Spring 2012

Spring 2012
by ani

Submit your Photo
Hall of Fame

Please participate in Meta
and help us grow.

Photography Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional, enthusiast and amateur photographers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

The Nikon 1 cameras are famous for being able to track focus with their on sensor PDAF.

But the story goes that if light is low, it will switch to contrast-detect only and will not track focus as effectively.

Does anyone knows at which point (in lux or EV levels) the Nikon 1 cameras switch focus mode and lose its high-quality track-focus capacities? (using either a kit lens or with the Nikon 1 18.5mm f/1.8).

In other words, at which light levels does focus-tracking works as advertised?

share|improve this question
Your question is slightly misleading. Even in bright light the PDAF is only used to get the lens close to in-focus and then CDAF is used to do the fine adjustment. – Michael Clark May 22 '13 at 17:52
That is what Canon does but I have never heard of Nikon doing this. Do you have a source for this statement? Nikon's article says it switches between systems not that it uses both together. – Itai May 23 '13 at 15:13
I've e-mailed Nikon support with this question, they replied that they can not elaborate on it as it is classified information. So most probably you'll never find out... – Saaru Lindestøkke Mar 13 '14 at 15:54
It's actually fairly easy to test observe. Contrast-detect necessarily involves hunting — the lens must move back and forth. Does that happen in good light, too? – mattdm Jan 8 at 18:57

The Nikon V3 features sensitivity upto -3EV to + 3EV

Now -1 EV equals to 1.25 Lux and -0.5 EV equals to 1.75 LUX.....

So the Nikon V3 / 1 series camera PDAF AF system will work prefectly even in 1 or 2 Lux of light

"A camera with a 1-lux rating claims to be able to produce an image by the light of one candle that is about three feet away from the subject. Many cameras on the market today can do just that. The problem is that the resulting image may be of very poor quality."

share|improve this answer
Do you have a source for this information? – Philip Kendall Sep 10 '15 at 15:13
I am a camera freak and love to read camera related info always, I can't cite source but you can look for [link]en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lux his symbol continues to be used in ISO standards, but the acronym EV is more ..... shutter time of 1 sec for ISO = 100) corresponds to a luminance of 0.01fc or 0.13lux. ... The formal relationship of EV to luminance or illuminance has limitations.midwesternmac.com/blogs/jeff-geerling/… – Mike Menon Sep 18 '15 at 17:56
More on converting EV to Lux at photo.stackexchange.com/questions/10093/… – mattdm Jan 8 at 18:58

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.