What m4/3 really needs: speed.

Started 8 months ago | Discussions
dmanthree
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What m4/3 really needs: speed.
8 months ago

I've been enjoying my Panny GH3, but one aspect of it continues to frustrate: the lack of speed. Not just AF (continuous) speed, but response time. The delay from shutter press to firing is too long, and makes sports shooting a real challenge. What would it take, besides the mythical global shutter, to really increase the response time of m3/4 and bring it in line with something like the Canon 7D?

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Dheorl
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Re: What m4/3 really needs: speed.
In reply to dmanthree, 8 months ago

I think there might be something wrong with your GH3.

Tbh even if there was high levels of shutter lag, when it comes to shooting sport if you can't anticipate what's about to happen then what camera your using is the least of your worries. Just get used to pushing the shutter a split second earlier.

I managed to capture this just fine with my GH2.

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Cane
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Re: What m4/3 really needs: speed.
In reply to Dheorl, 8 months ago

He doesn't want a work around, he wants better technology. And your work around is great for a baseball pitch that you know is coming, just common sense, not so great at catching an instant smile from my wiggly 2 year old.

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ApertureAcolyte
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Re: What m4/3 really needs: speed.
In reply to dmanthree, 8 months ago

dmanthree wrote:

I've been enjoying my Panny GH3, but one aspect of it continues to frustrate: the lack of speed. Not just AF (continuous) speed, but response time. The delay from shutter press to firing is too long, and makes sports shooting a real challenge. What would it take, besides the mythical global shutter, to really increase the response time of m3/4 and bring it in line with something like the Canon 7D?

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I don't see what it has to do with m43...

I can multi tap fire off about 3 fps @1/20 on my EM-5, S-AF refocusing on multiple targets in Large JPG+RAW ,even with its limited buffer. Can push up to 4fps if I turn off preview and faster shutter speed.

m4/3 already has faster burst and faster S-AF than APS-C.

If I "NEED" tracking focus in 9fps burst, there's always the focus ring with the distance scale

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Dheorl
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Re: What m4/3 really needs: speed.
In reply to Cane, 8 months ago

Cane wrote:

He doesn't want a work around, he wants better technology. And your work around is great for a baseball pitch that you know is coming, just common sense, not so great at catching an instant smile from my wiggly 2 year old.

He mentioned sports. As my example shows its a perfectly workable technique with sports in general, not just family static sports such as baseball.

As for a smile from your two year old, if it lasts long enough for you to see it it lasts long enough for a modern m43 camera to capture. According to one test site that I randomly pulled from Google a pre focused shot on an EM5 has a shutter lag of 0.056 seconds (actually marginally faster than the canon 7d that the OP mentioned). Just how fast is your kid?

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MarcusBrody
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Re: What m4/3 really needs: speed.
In reply to dmanthree, 8 months ago

dmanthree wrote:

I've been enjoying my Panny GH3, but one aspect of it continues to frustrate: the lack of speed. Not just AF (continuous) speed, but response time. The delay from shutter press to firing is too long, and makes sports shooting a real challenge. What would it take, besides the mythical global shutter, to really increase the response time of m3/4 and bring it in line with something like the Canon 7D?

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What lens are you using? What focus mode? if you're requiring focus lock before firing the shutter, this can have a big effect on speed.

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Bob Tullis
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Re: What DMANTHREE really needs: speed.
In reply to dmanthree, 8 months ago

dmanthree wrote:

I've been enjoying my Panny GH3, but one aspect of it continues to frustrate: the lack of speed. Not just AF (continuous) speed, but response time. The delay from shutter press to firing is too long, and makes sports shooting a real challenge. What would it take, besides the mythical global shutter, to really increase the response time of m3/4 and bring it in line with something like the Canon 7D?

Time and money for affordable technology to be developed and offered.

But of course, by then the 7D successor will have advanced further too.

Get the 7D.

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Bob Tullis
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Re: What m4/3 really needs: speed.
In reply to MarcusBrody, 8 months ago

MarcusBrody wrote:

dmanthree wrote:

I've been enjoying my Panny GH3, but one aspect of it continues to frustrate: the lack of speed. Not just AF (continuous) speed, but response time. The delay from shutter press to firing is too long, and makes sports shooting a real challenge. What would it take, besides the mythical global shutter, to really increase the response time of m3/4 and bring it in line with something like the Canon 7D?

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What lens are you using? What focus mode? if you're requiring focus lock before firing the shutter, this can have a big effect on speed.

If it were a matter of being able to compensate/adapt, this topic wouldn't have been started in the first place.

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drj3
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Re: What m4/3 really needs: speed.
In reply to Dheorl, 8 months ago

Dheorl wrote:

Cane wrote:

He doesn't want a work around, he wants better technology. And your work around is great for a baseball pitch that you know is coming, just common sense, not so great at catching an instant smile from my wiggly 2 year old.

He mentioned sports. As my example shows its a perfectly workable technique with sports in general, not just family static sports such as baseball.

As for a smile from your two year old, if it lasts long enough for you to see it it lasts long enough for a modern m43 camera to capture. According to one test site that I randomly pulled from Google a pre focused shot on an EM5 has a shutter lag of 0.056 seconds (actually marginally faster than the canon 7d that the OP mentioned). Just how fast is your kid?

If you set the Olympus E-M1 Shutter Release time to Short, then the Pre-focused Release Lag-time = 0.047 second.  There are good reasons to choose the Canon 7D for sports, but I am not sure the time required for shutter release is the most important one.

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Deleted010614
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Re: What DMANTHREE really needs: speed.
In reply to Bob Tullis, 8 months ago

I would probably take a 7d for sports but for the other 95% of my work I'm taking my EM1. If you shoot predominately sports then maybe m4/3 isn't for you. There are times when I want my 5D MkII but those are in the minority these days as well. NO camera or system is perfect, its a "right tool for the job" sort of thing.

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s_grins
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Re: What m4/3 really needs: speed.
In reply to dmanthree, 8 months ago

My GH2 has somewhere in menu option called "half press release" Switching this option ON allows you to have camera fired instantly, without any beep and green disk confirmation. It is as responsive as old fashion film cameras.

I think your GH3 has the same option.

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Sergey Borachev
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Re: What m4/3 really needs: speed.
In reply to dmanthree, 8 months ago

dmanthree wrote:

I've been enjoying my Panny GH3, but one aspect of it continues to frustrate: the lack of speed. Not just AF (continuous) speed, but response time. The delay from shutter press to firing is too long, and makes sports shooting a real challenge. What would it take, besides the mythical global shutter, to really increase the response time of m3/4 and bring it in line with something like the Canon 7D?

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M43 has never been the top choice for action or speed, although the top models have been improved greatly.  It has limitations in C-AF, in fast and long lenses, and low light action shooting.  DSLRs are your best cameras for that.  M43 is about better balance in the usual requirements, size, weight, IQ, performance, selection, etc.  The E-M1 is your best bet for a more sportive M43 camera with its PDAF and some more lenses (43 lenses) if you have a need for the most speed in M43, but no miracles.

What M43 needs is not more performance speed.  It is not competing with DSLRs in sports/action shooting.  It does not even bother with very long lenses.

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axlotl
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Re: What delay ?
In reply to dmanthree, 8 months ago

Dmanthree: You write ..."the delay from shutter press to firing is too long..." I have been using the GH3 for months now and find it very responsive, such that the delay from pressing the shutter button to the shutter activating is virtually nil. What are your camera settings ? Most GH3 users report it is a very fast, responsive camera.  There is effectively no delay, or at least none that most users will notice.

The main factor which makes the camera less suitable than, say a Canon EOS 7D for follow focus on moving subjects is the EVF blackout time after each frame.  If Panasonic can reduce this significantly  they will be in the sport/action photography business.

The other bit of technology which could improve Panasonic's follow focus capability is the AF sensor readout frequency. At present this is 256x per second. If this were increased to 512x per second that would help.

Despite it's limitations plenty of users do sport/action with the GH3 anyway and get a percentage of good frames.

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Chez Wimpy
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GH3 @ 79ms vs 7D @ 59ms
In reply to axlotl, 8 months ago

axlotl wrote:

Dmanthree: You write ..."the delay from shutter press to firing is too long..." I have been using the GH3 for months now and find it very responsive, such that the delay from pressing the shutter button to the shutter activating is virtually nil.

The GH3 is very close to the best DSLRs, the EM5 is faster still (with the high refresh rate mode on).

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52280442

I agree, a shutter lag is something I have *never* noticed with m43 vs DSLRs.  I am pretty sure my EM5 is the fastest I have used... but I keep mine on anti-shock most of the time

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Jun2
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Re: What m4/3 really needs: speed.
In reply to dmanthree, 8 months ago

Try machine-gun style shooting.

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jeffpix
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Re: What m4/3 really needs: speed.
In reply to dmanthree, 8 months ago

Howdy,

I guess that the term "speed" can mean a variety of different things. I am very happy with the response time, focus speed, shot-to-shot time, etc. of my OM-D E-M5. Here are a few pix to show an example of what you can do with 9 fps.

The first sequence consists of four pictures. I have a similar set of pictures in my gallery that capture the trajectory 6 times between the time that the disks emerge to their entering the target slots in the walls. I have included just 2 out of 6 of these shots here to illustrate.

(These are from a FIRST Robotics competition, by the way, which is for high school students.)

The disks being shot by these robots were moving very fast. They come ripping out of shooting mechanisms that in some cases are spinning as fast as 7500 rpm.

Best regards,

Jeff

Shot 1: look for two little white disks coming from the robots

Shot 2

Shot 3

Shot 4

Another sequence (2 of 6 shots in my gallery):

Shot 4

Shot 6: right on target (disk enters a slot)

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Sean Nelson
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Re: What m4/3 really needs: speed.
In reply to dmanthree, 8 months ago

One of the traditional criticisms of electronic viewfinders (vs. optical viewfinders) is that they have too long a lag time between the time the subject moves and the time you see it in the viewfinder.   The shutter release can be instantaneous, but it doesn't do you much good if you lose a half-second or so before you even see the image in the viewfinder.

So when I received my GH3 last week one of the things I was interested in testing was the viewfinder lag.   I set up the camera to point to my TV set and then used a second camera (a Sony RX100M2) to record 1080p60 footage of the electronic viewfinder as well as the rear LCD screen.   By counting the number of frames between a scene change on the TV and seeing the same change in the EVF or LCD screen, you can get a pretty decent idea of what the lag time is.

After several trials I came up with an average of around 3.5 frames for the electronic viewfinder - that corresponds to a lag time of about 60ms (0.06 seconds).    The LCD screen was even faster at 2 frames or less, for a lag time of about 33ms (0.033 seconds).  Both of those are faster than the typical human reaction time of 1/10th of a second.

I consider that kind of performance to be excellent, and I also learned that for the very fastest reaction time with the GH3 it's better to use the LCD panel than to use the electronic viewfinder.

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dmanthree
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Re: What m4/3 really needs: speed.
In reply to Dheorl, 8 months ago

Show me a picture of a running back coming straight at you at a high school football game at night. Fast action, low light, impossible for any m4/3 to follow focus. I realize that my cam can be used for sports, but there are many, many situations where it just won't cut it.

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dmanthree
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Re: What m4/3 really needs: speed.
In reply to ApertureAcolyte, 8 months ago

ApertureAcolyte wrote:

dmanthree wrote:

I've been enjoying my Panny GH3, but one aspect of it continues to frustrate: the lack of speed. Not just AF (continuous) speed, but response time. The delay from shutter press to firing is too long, and makes sports shooting a real challenge. What would it take, besides the mythical global shutter, to really increase the response time of m3/4 and bring it in line with something like the Canon 7D?

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I don't see what it has to do with m43...

I can multi tap fire off about 3 fps @1/20 on my EM-5, S-AF refocusing on multiple targets in Large JPG+RAW ,even with its limited buffer. Can push up to 4fps if I turn off preview and faster shutter speed.

m4/3 already has faster burst and faster S-AF than APS-C.

If I "NEED" tracking focus in 9fps burst, there's always the focus ring with the distance scale

Exactly. Focus tracking on any m4/3 camera doesn't cut it.

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dmanthree
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Re: What m4/3 really needs: speed.
In reply to MarcusBrody, 8 months ago

MarcusBrody wrote:

dmanthree wrote:

I've been enjoying my Panny GH3, but one aspect of it continues to frustrate: the lack of speed. Not just AF (continuous) speed, but response time. The delay from shutter press to firing is too long, and makes sports shooting a real challenge. What would it take, besides the mythical global shutter, to really increase the response time of m3/4 and bring it in line with something like the Canon 7D?

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What lens are you using? What focus mode? if you're requiring focus lock before firing the shutter, this can have a big effect on speed.

I'm not requiring focus lock, but I really do want the photos to be in focus. And using focus tracking/continuous AF it just doesn't cut it in many situations, like a running back coming at you.

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