D5100 Live view, Auto-Focus & KAP

More experiments reveal more autofocus failures with the camera in Live view, a google search for  ‘D5100 live view autofocus’  points straight at the problem:

“Like the D5000, the Nikon D5100 has only one type of autofocus method in Live view, and it’s not the traditional phase-detect AF. The D5100’s only option for autofocus in Live view mode is contrast detection. This is a fairly radical departure compared to other camera makers.”


So there is very little I can do if I run the camera in live view, which was one of the main reasons for choosing this camera, it’s relatively light for a DSLR and it ports live view as an AV stream.

Even with a high ISO and a fast shutter speed this camera is not going to give me sharp shots if I use it for KAP with autofocus in live view if the camera moves during exposure- this explains why I have so few motion blur failures: Even a relatively small movement is enough to scramble the autofocus and ruin the exposure!

I am going to have to adopt a ‘fixed to infinity’ policy with this camera and only use Auto for close up work…and live with the losses!

About billboyheritagesurvey

Heritage worker
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2 Responses to D5100 Live view, Auto-Focus & KAP

  1. Ramon says:

    Hi Bill,
    How close is close? For KAP I use manual infinity only with my Panasonic LX5 and every shot from say 2 meters and more is well focused. Isn’t that possible with the Nikon?

  2. I think I’m getting a minimum stand off with sharp focus of 5m with the 35mm lens at f8. The good thing about fixing the foucus is that it speeds up the shots.

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