OMD EM-5mk2 Auto Focus Issues

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by anoly, Jun 8, 2016.

  1. anoly

    anoly Mu-43 Regular

    May 31, 2016
    I've had my new EM-5 mk2 and 12-40 for 3 weeks now and I love it. It's a massive step up from my old Canon entry level 500d and 18-200 kit lens.

    However, one thing I am struggling with is the auto focus when using the "All Targets" modes. I usually select the AF point I need when shooting a static subject, however, with a moving target I don't have the time to.

    My old canon was pretty intuitive when it come to selecting a focus target, however, it only had 9 focus instead of 81 with the OMD. With the OMD, I find it never selects the right target first go and the continuous AF seems completely useless. I tried taking photos of my dog at the dog park over the weekend and really struggled with getting an in-focus shot. I'm wondering if it has to do with the settings I have selected with my camera? I tried with turning face detection on and off but found it made no difference.

    Has anyone had the same issue or is it completely down to user error (99% possible, considering I'm only a novice). What setting would you recommend to receive max performance? Otherwise, what tutorials would you recommend to improve my technique?
  2. JDK504

    JDK504 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 28, 2013

    Welcome to M4/3's weak spot. I have trouble taking pictures of my dogs and little ones as well. I have the EM5 II paired up with PL 15 1.7, Pl 25 1.4 and PL 42.5 1.2 and have tried CAF, MF, T-CAF, etc. Nothing really

    works that well. I have found that zone focusing is my best shot (predicting where they are going to be, like on a swing for example while using MF) and even then it's iffy.

    Practicing does help. I have gotten considerably better since I first acquired this body. I am curious to see what they do with the EM1 II. I might move in that direction if the focusing

    is considerably better. Other than that I am more than pleased with my EM5 II. I really do love it.

    Good luck!
  3. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    I would expand that and say, welcome to a contrast detect only system's weak spot. The contrast detect only camera I know of that is the exception and worth a damn is the Panasonic GH4.
    If you need tracking in an Olympus m43 body, the right tool for the job is the EM1.
  4. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Welcome anoly. One thing that makes a difference is how Contrast Detect-AF in the EM-5 mk2 behaves compared to that of you Canon DSLR using PD-AF (Phase Detect). PD-AF (usually) locks onto focus with objects that are nearest whereas CD-AF will lock onto a subject with the most contrasting detail & that is why when using all AF points it will focus on whatever has that detail, including a busy background. It becomes necessary to understand how CD-AF functions in order to gain the best results from it. One advantage from a birding point of view is when a bird is in a bushy tree, the AF will tend to ignore the branches in front of the bird & focus on the bird (so long as the AF box is only covering the bird & it has enough detail in it). If you have all AF targets on & you're aiming at a bird in a clear sky then it should lock onto the bird (in theory). Unfortunately, CD-AF isn't as effective as PD-AF with moving subjects like dogs & especially if you're reasonably close so the dog is racing through the frame, it will struggle to capture the dog in focus. A longer lens from further away can work better, but then the dog doesn't want to stay further away though as they come up to you in their play. You better off using no more than 9 AF target boxes & trying with that, if a single AF will not do it. As mentioned above, the E-M1 is the only model with the inclusion of PD-AF & would use it in combination with CD-AF when using C-AF Hi sequential shooting (PD-AF is also available for DSLR lenses with the MMF-3).
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  5. anoly

    anoly Mu-43 Regular

    May 31, 2016
    Thank you so much for your input!! It looks like I'm going to have to watch a couple of YouTube tutorials to improve my technique so I'm not relying on the camera so much.

    How do you achieve this? I had a quick look at the manual but couldn't find anything. Thanks again too for explaining the difference between CD-AF and PD-AF, makes a little more sense now.
  6. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    Go into the SCP and select the AF area. click the OK button to enable the autofocus display, click INFO until you get the options at the lower left corner highlighted, then use the up and down arrow pad buttons to set the autofocus coverage you want. Exit to the normal screen and you're ready to go.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  7. Clemo

    Clemo Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 22, 2015
    I think you would find the autofocus, especially continuous AF, really likeable in the panasonic gx8. Good for capturing those moments you describe.