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Tips for shooting video with OMD

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by homebrewdude, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. homebrewdude

    homebrewdude Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 26, 2012
    I get really frustrated trying to shoot video with any of the olympus cameras.
    I just re-purchased an OMD and try to use it again.

    It seems that the focus just keeps hunting around, even after it initially looks in.

    I do admit I was in rather low light, but it was a stationary subject.
    I was using the olympus 45mm lens.

    Should I just start to use manual focus?
    What are other people doing?
  2. LeoS

    LeoS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 6, 2012
    Try s-af (Single focus) and half-press whenever you need to refocus.
  3. peterpix

    peterpix Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 8, 2010
    So. Maine
    Peter Randal
    Try manual everything, especially focus.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. ralfmouth

    ralfmouth Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 16, 2012
    I wouldn't use Continuous Auto Focus or Single Auto Focus in low light with this camera since there is no phase detection. You may have to go manual as the "pro's" do. In general, if you're serious about video get a GH3 but I don't know if it is any better with this particular problem. I think they both rely on contrast-detection.
  5. homebrewdude

    homebrewdude Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 26, 2012
    I have a Panasonic TM900 I use if I plan for just video.
    But when I am shooting photos of my kids, and I want a quick video...

    I must say my first go out with my new OMD gave me very little keepers vs my old camera I just sold...
  6. brettmaxwell

    brettmaxwell Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 8, 2012
    I love the OMD for video, though I'm not trying to do anything super fancy. The stabilization is terrific for casual shooting.

    For focus, I set the movie focus to "S-AF+MF". This lets AF with a half-press (usually just to acquire initial focus) and then use manual focus any other time.
  7. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 24, 2011
    I don't. TM900 video - and indeed all Panasonic camcorder video - looks dull and lifeless compared to bright and lively Olympus camera video and the image stabilization is not as good as the OMD's.

    Focus hunting is a problem with the OMD, however, if the subject is small because the camera continually tries to focus on the background instead of the subject that is closer. This problem can be helped, but not eliminated, by reducing the size of the focus box to the smallest possible via:

    make fn2 button magnify
    then press fn2 button
    then press info button
    then turn front dial closest to the viewfinder to 14x
  8. jerrykur

    jerrykur Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 23, 2012
    Northern CA
    I agree. My Canon 5DMK3 does a pretty good job of autofocusing, but the resultant video is unsatisfactory because of the slight hunting. Manually focusing looks gives much better looking results.
  9. Bravin Neff

    Bravin Neff Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 25, 2011
    Bravin Neff
    I also use my OM-D for a lot of personal video work. The main lenses I use are the O12/2, the O17/1.8 and the O45/1.8.

    I use AF-S mode to acquire initial focus or I use continuous mode which works from okay to well if the subjects are moving very fast. If I need manual focusing, I'll pull back the focus ring and go manually from there.

    If you are good at estimating distances, the scale on the lenses are very useful and accurate. Also, the wider lenses allow for much lattitude in focus error that still results in acceptable focus. Lastly, there is a "sense" that kicks in after you do it enough, where you can look at your subject, and just "sensing" its distance from the camera, you can rotate the lens to the appropriate area. Again, there is error in doing this, but if you're suiably close it is just fine.
  10. stripedrex

    stripedrex Do or do not. There is no try.

    Jun 8, 2012
    Long Island, NY
    Set to A mode and do f2.5 in low light as widest but ideally 5.6 with a normal view (17-25). This puts it still better than a standard camcorder in terms of dof but gives you enough coverage it does need to hunt. I shoot hacked panasonics and it really helps with high iso noise to have high bit rates. Sensor is so good in omd I'm sure noise levels are good. Afs + mf is also great advice. Also with f5.6 you can do wide auto focus as long as there's no objects in front of your target. Works on my gh2 at least.

    Sent from my SPH-D700 using Tapatalk 2
  11. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium

    thanks for the input... i sort of understand half what you are saying... not sure many others will!

    you obviously have knowledge... which we like...but maybe don't deliver complex answers from your phone :) 

  12. stripedrex

    stripedrex Do or do not. There is no try.

    Jun 8, 2012
    Long Island, NY
    I'm talking in flux capacitor mode? Computer geek sorry on the pc now =)! To keep it simple the biggest lesson I learned shooting video with DSLR or M43 is working with the shallow DOF. If you keep that 45mm at 1.8 and have autofocus on you will focus hunt even in bright light if your subject is close. Reason being the depth of field is very shallow and even an inch movement lets say on someone's face will be out of focus and some people move a lot just talking. That causes a lot of focus hunting. Shoot in manual or aperture mode and stop down aperture accordingly (5.6 let's say very close or 2.5 further away, you'll have to practice to find what's best). Another thing is 45mm get's kind of tough hand held. People sitting or not moving around much is doable but any level of movement you have to be very good at keeping the camera steady to get good footage. I hear the OMD's IBIS probably handles it pretty well I haven't used one yet =). I personally find the 14-42 kit lenses perfect for video application because it starts at f3.5 and has a focal range that's manageable. I'll even lock it to f5.6 since it covers the full zoom range and I can freely zoom without ill effects to my video changing exposure. You typically don't have focus hunting problems with dedicated consumer and even prosumer camcorders because of small sensors and large depth of field.
  13. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    seriously man...

    learn to break your information into paragraphs

    it makes it so much easier to digest.

    Oh and ease off on the expressos

    sounds like you have some good advice ... but you ain't communicating it well

    hope your videos/movies tell a better story


    • Like Like x 1
  14. stripedrex

    stripedrex Do or do not. There is no try.

    Jun 8, 2012
    Long Island, NY
    LOL sorry man, I did my best there. I Read it over and not sure what else I could have made more clear. Maybe I'll explain in a video one day. If you hate my expressions typing you'll probably hate any video I make speaking since I type like I talk =p. I haven't post processed any of my m43 content yet but here's my old stuff. I'm very amateur still in both my video / pictures.

  15. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    what you are saying is fine... just learn to use the return key

    sometimes the pauses...

    make the the story more compelling and more accessible

    here is where I am coming from



  16. homebrewdude

    homebrewdude Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 26, 2012
    I ended up switching lenses, with a vast improvement.

    Instead of the 20mm/1.7 I am now using the 25mm/1.4.

    Focusing is quick and does not hunt.
    I am also getting used to AF then MF after it locks in. The setting in the camera.

    Now I need to figure out how to switch the top dials.
    The one I always grab is exposure compensation, when I want to adjust aperture.
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