Best setup for continuous AF with E-M1 and m.Zuiko lenses?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Radiohead, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. Radiohead

    Radiohead Mu-43 Rookie

    Sep 1, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I'v been playing a bit with the CAF settings on my E-M1 but haven't really figured it out yet so perhaps someone else have some good settings or ideas to share?

    I'm usually using AFC to capture kids playing in the garden etc and I have no legacy 4/3 lenses but as I understand, the EM1 phase detect pixels should be used also in CAF mode with m.Zuiko lenses. My success rate so far haven't been that great.. Even I understand the DSLR's normally perform better, I'd expect the EM1 to be at least similar to my Sony A77 (sony's AFC has never been that good). I've tried to summarize my questions with bullets below, please feel free to comment or provide suggestions.

    1/ As I understand from Robin Wong's review, CAF can only shoot 6.5 frames per second. Do I need to drop the "high" drive mode to 6 fps or will the camera automatically drop the frame rate to 6.5 fps while in AFC even if i've configured the maximum frame rate to 10 fps? Or will AFC work and use the phase detect points regardless of drive mode (i.e. 10fps)?

    2/ I've played a bit with the tracking AF but so far the green tracking square seem to loose track of my target quite easily. Is this the general experience also or does anyone find very useful?

    3/ In normal AFC mode, how do you configure your AF areas? I would assume the best would be to use a point where phase detect is also supported (i.e. one of the central AF points). If I only activate a single AF point, I would assume the camera simply tracks whatever is at that point. Sometimes it would be useful though to have a wider AF area. What will happen if one would use a 3x3 AF area or use all AF points? To me it seem like whenever the camera acquire focus and lock on one point, it will no longer consider the other AF points until i release the AF/shutter button. I would assume the camera would evaluate all AF points and not only the one where initial lock was acquired?

    4/ Is there any way to have the currently used AF area to displayed while shooting away? The AF square disappears pretty quick after AF lock which makes it harder to pan and follow the target.

    In the end, I'd just like to figure out the best AFC settings and store them as MySet2 and configure that to the L-Fn button.

  2. chonbhoy

    chonbhoy Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 23, 2013
    Scottish Highlands
    LOW Drive mode is what you require for AF-LOCK and IS to work up to 6.5 frames per second and it has a separate menu to HIGH Drive mode.
    I am also trying to work out what the best settings and practices are for using CAF & CAF+TR.
    There isn't an all in one solution from what i've read/experienced and part of the problem seems to be lack of understanding which is mostly Olympus's fault for not explaining how the system is doing it's job. An overlay of the PDAF points on screen would be handy for a start.
    I haven't tried BIF but even erratic kids are troublesome to capture so hopefully others on here can add their knowledge/experience to clarify what works and what doesn't.
    The CAF-LOCK setting and AF Region selection are fundamental in how CAF or CAF-TR are used effectively.
    I've read conflicting stories on how CAF-LOCK does it's job and that this setting is not effective for both CAF & CAF+TR so I assume that each mode deserves it's own MySet or else menu diving will be a requirement.
    At the moment I'm going to set up two MySets with each CAF mode and try different CAF-LOCK & AF REGIONS and see what works best for me but I appreciate any help on this subject.
  3. lightmonkey

    lightmonkey Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 22, 2013
    2) been trying caf with TR with face detect with m.zuiko pro lens. Plenty of light. Single distinct human with good distance separation from a quite uniform background.... The results are not as good as I expect. Maybe 50% success?

    More problem with initial lock than the tracking. Tho neither are optimal.
  4. marcr1230

    marcr1230 Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 28, 2013
    • Like Like x 1
  5. chonbhoy

    chonbhoy Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 23, 2013
    Scottish Highlands
    It would be great if someone had a better insight on what works with CAF & CAF+TR.
    I'm trying to look at all the options in configuring these AF modes in a practical sense or else it becomes messy when trying to use them.
    My thoughts so far are;
    Kids in action with busy background, CAF+TR, single focus point or 3x3, 6.5frames LOW Drive, face detection, shutter lag normal and CAF-LOCK off worked quite well but i didn't get a chance to test it out fully. Small focus point made the tracking dance around and lose tracking but maybe high or low CAF-LOCK would improve it, i'll try it later on.
  6. chonbhoy

    chonbhoy Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 23, 2013
    Scottish Highlands
    Interestingly I checked the settings when using scene mode for sports and children and neither used CAF+TR and CAF-LOCK was off although the option was greyed out in the menu.
  7. Yohan Pamudji

    Yohan Pamudji Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 21, 2012
    Mississippi, USA
    From my brief experience with the E-M1 I would say avoid tracking and face detection, both of which use CDAF only as far as I know. Good old-fashioned CAF works reasonably well on the E-M1. Select a single shot, keep it painted on the target, and you'll get good results except in very low light.
    • Like Like x 1
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