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CAF and CAF tracking on EM1?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by SkiHound, Mar 29, 2014.

  1. SkiHound

    SkiHound Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 28, 2012
    I'm seeing all kinds of different reports on whether it works effectively or not. I have an EM5 and overall I really like it. Increasingly I've been trying to take pictures of moving subjects such as our dogs running and playing. The CAF doesn't seem to work at all for them so I've been using SAF, 4 frames/second and allowing the camera to re-focus between shots. I get some good images but my keeper rate is pretty low. Some of it is no doubt technique. While there are other EM1 features I'd like the biggest draw would be distinctly improved AF for this kind of work. Just don't feel there's any consensus in reviews on this issue. Curious what those of you using the EM1 to shoot action think about the camera. Would also be interested in real world comparisons to cameras like the D7100 or D7 in this regard. Any suggestions for improved technique would be most welcome as well.
  2. FlyPenFly

    FlyPenFly Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    It's a little bit better if you keep it near the center where the PDAF sensors are.

    The PDAF on the EM1 was moreso so you could use Zuiko lenses from 4/3rds on it.
  3. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 8, 2012
    CAF is better tracking just goes all over the place on me never seems to work at all !

    been playing a bit with set it at the highest 10 fps I think ? and just use SAF and hit it for tiny burst seems to do 3 shots

    but for people walking I just use SAF and pump the focus for each shot
  4. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Use the core 9 AF points or even just the center one for C-AF. And turn off face and eye recognition. Save this combo as a MySet for shooting wildlife/pets.
  5. christofp

    christofp Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 21, 2012
    As I have a dog, I did some AF-C shots with my old EM5 but it did not work for me. I ended up using pre-focus and a ten frame burst. One of 10 pics was a keeper.

    I was very, very eager to see if the EM1 does much better with AF-C.

    And it was, did some short test shots at the shop and ordered the EM1.

    I have my EM1 since November and AF-C really works now. Totally different to my EM5. With my 50-200 (which was the second reason to buy the EM1) I get keeper rates of 80-100% with my running dog, and my dog is really fast and DOF is only 20cm. Coming from EM5 this is really impressing.

    And with native mFT lenses the AF-C is even better. At dpreview DonParrot has shown very good sequences of running dogs, even with his EM5. But he says that the only firmware version that worked more or less was 1.2, all others are broken, he says. But now he has an EM1 and he tested it with 50-200SWD and with 75/1.8 and he seems to be very, very impressed too.

    Only issues that I should mention are that you need decent light (faster than 1/200s and below ISO2000) to make the magic work. And the "AF-C tracking" still is totally useless, don't waste your time with this, simply do AF-C and burst rate L, not H.

    Here is a photo of a sequence I shot in December, all photos were tack-sharp, but this one had the best "look".

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

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  6. Whtrbt7

    Whtrbt7 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 7, 2014
    CAF works pretty well for me as long as you're not shooting in really dark environments. Then again Canikon stuff wouldn't track my subject in those environments either. It's good enough for usage but it still falls behind the 1DX and 5D3. Then again, for the size, it's more than good enough. If we start talking about shooting sports, I still prefer manual focus because I can predict where the action is happening.
  7. SkiHound

    SkiHound Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 28, 2012
    Very nice shot Christof and a very nice looking dog. I know I'd like the evf on the E-M1 and I have no doubt the ergonomics are better. But this is really my main issue with the E-M5. Christof, are you using single point when using CAF? As an aside, I bet our lads would love to play with him/her. We took them down to the beach this morning where they met many play friends.
  8. christofp

    christofp Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 21, 2012

    Yes the EVF is nice, but when I switch to my EM5 (which I haven't sold yet) I see no big difference in this regard. Its a little bit better but the EM5's viewer is nice too. But that's only my opinion, others prefer the new EVF by far.

    If AF-C is the main issue: AF-C is totally different as I wrote. Much more fun to use. And which focus point to use depends on target and background. Many opinions floating around, I think at the end the difference between the rectangles is marginal. I simply prefer the standard rectangle and the smallest square (the latter for birds behind branches). For birding against blue sky, most seem to prefer 3x3 rectangles.

    Regarding the dogs: Yes, our dog likes to play, she is only 18 months and very vivid. She is very kind and curious to anyone, only in very rare cases she avoids certain dogs. We have a big forest 50m from our house and we always meet some dog-friends. But last year we were on a really large beach where dogs could play very relaxed. This must have been paradise for her ...

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