Why do you use multipoint focus?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by ardy, Sep 3, 2016.

  1. ardy

    ardy Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 18, 2013
    I own a couple of EM5's and have had them for about 2 years. I set them up as single focus point and reduced the size of the point to 14x. I have never used multipoint focus.

    I do underwater photography, mostly macro and mostly manual with S-Af and some wildlife, mostly birds.

    If I am taking any wide angle shots I use manual focus if I have a problem focusing.

    Am I living a film 'life' with an electronic camera? What would multipoint focus bring to my photography?

    I just tried multi-point focus on a duck in my front yard and the camera chose a point of grass about a foot in front of the duck! Is there something I am missing with this feature?
  2. Nathanael

    Nathanael Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 12, 2015
    When I hand my camera to someone who doesn't understand focus->reframe the larger focus area increases the odds of having something useful in focus.
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  3. CWRailman

    CWRailman Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 2, 2015
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    IMHO the multi focus points, not to be confused with subject tracking, is the biggest waste of technology in photography today. How can a camera know what you want to focus on? I have put a camera on a tripod and repeatedly pressed the shutter without moving the camera and every time it has picked a different series of points. Yes, there are some points that are common but an equal number are unique. Moving the focus point does make sense especially with certain cameras and lens combination that have "flat field" where focus reframe does not work such as many of the Fujifilm lenses. In such cases the focus must be accomplished and the photo taken with the camera not moving much. ( In several of his videos, Damien Lovegrove explains why focus and reframe does not work well on some of the newer camera/lens combinations or there are several WEB sites discussing that subject. ) I have never seen a professional or accomplished serious amateur photographer use the multi point focus mechanism.
  4. dalto

    dalto Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 6, 2016
    When the both scene and your composition are dynamic and you don't have time to move your focus point around it can be useful.

    That being said, there is a difference in effectiveness of these systems between cameras.
  5. DanS

    DanS Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 8, 2016
    Central IL
    This is a good overview of all the modes.
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  6. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    I have never used the multi-point focus on my cameras. I always pick a center 'spot" AF point and occationally move it around as the need arises. What is funny is that back in the 4/3rds days there never were very fast lenses (with a few 3rd party exceptions) but now with m43rds lenses we have all kinds of truly "fast" prime lenses and it is even more important that you pick your focus spot. Otherwise, as you note, the camera is going to pick something fore or aft of what you wanted and at f1.8 or faster, that is going to ruin your shot.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2016
  7. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    When there's clear separation between a moving target and the background, it's a little easier to keep them within the AF area if the box is a bit bigger.

    These days if I'm handing my camera off I either get them to use eye/face detect or just switch it to touch shutter and tell them to touch the appropriate spot (e.g. the face).
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  8. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    Doesn't it get annoying though when they keep poking you in your face? You should have them use the shutter button.

    • Funny Funny x 1
  9. ardy

    ardy Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 18, 2013
    Thanks guys. Glad there is nothing obvious I am missing with this 'feature'. I found the video inserted by Dan S mind boggling and not sure I will ever get to use most of the options. I will try face detect on a couple of bird shots and see if it will follow them as they hop around.
  10. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Face detect doesn't work on animals.
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  11. owczi

    owczi nareteV 34-uM Subscribing Member

    Same here, always single-point AF, central point, with an fn key mapped to AF "home point" - centre. The great thing about that function is that it doesn't only switch you to your selected home AF point - it toggles it between that and whatever the last other one was.

    Sent from my STV100-4 using Mu-43 app
  12. Duke Sweden

    Duke Sweden Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 9, 2016
    Duke Sweden
    How exactly do you do that? I can map fn5 to AF, but how do you specify a "home point"?
  13. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    Not sure about other models but on the EM1.........

    Gear A - 2nd page is [...] Set Home (even have multiple ways to set the home position, large/small single, or group of focus points)
    Gear B - Where you assign functions to buttons and dials
  14. Duke Sweden

    Duke Sweden Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 9, 2016
    Duke Sweden
    Oh, ok, sorry. I thought you were talking about the G7.
  15. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    When taking photographs of people, the face detect feature is very useful.
  16. RichardB

    RichardB Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Nov 19, 2012
    Maryland, US
    I always assumed that multi-target autofocus would adjust aperture so that all found targets would be in focus. I don't think I've ever seen that documented, though, so it may just be my wishful thinking. But automatic depth-of-field would be useful where there's enough light to give the camera a choice of apertures, especially in face-detect mode when you typically want every face in focus but you'd also like the background blurred.
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