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GH2 Continuous AF mode

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by John Bourne, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. John Bourne

    John Bourne Mu-43 Rookie

    15
    Jan 30, 2011
    Hi
    Has anyone who has a GH2 tried shooting a moving subject using continuous AF (AF-C) ? I have read (Cameralabs review) that due to the EVF & LCD not showing a live view between frames when shooting at 5fps that is very difficult if not imposible to follow a subject moving across the frame.
    It would seem that this camera is not suited to fast action such as sports or birds in flight ?

    I would be interested to know if anyone has tried to shoot moving subjects in this mode (continuous drive mode, continuous autofocus, focus priority and 5 fps) and what their impressions are. I wouldn't expect it to perform like a high end DSLR but is it completely hopeless ?

    I have chosen a selection of m4/3 lenses that cover pretty much all I would need. This collection would be small and light enough to carry more often than I would carry all my DSLR lenses. That is the attraction. Now I need to find a m4/3 camera that is a competent all-rounder. Although I am not interested much in video, the GH2 looked like the most likely contender. It ticks all the other boxes, and although the image quality isn't quite up to contemporary DSLR standard, I think that it is good enough for my needs. but if its a complete dog for any kind of action photography then it doesn't quite make for a competent all-rounder. (40 years ago I'd have attempted to catch the peak action using manual focus, but sadly what skill I had at that has long since deserted me )

    Best Regards
    John
     
  2. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator

    661
    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    Zach
    I'm pretty sure it doesn't refocus between shots at 5fps. I believe it does at the slower continuous speeds. However, it does show the images between shots so you can track moving subjects that way.
     
  3. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator

    661
    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    Zach
    OK, I lied, I double checked the manual, it does continuous focus between shots even at 5fps. It does live view at 3fps, but honestly, at 5fps, just seeing the snaps is good enough for tracking in my opinion, sure you may be .2s behind, but how precise is your movement anyways, maybe lead it a bit if it's fast moving. I'll have to try the continuous focus some time, I wonder what it chooses to focus on, must be the multi-point.
     
  4. John Bourne

    John Bourne Mu-43 Rookie

    15
    Jan 30, 2011
    Thanks. What you say makes sense, but I guess the proof of the pudding is in the eating. GH2's are hard to find in camera stores, and its even harder still to organise a five a side game in the shop. Its not something that can be easily tried without taking the camera out and taking some time to experiment and learn.

    If you do find time to try continuous focus and tracking at 5fps I'd be interested to know how it goes.

    Regards
    John
     
  5. texascbx

    texascbx Mu-43 Veteran

    389
    Dec 30, 2009
    Texas
    Even the super fast focus A33 and A55 are derided as far as BIF. Even with the auto review turned off, the screen freezes for an instant for every shot so you have to lead the bird and hope for the best. I guess you could adopt the popular red dot sight hack many use on the point and shoot cameras.

    So it's not the focus that is the problem with EVF cameras like the GH1, GH2, A33 and A55, but the EVF.
     
  6. DesertRose

    DesertRose Mu-43 Regular

    91
    Dec 1, 2010
    Colorado
    Well, boo. I tried to use my GH1 for a few BIF shots today of a big hawk and couldn't even get it to lock focus in CAF mode. Even if I manually focused at first, it got lost. Oh well, back to my Canon for that. :)
     
  7. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator

    661
    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    Zach
    That's the point of CAF, it' doesn't lock. :)
     
  8. DesertRose

    DesertRose Mu-43 Regular

    91
    Dec 1, 2010
    Colorado
    Not really, it is supposed to lock on the target as the desired object of focus and then stay with it, right? It wasn't even able to decide that the hawk was the target against a clear blue sky and racked focus. I normally use 1D3 or 7D for BIF using centerpoint for focus, but had tried GH1 just to see what would happen...
     
  9. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator

    661
    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    Zach
    To be honest, I've never had much luck with CAF. I'm not sure what it's supposed to focus on, and since it doesn't give any visual feedback, I'm never sure if it has got it or not. I assume it's using the standard multi point mode.

    What you are describing sounds more like AF Tracking, where you lock onto a subject and it follows it. That works a bit better but in my experience tends to lose the subject pretty often. However, it should work well with a bird in flight against the sky as a background.

    I find plain old center, single focus works the best on m4/3 and rely on the speed of the GH2's focus to acquire focus and take the picture when I need it.
     
  10. Zeamays

    Zeamays Mu-43 Rookie

    12
    Jan 6, 2011
    Northern Illinois
    I happened across a snowmobile trail today, and had pretty good luck with continuous AF on my G2, getting shots of the snow machines in action. First time I've used that mode; I honestly wasn't sure how it worked, but it sounded like a good idea. Just my brief experience with the mode.

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