How do you setup your camera for autofocus?

cjoliprsf

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Thanks for the replies.
It is interesting that many prefer using the 1-Area with a small square rather than pin-point.
I'll try it...
 

ac12

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Thanks for the replies.
It is interesting that many prefer using the 1-Area with a small square rather than pin-point.
I'll try it...

For me. It is from back when shooting a dSLR.
I had to have enough contrast on the subject, for the AF to work.​
The AF on the dSLR would hunt, if I put the AF point on a solid color shirt or sport uniform.​
So I reasoned on the Olympus, if the AF point was too small, it could land on the solid color part of the uniform, and not be able to focus.

If I were shooting stationary subjects, and had time to put the smaller AF point right on what I wanted to focus on, then I might use the small AF point.
 

Phocal

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I will also add that of all the models that do have PDAF sensors in them, I am guessing not all of them are using the dual/hybrid focusing system the same way. Especially when comparing models like the E-M1.1 which had a lot of the dual focusing updates pushed to them in later FW updates (so potentially not nearly as effective as...) vs. later models which benefited from having these AF modes designed into them from the get go.

I guess I could of worded that a bit better. The original EM1 had dual focusing system where the camera used CDAF in SAF and PDAF in CAF. From the mk2 onward they changed the wording to say Hybrid because it operated like I said in my previous post.
 

Phocal

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@Phocal , notwithstanding the fact that you do indeed fine tune your focusing set-ups, what are your preferred modes for say; stationary wildlife and flying/jumping/fighting birds?

I have never had a great hit rate with CAF for example.

Do you have a preference for smallest focus target or something larger?

Do you notice an improvement in sharpness when using electronic shutter at longer F/Ls (I 'think' I'm seeing sharper images when I shoot low speed bursts on silent shutter - but I have too limited a collection of pictures to say for sure)?

Asking for a friend.

For stationary subjects I will 99% of the time use small focus point (which I position for best composition, I never use focus and re-compose) in SAF. For moving subjects or if I am expecting a bird to fly and I want a BiF shot I will use the small focus point in CAF. The only time I ever use anything other than the small focus point is for airshows, mostly because I don't need the precision of the small focus point since anywhere on the aircraft will put it in focus since the DoF at those distances is huge and it is easier to see the large square vs small square in the viewfinder. I never use tracking as I don't find it work all that well but I have been playing with the bird tracking on my X, haven't gotten enough data with it to figure out if I like it or not (bird photography season is just getting here so by end of summer will know how I feel about it). I also never use any of the cluster auto focus point setups. I want focus where I want it and using clusters can to easily get focus on say the wingtip of a bird flying and not the eye which can result in a soft photo. Focus point placement is something I prefer to keep in my hands vs the camera.

I have not noticed any difference in sharpness between mechanical and electronic shutter. Before getting my X I never really used electronic shutter because on the original EM1 it really wasn't an option. I use it on my X because I can and it cuts down on shutter wear.

Phocal
 

doxa750

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For stationary subjects I will 99% of the time use small focus point (which I position for best composition, I never use focus and re-compose) in SAF. For moving subjects or if I am expecting a bird to fly and I want a BiF shot I will use the small focus point in CAF. The only time I ever use anything other than the small focus point is for airshows, mostly because I don't need the precision of the small focus point since anywhere on the aircraft will put it in focus since the DoF at those distances is huge and it is easier to see the large square vs small square in the viewfinder. I never use tracking as I don't find it work all that well but I have been playing with the bird tracking on my X, haven't gotten enough data with it to figure out if I like it or not (bird photography season is just getting here so by end of summer will know how I feel about it). I also never use any of the cluster auto focus point setups. I want focus where I want it and using clusters can to easily get focus on say the wingtip of a bird flying and not the eye which can result in a soft photo. Focus point placement is something I prefer to keep in my hands vs the camera.

I have not noticed any difference in sharpness between mechanical and electronic shutter. Before getting my X I never really used electronic shutter because on the original EM1 it really wasn't an option. I use it on my X because I can and it cuts down on shutter wear.

Phocal
Your point of using single point in C-AF reminds me of something I need to work on more. I started with that set up initially but wasn't skills enough and came up empty with too many frustrations :). With 5x5 (with my current skills) it gives me better chance of capturing the images. With luck, I would have one image with the perfect focus on the fast moving subject.

Thanks for sharing your experiences..
 

RichardC

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For stationary subjects I will 99% of the time use small focus point (which I position for best composition, I never use focus and re-compose) in SAF. For moving subjects or if I am expecting a bird to fly and I want a BiF shot I will use the small focus point in CAF. The only time I ever use anything other than the small focus point is for airshows, mostly because I don't need the precision of the small focus point since anywhere on the aircraft will put it in focus since the DoF at those distances is huge and it is easier to see the large square vs small square in the viewfinder. I never use tracking as I don't find it work all that well but I have been playing with the bird tracking on my X, haven't gotten enough data with it to figure out if I like it or not (bird photography season is just getting here so by end of summer will know how I feel about it). I also never use any of the cluster auto focus point setups. I want focus where I want it and using clusters can to easily get focus on say the wingtip of a bird flying and not the eye which can result in a soft photo. Focus point placement is something I prefer to keep in my hands vs the camera.

I have not noticed any difference in sharpness between mechanical and electronic shutter. Before getting my X I never really used electronic shutter because on the original EM1 it really wasn't an option. I use it on my X because I can and it cuts down on shutter wear.

Phocal

Thank you for the response. Looking at your photography, I perhaps should give Olympus CAF a chance and practise some more.

I never use anything but the smallest AF target and have got into the habit of placing it according to how I'm hoping to compose the picture. It's probably less critical with aeroplanes, but with macro, holding focus and recomposing isn't really an option unless I'm working with the very smallest apertures.
 

Phocal

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AlI can say is what I have seen in the Olympus training videos, but they are sometimes inconsistent.
But in multiple videos they indicated that using the smallest point as in the screen shot in my post PDAF is not used. Weather they are right or wrong I do not know but they specifically mention that, they show the small point compared to the normal focus squares where you do not see the grid so to speak.

Makes me wonder why this information if true is not detailed more in the manuals as you can see here it is a hotly debated topic.

To access these videos you have to have a session login in from Olympus, they are available for a period in time only for the Australian training videos. For Asian and USA facebook hosted videos they seem to last indefinately.

The Australian videos that I watched they were not available for download, but I used capture software to get copies, so I cant host these anywhere for those who do not have a link since that would not be allowed.

I have no technical knowledge so cant comment more. In the end for the photography I do it probably does not matter.

For me I will put this topic to bed and let the more technical people debate it.

Olympus really needs to do a better job of vetting the people they have doing their training videos. Especially since people like @retiredfromlife will never believe anything anyone else says because in an Olympus training video they said X, despite that the information is easily proven incorrect.

For anyone who owns an EM1 (any model) or EM5mk3 put your camera into CAF and use the small focus point and photograph a car in your neighborhood coming at you. When you have 90%+ in focus images you will know that PDAF was used. To prove it even more and you have a non-PDAF Olympus camera handy you can repeat it using the other camera and notice the well below 50% of in focus images.

It always amazes me how ignorant most of the Olympus Visionaries really are about how the camera works.

Edit - @Neil Harris the only thing that changes your camera from CDAF to/from PDAF is SAF or CAF. In SAF the camera uses CDAF and in CAF it uses PDAF. The focus point size has nothing to do with the camera using CDAF or PDAF. This information is completely false and it is a shame that someone doing official Olympus videos is putting out wrong information.
 
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ac12

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That is why I always chuckle at reviews of Sony cameras that gush over their AF and especially their EyeAF. There are dozens of us that rarely take photos of people and can't or don't trust the camera to choose where to focus.

I "tried" face AF, and gave up in frustration.
IMHO, face AF has to be used in the proper conditions.
For an individual or a small dedicated group yes it would work.
At a party/group there are tooooo many faces, and the camera does not know what face to focus on. And watch out for the people in the background. The few cameras that I tried, did not have a way for me to override what the camera selected. So it was what the camera selected or nothing. Many times it was a frustrating experience, with faces that I did NOT want, selected to be focused on.
Bottom line, for me, face AF does not work.
 
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Phocal

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If you are far enough away from your subject that the entire subject will be in focus using a cluster AF is fine. But if you are like me where parts of your subject will not be within the DoF because you are so close, focus point placement is very crucial. I learned while photographing bike racing that you can't put the focus point on your subjects chest because the face will be soft. You have to get the focus point on the head to have any chance of getting the eyes sharp. My first time shooting a mountain bike race I came home with a lot of soft images because of that, learned my lesson the hard way.
 

Phocal

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Yes I wrote that one poorly.
What I meant was when using the below focus box size phase detect is not used
View attachment 880721

Not sure if it is in the manual but the below screen shot is where Olympus talks about it in their training videos [Learn with Olympus Intermediate in Oct 2020]

The screen shot shows S-AF but in the speech it mentions it does not matter for stills etc but for "moving subjects" you will not be utilising the full capacity of the camera.
This video did not exactly say say C-AF but by saying "moving subjects" I am guessing this is what they meant. Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong in that assumption.

In another video one of the live session questions was does phase detect work in S-AF, the answer was vague but I cant find that one to check the exact wording used. I have too many to check

This is the video title and date with time stamp for anyone who has access to the video
View attachment 880722
View attachment 880723

If anyone was interested in watching a video with at least one bit of inaccurate information here is a link to it on Facebook The time stamp for the bad information is at 14:45.
 
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