Odd G1X MK2 focusing quirk

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Mr Sincere
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Odd G1X MK2 focusing quirk
5 months ago

I hate to admit it, as I'm absolutely infatuated with this camera, but I've been noticing some quirky focusing behavior in low light, and was wondering if anyone had encountered the same.

Jeff Keller mentioned this in the first impressions review:

"In taking the night scene above (which may look familiar to some), the G1 X II absolutely refused to focus. It would just give up, and display the dreaded yellow box, regardless of whether I was using AiAF or single-point focus modes. Having taken this photo hundreds of times with different cameras, this was very unusual."

I'd actually been pretty pleased with the AF performance, and initially paid no attention to that part of the review.

But then the weather finally cleared up, and I went out for a night walk that I like to do with every new camera I purchase. Every other camera I've owned (and it's been quite a few) has done fine in regards to focus on this same walk at night. Some might be slow (x100, x-e1, e-p2) but would still eventually lock onto something. My last compact camera, an LX7, always did exceptionally well.

I'm afraid that wasn't quite the case with the g1x mk2. There were quite a few occasions where even at full wide and 2.0, the camera was just refusing to grab a focus lock on scenes with plenty of contrast, and what I considered adequate brightness. Deflating experience.

I've spent the last few days fiddling with settings, seeing if I could find a workaround of some sort. Oddly enough I did find a quite strange workaround: moving the focus point in any direction just one click seems to somehow enable the camera to focus on objects it would previously fail on (of course reframing to keep the focus point at the same place on the subject).

The following steps have been repeatable now in a few circumstances:

1) Try to focus on an object - yellow square fail.  Repeatable through multiple focus attempts.

2) Move focus point one click in any direction, and recompose accordingly.

3) Try to focus on same object and area - green lock square.  Again, repeatable on subsequent attempts.

4) Move focus point back to center and recompose.

5) Goto 1.

Strange, right?  Does anyone have a possible explanation?

Or has anyone else noticed higher than expected AF fail rates in some lower light situations?  If so, you may want to try moving the focus point, and seeing if anything changes.

I'm tempted to try an exchange, but don't want to open another box if this is just the way things are.

 Mr Sincere's gear list:Mr Sincere's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 G1 X II Nikon D90 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Nikon AF Nikkor 28mm f/2.8D +4 more
Fujifilm X-E1 G1 X II Olympus PEN E-P2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7
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