What is the oldest Olympus m43 body that offers eye priority face detection and 'Fast AF'

ean10775

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I know I've asked this question before, but haven't been able to find the thread I asked it in: As the title suggests, what is the oldest Olympus m43 body that offers eye priority face detection and 'Fast AF'? (I understand AF performance varies by lens and continually improves as new models are released, but there was definitely a jump around the time the MSC lenses were introduced and eventually Olympus adopted the term 'Fast AF' as marketing speak)
 

phigmov

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I think AF speed improvements really started with the E-PL2 but didn't hit its stride until the Gen-3 systems - E-P3, E-PM1, E-PL3 and soon after the E-M5. The newer lenses also improved AF on all bodies (the mark 2 14-42 kit lens and the 45 feel much faster even on a lowly E-P1).

I think thats also when the ability to select Left/Right Eye Priority came in. Face detect, and Eye detection were in the earlier iterations but the left/right ability appeared in Gen-3 as far as I can tell.
 

Ned

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Yup, I'm with Phigmov and would say the E-PL2. Though the last question makes the answer subjective, and the first question is tough for me to answer since I never use eye detect or face detect though my cameras have had them for a long time.
 

Dusky

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I've always been a single AF shooter (left or right eye) focus for my portraits. Is there a big difference in sharpness if I use eye priority face detection? Might be off topic op but I am just wondering if I need to start trusting face detection. Thanks.
 

ean10775

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Yup, I'm with Phigmov and would say the E-PL2. Though the last question makes the answer subjective, and the first question is tough for me to answer since I never use eye detect or face detect though my cameras have had them for a long time.
That surprises me Ned as I know you shoot a lot of portraits and I would think that in particular is where eye/face detection would prove valuable (provided it works reliably of course)
 

Ned

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That surprises me Ned as I know you shoot a lot of portraits and I would think that in particular is where eye/face detection would prove valuable (provided it works reliably of course)
I always want full control of where I'm focusing, and never rely on a computer to pick that for me. Especially with the new touch screens though (and Olympus' capacitive touch screen works really great and reliably), which makes manual selection of focus points super quick and easy if you happen to be using the LCD (the Pen cameras have gotten me used to not relying on an eye-level finder when using flash, lol... I still use the viewfinder whenever shooting with just a body and lens). I never have to experience the frustration of the camera picking a point of focus I don't want that way, since it's always in my own control.

Another well-known portrait photographer who uses non-reflex bodies, Kirk Tuck, had found good use for the eye-detect in portraits. So yeah, it can definitely be used effectively. I just prefer to choose myself, and the latest method I've most enjoyed out of the newer technologies has been the touchscreen to select a focus point.
 
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