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Testing Panasonic G6's Ability to Track Focus

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by ijm5012, Oct 1, 2014.

  1. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    This past Sunday, I attended a local autocross to see how my G6 would fare at shooting in a scenario like this. The lenses I used were a Panasonic 35-100 f/2.8, and a Panasonic 100-300, with multicoated CPL filters on both lenses. The camera was mounted on a monopod when shooting, to help stabilize the camera/lens in the vertical direction. AF-C was used, with the smallest center box as the focal point, and the burst rate set to "M (the G6 should deliver 4.5 FPS with AF-C in this mode).

    I was pleasantly surprised at how well both lenses did in terms of delivering what I would consider "acceptable" shots. The 35-100 was a bit short from where I was positioned, but I was still able to get some good shots with it. The 100-300 did far better than I thought it would, but it did reveal a big weakness of the lens; it can't keep up with a lens like the 35-100 in terms of continuous frame rate. With the 35-100, I was able to easily achieve the 4.5 or 5 FPS that the G6 is capable of delivering in "M" burst mode, however when I put the 100-300 on my G6, that number dropped to about 2.5 or 3 FPS, quite a noticeable difference. I believe this is because of the older design of the lens, and it isn't optimized to perform on these newer m43 bodies like the newer lenses are. I would really LOVE to see Panasonic update the 100-300 in the same way they did the 14-140 (smaller, lighter, better sharpness across the zoom range, new "look" of Panasonic lenses).

    Anyways, like I said, I was pleasantly surprised at how well the lenses and body performed. I would say that my keeper rate in terms of sharp images was definitely above 50%, which exceeded my expectations based on other reports/reviews I've read about m43 cameras. I've included a link below to view the whole album over on my Flickr page, but you can see some of my favorite photos below. As always, C&C is welcome, I'm always looking for something to improve upon or a new tip to pick up.

    Link to Album on Flickr

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    15406973432_61102058f4_b.

    15384268846_88eab3f15b_b.

    15220712368_ea6de3c7a2_b.

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    15220559979_b4cd62904f_b.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    Good test, serious cars.
    Could the FPR be due to the aperture alone rather than age of the lens?
    Did you set them both wide open, or each at the same aperture?
     
  3. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Both lenses were shot wide open (I needed the speed to help "freeze" the action in some shots). However I've seen reports about this issue before, which I've provided some links to below. From what I understand, the way m43 lenses work with AF is that when acquiring focus, the lens will open the aperture all the way to acquire focus, and once focus is locked it will close back down to the set aperture value. The issue is that the motor that controls the aperture blades in the 100-300 is too slow to open the aperture, lock focus, close the aperture, take a picture, and repeat all of this 5 times per second. What doesn't make sense though is that when I was using the 100-300, I was shooting with it wide open, so it shouldn't have needed to go through all that. Either way, Panasonic has admitted this is an issue with this lens. Unfortunately, we'll likely never know if it'll get replaced (updated) until the lens comes out (if it ever does).

    If they could simply update the aperture control motor, implement Power O.I.S (yes I know vesku, you hate Power OIS for video), improve the sharpness a bit at 300mm, and reduce the size and weight in the same manner they did for the 14-140 lens update, I would be one of the first people on the pre-order list. Maybe one day...

    Link to discussion #1

    Link to discussion #2