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Thread: Nikon 3D tracking

  1. #1
    Member bananah's Avatar
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    Default Nikon 3D tracking

    Not sure if this has been asked.

    I am a canon user and a new DSLR user. A nikon teacher mentioned that nikon has 3D tracking and implied (or i read it as imply) that this is the reason to get nikon.

    What is the pro and con of 3D tracking? is it fast, accurate and necessary?

    Does canon has similar function/capability? Or is there any technic (like panning?) to achieve the same result?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Nikon 3D tracking

    First of all, what is a "nikon teacher"?

    More importantly, why do you want to know about the pros and cons of the feature when you don't even know what it is, or what it does?

    FYI, from a simple google search:
    http://www.nikonusa.com/Learn-And-Ex...-Tracking.html

    Panning is an entirely different thing -- do some research if you want to find out more. From what I understand skimming through the above link, 3D Focus is just an improved way to acquire focus on moving subjects.

    If you're leaning towards sports or action photography, then it may be worth investigating. And you'd better check which Nikon models have the feature. Apparently, not all do.
    But a word of personal advice -- don't go jumping from system to system just because of one feature (unless it happens to be so great, for your type of photography, that you can't do without it). For all you know Sony might introduce an even better predictive focus system next month. You gonna switch again?

  3. #3
    Member bananah's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nikon 3D tracking

    I wasnt clear on my question.

    Nikon teacher - a teacher who uses Nikon and recommending Nikon.

    I have no intention of switching and I read about that already.

    I am just wondering how effective and useful is it? How fast was the AF with 3D tracking on? As the teacher described it as a "almost must have" feature. I am just wondering is there any skill or function to use to achieve the similar effect. Like using ai servo + panning?

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    Default Re: Nikon 3D tracking

    Not well-versed in Canon's system. And not too well-versed about 3D tracking either, but from what I know (or thought I knew), 3D tracking is for moving subjects coming toward or away from the camera, not across the frame. Meaning, the subject could be in the middle of your frame, but moving closer and closer, or farther and farther from you. 3D tracking helps ensure that it stays in focus all the time.

    In my experience in using 3D tracking, it's not instantaneous, but it beats having to AF again and again and again, and like, once AF is spot on, the subject is still moving towards you and focus is off again. If you're guessing what kind of subject I was shooting, it was a runway model. Of course, it doesn't just apply to this... Any subject that's moving towards or away from you will benefit (in my experience) from 3D tracking.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Nikon 3D tracking

    Almost all cameras have something similar. I think Canon calls it Ai-Servo? Sony calls it AF-C (continuous). In all cases, the camera will try to be predictive. In other words, "3D tracking" is just a nice marketing name.
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    Default Re: Nikon 3D tracking

    Whatever they call it is not important .......... I can only say that the 3D tracking of the Nikon works fabulously with the short shutter lag of the nikon system, especially so in the Nikon Pro bodies, to enable the photographer to capture that that critical moment......
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  7. #7
    Member bananah's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nikon 3D tracking

    Thanks all for the info!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Nikon 3D tracking

    Quote Originally Posted by Rashkae View Post
    Almost all cameras have something similar. I think Canon calls it Ai-Servo? Sony calls it AF-C (continuous). In all cases, the camera will try to be predictive. In other words, "3D tracking" is just a nice marketing name.
    hmm.. 3D Tracking is different from Ai-Servo and AF-C, nikon called it AF-C for continuous focusing as well.

    I'm using the 3D tracking as well. and tbh, I'm not sure how it works as a whole, but it's said to predict the next movement of the subject (which could already be in the canon/sony system without them making a big deal about). But it does get the images I want

  9. #9

    Default Re: Nikon 3D tracking

    Quote Originally Posted by wdEvA View Post
    hmm.. 3D Tracking is different from Ai-Servo and AF-C, nikon called it AF-C for continuous focusing as well.

    I'm using the 3D tracking as well. and tbh, I'm not sure how it works as a whole, but it's said to predict the next movement of the subject (which could already be in the canon/sony system without them making a big deal about). But it does get the images I want
    Yeah, I know Sony has this, I'm pretty sure Canon does too.
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    Default Re: Nikon 3D tracking

    Quote Originally Posted by bananah View Post
    Not sure if this has been asked.

    I am a canon user and a new DSLR user. A nikon teacher mentioned that nikon has 3D tracking and implied (or i read it as imply) that this is the reason to get nikon.

    What is the pro and con of 3D tracking? is it fast, accurate and necessary?

    Does canon has similar function/capability? Or is there any technic (like panning?) to achieve the same result?
    The Nikon 51 points auto focus option uses any of the AF Sensors if the subject moves away from the original selected AF sensor, where as the 51 points (3D tracking) has an additional features that allow the AF system to track the subject via color pattern and this allows the camera to make a better decision. It basically allows the color detection of the metering sensors to take part in the focusing.
    Without the 3D tracking, you may have a focus problem in a low light or low contrast situations. With the 3D tracking, the color metering system make it easy to focus on the right spot but take a longer processing time.

    3D tracking is good when the patten in the flame is more distinct from the background.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Nikon 3D tracking

    If the subject moves across the frame or you focus-recompose, the AF point you see in the VF moves accordingly. I'm not sure if it's actually focusing continuously though.

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    Default Re: Nikon 3D tracking

    i tried using the Nikon 3D tracking during my trip to Bird Park.
    I posted some pictures in World of Nature - Flight Series.

    Those are my first time using the 3D tracking with basic sets.
    I quite like the way it is tracking the birds while it is flying.

    Blur a bit cos i am new in 'shooting' birds while it is flying.

    It focus continuously through . . .
    Last edited by weegk; 22nd July 2010 at 09:21 AM. Reason: update

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Nikon 3D tracking

    Quote Originally Posted by Rashkae View Post
    Yeah, I know Sony has this, I'm pretty sure Canon does too.
    Nikon's 3D tracking utilises colour information from the RGB matrix meter to help identify the subject and keep that in focus, from point to point. So for instance, if you start it on a bird's head, it will do a reasonable (not infallible) job at keeping the actively tracking sensor on the bird's head, where other sensors would generally consider other parts of the bird as the subject as well.

    As far as I know, Nikon remains the only company to have RGB meters and as such is the only company that utilises this colour information in assisting focusing.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Nikon 3D tracking

    Quote Originally Posted by Jed View Post
    Nikon's 3D tracking utilises colour information from the RGB matrix meter to help identify the subject and keep that in focus, from point to point. So for instance, if you start it on a bird's head, it will do a reasonable (not infallible) job at keeping the actively tracking sensor on the bird's head, where other sensors would generally consider other parts of the bird as the subject as well.

    As far as I know, Nikon remains the only company to have RGB meters and as such is the only company that utilises this colour information in assisting focusing.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member ovaltinemilo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nikon 3D tracking

    Quote Originally Posted by Jed View Post
    Nikon's 3D tracking utilises colour information from the RGB matrix meter to help identify the subject and keep that in focus, from point to point. So for instance, if you start it on a bird's head, it will do a reasonable (not infallible) job at keeping the actively tracking sensor on the bird's head, where other sensors would generally consider other parts of the bird as the subject as well.

    As far as I know, Nikon remains the only company to have RGB meters and as such is the only company that utilises this colour information in assisting focusing.
    ...:::..::.Nikon.::.:::..
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  16. #16

    Default Re: Nikon 3D tracking

    Quote Originally Posted by Jed View Post
    Nikon's 3D tracking utilises colour information from the RGB matrix meter to help identify the subject and keep that in focus, from point to point. So for instance, if you start it on a bird's head, it will do a reasonable (not infallible) job at keeping the actively tracking sensor on the bird's head, where other sensors would generally consider other parts of the bird as the subject as well.

    As far as I know, Nikon remains the only company to have RGB meters and as such is the only company that utilises this colour information in assisting focusing.
    Good reason to get nikon then if you're into birding. Especially now the d300 not too ex.

  17. #17
    Member bananah's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nikon 3D tracking


  18. #18

    Default Re: Nikon 3D tracking

    Quote Originally Posted by Jed View Post
    Nikon's 3D tracking utilises colour information from the RGB matrix meter to help identify the subject and keep that in focus, from point to point. So for instance, if you start it on a bird's head, it will do a reasonable (not infallible) job at keeping the actively tracking sensor on the bird's head, where other sensors would generally consider other parts of the bird as the subject as well.

    As far as I know, Nikon remains the only company to have RGB meters and as such is the only company that utilises this colour information in assisting focusing.
    thanks for explaining

  19. #19

    Default Re: Nikon 3D tracking



    Now I know my D5000 better..........


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Nikon 3D tracking

    Quote Originally Posted by Jed View Post
    Nikon's 3D tracking utilises colour information from the RGB matrix meter to help identify the subject and keep that in focus, from point to point. So for instance, if you start it on a bird's head, it will do a reasonable (not infallible) job at keeping the actively tracking sensor on the bird's head, where other sensors would generally consider other parts of the bird as the subject as well.

    As far as I know, Nikon remains the only company to have RGB meters and as such is the only company that utilises this colour information in assisting focusing.
    You have provided a very good example to better understanding the 3D tracking.

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