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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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  #76  
Old 10th August 2015
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Re: Is C-AF actually improved with v3.0?

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Originally Posted by brian1208 View Post
Dave, nope, the 70-300 CX was part-exed for the Oly 12-40 f2.8 and the remaining bits have been passed on to the family

I have sorted what my problem with EM-1 CAF was (poor memory mainly ) I had forgotten that the EM-1 PDAF sensors are linear not cross type so shooting things like small fast moving BIF using CAF is not going to be too hot in landscape mode, but the moment I switched to portrait mode - what an improvement"

I spent a while giving it a real work out yesterday evening, trying to lock on House Martins charging about the sky at considerable distance feeding on gnats.

Over 50+ shots I was getting good lock-on in 60% - 70% of the frames (the martins occupied around 2% of frame area, so much so, I could hardly see what it locked on sometimes )

That will do me

I just need to wait patiently for the free grip to arrive as using the camera in portrait mode without it feels clumsy.
Hi,

Thanks for the tip. Even though I don't really understand how AF would be improved in portrait mode for such a subject. Is it because of the outline having mostly horizontal features? (wings and body).
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  #77  
Old 10th August 2015
brian1208 brian1208 is offline
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Re: Is C-AF actually improved with v3.0?

I honestly don't know Tord, all I know is that it works and that's good enough for me

For a bit of fun I had a quick play shooting distant birds at varying angles and it looks as if it works well up to around 30 degrees off vertical, then it loses the fast focus grab ability, which would maybe support the fact that it "sees" birds as horizontal objects?

(I hope to get a bit of windsurfing photography in soon which should work fine in both portrait and landscape modes on that basis)
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  #78  
Old 10th August 2015
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Re: Is C-AF actually improved with v3.0?

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Originally Posted by brian1208 View Post
Dave, nope, the 70-300 CX was part-exed for the Oly 12-40 f2.8 and the remaining bits have been passed on to the family

I have sorted what my problem with EM-1 CAF was (poor memory mainly ) I had forgotten that the EM-1 PDAF sensors are linear not cross type so shooting things like small fast moving BIF using CAF is not going to be too hot in landscape mode, but the moment I switched to portrait mode - what an improvement"

I spent a while giving it a real work out yesterday evening, trying to lock on House Martins charging about the sky at considerable distance feeding on gnats.

Over 50+ shots I was getting good lock-on in 60% - 70% of the frames (the martins occupied around 2% of frame area, so much so, I could hardly see what it locked on sometimes )

That will do me

I just need to wait patiently for the free grip to arrive as using the camera in portrait mode without it feels clumsy.
Sounds like a useful tip except portrait orientation when panning a BIF makes life even more difficult. Again we seem to be still searching for the compromise that makes the equipment work for us, it would be nice to not have to compromise considering the amount of dosh we fork out. Even with all this trying out different methods to get CAF to work for us we still haven't got the super telephoto Pro we need! Sort it Olympus!

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  #79  
Old 10th August 2015
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Re: Is C-AF actually improved with v3.0?

too true David but if its essential to get a camera with cross type sensors to gain the best CAF then Olympus isn't the tool to do it.

I'm happy to compromise on this as, having tried other brands in the "Light-weight" end of the spectrum ,I have returned to Olympus as it provides me with the best compromise on price, performance and enjoyment when shooting with it
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Old 10th August 2015
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Re: Is C-AF actually improved with v3.0?

The rain cleared and we had a few moments of dry (but still cloudy) weather and the Martins + Swifts took to the air, so I thought I would try the portrait mode CAF at 9fps with my 75-300mk2

to my surprise even that showed a significant improvement in focus speed and retention and was able to lock on and hold the birds (still at around 3%-5% of frame area) for several shots before I lost track of them - its blooming difficult to keep those things in the EVF at 300mm!

A couple of attempts in landscape mode were totally useless, so whatever it is that shooting in portrait mode is doing, it works with both these lenses

I need some decent light and helpful subjects now, then may have something worth sharing
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  #81  
Old 10th August 2015
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Re: Is C-AF actually improved with v3.0?

Hi all just reading this and will try portrait mode, but forgive me if I am being a little soft in the head here, are we saying that we hold the camera as in portrait mode, or is there something in the easily understood menu system. If it's the former it must be more difficult to keep a horizontally BIF in the frame?
Mike
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  #82  
Old 10th August 2015
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Re: Is C-AF actually improved with v3.0?

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Originally Posted by brian1208 View Post
The rain cleared and we had a few moments of dry (but still cloudy) weather and the Martins + Swifts took to the air, so I thought I would try the portrait mode CAF at 9fps with my 75-300mk2

to my surprise even that showed a significant improvement in focus speed and retention and was able to lock on and hold the birds (still at around 3%-5% of frame area) for several shots before I lost track of them - its blooming difficult to keep those things in the EVF at 300mm!

A couple of attempts in landscape mode were totally useless, so whatever it is that shooting in portrait mode is doing, it works with both these lenses

I need some decent light and helpful subjects now, then may have something worth sharing
It seems that the bird's detail is a majority horizontal & with C-AF (Hi), PD-AF is used for this with all lenses, so turning the camera to vertical gives the PD-AF plenty of detail to work with then. Having the grip would certainly help with this but chasing a bird across the sky in portrait position would make it harder at keeping it in view as opposed to the landscape view. However, it is nice to know at least it works though, thanks to your testing.

I have found that for some subjects that using S-AF Low (sequential) gives me a greater number of keepers with that lens, but that's not for everything.

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  #83  
Old 10th August 2015
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Re: Is C-AF actually improved with v3.0?

Yes, I was using around 4.5fps with the 100-300 for that reason. I also had a Roesch Arca-Swiss mount and a monopod, plus the weather was bright, so I was giving it the best chance.

(Sorry, this was a response to the post on the previous page about frame rate, but the 'quote' function didn't work for some reason)
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  #84  
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Re: Is C-AF actually improved with v3.0?

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Originally Posted by Mdb2 View Post
Hi all just reading this and will try portrait mode, but forgive me if I am being a little soft in the head here, are we saying that we hold the camera as in portrait mode, or is there something in the easily understood menu system. If it's the former it must be more difficult to keep a horizontally BIF in the frame?
Mike
Yes, it means holding the camera in portrait position. It's not ideal, but it allows the PD-AF sensing to be vertically aligned which makes focussing on horizontal lines of detail much more reliable. Normally this work around is done to gain focus on a static subject before rotating it back to the horizontal landscape position (holding it by the side of the camera as normal without a grip).
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  #85  
Old 11th August 2015
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Re: Is C-AF actually improved with v3.0?

as the others have said, it does mean holding it in portrait mode and this does make it more difficult to track a bird and keep it in frame (particularly at 300mm with the 75-300 )

I've been fiddling with using square format (which of course only applies to the jpg file, not the raw, where it shows as crop lines) and for some reason my mind finds this easier to cope with

I suspect I shall end up reverting to my usual mode of shooting eventually, which is SAF+M with high speed short burst, except where PDAF focus is essential, such as trying to capture House Martins, Swifts and the like
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Old 11th August 2015
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Re: Is C-AF actually improved with v3.0?

I've dug out a few not very good images to give an indication of how its going.

These two show the full image and cropped section of typical House Martin shots as they overfly my house (these were shot at around 230mm, info in the EXIF) with the 75-300 mk2)

house martin example full image by Brian Wadie Photographer, on Flickr

house martin example crop by Brian Wadie Photographer, on Flickr

and these three are a grabbed sequence at 300mm as a pigeon barrelled across my field of view from behind, requiring near instantaneous focus lock, also with the 70-300, cropped

pigeon overflight 300mm 1 by Brian Wadie Photographer, on Flickr

pigeon overflight 300mm 2 by Brian Wadie Photographer, on Flickr

pigeon overflight 300mm 3 by Brian Wadie Photographer, on Flickr

as I said, not good images but an example of how the EM-1 is handling CAF in portrait mode
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  #87  
Old 11th August 2015
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Re: Is C-AF actually improved with v3.0?

The camera has done pretty well there.
What I can't get my head around is that you have got that but when I shot horses jumping at a very local event the E-M1 with 40-150 Pro attached would lose focus or fail to hold focus on a horse going at only a very slow canter or even just trotting on a bright sunny day in both landscape and horizontal mode. When the focus worked the quality was great but many were not really in sharp focus and some times it would lose focus completely once to the extent that the subject was not even recognizable and this the next frame to a pin sharp shot. I reckon about 1 in 5 were really sharp. A horse and rider on fairly frame filling shots is not a small difficult target. Not motion blur I hasten to add, I was using a high shutter speed of 1000th sec or faster. A friend next to me was shooting on an ancient Nikon which nailed every shot. That is when I decided to go back to my Canon gear for action photography much to my regret because if the C-AF of the Olympus was really up to scratch the Olympus would be the perfect system for me. It is fine now for everything else such a shame it has this one, for me, enormous drawback.
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  #88  
Old 11th August 2015
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Re: Is C-AF actually improved with v3.0?

The camera has done pretty well there.
What I can't get my head around is that you have got that but when I shot horses jumping at a very local event the E-M1 with 40-150 Pro attached would lose focus or fail to hold focus on a horse going at only a very slow canter or even just trotting on a bright sunny day in both landscape and horizontal mode. When the focus worked the quality was great but many were not really in sharp focus and some times it would lose focus completely once to the extent that the subject was not even recognizable and this the next frame to a pin sharp shot. I reckon about 1 in 5 were really sharp. A horse and rider on fairly frame filling shots is not a small difficult target. Not motion blur I hasten to add, I was using a high shutter speed of 1000th sec or faster. A friend next to me was shooting on an ancient Nikon which nailed every shot. That is when I decided to go back to my Canon gear for action photography much to my regret because if the C-AF of the Olympus was really up to scratch the Olympus would be the perfect system for me. It is fine now for everything else such a shame it has this one, for me, enormous drawback.
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  #89  
Old 12th August 2015
brian1208 brian1208 is offline
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Re: Is C-AF actually improved with v3.0?

Another grey day and another brief test shoot, this time on our local quay spotting and shooting Seagulls as they whirled about above the tourists.

I was delighted with how it was holding focus through a series of 6 to 10 shots with the bird going away from me, circling back to head on approach.

Still using square format to help my mind with focusing in portrait mode with CAF and 9 fps.

The key for me though is having all focus points active, the moment I try to go down to a 9 box or large central point single focus I lose focus lock as I try to track the birds (In this session I was using the lens without the 1.4 x TC and wonder if that may have improved the speed of lock and ability to hold focus longer?)

I'm still waiting for some decent light and subjects to have a proper evaluation but so far I'm delighted
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  #90  
Old 12th August 2015
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Re: Is C-AF actually improved with v3.0?

It is interesting that you are using all focus points Brian. How do you get on capturing birds against a more complex background than plain sky? I gave up using all target points as it wouldn't focus, especially with reeds in the background. We have lots of those here.

Ron
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