View Full Version : E-3 and Continuous Shooting with C-AF

6th November 2008, 09:52 AM
Although always happy with my E520 for general use, I've just got an E-3 with a 50-200mm to improve the hit rate and variations of my offspring and their mates in their outdoor sports and activity persuits that predictably take place in all sorts of weather. Having gone through the famous wrotniak article and the various knowledgable threads in this forum, I feel just about ready to get out there.

In this early stage, I've observed something that my limited experience can't answer. Like I say, the driving force behind the E-3 decision was outdoor sports and fast moving action so the bigger viewfinder, faster responses and continuous shooting is all to the good. I've set "My Mode 2" is set for this use which includes Auto ISO (limit 400), C-AF and High Speed Continuous. So far so good, but when I fire off experimental shots the continuous rate is dissapointingly modest, sounds no faster than 3fps, maybe less, but when I change to S-AF it goes like a train.

Is this normal or is there something else at play? Indeed am I imagining C-AF is the best setting for moving subjects!?

Thanks for any insights.

6th November 2008, 11:14 AM
This is normal as it is 'guestimating' the next focus point for the next shot, along with exposure etc, so it does slow the process down a little.


6th November 2008, 11:47 AM
I agree with Chris. Are you shooting jpg or RAW? this too can influence the repetition rate. I shoot RAW only and I get a rapid repetition rate. I have not measured it though but I would guess its about right.

PS I shoot C-AF 5 point cross targets

6th November 2008, 12:12 PM
This is normal as it is 'guestimating' the next focus point for the next shot, along with exposure etc, so it does slow the process down a little.


C-AF mode does reduce the shooting rate to varying degrees. This is because the AF system needs time to refocus before the next shot. If you set Release Priority C to off, the shooting rate will be further reduced as exact focus is required to release the shutter. With this setting switched on, the priority goes to the shutter release and the system can estimate and, if necessary, adjust focus, which is faster.

Another point to consider is that you need to have a fast enough shutter speed that doesn't slow the shooting rate down. I sense a start in the slow down in shooting rate from around 1/200th and slower.


6th November 2008, 12:46 PM
Thanks for these pointers! Im using jpeg (LSF) and have tried the difference with RAW and can't really detect much of a change. I've tried a different CF card, different AF Areas (I'd settled on the cross), checked the Release priority C was on (which is was) and was shooting in Shutter priority in any case at about 1/1000 and F3.5 and totally understood chillimonster's reply about the camera would be doing more between shots in predicting focus when in C-AF.

Still the one thing that makes a detectable difference on my E-3 is C-AF versus S-AF. Checking against the L speed settings, what I get with C-AF/H Continuous, sounds exactly the same as L Continous set to 4fps, so my unscientific takeway is that max speed when in C-AF is 4fps and that's caught me out a bit as I have to admit to standing at the side of a sports field with my E520 listening to all the 40D's and D300's rattling away at what sounded at least 6fps and dreaming of all the extra chances those guys were getting to "hit the spot"! I would imagine Continuous shooting and C-AF are used as paring the vast majority of the time so if there is a difference then maybe the fps should be quoted for both. For sure on all the advertising videos I saw about the E-3 they must have been using S-AF to get it to sound so fast.

All of that said, like a lot of people, I am in awe of my new E-3, I think its a fantastic piece of engineering and the quality and feel of the whole thing brings me pleasure and satisfaction quite apart from the opportunity it gives me to develop my picture taking and the Zuiko lenses are the same. I'm more than happy to learn and work for the shot rather than expect some sort of magical delivery from the camera, but this has reminded me to be a little more careful with my expectations!