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On sensor PDAF & the E-M1 mk2

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by nstelemark, Dec 1, 2015.

  1. No PDAF

    1 vote(s)
    1.8%
  2. Yes, of course, PDAF

    47 vote(s)
    82.5%
  3. Bacon

    9 vote(s)
    15.8%
  1. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    So what do folks think, will the E-M1 be the last body with 4/3 lens support?
     
  2. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    767
    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    Of course not. The very high end 4/3rds lenses are still in their catalog and being actively sold. Just like the E-M1 was finally a replacement to the E-5, so will the E-M1 mkII be for the E-M1.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    Graham
    Olympus might call it the E-M2 if it's a really radical step forward, like they did with the OM series. I suspect this is why the model designations are so spread out. They can do 4 major upgrades on the top and middle cameras before running out of numbers. (A little off topic, I know.)
     
  4. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    No it won't. In fact, Olympus is working to perfect PDAF so that all future bodies like the E-M5 Mk III and 10 Mk III will come standard with PDAF. This is to counter Panasonic's effective DFD technology and 3D tracking. What's important is those PDAF sensors need to be all cross sensors and AF algorithm need to include effective tracking.
    The E-M1 Mk II should be that body that showcase this new tech. This will be exciting!
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    Maybe. The 150f2s are sold out. The 300f2.8, 90-250f2.8 and 35-100f2 are all backordered. This leaves the 14-35 as the sole SHG lens in stock. The 50-200 and 12-60 are in stock but selling so cheaply used I can't see them moving many if any of them. The retailers mostly have none of these in stock (maybe b&h for a few).

    Olympus also has new lenses to sell that overlap the HG and SHG glass. The Pro 8, 7-14, 12-40, 40-150 and soon the 300. I'm trying to see the advantage of putting PDAF on the sensor and optimizing the AF in the firmware for lenses that are limited sellers at best except for the used market.
     
  6. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    I'm glad to see the bacon vote! :drinks:
     
  7. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    It's not just Panasonic. Fuji and Sony basically made good PDAF a mainstream must. Frankly it's now a bit of a joke that the lower end Olympus models don't have PDAF at all, Panasonic have DFD in the G7, Fuji have it in the XT10, Sony have it in the A6000. The lower end ones should at least get limited PDAF coverage and tracking, but the E-M1 replacement will have to do a lot better to match say the A7RII with its almost full coverage.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  8. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    I'll buy this argument but I'm not sure that correlates to optimized 4/3 lens support.
     
  9. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    767
    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    I was always under the impression that many of the SHG lenses were made to order so they wouldn't normally have many in stock. Also there are a LOT of people who simple refuse to buy used lenses (I don't really understand those people myself, but they are out there and I am sure reading these forums), so while you and I may be happy to pick up a used 12-60mm, etc. many people would never dream of using someone's used lens.

    I wouldn't call some of those lenses an "overlap". For example, none of the micro-4/3rds short zooms offer f/2.0, a full stop of light gathering better that you can get on the 14-35 and the 35-100. And the 40-150 Pro doesn't have the reach of the 90-250mm which offers the same 2.8 fixed aperture. Hopefully Oly might start offering something above the "Pro" line to match the old SHG line up, but right now they are not really at that level at all.

    And finally, the advantage of of putting PDAF on the sensor and optimizing the AF is that it isn't limited to only the old 4/3rds line up of lenses. v3 of the firmware already introduced dual AF mode focusing in certain situations that work with micro-four-thirds lenses. As someone else already mentioned in this thread, the weakness of the current PDAF points on the E-M1 are that they are not cross type focus points. Add those to the new sensor and they can probably implement many further advances in their auto focus system for ALL AF lenses, old 4/3rds and micro-4/3rds lenses. To poo poo PDAF as a legacy lens only feature is short sited. There is no reason why micro lenses can not fully benefit and improve their performance using those same AF points.
     
  10. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    767
    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    It doesn't. But the only drawback to the E-M1's current legacy 4/3 lens support is the lack of cross point AF points. Other than that if the AF points can get a lock, the E-M1 focus just as fast on the E-M1 as they did on older dSLR models. But occasionally they miss (sometimes I have to turn mine close to 45-degrees to get a lock when focusing on certain scenes that are lacking in vertical lines to lock onto). So if the next sensor simply includes cross point AF sensors, you basically are 100% back to where they were when they left the E-5 behind.

    Now they can start working on improving and optimizing the new sensor & camera to get kick ass AF performance out of all their AF lenses including micro-4/3rds lenses and in more shooting modes. I would also hope this could be used to improve video focusing as well.
     
  11. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    PDAF will not only be optimized for 4/3 support; it's for general usage and will eventually be filtered down to the lower end bodies. This came from the President of Olympus Inc. himself off the Japanese translation from the last camera show. PDAF+CDAF hybrid isn't new. Sony has it on their A6000 and A7 II and A7RII. The new Sony A6000 successor will surely have more advanced hybrid AF system in 2016, so I'm sure Olympus has to have something to counteract that. Looking into the future, the mid-end and lower-end Olympus cameras are actually kind of dated in regards to continuous AF. You see, a low end Nikon D3200 or even a D5300 can beat both the E-M5 II and E-M10 II in AF tracking and these bodies aren't expensive. This is 2015; not 2012 or 2011 where people really need a working continuous AF. For single AF, CDAF is fast and perfect.

    Whether you like it or not, this is where I see Olympus as one of the basis for growth as the President of Olympus himself conceded that there are some challenges to improve the hybrid AF system while sensor technology slides sideways. So Hybrid AF will improve as new models come into the market..

    If you read and listen carefully; there is definitely a market for smaller cameras that are capable of replacing the large DSLR in regards to AF tracking. This is something that doesn't require the same noise and DR performance of an APS-C or full frame sensor, so makes Olympus task easier to achieve similar performances and be able to sell new cameras to existing E-M1 and other brand users.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2015
    • Agree Agree x 3
  12. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    The arguments for PDAF are basically:

    1. Olympus wants to support its legacy lenses.

    2. Olympus needs better CAF.

    And these two reasons lead directly to on sensor PDAF. The PDAF arguments note that Sony has invested heavily in PDAF on sensor so it follows suit that other mirrorless vendors will.

    Starting at the last point I think for marketing reasons this is possibly the strongest argument in favour of PDAF on sensor for Olympus. Sony did this primarily because they are promoting the idea of using other vendors PDAF optimised lenses with their bodies (ie Canon + MetaBones).

    I don't think #1 works anymore for Olympus. The stock of SHG glass is basically empty and the HG glass prices have tumbled since the introduction of the E-M1. This is counter intuitive but I think lots of Oly shooters bought the E-M1, bought new glass, realized it was light and great and dumped the 4/3 glass. This leaves Oly selling new glass which is all optimised for micro movements.

    The second argument is a strong argument for better CAF but I don't think this necessarily points to PDAF as the solution. The new m43 sensors are not coming out with PDAF on sensor, Panasonic doesn't need this and I suspect Sony has no driving reason to integrate their existing tech into the m43 sensors. Personally my guess is that Oly will choose a software solution to better CAF.

    If they choose the PDAF on sensor route they will be the only customer with a specific sensor implementation for m43 and they will pay higher prices. Oly is aggressively pursuing profits. I don't see PDAF helping this.
     
  13. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    For shooters new to m43 there are zero reviews or marketing pieces aimed at 4/3 glass. They might as well not exist. I would be really surprised if Oly is making any of these either. They are definitely not making any 150f2s. These have been unavailable for years now except on the used market.

    I am not suggesting PDAF is only for legacy support, but if you listen to/watch and read the bulk of m43 review this is how this is being positioned. So is this implicitly poor reviewing? Or are the media packages positioning the feature this way?
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2015
  14. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    PDAF is not just for legacy 4/3 lenses. This seems to still be a fallacy that still has some teeth out there.

    I contacted Olympus directly about it and the m4/3 lenses also use the PDAF in both S-AF and C-AF focusing modes. As stated by others previously, the master and enhancement of PDAF tech is in all camera makers best interest.
     
  15. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    Definitely poor reviewing now. When the EM1 first came out, the legacy lens support was a to featured item... but one needs to dig deeper sometimes to get the answers they need. One issue is that a lot of reviewers believe that they won't get an answer back from camera companies. That might be true for Nikon and Canon, but I've found the modified innovators like Fuji, Panasonic, and Olympus all are very responsive.
     
  16. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    I think the enhancement of CAF is in camera makers best interest. Given the Panasonic DFD solution I don't think PDAF as a given follows.
     
  17. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    I believe that a hybridized system has a better chance at future enhancement, performance and growth versus a CDAF only system. Time will tell, though.
     
  18. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    767
    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    While something like Panasonic's DFD system is a nice work bit of engineering it has some draw backs. First and foremost it requires knowing everything about the lens you are attaching to the camera and when it doesn't then the DFD system is disabled and you go back to normal contrast auto focusing. So basically this system is mostly going to support Panasonic lenses only. Olympus lenses will not be directly supported by the DFD system. Likewise, if Olympus implemented this own DFD system, it would primarily only be useful for Oly lenses. Not to mention many of the third party lenses which support autofocus (such as Sigma) would likely not be supported by either manufacturer and so wouldn't benefit from improved AF speed on either system.

    Where as PDAF on the sensor supports ALL autofocus lenses you attach to the camera. You don't need to know anything about every combination of lens setting possible, how the bokah on each looks, etc. It just works and the phase detection is all done on the sensor itself. No need for a lot of heavy computing by the camera. Not to say Panny's DFD system isn't a very ingenious method of improving contrast detect AF, but it is still a work around to not having phase detect AF.

    Adding phase detect onto the sensor itself doesn't seem to be a big deal. The E-M1 has them as do other manufacturers and my guess the cost to add them to a sensor is probably rapidly dropping. So why wouldn't a camera manufacturer take advantage of something that is built in and easy to use? I know Sony already has a cell phone sized sensor developed which has PDAF and is 21 megapixels, so I would be they are working on other sizes for non-phone applications as well.

    And why does it have to be one or the other? Why couldn't you continue to develop improves CDAF while also having on-board PDAF helping out as well?
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
  19. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry

    If the cost is nominal per part then other than the reduction in image quality associated with the PDAF sites sure.
     
  20. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Rob
    All I know is that I was playing around with a 7dmk2 and a d750 today and the AF is amazing. Really hoping the e-m1.2 closes the gap. So flexible, so reliable. Would be a great thing to have finally.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1