Auto Focus E-PL1 video, almost unuseable?

DBW

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I am kind of jumping the gun and posting this but I am debating sending the e-pl1 camera I just got back, because the auto focus in video mode is so bad that it kind of negates the video option for me.

I just got the camera and I am in the process of testing it, the photos look great but I bought it because it shoots video also and when I take video , the focus swims in and out every time I focus on something new. Its like it focus once, then it goes in and out of focus again.

I could post an example

I have the camera in auto focus mode, and the swimming in and out of focus looks terrible in my opinion.

Has someone else dealt with this?

I plan on using the camera underwater, taking videos of things in motion (fish, sharks, divers, etc) I can't really sit and play with the shutter button trying to look in the view finder underwater

I saw some examples of the camera filming underwater and the focus looks fine in those videos, so it seems like its probably my ignorance of the camera that is the problem.

But I am going to just post this because, I don't care if I look dumb if there is some little thing I am missing I would like someone to point it out

I am trying to figure out if I am using the camera wrong before I send it back

when i take a video with this camera the auto-focus is terrible, it takes forever to focus and swims in and out of focus

is this just how the camera is?
 

et100

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Feb 15, 2010
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Chicago area - USA
i used it one time for video, i did notice the quick in-out of focus when I AF during recording, but in playback the issue was not very visible, i wonder if they dont just cut that in-out and use some sort of interpolation to eliminate it. anybody else noticed this?

my guess is for video its best if you MF. I have D90 and it cant even AF during recording, maybe the high end 5dII is more of a video camera from what i hear.
 

pictor

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Jul 17, 2010
Messages
637
I just got the camera and I am in the process of testing it, the photos look great but I bought it because it shoots video also and when I take video , the focus swims in and out every time I focus on something new. Its like it focus once, then it goes in and out of focus again.
I don't use video, but this is how contrast AF works. It depends on the target how fast AF is and how long it has to search for focus. Other cameras don't even support AF during video, maybe this is the reason why. It's better to use MF in videos anyway.
 

DBW

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my guess is for video its best if you MF. I have D90 and it cant even AF during recording, maybe the high end 5dII is more of a video camera from what i hear.
I bought this camera for using underwater primarily, trying to manual focus underwater using the view finder is pretty impossible

From what I understand it auto focusing during video has some obstacle involving the mirrors, in a dslr camera

which is why we got a 4/3, because its supposed to be able to auto focus the video

I don't use video, but this is how contrast AF works. It depends on the target how fast AF is and how long it has to search for focus. Other cameras don't even support AF during video, maybe this is the reason why. It's better to use MF in videos anyway.
again it is impossible to manual focus things like sharks and schools of fish, that swim in and out

could you take a good video of soccer game using manual focus?

Some lenses are better suited to AF with video. The Pana 14-140 is one and I think the Oly 14-150 as well. They are also quieter when focussing.
Yes the loud grinding sound while focusing is a kind of an issue also

but in UW video it could just be removed

The Pana 14-140 is one and I think the Oly 14-150 as well.
have you used these lens? or anyone reading this?

I really want this camera to work, but the lens costs more then the camera

and it seems returning the e-pl1 / with its housing and just trying the gf-1 would almost make more sense at that point

the gf-1 was our original choice but the housing for it costs twice as much as the housing for the e-pl1, of course if that needs different lenses as well .....

Sorry if these are dumb questions, but my only experience so far with video is using a little lumix fx35, which is like a $200 camera but focuses better the the e-pl1 at least out of the box
 

bethmcmillen2@mac.com

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Aug 5, 2010
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Mena, AR
I have the same problem with video going in and out of focus. I have the ep2. See the message I just posted. I did try auto focus continuous, tracking. It helped some.
I tried a video of a flag blowing in the wind for 2 minutes. It kept in focus the entire time. I then video a passing freight train for 3 minutes, again it stayed in focus the entire time. But when I did a rodeo parade, with lots of horses it went in and out of focus, especially as they passed me. When it stays in focus it is great. I am using a Class 6 SD memory cards. I am thinking of purchasing a Lexar card, also a Class 6. Reviews are good that it writes to the card very fast and it is used a lot for video. I can't think of anything else to try. I want this to work as I like to combine still photos and short video clips of vacation trips.
 

Gusnyc

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Mar 9, 2010
Messages
306
Location
New York
Hi, yes, the camera has that problem going out of focus and then coming back. I took video underwater, but I kept it in the same focal distance. If you really want it for video, I think you should look somewhere else.

Anyway, I was very happy with the pictures and the short videos I took underwater. You can see some samples at:
Underwater E-PL1 - a set on Flickr

Gus
 

DBW

New to Mu-43
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Aug 10, 2010
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Key West
the auto focusing underwater so far has not been that noticeable, it seems much more apparent above water, perhaps because underwater there is such limited visibility

been very happy with the photos underwater
 
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