1. Welcome to Mu-43.com—a friendly Micro 4/3 camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

Best method to focus properly with GX1

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by rossi46, Aug 12, 2012.

  1. rossi46

    rossi46 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 1, 2012
    Hallo all,...

    I have been using GX1 for nearly 5 months now.

    I am having difficulty figuring out what is the best technique to use when focusing to capture moments (example babies, or casual dinner shots where the subjects do not wait or pose for you).

    All the while I have been tapping on the LCD screen to focus and quickly press on my shutter, in order to be fast and not miss out any shots.
    I only recently found out that this method resulted in alot of mis-focused shots. (when with wide aperture, I have been using mainly the panny 20mm F1.7)
    I realised that once we tap on the screen to focus the point, we should press the shutter halfway for awhile to fully focus properly, then only fire the shutter gently....But it will be too slow and I could miss out some shots.

    Second option, which is manual focusing, if I focus manually and subject stay there and I do not move,...then it works and I get sharp in focus shots.
    But as I am shooting moving subjects,...my way of capturing shots is occassionally changing my perspectives, getting lower ,...higher,...nearer...etc....
    So manual focusing is too slow for me...

    Guys,...how do you all focus properly in such situations, when you have to be quick and your perspective from shots to shots keep on changing?

    By the way another quick question, Panny 20mm F1.7 has only two modes of focusing? AFS and Manual only?
  2. KVG

    KVG Banned User

    May 10, 2011
    yyc(Calgary, AB)
    Kelly Gibbons
    The 14 and 25 will focus way faster.

    typed on my phone, sorry.
  3. dbrantley13

    dbrantley13 Mu-43 Regular

    May 17, 2012
    One method you could try is setting the auto focus point to the center, locking your focus with a half press of the shutter, and then quickly recomposing the shot to your liking. I believe the lens focuses faster when you set the AF point ahead of time rather than letting it pick a point, too.

    The 20mm is a pretty slow focuser, especially in low light, but I've managed to use this method to get a fairly decent keeper rate with an E-PL1, which is certainly slower than your GX1.
  4. rossi46

    rossi46 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 1, 2012
    Hi Brantley,...

    I am sorry, but I could not understand how it is done.
    When you mentioned setting auto focus point to the center, do you mean centre of the subject? Or centre of the LCD display screen?
  5. rossi46

    rossi46 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 1, 2012
    Hi 0dBm, thanks for your reply,....which means,...when you are going to compose,..you will do the first rough composition on the subject, press shutter halfway down,....then recompose to get the best angle.

    So if the subject is a "moving target" and you would want to get different angles and compositions,...then you have to repear the above mentioned routine everytime you change composition?
    1. First rough composition
    2. shutter halfway down then recompose
    3. Shoot when everything's to your liking
  6. cariocaleo

    cariocaleo Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 30, 2012
    You can always focus tracking, that way the camera is always adjusting focus, and HDR or bracket. I always shotgun a few bursts to make sure I get at least one "right" shot. As far as exposure, it's nothing it can't be fixed in processing, these camera's exposures are usually dead on, but in case of a really contrasty situation.. Fix it later :) 
  7. rhoydotp

    rhoydotp Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 5, 2012
    Toronto, Ont
    there's really no silver bullet to this, unfortunately. what works best with my kids and friends is that I usually would pre-focus (half-pressed), try to get their attention once set, then snap a quick shot (full-press). doesn't always work but I've gotten great photos that way :) 

    and yes, the Panny 20mm has 2 modes only and really really slow to focus. I have the AF+MF enabled and that helps a lot as well.
  8. nseika

    nseika Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 22, 2010
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    Using the Touch AF seems to introduce too much shutter lag for me.
    Maybe because the process are grouped together. Using the shutter button is a two-step process so it feels like time for each is cut in half.
    The centre of the LCD.
    You can set it with shortcut at the left directional button. Choose the single point AF and then use the wheel to make the area smaller. :) 

    1. Point the AF square on the screen to the subject.
    2. Half-press to get the focus
    3. While holding the focus, shift the camera to re-compose, unless you want your subject to be in the middle.
    As long as the subject is not too close, the focus should be about the same.
  9. rossi46

    rossi46 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 1, 2012

    Hi Rhoydotp,.... how do you have both AF+MF enabled?
    From what I know, we can only use either AF or MF mode?

    Would be interested to know if you can explain further on this method, thanks!
  10. rossi46

    rossi46 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 1, 2012
    When the subject is not too close, I assume about 1 metre away?
    So using this method, when subject is not too close, you walk back or forward a few steps,...or you angle upwards, downwards and so on, it will still remain sharp in focus?
  11. nseika

    nseika Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 22, 2010
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    Closer :) 
    Yes, as long as the distance change between your camera and the subject is not bigger than the DoF, things should still be sharp enough even if you tilt your camera.

    AF+MF is like fine tuning radio channel. First you use the auto scan, then turn the knob to get the best signal.
    You half-press the shutter to let the camera do the auto focus, and then (while still holding the button), turn the focus wheel to manually fine tune the focus to the right distance.
  12. rhoydotp

    rhoydotp Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 5, 2012
    Toronto, Ont
    Under Custom Menu, there's an option called "AF+MF"

    nseika pretty much explained it already :thumbup:

  13. greenarcher02

    greenarcher02 Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 13, 2012
    Manila, Philippines
    Do you guys use the assist lamp? I usually don't as it might bother people. And only use it on really dark places. And even then, sometimes I cover it up unintentionally. How do you hold your GX1?

    And thanks for the AF+MF! I didn't know what it's for.

    And on a different but not completely unrelated topic: how do you hold your GX1 to reduce camera shake, for both landscape and portrait position? I just acquired a O45/1.8, and I find it very challenging to produce blur-less hand-held photographs especially on shutter speeds below 40; or even 60, at times. I have really shaky hands. Though I find DSLR's easier to stabilize.
  14. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    As far as focus, I find I switch focus methods periodically. The methods I've found useful, at various times:

    1) Center point AF (small size focus box in the center): put your subject in the AF square, lock focus with half-shutter press then compose and complete the shutter press. I use this as my "default" setting.

    2) Face tracking: for grabbing quick "in-motion" portraits at events etc.

    3) Multi-point focus area: used the least, but sometimes this is more effective than a center-point AF when the subjects are inanimate objects. Face tracking acts similarly to this if there's no face in the scene

    4) Pinpoint AF: only use this when I am shooting still subjects; it's quite slow, but it will get a much more exact focus point. Alternative is to use center point AF + manual focus assist.
  15. vtsteevo

    vtsteevo Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 20, 2012
    Hey guys, I've been up and down searching this forum on AF issues with the 20mm because I still can't decide between the 20mm and the 25mm. One of my primary goals is to shoot my newborn (still in womb, so I have a little bit of time to decide!).

    All the posts I've seen discussed issues with slow AF on olympus bodies. Can anyone who has a GX1 comment on the 20mm focus abilities in low light, or is it really an issue regardless of the body (but gets slightly better with newer bodies)?

  16. Grinch

    Grinch Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2011
    20 is slow on lumix bodies also, it's the lens more so than the body. I've used on multiple oly's and the GX1, GX1 is slightly better, but not enough to say its worth using on a lumix vs an olympus.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.