PDA

View Full Version : Bird in Flight Help


Longimanus
29th June 2017, 09:26 PM
I have just returned form a trip to Skomer where I was trying to get some images of the Short Eared Owl's that are there and before this I have been watching a local Barn Owl.

I am really struggling to get a reasonable amount of images sharp enough to be happy with and need some help.

First off I should say that this is all new to me and Ive never tackled birds before with any camera, so this could be technique, camera setup or anything else!

Camera setup:

EM1 Mkii, 300Pro + 1.4tc, +2loose, CAF, 1/1000, F5.6

I will take this first image, it looks as if the auto focus has almost locked on, but the owl is really soft

http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/2052/thumbs/Owl_Example-1-9.JPG (http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=94112)

Im not sure whats wrong, any help much appreciated

c12402
29th June 2017, 10:48 PM
Hi Longimanus,

Just with the info provided is difficult to give you a direct hit on the diagnostic. The stuff you have is quite good, and because there are a lot of good pictures of owls and other birds in this and other forums with the same lens, the problem should be somewhere else, normally in camera parameters.

Have you already implemented the recommended setup for BIF in the camera? There are some posts talking about it and this is the first measure to take.

I've experienced similar bad results at the beginning when using mutiple focus points in complex background. Single point and S-AF is the baseline, C-AF may work well in some cases.

Can you share the exif?

Beagletorque
30th June 2017, 05:53 AM
AF is only continuous in low sub 10 fps, otherwise it sticks at the first frame unchanged.

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

Longimanus
30th June 2017, 06:26 AM
Many thanks for coming back to me, here is the data:

1/1000 sec
f5.6
ISO250 - (Auto ISO Set)
Pro Capture Low
C-AF
9 point focus points

Is that all you need?

Hi Longimanus,

Just with the info provided is difficult to give you a direct hit on the diagnostic. The stuff you have is quite good, and because there are a lot of good pictures of owls and other birds in this and other forums with the same lens, the problem should be somewhere else, normally in camera parameters.

Have you already implemented the recommended setup for BIF in the camera? There are some posts talking about it and this is the first measure to take.

I've experienced similar bad results at the beginning when using mutiple focus points in complex background. Single point and S-AF is the baseline, C-AF may work well in some cases.

Can you share the exif?

Longimanus
30th June 2017, 06:30 AM
AF is only continuous in low sub 10 fps, otherwise it sticks at the first frame unchanged.

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

Is this true? If it is I think this maybe be the answer, I had thought that any of the sequential low options were all continuous.

Are you saying that I need to select the Sequential Low option and not the silent or Pro Capture options?

Mdb2
30th June 2017, 07:02 AM
Hi I have the same combo, checkout your hit rate, review your images in camera in the thumbnail size, and see how many are off target. Remembering you are waving around an equivalent 800mm lens hand held? Then compare an image that is off target and one that is on target there is a small rectangle in this mode. Then you will see if it's the camera or the operator. This recently hit home to me when taking shots of a montague harrier which is a slightly larger bird. I have been doing BIF with canon and OLY for a few years now and it's very easy to get near misses which includes wing tips of the subject. Be patient. You state your new to BIF it's a learning curve.
Kind regards Mike

MJ224
30th June 2017, 07:13 AM
Many thanks for coming back to me, here is the data:

1/1000 sec
f5.6
ISO250 - (Auto ISO Set)
Pro Capture Low
C-AF
9 point focus points

Is that all you need?

Are you using too many focus points? With the heather/undergrowth background, I would think the camera is trying to focus on both bird and background.

My setting is a single focal point, which I try to h=keep on the subject..........

"I know nothing" I have to add *chr

Phill D
30th June 2017, 09:12 AM
I'm pretty sure Beagletorqe is correct as when at Duxford recently Jonathan Saull recommended 6fps for aircraft for the same reason. It worked well for me without using Pro capture.

Beagletorque
30th June 2017, 09:31 AM
Is this true? If it is I think this maybe be the answer, I had thought that any of the sequential low options were all continuous.

Are you saying that I need to select the Sequential Low option and not the silent or Pro Capture options?

Page 46 in the manual.;)

Cog C1 allows you to set the frame rates for L and H and Pro.

Pro Capture is not what you need for BIF.

C-AF (tight -2), L (antishock 0) or Silent, 6 FPS, centre 9 focus points.

Beagletorque
30th June 2017, 09:53 AM
If you want to get really fancy you can set the camera to limited focus range (different to the lens limiter switch).

Cog A1 AF Limiter.

You can store 3 sets.

If you know the background is 30m away but the bird is only worth taking at 6m or less then you could set 0-7m as the focus range. The shutter will operate depending on the RLS priority setting.

I guarantee you will think your camera is broken when you forget and leave it switched on! On the plus side you'll only do it once. :D

TonyR
30th June 2017, 12:37 PM
Page 46 in the manual.;)

Cog C1 allows you to set the frame rates for L and H and Pro.

Pro Capture is not what you need for BIF.

C-AF (tight -2), L (antishock 0) or Silent, 6 FPS, centre 9 focus points.

Do you really mean AF Lock -2? I generally end up using +1 or +2 but still don't really have any feel for what difference it makes. I'd be interested to know if you have had good results with -2 and why you think it is the best setting.

Longimanus
30th June 2017, 02:02 PM
A lot of good info here, which goes against what I have read elsewhere, thank you for this!

Beagletorque
30th June 2017, 03:37 PM
Do you really mean AF Lock -2? I generally end up using +1 or +2 but still don't really have any feel for what difference it makes. I'd be interested to know if you have had good results with -2 and why you think it is the best setting.

Obviously you can use what ever settings you find work for you, most of the time it's trial and error. You have to start somewhere!

As I understand it -2 means it is least likely to switch focus to a different target, eg if there is a busy background.

http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/m43/em1.2-sett.html#AFLOC Has some useful setting tips / info....

"A1.4. C-AF Lock
C-AF Lock [BF] [C]

This is a protection against the camera refocusing in the C-AF mode when something crosses the field of view (like people passing between the camera and the subject). It simply disables the focus adjustment if the change is large and sudden.
The setting is entered as a whole value from -2 to +2. Negative values are referred to as Tight, positive as Loose. At higher values switching to a new AF target happens more easily.
For most users, the default zero setting makes sense here."

Walti
30th June 2017, 03:41 PM
Many thanks for coming back to me, here is the data:

1/1000 sec
f5.6
ISO250 - (Auto ISO Set)
Pro Capture Low
C-AF
9 point focus points

Is that all you need?

Just to confirm....

PROCapture uses the first frame for focus lock, so that subsequent frames could well be out of focus on a moving target.

Sequential L allows C-AF to work throughout the sequence of photos
Sequential H uses the first frame to lock the focus (regardless of S-AF or C-AF setting)
As others have mentioned frame rates for the L and L silent are individually adjustable as they are for H and H silent.

Silent = electronic shutter = heart symbol

SO,

The set up I seem to be having most success with is:

Sequential L silent
C-AF
S-IS Auto
Shutter priority
1/1000s as a starting point (dependant on light and subject this gets adjusted downwards)
Aperture automatic
ISO - light dependant, auto for poor light 200 for good light

Dependant on background I use single focus point for complex stuff and 9 or all areas when shooting against a plain sky

Next step is LOTS of practice, I found I was getting 95% failure rate for the first day, which quickly changed to 95% success rate, it's mainly about choosing the subject carefully and not wasting time taking photos of dots on the horizon!

Once you have got on with that try setting the exposure to M rather than A or S, so you can set the shutter speed and aperture manually, and leave the camera to sort the exposure on auto iso!

I would also advise using a mono pod for a while, as this allows you to concentrate more on taking the photo than holding the camera still!

TonyR
30th June 2017, 03:46 PM
Just to confirm....

PROCapture uses the first frame for focus lock, so that subsequent frames could well be out of focus on a moving target.

...

I beg to disagree. All of the 'L' sequential shooting styles, including Pro Capture L, are acpable of doing C-AF continuously between shots.

Walti
30th June 2017, 03:51 PM
I beg to disagree. All of the 'L' sequential shooting styles, including Pro Capture L, are acpable of doing C-AF continuously between shots.

I had to go away and re-read the manual....

Apologies, you're absolutely correct:


Pro Capture High

Sequential shooting begins when you press the shutter button halfway. Press the shutter button all the way down
to begin recording captured images to the card, including those for a halfway press (P. 48). Focus, exposure, and white balance are fixed at the values for the first shot in each series.

Pro Capture Low

Sequential shooting begins when you press the shutter button halfway. Press the shutter button all the way down to begin recording captured images to the card, including those for a halfway press (P. 48). Focus and exposure are fixed according to the options selected for [AF Mode] (P. 43, 51) and [AEL/AFL] (P. 123).

Longimanus
30th June 2017, 03:51 PM
Cheers, great info and explains where I may have been going wrong, just need to get out an practise now :-)

I did get some success on the trip though :-)

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4179/35482649631_e06da2a08b_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/W4tRxe)
Brakes!!! (https://flic.kr/p/W4tRxe) by Life@F8Photography (https://www.flickr.com/photos/1975longimanus/), on Flickr

Just to confirm....

PROCapture uses the first frame for focus lock, so that subsequent frames could well be out of focus on a moving target.

Sequential L allows C-AF to work throughout the sequence of photos
Sequential H uses the first frame to lock the focus (regardless of S-AF or C-AF setting)
As others have mentioned frame rates for the L and L silent are individually adjustable as they are for H and H silent.

Silent = electronic shutter = heart symbol

SO,

The set up I seem to be having most success with is:

Sequential L silent
C-AF
S-IS Auto
Shutter priority
1/1000s as a starting point (dependant on light and subject this gets adjusted downwards)
Aperture automatic
ISO - light dependant, auto for poor light 200 for good light

Dependant on background I use single focus point for complex stuff and 9 or all areas when shooting against a plain sky

Next step is LOTS of practice, I found I was getting 95% failure rate for the first day, which quickly changed to 95% success rate, it's mainly about choosing the subject carefully and not wasting time taking photos of dots on the horizon!

Once you have got on with that try setting the exposure to M rather than A or S, so you can set the shutter speed and aperture manually, and leave the camera to sort the exposure on auto iso!

I would also advise using a mono pod for a while, as this allows you to concentrate more on taking the photo than holding the camera still!

Longimanus
30th June 2017, 03:54 PM
Ah man, talk about confusion now :-)

Back to what I thought at the start :-)

I had to go away and re-read the manual....

Apologies, you're absolutely correct:


Pro Capture High

Sequential shooting begins when you press the shutter button halfway. Press the shutter button all the way down
to begin recording captured images to the card, including those for a halfway press (P. 48). Focus, exposure, and white balance are fixed at the values for the first shot in each series.

Pro Capture Low

Sequential shooting begins when you press the shutter button halfway. Press the shutter button all the way down to begin recording captured images to the card, including those for a halfway press (P. 48). Focus and exposure are fixed according to the options selected for [AF Mode] (P. 43, 51) and [AEL/AFL] (P. 123).

TonyR
30th June 2017, 04:06 PM
Ah man, talk about confusion now :-)

Back to what I thought at the start :-)

I know, irritating isn't it.

Pro Capture (even the L version) isn't very good for bif because the view through the viewfinder is very choppy. I don't fully understand why this is but there is a very pronounced blackout and delay which is not there when using Sequential L or Sequential L (silent). Personally, I usually use Sequential L (silent) mostly for bif.

Longimanus
30th June 2017, 04:13 PM
I did notice this during my trip Tony and switched, I think my problem is that I had the CF lock on +2 loose

Need to get out there and practise now!

I know, irritating isn't it.

Pro Capture (even the L version) isn't very good for bif because the view through the viewfinder is very choppy. I don't fully understand why this is but there is a very pronounced blackout and delay which is not there when using Sequential L or Sequential L (silent). Personally, I usually use Sequential L (silent) mostly for bif.

Gwyver
30th June 2017, 05:11 PM
Never ever, ever use auto ISO for birds in flight otherwise the camera will alter exposure as you track the bird against against the changing background. Always set ISO, shutter speed and aperture manually to get the exposure right for the subject irrespective of the background.

Don't understand this comment/recommendation. It may be appropriate if/when using ESP metering, but surely not a big issue if using Centre Weighted or Spot metering?

I use the camera in Manual mode with Auto-ISO and select the shutter speed and aperture I prefer, then (on the EM1Mk2) use the Fn lever switch in position 2 to set the Exposure Compensation according to the subject & my preference for ETTR. This takes care of the changing background conditions.

Longimanus
30th June 2017, 05:52 PM
This is exactly what I was doing

Don't understand this comment/recommendation. It may be appropriate if/when using ESP metering, but surely not a big issue if using Centre Weighted or Spot metering?

I use the camera in Manual mode with Auto-ISO and select the shutter speed and aperture I prefer, then (on the EM1Mk2) use the Fn lever switch in position 2 to set the Exposure Compensation according to the subject & my preference for ETTR. This takes care of the changing background conditions.

Walti
30th June 2017, 07:44 PM
Never ever, ever use auto ISO for birds in flight otherwise the camera will alter exposure as you track the bird against against the changing background. Always set ISO, shutter speed and aperture manually to get the exposure right for the subject irrespective of the background.

Not 100% sure I agree with that!

The table on p 123 of the manual suggests the exposure is locked at the first frame, regardless of mode... I've not done anything to prove this either way.

Happy to be proved wrong ;)

BreezeG
30th June 2017, 09:08 PM
I always use auto ISO for birds in flight and dont suffer problems as a result.

c12402
1st July 2017, 09:09 PM
After some thousand BIF photos, I do agree with Walti settings. Do not forget to set also reset lens=Off.
Maybe is the operator... but using 9 points led the camera to select the wrong point, at least this is my experience. Even in a clear sky, sometimos it focus not the eye but something else. I miss Nikon logic and hope Oly can clone it.

GyRob
2nd July 2017, 07:38 AM
if 5 Points / 9 / all points gets a birds eye in focus it is pure luck that at the time you hit the shutter 1 of the point's just happed to be right on the head when the camera was seeing this as the most contrast part of the bird, dof would also play a part too .

Single point would stand a better chance but that relay's on the photographer to be to be spot on the head.
It's just not possible for anyone to do that time after time .

I find that 5 points is the best over all for BIF for say a duck size bird but this depends how big it is in the VF and with say 10 fps you are very likely to get a few with the eye as the main focus .
There's no 1 setting is best for swift's / swallow's in the sky 9 is a good start but All point's may well up your keeper rate.
Just my thought's.
Rob.

Phill D
2nd July 2017, 07:59 AM
Whatever settings you used Longimanus that Puffin shot is a cracker. Overall there is some great setting advice in this thread. It's inspiring me to get out and have a go myself.

Walti
2nd July 2017, 08:26 AM
if 5 Points / 9 / all points gets a birds eye in focus it is pure luck that at the time you hit the shutter 1 of the point's just happed to be right on the head when the camera was seeing this as the most contrast part of the bird, dof would also play a part too .

Single point would stand a better chance but that relay's on the photographer to be to be spot on the head.
It's just not possible for anyone to do that time after time .

I find that 5 points is the best over all for BIF for say a duck size bird but this depends how big it is in the VF and with say 10 fps you are very likely to get a few with the eye as the main focus .
There's no 1 setting is best for swift's / swallow's in the sky 9 is a good start but All point's may well up your keeper rate.
Just my thought's.
Rob.

I've been playing with the focus point pad feature and have started to get some reasonable results.... (when I can get it to work)

Gwyver
2nd July 2017, 09:51 AM
Centre-weighting is just that; it's weighted towards the centre but still considers the rest of the frame and still has the same issue of the exposure changing as the background changes. Spot metering? Good luck with that on a fast-moving subject.

This is not some weird technique I've invented myself. It's advice I was given by several professional wildlife photographers. There are more important things to think about when tracking a bird in flight than messing with exposure compensation. I really don't understand why you're making it harder for yourself :confused:

Perhaps my original explanation was inadequate.

As I understand it, on the EM1M2 when using Spot Metering the "Spot" used for metering matches the AF used.
In the case of Centre-Weighting for BIF, it is most likely that the photographer will be attempting to keep the bird being tracked in the centre of the viewfinder as best he/she can.
With either of the above choices, and assuming that AF lock is achieved, there is a good chance that the metering will be on, or mostly weighted on, the intended subject. In the event that AF is missed, the accuracy of the metering on an OOF image will be irrelevant.

Regarding the use of Exp Comp, it is very likely that the photographer knows in advance what subject is being targetted - i.e whether it is predominantly light or dark in colour - and hence, based on experience, can apply +/- Exp Comp as thought appropriate prior to subject acquisition.

However the above is merely a personal opinion and as always it is down to each photographer to apply whatever settings works best for them. Sometimes trying a new technique can lead to pleasant surprises.

bigsambwfc
11th July 2017, 06:11 PM
i have my mk2 set on M as walti suggests,i use the 100-400 leica lens and as I am old school I use manual focus with peaking,as I am used to focussing and panning at the same time.for bif I use 9point c-af,most others I use single spot.i wish there was a back button focus option or s-af button on fn1 possibility.my best results have been with manual focussing. got 2 A4 printable shots of flying kingfisher out of about 400 shots which is good for me.

Longimanus
12th July 2017, 07:38 AM
i have my mk2 set on M as walti suggests,i use the 100-400 leica lens and as I am old school I use manual focus with peaking,as I am used to focussing and panning at the same time.for bif I use 9point c-af,most others I use single spot.i wish there was a back button focus option or s-af button on fn1 possibility.my best results have been with manual focussing. got 2 A4 printable shots of flying kingfisher out of about 400 shots which is good for me.

There is a back button option on the AEL/AFL button, will that not help?

bigsambwfc
13th July 2017, 11:13 AM
how can I program the AEL-AFL button as a back button focus on the M mode,i need step by step guidance as I am non conversant with the instruction manual, plus thick.would appreciate help as I can only find mk1 advice which has differences with my mk2 version.not desperate just frustrated with oly menu at present, camera and lens are very good, battery grip is useless in horizontal mode as shutter is accidentally pressed too easily,so I have lost 2 extra fn buttons in horiz position.hope for easy step by step reply.

TonyR
13th July 2017, 11:27 AM
how can I program the AEL-AFL button as a back button focus on the M mode,i need step by step guidance as I am non conversant with the instruction manual, plus thick.would appreciate help as I can only find mk1 advice which has differences with my mk2 version.not desperate just frustrated with oly menu at present, camera and lens are very good, battery grip is useless in horizontal mode as shutter is accidentally pressed too easily,so I have lost 2 extra fn buttons in horiz position.hope for easy step by step reply.



Press the menu button
Scroll down to "gears" menu (looks like a cog)
Press "right" to get to menu A1
Press "right" to get to first menu item
Scroll down one item to AEL/AFL option and press "OK"
Select whether you want to set back-button focus for S-AF, C-AF or Manual focus and press "OK" (repeat if you want more than one)
Scroll down to select "mode 3" and press "OK"
Half-press shutter to get out of the menu system.

You're done.

Walti
13th July 2017, 11:31 AM
how can I program the AEL-AFL button as a back button focus on the M mode,i need step by step guidance as I am non conversant with the instruction manual, plus thick.would appreciate help as I can only find mk1 advice which has differences with my mk2 version.not desperate just frustrated with oly menu at present, camera and lens are very good, battery grip is useless in horizontal mode as shutter is accidentally pressed too easily,so I have lost 2 extra fn buttons in horiz position.hope for easy step by step reply.

Go to the menus, and enter the gear and menu A

http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/AEL.jpeg

Selecting MODE3 for S-AF sets focusing by pushing the AEL/AFL button...

TonyR
13th July 2017, 11:48 AM
Obviously you can use what ever settings you find work for you, most of the time it's trial and error. You have to start somewhere!

As I understand it -2 means it is least likely to switch focus to a different target, eg if there is a busy background.

http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/m43/em1.2-sett.html#AFLOC Has some useful setting tips / info....

"A1.4. C-AF Lock
C-AF Lock [BF] [C]

This is a protection against the camera refocusing in the C-AF mode when something crosses the field of view (like people passing between the camera and the subject). It simply disables the focus adjustment if the change is large and sudden.
The setting is entered as a whole value from -2 to +2. Negative values are referred to as Tight, positive as Loose. At higher values switching to a new AF target happens more easily.
For most users, the default zero setting makes sense here."


I have been using C-AF Lock set to -2 for a couple of weeks now quite successfully. As long as you pick up the correct target on initial AF acquisition, it will stick with it quite well. It does not seem to affect the responsiveness of the AF as has been suggested/assumed by some. So, it seems to follow a fast moving subject just as well set to -2 as it does set to +2 but has less tendency to wander off. The Olympus advice on the Aus web site seems poor in this respect.

My conclusion, as wrotniak suggests, is that this functions works the same way as on the E-M1. That is, it varies the delay in looking for a new subject once it identifies that the original subject has been lost. I think the E-M1 values were 0.25, 0.5 and 1 seconds. If you stick on the subject, they both work the same. If you lose a bif for a moment, -2 to better as the camera doesn't shoot off to focus on something else.

Thanks for the suggestion. *chr

This shot was taken with C-AF set to -2. Sort of bif :).

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/P2033538_s.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/94331)

Tordan58
13th July 2017, 01:13 PM
The setup I use is EM-1 Mark and m.Zuiko 300/F4. MC14 is sometimes used. I think that am now getting somewhere with the setup producing quite good results.

I have two sets, have saved them on custom sets for convenient access. Both sets share the following:

C-AF (not CAF + TR)

CAF shutter release priority OFF

Mechanical shutter. I think it provides the most pleasant feedback in the viewfinder.

L-FPS

FPS max (10)

No limit on frame count, as you never know what will happen. I will typically shoot sequences 5 frames which increases the chance of getting at least one that is in focus and with nice posture.

RAW

Auto ISO

Max ISO 3200, longest shutter time 1/1600 s. Sometimes shorter depending on action and if subject will be at close distance. Max ISO is a matter of how much noise you accept. ISO 3200 will allow the camera to reach 1/1600 s through an F/4 lens even in overcast conditions. In practice the highest ISO values I have seen when reviewing and developing photos have been 2000 and in a few rare occasions 2500. So I decided to set 3200 to be on the safe side and honor shutter speed.

Exposure mode Av

Evaluative light metering

Exposure compensation from +/-0 to +2 depending on light, expected subject and background. Often 0.7 or 1 are good starting values.

AEL/AFL mode 2. Time permitting, I will prepare by locking exposure targeting in the direction where I expect the most interesting frames to be be taken. If not then, the first frame will dictate the exposure.

Prefocusing is very important to increase chance that AF will acquire focus quickly.

Lens focus limiter set to 4 meters. If your lens does not have any limiter, then the limit can be set in the camera menu.

IS off



The first set is where tracking the BIF is feasible for a reasonable amount of time (several seconds) without losing track of it. With these settings and if the camera acquires focus early in a sequence I estimate I get 50% keepers on average (focus on target) with a spread from something like 20% to 90%.

9 central points. Have been using 5 and 9 back and forth, and find that the 9 points seem to result in higher keeper rate.

CAF lock -1 or -2 (tight or tightest). This helps in avoiding the AF locking on the background when you lose track of the BIF. However when that happens risk is the AF will "stuck" on background, or not refocus on the subject until too late. For predictable subjects I will use -2, for less predictable I will use -1

The second set is used when tracking the subject is hardly feasible (e.g. swallows or gulls/terns flying by at short distance, 5-10 meters) and with clean/separated background. With these settings I get 10% - 15% keepers on average however a big spread is seen, depending on preparations (pre-focusing and correct framing early in the sequence). Lack of preparations amost always result in zero keepers.

All AF points

CAF lock loosest, +2. As you more often than never will lose track of the subject and the time window providing photo opportunity is short you want the AF to re-acquire focus ASAP.

Olybirder
13th July 2017, 01:47 PM
It is interesting reading users' chosen BIF settings, especially Tord's as he has been posting some excellent shots recently.

I can see nothing that different from my own, unsuccessful, settings, so most of it must be down to sheer skill. The only differences I can see are Shutter Release Priority OFF and C-AF Lock (I have been using 0.)

The only other thing which I haven't seen mentioned is Image Stabilization. Does everybody turn it off or does anybody use it?

Ron

Walti
13th July 2017, 02:17 PM
It is interesting reading users' chosen BIF settings, especially Tord's as he has been posting some excellent shots recently.

I can see nothing that different from my own, unsuccessful, settings, so most of it must be down to sheer skill. The only differences I can see are Shutter Release Priority OFF and C-AF Lock (I have been using 0.)

The only other thing which I haven't seen mentioned is Image Stabilization. Does everybody turn it off or does anybody use it?

Ron

I use the image stabilisation, as it helps me focus on and track the subject.

When on one of the Olympus days the trainer said the image stabilisation is not effective above a certain shutter speed... though I can't see any reference to this in the instruction book, so I assume he's mistaken!

TonyR
13th July 2017, 03:05 PM
It is interesting reading users' chosen BIF settings, especially Tord's as he has been posting some excellent shots recently.

I can see nothing that different from my own, unsuccessful, settings, so most of it must be down to sheer skill. The only differences I can see are Shutter Release Priority OFF and C-AF Lock (I have been using 0.)

The only other thing which I haven't seen mentioned is Image Stabilization. Does everybody turn it off or does anybody use it?

Ron

I turn it off. IS will be trying to keep the image still so if you are panning it may well blur the subject whilst trying to correct for your motion.

PeterBirder
13th July 2017, 05:02 PM
I use the image stabilisation, as it helps me focus on and track the subject.

When on one of the Olympus days the trainer said the image stabilisation is not effective above a certain shutter speed... though I can't see any reference to this in the instruction book, so I assume he's mistaken!

The object of IS is to counteract image blur due to camera movement or "shake" at lower shutter speeds. If you are panning to follow a moving subject the IS will seek to oppose your panning and can as Tony says cause blur so I can't quite see how keeping IS on for BIF helps you "focus on and track the subject".

Before IS was developed the only way to overcome blur due to camera shake was to use higher shutter speeds. The current OMDs can now allow shutter speeds in seconds rather than fractions of a second to be used handheld without blur. Above a certain shutter speed however the "old rules" still apply and there will be no blur any way so the IS will not give any further improvement so will "not be effective". This does not mean that the IS system
is not working or is inhibited which would need a comment in the manual, it's just how photography works.

Regards.*chr

bigsambwfc
13th July 2017, 05:25 PM
thanks all for back button focus info,set it all up, got to try it in field now, one question though do you hold button down when panning bif or pump button?

Ian
13th July 2017, 06:54 PM
AF is only continuous in low sub 10 fps, otherwise it sticks at the first frame unchanged.

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

Off the top of my head that's not correct on the E-M1 Mark II and possibly the Mark 1 since the major firmware update. Can anyone else comment?

Ian

bigsambwfc
13th July 2017, 07:07 PM
will test it out in morning as there is a model airplane club nearbye,gud test for bif on back button,holding button down seems to work from my garden window on silent low sequence so I am hopeful.

GyRob
13th July 2017, 07:25 PM
To me IS on lets you keep on the subject by holding it still BIF so make it easier to get the focus point on it .
I always have IS on and use auto, this is suppose to take into account when panning on the mk2 .
Rob.

Tordan58
13th July 2017, 08:07 PM
Regarding the IS: I have been testing both with and without. With the IS on (Auto-IS) at occasion I get unsharp frames with something that looks like high frequency, low amplitude shake blur so I guess the IS is involved in this. With the shutter speed that my settings honor (1/1600s or faster) I will turn the IS off. Another reason for doing so is to reduce current consumption as the 300/F4 gyros are engaged all the time. The gain in battery life is noticeable.

Tordan58
13th July 2017, 08:14 PM
Off the top of my head that's not correct on the E-M1 Mark II and possibly the Mark 1 since the major firmware update. Can anyone else comment?

Ian
When shooting in high FPS on the E-M1 Mark 2, the CAF is "semi-CAF". It will engage and focus continuously upon half press of the shutter release button but will lock focus when first frame is fired. For true CAF you need to shoot in low FPS (up 10 fps, which is sweet)

PeterBirder
13th July 2017, 09:55 PM
To me IS on lets you keep on the subject by holding it still BIF so make it easier to get the focus point on it .
Rob.

Sorry I don't understand this, can you explain?

Regards.

Olybirder
13th July 2017, 10:21 PM
Sorry I don't understand this, can you explain?

Regards.With IS active, when you half press the shutter button it stabilizes the image in the viewfinder making it much easier to follow the bird. I find it makes a real difference at long focal lengths. I don't know whether it affects the image adversely or not.

Ron

TonyR
14th July 2017, 09:20 AM
To me IS on lets you keep on the subject by holding it still BIF so make it easier to get the focus point on it .
I always have IS on and use auto, this is suppose to take into account when panning on the mk2 .
Rob.

It is a dilemma that I have struggled with. My bif custom set has IS set to Auto but I try to remember to switch IS off on the lens. When I forget, I'm using IS-Auto.

Having IS switched on certainly makes tracking the bird much easier and the bird is much steadier in the frame. It is likely that this steadiness also helps the AF because it is more likely to sample the same part of the image on each C-AF iteration than if the bird is jumping about the frame. On the other hand, we don't know how well IS-Auto can choose between the three available IS modes and how often it chooses. I definitely had situations with the Mk1 where, in a sequence of frames and where the focus had not changed, some images had a blur in the direction of panning whilst others were tack sharp. The only explanation I could come up with for this was that the IS was blurring some frames.

I haven't had enough experience of bif with the MKII to draw any definitive conclusions but I lean towards having IS off and improving my tracking technique. I try to use at least 1/2000 sec and at that shutter speed, IS won't help as long as I can follow the bird.

TonyR
14th July 2017, 09:21 AM
When shooting in high FPS on the E-M1 Mark 2, the CAF is "semi-CAF". It will engage and focus continuously upon half press of the shutter release button but will lock focus when first frame is fired. For true CAF you need to shoot in low FPS (up 10 fps, which is sweet)

Or up to 15 fps with silent shutter.

Ian
14th July 2017, 10:43 AM
When shooting in high FPS on the E-M1 Mark 2, the CAF is "semi-CAF". It will engage and focus continuously upon half press of the shutter release button but will lock focus when first frame is fired. For true CAF you need to shoot in low FPS (up 10 fps, which is sweet)

Do you mean silent shutter high-speed continuous shooting does not allow C-AF? That I agree with.

Using the conventional shutter, originally C-AF only worked in L-mode but I think it was enabled in H mode later.

Ian

drmarkf
14th July 2017, 10:48 AM
So many different opinions about BIF, CAF, IS on or off, what the camera does or doesn't do regarding CAF. It's all becoming very confusing. :confused:

John

Welcome to the wonderful world of Olympus mirrorless cameras!

As far as birds in flight is concerned, I think this bears out what a number of very experienced bird photographers have said, that beyond the basics the settings you choose for the M1ii are much less critical than those necessary to get good results with the M1i.

I certainly get a higher proportion of BIF and propellor aircraft shots in critical focus with the 300 +\- 1.4 with AutoIS. I'm perfectly happy to accept that may be down to my lousy technique, but it's reproducibly true for me.

Ian
14th July 2017, 11:08 AM
Olympus exposes the user to a lot of settings. This is welcomed by those who want to take the effort to customise things but is less welcomed by those who want an easy life :)

Ian

Olybirder
14th July 2017, 11:20 AM
The user manual is not very helpful when it comes to explaining how sequential shooting works. From page 46:

'Sequential High. Pictures are taken at up to about 15 frames per second (fps) while the shutter button is pressed all the way down. Focus, exposure and white balance are fixed at the values for the first shot in each series.' [That sounds clear enough].

'Sequential Low. Pictures are taken at up to about 10 frames per second (fps) while the shutter button is pressed all the way down. Focus and exposure are fixed according to the options selected for [AF Mode] (P. 43, 51) and [AEL/AFL] (P. 123).' [What on earth does that mean? P. 43 and 51 don't help much].

Ron

TonyR
14th July 2017, 11:24 AM
Or up to 15 fps with silent shutter.

Correction. 18fps.

Tordan58
14th July 2017, 12:05 PM
The user manual is not very helpful when it comes to explaining how sequential shooting works.

....

Ron

I agree the manual is not very clear.

Page 51 essentially says nothing except from referring to to page 43, so we can forget about that page.

On page 43 the text says: "The camera repeats focusing while the shutter button remains pressed halfway. When the subject is in focus, the AF confirmation mark lights up on the monitor and the beep sounds when the focus is locked at the first time. Even if the subject moves or you change the composition of the picture, the camera continues trying to focus."

If I were to rephrase this it would be something like this: "The camera countinously tries to acquire focus while the shutter button is pressed halfway. When the subject is in focus, the AF confirmation box lights up in the viewfinder/LCD and the camera beeps. From now on and until the shutter button is released the camera keeps on trying to maintain focus on the subject pointed at by the AF confirmation box."

Another way to describe the difference in CAF behavior between Sequential Low and Sequential High could be:
In sequential Low: Continuous focus acquisition while shutter button is half pressed and trying to maintain focus while shutter button is fully pressed
(true CAF)

In sequential High: Continuous focus acquisition while shutter button is half pressed followed by static focus while shutter button is fully pressed
(semi CAF, a mode accurate acronym would be CFA = Continuous Focus Acquisition)

Ian
14th July 2017, 12:29 PM
Personally I don't think "wanting an easy life" forms any part of this discussion and could be taken as slightly insulting.

As a new m4/3 user admittedly with the OM-D E-M1 MK1 and not MK2 , I have a genuine interest in learning how to best proceed with BIF.

With over 50 replies in this thread, most with opposing views and opinions as to how the camera should be set, whether IS should be used or not, what CAF actually does and how it operates in practice, I think any new user might be confused. There seems to be a definite lack of concensus regarding this topic.

As stated by some, the Olympus manual is woefully inadequate in providing useful information as to what actually happens when using some settings and I appreciate this is the cause of confusion and disagreement by even very experienced users.

Unless they constantly used AUTO, for an "easy life" I doubt if anyone would suggest the OM-D's myriad settings were not confusing in many respects even to experienced photographers.

John

No insult meant at all. It's a perfectly legitimate complaint if you don't want to be exposed to a panapoly of settings. I'm disappointed that anyone would consider my comments to be anywhere near insulting. There is a bit too much sensitivity I fear sometimes.

Ian

GyRob
14th July 2017, 01:21 PM
It is a dilemma that I have struggled with. My bif custom set has IS set to Auto but I try to remember to switch IS off on the lens. When I forget, I'm using IS-Auto.

Having IS switched on certainly makes tracking the bird much easier and the bird is much steadier in the frame. It is likely that this steadiness also helps the AF because it is more likely to sample the same part of the image on each C-AF iteration than if the bird is jumping about the frame. On the other hand, we don't know how well IS-Auto can choose between the three available IS modes and how often it chooses. I definitely had situations with the Mk1 where, in a sequence of frames and where the focus had not changed, some images had a blur in the direction of panning whilst others were tack sharp. The only explanation I could come up with for this was that the IS was blurring some frames.

I haven't had enough experience of bif with the MKII to draw any definitive conclusions but I lean towards having IS off and improving my tracking technique. I try to use at least 1/2000 sec and at that shutter speed, IS won't help as long as I can follow the bird.

Yes I too try and shoot at 1/2000 and that's the point IS works to hold the subject still thereby making it easier to stay on the bif but 1/2000 should over ride what the IS is doing so it should not have any effect even when panning .Well that what my thoughts are .
Rob.

Ian
14th July 2017, 04:46 PM
I have consulted the BIF oracle that is Andy Elliott and he agrees that the E-M1 Mark II can do C-AF in H mode as well as L mode and the Mark 1 started off only being able to do C-AF in L mode until the big firmware update a while back.

Or am I missing something? :D

Ian

drmarkf
14th July 2017, 05:01 PM
I have consulted the BIF oracle that is Andy Elliott and he agrees that the E-M1 Mark II can do C-AF in H mode as well as L mode and the Mark 1 started off only being able to do C-AF in L mode until the big firmware update a while back.

Or am I missing something? :D

Ian

Now that's very interesting: we had a long discussion about this a few weeks ago (I think involving Torden) when I had half remembered this and I commented that the 1ii did indeed do 'proper' CAF up to 18fps on 'H' in my experience.

People quoted the manual, which of course said the opposite, and since I by then only ever used it on 'L' around 10fps (because I didn't like sifting through so many files), I just believed them.

I'll see if I can find the thread.

I'm going off birding with a mate on Monday afternoon, so whatever anyone says now I'll do what I should have done before, and try it for myself :D

drmarkf
14th July 2017, 05:07 PM
Yes, here's the page in the thread...

http://e-group.uk.net/forum/showthread.php?t=45164&page=4

Ian
14th July 2017, 05:32 PM
The conventional shutter is 'limited' to 10fps and by default L is about 6fps and H is 10 fps. Faster rates are achievable only when using silent shutter (sensor shutter) mode. I don't know if C-AF works in silent shutter mode - I wouldn't expect it to but would be pleased to be contradicted!

I've verified this on my Mark 1 but not on a Mark II.

Ian

UPDATE - Mark II conventional shutter goes to 15fps.

drmarkf
14th July 2017, 06:14 PM
The conventional shutter is 'limited' to 10fps and by default L is about 6fps and H is 10 fps. Faster rates are achievable only when using silent shutter (sensor shutter) mode. I don't know if C-AF works in silent shutter mode - I wouldn't expect it to but would be pleased to be contradicted!

I've verified this on my Mark 1 but not on a Mark II.

Ian

UPDATE - Mark II conventional shutter goes to 15fps.

Silent shutter CAF (with refocusing between each shot) certainly works up to 15fps when set at 'L', although these days I don't go over 10fps.

Gwyver
14th July 2017, 07:11 PM
I think the distinction between SeqL and SeqH with C-AF is that in High the Exposure Values & White Balance are fixed by the first frame in the sequence, whereas in Low these values are re-assessed frame by frame.
Continuous AF means just that - whether in SeqL or SeqH.

TonyR
14th July 2017, 07:23 PM
I have consulted the BIF oracle that is Andy Elliott and he agrees that the E-M1 Mark II can do C-AF in H mode as well as L mode and the Mark 1 started off only being able to do C-AF in L mode until the big firmware update a while back.

Or am I missing something? :D

Ian

Well Andy Elliott is wrong! Well Sequential H can do C-AF but only up until the first frame. Not between frames. Not really what I would call C-AF!

TonyR
14th July 2017, 07:31 PM
The conventional shutter is 'limited' to 10fps and by default L is about 6fps and H is 10 fps. Faster rates are achievable only when using silent shutter (sensor shutter) mode. I don't know if C-AF works in silent shutter mode - I wouldn't expect it to but would be pleased to be contradicted!

I've verified this on my Mark 1 but not on a Mark II.

Ian

UPDATE - Mark II conventional shutter goes to 15fps.

People are confusing too many things here!

What are the maximum speeds of the shutters?


Mechanical = 15 fps
Silent = 60 fps
These speeds are only available in H modes where exposure and focus are fixed at the first frame

What are the maximum speeds where C-AF can focus between eacxh frame?


Mechanical = 10 fps
Silent = 18 fps
C-AF between each frame is only available in L modes

Shimples :p

TonyR
14th July 2017, 07:33 PM
I think the distinction between SeqL and SeqH with C-AF is that in High the Exposure Values & White Balance are fixed by the first frame in the sequence, whereas in Low these values are re-assessed frame by frame.
Continuous AF means just that - whether in SeqL or SeqH.

Grrrr! :rolleyes:

Tordan58
14th July 2017, 07:44 PM
The conventional shutter is 'limited' to 10fps and by default L is about 6fps and H is 10 fps. Faster rates are achievable only when using silent shutter (sensor shutter) mode. I don't know if C-AF works in silent shutter mode - I wouldn't expect it to but would be pleased to be contradicted!

I've verified this on my Mark 1 but not on a Mark II.

Ian

UPDATE - Mark II conventional shutter goes to 15fps.
Ian,

That is not correct.

When using the mechanical shutter, L-FPS and CAF the EM-1 M2 is capable of cranking out 10fps. I reviewed sequences taken with the 300/F4 with full open aperture, looking at time stamp. For each second I get a minimum of 9, usually 10 and sometimes 11 frames.

I don't use the electronic shutter in CAF as I prefer the feedback in the EVF provided by the mechanical shutter so I don't have any sequences saved on disk. In SAF though, I have been using the electronic shutter.

I have given up using H-FPS in CAF as in effect it is not Continuous Auto Focus, it is more Continuous Focus Acquisition, then shooting in Static Auto Focus once the shutter is released.

All this said, the EM-1 Mark 2 is a very nice camera and I am very pleased with it. The user manual would have benefited from a total review/revisit though.

/Tord

DanC.Licks
15th July 2017, 08:49 AM
Hi Tord,
I think that can be said of every Olympus manual ever published! :D

Tordan58
21st July 2017, 09:28 PM
I think the distinction between SeqL and SeqH with C-AF is that in High the Exposure Values & White Balance are fixed by the first frame in the sequence, whereas in Low these values are re-assessed frame by frame.
Continuous AF means just that - whether in SeqL or SeqH.
That's not really true. EV and WB are set when the first frame is fired, regardless of Seq-L or Seq H.

Tordan58
21st July 2017, 10:34 PM
Here is a sequence of 8 frames demonstrating how capable the AF system is of acquiring focus and maintaining it. Out of these frames five are spot on and three a tad OOF. You need to display the RAW 1:1 to identify which ones, when resized for web (~1:5) it becomes very difficult to see which ones.

CAF lock -2 comes in handy in such situations, as the heron spotted me shortly after emerging from the reed beck and changed trajectory.



http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/1167/P7200411.jpg

http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/1167/P7200412.jpg

http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/1167/P7200413.jpg

http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/1167/P7200414.jpg

http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/1167/P7200415.jpg

http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/1167/P7200416.jpg

http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/1167/P7200417.jpg

http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/1167/P7200418.jpg

Lee O'D
25th July 2017, 07:51 PM
My advice would be, keep it simple. I use the E-M1 MKII and 300mm wide open at f4. Single central focus point, CAF, silent sequential low set to 10fps and IS on. I've had as much success with this setup for birds in flight as I did with the Canon 1DX. Not easy for fast flying stuff with just the one focus point active, but if you keep it on the subject you'll get good results.

c12402
30th July 2017, 10:00 PM
Just to add something not mentioned as a practical advice, remember to set reset lens parameter to OFF. Otherwise the lens focus goes to zero position every time camera goes to iddle status (30 seconds or so) and when you think lens is already pre-focus at a given distance, it takes a while to refocus again, missing nearly one second and the shot.

Ian
31st July 2017, 10:45 AM
I think the problem is that although I have used Mark IIs I don't currently have one to hand so I was basically reinterpreting what others had said. Andy Elliott was the same, but he has just received his own camera and I hope he can really cut through the confusion.

He is already saying that the ability to lock onto really small birds is way beyond the capability of the Mark 1 and does beg the question why the Mark II has an 'improved but disappointing' reputation in terms of BIF.

Ian

TonyR
31st July 2017, 10:55 AM
...

He is already saying that the ability to lock onto really small birds is way beyond the capability of the Mark 1 and does beg the question why the Mark II has an 'improved but disappointing' reputation in terms of BIF.

Ian

There are three reasons for this in my opinion.



The accuracy of the focus achieved on a bif is only quite good rather than excellent.
The focus wavers slightly between shots so some shots in a burst are good whilst others are poor.
Unlike DSLRs with pdaf focusing, the MkII is not very good about targeting the nearest subject so it can be tricky when there is a cluttered background. It is necessary to uses smaller groups of focus points rather than all points. As all points is easiest for bif against a clear background (sky), there is a lot of AF area switching required.

Still a huge step up from the MkI though.

Ian
31st July 2017, 11:32 AM
That all sounds very reasonable, but I know there seems to be a wide range of opinion and some of it basically negative. There is no doubt the camera is not easy to set up to get the best and most consistent results. I do wonder if those who are disappointed are possibly the ones who haven't yet found the right setup.

Ian

There are three reasons for this in my opinion.



The accuracy of the focus achieved on a bif is only quite good rather than excellent.
The focus wavers slightly between shots so some shots in a burst are good whilst others are poor.
Unlike DSLRs with pdaf focusing, the MkII is not very good about targeting the nearest subject so it can be tricky when there is a cluttered background. It is necessary to uses smaller groups of focus points rather than all points. As all points is easiest for bif against a clear background (sky), there is a lot of AF area switching required.

Still a huge step up from the MkI though.

Gate Keeper
31st July 2017, 11:54 AM
Has anyone tried using the 4K video feature to take a still at 8mp of a BIF? One of the fastest birds swooping and circling, I have tried to photograph, is a Swallow. I wonder if the Mark 2 would be up to the task?

MJ224
31st July 2017, 12:01 PM
Have to say that I am quite pleased with the CAF when photo-ing birds in flight.


Can't compare to other brands tho'


BIF'ing is difficult just to keep the boid in the frame, with a background other than the sky, poor camera must get a bit confused. I find once I lock onto the bird, the CAF works pretty well, even when the b/g becomes "noisy".


Thumbs up for mk2.............

Alwin
31st July 2017, 05:40 PM
MJ224, you are right.
I have been doing lots of BIF's with my canon gear and it has always been difficult, although depending on type of bird and of course the background (AF :D).

Yesterday my first BIF pictures with the E-M1mk2 in 2 different occasions.
- blue sky in the background
- trees in the background.

First occasion was an "easy" for the E-M1mk2, second one didn't work out with the settings I had. Focus moved away from the bird eg. I might not have focussed well enough on to the bird in flight chasing a goose.

As you said, trying, trying, trying and don't be afraid to do that for a couple of thousand pictures before you ahve a keeper rate you are looking for.

BR
Alwin

Ian
31st July 2017, 05:42 PM
MJ224, you are right.
I have been doing lots of BIF's with my canon gear and it has always been difficult, although depending on type of bird and of course the background (AF :D).

Yesterday my first BIF pictures with the E-M1mk2 in 2 different occasions.
- blue sky in the background
- trees in the background.

First occasion was an "easy" for the E-M1mk2, second one didn't work out with the settings I had. Focus moved away from the bird eg. I might not have focussed well enough on to the bird in flight chasing a goose.

As you said, trying, trying, trying and don't be afraid to do that for a couple of thousand pictures before you ahve a keeper rate you are looking for.

BR
Alwin

The Canon 7D and 7D Mark II seem to have a special reputation for BIF photography. Which Canon were you using?

Ian

Alwin
31st July 2017, 05:51 PM
7Dmk2 with the Canon 100-400II.
Very good combination, but also having its issues in certain cases.

Alwin

Phill D
31st July 2017, 08:55 PM
With all this BiF discussion what about doing another session at Fens Falconry. If the guys at Fens and Andy were up for it again. It was a great meet up last time and I think it would be really good to put the Mk2 through it's paces with some expert tuition. Not sure who organised it last time but I'd be interested in coming along if someone has the contacts.

Ian
31st July 2017, 09:28 PM
With all this BiF discussion what about doing another session at Fens Falconry. If the guys at Fens and Andy were up for it again. It was a great meet up last time and I think it would be really good to put the Mk2 through it's paces with some expert tuition. Not sure who organised it last time but I'd be interested in coming along if someone has the contacts.

I'm sure that can be arranged, or something like it?

Ian

Phill D
31st July 2017, 09:38 PM
That would be great Ian. The group hasn't had a meet up for a while and this seems like a good topic, fun and challenging at the same time.

Ian
31st July 2017, 09:54 PM
I've left Andy a message.

Ian

PS Just as I pressed 'post' he got back to me and the answer is positive so I will discuss more tomorrow.

Olybirder
31st July 2017, 10:04 PM
It would be very useful to have a bit more information from Olympus themselves, as they were the ones who designed the bloomin' thing and promoted it as a professional camera capable of competive continuous autofocus performance. An appendix to the user manual with more information about the relevant settings and how they all work would be very helpful. The manual is extremely vague and sketchy at the moment.

I have seen examples which indicate that the camera is capable of good C-AF work but it seems to be very fussy to set up. I know that I am nowhere near finding the best settings at moment.

Ron

Tordan58
31st July 2017, 10:46 PM
Here is an example demonstrating what the camera is capable of. Distance to subject about 15 meters. I have not managed to get in focus shots at closer distance than this.

All AF points
CAF tracking loosest (+2), my pick with the calm background water.
1/1600s, I should probably have gone for even shorter.

http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/1167/P7270202.jpg
http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/1167/P7270205.jpg
http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/1167/P7270209.jpg

Gate Keeper
31st July 2017, 11:30 PM
It would be very useful to have a bit more information from Olympus themselves, as they were the ones who designed the bloomin' thing and promoted it as a professional camera capable of competive continuous autofocus performance. An appendix to the user manual with more information about the relevant settings and how they all work would be very helpful. The manual is extremely vague and sketchy at the moment.

I have seen examples which indicate that the camera is capable of good C-AF work but it seems to be very fussy to set up. I know that I am nowhere near finding the best settings at moment.

Ron

I have been following this thread with much interest. The points you make are valid and given the cost of the Mark ii, it is not unreasonable for the consumer to expect a more informative and user friendly manual or for the brand to come up with a definitive approach for sports and action shots. No one has an answer post no 80 ;) It's no big deal, except that is something which Olympus lays claim for being able to capture those stills from 4K I hope my reply does not come over as pompous.

DanC.Licks
1st August 2017, 04:25 AM
Would the camera focus better/faster with 4k video? Doubt it...
Any reason to prefer an 8 MP shot over a 20 MP shot of a small bird in flight? Nope...

Phill D
1st August 2017, 07:02 AM
Fabulous shots Tord. Are they with the 300mm?

Gate Keeper
1st August 2017, 07:11 AM
Would the camera focus better/faster with 4k video? Doubt it...
Any reason to prefer an 8 MP shot over a 20 MP shot of a small bird in flight? Nope...

Thank you for your message.

I am also not convinced, except that the Panasonic GH5 goes further than Olympus and is able to pull an 18mp still from video footage ;)

Tordan58
1st August 2017, 07:56 AM
Fabulous shots Tord. Are they with the 300mm?

Yes. Prefocused at 15-20 meters and me waiting for the opportunity.

Ian
1st August 2017, 08:42 AM
Yes. Prefocused at 15-20 meters and me waiting for the opportunity.

Super :) Can I ask about the settings (ISO) and cropping (if any)?

Ian

MJ224
1st August 2017, 11:47 AM
Just to add something not mentioned as a practical advice, remember to set reset lens parameter to OFF. Otherwise the lens focus goes to zero position every time camera goes to iddle status (30 seconds or so) and when you think lens is already pre-focus at a given distance, it takes a while to refocus again, missing nearly one second and the shot.

I thought it reset the lens to infinity, which generally is quite good for me.

But that is when you switch off and on. I am unsure what happens (re focus) when you allow the camera to go to sleep then awake it. I tend to allow the camera to sleep, as it maintains the shutter and aperture last used, rather than reset everything.......*chr

Ian
1st August 2017, 12:12 PM
Been in touch with Andy Elliott regarding a meet at Fens Falconry and he needs to know how many people would like to come along and what the most likely date will be.

For me, it would have to be late this month or early September at the earliest.

Ian

Tordan58
1st August 2017, 12:22 PM
Super :) Can I ask about the settings (ISO) and cropping (if any)?

Ian

Here you go Ian,

ISO 250
F/4
1/1600 s
All AF points
CAF lock on Loosest
IS off
+0.7 EV compensation

Adjusted white and black points in LR. Reduced color temperature a bit. Then cropped out 2500 x 1875 pixels and finally resized to 1024x768 when exporting.

Phill D
1st August 2017, 12:48 PM
End of August or first week in September works for me. Maybe this needs a new thread Ian.

Walti
1st August 2017, 01:02 PM
VERY interested in attending, on holiday the first two weeks of September, (including the three weekends!) so any time except then suits me!

Ian
1st August 2017, 01:28 PM
New thread Fens Falconry meet thread here:

http://e-group.uk.net/forum/showthread.php?t=45761

Ian

c12402
10th August 2017, 11:25 PM
I thought it reset the lens to infinity, which generally is quite good for me.

But that is when you switch off and on. I am unsure what happens (re focus) when you allow the camera to go to sleep then awake it. I tend to allow the camera to sleep, as it maintains the shutter and aperture last used, rather than reset everything.......*chr

That's what I thought... but the fact is that the lens does the reset every time it goes to iddle status so every minute or so. It takes a second to refocus again and this is not good when doing BIF, or when you expect to maintain a pre-focus at a given distance, you miss a lot of shots if reset lens parameter is not set to off.

pvasc
1st October 2017, 08:51 PM
Hi guys, it has been a while. I see we are still beating to death focus tracking on these cameras. I , less than a week ago, upgraded myself to the Mk2. Of course the bunnies stopped coming round, the birds stopped flying, and the Road Runners stopped running, (in the USA now AZ). I know the focusing is much improved in this camera, for $1600 incl TAX it should be. Has anyone tried using all 121 points and C-AF? Like in the advert with the cowboy coming at the camera. I tried it, could not figure it out, so wrote Olympus rep David. He said it was good for BIF and planes....hmmm okay. Off to the airport I went, we have one flight a day in and out. Switch the camera to C-AF and 121 focus points as the plane takes to the runway 7500 feet away from me, and against a background of good old AZ dirt, the camera locks on. I get a cluster of green squares over the plane. I would guess that that is the PDAF sensors picking up the plane coming toward me. I get some shots after lift off, then take my finger off the shutter, and half press again, and again it locked on to the plane, (not hard against a blue sky). I will post some pics in a separate thread. They do look a little soft, but it was noon time and the temp was well into the 90'sF and had been for a while so I am not sure how much the heat effected the pictures.

BreezeG
2nd October 2017, 05:32 AM
Locked on to this landing floatplane no problem...

bigsambwfc
4th October 2017, 03:24 PM
been using mk2 with PL 100-400 for 2months for bif best settings for me are-
for small birds, c1-iso auto,wb auto,SAF MF, SIS off,MIS off, lens IS on,silent Lmulti shot.single spot focus.
for bif with background, same as c1 but 9spot focus,and all stabalisation on if panning, also caf.this is c2 setting.
for bif clear background same as c2 but all focus points, I have this on c3.
the reason ci is SAF MF is for when say kingfisher moves from branch to hover then I can focus manually with peaking (red) as the auto focus cant pick small bird up against background quick enough.
in all settings I have shutter speed and aperture on dials for quick adjustment, fn1 is used for doubling up, and fn2 is peaking.
shutter speed is my main priority and is usually 1000 minimum.
practice is the key and both eyes open when looking thro viewfinder and get used to were bird is in screen when following it with left eye.
I also found bbf focus method of no help but use the button as AEL.
as I am new to bif photography but not oly cameras I can only reiterate that these are so far the best settings for me.
I must also add that I wish the single spot focus point was more sensitive as it would resolve a lot of focus issues.
I am getting more keepers now and hopefully Olympus will upgrade.
for people with PL 100-400 lens I use no more than 300mm for bif as at 400mm it is hard to hand hold.
thanks for the continuing help on this forum.