1. Reminder: Please use our affiliate links for holiday shopping!

Better AF results with Vivid plus increased Sharpness and Contrast?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by kirschm, May 24, 2014.

  1. kirschm

    kirschm Mu-43 Regular

    82
    May 4, 2014
    Germany
    I off and on hear comments in Olympus micro 4/3 posts that the reliability of the autofocus gets better by setting picture mode to Vivid and/or maximizing the sharpness and contrast settings (of course not recommended for JPG-shooters). Since I shoot RAW only I would not have a problem with this... Is this theory true or is it only wishfull thinking?

    Preliminary results as of May 25th:
    o OzRay: Picture Mode 'Vivid' seems to have most impact on better AF
    o OzRay: More Sharpness or Contrast might have no impact at all (kirschm: but it might matter, if it was set to minimum before?)
    o DonParrot: Vivid as a prerequisit to improve AF significantly. Increasing Sharpness/Contrast as a further finetuning tool towards better AF
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    662
    Jul 1, 2013
    Seem unlikely since the camera shoots the raw first then produces the jpeg. Besides, of the issues M43 bodies have, since when it reliable autofocus an issue?
     
  3. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I think there is some logic in this train of thought. AF works by contrast detection on edges in the focus zone and if the AF processing is in the pipeline after demosaicing, levels, sharpening etc then changing any of them will have an impact on AF. Of course, it could equally be true that AF is independent of these settings. I guess it needs either some scientific testing or someone who knows the internals to determine formsure.
     
  4. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    Better AF results with Sharpness and Contrast at maximum?

    Well, you're looking at an image in real time that reflects the JPEG settings before firing the shutter, so...

    This has come up before and people who say say they've tried it say it works. It doesn't seem to me, to make enough of a difference to notice. But I'm using a camera from the historic collection, a Panasonic G2.

    Fred
     
  5. SkiHound

    SkiHound Mu-43 Veteran

    328
    Jan 28, 2012
    Gary Ayton has some pretty extensive information posted on setting up the E-M5. He says it improves AF. I've tried and subjectively I think it improves AF. I may just be drinking the Kool-Aid but my impression is it improves both AF speed and accuracy.
     
  6. wushumr2

    wushumr2 Mu-43 Regular

    137
    May 20, 2013
    It works. It's contrast detect, so raising the contrast absolutely has an effect. Sold my E-M5 to a girl and when I was showing it to her, she remarked on the focus being a bit slow. Bumped contrast from -1 to 1 and it was miles better under low light.
     
  7. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Wow... totally counter of what I would expect since it takes effort on the camera to create JPG and increase the contrast.

    Gotta try it myself.

    I have noticed that increasing the EVF refresh rate to high does improve AF. In theory its because the processing required for AF is occurring more frequently.
     
  8. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    That work is on the part of a dedicated chip so it's extremely fast. Plus, as Fred said above, it's work that must be carried out regardless since the display (LCD or EVF) depends on it.
     
  9. kirschm

    kirschm Mu-43 Regular

    82
    May 4, 2014
    Germany
    http://www.ayton.id.au/wiki/doku.php?id=photo:olympusomdem5

    Here he says: "...it seems C-AF and S-AF is even faster and C-AF more reliable if you select Vivid picture mode instead of natural, and worse if you select the low contrast Muted mode - presumably, the AF system is using live processed images rather than raw data. Just shoot in RAW+jpeg and you can have the best of both worlds"

    I hope this does not mean that I need to shoot RAW+JPG instead of RAW only?
     
  10. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I just did some tests using my 35-100mm f2, which doesn't have the SWD and switching to vivid mode did improve focus speed. I switched between normal and vivid several times, using different subjects and forcing the lenses to go through the full focus movement and it really does work. The E-M1 must use both PDAF, and CDAF, with 4/3 lenses to assist in focussing for this to work.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. ahinesdesign

    ahinesdesign Mu-43 Veteran

    432
    Dec 6, 2011
    NC, USA
    Aaron
    I tried it with my G5 and 12-35mm and it seems to improve the speed of AF lock (although I have no way of gathering any actual data on time to acquire focus...). The 12-35mm is already very fast to focus, so even a "big" improvement may not necessarily be that easy to determine with any certainty. In good light and/or high-contrast scenes, it may not make much difference. I would expect cranking up sharpness and contrast to most affect AF speed/accuracy in situations with lower contrast that were more challenging for CDAF systems to begin with.

    My test was against my usual custom JPG mode of "Natural" with sharpness, contrast, and noise reduction all at -2, and a new custom "Vivid" JPG mode with sharpness and contrast cranked up to +2. I'm not a fan of the JPG output, but I can use the other custom mode when I need the JPGs to look better or I'm not recording RAW+JPG.

    I have a photo shoot in the morning where I'll test the boosted sharpness+contrast theory to see if it really does improve AF speed and accuracy. I've done the same shoot several times with a variety of lenses, so I've got some past images to compare against...
     
  12. glenchen68

    glenchen68 New to Mu-43

    4
    May 25, 2014
    this piques my interest as a new owner of an EM10... does it work with just contrast upped instead of contrast plus saturation?

    I say this because saturation in Oly cams are already blown IMO. I am usually a JPEG shooter.
     
  13. kirschm

    kirschm Mu-43 Regular

    82
    May 4, 2014
    Germany
    What's also good to test: Does 'too much tuning' (everything set to the max, plus Vivid, plus I don't know) may have negativ impacts (e.g. quick, but wrong focussing).
     
  14. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I tried adjusting both the 'vivid' setting as well as the sharpness/contrast. The latter made no difference, but setting to vivid mode was noticeable. It made no difference doing both.
     
  15. glenchen68

    glenchen68 New to Mu-43

    4
    May 25, 2014
    I prefer natural but I guess I could live with vivid if that alone really does improve AF lock speed. Not too keen on pushing saturation to max though..
     
  16. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I exclusively shoot RAW, so the settings are irrelevant for me.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. glenchen68

    glenchen68 New to Mu-43

    4
    May 25, 2014
    i am staying put with JPEG. Will try just upping contrast alone to see if there is a difference..
     
  18. dejongj

    dejongj Mu-43 Veteran

    230
    Jun 3, 2013
    Whipsnade, UK
    Jean-Paul
    I like the idea....I do find it very hard to evidence though as my lenses snap immediately into focus as they do...Any suggestion on how to evidence this?
     
  19. kirschm

    kirschm Mu-43 Regular

    82
    May 4, 2014
    Germany
    I think there are at least 2 ways:

    1) Often the AF immediately finds the focus... but the focus was wrong (even, if there was nothing with different distances within the focus field, just check the focus distance in the Exif Info)

    2) At night / at low contrast... perhaps focus hunting stops hunting
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. kirschm

    kirschm Mu-43 Regular

    82
    May 4, 2014
    Germany
    See my 'Preliminary results' in the first post:
    OzRay: More Sharpness or Contrast might have no impact at all (kirschm: but it might matter, if it was set to minimum before?)

    Any evidence for this?