EM-5 scene mode strange pulsing.

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by monchan, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. monchan

    monchan Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 7, 2012
    Tottori City, Japan
    I was out shooting in the snow the other day and decided to try out the snow/beach mode
    with the dial set to scene mode. In This mode it seems to focus no problems, but once it has locked focus
    it seems to pulse like a heart beat (the image in the view finder) It only happens in the snow/ beach mode.
    Am I the only one ? what do you think is a likely cause? Is this the start of something bad?
  2. monchan

    monchan Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 7, 2012
    Tottori City, Japan
    Can anyone check their em-5 in snow beach mode and see if you get a strange
    pulsing in the view finder. This is not the lens hunting, the AF locks on then the image seems
    pulse, can`t think of a better word for it. It`s driving me mad not knowing if its just me.

  3. lightmonkey

    lightmonkey Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 22, 2013
    im guessing you've got overexposure highlight on.
    beach and snow mode sets the camera to overexpose to whiten the sand and snow.
    the highlights are intentionally blown... and the blinking or flashing alerts you of that fact
  4. Rudy

    Rudy Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 24, 2013
    Oakland, CA
    I don't think that's it. The overexposed areas are shown in solid orange on the EM-5 (if that feature is turned on).
    I just tried the snow mode on my camera and did not get the described effect, but I was inside and it wasn't anywhere close to overexposing.
    All it seems to do is adding 1/3 EV and for some strange reason turning on continuous AF in that mode...
  5. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    Monchan, Was there any kind of lighting in the area that employed AC power (60 Hz) that could have conflicted with the sampling rate of the monitor refresh?
  6. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    If it's doing continuous AF, it's probably trying to track the snow and shifting the focus around.
  7. ornithology

    ornithology Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 21, 2013
    Vancouver, BC
    Real Name:
    Yes, this may be it. Sometimes with continuos focus on it does this. I hate it when it does that in Video mode...
  8. monchan

    monchan Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 7, 2012
    Tottori City, Japan
    Thanks for your replies.

    It`s nothing to do with lighting or continuous focus. or highlights. Happens inside, outside.

    But have no idea of the cause, but have nailed it down to
    my em-5 and the panny 25mm combo. just went through all my lenses and I only see this with the panny 25.
    It`s not rattlesnaking, it`s not hunting. the focus locks on and then starts like I said kind of pulsing.
    The photos taken don`t seem to have suffered in any way they look fine to me.
    I also realized it`s not just in the viewfinder but the LCD screen as well.

    Recap, I only see this with the dial in scn mode, with snow/ beach selected and with the Panny 25mm on.
    but not with any of my other lenses. Oly 45mm, 12-42, 60mm macro.
    Can you guys try that combo if you have it.
  9. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    If it happens on screen, try filming it with a smartphone or other camera and posting a clip?
  10. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I just tried it and can confirm the 'pulsing' is worst with my E-M5 and PL25.

    It seems to be caused by C-AF, at least for me. Snow/beach forces C-AF for whatever reason, and once I half-press to lock AF, it starts doing C-AF hunting to maintain lock. After the initial AF 'lock' the lens AF continues to oscillate for a while (very under-damped). The same occurs for any other photo mode if I have C-AF on (but not C-AF video, oddly). For some reason the PL25 is particularly bad - I can see minor oscillations with my Olympus MSC lenses but it's far less obvious and dampens down quickly.

    Interestingly the next most obvious is the O45, and the O12-50 and O40-150 are barely noticeable. I suspect it's partially that the PL25 is just weird with the E-M5 (it also rattlesnakes for example), and partially a function of DoF. The lens meters at f/1.4 (low DoF) so any minor AF adjustment is going to be very visible on screen, compared to say the zooms which meter at around f/4 (large DoF).
    • Like Like x 1
  11. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    I think that if it's a CAF issue, it makes sense that the slower lenses won't 'hunt' as much, given that the DoF is much deeper than for a 1.8 or 1.4 lens.