Stay at home
- Aug 16, 2012
The birds I specifically go out to photograph most frequently—not counting snapping the back garden, I mean busting out the big gear to very purposefully locate a particular bird—are peregrine falcons. Literally the single fastest animals on the planet. I'm lucky that they frequently nest here, so they're almost always available when I have a new body or lens to test out. It's rare to look for one and not find one, and about 50% of the time you catch them in full hunting stoop, which usually clocks somewhere north of 200mph. Second to that what I go after (bird-wise) are various owls, unsurprisingly in shaded woodland, which though much slower subjects are the much more complex, lower-contrast subjects for a camera to recognise.
If someone has found a combination that works for them, great, good for them, they can keep using it. For me, I'm trying these things against literally the fastest animal in the world and some of the best-camouflaged in low light. I'm not going to claim I have the very hardest tasks in the world—I'm not having to camp out in a rainforest for a month to catch a glimpse of the arse-end of a bird of paradise, certainly—but the camera's autofocus abilities are being pushed to their absolute limits, and in these situations so far the top-end SLRs are consistently doing better than the top mirrorless, and technology simply does not improve fast enough for this R3 to have not only made up that gap but exceeded it. Mirrorless will get there one day, but right now, a 1D X III or D6 has that edge when things are at their hardest.
Which is not something anybody should be surprised at, or defending. SLR autofocus tech has been around in every camera for over thirty years, and in some systems for about forty; mirrorless autofocus has only really existed for about half that time, and high-speed tracking is even newer. It should not be a contentious point that the younger tech isn't as fully developed in the most extreme use cases. (See also: the build quality of most mirrorless bodies and lenses, battery life, heat routing, etc.) Nobody should be expecting a brand new system to outright, hands-down surpass the previous one which has had many decades longer to be optimised.
The R3 might be, but it is very unlikely (as I said, tech simply does not improve that much that quickly, as anyone who's watched the industry for more than a couple of years knows), and, more to the point, the comment you're referring back to was, as stated at the very start of it, talking about the R5 and R6, not the R3.
.... I rather thought it was common sense that anyone commenting here would be doing so based on their subjective and anecdotal experience......