not positive that this can be done with the H1 as the camera needs to send a signal to the flash to tell it to turn on the focus assist beam.
Also one nice thing to keep in mind about the H1 is that it supports film backs if you want to use film.