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C-AF Noise in Video on E-PL2/3

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by woof, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. woof

    woof Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 18, 2011
    The present.
    When C-AF is engaged, it sounds a bit like a woodpecker when the system tries to focus. My E-PL2 does it and so does my E-PL3... So while new to these cameras, I am certain this is a well known issue.

    So what is the best workaround? I realize that setting enough DOF and using S-AF will work - but how about an external mic? Do they cut the C-AF noise? Any very simple ones that you can recommend? I'd be looking for a small unit that might clip to the hot shoe and/or a lapel and had good wind damping capabilities.

    Any help will of course be most appreciated.

  2. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Possiby an external microphone & a lens that was made with video recording in mind...
  3. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    It's a lens issue. Get an Oly "MSC" or Panny "HD" lens which are designed to be silent during video operation, or relocate the mic.
  4. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Yes, an external microphone is what you should always be using to avoid any noise from handling the camera. The "professional" quality of your videos will skyrocket with just that, just like adding proper lighting to a still photo.

    A quieter lens will also help, such as the m.Zuiko MSC lenses (Movie and Still Compatible) or the original quiet lens - the Panasonic 14-140mm. However, these are unnecessary if you have an external mic located away from the camera. You can then use your choice of any lens you want.

    For the E-PL3 and E-PL2 you need the EMA-1 mic adapter. You can get this alone in some areas (not in my area, unfortunately), or you can get it in the SEMA-1 kit which includes a 3.5mm stereo condenser mic along with a short extension cord with tie clip. Even if you have your own mic, you can always make use of the extension cord. ;) 

    Just as a side note though... you'll get much better results in video if you use manual focus instead of C-AF. Only consumer-level camcorders do video AF properly... professional video cameras only use manual focus, and system cameras like ours with interchangeable lenses are best geared towards professional methods of filming.
  5. woof

    woof Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 18, 2011
    The present.
    Thanks... several suggested MSC lenses. The lens I am using is the "kit" lens. Should have said so. It's listed as: mZuiko MSC Digital ED 14-42mm II Zoom.

    The sound is recognizable on the PL2 and its outright LOUD on the PL3...
  6. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    The 14-42mm on the E-PL2 and newer is an MSC lens and is much quieter than the original versions of this lens. A quiet lens is NOT a replacement for external audio, though... it's just a consideration. The E-PL3 has a stereo mic built-in, whereas the E-PL2 only has mono. That might be where the difference in sound you're getting is coming from, but is also a good reason to use an external mic on the E-PL2 - not only to avoid sounds of handling the camera but also to get proper stereo input.
  7. woof

    woof Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 18, 2011
    The present.
    Thanks Ned, and all... I wish the external mic did not take the accessory port, but that's it I guess.

    Thanks very kindly for your help guys...

  8. betamax

    betamax Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    May 7, 2011
    Illawarra, NSW, Australia
    My supposedly 'silent' 14-42mm that came with my E-PL3 still makes the woodpecker noise. In another forum, someone with an E-PM1 exchanged their MSC lens twice, and both had the woodpecker. So I'm not sure if spending money on an MSC lens is the way to go.

    I'd get an external mic.
  9. chris196

    chris196 Mu-43 Rookie

    May 17, 2011
    My EPL2 with the 14-42II MSC does the same thing.
    The oly 45mm is much quieter. I can still hear it a little, but nothing like the kit lense.

    I think I'd still just get an external mic if I was doing lots of video.
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