My take on m43 for bird photography

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by mannukiddo, Aug 8, 2015.

  1. mannukiddo

    mannukiddo Mu-43 Veteran

    217
    Jul 28, 2013
    India
  2. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    In your post you mention that you wish Panasonic and Olympus would work on a hybrid focus system.....the EM1 has this and is actually not that bad (not Canon or Nikon good but pretty effective and hopefully the EM1 mk2 will up this even more).
     
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  3. mannukiddo

    mannukiddo Mu-43 Veteran

    217
    Jul 28, 2013
    India
    Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. But AFAIK the EM-1 resorts to phase detect AF with legacy 4/3 lenses but its still contrast detect with native m43 lenses. So I wanted to see something like Nikon 1 that does a fabulous with native Nikon 1 lenses for AF and focus tracking in particular.
     
  4. VooDoo64

    VooDoo64 Mu-43 Veteran

    240
    Jul 17, 2010
    Zagreb - Croatia
    Davor Vojvoda
    Em1 have CD-AF + PD-AF for focus tracking and c-af usege - i know that because I have E-M1 and 50-200 and 40-150 PRO, both do very good on c-af but PRO does it faster because of dual af motors
     
  5. gcogger

    gcogger Mu-43 Veteran

    342
    May 25, 2010
    UK
    Graeme
    The AF in Panasonic cameras has been steadily improving, so I suspect you'd get significantly better results with a GH4 or G7. Using a G7 with a 35-100mm f/2.8 is, IMHO, at least as good (probably better) for tracking AF as my old Canon 40D and L lenses, and much better for the initial focus lock. Results with the 100-300 were slower all round, however, so I'm hoping the 100-400 will be better when it comes.
     
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  6. VooDoo64

    VooDoo64 Mu-43 Veteran

    240
    Jul 17, 2010
    Zagreb - Croatia
    Davor Vojvoda
    100-300 is not at all lens for doing testing for c-af or af-tracking or birding, new Panasonic body with DFD af with lens that have support for DFD is light year ahead of some old body and 100-300, try G7 with 35-100 or EM1 with 40-150 PRO and than compare it with DSLR

    the main problem is that Olympus is holding too long now for 300mm f/4 PRO and they are doing something on the lens and I'1m afraid now that it will be to expensive if they put OIS, why they didnt let it out without OIS and for good price so everyone who love birding go from large systems to m43 is beyond me - they have a chance now to make m43 system very desirable if they put 300 PRO soon and for good price ( 1200 € max - 7-14 f/2.8 is 1200€ so I dont see why prime would be more than that, 1000€ would sell many many OMD body and other PRO lens)
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2015
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  7. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Rob
    A nice, well-written article. Minor feedback is that there are several general statements about m43 based upon experience with one camera. Panasonic GH* and Olympus OM-D bodies would eliminate some of your issues.

    Enjoyed it and hope you provide updates, especially if you when you get the upcoming 300/F4 Pro and EM-1 mk2 some day.

    I look forward to more.
     
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  8. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    The PDAF works will all m43 lenses as well as legacy lenses. I've contacted and discussed this directly with Olympus. he kicker is that you cannot tell the camera to only use PDAF, it determines based on a n engineer determined algorithm when to employ them.

    Here is my correspondence with Olympus America:

    ME
    Category: Digital Cameras
    Model: E-M1Type of Inquiry: Camera Questions
    Users Operating System: Windows 7

    Question: I just wanted to clarify a question about the focusing system on the OMD EM1.
    Hoe does the hybrid AF system work? I see a lot of information out on photo forums that the PDAF system only works when a legacy 4/3 lens is attached. My understanding is that the PDAF system works with micro 4/3 lenses as well, but the camera will determine which focusing system is best to incorporate at the time the shot is taken.

    Does that sound accurate?

    Olympus
    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 detectionportion is used. For more information regarding this, please refer to the following web page:

    http://asia.olympus-imaging.com/products/dslr/em1/feature/05/


    ME
    Are there any guidelines regarding when the camera might choose one over the other?
    Like, when shooting in bright light, would the S-AF use PDAF, and then shift to CDAF when the light was too dim for PDAF to be effective?
    I'm also surmising that the PDAF would be preferred when using the C-AF Tracking. Would the same be said for standard C-AF?

    Olympus
    No, we don't have any published guidelines for this available to the public. This is all done automatically in the background by the camera, and there is no way to adjust or control this by the end user. I personally don't think that the camera is using one AF system over the other with these lenses, but both systems at the same time when possible. Please remember that this is proprietary system developed first by Olympus, and this is one of the main reason that a lot of these very specific technical details are kept confidential, to deter copying or "borrowing" of this technology by others.
     
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  9. mannukiddo

    mannukiddo Mu-43 Veteran

    217
    Jul 28, 2013
    India
    This is very good info. But does this really translate to EM-1 having tracking abilities of a Nikon DSLR?
     
  10. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    What a stupid answer from Oly. Basically what they're saying is that they won't tell you how best to use their equipment since it's a secret - what nonsense! Imagine a similar conversation about cars:

    Customer: Can you tell me what the difference is between sport and normal transmission shifts?
    Manufacturer: Sorry sir, that's classified. Just drive it, we know what's best.
     
  11. Lcrunyon

    Lcrunyon Mu-43 Top Veteran

    758
    Jun 4, 2014
    Maryland
    Loren
    I think that depends on the specific DSLR. Against lower end DSLRs, the E-M1 would fare pretty well. Its firmware upgrades and new lenses have pushed the AF capabilities (particularly tracking speed) quite a bit, but it is not up to par with the top DSLRs. I can't speak to Nikon, but I do have a Canon 7D Mk II, which has one of the best tracking systems of any camera, and it is naturally still superior to the E -M1. In fact, I bought it solely for birding, because despite a year of trying to overcome the deficiencies of the E-M1 (pre 3.0 upgrade and 40-150mm pro) and 75-300 mkI with technique, I got too frustrated and tired of waiting for the 300mm pro.

    While before it was more black and white (the Oly C-AF just couldn't keep up), I think the differences now can best be expressed in keeper rate. I'm generalizing just for the sake of expedience, so please don't take this literally - but if the Canon can capture 7 out of 10 pictures in focus of a passing bird, the E-M1 would probably do 4 or 5. If the Canon could do 10 out of 10, the E-M1 could probably hit 6 or 7. Like a lot of people here, I really hope the E-M1 MkII will have enough of an upgraded AF to make it a seriously competitive birding kit, given the long-awaited arrival of the 300mm Pro and all the other advantages m4/3 has for wildlife photography. It won't take much more.

    I've heard Panasonic's DFD is also quite an advancement, though I haven't heard people weighing in on how the GH-4 handles BIF, at least I haven't come across any comparisons.
     
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  12. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    It doesn't mean that it is as good, I can attest to that first hand. What it does mean is that the potential is there.
     
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  13. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    I take it as the support tech I was talking to probably didn't have that much detail about how it worked. Of course, I was not speaking to the specific algorithm they used, but to best understand how and when the camera would determine the best tmes to use PDAF/CDAF.
     
  14. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 5, 2013
    Dan
    I saw a test on youtube a while back that tested the tracking focus of the EM-1, GH4, and Sony A6000 at a motorcross event. They rated the GH4 as best. They also brought out a pro level dslr, I can't recall if it was Nikon or Canon, and of course it was better. It was also substantially more expensive.
     
  15. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    I believe that was before the EM1 got the firmware update.
     
  16. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    Clint
    The Camera Store’s test was before the 1.4 version firmware update. The E-M1 with version 3.0 firmware is a lot better focusing than before for both 4/3s and m4/3s, and again for both S-AF and C-AF modes. It was the Nikon D4s (the $6,000 speed demon of cameras) the mirrorless cameras were tested against.

    For BIF – GH4 and O-MDs and using m4/3s high end lenses, or on the E-M1 the 50-200 or SHG/Pro 4/3s lenses. Anything less and the subject matter becomes significantly more challenging than it already is.

    Propriety processes are what defines the differences between each manufacturer. No other camera manufacturer tells us exactly how their equipment does what it does, Olympus's answer was direct and honest.
     
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  17. VooDoo64

    VooDoo64 Mu-43 Veteran

    240
    Jul 17, 2010
    Zagreb - Croatia
    Davor Vojvoda
    also for Olympus E-M1/5mk2

    "Two key things to note, to get the best performance from the camera's continuous AF. The first is a reminder that the camera won't continuous autofocus when set to maximum (10fps) shooting speed, so you have to use Continuous L mode to get the benefit of its AF capability. More problematically, the default 'release priority' setting for C-AF mode results in a high number of missed shots. Disengaging this setting (Menu/Custom Menu/C/Rls Priority C) will greatly improve the camera's hit-rate without having too much of an impact on frame rate."
     
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  18. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    Not sure about the EM5mk2 (don't have one) but with the EM1 you are not correct. With the new firmware the EM1 will do 9fps in C-AF, if you are in high and set at 10fps it will drop to 9fps (if in low it will do 6.5fps for C-AF). The major difference between high and low now is that in high it will keep the exposure from the first shot all the way thru and in low will adjust exposure for each photo.
     
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  19. VooDoo64

    VooDoo64 Mu-43 Veteran

    240
    Jul 17, 2010
    Zagreb - Croatia
    Davor Vojvoda
    this bold text is essential ..
     
  20. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Rob
    It's also probably very complicated and not easily documented. Why cause more confusion for something that can't be altered anyway. Even so, I wouldn't divulge such IP either.