E-M1 and C-AF for sports - the frustrations...

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by azjsb, Apr 29, 2016.

  1. azjsb

    azjsb Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 19, 2015
    There certainly has been a lot of discussion about the frustrations of C-AF when shooting sports and other highly mobile objects. I have experienced more than my share. I have tried all kinds of different settings including back-button focus; C-AF with tracking; anti-shock L shooting; silent L shooting and my keeper rate using the 40-150mm f/2.8 and 300mm f/4 (which is crazy sharp when I nail focus) is certainly less than 50%.

    I think we all hope that the Mk II will be in a vastly improved state as to C-AF (and depending on ones wish list, other improvements). I would love to get some feed back from those have had materially greater success with C-AF and what combo of camera settings they have used that they find materially superior (but I suspect not D-5 or D-500 perfect...which I am not expecting and I would not move to those bodies because I love m43 benefits too much, on balance).

    Feed back/suggestions please (in a positive way). Thanks.
  2. 50orsohours

    50orsohours Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 13, 2013
    Portland Oregon
    Contact GRID on this site. Yes CAF is not the best but we can't just blame the gear.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. azjsb

    azjsb Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 19, 2015
    How do I do that? GRIDD, help......
  4. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Real Name:
    Mike Aubrey
  5. Indianpeaksjoe

    Indianpeaksjoe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 1, 2012
    I am a huge fan of "sports mode". I shoot almost entirely sporty stuff. With the EM5 I got a lot of missed shots, but with the EM1 I have had great luck.

    Some pics here: Original Pictures From The Mountains

    • Like Like x 1
  6. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Real Name:
    I've been using C-AF (no tracking) usually with single-shot and occasionally sequential low. I use a Zuiko 50-200 SWD and the center 9 rectangles (on PD-AF) and had good success shooting kids soccer games.

    I half depress the shutter as I set up for the shot, so the camera is focusing as I wait for the right moment. I've found the C-AF to work quite well with that and have easily gotten >80% hits on C-AF. Using the 40-150 Pro should be even better with Hybrid AF. I'd suggest using Sequential-L and make sure your EM1 has the latest firmware.

    I don't use anti-shock or silent shutter. I don't think those help and I'm shooting at fairly high ISO to make sure the shutter speed stays high enough to eliminate motion blur (using Aperture priority). Unless, of course, I want the blur. What shutter speeds are you shooting at? Are you sure your out of focus shots are not due to motion blur?

    I have a few of my thousands of soccer shots posted here.
    Showcase - Olympus 50-200mm f2.8-3.5 ZD 4/3 SWD

    And here. Soccer 31Oct15
    Here's a testament to the weathersealing of this gear.

    Yes, the C-AF and C-AF+TR of the EM1 may not be as good as a Canon 7D II, but it ain't bad. I hope the EM1 II improves on it, especially if they make the PDAF sensors cross type and make it a faster processor, but the EM1 is not the biggest limiting factor. It's our ability to use it well.

    I've had problems shooting airshows with this combo, but I've seen other people get good results, so I know it's possible. I just have to get better at it. :)
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2016
    • Agree Agree x 2
  7. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    I find for my sports shooting with my boys, I have never had much success with CAF. Dating back to the 4/3rds days it was awful, but even now with my E-M1, it still is spotty enough in performance that I usually don't use it as it can and does miss badly sometimes ruining a great shot. Instead, I simply use the "feathering" method of just constantly half pressing my shutter button to constantly refocus and when I see my shot I take it. Basically I am being the CAF, not the camera. For my youth sports shooting, I end up with mostly keepers and way more photos to post process than I ever seem to have time. :)
  8. Growltiger

    Growltiger Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 26, 2014
    You could try using S-AF for some cases. The speed and accuracy of S-AF is amazing. Unless the things are going fast towards or away it works well. Depends on the sport and your location.
    • Agree Agree x 1