C-AF+TR better then C-AF?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Klorenzo, Sep 8, 2015.

  1. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    Virtually everyone reviewing the E-M1 with firmware 3.1 who claims to have tested the focus tracking with legacy 4/3 lenses seems – on a reading of their reviews or looking at their videos – to be unable to use the camera correctly.
    Almost all seem to be unaware of the Continious AF with Tracking setting which is designed specifically to follow moving subjects. C-AF is not the optimum setting for this sort of photography (as detailed in the instructions) yet everyone seems to persist in evaluating the camera’s performance based on this erroroneous setting choice.
    Using my legacy 4/3 glass (50-200 SWD and 150/2) and C-AF+TR option, the hit rate of sharp shots on erratic movement (show-jumping, soccer, flying birds) is better than 90%.
    On any OM-D press OK, tap the AF setting box and turn the front input dial until you see the C-AF+TR option – it is AFTER the C-AF/S-AF+M/C-AF+M options. When you see C-AF+TR touch the shutter and enjoy better action focus performance.


    Found here: http://www.43rumors.com/a-bit-of-everything-124/

    Could be worth a few tests, maybe even with other bodies and native lenses. I always thought tracking was for relatively slow moving subjects.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2015
  2. faithblinded

    faithblinded Mu-43 Top Veteran

    929
    Nov 25, 2014
    Cleveland, OH
    Ken
    I read it there and had a good chuckle. I test out tracking with every update to the firmware. I've yet to be convinced it's an area where much improvement has been made. C-AF works well, and has absolutely improved with successive firmware updates. Tracking still goes off the reservation with way too much regularity to be useful in anything but ideal conditions.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
  3. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014

    I am not sure who stated the above (I know it was not you) but to say that those of us out here pushing the limits of what this camera can do are "unable to use the camera correctly" is a pretty bold and completely false claim. I would even go further to say that they have no idea what the difference or similarities are between C-AF and C-AF+Tr are.

    C-AF - will attempt to keep what ever is at the focus point the user has selected in focus as it moves towards/away from the user.

    C-AF+TR - will attempt to track what ever was initially focused on across the frame and keep it in focus as it moves towards/away from he user. It also seems (from my playing with the focus mode) to use a larger focus point/area then then C-AF which can use the small or large focus points. This can be problematic if you are wanting to track say a birds head as it strikes at a fish.

    Both modes use the continuous focus ability of the camera, so any improvement in C-AF will also benefit C-AF+TR (only the ability to adjust focus as the subject moves toward/away but not the "tracking" ability) but any improvements in tracking will not benefit C-AF.

    They both have their uses as I have found out over the last year of using the EM1. If you are able to keep what ever it is you want in focus at the focus point you have selected then C-AF is far superior. As @faithblinded@faithblinded pointed out, the tracking can be pretty wonky at times. I have been following a subject with tracking to only have the tracking point take off in some random direction for no reason what so ever. When this happens you have to let up on the button and get focus again, normally at this point your subject is to far away so you just have to try on the next target of opportunity. When tracking works it is amazing and useful.

    I used tracking to very good success at an airshow last year (this was before the new firmware). What I liked about using it was that I could just keep my focus point in the center for getting focus then as I tracked a plane could let it slide to one edge as I followed to set up better composition. I really liked doing it this way because the planes could come from either direction and it allowed me just keep the focus point in the center. I could have setup a button and set two focus points and switched between them but I had just gotten my 50-200 SWD and only had the EM1 about a month and I had the buttons set up for a lot of different things because I was testing out the camera and lens. But as I said, sometimes it would just move off the plane and follow pure blue sky for no apparent reason.

    I also used it for the Dock Dog competition I photographed just after the new firmware came out. I was having a hard time keeping the focus point on a dog as it jumped (was setup with the dogs jumping towards me) because some dogs would jump high and others low. I found that tracking helped with keeping the dog in focus. But again, it would just do odd things and change focus for no apparent reason.

    For the airshow I don't think tracking got me anymore keepers, but it did make setting up composition a bit easier but could have done the same thing if I had set up the camera a bit different. For the Dock Dogs I think it did get me more keepers. Not because it was superior at keeping focus but because of my inexperience at shooting the dogs and following them. I do tend to use tracking more then I use C-AF only because it's a bitch to follow say birds in flight and when it works it is super amazing. But, it is no where close to what my 7D could do with tracking or continuous focus. As far as I know, Olympus has not made any improvements to tracking and all of their improvements have been with continuous focusing (which also does help tracking but only in keeping focus). Next month is the airshow and I will be testing both of them out once again. This time I will have my camera set up to switch between two focus points so I can use just C-AF effectively. I have learned a lot about the EM1 in the last year and will be better prepared and able to test the camera a bit more and will do review of using the camera at the airshow. I just wish LR would show the focus mode used, I do not have Olympus viewer on my computer (may have to find a quick and easy program for getting this out of the exif).
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2015
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Rob
    I'll be glad when the e-m1 with firmware "X" or e-m1 mk2 has world-class c-AF and tracking. I'd really benefit from it and I'm weary of this constant criticism. It's present in every review and comparison.

    Hurry up Olympus, this is really important and needs to be made history.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    This is the only area where I want to see serious improvement in the EM1 mk2, I personally care less about any other feature. I love the smaller size of my µ4/3 kit compared to my 7D and associated lenses, but will be forced to return to it if Olympus does not make improvements in the C-AF and tracking. I don't expect Canon/Nikon good in the next iteration, but serious improvements need to be made in this area.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Koru

    Koru Mu-43 Regular

    51
    Nov 23, 2014
    Auckland, New Zealand
    I doubt very much will happen with firmware in the same body. Even the last upgrade was really only a minor improvement.
    More processing power will be the real way to make a real difference.
    Cheers,
    Don
     
  7. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    Clint
    With better than 90% of my C-AF and C-AF+Tracking shots in focus - it is really pretty good. I have automobile races to shoot tomorrow and I'm going to see if I can't up that rate to 95% - but I'm still not so sure I want take the 50-200 f/2.8-3.5. I'm right at trackside so the cars will be passing within 50 feet in front of me and that could be as much a hindrance as it is a good thing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2015
  8. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Rob
    That's a great rate Clint. I was just at a group run with the family and my keeper rate was awful - maybe 40%. Terrible for jogging pace. I'm sure some of it is me, but performance was awful.

    Lens was my Sigma 150,2.8 macro. S-AF with it is great so I was disappointed, but not surprised.

    Very frustrating though. No worse than most of my friends with mid and low-range DSLRs really, but still...frustrating and disappointing.

    Couldn't help wonder how different results would be between the Sigma, 50-200, 40-150 Pro.
     
  9. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    I have a Dock Dogs competition I'm shooting next weekend and an airshow next month. I plan on taking good notes and doing an in depth post after each event. For the airshow I will most likely use my ZD 50-200 SWD like did last year but this time without the EC-14. For the Dock Dogs I will take the ZD 50-200 SWD and my ZD 150mm f/2.0 and depending on my position will use which ever is most appropriate. The last one I shot I was able to get really close and used the SWD between 50mm and about 125mm.

    @Clint@Clint that is a really good hit rate. What lens and subject was that for?

    @Speedliner@Speedliner that is pretty bad, wonder if it's the lens. I was around 70% on my Dock Dog shoot even with dogs jumping out of the area with PDAF focusing.
     
  10. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Rob
    Probably Phocal. It hunted a lot and took a long time to recover. Subject often out of frame by the time it did. Great lens for everything else though.

    Looking forward to your results.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2015
  11. VooDoo64

    VooDoo64 Mu-43 Veteran

    240
    Jul 17, 2010
    Zagreb - Croatia
    Davor Vojvoda
    i found that m43 lens works a lot better with c-af than with c-af+tracking, and 4/3 lens works better with c-af+tracking - between those 2, m43 lens with c-af only works a lot better than 4/3 with c-af+tracking.. You wil need at least 9 box af and dont forget to with hi shutter speed and try 5-6 fps lo-brust
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  12. lightmonkey

    lightmonkey Mu-43 Veteran

    480
    Dec 22, 2013
    TR is lateral tracking and in my cursory tests, it is as rubbish as its always been since inception
     
  13. bjurasz

    bjurasz Mu-43 Regular

    127
    Dec 10, 2014
    Cedar Park
    I'm reading this thread and looking for others with interest. I shot my 4 year old girl at soccer practice Saturday. E-M10 with the 40-150 lens, the inexpensive variety. Granted I don't know yet all the settings to use for this but I got a lot of pics out of focus, wrong focus, etc. What I believe I needed to do was turn off face priority. I was using only a single focus point, but often it would jump to a different point, and I think it would do that because of a face. I was using C-AF but not the TR version. I also learned to turn off the shot preview so that I could keep following the action after a shot in the EVF. When a shot was in focus I was very happy with the results, but overall I was wanting my Canon 40D back. :(

    So... turn off face priority, use C-AF TR, turn off preview time, turn on burst shooting, single AF point. Anything else I should do? Thanks.
     
  14. jrsilva

    jrsilva Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 1, 2012
    Portugal
    Jaime
    Now I'm confused.
    VooDoo64 says that it is better use at least 9 box focus AF, but you are saying that a single AF point is better.
    I confess that I don't use C-AF, not only because I usually shoot static subjects, but also because the only couple of times I've tried to use it it was 100% useless. So I'm following this thread with interest to try to learn something from other users experience.
     
  15. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    You can't just follow one rule, you have to stop and think about what you are photographing and what mode you need the camera in. I only use C-AF+TR in specific cases and depending on the subject will depend on how many focus points I will use. If I am shooting the airshow or birds in flight (still deciding on which I prefer for BiFs) I will use multiple focus points because the subject is typically isolated and I don't have to worry about the camera focusing and tracking something else. When I shot the Dock Dog competition I used the center the point because I wanted it to lock focus on the dog before it jumped and then track it as it move within the frame. If I am trying to photograph a soccer game as @bjurasz@bjurasz was, I would use one focus point because I would want the camera to focus on my intended subject and not the person next to them which could happen if using multiple focus points. Remember, in telephoto like macro the DOF is small.........so you want to make sure focus is on your subject and even shooting stopped down some will help with DOF and getting it in focus. I have not tried shooting sports yet with my µ4/3 gear so not sure if I would use C-AF, C-AF+TR or a combination. Tracking can be pretty wonky at times so as long I was able to follow the action I would probably just use C-AF. The nice thing about humans playing a sport like soccer they stay at one level more or less so C-AF is fine. The Dock Dogs jump and found C-AF+TR to give me better results as I was not able to follow the dogs in the jump (more a limitation in my ability then anything else but the tracking worked for me).
     
  16. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    Face priority was causing your problem with the focus point changing, need to turn that off. I am not sure how well the 40-150 is at continuous focus, have not tried with mine or how well anything but the EM1 does at C-AF. Where you shooting in burst or just taking one photo at a time? Can't remember the abbreviation but did you have the camera set to take the photo even if not in focus when shooting burst (RiS priority I think is what it is called)? What were all your settings?
     
  17. bjurasz

    bjurasz Mu-43 Regular

    127
    Dec 10, 2014
    Cedar Park
    Thanks a lot, its confirming what I thought was wrong. I will definitely turn off face priority and I was not bursting. Will do both next time and will look into focus priority settings as well. A big part of my problem is I've learned the camera very well from an "everyday shooting" perspective but don't know the entire camera yet, so I was not able to adjust on the fly Saturday, I could not quickly find the various settings to adjust. :(

    But now, will be assigning a "sports mode" preset to rapidly switch to in the future. :)

     
  18. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    I am always changing the setup on my camera depending on what I am shooting. You may want to make several mysets for the next time so you can quickly switch between them until you find out what works best. One with a single point, maybe one with the center 9, maybe one with tracking etc. This will allow you set things up at home so you are not menu diving when you get there.
     
  19. jrsilva

    jrsilva Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 1, 2012
    Portugal
    Jaime
    Thank's for your reply.
    Now it makes sense.

    One of my frustrating experiences using C-AF was trying to photograph a dog running and playing at a beach. The dog was very energetic and running all over the place.
    I was throwing a wood stick far away and then I tried to photograph him running in my direction. I had no luck.
     
  20. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    Tracking a subject and getting in focus shots takes practice and is not easy even with the best system. Another thing that may help is using the large focus point and not the small one. I typically use the small one for wildlife but when I need to track something the large one is a bit easier.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1