Face Detection


Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Jan 29, 2010
South Gippsland, Australia
Real Name
Ray, not Oz
I haven't played very much with the face detection function on the E-P2, but just doing so with it on the E-PL1 (seeing how it works as a P&S), I pointed it at our TV and I'll be stuffed, it picks up multiple faces on a TV (using the 14-42mm). It even does it with a TV embedded on a PC screen. I'm just starting to think about this and it's not all the krap that it's sometimes made out to be.

In much of the work I do, shooting people either singularly or in groups and the like is fairly common, and being able to rely on the camera to focus on the faces may not be a bad thing at all. When the camera can actually pick up numerous faces in a group and average the focus, that's pretty good. It really makes things a lot easier when things are tight.

Old and new prejudices may really have to take a back seat.

I forgot to mention that face detection even seems to work with manual lenses, though it doesn't come with AF.



Chuck Pike

Mu-43 Veteran
Apr 3, 2010
Charlotte, NC.
I shoot in uptown Charlotte at least once every week. I tried it, and it makes the GF1 a great street photography camera. It is very fast, and very few shots don't come out correct. I have many pictures on my web site taken using the face detection feature. I was very happy with how it works. It also works on many things that are not faces. It has become my standard setting.



Mu-43 Regular
Apr 18, 2010
Real Name
Peter Jamus
I love face detection on my GF1. I've gotten some awesome candids with that feature.
It's especially useful when you're dealing with 1.7 aperture and what-not.


Mu-43 Top Veteran
Dec 16, 2009
Den Haag, The Netherlands
What I love about the face detection on my GF1 is that it swaps around the programmed names. My son and daughter haves their names randomly interchanged and also get identified as me, my wife or even their grandparents.

When you think about it that's pretty smart.


Mu-43 Veteran
Jan 26, 2010
I just gave it a try on my e-p1 and it ... consistently got it wrong :frown:

I was thumbing through pike's picture that he linked to on his post until I found a few with faces on them. The e-p1 brought up the white box around the face which was kind of cool, it followed the face around as I panned the camera around.

- The camera is about 50cm from the computer screen.
- I moved the camera so the face was on the right side of the image.
- The white box clearly enclosed the face as I expected.
- I put my hand about 20cm from the camera, right in the middle where the green focus box would appear. (The white face detect box is still around the face which is still visible on the side of the picture).
- I snap the photo, and it focuses on my hand, ignores the face and the face goes all blurry out of focus.


I know it's a little contrived but that's what happens when I get excited to try something but I'm sitting at a desk in front of a computer...


Mu-43 Regular
Jun 4, 2010
Colorado, USA
Face detect on the GF-1 works very well - unless close up and using your lens wide open. I find it tends to focus on the nose or the cheeks. At f/1.7 - 2.0 range it leaves the eyes out of focus (front focused). In general, I'll use the face detect. When I really want that eye in critical focus, I'll use a single AF point like I do on my E-3. Use it, you'll like it and it's pretty darn fast on the GF-1 with the 20 and probably faster with other lenses (I just don't have any others to test!).


Mu-43 Regular
May 20, 2010
On the EP2, once Face Detection is turned on, the camera will automatically selects Gradation as Auto. It stays like that even if you turn it off.

So if you prefer to have Gradation as Normal (as it gives less noise), just remember to change back the setting.

Amin Sabet

Apr 10, 2009
Boston, MA (USA)
I thought face detection was a gimmick, but I've come to find it useful. The great thing about face detection is that it meters to correctly expose the recognized faces.

Here's a simple example. I mounted the Zuiko 17mm lens on the Panasonic GH1 in 'P' mode and snapped four photos, two in 'Dynamic B&W' mode and two in 'Standard' (color). All were in-camera JPEGs with automatic exposure. On the left, you can see the results using face detection. On the right are the results using center point AF to focus on my wife, followed by recomposition:

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

In quickly changing lighting, for example at an event where some subjects are backlit and others not, metering based on recognized faces is a lot easier than spot metering, dialing in exposure compensation, or manually exposing.
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