Help requested for somewhat fast moving kids

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by JYPfoto, Apr 16, 2016.

  1. JYPfoto

    JYPfoto Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 27, 2013
    Looking for some insight on proper settings using the E-M1 in a somewhat fast moving setup. Coming from an a7rII with decent AF-C performance (dancing little green boxes following subject), I admittedly struggled a bit. I don't shoot action or fast moving a lot, opting to shoot in S-AF all the time with the E-M1, while just for performance reasons I shot in AF-C with the a7rII.

    Heres the situation. Daughters on one of those slower toddler carnival rides that goes around in circles. Had the E-M1, the 12-40 2.8. Had it at f/2.8, SS ranged from 1/1250 to 1/3200 so motion blur wasn't involved, ISO 200. Tried C-AF as well as S-AF. Center point AF. Tried continuous high, continuous low, and just pressing the shutter repeatedly in single shot. Obviously if the initial shot hit, the subsequent ones would more than likely hit. Ended up with probably 30% useable files. Is that what I can expect from the E-M1? Maybe I'm just used to seeing the tracking boxes on the Sony cameras I had previously (a6000/a7rII) and it followed movement better. Im almost used to having zone area for AF like on Nikon and some of the Fujis as well where I can set a 3x3 or 6x6 AF zone, I don't see that option in the E-M1, just single AF point or all, is there a way to set it like zone/area AF? Is there something I can do and set it for better results or am I asking for too much?
  2. Levster

    Levster Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Hi, the E-M1 doesn't offer adaptable zone focussing. I think the Panasonic GX8 does offer it though, which isn't much use for you unfortunately! You can get a 3x3 matrix on my E-M1 by hitting the left D-cursor button, hit Info button, then hit the up D-cursor button a couple of times.
  3. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    Shooting at F2.8 narrows your depth of field, making it harder on the camera. Stop down to increase your DOF and find the balance between DOF and motion blur. You can even use motion blur to capture the sense of movement if you use flash and trailing curtain sync.

    So many different ways to capture a simple scene.
  4. JYPfoto

    JYPfoto Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 27, 2013
    Thanks. I'll do that next time. It was in good enough light that I could stop down to 5.6 or so. It wasn't a matter of motion blur per say just missed focus.

    I just found the 3x3 pattern so I'll try that as well. Just takes some getting used to. I kinda miss seeing the AF points track like they did on he a6000/a7rII.
  5. Benzy

    Benzy Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 18, 2014
    Like Levster said the 3x3 matrix or a larger focus point in S-AF may help. But the Sony is going to AF better with the particular shot you describe.

    Kind of off topic, is the E-M1 a replacement or supplement to the a7rii?
  6. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    The EM1 should have no problem keeping focus. First, if you are just using C-AF then you have to keep the focus point on the subject. I suspect your problem with focus is the focus point coming off the subject and focusing on what ever is behind it. The EM1 also has C-AF+tracking, which I have found to work decently. It really depends on subject and background as to how well tracking works, I will try it first and if it starts its strange behavior I just switch to C-AF.

    I honestly find just using a single focus point to work out much better. I will move it to one side or the other to set up composition, or just leave it in center (just depends on situation). When using say the 3x3 grid it does not work as a zone like other systems. You basically have 9 individual focus points and no way to control which one gets focus and can focus on something other then your subject if your subject is smaller then the 3x3 grid. I just find using a single point to be much more reliable.
  7. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    Smaller aperture for more DOF, slower shutter speed, preset manual/zone focus and maybe even bump the ISO a little bit. I'd see if I could get away with 1/125 shutter since motion is really pretty slow.

    If you end up wanting more background blur, do it in post.

    Rather than jumping through hoops to coax the automatic stuff to do what I want it to do, I generally find it's usually easier to just go manual and tell the camera directly what I want.
  8. JYPfoto

    JYPfoto Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 27, 2013
    Got it, I'll try say 5.6 and 1/125 and adjust upwards from then. After shooting mostly in S-AF, experimenting with C-AF will be a new challenge.
  9. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Make sure that you have the latest firmware.

    Then, in this specific case, if your position is fixed, and the subject distance too and you have reasonable DoF there is no need to refocus. Pre-focus with AF, move the focus clutch back and wait for the right moment.
    Otherwise setting the "Release lag time" to "short" could help if you have a minimum out of focus (it drains the battery more and makes a clack sound on power on). In this case you focused correctly on the subject but the shutter delay was enough to let the subject escape the focus zone. Also be sure to fully press the shutter button to minimize your "AF confirmation - shot" delay.
    Moments straight in your direction are harder to handle, horizontal ones are almost no issue.