Switch from Pentax to m43: question about continuous auto focus and other options.

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by matt_not_andrew, Mar 19, 2014.

  1. matt_not_andrew

    matt_not_andrew Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 22, 2013
    I've been thinking of switching to m43 fully but have a focus question which might help me decide.

    I have a Pentax K-r and the lens I use the most is the Pentax DA 18-250. I also have the Tamron 17 50 2.8 and Tamron 70 300 variable aperture zoom. I have the DA 18 55 but that sits on the shelf since I got the 17 50. I use the walk around 18 250 zoom most as I have a 17 month old toddler and a dog who are my main reason for photography as well as family trips and holidays. I don't care about corner to corner sharpness, I just want my subjects to be sharp which invariably is a moving toddler, dog, wife or a combination of the three. I normally shoot said moving targets outdoors using AF-C with spot exposure and selective spot focus using one of the drive modes on the Pentax at around 2 or 3 frames per second at places like the park. I find that the continuous auto focus is pretty good and I get about 80% of shots in focus or higher at anything up to the full 250mm zoom. I find this is my most used lens of all as currently I find the zoom range to be very handy.
    I use the Tamron 2.8 for indoors but not the scatter gun approach above. I also have a decent Pentax flash which helps immensely with indoor shooting using bounce. I wouldn't be able to replace this any time soon if I switched. I'm wouldnt replace the 17 50 2.8 lens on m43 either as the replacement lenses are out of my price range.

    I also have a GX1 with the 14 42 pz and the 15 bcl. I use this as my pickup and go camera but recently I've been wondering about switching to one system to make lens purchasing easier and hopefully cheaper in the long run.

    I've read some reviews of m43 which say that continuous auto focus shooting is better on a dlsr and can be hit and miss on m43. Since this is how I get a lot of my shots, I just wanted to know if anyone on this forum made the leap under the same circumstances?

    I'm looking a few options at the moment for m43:

    1/ Sell the Pentax system, keep the GX1 and buy the Panasonic G6 (its almost as cheap as the GX1 was when I bought it last year) with either the twin zoom kit lenses or possibly a 2nd hand 14 140 Panasonic to replace the 18 250 Pentax. It would live on the G6 as I'd stick to the pz and bcl and another prime for the GX1. I like the G6 due to its control options, focus peaking and swivel screen with viewfinder.

    2/ My other option is to stick with the Pentax system and upgrade to the K50 which matches the G6 with focus peaking (something I'd really like for my old manual lenses) but also has weatherproofing for similar price. Obviously this would be a bigger camera but at least I know what the performance would be like and I could use it all year round outdoors in the wet UK!

    3/ Buy the LVF2 eyepiece for the GX1 and use that as my main camera for now, supplimented with the 14 140 if the performance would be good enough. Obviously I'd have to sell the Pentax to fund this. Is the LVF2 good enough to use and how does it stand up to the quality of the G6 eye piece.

    Any advice would be greatly received and if I've overlooked anything or any other options, please let me know. I feel that I need to stick with the GX1 in one way or another as the size it so handy. I looked at the old Pentax K01 but its too big to replace the GX1.

    Thanks in advance.

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  2. matt_not_andrew

    matt_not_andrew Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 22, 2013
    Quick bump to see if anyone knows anything about how good the G6 is for continuous autofocus burst shooting compared to a DSLR? It would help me a great deal in deciding to keep with Pentax or jump ship completely to M43.

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  3. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I think if continuous AF is important to you, then you'll likely be disappointed with u43 cameras. Having said that, I didn't find C-AF to be all that useful on my old Canon gear and single point AF on my Oly gear is much more reliable than it was on Canon. I only very infrequently get missed focus these days but it was a constant issue on my old 5dii.

    OTOH, I know that Canon's more recent AF is much improved over the 5dii, so how all this relates to your Pentax gear I can't say!
  4. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    How fast are your toddler and dog? As Paul said, M43 still lags, even behind the slower AF of your Pentax. Still, as many here have shown, you can capture action with M43, although it takes a bit more practice and skill than a good DSLR.

    If you chose to stay with Pentax, I recommend that you wait for the AF improvements seen in the K-3 trickle down to the other models. The K-3 AF is much much better than prior models.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. matt_not_andrew

    matt_not_andrew Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 22, 2013
    Thanks for the replies.
    I find that if I set my K-r to continuous auto focus burst mode and centre point focus, all I need to do is pan with the subject or zoom out as they move towards me and with the baby (slower), the camera keeps her in focus quite well. With the dog its a little harder as she's a lot faster. I know I can get fantastic photos from any camera in static settings so in that case, m43 would suit me fine but sitting back with a walk around lens and firing away as my toddler plays gets me good results.
    I guess if m43 bodies are less likely to track focus in such situations, I'll have to reconsider.
    Either way I'm keeping my GX1 as its far too useful, even with the slower pz 14 42.
    I'll have to try something like a G6 in store to see if it will suit my needs.

    Thanks for the replies guys.

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