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Back button focus on the G5 is it possible

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by Paul80, Mar 10, 2015.

  1. Paul80

    Paul80 Mu-43 Veteran

    254
    Jul 6, 2014
    Hi all

    As subject, is it possible to set the Lumix G5 up to use back button focus

    I have done it on my G6 & GX7 but cannot find the option in the G5 menu, is it there but hidden or is it not possible on the G5.

    Thanks

    Paul
     
  2. xxjorelxx

    xxjorelxx Mu-43 Veteran

    248
    Dec 11, 2012
    MD, USA
    JohnRae
    I have tried and was unsuccessful. We dont have the option to set our AF/AE lock button to "AF-ON" on the G5.
     
  3. PeeBee

    PeeBee Mu-43 Top Veteran

    660
    Sep 17, 2012
    UK
    You can do it, but you have to change a few menu options:

    Press Menu> Custom Menu. Go to screen 3/8. Select 'AF/AE Lock' and set to AF (assigns AF function to the AF/AE Lock button).

    Select 'AF/AE Lock Hold' and set to off (this sets the AF/AE Lock button to operate during each press, rather than toggle on/off with each press).

    Go to screen 4/8. Select 'Shutter AF' and set to off (removes AF function from the shutter release button).

    You'll probably want to set 'Quick AF and 'Eye Sensor AF' to off too so they don't interfere.

    Auto focus will then be operated by the AE/AF Lock button (fn1 by default) and not by the shutter release.

    You could save all these settings to a Custom Set to quickly alternate between Shutter release focus / back button focus.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
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  4. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    Gotta try it on GM1..
     
  5. biphnest

    biphnest New to Mu-43

    5
    Apr 27, 2013

    Thank you very much!
     
  6. Paul80

    Paul80 Mu-43 Veteran

    254
    Jul 6, 2014
    Thanks for that, I can confirm that it works fine.

    Paul
     
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  7. kingduct

    kingduct Mu-43 Veteran

    294
    Oct 12, 2013
    Thanks for this thread -- I didn't even know what back button focusing was before I researched it after reading this. And, after researching, I've realized that this setting really sounds helpful for me.

    A couple of questions:
    1) iAuto will still override this, right? I say this because occasionally my wife will use the camera and there's no way she'll ever want to fuss with this.
    2) "You could save all these settings to a Custom Set to quickly alternate between Shutter release focus / back button focus." What does this exactly mean? Does that mean that when C1 is chosen on the mode dial it applies? Or is this something else?

    Thanks.
     
  8. kingduct

    kingduct Mu-43 Veteran

    294
    Oct 12, 2013
    To answer my own questions: 1) Yes, and 2) Yes. In fact, the settings get lost unless I do this. As you can tell, I'm not the most sophisticated photographer on this board. ;0
     
  9. PeeBee

    PeeBee Mu-43 Top Veteran

    660
    Sep 17, 2012
    UK
    You are welcome. One thing that has been brought to my attention since posting here is that the camera will enter a semi sleep mode after 60 seconds where it shuts down the AF system (the focus point will disappear from the screen / VF). When this happens, the first press of the AE/AF button will just wake the camera, it will take a second press to activate AF. You can also wake the camera with a half press of the shutter button, which is what I do when using back button focus.

    Yes and Yes, but you already know that ;-)
     
  10. kingduct

    kingduct Mu-43 Veteran

    294
    Oct 12, 2013
    So, I'm able to get it to focus when I press AF/AE lock. However, my understanding is that if I hold that button down, I should have continuous autofocus (I am in AFC mode). Like one of the people in this thread (https://www.mu-43.com/threads/71616/#post-719314) I am testing this by focusing on something and moving the camera, while holding down AF/AE lock. The camera does not adjust the focus at all.

    The solution in that thread (turning on "Quick AF" on a GX7) does not work for me, because then the camera is constantly autofocusing, when really I want it to try and focus only when I'm holding the button down.

    Any thoughts on which setting I'm missing? Or am I misunderstanding the expected behavior of holding the button down?
     
  11. kingduct

    kingduct Mu-43 Veteran

    294
    Oct 12, 2013
    When not using the above settings and in AFC mode, holding the shutter halfway down does the expected behavior -- the focus adjusts as distance changes.

    When using the above settings and instead holding down the AF/AE lock button, it only does the initial autofocus, but without the continuous behavior.
     
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  12. PeeBee

    PeeBee Mu-43 Top Veteran

    660
    Sep 17, 2012
    UK
    Yep, I just tried it on mine and it exhibits the same behaviour. It seems that Panasonic's implementation of the feature differs from the expected. You'll notice that the AF lock icon appears on the display whether you're in AF-S or AF-C mode (though the button is labelled 'AF/AE Lock' after all!). You can still use Tracking AF with the back button, but you use a shutter half press to lock focus on the subject.

    I'd probably only ever use BBF to pre-focus so I don't see this as a big problem. Obviously other people's needs may vary.
     
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  13. kingduct

    kingduct Mu-43 Veteran

    294
    Oct 12, 2013
    Can you explain what you mean by this? I find that if I hold the shutter down halfway before pressing the AF/AE lock, the action of pressing AF/AE lock does nothing (and obviously, the camera doesn't focus, since I've disabled focusing on the half press). If I first press AF/AE lock and then press the shutter halfway, there is no tracking focus (it stays locked on the original location). In other words, I am not able to replicate what I think you are describing.

    The utility here would be the ability to quickly and manually choose when I had single focus, continuous focus, and focus lock. Otherwise, I'll have to switch back and forth from C1 in order to have these options at my disposal.
     
  14. PeeBee

    PeeBee Mu-43 Top Veteran

    660
    Sep 17, 2012
    UK
    If the camera is set up to focus with the back button (and the shutter button focus disabled), and you select AF Tracking as the focus mode, a shutter half press should lock the focus box to track the subject that its currently positioned over (within the limitations of it's tracking ability). The focus box should turn from white to yellow to show that it is locked. If you then press the back button whilst tracking, the focus will then lock at that focal distance.

    I have C1 set to my 'failsafe' camera preference (Aperture mode, AF-S, single AF point etc etc). I've been caught out a few times after playing with camera settings and forgetting to return them afterwards. I then have C2-1 to C2-3 set to more specific requirements (MF without Focus Assist, MF with Focus Assist and BBF with AF-S).
     
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  15. kingduct

    kingduct Mu-43 Veteran

    294
    Oct 12, 2013
    Ok. I finally follow you. I was looking for AF Tracking with the AFS, AFC, and AFF modes. Oops. AF Tracking is really quirky and I have trouble unlocking. It is essentially reversing the order I want to do things in -- I want to track (or use AFC) only on demand, not by default.

    For the time being, I think I'll just accept that if I want AFC, I won't use the back button to focus and will switch the dial. Thank you so much for your patient explanations.
     
  16. PeeBee

    PeeBee Mu-43 Top Veteran

    660
    Sep 17, 2012
    UK
    I think you can cancel the subject lock in AF Tracking by pressing the left hand button on the 4 way switch. It's not a feature I tend to use either but I thought I would mention it in case anyone found it useful.

    :thumbup:
     
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  17. PeeBee

    PeeBee Mu-43 Top Veteran

    660
    Sep 17, 2012
    UK
    Yesterday I was thinking that Panasonic's implementation of back button focus was lacking, offering a less than the expected level of functionality. Today the penny has dropped and I've realised that I've been looking at it from the wrong direction. With both my Olympus and Canon bodies, if I move AF to the AE/AF button, it automatically disables shutter AF. In continuous AF mode, as one would expect, the back button will invoke CAF. What you can't do (or at least I haven't found a way on either body) is then override CAF mode with SAF lock, unless you change AF mode via the menu. With the G5 you can, because it has the option to enable or disable shutter AF, even when BBF is used.

    The optimal button for AF is the shutter release, that is why it's the one most commonly used. It offers the quickest and simplest input paired with the exposure. The downside is that it is not always desirable to have focus adjustment at the time of exposure, and that's why people commonly move AF to an alternative button. The problem with that is that AF then becomes a separate action to taking the photo, which increases the risk of camera shake and introduces timing issues.

    On the G5, you can keep the desired AF method assigned to the shutter button, avoiding any potential back button focus issues. With the AE/AF button configured to AF, you can use the button to provide an instant SAF and lock it for exposure. Since it's pre-focus, the problems with camera shake and timing are not relevant. Personally I think that's a much better approach.
     
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  18. BillW

    BillW Mu-43 Regular

    93
    Oct 22, 2012
    Scranton, PA
    I recently saw a video posted by Gary Fong about using Sony cameras, and how DSLR users want to dumb down (in his own words, not mine) the technology of mirrorless cameras to act more like their DSLRs. I was a Canon guy who used back button focusing, until I started to trust my G5/GH3 to focus FAST and shoot. Try it...you may save yourself tons of button pushing and frustration.
     
  19. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    I'm unsure what you mean, if you're using SAF or CAF or MF (with bbf) as soon as you take your finger off the back focusing button the focus is locked - you can hold down focus and hold the shutter button and if you have focus lock turned on it will take a picture as soon as it's in focus... you can also recompose and shoot (even with CAF, as you can turn it off by releasing the button - I've been using CAF instead of SAF because it functions the same way however constantly refocuses until I take the shot rather than just once) Where does camera shake come into it?
     
  20. PeeBee

    PeeBee Mu-43 Top Veteran

    660
    Sep 17, 2012
    UK
    Yes, you are right. That was a rushed post made late evening iirc and I realised afterwards that all you have to lock focus in BBF is take your finger off the button. I’d expected it to behave like shutter button focus and not fire unless focus was locked (unless Focus Priority is set to off, obviously), but it doesn’t. With BBF enabled, the G5’s shutter will fire even if focus hasn’t been achieved or even activated, it seems to completely ignore the Focus Priority option setting. For that reason, it doesn’t seem to operate as you suggest by simultaneously holding down the BBF button and shutter release, and the camera then taking a picture as soon as it focuses. What camera are you using?


    I still like Panasonic’s implementation because 99% of the time, I’d prefer to focus via the traditional shutter release method but for that odd occasion I want BBF, I can do S-AF with a single button press rather than trolling through several menus.


    An increased risk of camera shake comes into it because to operate BBF, you’re performing 2 inputs and applying external pressure in alternative directions. Not a problem if there is sufficient time between the focusing and shutter release operations, but in the case of a spontaneous capture when the 2 inputs are required almost simultaneously, you are more likely to induce movement to the camera when holding it by hand. Using shutter button focus, both operations can be performed using 1 input in a single direction. Movement from that single input is resisted by the palm of the hand which is more stable than when the force is directed towards the fingers.