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Olympus OM-D E-M1 The first Micro Four Thirds camera that offers phase detect focusing so you can use Four Thirds DSLR lenses normally as well a Micro Four Thirds lenses.

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Old 1st April 2014
gazza95 gazza95 is offline
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E-M1 and fill in flash

Some call it a steep learning curve but the E-M1 has certainly thrown up a few challenges. One of subjects I photograph a lot of is motorcycle trials, think junior Kick Start for those with long memories. E-1 and E-3 FL50 had no problems with these but the E-M1 has had me scratching my head a little.

The problem with the E-M1 ( shutter priority, C-AF and TTL Auto ) is that it just seemed slow to take the picture, so the bikes front wheel ends up on ground before picture gets taken.

Suggestion from Olympus was buy M43 lenses and a new flash....

After crudely experimenting photographing a spinning disk here is what I found;

E-3, shutter priority, C-AF and TTL Auto flash, ~0.1 sec shutter delay from half to full press.

E-M1,shutter priority, C-AF and TTL Auto flash, ~0.25 sec shutter delay from half to full press.
E-M1,shutter priority, S-AF and TTL Auto flash, ~0.2 sec shutter delay from half to full press.
E-M1, M exposure, MF and Auto flash, ~0.1 sec shutter delay from half to full press.

These times are the same for 43 and M43 lenses as lens has achieve focus at half press.

Changing C-AF setting to take exposure at half press did not seem to make much difference.

Also the TTL-Auto fill-in flash exposure with E-M1 seems to be significantly lower than the E-3. This is with the option to set exposure and flash exposure compensation independently.

So I am now shooting a lot more MF and Auto flash ( -0.3 exp comp). With wide angle lenses there is enough depth of field. BTW, MF is is Mode 3 so a tap of the AEL/AFL button accurately focuses.

Gary



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Old 3rd April 2014
kbouk kbouk is offline
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Re: E-M1 and fill in flash

I'm guessing here but the difference in time must be the setting TTL Auto vs Auto, try use Auto with flash with SAF, CAF.
With MF you have always smaller shutter lag with or without flash.
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Old 3rd April 2014
photo_owl photo_owl is offline
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Re: E-M1 and fill in flash

Gary

Fascinating stuff - the key problem being that there are sooooooo many variables in the equation; and more than one equation in your post!

Not intended as 'an answer' but here are a few of my thoughts on some of the likely elements -
1. I would expect the M1 to have more powerful processing capability than either the E1 or E3
2. On ESP I'm reasonably sure it's monitoring a much larger area in more detail, and it's probably trying to be a fair bit cleverer as well. However this shouldn't be a factor in the scale of things here but it does give rise to some different exposures (I prefer it on the odd occasion I use it - wysiwyg M mode for me most of the time!). It follows that an M1 on ESP will give a different exposure to any Auto flash exposure (which is generally closer to CW anyway)
3. There are huge differences in the AF routines, areas and how the camera and lens actually go about delivering focus. That said, the M1 with, for example, a 45 in S-AF non FD seems up there with an E5 12-60 for general shooting (ie fffffast)
4. There's also one small matter you don't reference which is the fact that the image you see in the viewfinder on the M1 is already subject to delays associated with processing. Now, it's not significant in general shooting and minimal on first shot situations, but it must be there and has the potential to impact any moving target shot (inc spinning wheels!).

Oly's answer re the flash is either interesting (if there are differences in the flash unit processing/interaction) or rather silly (if there aren't). Sadly I'm going to suspect they are simply listing possible elements with no consideration as the the actual issues at all.
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Old 3rd April 2014
gazza95 gazza95 is offline
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Re: E-M1 and fill in flash

kbouf, it is the combination of C-AF and TTL-Auto that is causing the release delay. It is very much like the E-M1 is processing activities in series rather than parallel.

Photo_owl, your right about there being lots of variables. What I have been trying to do is try and find ways of testing in such a way as identify some of the delays. By using a status object I can eliminate the time to acquire focus.

re point 1) I think what we are see in his that the E-M1 does not have ht processing power of and E-3. I am making that assumption as the E-M1 slows down as you add processing workload. One of the point made following the recent Falcon shoot is to remove as much processing as possible e.g. manual exposure etc.

2) I would prefer to us TTL-Auto but with C-AF it is just far too slow.

3) I have tried a 17mm and 45mm and while I agree both move faster to a focus point it has no effect on the release time. The times I am describing are from half to full press.

4) Yes you are right, hence why I now use high speed frame refresh rate. If this was a problem it would also be a problem in total manual mode.

Agree with your comments about Olys response.

Just to be clear I am reasonably happy that I have found a way to get the E-M1 to perform quicker even if its not the way I would like to work. The image quality is so much better than the E-3 that it is worth finding new ways of working.

Gary
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