Its official. Oly AF sucks!

Started Sep 11, 2013 | Discussions
Messier Object
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Re: No
In reply to plevyadophy, Sep 14, 2013

plevyadophy wrote:

Messier Object wrote:

plevyadophy wrote:

Messier Object wrote:

plevyadophy wrote:

Messier Object wrote:

Then your intention is to FLAME and the MODs need to pay attention . . .

So what your are asking for is a fascist-type thought police to ensure that the congregation of the Holy Church Oly aren't offended by any evidence that might challenge their beliefs?

Have a look at how Erich approached this subject in his post . . .http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52148743

Now read again how Ga did it . . .and his comment to me as to why he did it that way

One is information the other is making trouble using hyperbole, sarcasm and in-your-face comments like rushing into a church yelling that their god sux and they are all deluded

like using the term "fascist" in a photo gear forum. This is not the OPEN TALK forum !

For me your last sentence says it all: go elsewhere for open discussion coz here we are a fundamentalist religion tolerating only the creed of the Holy Church Oly.

The vast majority of people who post here are quite happy with their Olympus DSLR equipment.
If you want to ridicule the people here or the equipment they use then go outside and do it -> Open Talk
.

And what of those peeps who prefer Olympus but at the same time dislike certain aspects of their equipment? What, are they to be banished from the Holy Church Oly too? Can they not discuss the flaws, as they perceive it, with other folks who also use the same gear?

Absolutely no problems with an honest technical discussion, but tone down the language and 'attitude'  to a civil level is all, and most folks will engage without getting angry. 
No brand or product is perfect.  . . .
Why doesn't the EM-1 have 2 card slots ! Why doesn't my  E-5 have an AF illumination lamp like the E-1, why doesn't my 5DIII  have a pop-up flash.

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Big Ga
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Re: you seem to
In reply to noirdesir, Sep 14, 2013

noirdesir wrote:

Yes, I found that correction amusing but you present it as extremely hilarious which I'm not sure I understand why.

I guess we'll just have to leave it like that then. Trying to break it down would be like trying to explain a joke to someone who just doesn't get it. It then undoubtedly loses all its humour. And humour is different things to different people anyway.

Mind you .... a staple of comedy shows is the audience laughing at certain characters who don't get the jokes. Its a win win situation for lots of us here

(engage Big Bang Theory mode.)

Howard: "who'd have thought it .. a Jewish stand up comedian ...."

Bernadette (in a puzzled dumb blonde way): "you know ... I think there ARE Jewish comedians ?? "

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klauser
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Re: Bob is WRONG!!
In reply to Big Ga, Sep 14, 2013

I can do it, that is getting correct focus with my e3, and I am not Toshi Terada

Big Ga wrote:

bobn2 wrote:

The point is, I think that a static subject in good light is not demanding

It is if you shoot with an E3 LOL ....

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bobn2
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Re: Canon and Nikon are bad for the overall camera market...
In reply to Beach Bum, Sep 14, 2013

Beach Bum wrote:

bobn2 wrote:

Beach Bum wrote:

PerL wrote:

esco wrote:

Pentax, Sony, Olympus id say they're all pretty similar in AF performance. Its easy to think of Olympus as only being sub-par but the af-modules and lens motors on the above brands aren't too hot either!
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The AF-C on the Canon and Nikon prosumer models has constantly been better than those from competing models from other brands like Pentax, Olympus or Sony. They probably use the experience they have from the pro series. They put in more resources on AF R&D and have better know-how.

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I would be absolutely shocked (stunned really) if Canon or Nikon had better autofocus on their price competitive DSLRs than Sony.

Judging AF performance is very hard, because little of it is about specs. Most systems will focus pretty accurately and quickly if there is some pattern under the focus point and the subject isn't moving. From there on, it's downhill, and the shape and steepness of the slope can be unpredictably different. I have four DSLR's of three different brands with radically different AF systems. For static subjects really you can't tell much difference (well, so far as the different lenses let you predict which part of the performance is the camera). By far the most sophisticated of my cameras is the D800's 51 point, and certainly it works much better than the others with unpredictably moving subjects, low light and so on, but also it's trick, choose the wrong settings for a situation and you can make it work worse than the simple systems. So, I would always hesitate to make sweeping statements about AF systems.

Admittedly, I know nothing about Pentax. But, with regard to Olympus, they've been out of the mirror box market for a while, and it's well-known that the on sensor PDAF isn't up to the speed of the dedicated PDAF sensor yet, so it's absolutely no surprise that Canon or Nikon would beat out a two year old true DSLR by Olympus.

But Sony is still producing true DSLRs, and, like I said, I'd be shocked if you have any evidence of either Canon or Nikon having better autofocus.

Sony certainly doesn't any more make 'true DSLR's'. What they make are EVIL's with DSLR similar AF systems. As for Canon or Nikon having 'better AF', the AF of the tope end SLT's is lesser specified than Nikon or Canon's second tier AF. As to how it actually performs, I couldn't say, but AF performance is one of the most fiercely fought part of the competition between Canon and Nikon. Since Sony isn't a player in the top-end PJ market where that battle is fought out, it would be strange if Nikon and Canon's engineers had done worse. Certainly Canon's new 61pt AF system seems to be a blinder.

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Bob

First, let me clarify what I meant by "true" DSLR. I meant an ILC with a mirror that reflects light to a dedicated PDAF sensor. Clearly, sony produces SLTs not SLRs, but they still use a mirror, which is what I wanted to use to differentiate these from mILCs.

Well I would say a SLR is a camera with a mirror that reflects light to the viewfinder, not an AF mechanism.

Second, it's also possible that having only 30% of the light reflected to the PDAF sensor has some impact on autofocus speed or accuracy. It certainly can't be good for it, but this is one of the compromises Sony had to make to create SLT technology and differentiate itself from CaNikon. And SLT tech has advantages of its own over SLR.

Not many for stills. Some for video. And I think its disadvantages are considerable.Loss of 1/2 stop of light (basically giving away more than a generation of sensor improvement), putting another mirror in the optical path when the shot is taken, which can and does affect the image, reliance on a EVF with its lag which makes it questionable for use in the action situations where the SLT might have an advantage.

But, even if Canon and Nikon have the best AF in their very top tier, I can tell you that they seem to devote next to nothing in R&D with regard to their lower end cameras and it shows.

Not exactly true. Nikon has its 39 point AF in it second tier, the 70D now has canons 19 point AF. Both are arguably more capable than Sony's.

I'm not trying to be argumentative but these two companies clearly capitalize on their top tier cameras to continue to sell junk at the lower tiers.

That sounds argumentative to me. I don't think the D5200 or 70D can sensibly be described as 'junk'.

Meanwhile, companies like Sony, Panny, and Oly, are clearly devoting a lot of resources to their entire lineup. That's the thing that irks me about these two companies. They probably sell more lower end stuff than the other guys while clearly putting out an inferior product. The average consumer just has no clue about it and sees the name Canon or Nikon and just buys.

Because both Nikon and Canon are safe buys. Nikon has developed two different 24MP sensors for its DX range, it has high spec AF except in the lowest end model. The 70D contains some serious innovation. It's very hard to see cameras like the D5200, D7100, 70D, 100D as an 'inferior product' at their price points. They are highly capable, and that is why they succeed.

I will say that this applies far more to Nikon than to Canon, as their P&S's are bordering on unusable, and always have been.

They haven't been strong there, and they've never sold well there. Recently, though they have some solid if not innovative performers. Hard to see that any other brand's P&S are a great deal better.

So, you'll excuse me if I'm not going to line up to kiss their butts. And, yes, it is absolutely true that they're able to devote resources their very top tier (i.e. multiple thousand dollar) gear because they've cornered the market and they're the only two major players here (i.e. full frame SLRs). But they're not innovators by any stretch, and I would much prefer a company that has some desire to actually innovate would be in their enviable position. It's a virtual impossibility for any other manufacturer to break into this market and expect to succeed because of the massive user base and already available lenses. Even Sony, with all of their resources, couldn't attempt to break in directly. They HAD to go with SLTs to have any chance of differentiating themselves and gain market share.

I just don't think that your description of those ranges accords at all with reality. The reason Canon and Nikon have got where they are is because they make some excellent cameras. And I think the idea that they are not 'innovators' is ludicrous. The Nikon 1 range might not be everyone's taste, but it's certainly innovatory. The D800 is a landmark product. The dual pixel AF in the 70D is an innovation. The on-sensor binning that Canon uses for high quality video is an innovation. If you wanted to make a full lost of who was the first to put today's major features in cameras, both those companies would feature prominently.

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erichK
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Re: Oly's latest DSLR AF sucked- not mine
In reply to windsprite, Sep 14, 2013

windsprite wrote:

SHood wrote:

windsprite wrote:

rovingtim wrote:

I also bought quite early, but perhaps not early enough. The only question is why Oly allowed their flagship AF to drift off like that.

Perhaps it would be more accurate to say "a significant number of E3/E5's had messy AF's".

I bought my E-3 on preorder, and so did a lot of other people who had wonky AF. We had some of the very earliest copies. (Never again will I be an early adopter of any brand camera, I can tell you that .... ) I consulted the camera shop owner, and Olympus told him to exchange mine for a new copy, which also must have been a fairly early sample. My two E-3s performed about the same. Most people who had problems with the AF ended up using more than one body, either because they got an exchange or they were pros who had bought an extra for backup. It seems like they generally found issues with all their E-3s, but often some behaved better than others by comparison. So yeah, I think there were bad copies in fairly significant numbers. I think there were good copies as well. It sounds like Louis was lucky.

Julie

Sample consistency will be one of the advantages of sensor based PDAF. And since this is the first iteration of on-sensor PDAF we should see significant improvements with future bodies as more effort will be put into PDAF sensors by Olympus and Sony.

I'm kind of glad I have a good camera now, so I don't have to pin my hopes on new technology or be a guinea pig.

Julie

While neither the E-3 I recently sold nor E-5 I still have and use were AF champions, I would hardly say that they "sucked". The AF on both was fairly quick and positive, and probably a little better on the E-5. The CAF was usable.  Workable with the 50-200SWD for running dogs (though not flying whippets ;-), but frequently frustrating with birds-in-flight.  Had more keepers for the latter once I got a 150f2 with its focus limiter.

While I find big Ga's title for this thread unfortunate for a company that is doing its best with a second groundbreaking new camera, I can understand his frustration. These cameras purported to be professional instruments with AF/CAF to match the best such. They did likely actually set some records in controlled lab tests or somesuch. However, as others have perceptively teased out, there seem to be some complex problems with the sophistication (or rather, lack of sophistication) of the software as well as quality-control.  Some are probably bugs that the larger RD staff and budgets of Nikon and Canon eliminated over their two decades plus of AF/CAF experience.  (This is consistent with occasional posts pointing out problems with Sony, Pentax and Fuji AF/CAF).

When I got my E-3 I appreciated the faster AF and was mildly disappointed with the CAF, but glad that it worked to the degree that it did. I've been taking pictures for 40 years and was fascinated by cameras and photography - and had an uncle in the industry- for years before that, so have long watched the industry.   So, while Oly may have believed the lab results it touted, I hardly expected the AF and especially CAF of my $1700 E-3 too outdo that of my friend's D3 (or a Canon Mk1) in AF-challenging shooting (low light, complex targeting, fast-action).

I can understand why the OP is furious that Oly's claims were -largely- spurious.  And also Julie "Windsprite" disillusionment and decision to Nikon.  Sophisticated AF and especially CAF are critical to professional work or central to their type of shooting.  The AF of my E-5 is fine for most of my shooting and the CAF a bit frustrating but workable for the infrequent occasions on which I need it.

It would have been a wonderful surprise to me if EM-1 AF/CAF really worked better than the E-5 with FT lenses. I am happy to note that neutral observers who value their reputations more than freebies from Olympus (DPreview, The Camera Store) say, and in the case of the latter, demonstrate that it is quite usable.

As noted in another post, the friend who bought my E-3 recently - and contrary to my advice- traded in his Nikon D300s and 300/f4 lens for an OM-D/12-50 kit which he will also be using with his Leitz Telyts.  He is slightly disabled and had to decide, as I have, that the camera that you have with you...

I am very glad that the new version of it will work - usably- with my FT lenses.

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Louis_Dobson
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Re: Its official. Oly AF sucks!
In reply to windsprite, Sep 14, 2013

windsprite wrote

You can't just accidentally switch over to AF-C and hope to have success on stationary subjects. There are other settings you need to change to make it work. I think that must be the case, anyway. It's hard to recall the settings, because like Dan I have not switched out of AF-C once in the past three years. It's one of the best things about shooting Nikon. Set the camera up right, and you never worry about switching over to AF-S or MF again. You can shoot a running athlete, and the next split second you can do a portrait, without changing any settings. Very useful.

Julie

I think this is the killer, and had you said that to me six or so years ago I'd have returned my second D3 for a third.
I went to a great deal of time and trouble to set up C-AF properly on my D3, reading lots of articles and posts and asking other people who knew the camera well.
There is no way I could have even considered leaving it in C-AF mode, it hunted and blew about 25% of static shots in good light, being slightly off, and 75% of shots in bad light, being miles off.
Eva (who never reads here any more, so I can tell tales without getting into trouble) backed me up at a wedding shoot with her E3 this Summer, and left the E-3 in C-AF.  After my Nikon experiences I was, um, disappointed she made such a basic error on a paid shoot, but they were all fine and I had to apologise to her...

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noirdesir
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Re: you seem to
In reply to Big Ga, Sep 15, 2013

Big Ga wrote:

noirdesir wrote:

Yes, I found that correction amusing but you present it as extremely hilarious which I'm not sure I understand why.

I guess we'll just have to leave it like that then. Trying to break it down would be like trying to explain a joke to someone who just doesn't get it. It then undoubtedly loses all its humour. And humour is different things to different people anyway.

My point is that what you wrote could be taken as a sarcastic remark about DPreview pandering to fan complaints. If you don't know a person it can be hard to detect sarcasm, in particular if you don't have the intonation of the voice.

But if it was sarcasm and you think it was this very obviously such that asking whether it was sarcasm is itself a sarcastic remark we're stuck in an infinite loop.

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rovingtim
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DPReview also says
In reply to erichK, Sep 15, 2013

"Having gone back and spent some more time with an Olympus E-5, I'm inclined to be more positive about the E-M1's behavior with Four Thirds lenses - not because it's better than I originally stated, but because the E-5 isn't as good as I'd previously thought. Consequently, E-5 users expectations are probably lower than I originally believed."

You are right that it doesn't "suck", but it's not as good as, for example, the D300. Once you get accustomed to the D300 AF reliability, the E3/E5's restricted capabilities comes as a bit of a shock. On the other hand, if you operate within the Olympus limitations, good photographs are possible.

The reason for Big Ga's exaggeration, I imagine, is that the people who noticed the E3/E5 focus module and sensor deficiencies were slammed by this forum. These attacks were especially vehement immediately after the release of the E3 (just ask rriley and John King, frequent leaders of the attack gang ... later taken up by Pris). It is a memorable thing to have a group of people who are wrong ganging up on you to shut you up. They even tried (and sometimes succeeded) to evoke the moderators.

In the real world, this forum was demanding we leave because we were right. Demanding we shut up because we are right. Demanding we stop posting our view because we were right.

The whiners we were called. What could we know that the Olympus camera execs didn't? The success of the E5 was going to revive the entire camera division we were told. Just stop the doom and gloom so the rest of the forum could bathe in its right and proper 4/3rds euphoria.

Thus it was in this forum for many years after the E3 release.

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Beach Bum
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Re: Canon and Nikon are bad for the overall camera market...
In reply to bobn2, Sep 15, 2013

bobn2 wrote:


I will say that this applies far more to Nikon than to Canon, as their P&S's are bordering on unusable, and always have been.

They haven't been strong there, and they've never sold well there. Recently, though they have some solid if not innovative performers. Hard to see that any other brand's P&S are a great deal better.

I couldn't disagree more. Just spend one day trying out the different brands of P&S. It couldn't be more obvious how poorly they perform, especially Nikon. All of these camera manufacturers have a fairly substantial line of P&S's actually, which does seem a little strange considering all the doom and gloom about the lower end of the market.

The fact of the matter is that while these cameras are called "lower end", they perform functions that simply aren't possible with a DSLR (at least not easily and not for the typical consumer).

Really, how easy is it to shoot a quick video of your kid's sporting event from the bleachers or a video of a surfing even from the shoreline with a DSLR (when you need the reach and rapid autofocus). The Canon 70D is a step forward certainly, if the autofocus holds up, but it's still going to lack the reach needed in certain events, where a P&S would fill that niche nicely.

This is why I take exception with people here calling the P&S market superfluous (between the ILCs and the smartphones). Neither one is really well equipped to handle certain real life scenarios. And, yes, I think video is very important, although I would likely be a tiny minority on this forum, which makes me wonder how well represented the average person really is here. This is quite obviously a camera snob forum, but they're not very snobbish about metrics that would be important to an average Joe in a typical day, which is why Nikon can get away with their business strategy with seemingly no one taking notice.

Which brings me back to P&S performance. The difference lies not in some resolution chart but quite simply with the ease at which you can get the shot or video that you want. With Panasonic and Sony, it's completely effortless. Autofocus is almost always superb, even down to the lowliest model. Video is almost always top notch and effortless. And they both do a generally good job with the quality of glass they put in eve their lowest model.

This brings me to Nikon. Before we even get to autofocus, video, etc., I'll point out that for a company that gets such props for the quality of their glass, they're quite prone to putting junk glass in some of their P&S's. That aside, autofocus is almost universally atrocious and video is usually of junk quality. So, bottom line is that it's very difficult to get an easy, effortless shot or video with Nikon for a typical consumer.

And, yes, there is a HUGE difference in the lower end market between the brands, which almost never gets discussed. It's a far bigger difference in quality than in the ILC market. And, yes, I do give special consideration to brands that simply don't put out a junk camera in any price bracket. It says something about the philosophy of the company.

p.s. It's been a fun discussion but I think I'll move on.

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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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windsprite
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Re: Its official. Oly AF sucks!
In reply to Louis_Dobson, Sep 15, 2013

Louis_Dobson wrote:

windsprite wrote

You can't just accidentally switch over to AF-C and hope to have success on stationary subjects. There are other settings you need to change to make it work. I think that must be the case, anyway. It's hard to recall the settings, because like Dan I have not switched out of AF-C once in the past three years. It's one of the best things about shooting Nikon. Set the camera up right, and you never worry about switching over to AF-S or MF again. You can shoot a running athlete, and the next split second you can do a portrait, without changing any settings. Very useful.

Julie

I think this is the killer, and had you said that to me six or so years ago I'd have returned my second D3 for a third.

I only got the D700 3 1/2 years ago, but I WISH I could have said it to you six years ago.  I would have demanded my money back on the E-3 and never would have upgraded my 50-200 to the SWD version in the vain hope that the focus would be better!

Really, though, everything I said is just conventional wisdom on the Nikon forum.  The AF-ON method of sticking the camera in AF-C until death do you part is SOP over there.

I went to a great deal of time and trouble to set up C-AF properly on my D3, reading lots of articles and posts and asking other people who knew the camera well.

I know.  I read some of the threads.

There is no way I could have even considered leaving it in C-AF mode, it hunted and blew about 25% of static shots in good light, being slightly off, and 75% of shots in bad light, being miles off.
Eva (who never reads here any more, so I can tell tales without getting into trouble) backed me up at a wedding shoot with her E3 this Summer, and left the E-3 in C-AF. After my Nikon experiences I was, um, disappointed she made such a basic error on a paid shoot, but they were all fine and I had to apologise to her...

Hmmm.  Well, that is too bad about the D3, but as frustrating as it must have been, maybe in the end it was better for you and me both that we had intractable camera troubles.  You wound up going m4/3, and I wound up going Nikon, and now we are both happy as clams, no?

Julie

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rovingtim
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not sure this is true
In reply to windsprite, Sep 15, 2013

windsprite wrote:

I do think what you say about the MP count "masking" bad focus is a possibility.

When the E1 first came out, this forum was populated by some very experienced photographers. None seemed to have significant AF issues. It wasn't as good at the D2H but when the E1 did lock it tended to be bang on.

For example, the E1 + 50-200 used to put the subject in the middle of the focus range. My E3 tends to put the subject on the edge of focus. So, technically, it is in focus, but the DoF immediately drops off one side or the other. This can cause all sorts of problems.

Perhaps I had a good E1 like Dobson has a good E3 -- though I wonder if his works because Portugal temperature is just right for the E3 focus module.

What I remember at the launch of the E3 is a lot of very competent photographers who were upgrading the E1 getting really frustrated. And regardless of 5mp or 10mp, you can tell where the middle of the DoF is -- if not on all pictures, you can certainly test for it.

I started a thread about the joys of the E3 SAF some time ago.

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/39861390

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windsprite
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Re: not sure this is true
In reply to rovingtim, Sep 15, 2013

rovingtim wrote:

windsprite wrote:

I do think what you say about the MP count "masking" bad focus is a possibility.

When the E1 first came out, this forum was populated by some very experienced photographers. None seemed to have significant AF issues. It wasn't as good at the D2H but when the E1 did lock it tended to be bang on.

I'm not sure I disagree with you.  I deleted part of my post to Dan because it was getting long winded, but what I was saying was that I only had the E-1 for six months before selling it, because I bought it as an "upgrade" to the E-500 and actually found the C-AF a lot worse for very speedy subjects, even with the battery grip, BUT I thought the focus was pretty accurate on stationary subjects.

I really just don't know what to think about those old cameras anymore, though.  The other thing I deleted from my post to Dan was that once the E-3 trouble started, I looked back on my E-500 images and found that a lot of those were OOF as well.  (I'm talking only about stationary subjects.)  At the time I didn't notice, because the errors mostly occurred several meters away from the camera, where the DOF was already fairly deep.  With the E-3, the errors started from around three or four feet, and they were much more severe, so it was immediately obvious that there was a problem.   It was especially hard to forgive in the E-3, because there was the lowly E-510 I had bought four months earlier, with the same MP count, a weaker AA filter, and a consumer AF module, going bang-bang-bang with perfect focus nearly every time.

For example, the E1 + 50-200 used to put the subject in the middle of the focus range. My E3 tends to put the subject on the edge of focus. So, technically, it is in focus, but the DoF immediately drops off one side or the other. This can cause all sorts of problems.

Perhaps I had a good E1 like Dobson has a good E3 -- though I wonder if his works because Portugal temperature is just right for the E3 focus module.

What I remember at the launch of the E3 is a lot of very competent photographers who were upgrading the E1 getting really frustrated. And regardless of 5mp or 10mp, you can tell where the middle of the DoF is -- if not on all pictures, you can certainly test for it.

I agree you can usually tell, but it's like I said above -- it's not as easy to distinguish if the errors occur farther from the camera, and I think the older cams were more subtle with the errors, while the E-3 went totally over the top when it was bad!

Now that I've moved out of a cramped apartment into a big house, I'm re-examining my E-500 photos with the intent of printing them larger, and I'm noticing that some of my faves are front focused.  They will print OK with some selective sharpening and blurring, but it's a bit of a shock, because I always thought I was pretty picky about focus.

I started a thread about the joys of the E3 SAF some time ago.

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/39861390

What do you know, an AF thread that I missed!   Thanks, I will go take a look at that.

Julie

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windsprite
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Re: Oly's latest DSLR AF sucked- not mine
In reply to erichK, Sep 15, 2013

erichK wrote:

I can understand why the OP is furious that Oly's claims were -largely- spurious. And also Julie "Windsprite" disillusionment and decision to Nikon. Sophisticated AF and especially CAF are critical to professional work or central to their type of shooting. The AF of my E-5 is fine for most of my shooting and the CAF a bit frustrating but workable for the infrequent occasions on which I need it.

It would have been a wonderful surprise to me if EM-1 AF/CAF really worked better than the E-5 with FT lenses. I am happy to note that neutral observers who value their reputations more than freebies from Olympus (DPreview, The Camera Store) say, and in the case of the latter, demonstrate that it is quite usable.

As noted in another post, the friend who bought my E-3 recently - and contrary to my advice- traded in his Nikon D300s and 300/f4 lens for an OM-D/12-50 kit which he will also be using with his Leitz Telyts. He is slightly disabled and had to decide, as I have, that the camera that you have with you...

I am very glad that the new version of it will work - usably- with my FT lenses.

Many us were wishing for a DSLR, but since that was unlikely to happen anyway, the E-M1 is a great development.  After owning four different Oly DSLRs, I've learned not to expect miraculous advancements regarding C-AF, but let's hope the new camera is the best yet in terms of both speed and accuracy and makes a lot of people happy.

Julie

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windsprite
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Re: E-3 af with my cam
In reply to klauser, Sep 15, 2013

klauser wrote:

I still use the e3 and sometimes I have to use c-af as well shooting horses. My experience is that c-af does work giving me tack sharp images even with the 50/f2 if I am able to keep the focus point (set to small and single point) on an area with good contrast, which is not easy. I do not have a problem in s-af mode at all, although for precise focus with shallow DoF with the 50/f2 or the 50-200 wide open I will sometimes make sure to refocus a couple of times to rule out the effect of my own movement or the object's movement if I don't release the shutter immediately after the focus confirmation.

So I can attest that I have one of the e3s without focus issues but if my income depended on c-af shooting I would not be happy with the percentage of perfectly focused images I get (40 to maximum 50%).

I will get the em1 the first day it will be available just as I did when the e3 came out. I will check though how the em1 focuses my ft lenses next week at a promotion event but judging from all English, German and Spanish reviews it will be okay and limited by the ft lenses electronics. Only dpreview and one German photog were not very positive about af on ft lenses.

K.

Like I said above, I do believe some folks had good E-3s, and I wouldn't dream of telling anybody they should be unhappy with a camera that works for them!  I'm sure a lot of people are looking forward to hearing your impressions of the E-M1 next week.

Julie

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windsprite
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Re: Or the D600
In reply to TrapperJohn, Sep 15, 2013

TrapperJohn wrote:

I hear it has interesting AF characteristics.

I think you mean the D800. And by "interesting," do you mean similar to the accuracy problems you have been describing with your 35-100 f2 and E-3?

I'm definitely not defending Nikon regarding the D800 AF mess. But the problems were mainly only with the left AF points, leaving a whole slew of workable points on even most of the "bad" cameras, and Nikon clearly have been working on the issues and people are reporting that there is now a fix for them -- which never happened with the E-3, hence your dilemma.

Not only that, it is a little easier to forgive the D800 issues when a good copy can do this:

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1108889

Glass houses and stones...

You can say that again!

Julie

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HarjTT
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Re: Its official. Oly AF sucks!
In reply to windsprite, Sep 15, 2013

Hey Julie

Those are fantastic.. you simply couldn't do that sequence with my E3+BG+35-100f2...

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esco
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Re: Canon and Nikon are bad for the overall camera market...
In reply to Beach Bum, Sep 15, 2013

bobn2 wrote:


I will say that this applies far more to Nikon than to Canon, as their P&S's are bordering on unusable, and always have been.

They haven't been strong there, and they've never sold well there. Recently, though they have some solid if not innovative performers. Hard to see that any other brand's P&S are a great deal better.

I couldn't disagree more. Just spend one day trying out the different brands of P&S. It couldn't be more obvious how poorly they perform, especially Nikon. All of these camera manufacturers have a fairly substantial line of P&S's actually, which does seem a little strange considering all the doom and gloom about the lower end of the market.

The fact of the matter is that while these cameras are called "lower end", they perform functions that simply aren't possible with a DSLR (at least not easily and not for the typical consumer).

Really, how easy is it to shoot a quick video of your kid's sporting event from the bleachers or a video of a surfing even from the shoreline with a DSLR (when you need the reach and rapid autofocus). The Canon 70D is a step forward certainly, if the autofocus holds up, but it's still going to lack the reach needed in certain events, where a P&S would fill that niche nicely.

This is why I take exception with people here calling the P&S market superfluous (between the ILCs and the smartphones). Neither one is really well equipped to handle certain real life scenarios. And, yes, I think video is very important, although I would likely be a tiny minority on this forum, which makes me wonder how well represented the average person really is here. This is quite obviously a camera snob forum, but they're not very snobbish about metrics that would be important to an average Joe in a typical day, which is why Nikon can get away with their business strategy with seemingly no one taking notice.

Which brings me back to P&S performance. The difference lies not in some resolution chart but quite simply with the ease at which you can get the shot or video that you want. With Panasonic and Sony, it's completely effortless. Autofocus is almost always superb, even down to the lowliest model. Video is almost always top notch and effortless. And they both do a generally good job with the quality of glass they put in eve their lowest model.

This brings me to Nikon. Before we even get to autofocus, video, etc., I'll point out that for a company that gets such props for the quality of their glass, they're quite prone to putting junk glass in some of their P&S's. That aside, autofocus is almost universally atrocious and video is usually of junk quality. So, bottom line is that it's very difficult to get an easy, effortless shot or video with Nikon for a typical consumer.

And, yes, there is a HUGE difference in the lower end market between the brands, which almost never gets discussed. It's a far bigger difference in quality than in the ILC market. And, yes, I do give special consideration to brands that simply don't put out a junk camera in any price bracket. It says something about the philosophy of the company.

p.s. It's been a fun discussion but I think I'll move on.

Lack reach in certain events? O.o
You do know the 70d is a dslr right? Like you could mount a long reaching lens, shoot at ISO 3200 and get results that are impossible with these point and shoots you speak of.

Im pretty confused at what your argument is about.
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Photographer first, gear second

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Dan
Dan
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Re: Its official. Oly AF sucks!
In reply to windsprite, Sep 15, 2013

Ah that's a great set!

The E-3 and 50-200 SWD I have currently is really good for straight forward shots and really hangs in with the Nikon D3/300f4 AFS.  It's only as these static shots get a little more difficult that the Nikon pulls away.

Of course on something like your dog sequence I'd expect just what you have experienced.  Nikon way and way ahead.

Anyhow, thanks for this bit of a trip down memory lane!

lol

Dan

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Geo Wharton
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Re: But it didn't
In reply to Big Ga, Sep 15, 2013

suck.  Obviously the DPR writer didn't know how to use the camera.  I found the E-5 to focus fast and accurately on what ever the focus point is on.  When all points are on the camera pick whichever point it sees and can lock on .  Using a single, small point, and being able to keep the point where I want it, I have always gotten excellent results, not missed focus.  I can only guess that either my copy of the E-5 is far superior to others who cannot get good tracking, or those others just cant keep the focus point on the target.  Including the reviewer.  I very seldom miss focus when I have the selected focus point on my target, even moving and tracking.

How can anyone expect the camera to know where in the frame you want focus to be other than selecting a single point?

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