E-M1 Optimal Settings AF-C

Albino_BlacMan

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I tried to shoot my son's speedskating tonight with my newly acquired E-M1.

I'm blown away by the ISO performance (I shot some shots at 6400! with my E-3 I would just have put the camera away. I couldn't shoot past 800).

However I had problems trying to get AF to lock (lighting wasn't great but at times I was around f3.5, 1/350s, ISO 2000).

I'm wondering what the optimal settings are to get the best from the camera's AF system. Any tips and tricks would be greatly appreciated.
 

barry13

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Hi, which lens? Some have quicker AF...

For flying birds, I've had best luck with S - AF and single or small center point, but others like larger grids.
Refocus for each shot.

Also try C - AF with single shot or slow burst mode.

Also try panning.

Barry
 

pdk42

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C-AF is pretty useless IMHO. S-AF with a refocus for each shot, or using the old-style pre-focus is the most reliable way to get sharp shots of moving subjects on any CDAF camera (apart from the Nikon J1).
 

GRID

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C-AF is pretty useless IMHO. S-AF with a refocus for each shot, or using the old-style pre-focus is the most reliable way to get sharp shots of moving subjects on any CDAF camera (apart from the Nikon J1).
I´ve been using C-AF and C-AF tracking on my E-M1 and it works quite well with the Oly 75mm on F1.8 when shooting rallycars, both coming straight at me and at an angle, so I would not say that it´s useless.

For the OP, i just selected C-AF and it worked, so i dont have any setting to help you, maybe it´s the speed of the Oly75mm that helped me.
 

Growltiger

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I recommend this (because S-AF is incredibly fast and reliable):
S-AF, single focus point (standard not small), High speed continuous - half press to get focus than instantly fire the shortest burst your finger can manage (about 3 shots). Repeat.
What lens?
 

zathras

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C-af works great if you set it up right and if you realise you have to stick to the central part of the finder to catch the PDAF sensors. I use the 3x3 grid AF points locked to the centre, face detect off, review off, drive to L. Make sure you have the latest firmware. My last test showed some hunting when target far away then it would grab the target and track flawlessly.
 

RamblinR

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Try the following

Shoot in RAW
Picture Style – VIVID
Sharpness 0
Contrast +2
RGB +2
Continuous Shooting LOW
Focus – C-AF
J - Frame Rate - HIGH
Turn IS off
 

Albino_BlacMan

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Hi, which lens? Some have quicker AF...

For flying birds, I've had best luck with S - AF and single or small center point, but others like larger grids.
Refocus for each shot.

Also try C - AF with single shot or slow burst mode.

Also try panning.

Barry
I'm using the 50-200 SWD right now (there aren't many fast enough options out there until the 40-150mm comes out which is on my "to buy" list)
 

Albino_BlacMan

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Try the following

Shoot in RAW
Picture Style – VIVID
Sharpness 0
Contrast +2
RGB +2
Continuous Shooting LOW
Focus – C-AF
J - Frame Rate - HIGH
Turn IS off
Thanks for this! I'm wondering why you turn IS off (I could definitely use the IS help in low light).

What does everyone use for AF lock (I'm usually trying to lock on one skater/player/runner/subject that is coming towards me to I need to adjust to that change in distance but not to other people coming into the frame).

Also in VIVID with settings adjusted do I want the camera set to Art LV mode: mode 1 or mode 2?
 

Albino_BlacMan

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C-af works great if you set it up right and if you realise you have to stick to the central part of the finder to catch the PDAF sensors. I use the 3x3 grid AF points locked to the centre, face detect off, review off, drive to L. Make sure you have the latest firmware. My last test showed some hunting when target far away then it would grab the target and track flawlessly.
My big question here is are all the PDAF sensor made equal or are the outside ones less sensitive than the inside ones?

Also are any of the points cross type? Or are they all linear (and if there are cross type sensors which ones are they)?

Also is there a consensus on single vs 3x3 pattern. Usually single seems like it would be easier for me (and I can usually stick it on my subjects face and leave it there) but if 3x3 works better I could probably make it work too.
 

Albino_BlacMan

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My big question here is are all the PDAF sensor made equal or are the outside ones less sensitive than the inside ones?

Also is there a consensus on single vs 3x3 pattern. Usually single seems like it would be easier for me (and I can usually stick it on my subjects face and leave it there) but if 3x3 works better I could probably make it work too.
And as an extension of this question are all the CDAF AF points created equal (If I use a m43 lens are some points better than others or are they all equal)?
 

zathras

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There are no sensors on the outside part of the frame so no use asking about them.

I use 3x3 because I shoot planes so easier to keep a big area on the target as I pan. You do whatever floats your goat
 

barry13

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Hi, my understanding is the E-M1 has less PDAF points than the E-1, E-3, or E-5.

It has lots of CDAF points.

The 50-200mm does not support CDAF however.

As mentioned, make sure you're on recent firmware (on the body AND lens); E-M1 firmware 1.4 had some big AF improvements for 4/3 lenses.

Barry
 

zathras

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I feel fw 2 improved the tracking in my mft lenses, it is simply brilliant now, once it locks on its absolutely rock solid with my 75-300
 

Albino_BlacMan

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Hi, my understanding is the E-M1 has less PDAF points than the E-1, E-3, or E-5.

It has lots of CDAF points.


Barry
It actually has more PDAF points than any previous Olympus camera. The E-1 had 3 (I think), the E-3/5 had 11 and E-M1 has 37. However I'm not sure if they are cross type or not (all the E-3/5 points were cross type).
 

RamblinR

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Turning off IS in caf mode allows faster shutter in high or low (can't remember which) generally when shooting action you would have a shutter speed over 1/500 to freeze the action so IS would not be needed.
 

zathras

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Turning off IS in caf mode allows faster shutter in high or low (can't remember which) generally when shooting action you would have a shutter speed over 1/500 to freeze the action so IS would not be needed.
Except if you are me, I shoot planes and prefer to keep my shutter speeds below 1/400. Below 1/160 for helicopters.
 

pdk42

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The E-M1 PDAF points are NOT cross type.

Regarding using settings such as Vivid, high contrast etc to improve AF, there is a lot of debate about whether it's any help or not. There's a thread on it here somewhere. Personally, I don't think it makes any difference. HOWEVER, for sure it's not going to do anything for PDAF - if it works at all it's because it helps CDAF.
 

Albino_BlacMan

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The E-M1 PDAF points are NOT cross type.

Regarding using settings such as Vivid, high contrast etc to improve AF, there is a lot of debate about whether it's any help or not. There's a thread on it here somewhere. Personally, I don't think it makes any difference. HOWEVER, for sure it's not going to do anything for PDAF - if it works at all it's because it helps CDAF.
That makes good sense. Can't believe I didn't think of that.
 

Replytoken

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I recommend this (because S-AF is incredibly fast and reliable):
S-AF, single focus point (standard not small), High speed continuous - half press to get focus than instantly fire the shortest burst your finger can manage (about 3 shots). Repeat.
What lens?
Any particular reason that you recommend standard size focus points rather than small?

--Ken
 
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