Posted by Scott Dordick on February 13, 2015
Recent generations of digital cameras offer faster auto focus speed and frame rates, but do they really matter for the landscape photographer? If you never use your camera for anything other than landscape photography, you're right that it might not matter that much. But, for most of us, even if our primary focus (pun intended) is landscape photography, we will still frequently use our cameras for many other types of photography: family portraits, candid snapshots, the occasional sporting event, etc.
Auto focus speed and frame rates, while they may seem relatively unimportant when you select gear to capture landscape images, may make a world of difference when engaging more animated subjects. Sometimes this difference even determines whether you get the shot or miss it entirely. For example, last weekend as Patty worked in the garden I pulled out a "loaner" camera to take some pictures of our dog Buddy running in the backyard:
Notice how soft this shot looks? Because the camera I was using had a relatively slow auto-focus, as well as a slow frame rate, although I kept shooting - Buddy is an obliging model so long as fetch is involved - it seemed like I would never get the shot I wanted. Every image I captured was either a bit shot, or just missed the moment I was striving for.
I call this "The Yorkie Test." A camera may be great for landscape imagery, but it's also important to invest in gear flexible enough for you to take pictures of the family dog just as well.