Nikon D3100 Continuous AF

One of the big features touted for the new Nikon D3100 has been the continuous AF feature, something that has been lacking on prior Canon and Nikon cameras.  Check out the sample video below to see how well it works.

I would submit that it is still very much lacking if the above video is any indication of the performance we can expect.

Your thoughts?

[via Rice High]



  1. says

    I think it’s premature to pass judgment based on a single youtube video. We don’t know if the person who shot this video was using the autofocus feature correctly.

    Furthermore, whether or not it’s lacking depends upon the individual user. Assuming this is the best one can expect from autofocus in video mode, I would agree that it’s insufficient for anyone who aspires to create a professional looking video. If a producer wants to shoot an episode of their television show using the D3100, stick to manual focus. However, for the casual shooter – someone recording a child’s birthday party, for instance – I think it’s probably sufficient.

    I’m a big proponent of reviewing a product based on it’s intended audience, rather than based on my hopes and expectations for that product. The D3100 is obviously not a professional video device. Still cameras will most likely never match the quality of a dedicated video device. To me, video on a stills camera is nothing more than a nice bonus feature, not something to be viewed as the answer to all our video needs. Therefore, we should temper our criticism with this knowledge in mind.

    • says

      Hey Paul,

      Appreciate the comment.

      The reason I’m a little critical of this up front is because of the claims Nikon has made concerning continuous AF. It’s been a big part of their marketing since the camera was introduced.

      I with you though on holding off a bit before passing judgment. I want to use it first before I arrive at a final conclusion; however, if this video is any evidence of what to expect, I can’t help but wince at Nikon’s continuous AF “feature.”

  2. Mark says

    Any video of your kids birthday party, family get together, baby sleeping, etc…. is a problem when the first thing you hear is the sound of the camera continuously focusing. It’s intrusive and annoying. Until SLR manufacturers come up with a solution to that problem, I will still be reaching for the camcorder.

  3. says

    Well, this is far from good. I think the most disturbing is the fact that you get extra back ground noice when the camera tries to focus. It is not exactly silent and will ruin most shots.

  4. says

    This looks pretty crappy. I have been using a Canon Powershot SX-1 for the last two years now to capture full-HD (1080p) video for the website of my local newspaper. The SX-1 costs around 350 euro over here, and has continous auto-focus whilst shooting movie. Both the picture quality and audio quality are astonishing. And I’ve never seen a cam handle autofocus so well as this little ‘toy’. So why bother with a D3100 ?

    You can see video’s made with the SX-1 on my website.

  5. says

    Sony’s SLTs really still hold their ground in this matter if this is the case with Nikon’s D3100. Even my MF skills are better than this.

  6. says

    Paul, the last I checked, the A33/A55 are neither professional nor semi-pro video devices, but I’ve tested one in my hands before and all I can say is that I was amazed at the AF speed, with no focusing buzz to boost.

  7. says

    Hello everybody! Go see a video that i just uploaded to Youtube it’s my best pictures with the Nikon d3100

    Very great camera it’s my first one because i’m just 16 years old!

  8. Bob says

    I have had a D3100 for two weeks and have used almost daily. one of the best features that surprised me is the live view. It focuses flawlessly. Though I have many years of experience photographing and would usually use manuel setting, the presets for Sports and Landscape produce very sharp, high quality shots in live view. The continuous focusing has a slight lag but produces no problems for me even shooting a soccer game.