PDA

View Full Version : EM-1 CAF experiences


brian1208
20th October 2013, 05:12 PM
I thought it may be useful to start another "function based" thread where we can share experiences, good and bad, using CAF. It would also be good to share the setting we used.

What do you think?

Let me kick off anyway, with some very positive feedback (what a relief after starting the Lock-up thread :) )

I shot a wide range of subjects this morning whilst with my Grandchildren, so needless to say, a lot involved them racing about the playing fields.

In one sequence of 10 shots I had my grandson run flat out toward me using single point focus, CAF lock set to normal, CAF without focus release turned and release lag-time set to Normal, with 6fps. 10 frames and every and everyone was spot on (CAF without tracking, still can't tracking to work to well, but trying)

A second sequence of 8, with two of them not only messing about but weaving around trying to knock each other over (think Tag Rugby), first shot missed + one missed in the sequence (where the both swerved at the same time) but the next three were spot on

Final sequence, 19 frames, missed the first frame but picked up focus on the second, one more dropped with a body charge and swerve, all the rest spot on!

All these shot with f 4.5 using the Panasonic 35-100 f2.8

Pretty darned good I reckon! *chr

(there were more of the same success rate with dogs and cars but that is enough to bore you already :p )

Iansky
20th October 2013, 06:09 PM
Hi Brian,

I have also been using CAF and tracking and to date both work well, CAF is spot on and fast and like you I have had a couple OOF with tracking, have now changed the setting to normal and yet to try it.

Brilliant to know CAF does the job though, here are some of my recent shots with CAF tracking for water sports and normal CAF for the free runner in the air and the birds in flight.

http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/1681/In_the_air_2.jpg


http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/1681/In_the_air_1.jpg


http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/1681/Concentration1.jpg


http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/1683/Free_runner_in_the_air.jpg


http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/1683/Feeding_the_birds_2.jpg

Alpha1
20th October 2013, 06:37 PM
I am guessing that all these shots were using IBIS 1 setting rather than auto IBIS?

Iansky
20th October 2013, 06:39 PM
I am guessing that all these shots were using IBIS 1 setting rather than auto IBIS?

I have not changed the Ibis setting since getting the camera and doing a factory reset.

brian1208
20th October 2013, 07:03 PM
It is good news isn't it :) (good shots too)

photo_owl
20th October 2013, 07:31 PM
In one sequence of 10 shots I had my grandson run flat out toward me using single point focus, CAF lock set to normal, CAF without focus release turned and release lag-time set to Normal, with 6fps. 10 frames and every and everyone was spot on (CAF without tracking, still can't tracking to work to well, but trying)

A second sequence of 8, with two of them not only messing about but weaving around trying to knock each other over (think Tag Rugby), first shot missed + one missed in the sequence (where the both swerved at the same time) but the next three were spot on

Final sequence, 19 frames, missed the first frame but picked up focus on the second, one more dropped with a body charge and swerve, all the rest spot on!


unless I am mis-understanding this (and I frequently do :)) you are 'testing' your ability to keep your selected focus point aligned with your intended focus target through a sequence of shots, and then the camera's ability to focus correctly at that time (which will be affected by subject contrast in the normal way).

this doesn't seem to be much of a test of the camera's more inteligent C-AF functionality which involve tracking the initial focus target regardless of where it moves to within the frame, or retaining it's contact when other subject briefly intervene (whether tracking or not).

brian1208
20th October 2013, 07:51 PM
this doesn't seem to be much of a test of the camera's more inteligent C-AF functionality which involve tracking the initial focus target regardless of where it moves to within the frame, or retaining it's contact when other subject briefly intervene (whether tracking or not).

As stated above, I have not yet got tracking CAF to work for me.

What I was trying to do here is something specifically related to the CAF (without tracking) which it to pick up a subject coming straight toward or at an oblique angle toward me, focus on it then let see if the camera can maintain focus as its is approaching)

No camera movement by me, so I'm not tracking the subject.

Its something I (and many others) were not able to get the EM-5 to do successfully / consistently so I am pleased to be reporting that this small test has been passed scuccessfully


this doesn't seem to be much of a test of the camera's more inteligent C-AF functionality which involve tracking the initial focus target regardless of where it moves to within the frame, or retaining it's contact when other subject briefly intervene (whether tracking or not).

I've already reported the success of the camera doing that in the thread on CAF and BIF work

I'm sorry if my testing doesn't meet your needs, maybe you will do it yourself and report your results back here? which is what I started the thread for, in the hopes of garnering information to share with others

G2EWS
21st October 2013, 06:01 AM
When taking multiple shots of a moving target it is better to turn the EVF preview off so you can visually track on the target as you are panning.

You should also turn 'Full-'Time AF' off. This keeps trying to focus even though you don't half press the shutter. Apart from being annoying this makes the EVF flash every time you take a photo on multi shot. With it off, you can just keep shooting with no interruptions in the EVF.

To change, gear wheel
A
AF/MF
Full-time AF then turn off

Regards

Chris

brian1208
21st October 2013, 06:10 AM
Yep, useful points to make, thanks

(in fact those settings are always Off on my cameras (EM5 and EM-1), never saw the point of them for my style of shooting :) )


Should anyone be interested I have the 10 frame sequence of the "Running Flat-out toward the camera" here http://imagesfromnature.foliopic.com/gallery/olympus-om-d-em-1-using-caf---6-fps-shooting-20011 (shot using f3 with the Panasonic 35-100 f2.8)

brian1208
21st October 2013, 03:46 PM
I had a brief trip down to our local Windsurfing beach before lunch, a strong gusty wind + grey overcast with mizzley rain made the conditions less than ideal, so I thought I would see how the EM-1 + 75-300 coped using CAF.

Just about was the answer, mind you, part of the problem may have been that I was literally being shaken by the gusts so hand-holding was a real problem.

Also, there was very little contrast between the subjects and the sea and the sky was just a miserable grey mass.

However, it didn't do too badly and I found that if I set the Focus Lock to High it appeared to improve things. It was certainly better than I could have got with the EM-5 but I reckon it was on the each of its capabilities under these conditions

As I was working with ISO800 - 1600 to get the shutter speed where I like it for this subject there was a fair amount of noise and that + the weather reduced the critical sharpness, so there was nothing I would consider anything other than a record of the test (they certainly aren't of saleable quality)

I've put some up in the gallery and here is one that gives a pretty good impression of the conditions

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/windsurfing_with_IOW.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/66802)

Iansky
21st October 2013, 06:16 PM
unless I am mis-understanding this (and I frequently do :)) you are 'testing' your ability to keep your selected focus point aligned with your intended focus target through a sequence of shots, and then the camera's ability to focus correctly at that time (which will be affected by subject contrast in the normal way).

this doesn't seem to be much of a test of the camera's more inteligent C-AF functionality which involve tracking the initial focus target regardless of where it moves to within the frame, or retaining it's contact when other subject briefly intervene (whether tracking or not).


My images above were not part of a sequence but taken on consecutive circuits made by the cable tow gents, I focussed and tracked them only firing the shutter fully when they were where I wanted them - this should allow me to get better coverage at airshows in future.

The free runner and bird in flight shots were taken in AFC mode and again it did the job.

For me and my needs, the improvements and having the ability to track effectively and have AFC that works ticks my boxes - horses for courses!

bilbo
21st October 2013, 06:24 PM
... I focussed and tracked them only firing the shutter fully when they were where I wanted them...

Exactly.

You don't have to make twenty exposures just to get one shot. *chr

brian1208
21st October 2013, 06:43 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iansky http://e-group.uk.net/forum/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://e-group.uk.net/forum/showthread.php?p=258490#post258490)
... I focussed and tracked them only firing the shutter fully when they were where I wanted them...

Exactly.

You don't have to make twenty exposures just to get one shot. *chr

Exactly and my technique with the EM-5 has always been just that:

from my article on "Photographing Birds with the OMD" for Ephotozine

For the bulk of my work I am using single point focus except when shooting fast moving birds in a clear sky when I will use the 9 point central box.

AF is set to SAF + MF, mostly working with SAF only but keeping my hand on the focus ring to make fine adjustment if I feel that it hasn't acquired the precise focus point I want.

I manually track my subject frequently "Blipping" the half-pressed shutter button to maintain focus as the bird moves across the sky, going to full press of the button as I judge the moment of interesting action begins.


here: http://www.ephotozine.com/article/photographing-birds-in-flight-with-the-om-d-22345

but, if I can get confidence that CAF works as I want with the EM-1 then I can start working on some composite shots I have been planning on things such as Windsurfers performing (or trying to perform) loops and the like, something my trigger finger just isn't fast enough to perform the necessary shutter activations :)

bilbo
21st October 2013, 07:18 PM
Exactly and my technique with the EM-5 has always been just that:

from my article on "Photographing Birds with the OMD" for Ephotozine



here: http://www.ephotozine.com/article/photographing-birds-in-flight-with-the-om-d-22345

but, if I can get confidence that CAF works as I want with the EM-1 then I can start working on some composite shots I have been planning on things such as Windsurfers performing (or trying to perform) loops and the like, something my trigger finger just isn't fast enough to perform the necessary shutter activations :)

You might appreciate that it's possible to track many, shoot once, but if you follow the thread that lead to my remark, it seems that some people are equating CAF with CAS...

David Morison
21st October 2013, 07:20 PM
Thank you Brian and others for all this useful info. I haven't really had much of a chance (or weather) yet to give CAF a good try, using mainly SAF so far. Looking forward to some good light conditions and the time to try out all your suggestions. Keep up the good work!

David

David Morison
22nd October 2013, 03:44 PM
Well I have had a frustrating day! As it has been mainly dull with intermittent showers I resigned myself to trying to do BIFs out of the bedroom window. I have a Rookery about 100 metres away with clear ground in between so I've had quite a few opportunities. Rooks are quite fast flying and indulge in aerobatics often so it has been a bit challenging. I now have to admit total defeat as far as CAF is concerned, obviously my skills are not up to the job as I don't have any presentable images after around two hours snapping. For the most part the CAF would not lock focus on a subject for two or three seconds and when it did it would go slightly in and out of focus while panning. When using "L" frame rate it would occasionally pause while shooting and sometimes produce a single black image. In the time it took to lock focus the 7D would have knocked off half a dozen good images.

My best results have all been with SAF and "H" frame rate (which means only CDAF is used) and the success rate here is pretty low.

I have so far tried just about every combination of settings mentioned here and more but in the total time I have had the camera I have only got a couple of dozen decent images, none of which I'm truly happy with.

I am going to leave trying BIFs with the E-M1 for a couple of days now as I am getting a little depressed at the lack of success and beginning to doubt I have any skills at all.

A few of the images that I have achieved so far, all taken with SAF and all of relatively large birds (except the Jackdaw), most barely presentable:

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/PA0611911.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/66831)

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/PA171836.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/66827)

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/PA141728.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/66825)

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/PA171797.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/66826)

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/PA071270.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/66824)

David

Ian
22nd October 2013, 03:58 PM
First of all, there is no such thing as PDAF C-AF+TR, so an E-M1 will behave exactly the same as an E-M5, E-P5, E-PL5, E-P3, etc. with this setting. C-AF+TR is a live view facility using pattern matching via the CDAF system. It enables you to lock focus on a fairly static subject and recompose, or lock onto a subject that is moving around the frame but not to fast.

Action photography C-AF using the PDAF system works best when keeping the AF point or group of points on the subject but unlike CDAF it should be more resistant to big focus changes if the focus point is momentarily off the target.

In theory, you can select all 37 PDAF points but I don't think this will work very well with birds in flight - at least I couldn't get good results this way. I suspect the AF system is just too slow when being force-fed data from so many points.

Ian

David Morison
22nd October 2013, 04:32 PM
Ian,

I have only been using CAF not CAF+Tr, I wanted to become competent with that setting before moving on. I have only tried the centre nine and single shot as experience has shown that all points gives too variable results. So if I am using a M4/3 lens with CAF and "L" frame rate is not PDAF being used?

David

Ian
22nd October 2013, 04:59 PM
Apologies, I wasn't referring to you David :)

There were some comments earlier that referred to 'tracking' and I just wanted to clarify things in case there were any misconceptions.

All C-AF focusing (apart from C-AF+Tr) on the E-M1 regardless of lens mount is PDAF.

Ian

Ian,

I have only been using CAF not CAF+Tr, I wanted to become competent with that setting before moving on. I have only tried the centre nine and single shot as experience has shown that all points gives too variable results. So if I am using a M4/3 lens with CAF and "L" frame rate is not PDAF being used?

David

TonyR
22nd October 2013, 05:06 PM
...

All C-AF focusing (apart from C-AF+Tr) on the E-M1 regardless of lens mount is PDAF.

Ian

I don't think that is quite true. When using a micro four thirds lens, I believe it is possible to select focus points outside of the pdaf array which I assume must therefore use cdaf? The corrolary of this is that if you want pdaf, you must make sure you only select focus points inside the pdaf array.

brian1208
22nd October 2013, 06:29 PM
Another day shooting Kite surfing of Avon Beach, mainly using CAF but a few with SAF.


I'm finding that CAF with the EM-1 still works best when the subject fills at least 20%-30% frame, when the subject gets smaller in the frame and further distant (at 300mm with the 75-300) there is some blurring of detail but I suspect that is largely down to the lens, this is very similar to what I found with my EM-5.

I've posted these images on my website as that's where the Kiters will expect to find them (I allow them free down-loads of their images). If you fancy a quick look they are here : http://imagesfromnature.foliopic.com/gallery/kite-surfing-off-avon-beach-22-10-13-20033

I thought this one was a bit special, shot more or less directly into the sun, the detail is gone but I love what it has done to the spray from the carving turn

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/PA220992-_for_EM-1_site.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/66833)

Ian
22nd October 2013, 06:32 PM
I don't think that is quite true. When using a micro four thirds lens, I believe it is possible to select focus points outside of the pdaf array which I assume must therefore use cdaf? The corrolary of this is that if you want pdaf, you must make sure you only select focus points inside the pdaf array.

Haha, OK - you get a bonus prize for that. Yes C-AF mode does extend to CDAF points outside the PDAF points zone although Olympus is rather cagey as to how this actually works!

Ian

David Morison
22nd October 2013, 10:37 PM
I'm finding that CAF with the EM-1 still works best when the subject fills at least 20%-30% frame, when the subject gets smaller in the frame and further distant (at 300mm with the 75-300) there is some blurring of detail but I suspect that is largely down to the lens, this is very similar to what I found with my EM-5.


I know this is my problem, most of the birds I photograph will probably not fill more than 5-10% of the frame area, unfortunately it is only the more interesting birds I need to get, and sometimes distant birds for ID purposes.

However the camera performs so well for static birds and everything else that all is forgiven!

David

brian1208
23rd October 2013, 07:17 AM
for more distant / smaller objects I usually switch to single point SAF. Can make placing the focus point on the bird difficult but I find it works better (some of my Lanner Falcon and Peregrine Falcon shots were of the birds when less than 10% of frame)

David Morison
23rd October 2013, 08:20 AM
Brian,

I have tried this and it can improve the statistics but it is difficult to keep the bird in the zone, especially when it has fast erratic flight. I don't at the moment have a button assigned to AF area home - this will be part of my further familiarisation with the camera. As my main purpose is to photograph wildlife switching AF areas etc. at the drop of a hat using mysets will take up too many buttons that I need for other things at the moment - much work to do. The nice thing about the Canon is that I don't need to change anything to go from a butterfly to a BIF except maybe exposure compensation (on a dial) - just use expanded single point on servo for everything.

David

brian1208
23rd October 2013, 08:40 AM
The nice thing about the Canon is that I don't need to change anything to go from a butterfly to a BIF except maybe exposure compensation (on a dial) - just use expanded single point on servo for everything.



yes, the canon system was good and I also miss some of its facility of use, but part of this is, I think, because I had been using the canon system since the 300D and it was engrained in my mind, the Olympus system has only had a couple of years of familiarity so its still to become quite as instinctive.

I suspect (but have yet to try it) that MySets possibly holds the answer to our needs that and some really high quality long range f2.8 / f.4 lenses to match the canon L's :)

G2EWS
23rd October 2013, 09:08 AM
I am certain that it is about getting fast high quality lenses. After all that is what most of us did with our DSLR's!

I certainly did and have still got all my Nikon 'fast' lenses.

Just need to make sure I get the 'right' lens to replace my Nikon 200 - 400, but have already asked questions on here about it.

Best regards

Chris

Ian
23rd October 2013, 09:17 AM
I am certain that it is about getting fast high quality lenses. After all that is what most of us did with our DSLR's!

I certainly did and have still got all my Nikon 'fast' lenses.

Just need to make sure I get the 'right' lens to replace my Nikon 200 - 400, but have already asked questions on here about it.

Best regards

Chris

A Zuiko Digital 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD would be ideal; 100-400 in full frame terms. Were you using APS or FF Nikon?

Ian

G2EWS
23rd October 2013, 12:49 PM
Hi Ian

D3X and D3S both FF.

As mentioned elsewhere I am interested in the 90 - 250 f2.8 and will be hiring one, once I find an event I want to use it on.

I will almost certainly be ordering the 40 - 150 f2.8 when it arrives later this year or early next year.

Best regards

Chris