The “can’t do” camera . . .

. . . and, yes, you already know which one I’m talking about.

After spending a bit of time poring over the S5 instruction manual and tweaking to the max any setting having to do with tracking and critters, I had it out in the field this afternoon under slightly dim overcast skies.

Firstly, static subject matter: of the nine frames I captured of the critter below (while he patiently stood still), six were out of focus.

The camera was slow to wake, acquired focus at a tolerable speed, then formed either an outline, a group of boxes, or both around the critter. Whether the outline or boxes were present in the EVF had no bearing whatsoever on whether the shot was in focus or not.

There were several opportunities for BIF shots in the course of today’s walk. In the AF mode that uses all available focus points, the camera would not acquire. In tracking, which requires the photographer to frame the critter in the moving AF box, the instant the critter moved, he or she was out of focus. In single AF (one small square) the outline would form around the critter after focus was acquired. Presence of either the outline or the box was not indicative of accurate focus acquisition. The outline appears to be a total bluff, and I didn’t get a single BIF shot. NOT ONE!

The lens deserves a better camera. But what?

  • CL: My now-departed CL was far more accurate and nimble in the field with this lens than the S5. But a heat stroke or sudden downpour in the field would have eventually killed it, probably sooner rather than later.
  • TL2: No. NO! I bought one on launch day. It was delivered with firmware 0.99 and almost immediately was recalled. The shoe for the flash/Visoflex failed on my second copy at six weeks, and it took a minor war to get it fixed under warranty.
  • T: Let’s see . . . ten-year old sensor, diminished relative reach, slow AF . . . ummm, no thanks.
  • S1R: Been there, done that. It lasted four days before I overdosed on buttons, switches, and menu pages. No more Panasonic!
  • SL 601: Heavy, but possibly the most practical L-mount option. Single-point AF was accurate, if a bit slow, on my previous copies.
  • Abandon L-mount once and for all: YES!! Send the 150-600mm back to Aizu for conversion to E-mount, and add a crop sensor a6xxx body. The current version of DXO Photolab should be able to handle the awful Sony noise signature, and their APS-C cameras have accurate AF and shoot rings around their FF options.

Back to going in circles again . . . 🙄

Sigma 150-600mm