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Olympus OM-D E-M1X Olympus' OM-D model aimed squarely at professional photographers

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  #526  
Old 30th January 2019
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Re: New Olympus OMD - EM1X ?

Two new interviews with Olympus executives

See:

https://photorumors.com/2019/01/29/t...us-executives/

Of interest are these points :

• Their deep learning system is created by a computer interpreting 10,000 photos per category that are labelled by hand
• Olympus plans to bring their deep learning to future systems, but, for now, it requires dual processors to work
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  #527  
Old 30th January 2019
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Re: New Olympus OMD - EM1X ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bengeo View Post
Whatever price you pay for a camera these days, you don't get a printed manual. I usually get mine printed by https://www.print-my-pdf.com/

I uploaded the new manual pdf to them a couple of days ago and got these 2 A5 books back today. Because it is over 600 pages they have to split it in to 2 parts.

Total cost was £25.88 inc postage and a 20% discount by using the code JAN312019



I can recommend their service if you want to get any manuals printed.
I guess that as you went to the trouble and expense of getting the manual, that you're seriously aiming to get the camera!

Jim
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  #528  
Old 30th January 2019
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Re: New Olympus OMD - EM1X ?

Yes Jim, http://e-group.uk.net/forum/showpost...08&postcount=4
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  #529  
Old 31st January 2019
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Re: New Olympus OMD - EM1X ?

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Originally Posted by Bengeo View Post
Interesting stuff Tony. It would be nice to know more re the Focus Steps number etc.

Of course we don't know the full details of the settings they used and how skilled they are for BIF. I agree that feather detail is about the hardest test for any AF system. There is always variation between shots and you just have to take a few and pick the best. I don't think there is any camera out there where you could take one shot and say you've got it.

Just for completeness, here are the data for the three Heron examples giving frame number, FocusDistance and FocusStepCount.


Example A


25 63.34 2185
26 60.715 2193
27 62 2189
28 65.465 2179
29 65.465 2179
30 65.465 2179
31 66.58 2176
32 66.96 2175
33 66.96 2175
34 66.205 2177


Example B


1 30.755 2381
2 29.815 2393
3 29.075 2403
4 28.72 2408
5 28.65 2409
6 28.37 2413
7 28.03 2418
8 27.57 2425
9 26.57 2441
10 26.155 2448


Example C


9 46.87 2250
10 46.87 2250
11 47.44 2247
12 47.44 2247
13 47.06 2249
14 47.06 2249
15 48.42 2242
16 48.42 2242
17 48.42 2242
18 49.03 2239


Notice that similar distance values always have the same StepCount Value. Also, in say example C, at this subject distance, one unit of FocusStepCount corresponds to approx. 0.2m. As the subject gets closer, a single StepCount unit corresponds to a smaller and smaller incremental distance so there is greater accuracy as the depth of field gets smaller.



It is also worth pointing out that the StepCount at infinity focus is 2000 (without any lens focus adjustments) and closer focus distances have higher StepCounts.
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  #530  
Old 31st January 2019
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Re: New Olympus OMD - EM1X ?

What does the step count value signify?
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  #531  
Old 31st January 2019
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Re: New Olympus OMD - EM1X ?

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Originally Posted by pdk42 View Post
What does the step count value signify?

StepCount is the poistion of the focus elements in terms of focus motor steps. I assume that 1 step is the smallest incremental move that the lens can make. It is essentially the internal units by which the focus motor is poisitioned. There will be an equation for each lens which will be able to convert between StepCount and Distance in metres.


In the Exif, there are the following fields:


FocusStepCount xxxx
FocusStepInfinity 2000
FocusStepNear 12768
FocusDistance yyyym


Positioning the lens to a FocusStepCount of 2000 will focus the lens at infinity and a FocusStepCount of 12768 will correspond to the lens' closest focusing distance. Each step represents a larger physical incremental distance as the subject gets further away which is convenient as the depth of field increases with subject distance too.


I expect that the camera works entirely in units of Focus Steps internally. i.e. when it is making a pdaf calculation of how far to shift the focus elements to achieve sharp focus, the result will be in steps. The equation that converts Steps to metres for any particular lens may not be hugely accurate but it doesn't matter to the camera if it does all of its calculations in Steps. The distance in metres is just for information in the Exif.


This is mostly my supposition based on the information in the Exif, the behaviour that I have seen in many files and some understanding of how pdaf systems work. So it may be completely wrong!


There are some interesting questions raised by these observations:


  1. If the smallest incremental focusing change is one Step, does the Olympus focusing system have sufficient resolution to make the AF more accurate? Could it have been designed a long time ago (4/3?) and is retained for compatibility?
    EDIT: The fact that the lens (300mm f/4) can achieve very accurate focus with S-AF and a stationary subject implies that the focusing system does have sufficient resolution. It is just much less accurate in C-AF.
  2. Does Olympus have a tolerance for what it considers "in focus"? For example, could it be say +/- 5 Steps (or something)? I have seen somewhere, that Olympus claims that with all-points selected and AF Area Pointer set to On2, the camera highlights "all the points that are in focus". Well, they can only all be "in focus" if the tolerance is quite large. Perhaps Olympus thinks that this performance is close enough?
    EDIT: I have just checked back and looked at a raw file taken on my E-M1 MkI with the 4/3 50-200 lens and it has FocusStepInfinity 758 and FocusStepNear as 9562 so it would seem that these limits can vary for different lenses.
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  #532  
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Re: New Olympus OMD - EM1X ?

Tony - thanks for that. Very interesting. It would be good to see those graphs redrawn with focus step step rather than distance. I wonder if it would be more consistent?
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  #533  
Old 31st January 2019
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Re: New Olympus OMD - EM1X ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdk42 View Post
Tony - thanks for that. Very interesting. It would be good to see those graphs redrawn with focus step step rather than distance. I wonder if it would be more consistent?

The graphs plotted with StepCount are not greatly different to those in metres, other than the left axis being reversed. Although FocusStepCount is very much not a linear relationship to distance, over the short range captured by a typical burst of shots (say bird in flight), each Step is roughly the same incremental distance!


Here are the plots:


Example A





Example B





Example C





Finally, here is Example A again but with the out-of-focus second and third shots removed. This seems to provide a much better curve fit that might actually be close to the actual subject distance.


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  #534  
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Re: New Olympus OMD - EM1X ?

Fascinating. Many thanks for that.

It would also be interesting to know how other manufacturers’ systems work in the same sort of way.

It’s certainly true that in a short burst of images with the M1ii/300 at full aperture, say of a midsized bird on a branch 8-10m away, you’ll get variation in the amount of feather detail and apparent sharpness and microcontrast. So i find it’s important to check through them carefully and choose the best compromise of pose and apparent sharpness.

However, I’m far from convinced the variation in bird-on-a-stick sharpness is anything to do with focus point variations among the images: my impression to date is that subject movement is far more important, and subjectively this issue becomes less common as the shutter speed increases to 1/2000 and above even for a ‘stationary’ subject. The birds look around and flutter, I move, the branch moves, and breezes move feathers...

And after all, at that sort of distance, FL and aperture, conventional circle of confusion DOF is 7-8cm, which seems pretty wide to me?

This could be checked I suppose by looking deeply at the EXIF in those series of shots and comparing that against subjective sharpness, and obviously different issues may be at play for BIF (although subject movement is even more of an issue there, surely).
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  #535  
Old 31st January 2019
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Re: New Olympus OMD - EM1X ?

Another interesting viewpoint.
New Oly compared with Canon 1DX.
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  #536  
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Re: New Olympus OMD - EM1X ?

Thoughtful assessment from a couple of techie Panasonic shooters on Don Komarechka’s Photogeek Weekly podcast (it runs for the first 25’ or so of the show):
http://photogeekweekly.com/podcast/p...ly-episode-54/
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Re: New Olympus OMD - EM1X ?

Linked orientation focus points - yay!
https://m.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=y0T0kk14IPY
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Re: New Olympus OMD - EM1X ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmarkf View Post
Fascinating. Many thanks for that.

It would also be interesting to know how other manufacturers’ systems work in the same sort of way.

It’s certainly true that in a short burst of images with the M1ii/300 at full aperture, say of a midsized bird on a branch 8-10m away, you’ll get variation in the amount of feather detail and apparent sharpness and microcontrast. So i find it’s important to check through them carefully and choose the best compromise of pose and apparent sharpness.

However, I’m far from convinced the variation in bird-on-a-stick sharpness is anything to do with focus point variations among the images: my impression to date is that subject movement is far more important, and subjectively this issue becomes less common as the shutter speed increases to 1/2000 and above even for a ‘stationary’ subject. The birds look around and flutter, I move, the branch moves, and breezes move feathers...

And after all, at that sort of distance, FL and aperture, conventional circle of confusion DOF is 7-8cm, which seems pretty wide to me?

This could be checked I suppose by looking deeply at the EXIF in those series of shots and comparing that against subjective sharpness, and obviously different issues may be at play for BIF (although subject movement is even more of an issue there, surely).

Acceptable sharpness does depend very much on how you are viewing the image and conventional circle of confusion calculations make assuptions about that. With my wildlife shots, I find that I am nearly always cropping. And I mainly view on a 27" monitor that is 2560 pixels across. So, very often, I end up viewing my images at scales that are approaching 1:1.


With the small images in the Japanese review, nearly all of the shots look acceptable at first. However, if you open the full-sized shots, some are obviously less sharp. Then clicking to view at 1:1 shows more differences.
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Re: New Olympus OMD - EM1X ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyR View Post
Acceptable sharpness does depend very much on how you are viewing the image and conventional circle of confusion calculations make assuptions about that. With my wildlife shots, I find that I am nearly always cropping. And I mainly view on a 27" monitor that is 2560 pixels across. So, very often, I end up viewing my images at scales that are approaching 1:1.


With the small images in the Japanese review, nearly all of the shots look acceptable at first. However, if you open the full-sized shots, some are obviously less sharp. Then clicking to view at 1:1 shows more differences.
Yes, i’m broadly the same: we’re actually talking about slightly different aspects of apparent sharpness. I was really responding to the earlier comment about variations in that, which I had observed in fairly stationary-subject images. I should have explained that better.

It is necessary to ensure a sufficiently high shutter speed is used in such tests if the subject is definitely moving, and ‘acceptable sharpness’ limits apply to blurring from that factor as well as where the camera focuses.
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Re: New Olympus OMD - EM1X ?

The Motorbike Test


I have had a look at the motorbike test in the same Japanese review. This one used small single point in the centre and was shot at f/7.1 with the 300mm f/4. Most of the time, the focus point was aimed at the headlight. The motorbike appears to be doing about 40 mph but is not accelerating.


Here's the plot with the left hand axis as distamces in metres.





On the face of it, that looks pretty good. Looking at the images, I think that the focus is mostly about a metre behind the headlight and varies about that point. That perhaps suggests the camera is lagging slightly. Interestingly, the motorbike moves about 1 metre between each image! The sharpest images of the headlight and red bulls appears to correlate with images where the focus distance is below the trend line. By the way, that trend line is not a straight line. It is actually a third order polynomial but it might as well have been a straight line!


Interestingly, the bike starts at around the same diatance away as the heron in Example C and the focus distance variations back and forth are of about the same magnitude in both sets suggesting that these variations don't depend on the speed of the subject.


Had the test been done at f/4 (like the heron images), it might have been easier to spot the effects of the focus wandering slightly. As it is, I would have to say that the camera has done a pretty good job of getting the bike in focus.


The heron shots were done with what the guy calls "bubble focus" by which he means using all AF points with AF Area Pointer set to On2. i.e. all points. The movement of the herons in the frame suggests that the camera would have changed AF points from time to time. I have often wondered whether the AF becomes less accurate when it switches points. It's a bit hard to tell.


On the plus side, it did nail the heron and not drift off to the background!
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