Best m4/3 for focus assist?

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by vincechu, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. vincechu

    vincechu Mu-43 Regular Charter Member

    Hi everyone,

    I'm currently looking for another m4/3 body (I have a g1) to use with with older lenses.

    The GF1 apparently has one touch focus assist. But I'm leaning towards the olympuses because of their amazing (in my opinion :wink:) out of the camera jpegs.

    I heard that the Olympus E-P1 and E-P2 requires that you work through menus to activate focus assist, which sounds slow and inconvenient, is this true?

    Please share your experiences of using manual focus lenses and focus assist on any m4/3 body, which is best in your opinion and why? which isn't so good? which one's more user friendly? :smile:

    Many thanks,

    Vince :)
     
  2. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus Charter Member

    :bump: Anyone care to comment?
     
  3. steve

    steve Mu-43 Veteran Charter Member

    203
    Jan 18, 2010
    Havertown, PA
    I can't comment on the Pen, having never used one. But the focus assist on the GF1 is very helpful. One simple press of the wheel bumps magnification up and another turn of the wheel increases the view even more. I don't think I could focus manual lenses without it. The EVF is a great help in this regard, as well.
     
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  4. vincechu

    vincechu Mu-43 Regular Charter Member

    Thanks Steve, I was originally thinking of the E-P1 for using manual lenses as it has IS built in but what you mentioned could make me go for the GF1.

    I'll wait for others to post before deciding though.

    Thanks again :)
     
  5. Rich M

    Rich M Mu-43 Veteran

    315
    Mar 2, 2010
    Hey Vince....

    I have both the E-P2 and the GF-1....both are awesome cameras.

    Here is my take on your question. If you are serious about using MF lenses, then IMO a viewfinder is nice to have. On the GF-1, that'll add to the price of the camera kit. With firmware 1.1, the GF-1 is a snap to send into magnified focus view....just push in on the thumbwheel. Push the shutter halfway, compose....SNAP. Couldn't be simpler.

    On the E-P2, the trip to magnified view is clumsier....."Info" button...then the "OK" button.....again to return to normal view.....SNAP. Sounds not too bad..but if you are using the viewfinder, it is difficult to do this while your eye is on the viewfinder.

    So.....winner by a nose.....GF-1......right?

    But we didn't mention IBIS....Panasonic stabilization is in the lens....Olympus is in the body. The reason I got the E-P2 was for the in-body stabilization. I am getting better shots on my longer (>85mm) lenses with the Olympus.

    So......for me.....winner = E-P2.

    R
     
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  6. vincechu

    vincechu Mu-43 Regular Charter Member

    Thanks Rich, you answered my question spot on :)

    I'd certainly go for the E-P2 but its a little too pricey for me, in the UK i think body only is £749 and the GF1 with the 20mm 1.7 and an EVF would be £800, and I dont have the 20mm yet, so I'm leaning that way. Now I'm also thinking of the E-p1 and E-pl1 because of the lower price and IBIS, but then again I'd lose the EVF.

    Have you tried focusing with your manual lenses without an EVF? I'd imagine without an EVF it wouldnt be too different except mayb in bright sunlight where the LCD gets difficult to see?

    Thanks,

    Vince
     
  7. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus Charter Member

    I believe you can put the EVF on the E-PL1, can't you?
     
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  8. Rich M

    Rich M Mu-43 Veteran

    315
    Mar 2, 2010
    Vince, sad to report that IMO the EVF is a necessity. Hey....maybe that's just me....I live in a sunny place.
    Another point, the reason I got the E-P2 is because of the stabilization for my longer MF lenses. It feels more natural and steadier to shoot with the EVF pressed up to my face and left hand cradling the lens. I don't like shooting longer lenses 12" away from my face.
    Lastly, the Oly EVF is better than the Panasonic one...I'll be selling that soon....never use it anymore.

    You have a tough choice....the GF-1/20mm combo is KILLER. Tons of fun. However, if in the future you want to shoot long MF lenses then you might want to save up for the E-P2.

    (One last point....and again, it's just me....but the break point where I felt I benefitted from the IBIS was somewhere around 85mm....I never felt I needed stabilization on anything up to 50mm...but my 100mm, 135mm and 200mm lenses I could not shoot on the Panasonic without sacrificing quality)
     
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  9. Rich M

    Rich M Mu-43 Veteran

    315
    Mar 2, 2010
    Yes you can.....I saw one on an E-PL1 the other day.
     
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  10. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Hi Vince,

    if you're looking for the best m4/3rds camera for focus assist, I would say that it's the E-PL1... there's a one touch MF assist botton right under your thumb - very easy indeed to toggle in and out of zoomed view - 7x 10x and 14x options, and you can use the same mechanism to select an area for the CDAF operation.

    The down side over the E-P2 is lack of electronic levels, reportedly less effective IBIS and maximum shutter speed of 1/2000 sec (down from 1/4000 sec on the E-P1/2)

    It's a tough call, but if you can't afford the E-P2 (which includes the EVF) - the E-PL1 is the next best thing and plan to add the high res EVF in due course.

    Cheers

    Brian
     
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  11. vincechu

    vincechu Mu-43 Regular Charter Member

    Hi everyone thanks for the great comments.

    Rich and Brian, I guess I'll go try out a E-PL1 with and without the EVF, try focusing with a manual lense and see what the E-PL1's like. As you mentioned between u the one touch MF assist, IBIS, the lower price and the option to add the EVF later sounds great.

    I'll let you both know how it goes, and post some results with the camera I choose. On a slightly related note, I'm currently in the process of getting my hands on a Voigtlander Nokton, trying to decide between the 35mm 1.4 or 40mm 1.4, I'm also tempted to get the 35mm 1.2 or 50mm 1.1 instead (leaning towards the 35mm's), but it depends on how much I spend on the camera body - so hopefully in the next week or 2 I'll be able to post my results :)

    Thanks to all of you again
     
  12. Rich M

    Rich M Mu-43 Veteran

    315
    Mar 2, 2010
    Brian.......what an AWESOME compromise!!! :2thumbs:
     
  13. hodad66

    hodad66 Mu-43 Top Veteran Charter Member

    806
    Jan 27, 2010
    Indialantic, Florida
    If money is an issue and you don't care about video
    then the G1 handles MF very well. So well that I never
    use mag assist but can simply see the image come into
    focus on the excellent, built in, EVF. I'm 61 and the
    diopter adjust is a must for me as well as the ability to
    see in the bright Florida sunshine.
     
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  14. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    A new feature of the E-PL1 is surprisingly useful... there's a live view display of blown highlights (red) / clipped shadow. (blue) - I hope that Olympus will add that to the E-P1/2

    Cheers

    Brian
     
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  15. deckitout

    deckitout Mu-43 Veteran Charter Member

    236
    Jan 28, 2010
    Essex UK
    My EP2 is set up so the FN button switches to manual focus, when I then touch the focus ring the EP2 automatically goes to magnify view no menus required, this was set up with Brians settings so credit to him


    This is with M4/3 lens, not sure what happens with manual adapted lenses
     
  16. Rich M

    Rich M Mu-43 Veteran

    315
    Mar 2, 2010
    If you don't mind sharing.....how exactly did you set that up for :43: lenses?
     
  17. deckitout

    deckitout Mu-43 Veteran Charter Member

    236
    Jan 28, 2010
    Essex UK
    Rich

    I set my EP2 up as per Brian Mosleys guide quick start guide, I don't have my Camera with me at this moment but hopefully Brian will be along to help


     
  18. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus Charter Member

    programming the Fn button for manual focus

    The more I read about the E-PL1 the more it seems that certainly of the Olympus cameras it would be as Brian's posted back on page 1, the easiest by far for focus assist.

    Meanwhile Rich M., here's Brian's first Quick Start Olympus video which is a sticky in the Olympus Camera forum: https://www.mu-43.com/showthread.php?t=586 If you read through it Brian gives a link to his site where he spells out the way he has set his camera to do the setting of the Fn button to toggle on manual focus. I will try to find the video that does this as well, but wanted to give you this much to go on for now.
     
  19. Rich M

    Rich M Mu-43 Veteran

    315
    Mar 2, 2010
    Thanks so much.....I went back through Brian's video tutorial and set up my Fn button too.....

    Mahalo plenny.......R
     
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  20. vincechu

    vincechu Mu-43 Regular Charter Member

    Thanks for all the advice everyone, I need to find some time off from writing essays for my degree at uni and play with the 3 olympuses and the GF1, I'm really leaning towards the E-P 1 at the moment, for reasons Brian outlined in a very informative post earlier (see below)

    Thanks again everyone :thumbup: