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Is E-M1 focusing better than E-M5II

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by gary0319, Jan 31, 2016.

  1. gary0319

    gary0319 Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 26, 2014
    Sarasota FL
    I posted this over at the m 4/3 forum on DP review, but thought I'd come here for the "expert's" opinions.

    To wit:
    I'm thinking about adding an E-M1 body to my kit for doing action shots and maybe BIF. I'm hoping the Phase detect of the E-M1 will make a difference on two of my lenses; the Oly 14-150 and the Panasonic 100-300.

    My question is whether I'll actually see a difference between my E-M5II and the E-M1 with those two lenses. The Olympus marketing makes a big deal about the dual focusing supporting the older 4/3 lenses, but very little about how it affects the newer m4/3 lenses.

    Any opinions would be appreciated.
  2. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    My understanding is that PDAF only works with C-AF in the E-M1.
  3. nicksoti

    nicksoti New to Mu-43

    Aug 16, 2015
    Actually, pdaf is only used whith older zuiko lenses. Also with adapted canons and metabones adapters. Not with m43 lenses. So I don't think you will see any difference, except there is a specific lens - body combination that i miss.
  4. HalPAnderson

    HalPAnderson Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 27, 2014
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. gary0319

    gary0319 Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 26, 2014
    Sarasota FL
    This from the link above by Olympus, thanks for posting it, Hal.

    Thank you for contacting Olympus Technical Support.

    Yes, the Dual FAST AF system can use both the contrast and phase detection elements when a micro 4/3 lens is used, the camera decides when to take advantage of both systems. If a 4/3 lens is used, only the phase detection portion is used.

    It mirrors what I got from a poster on the DP Review forum
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  6. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    When I've configured my E-M1 so that it could use PDAF, I didn't find that it helped much. With my glorified P&S Panasonic LX100 that has Depth from Defocus (DFD) I have a much better hit rate with BIF. At least big ones, like brown pelicans, which isn't surprising with a lens that maxes out at an equivalent 75mm. With the Pen-F turning out to be an answer to a question I didn't ask, I'm probably going to pick up a GX8.
  7. atarijedi

    atarijedi Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 13, 2015
    From my tests, I have determined that PDAF works, with native M43 lenses, when in Sequential-H, in both CAF and SAF (non-tracking). And it is only true since Firmware v3.0, not sure if anything changed in v4.0 though.

    So, when using those settings, you can see an outline of the PDAF sensors appear on the LCD, and if you keep your subject in that outline, the camera will use the PDAF sensors, outside of it, it defaults to CDAF. It may be appearing during Seq-L or Single shot, but I haven't seen it.

    I learned about this after finding an update to Darrell Young's Mastering the EM1, the update was released after Oly put out Firmware v3.0


    So if you see that outline, you know PDAF is working. Example of the LCD and PDAF outline below taken with my shitty Xperia Z smartphone camera, settings were Seq-H and S-AF.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    • Informative Informative x 4
  8. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    Yes, we know it works; it's just not particularly effective for getting in focus shots.
  9. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Actually, I talked with Olympus about this directly. The PDAF works with all m43 lenses as well - they just do not give you the choice of only using them exclusively like you see on a legacy 4/3 lens.
    The focusing algorithm determines what type to use and when. I asked if there were any way to know when the camera might use one over the other and I was told "proprietary secret".
    • Like Like x 1
  10. nicksoti

    nicksoti New to Mu-43

    Aug 16, 2015
    U R right, my mistake... I mostly use my e-m1 for video anyway, just 3000 cliks in 1 year. But having both zuiko's and m'zuikos my impression was pdaf only on zuikos and cdaf on mzuikos. Have not used seq high much... Have used once sigma 19mm, mzuiko 45mm and sigma 30mm as a 2nd photographer with my wife for a paid job, and was not impressed with focus speed and accuracy, did not seem faster than my old lumix G10, although it was speedy enough. However, i think each lens - body combination is a bit different in my experience. For example zuiko 14-54 II i have focuses quite slow in pdaf and does not seem to use cdaf in dim light, but version 1 of the lens focuses faster as I have been told. Anyway E-M1 is a quite complicated machine and experienced users can make wonders with it.
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