Its official. Oly AF sucks!

Started Sep 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
windsprite
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Re: Its official. Oly AF sucks!
In reply to Dan, Sep 15, 2013

Dan wrote:

Hey Julie I guess either my memory is very short or one of a couple other things.

As I remember...the E-1 and original 50-200 weren't too bad in C-AF with soccer for me and that was the way I always shot. Yeah from time to time I'd have some off but not too many really. So was this due to only 5 MP "masking" the off ones or the lens not being so quick to jump from here to eternity and by the time it thought about doing it the camera had "called it back" so to speak? Or something else I was doing...for soccer with the E1 and original 50-200 it was definitely C-AF for me.

Hi again, Dan. I was thinking most action shooters feathered the shutter even in C-AF, up until around the E-510 and E-3, which seemed to work better with a solid half press. That's the way it was for me ... though I'm probably the very last one who should be teasing people about short memory!

I do think what you say about the MP count "masking" bad focus is a possibility. It also depends on at what distance the camera messes up (misfocus on closer subjects is often easier to identify, because of shallower DOF), and how extreme the misfocus is.

With the E3 pretty much the same until I got the SWD but then I started getting the here to eternity shots from time to time...not an outrageous number but always enough and always made me wonder what the heck does this camera think is in focus...and maybe this is what is the core issue...just the timing of it all and the signals going back and forth?

I think the AF algorithms could be better even on good copies. There also seems to be some kind of QC problem which makes some samples worse than others as far as random errors.

My initial tests with the D3 of a motorcycle in very dim light made me a believer in Nikon C-AF. When using the Oly E3 in similar light and setting it to take picts only when in focus the shooting rate was obvious to hear it was slowing down/no where near the max and then on the monitor of those taken most would be off slightly to more than a bit off. With the D3 the camera didn't slow down and every frame was excellent...I was amazed. Really I was just flabbergasted that the frame rate was just brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...I mean frame after frame just chugging away.

My D700's buffer isn't as deep as your D3's, but I've been using a battery grip lately to get 8 fps, and I started my Nikon adventures with a D2H, so I know exactly what you mean about the speed and accuracy. My jaw dropped when I reviewed the files from this sequence, which I believe was shot at around 8 fps with the 300/4 on D700 (the last three in particular need to be viewed at original size!):

There were two others from the beginning of the sequence which I haven't posted, and those were in focus as well (the focus in the very last one is ahead of the eyes; the dog dodged too quickly and the AF point was over the frisbee).

In four years shooting this kind of stuff with Oly gear, I never got even one image like any of the last three, let alone a sequence of them.

That's not to say Oly gear can never take good action shots, because we've seen plenty of them over the years. I do have to say, though, that going Nikon completely changed my concept of what a "keeper" is. People who are happy with their Oly gear should of course stick with it, but to anybody who is on the fence with regard to trying another brand, I say it's definitely worth a shake.

Julie

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