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Thread: E-P1- How is the interface for MF zoom?

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    E-P1- How is the interface for MF zoom?

    Can someone describe the basic procedure for working with MF on a E-P1?

    I really like how it works on the Panasonic cams, but get confused when people talk about it on the E-P1 (mentions about being a particular 'mode', etc.)

    I don't need a step-by-step, just trying to get a sense of how easy it is to get in and out of MF zoom assist on the E-P1.

    PS- Are we still waiting for the G1/GH1 to be updated for single-press MF zoom? I thought that would have come out by now. I had to sell my G1 to raise cash awhile back, but am now looking at my options for getting back in. I think a G1 might become a really good deal in a few days...

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    Senior Member Tullio's Avatar
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    Re: E-P1- How is the interface for MF zoom?

    Not as easy as it is on the G1. Once you have selected the little green box (which also means you loose the ability to have the histogram being displayed), then you push the little OK button to get the MF assist zoom. To exit, you'll have to push the little button again (as opposed to pressing the shutter half way as with the G1). With the new firmware 1.2, the camera will zoom out automatically based on time (don't know how long before it exits the MF assist). Some people prefer to exit MF assist by pressing the play button follow by a half-press of the shutter to immediately exit the play mode. This seems to be more natural due to the position of the finger.
    Tullio

  3. #3
    Abbazz
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    Re: E-P1- How is the interface for MF zoom?

    In short:

    - Press the "Info" button to cycle through the different display modes until the screen with the green box in the middle is displayed.

    - Frame your picture on the screen.

    - Move the green box on the screen with the arrow pad until it encompasses the intended zone for focusing.

    - Press the "OK" button to magnify the contents of the green box.

    - Turn the focus ring of the lens until the image on the screen is sharp.

    - Press the shutter release button.

    The big difference with Panasonic cameras is that pressing the shutter release doesn't bring you back to the normal view. After pressing the release, you go straight to the magnified view again. You have to press the "OK" button another time to cancel the magnified view.

    Most reviewers don't like the feature but I think it's great: you can check the focus and take another picture without delay. You can also adjust the focus if needed and follow your subject while taking pictures without having to go back to the normal view.

    I use this feature all the time for portraits or for shooting wildlife. First I frame my subject, then I magnify the area around the eye I want in focus and start shooting. I can control the focus on the rear LCD while looking at the subject to determine the best moment to press the release. If the subject moves by a small amount (turns the head, for example), it's easy to follow the eye in magnified mode and adjust the focus in real time. If there is a large amount of movement (like a bird suddenly taking off), then I press the "OK" button to get back to normal view for framing the next picture.

    Cheers!

    Abbazz

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    Re: E-P1- How is the interface for MF zoom?

    As Abbazz describes.

    Also, there are some features that make life easier for shooting MF on the E-P1, for example, you can cull down the options on the available on the info button so you can toggle between the zoom mode and normal mode.

    You can also set the Fn button to toggle between MF and AF.

    For use with AutoFocus lenses, there is a S-AF/MF mode that automaticically activates MF & the zoom by moving the focus ring when the AF Assist mode is turned on. This dactivates automatically after 1 second.

    You can configure the shutter button so that it does not focus the lens and the AEL/AFL performs S-AF effectively creating a MF with push autofocus in MF mode when using AF lenses. A neat feature.

    You can also set the lens so AF lenses do not go to infinity focus on power up. The Panasonic cameras, AF lenses always go to infinity focus. This is useful when swapping AF lenses and you are using MF.

    I use MF for close up photography, portrature and just about anything that doesn't move or where I have a couple of seconds to compose & think. You don't have to consider the camera focusing on the wrong thing when left to its own devices (not a common problem but all AF systems will do this from time to time).

    The E-P1 is a great little camera to use on old MF glass as the MF fuction is so customisable and works well. You also get image stabilisation.

    The range of MF options on AF lenses is also very useful and makes up for some of the downside of fly by wire focusing.

    PeterB666

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    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: E-P1- How is the interface for MF zoom?

    Quote Originally Posted by madmaxmedia View Post
    Can someone describe the basic procedure for working with MF on a E-P1?

    I really like how it works on the Panasonic cams, but get confused when people talk about it on the E-P1 (mentions about being a particular 'mode', etc.)

    I don't need a step-by-step, just trying to get a sense of how easy it is to get in and out of MF zoom assist on the E-P1.

    PS- Are we still waiting for the G1/GH1 to be updated for single-press MF zoom? I thought that would have come out by now. I had to sell my G1 to raise cash awhile back, but am now looking at my options for getting back in. I think a G1 might become a really good deal in a few days...
    Basic procedure for MF on the E-P1 - press the Info button to cycle to the MF assist screen - a green box appears in the middle of the view.

    Move the green box, using the cursor bottons to the patch in the composition where you want critical focus.

    Press OK to zoom in, adjust focus manually, or press AEL/AFL if you've configured it to do an autofocus (as above, I recommend this).

    Start shooting... your composition is effectively 'anchored' by the fact that you moved the patch to the area you want critically focused - so no need to see the whole composition - you'll want to track the focusing zoomed in.

    When you want to recompose, press OK again to zoom out, and move the green square if necessary to the new position you want 'anchored' for the manual focusing.

    Hope that helps, the G1 should indeed be great value now that it's been discontinued. Unfortunately, that could reduce our chances of getting the firmware update we requested soon after it was launched... which was given to the GF1 recently instead

    Cheers

    Brian

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    Re: E-P1- How is the interface for MF zoom?

    You guys are really great- thanks so much for the detailed responses!

    I will download the E-P1 manual as well to go with your info. But this doesn't sound too bad. A couple of follow-up questions-

    1. Once you hit the green button to cycle to the MF mode, does it stay in that mode until you power off (i.e. in between MF shots)? I assume it is no longer in that mode after power off/on. I understand you lose the histogram (and perhaps other stuff), but for quick shooting this sounds very workable.

    2. "You can also set the Fn button to toggle between MF and AF." I guess by doing this, you are effectively reducing it to 2 button presses to MF zoom, just like the Panasonic G1.

    3. When zoomed in, do you find the E-P1 LCD resolution to be just as effective as the Pansonic cameras? I'm thinking if you routinely use MF zoom, then the resolution difference is not as significant.

    The LCD resolution might be the only factor left in which I would prefer the Panasonics, but I always used MF zoom anyway so maybe it's not that important. Obviously the E-P1 has some of its own benefits (especially since I shoot 95% JPEG, I find JPEG + ACR works great for my needs.)

    4. When not zoomed in, do you get that 'edge shimmering' when the subject is in focus? That is a somewhat useful way to confirm focus too.

    Thanks again!

    PS- I would be really disappointed if the G1 and GH1 did NOT get the GF1 firmware update to improve MF- after all the menu systems of all 3 cameras is identical and MF works the same way. OTOH, if they were going to introduce these updates, it's taking them a long time...

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    Re: E-P1- How is the interface for MF zoom?

    Quote Originally Posted by madmaxmedia View Post
    1. Once you hit the green button to cycle to the MF mode, does it stay in that mode until you power off (i.e. in between MF shots)? I assume it is no longer in that mode after power off/on.
    The camera stays in that mode until you change it. The settings are retained on power off. This is an image view display mode.

    2. "You can also set the Fn button to toggle between MF and AF." I guess by doing this, you are effectively reducing it to 2 button presses to MF zoom, just like the Panasonic G1.
    Well technically a single button press. The swtch is a direct toggle between MF and the last AF mode you were in. For exmaple, on the next press of the button after entering MF - if you were in C-AF, you return to that mode, if you were in S-AF, you return to that, if you in S-AF+MF, you return to that one.

    When in any of the modes, other than when the zoom view is displayed, you can also use the standard AF control on the 4-way pad to cycle between all settings.

    3. When zoomed in, do you find the E-P1 LCD resolution to be just as effective as the Pansonic cameras? I'm thinking if you routinely use MF zoom, then the resolution difference is not as significant.
    I cannot comment as I don't have a Panasonic camera and have only used the G1 briefly and not for MF. I find the LCD perfectly adequate for use focusing. All you need is something with a bit of contrast so you can see it. I regularly work at night with no lighting other than ambient moon light or distant street lights. I do find that lenses of f/2.8 and faster help quite a lot and I also have the LCD set to gain up automatically.

    The only problem with the latter is that when using graduated filters, you can really see the effect. I am guessing that this must therefore affect the range of shades on the LCD but other than using graduated filters, have never noticed this to be a problem. That is really digressing a bit as it isn't related to using the camera for MF.

    4. When not zoomed in, do you get that 'edge shimmering' when the subject is in focus? That is a somewhat useful way to confirm focus too.
    No. The image is nice and crisp when in focus and you can easily determine the best point of focus by moving the focus ring either side and then choosing a mid point - just like on a convential mat screen viewfinder (sort of). In many respects, the manual focus reminds me of my original Nikon F with its full-mat focus screen.


    I am quite happy with the MF on the E-P1 but cannot compare it to the Panasonic cameras. Yes, a higher resolution LCD would be nice and so would the ability to change the angle. In general I find the angle of view and general use outside of the LCD to be the best I have used on any camera and it is an easy camera to live with.

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    Re: E-P1- How is the interface for MF zoom?

    Thanks Peter, I think you answered absolutely everything I need to know.

    Cheers,
    Steve

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