E-M10 .... bad at focusing, apparently.

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by jasjb, Mar 28, 2014.

  1. jasjb

    jasjb Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 28, 2014
    So was quite surprised to watch this review, where the E-M10 was criticised for bad AF performance in low light and moving objects.


    While I haven't tried the E-M10, I do think OMD + 45mm is a reasonable performer.

    Maybe two things have happened here:
    • This reviewer seems to be just coming from DSLR land, and has expectations to match.
    • It's a long time since the X-E1 days, where Fuji had the slow AF crown. These days Fuji is pumping, and the E-M1 (with it's quarter size sensor) is left to hold up the OMD range at the expensive price point. As far as continuous/moving AF is concerened, anyway.

    Was going to blindly order an E-M10 soon, after holding one for a few minutes today. Think I may wait a little longer now and see. Would be good to hold and X-T1 too, even though they are completely different beasts.... more for value comparison, atleast.

  2. Ramsey

    Ramsey Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2013
    Zagreb, Croatia
    could be the combination of the first thing as well as using the P20, notorious slow AF.

    You can't expect to match the DSLRs in the moving objects department, at least not yet
    • Like Like x 1
  3. FernandoBatista

    FernandoBatista Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 3, 2012
    I have an E-M10, it's the third m4/3 body I own and I don't find the AF bad at all.
    Coming from DSLRs I understand his point about moving subjects but not for low light subjects, this camera focus quite well even in very dim light.
    Moving subjects are not it’s strong point, I think my G6 was a bit better (but can’t say for sure as I’ve not tried them both side by side with the same lens), but apart from that it focus quite well in every situation I’ve tried it, even in very low light.
    I have an hard time believing the E-M10 with a 45mm on it would have trouble focusing on the restaurant owner like it’s said in the video, unless there's something wrong with it or some user error.
  4. PatrickNSF

    PatrickNSF Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 30, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    Real Name:
    I have an E-M10 and have been very pleased with the AF performance. It is quite an improvement from the NEX cameras I have used. I also have the 45mm and though I have not used it extensively, I haven't had the experience the reviewer has.
  5. Leif

    Leif Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 28, 2012
    Real Name:
    I've used the E-M10 already in some bad light situations and the AF was pretty good. Even in almost complete darkness it could find a focus. I think this guy in the video doesn't has much experience with Olympus mFT bodies so I would guess he just used a wrong focusing mode or was just too close. I've recently seen his comparison between the X-T1 and E-M1 where he made also some mistakes on the E-M1. Looks like he didn't really spend much time with the cameras.

    A quote from the photographyblog review (ink)

    Low-light auto focus continues to be excellent – the system managed to focus down to -2EV (as long as there was something to focus on) even without the use of the focus assist lamp. This is seriously low light, about the same as a landscape lit only by moonlight and nothing else.

    That's also my experience with it. The only thing which might really have been slow is the Panasonic 20mm - it's one of the slowest mFT lenses.
  6. jasjb

    jasjb Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 28, 2014
    Thanks for the replies folks, puts my mind at ease a bit.

    E-M10 seems like the perfect size. Sure it wont match IQ for cameras twice its price... but at this level of portability, I think it might be a winner :cool:
  7. stovi

    stovi Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 25, 2014
    I've had the EM10 for a month and used it plenty indoors for my kids with the 45mm. I've found it to be the best camera I've owned for low light situations and that includes the DSLRs I have. This is not scientific. It's just based on how many keepers I get personally. This video review is too vague for me, just saying focusing sucked is a bit of an ambiguous comment with only end results to judge by. It might help if he said exactly what he was doing, what settings etc. Face recognition works really well too.
  8. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 6, 2013
    Real Name:
    Probably user error. All my olympus focus great in low light. Auto assist lamp helps a lot. Moving objects aren't their forte however.
  9. Anthonys

    Anthonys Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 17, 2011
    Real Name:
    There's a comment from him under the video mentioning the 45mm also had focus issues:

    "Both the 20mm and 45mm had the same flaky focusing in lower light. Most of those examples were with the 45mm... but you're right, different lenses can focus better. I try to target more affordable lenses, not just for my own budget, but because those are the lenses most people will start with.

    We did regularly use the touch screen."

    Interestingly at the start he also says the exposure is often off and shows examples where the background is the right exposure but the faces are over exposed - then in the studio shots says it tracks and exposes on the face really well? Odd that the issue isn't mentioned in any other reviews too?
  10. Harvey Melvin Richards

    Harvey Melvin Richards Photo Posting Junkie

    Feb 15, 2014
    Southwest Utah
    I've had my E-M10 for a little over a month, and I can safely say that all the problems that I have with it are user error.
  11. nuclearboy

    nuclearboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 28, 2011
    Ellicott City, MD
    Real Name:
    My EP-5 also focuses poorly in low light. Very frustrating in some cases. 99.9% of these frustrating times are when the Panasonic 20mm lens is attached. Had the reviewer picked up the Oly 17 or 25 instead of the P20, I would assume his impressions would be different.
  12. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    Panny 20 focuses horribly in low light, and yet it is continued to be presented as a low light lens. The worst advice one can give to an m43 beginner is to get Panny 20 for low light. As much as I love its size and optical qualities, I had to sell it because it's very unreliable. Luckily, we have Oly 17mm f1.8, PL25 mm f1.4, Oly 25mm f1.8 and Panny 14mm f2.5. They all focus incredibly fast in low light for single AF applications. For moving subjects, PDAF is needed which I bet will be coming soon in future models.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. jasjb

    jasjb Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 28, 2014
    Yes I had the older 20mm on a GF1 and it searched quite a bit in those conditions.

    The mention of the 45mm being slow surprised me, however. It wasn't even a particularly dark setting he was testing in. More just artificial light.

    I'm assuming he is wrong about the 45mm, as his comments go against everything I have read from established Mirrorless reviewers. (I've only briefly played with the 45mm, myself)

    Maybe he is too fresh from DSRL land, and mixing the 20mm and 45mm up in his mind at the time of writing.

    Not sure. I do like his review style, even if some of his angles and opinions are quite alternate. Not always a bad thing. And I notice he does go back and update his reviews based on commenter feedback (eg: his X-T1 follow up video).
  14. bhima

    bhima Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 25, 2014
    I have an EM10 and have had VERY little trouble getting focus with either the standard kit zoom or the 17mm 1.8. In fact, the 17mm 1.8 focuses faster than the Canon 50mm 1.4 I had on my DSLR, and my success rate of focus is far greater than either my old Canon, or the Nikon D7000 I use at work (that tends to backfocus ALOT). Likely a combination of things... as the first poster said, if he is using the Panny 20 1.7, that lens is sort of notorious for not doing Oly bodies any favors in terms of focusing.
  15. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2013
    I love threads like these. Everytime people chime in with "I've got no focusing problems...works for me." then you get people saying "back when I rode a horse to work, I used manual focus." Then no doubt someone posts a single in focus shot of a moving kid or dog.

    Here's a revaluation: Focus speed, and more important accuracy are relative.

    If you've never shot moving targets with a very new DSLR or something like a Nikon One, you probably think what you have is fast. Contrast based systems are terrible at moving subjects. They have to yo-yo the lens to get focus. I don't have the 10, but I have the E-M5 and it stinks there compared to a real DSLR with phase detection and most importantly predictive focusing.

    A modern camera with predictive phase is going to calculate the objects moving speed and adjust accordingly. Does that make the E-M10 a bad camera? No, but it certainly is not the ideal camera for sports or moving kiddos.
  16. DL Photo

    DL Photo Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 15, 2012
    Richmond, BC, Canada
    Real Name:
    I do find that my E-M10 does hunt a bit in low light situations, even with the 17 1.8 and the 45 1.8. This only happens occasionally, mostly when the subject does not have enough contrast.
    I am coming from a 7D which has a fantastic autofocus system......so tough to compare this camera with a dslr and lens combo that is almost 3x the price.
    With that being said, the more I use the E-M10 the more I get used to it. I am learning its limitations.
    Still can't believe the overall performance from this little camera.
    Loving it.
  17. stovi

    stovi Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 25, 2014
    There's more to photographing moving kiddos indoors than just focus speed, it's the whole package. I get more keepers in that situation with the EM10 than I do with my Canon 7D. On paper I imagine the 7D should win with bells on?
  18. dombi

    dombi Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 30, 2013
    After watching the video, I am not sure why the author had those AF issues. Looking at the his mis-focused images, I don't think those should have happened they way they did.

    I use the same combo (E-M10 + Pana 20/1.7) and don't experience AF problems. At least not at similar lighting conditions.

    I am wondering if his camera was set up "correctly".
  19. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2013
    Why do you get more keepers with the EM10 then?
  20. stovi

    stovi Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 25, 2014
    I'm not entirely sure! IS maybe. I've been playing with the face recognition which works well. Perhaps I've just realised I need to point at somewhere with contrast. I'll have to go back to the 7D and try that to see if it's just me changing my habits. Maybe it's even because I'm using the LCD which means I'm looking at things differently and predicting the scene better.

    I guess I only commented to say "works for me" as a counter to Northrups review. I just felt compelled to do so as I'm not having issues personally and reviews like that could wrongly put people off.