Face/Eye detection: e-m1 mark ii vs g9

ooheadsoo

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Jan 13, 2018
Messages
528
I'm interested in feedback on the face/eye detection in the e-m1 mark ii, especially after the 3.0/3.1 firmware update? For those of you with experience with it, how is the hit rate? Is it reliable? Would you say the hit rate is higher than 60%?

I have the G9 and have a custom mode set to switch face detect quickly, but I'm finding that the hit rate often leaves something to be desired. It will often fire sequence after sequence of completely OOF shots, and perhaps even more frustratingly, it will sometimes confirm face focus lock but actually be locked on something else in the frame with more contrast. This is more frustrating because it's often hard to tell when something is slightly oof while shooting vs completely oof where I know adjustments have to be made to reinitialize focus acquisition.

So what can you guys share? How does the e-m1 mk ii compare?
 

ooheadsoo

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Jan 13, 2018
Messages
528
I turned it off. Found it too distracting.

I know what a face looks like. I don't need little green rectangles showing me where the face is.
In a posed photo, I can see where unreliable face/eye detection would be a handicap. In fact, you might even say ALL autofocus is a handicap, if you want to take that route. However, I find face/eye detection highly desirable when I'm shooting portraits where the subject is moving, especially if they're moving erratically or quickly. It's also highly useful if I hand the camera to someone else to take a photo of my family.
 

ac12

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Apr 24, 2018
Messages
1,871
Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
I gave up on face detection in general because, at a party/event, odds are greater than even that it will focus on people other than who I want focused on, or include others that I don't want focused on. And when it does that, there is no quick fix to unselect certain people.
The only option is to crop tight enough that ONLY the people that you want are in the frame.
So out of frustration, I am back to single point AF.

I would only use face AF when I have control over who is in the frame.
 

ooheadsoo

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Jan 13, 2018
Messages
528
I gave up on face detection in general because, at a party/event, odds are greater than even that it will focus on people other than who I want focused on, or include others that I don't want focused on. And when it does that, there is no quick fix to unselect certain people.
The only option is to crop tight enough that ONLY the people that you want are in the frame.
So out of frustration, I am back to single point AF.

I would only use face AF when I have control over who is in the frame.
Agreed, I would not use it for event shooting, at least if I'm trying to layer with OOF elements.

I'm thinking about portrait sessions where the subjects are the only people in the frame, but are moving quickly or erratically, where I think face/eye detect would be a huge advantage - if it worked reliably. More specifically, I'm taking shots of my almost 1 year old, or him with my wife. He's squirming around, if not downright moving on all fours, and if I'm trying to nail focus on a portrait lens with shallow DOF, depending on how close I am, it's quite easy to miss focus. It would be great to have reliable face/eye AF so I can focus on composition. It can sometimes be a struggle just to keep everyone in the frame. There's a reason why face/eye AF is a pretty big deal.
 

ac12

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Apr 24, 2018
Messages
1,871
Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
Agreed, I would not use it for event shooting, at least if I'm trying to layer with OOF elements.

I'm thinking about portrait sessions where the subjects are the only people in the frame, but are moving quickly or erratically, where I think face/eye detect would be a huge advantage - if it worked reliably. More specifically, I'm taking shots of my almost 1 year old, or him with my wife. He's squirming around, if not downright moving on all fours, and if I'm trying to nail focus on a portrait lens with shallow DOF, depending on how close I am, it's quite easy to miss focus. It would be great to have reliable face/eye AF so I can focus on composition. It can sometimes be a struggle just to keep everyone in the frame. There's a reason why face/eye AF is a pretty big deal.
I would NOT be using shallow DoF.
Give yourself a focusing buffer.
 

ooheadsoo

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Jan 13, 2018
Messages
528
I would NOT be using shallow DoF.
Give yourself a focusing buffer.
Well...sounds like so far, indirectly, we have two votes for the e-m1.2's face detect being rather uninspiring.

Stopping down is great for increasing hit rate when using MF or phase detect on a DSLR, but when the face detect misses, it misses by a mile - far more than stopping down would help. I mean, it's just completely OOF a good portion of the time on the G9.

This is potentially a great tool, if it would work reliably. It's not that I can't or don't know how to use normal AF modes, or even manual focus. I have hundreds of keepers shot wide open, using various AF techniques, I'd be happy to put on my wall. When you use manual focus, even the near misses can be keepers if you catch the moment or expression. Face detect is just another tool, like PAS(M) modes, and metering modes, and CAF, and high continuous shooting speeds, and pro capture, and on and on, that help you get more shots more easily.

So I have plenty of keepers, but that doesn't mean I don't regret the shots I missed. Anyway, enough justifying the usefulness of face detect on the E-M1.2...I'm more interested in your experience with it.
 

ac12

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Apr 24, 2018
Messages
1,871
Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
I recall reading that the face had to be a certain percentage of the image, to give the face detect enough to recognize as a face.
But I do not know what the limit is, since I don't use face detect.

But I understand your point, and it probably will be useful in a more controlled situation.
I should probably give it a try also.
 

ooheadsoo

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Jan 13, 2018
Messages
528
Fwiw, dpreview tv had a short on the new g9 firmware and at the very end, they showed the g9 still doing what I know it to do best: show a box over the face and completely miss focus. I still have my fingers crossed, but I'm not holding my breath.
 
Joined
Apr 20, 2019
Messages
316
Location
Tasmania
Fwiw, dpreview tv had a short on the new g9 firmware and at the very end, they showed the g9 still doing what I know it to do best: show a box over the face and completely miss focus. I still have my fingers crossed, but I'm not holding my breath.
Thanks for that - the info that is.
I've been eyeing the G9 due to much cheaper (here) prices, but wondered if there was any improvement in that area with latest firmware.
I still prefer to keep to Olympus and would like the EM1 2. Not sure if latest firmware for that has overcome that problem described above?
 

ooheadsoo

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Jan 13, 2018
Messages
528
Seems no one has really tested this stuff for m43. The tests I see online are all for sony/nikon etc. It's a shame because I really love the G9 otherwise and the value can't be beat.

For example, can the new front focusing preference help face/eye detect's random losses of focus? From what I can remember, when face/eye goes haywire, it's always hunting for the background.
 
Last edited:

Latest posts

Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Mu-43 is a fan site and not associated with Olympus, Panasonic, or other manufacturers mentioned on this site.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2009-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom