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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 September 2014
graham_jester graham_jester is offline
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Aircraft In Flight With E-M1

Last Saturday I attended Shoreham Air Show and, given the significant amount of discussion that has been posted about the 'pros and cons' of capturing BIF with the E-M1, I decided to try and adopt the many suggestions made on this and other sites.
My equipment comprised E-M1 + HLD-7 + MMF-3 + 50-200 mm SWD lens, together with San Disk 16 GB SD cards, rated at 80 MB/s.
I selected Shutter Priority, with 1/1,000 sec for jets and 1/250 sec for propellers.
Auto Focus was C-AF, with 'Group' target (9 points) and Sequential shooting was set to L (6.5 fps).
Picture Mode was Vivid, RAW + LSF and ISO was set to 400.
On the day I took around 1,000 shots and generally the keep rate (sharp image) seems fairly high.
That said, the Vulcan and Typhoon didn't display until later in the afternoon, when the light wasn't so good and it seems noticeable that my 'sharp image' hit-rate decreased. Now whether this was due to the failing light or this in combination with the challenging nature of the aircraft colour schemes (a lot of grey!), I really don't know.
However, I'd like to seek clarification from the group on the following question:
When viewing images in Playback mode, there is a small green square, which depicts where the point of focus was. However, there are several where there is no such green square showing at all and I'm curious to know whether 'no green square = no focus achieved'. Certainly those with green square on target are the sharp images and most of those with no green square evident are the soft/blurry results.
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Graham
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Old 1st September 2014
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Re: Aircraft In Flight With E-M1

I think there is a setting which keeps the same focus for sequential shots rather than refocusing? With faster plans (ie jets) this may be a bigger problem as they move further between shots??
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Old 1st September 2014
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Re: Aircraft In Flight With E-M1

up to 6fps CAF runs with focus follow, above that focus is locked with the first shot

I don't use CAF for my birds or aircraft as I find it does wander off and on the subject throughout a sequence so for me its SAF, repeated half-pressed shutter to track then short 10fps bursts to freeze the moment
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Old 1st September 2014
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Re: Aircraft In Flight With E-M1

Thanks for your replies.
Are either of you able to confirm, or otherwise, my supposition about the presence, or not, of the small green 'focus' square?
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Old 1st September 2014
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Re: Aircraft In Flight With E-M1

I think you are right, if focus is achieved the green square is present.
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Old 1st September 2014
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Re: Aircraft In Flight With E-M1

that is certainly the case whilst shooting but whether it shows in playback - I can't say I've even noticed the green square, sorry
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Old 1st September 2014
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Re: Aircraft In Flight With E-M1

I've not noticed the green square in playback either. Although I usually have mine set not to show images on capturing as it slows everything up rather a lot.
How about posting some of the shots please.
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Old 1st September 2014
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Re: Aircraft In Flight With E-M1

On the E-M5 (and I presume the E-M1 is the same) if, when playing back images on the camera you press the "Info" button to display the EXIF data/histogram etc. the small thumbnail that shows has the small green box showing what the camera actually focused on. I find this useful in situations (such as photographing birds in trees with a long lens) where you want to check your own technique for lining up shots.

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Old 1st September 2014
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Re: Aircraft In Flight With E-M1

Thanks for all of the responses - they've been very useful.
Re the request from Phill D to post some shots; first to clarify - is that a request for me to post some successful shots, or unsuccessful ones!
As you can imagine, my consequent frustration has been driving me to delete these asap, as I go through them in LR 5.6. That said, I still have the originals on the SD cards.
I also have to confess to never having uploaded any images onto this site, so I'll have to explore how you go about it!
Thanks
Graham
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Re: Aircraft In Flight With E-M1

Please show both letting us know the settings.
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Old 18th December 2014
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Re: Aircraft In Flight With E-M1

Many comments continue to be made about the suitability, or otherwise, of the E-M1 for C-AF applications (e.g. Birds-in-Flight & Aircraft-in-Flight) and I’d like to post a footnote to this particular ‘blog’, that I started in September.
First, though, sincere apologies to those of you who responded to my query and requested that I post some sample images, which unfortunately I’ve never done.
Apart from my original declaration of lack of knowledge of how to do this, my reasons for failing this task are twofold.
During the last few months my wife and I have been occupied with several trips in celebration of our Golden Wedding Anniversary…………..so not much PC time!
In addition during this period, following several unexplained failures, my Desktop PC has spent much time in multiple visits/extensive testing at the Computer Repair shop and now contains new HDD, Motherboard and Power Supply!
So, following my initial comments about using C-AF with Aircraft, I’ve since had the opportunity to try it out on the fairly fast moving Class A4 ‘Bittern’ steam train (heading towards me and then past me, with me panning the shot).
Camera settings were the same as for my previous Aircraft images where, with constant settings, I had achieved a mix of sharp and blurred images. However, in the case of the train, all images were sharp.
Seemingly, then, the key to consistently sharp images hinges not so much on the actual camera settings, but on whether or not the camera is able to quickly achieve auto focus lock. If it does then subsequent shots, resulting from C-AF/Sequential L, produce a series of sharp images. If it doesn’t, then it’s disaster and disappointment!
As I also said before, about my Airshow images, I had greatest difficulty with achieving sharp images with the Vulcan and Typhoon; where there is a lot of grey paint and, additionally with the Typhoon, very high speed.
Perhaps what’s not helping, as well, is the lack of cross type focus points?
I’m always impressed at the high level of expertise evident on this site, it makes me feel a complete novice; but given the continuing disappointment being expressed about using C-AF, particularly for BIF, is there possibly someone available within Olympus, one of the Visionaries, who could comment and offer advice on technique?
Merry Christmas
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Old 19th December 2014
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Re: Aircraft In Flight With E-M1

I think you are absolutely right about allowing the camera to achieve a "lock" for C-AF success. If it doesn't lock straight away, the results are usually disappointing.

It used to be easier to know when the E-M1 had achieved a "lock" because there were two beeps from the camera. In the latest firmware, the second beep seems to have disappeared.
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