Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Sootchucker, Aug 10, 2016.

  1. Sootchucker

    Sootchucker Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 9, 2012
    United Kingdom
    I know I should probably have worked this out a long time ago, but for most of my action shots (dogs running etc.) I've been using my Nikon DSLR's, however I keep hearing that the EM1 when set up correctly, whilst obviously not quite as good as a DSLR, is pretty decent in the C-AF stakes.

    My question is, for an EM1 (with the latest 4.1 firmware), what are peoples best settings for things like running dogs etc. please ?
  2. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Personally (and I stress this most strongly before I start), I'd say that CAF on the E-M1 still stinks even with the latest firmware. It's better than it was at the beginning, but it's still about as useful as a chocolate teapot when it comes to capturing stuff that's moving.

    If you insist on trying then I suggest you start with it set to CAF without tracking, CAF lock set to Normal, and with the central 9 squares selected for AF. If you get it to work, then come back and tell us what magic you have used!
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
  3. Sootchucker

    Sootchucker Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 9, 2012
    United Kingdom
    Really, is it that bad ?
  4. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    I don't think so. I used C-AF (not TR) to shoot kids soccer games. The kids are at least as active as dogs. :) 

    These were with the 4/3rds Zuiko 50-200 SWD, which isn't even a native M43 lens. You should get even better results with a fully native M43 lens.


    You want bad? Try the original EM5 with C-AF or even better, C-AF+TR. That was bad. :-O
  5. SkiHound

    SkiHound Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 28, 2012
    I don't think so either. And look up Don Parrot's stuff on DPReview. I've usually used CAF without tracking, highest frame rate, IBIS off, face detect off, CAF lock normal, release lag time short. I usually use a 9 box focusing grid, but you might try a single box and see what works best for you. I've actually had pretty good luck chasing our dogs in good light.
  6. absolutic

    absolutic Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 21, 2011
    I tried to shoot BIF with EM1 and had very little keepers. With my Nikon D750 it is effortless. In terms of my 4 year old running, it would track him, but I need to do more testing. I know from my Fuji XT1 days that for success on these bodies, one needs to make sure your subject is always inside the Phase Detect Box area....... if you want to wait a couple months, I am hearing EM1 Mark 2 will come with redesigned AF system, so maybe that's your bet. Of course it will cost not that much less that you can buy Nikon D500 today (I saw greymarket D500s selling for $1699 today)... Decisions Decisions..
  7. GRID

    GRID Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 22, 2011
    Oly 40-150mm F2.8 is the only lens I use CAF on, works fine for my kind of action.
  8. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Mixed success. I use back button focus for c-AF and it works ok. Biggest challenge is that anything that crosses the focus grid will distract focus. Doesn't have to be another person crossing in front...can be a ball, a goal, a tree limb. Anything will cause focus to wander and you have to manually re-acquire.

    Other than that it's mediocre. Lens can make a difference. Don't not try it, just expect a moderate keeper rate.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. acnomad

    acnomad Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 5, 2016
    I don't have any DSLR experience to compare it to, but the E-M1 has been satisfactory for my action shots using C-AF without tracking. I understand that the keeper rate would be better with a DSLR, and might go that route someday, but the E-M1 does pretty well.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
  10. Sootchucker

    Sootchucker Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 9, 2012
    United Kingdom
    thanks for all the replies chaps - guess I'll just have to try it myself.

    Interestingly, M43 Rumors just posted this today re the new upcoming EM1 MK II, which if true could give us a real AFC alternative to the DSLR brigade ?

    "hope the surprising rumor I received recently is true. It says the new Olympus E-M1II that is expected to be announced on September 19 could have a new Olympus designed and Sony produced sensor!

    One source added the following info:

    “The sensor is trimmed for maximal AF speed and very fast parallel signal output reading. The sensor reading is twice as fast than on the current Olympus PEN-F.”
  11. absolutic

    absolutic Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 21, 2011
    Now that I think of it, I had the best success with 12-40/2.8 lens. Have never owned the 40-150/2.8 so cannot comment on its performance. I don't own 12-40/2.8 now but searching for one. One thing I definitely noticed that while all m43 lenses share same mount, Olympus lenses work the best on Olympus bodies and Panasonic lenses work the best on Panasonic bodies. From lens correction to shutter shock, it is better to match the lens to the body from the same manufacturer.
  12. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Well, it depends what you’re comparing it with. Against one of the "action" orientated DSLRs like the Canon 7d or the Nikon D750 etc then yes - it really is that bad!
  13. emorgan451

    emorgan451 Mu-43 Veteran

    I find it to be fine for chasing my toddler around. Like others I found best success using CAF with tracking and face detection off,back button focus, and 9 box. I haven't used a dslr, but coming from the EM5 this is a huge step up. My keeper rate is moderate, but I don't practice a ton. I did go to the yard a couple times and practiced on my dogs (Australian Shepherds so pretty quick dogs) and was able to keep them in focus and get good shots. I would guess slightly lower rate than tracking small kids. Not useless by any means in my opinion.
  14. shepx13

    shepx13 Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 7, 2012
    Tyler, TX
    How do you turn on 9 box?
  15. SkiHound

    SkiHound Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 28, 2012
    Push left arrow button, then info, then use up/down arrows to select a focus target grid. You can choose from all focus points, a 9 box grid, a single full size box, or a single small box.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    I came to the EM1 from shooting a Canon 7D (the original 7D) I honestly believe that the CAF of the EM1 is about equal to my old 7D. Now, tracking is a different story and while I have had some success using CAF+Tracking most of the time I just just CAF. I also never use anything but single focus point which I will move around the viewfinder to get better composition. The trick is you have to keep the focus point on your subject and when following people with a telephoto you really need to keep that focus point on the face. The DoF can be very shallow and with a focus point on the chest (especially if the head is forward of the body like on a bicycle) you can have the face out of focus.

    I only use 4/3 lenses and all of mine have had the micro focus adjustment performed. There is evidence that native lenses require micro focus adjustment when using CAF. When I get some time I am going to test that out using one of my native lenses (either my 60mm macro or 75-300).

    Here is a thread I made that is links to my other threads about using my EM1 with 4/3 lenses for action and wildlife photography (you may find it helpful): Using the EM1 with 4/3 Lenses for Sports/Action/Wildlife Photography

    Now, is it as good as the top DSLR's? No, but it is not as far behind as a lot of people want you to believe. The problem is tracking, if you can keep the subject under the focus point it performs very well......so you just need to practice more then those using DSLR's.
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  17. panamike

    panamike Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 5, 2016
    Lincolnshire UK
    I can relate some of your advice to my GX8 and 100-400,i haven't cracked the BIF but ime getting close,it is more difficult than it was on my Nikon DSLR but not impossible.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. Ross

    Ross Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 14, 2015
    Paul Ross
    p { margin-bottom: 0.1in; line-height: 120%; }

    I can add my 2 cents to this discussion. I just returned from a cruise along the Alaska coast and took both my m43 cameras, Oly EM1 and Pana GX8. The lenses were two Pana lenses the 100-400mm f4 -6.3 and the Pana 12-35mm f2.8. The Em1 with the 12-35 lens could NOT focus on early morning light where fog and low clouds were just above the water. The GX8 however with the new 100-400mm lens did just fine under the same conditions. Using the EM1, I had to use focus peeking to get any shots at all under these conditions, and I must agree that worked very well. However I was surprised at the difference between the two bodies using the same lens in their focusing ability under difficult conditions. At times I tried the GX8 with the Pana 12-35mm and it still out performed the em1 in focusing under poor conditions. IMHO, the GX 8 has it all over the EM1 in focusing ability in poor conditions. Over all, I am very pleased with my pictures from this trip. The attached photo is a typical image produced under these conditions using the EM 1 and 12-35 lens. I cannot tell from the EXIF if this used Peeking or auto focus, but generally shots like this required Focus Peeking with the EM 1.
    _8010357-2_ 160801_24 mm_1-200 sec at f - 7.1_ISO 200_LUMIX G VARIO 12-35-F2.8_E-M1.
  19. moonhawk

    moonhawk Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2016
    Dave Cherry
    Pretty useless for hummingbirds with the PL 100-400, even with them sitting still if they're much distance away. Can't acquire focus among all the branches in a juniper. Manual focus requires more turning of focus ring than I have time for before the bird flies away, though I have gotten a few keepers. Can't stand the manual focus on the PL, wish Oly had a similar long zoom.
  20. TomServo

    TomServo Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    Apr 22, 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Brandon Jackson
    I find that setting up without tracking can work very well. These are with CAF and 9 box focus and these guys are moving faster than dogs :)  These were shot with the 40-150 2.8 but there are some with the panasonic 45-200 below those.

    _6120723. _6120773. 6110417.

    And the Panny 45-200

    VintFest2014_0426. VintFest2014_0452.
    • Like Like x 5
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