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Thread: Focus Tracking with the E-M1: find something fast!

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    Focus Tracking with the E-M1: find something fast!

    HI There

    Everyone else - please join in.

    I'm a bad person to be testing this - because tracking dogs running is something I never managed to succeed with - even in the days of the D2x.

    At any rate - this morning I put the 70 f1.8 on the E-M1 and took the dogs for a walk.

    Milo is a 2 year old bedlington-whippet cross - he is FAST
    Matty is an 8 month old Pyrenean sheepdog - she is really manouverable.

    I just put it on C-AF, mostly at f1.8 and fired away to see what happened. They are cropped where relevant.

    There were one or two OOF where the dogs ran straight at me and were very close, but basically everything else was fine














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    Re: Focus Tracking with the E-M1: find something fast!

    Really excellent results, Jono.
    Are you sure you couldn't have done this with the E-M5 ?
    I've never tried tracking fast moving subjects myself as far as I can remember.
    The K5 was just so-so.

    Btw there seems to be a dark side to Matty ...

    Thanks for sharing.
    Bart ...
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    Re: Focus Tracking with the E-M1: find something fast!

    Hi Jono,

    Thanks. C-AF is just continous autofocus, but not tracking.
    I have done continous autofocus tracking C-AF Tr with hummingbirds and the E-M5.
    Compared to the D800E + new Nikkor 80-400 mm lens it was clearly inferior.
    The E-M5 will track somewhat but easily lose it.
    I also found for tracking the initial focus point to be essential.
    If I nailed, say the head of a hummer with the first image, then tracking was better.
    Unfortunately the hummingbirds just headed south and won't come back until late spring...
    With best regards, K-H.
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    Re: Focus Tracking with the E-M1: find something fast!

    Jono, Not bad but is a far cry from some of the dog (running) shots seen here with the E5 (can't locate that thread or remember the poster).
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    Re: Focus Tracking with the E-M1: find something fast!

    HI Everyone
    Well, first of all the E-M5
    I also managed to get decent results with the OMD - BUT not with continuous AF - it simply lost dogs zooming around like that -- the AF is so fast that you can get decently in focus shots of fast moving dogs by mashing the shutter - but certainly not using C-AF

    The point here was that it was certainly tracking the dogs - and well, shooting at f1.8 with the 75 seemed to be a decent challenge.

    But I haven't properly explored the best way to set the camera up

    Vivek - I'm sure you're right about the E5 shots - but it was probably by someone who made a habit of it! this was new camera, unread manual, inexperienced photographer. Also - if one were trying for best results, one probably would not shoot wide open!

    Which was why I was encouraging others to join in.

    all the best

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    Re: Focus Tracking with the E-M1: find something fast!

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post

    Vivek - I'm sure you're right about the E5 shots - but it was probably by someone who made a habit of it!
    Hi Jono, I love the way the language gets used in your hands!

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    Re: Focus Tracking with the E-M1: find something fast!

    Jono,

    these shots are really impressive!

    Peter

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    Re: Focus Tracking with the E-M1: find something fast!

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Hi Jono, I love the way the language gets used in your hands!
    Thank you Vivek. I wouldn't like anyone to think these we're put up as splendid photos. But the dogs Were Fast and the C-AF does seem to work.

    All the best

    Just this guy you know
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    Re: Focus Tracking with the E-M1: find something fast!

    Thanks Jono,

    Could you also please try C-AF TR with Sequential H or L?

    I will try the same for moving objects, like cars, etc.
    It's quite a different game from C-AF.

    One thing to try with these parameters is to halfway press the shutter to focus on something specific, keep shutter halfway pressed while rotating the camera. The focus should still be on the initial spot. Indeed when I compare the E-M1 with the E-M5, the E-M1 is significantly improved but not perfect yet.

    In contrast, with C-AF only the camera will focus on whatever it is currently pointed at.
    Last edited by k-hawinkler; 4th October 2013 at 11:59.
    With best regards, K-H.

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    Re: Focus Tracking with the E-M1: find something fast!

    Jono- you are not exercising cdaf much at all if the dogs are not running towards/away from you. As you mentioned it is that case "the tough one" because that's when the amera needs to adjust focus dynamically.

    The other cases once the camera focuses its ballpark the same. I an track that way with my pentax Q and that certainly doesn't even have real cdaf ;-)

    On the good side if you had it set to cdaf it means the camera at least didnt go crazy hunting from focus like it can happen in a cdaf setting.

    I think different subjects going towards and away at different speeds (different photos) is a way to assess how well it does. At some poky it will fail(say a nascar car race with a car going towards you is obviously quite tough!). The dogs is a good average subject.

    - Ricardo
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    Re: Focus Tracking with the E-M1: find something fast!

    Well, in the other thread I took a picture of a plane flying straight away from me, not sideways. Does that count?
    With best regards, K-H.

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    Re: Focus Tracking with the E-M1: find something fast!

    I can't tell much one way or the other from C-AF tracking, but I like the photos. ;-)

    Godfrey

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    Re: Focus Tracking with the E-M1: find something fast!

    Quote Originally Posted by k-hawinkler View Post
    Well, in the other thread I took a picture of a plane flying straight away from me, not sideways. Does that count?
    Yes. Depending how far it was it will stress the feature more or less. Say a plane at take off would put some stress while a place in the very distant sky will not.

    - Ricardo
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    Re: Focus Tracking with the E-M1: find something fast!

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I can't tell much one way or the other from C-AF tracking, but I like the photos. ;-)

    Godfrey

    Hi Godfrey,

    Thanks.

    If you refer to the difference between C-AF and C-AF TR it only shows up if one keeps the shutter halfway pressed or completely pressed and fires up a number of shots in Sequential H or Sequential L mode.

    I apologize if I am stating the obvious or misunderstood your point.
    With best regards, K-H.

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    Re: Focus Tracking with the E-M1: find something fast!

    Quote Originally Posted by raist3d View Post
    Yes. Depending how far it was it will stress the feature more or less. Say a plane at take off would put some stress while a place in the very distant sky will not.

    - Ricardo

    Hi Ricardo,

    Many thanks. I will keep that in mind.
    With best regards, K-H.

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    Re: Focus Tracking with the E-M1: find something fast!

    Quote Originally Posted by k-hawinkler View Post
    Hi Godfrey,

    Thanks.

    If you refer to the difference between C-AF and C-AF TR it only shows up if one keeps the shutter halfway pressed or completely pressed and fires up a number of shots in Sequential H or Sequential L mode.

    I apologize if I am stating the obvious or misunderstood your point.
    LOL! No problem.

    I was saying that I liked the photos, but they didn't say much to me about C-AF focus tracking one way or another. I think I've only ever tried to use focus tracking and continuous capture on one camera, about a decade ago, so a set of nice photos of dogs playing in a field doesn't tell me much. I usually set the camera to manual focus and expose one at a time for these kinds of shots, just like I do with sports (motorcycle road racing, etc).

    Yeah, I'm an anachronism... ;-)

    G
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    Re: Focus Tracking with the E-M1: find something fast!

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    LOL! No problem.

    I was saying that I liked the photos, but they didn't say much to me about C-AF focus tracking one way or another. I think I've only ever tried to use focus tracking and continuous capture on one camera, about a decade ago, so a set of nice photos of dogs playing in a field doesn't tell me much. I usually set the camera to manual focus and expose one at a time for these kinds of shots, just like I do with sports (motorcycle road racing, etc).

    Yeah, I'm an anachronism... ;-)

    G

    Thanks Godfrey, I used to be like that until I tried to shoot Hummingbirds in flight from 5 to 6 feet away...
    With best regards, K-H.

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    EM1 focus tracking is mediocre

    From what I have seen the EM1 is somewhat better than the EM5 for getting shots of moving objects in focus when used as a point and shoot.

    However, it still appears to be a number of generations behind Nikon (and probably Canon) AF for tracking and maintaining focus.

    I shot a lot of MMA with my Leica M9 and had to be very fast with the focus. I was unable to do the same with my EM5 as it could not keep up using AF and the MF was not as quick as the Leica. Shooting with my D4 was easy as pie, however.

    I doubt the EM1 would do much better than the EM5 in that setting even though it seems marginally better for capturing dogs running a fair distance away and mostly going side to side.

    I also shoot quite a bit of Ice Hockey from the edge of the ice rink and I will tell you it can be done with an EM5 but it is a lot easier and the results are better with a D4. Again, I would not look to the EM1 to do materially better in this setting either.

    Between my micro 4/3's gear and my Sony RX1 I have replaced my Leica M9 and miss only the Noctilux (one of the few lenses I kept). But, my D4, which I thought was going to be replaced next, has shown itself to be uniquely capable and certainly not in any danger from the current crop of excellent mirrorless cameras.

    To be fair, my understanding is that the Nikon 1 has a fast and accurate AF system which may be considerably better than anything in the micro 4/3's or NEX universe. I have never tried it though so I can't speak from experience.

    Best,

    Bill

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