Blasted OM-D focusing

Started Mar 11, 2014 | Discussions
Louis_Dobson
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Blasted OM-D focusing
Mar 11, 2014

I don't have any of the issues some people have had with the OM-D.  In every way except one I find it a brilliant camera.  Shutter shock?  Never get it.  Handling / size issues?  Works perfectly for me.  Menu structures?  No problem!
Many of you have been here a few years know who I am.  I'm not bad at this stuff.  I've drifted sideways from semi-pro photography into dog rescue - I use a camera as much as before, but it is no longer art, it is dog sales, and you don't want to see that, so you rarely hear from me now.
But the focusing is just awful.  It is pin point accurate, unlike my old Nikon D3, and blisteringly fast, unlike previous generations.  It just keeps grabbing the background!  Not only does it ruin 5% of shots, as did dSLRs, but it doesn't miss individual shots, it misses every shot on 5% of occasions, which is much worse, because you have t drive 500 miles to re-do the shoot!
I'm really four letter word fed up with this.  Is the EM-1 any better?  
And yes, I know how to set it to the smallest point.  The smallest point is NOT SMALL ENOUGH. Not small enough by several billion, million miles.
A nearly brilliant camera, ruined by a really infuriating flaw.
FOCUS WITHIN THE GREEN SQUARE YOU PIECE OF XXXX!
Seriously annoyed.  Unless you can fill a quarter of the frame with what you plan to focus on, the AF is useless.  It just adores the foliage behind.

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dgrogers
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Re: Blasted OM-D focusing
In reply to Louis_Dobson, Mar 11, 2014

Are you on the most recent firmware?

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Completely infatuated with the "OMG"

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EGenius007
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Re: Blasted OM-D focusing
In reply to Louis_Dobson, Mar 11, 2014

The E-M1 and E-M10 have 81 focus points (9x9) compared to the 35 of the E-M5 (which is what I'm inferring you mean by "OM-D" - there are siblings now!)

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Richie S
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Re: Blasted OM-D focusing
In reply to dgrogers, Mar 11, 2014

dgrogers wrote:

Are you on the most recent firmware?

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Completely infatuated with the "OMG"

Yep, the latest firmware update added small focusing points. There was a bit of trick to shrinking if before with the magnify setting, but now it's an easy select in the AF menu.

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Brian Wadie
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Re: Blasted OM-D focusing
In reply to Louis_Dobson, Mar 11, 2014

Louis, things that I had to do to stop it wandering and focus where I wanted

- switch of eye focus

- switch off continuous focus

- switch of Tracking

- switch on high refresh rate on the EVF

- switch off touch screen and LCD

- set CAF focus lock to normal

- mainly shoot SAF + M except where there are clear backgrounds and good contrast differential, when I may shoot CAF with smallest single point or 9 point box

Now it doesn't wander, even when shooting black on black in the studio or small birds hiding in conflicting and confusing foliage

(these apply to EM-1, but in a reduced set also to the EM-5)

You shouldn't be having this problem

(among other things I also shoot dogs and cats )

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David Kieltyka
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With the latest firmware...
In reply to Louis_Dobson, Mar 11, 2014

...the E-M5 now has optional smaller focus rectangles. Note that even with older firmware you can shrink the focus point size by activating the manual focus rectangle (works even in AF mode) and setting it to 14x.

-Dave-

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Louis_Dobson
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Re: With the latest firmware...
In reply to David Kieltyka, Mar 11, 2014

David Kieltyka wrote:

...the E-M5 now has optional smaller focus rectangles. Note that even with older firmware you can shrink the focus point size by activating the manual focus rectangle (works even in AF mode) and setting it to 14x.

-Dave-

Thanks folks - no I have not upgraded the firmware, I'm a computer person in another life, so I don't risk bricking things for no reason, and as at now I've seen nothing in the FW upgrades that I want.  
I set the camera to 14x by instinct as soon as I pick it up.  I leave it set there anyway, but I like to be sure!
14x is just not enough.  Would more recent firmware let me take it in tighter?

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richarddd
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Re: With the latest firmware...
In reply to Louis_Dobson, Mar 11, 2014

Louis_Dobson wrote:

David Kieltyka wrote:

...the E-M5 now has optional smaller focus rectangles. Note that even with older firmware you can shrink the focus point size by activating the manual focus rectangle (works even in AF mode) and setting it to 14x.

-Dave-

Thanks folks - no I have not upgraded the firmware, I'm a computer person in another life, so I don't risk bricking things for no reason, and as at now I've seen nothing in the FW upgrades that I want.
I set the camera to 14x by instinct as soon as I pick it up. I leave it set there anyway, but I like to be sure!
14x is just not enough. Would more recent firmware let me take it in tighter?

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There are two systems for setting AF points on the EM5

1) A 5x7 grid - see page 44 of the pdf manual. With the old firmware, you could set the AF area to one square, 3x3 or the entire 5x7. The new firmware lets you choose a point smaller than one square. Access the grid, push info, set size of AF target with arrows.

2) The zoom frame - see page 45 of the pdf manual. This lets you set the AF target to sizes from 5x to 14x. The new firmware didn't change this.

I believe the new AF point is smaller than the 14x from the zoom frame.

If I missed something, no doubt someone will correct me.

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zuikowesty
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Re: Blasted OM-D focusing
In reply to Louis_Dobson, Mar 11, 2014

Do you have face detect on? It will override the focus point, and pet faces will be detected. Although, if working correctly, it should nail the focus on the eye(s) depending on the option set.

Can you post some samples with EXIF and details of the shots?

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peter ny
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Re: With the latest firmware...
In reply to Louis_Dobson, Mar 11, 2014

Louis_Dobson wrote:

David Kieltyka wrote:

...the E-M5 now has optional smaller focus rectangles. Note that even with older firmware you can shrink the focus point size by activating the manual focus rectangle (works even in AF mode) and setting it to 14x.

-Dave-

Thanks folks - no I have not upgraded the firmware, I'm a computer person in another life, so I don't risk bricking things for no reason, and as at now I've seen nothing in the FW upgrades that I want.
I set the camera to 14x by instinct as soon as I pick it up. I leave it set there anyway, but I like to be sure!
14x is just not enough. Would more recent firmware let me take it in tighter?

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Yes, the new firmware gives you a box somewhat smaller than the size you are used to. For that reason alone, for me, the update was worthwhile.

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Mk82
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Re: With the latest firmware...
In reply to richarddd, Mar 11, 2014

Thanks for those tips. Didn't know that the focus magnification rectangle changed the focus point size as well.

Spotted altought that the focus point frame is enlarged in magnified view too to present its size.

And I don't know how much smaller it really is usable to get as the smallest is already very small. Otherwise I would take manual focus already. As trying to get focus based few pixel position isn't wise by my opinion.

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grendak
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Re: With the latest firmware...
In reply to Louis_Dobson, Mar 11, 2014

Louis_Dobson wrote:

Thanks folks - no I have not upgraded the firmware, I'm a computer person in another life, so I don't risk bricking things for no reason, and as at now I've seen nothing in the FW upgrades that I want.
I set the camera to 14x by instinct as soon as I pick it up. I leave it set there anyway, but I like to be sure!
14x is just not enough. Would more recent firmware let me take it in tighter?

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http://thegentlemansnapper.blogspot.com

What are you trying to focus on that 14x isn't enough? Don't forget, you need contrast inside of that 14x box in order for CDAF to work.  I've had no issue with either the 14x or the small AF box nailing the focus on the eye of an animal each and every time.  Are you trying to track something?  And if so, is it moving very fast?

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Paulmorgan
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Re: Blasted OM-D focusing
In reply to Louis_Dobson, Mar 11, 2014

Louis_Dobson wrote:

I don't have any of the issues some people have had with the OM-D. In every way except one I find it a brilliant camera. Shutter shock? Never get it. Handling / size issues? Works perfectly for me. Menu structures? No problem!
Many of you have been here a few years know who I am. I'm not bad at this stuff. I've drifted sideways from semi-pro photography into dog rescue - I use a camera as much as before, but it is no longer art, it is dog sales, and you don't want to see that, so you rarely hear from me now.
But the focusing is just awful. It is pin point accurate, unlike my old Nikon D3, and blisteringly fast, unlike previous generations. It just keeps grabbing the background! Not only does it ruin 5% of shots, as did dSLRs, but it doesn't miss individual shots, it misses every shot on 5% of occasions, which is much worse, because you have t drive 500 miles to re-do the shoot!
I'm really four letter word fed up with this. Is the EM-1 any better?
And yes, I know how to set it to the smallest point. The smallest point is NOT SMALL ENOUGH. Not small enough by several billion, million miles.
A nearly brilliant camera, ruined by a really infuriating flaw.
FOCUS WITHIN THE GREEN SQUARE YOU PIECE OF XXXX!
Seriously annoyed. Unless you can fill a quarter of the frame with what you plan to focus on, the AF is useless. It just adores the foliage behind.

-- hide signature --

www.flickr.com/photos/acam
http://thegentlemansnapper.blogspot.com

Its all swings and roundabouts with contrast V Phase detect auto-focus, each have there advantages and disadvantages.

The EM1 will be better simply because it uses both contrast detect and phase detect auto-focus.

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cosmonaut
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Re: Blasted OM-D focusing
In reply to Louis_Dobson, Mar 11, 2014

Louis_Dobson wrote:

I don't have any of the issues some people have had with the OM-D. In every way except one I find it a brilliant camera. Shutter shock? Never get it. Handling / size issues? Works perfectly for me. Menu structures? No problem!
Many of you have been here a few years know who I am. I'm not bad at this stuff. I've drifted sideways from semi-pro photography into dog rescue - I use a camera as much as before, but it is no longer art, it is dog sales, and you don't want to see that, so you rarely hear from me now.
But the focusing is just awful. It is pin point accurate, unlike my old Nikon D3, and blisteringly fast, unlike previous generations. It just keeps grabbing the background! Not only does it ruin 5% of shots, as did dSLRs, but it doesn't miss individual shots, it misses every shot on 5% of occasions, which is much worse, because you have t drive 500 miles to re-do the shoot!
I'm really four letter word fed up with this. Is the EM-1 any better?
And yes, I know how to set it to the smallest point. The smallest point is NOT SMALL ENOUGH. Not small enough by several billion, million miles.
A nearly brilliant camera, ruined by a really infuriating flaw.
FOCUS WITHIN THE GREEN SQUARE YOU PIECE OF XXXX!
Seriously annoyed. Unless you can fill a quarter of the frame with what you plan to focus on, the AF is useless. It just adores the foliage behind.

-- hide signature --

www.flickr.com/photos/acam
http://thegentlemansnapper.blogspot.com

I agree. I know my a7R is slower but what good is fast if it misses to much? My a7R isn't the best at tracking but once it hits focus it hits it, period.

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Martin.au
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Re: Blasted OM-D focusing
In reply to Paulmorgan, Mar 11, 2014

Paulmorgan wrote:

Louis_Dobson wrote:

I don't have any of the issues some people have had with the OM-D. In every way except one I find it a brilliant camera. Shutter shock? Never get it. Handling / size issues? Works perfectly for me. Menu structures? No problem!
Many of you have been here a few years know who I am. I'm not bad at this stuff. I've drifted sideways from semi-pro photography into dog rescue - I use a camera as much as before, but it is no longer art, it is dog sales, and you don't want to see that, so you rarely hear from me now.
But the focusing is just awful. It is pin point accurate, unlike my old Nikon D3, and blisteringly fast, unlike previous generations. It just keeps grabbing the background! Not only does it ruin 5% of shots, as did dSLRs, but it doesn't miss individual shots, it misses every shot on 5% of occasions, which is much worse, because you have t drive 500 miles to re-do the shoot!
I'm really four letter word fed up with this. Is the EM-1 any better?
And yes, I know how to set it to the smallest point. The smallest point is NOT SMALL ENOUGH. Not small enough by several billion, million miles.
A nearly brilliant camera, ruined by a really infuriating flaw.
FOCUS WITHIN THE GREEN SQUARE YOU PIECE OF XXXX!
Seriously annoyed. Unless you can fill a quarter of the frame with what you plan to focus on, the AF is useless. It just adores the foliage behind.

-- hide signature --

www.flickr.com/photos/acam
http://thegentlemansnapper.blogspot.com

Its all swings and roundabouts with contrast V Phase detect auto-focus, each have there advantages and disadvantages.

The EM1 will be better simply because it uses both contrast detect and phase detect auto-focus.

For this type of shot the E-M1 will have no advantage over a firmware updated E-M5. Both will be using CDAF and have the smaller focus box.

I'd try face recognition, and for critical shots 500 miles away, I'd shoot a few double checking the focus with the 14x magnification and MF.

I've had very few issues shooting animals with either camera.

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LaMesa
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Louis,
In reply to Louis_Dobson, Mar 11, 2014
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maljo@inreach.com
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Check focus before driving 500 miles?
In reply to Louis_Dobson, Mar 11, 2014

For macro images the focus can be off as well.  The D800 focuses really well.  Mirrorless is not DSLR.

I make an image and check it on the LCD to be sure what I want is in focus.

For dogs:

Get closer.

Zoom in, lock focus, then zoom happy.

Manually focus

Use face detect if photographing dog faces.

Slow down.

I have fewer problems with the EM1 than I did with the EM5.

maljo

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LaMesa
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Louis,
In reply to Louis_Dobson, Mar 11, 2014

I would guess that you, in the early days of your photographic career, did take most of your pictures without autofocus. Focussing manually, your intelligent mind helped you to distinguish your subject from the background foilage. The smartest autofocus in the world can not do that.

With an autofocus failure rate of only 5% you are a lucky man. My guess is that the failures were always there, but you suddenly became allergic. Why don't you use the setting "S-AF+MF", which allows you to correct or fine tune the AF setting?

Greetings from North Germany,

Herbert

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EarthQuake
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Re: Blasted OM-D focusing
In reply to Louis_Dobson, Mar 11, 2014

Louis_Dobson wrote:

I don't have any of the issues some people have had with the OM-D. In every way except one I find it a brilliant camera. Shutter shock? Never get it. Handling / size issues? Works perfectly for me. Menu structures? No problem!
Many of you have been here a few years know who I am. I'm not bad at this stuff. I've drifted sideways from semi-pro photography into dog rescue - I use a camera as much as before, but it is no longer art, it is dog sales, and you don't want to see that, so you rarely hear from me now.
But the focusing is just awful. It is pin point accurate, unlike my old Nikon D3, and blisteringly fast, unlike previous generations. It just keeps grabbing the background! Not only does it ruin 5% of shots, as did dSLRs, but it doesn't miss individual shots, it misses every shot on 5% of occasions, which is much worse, because you have t drive 500 miles to re-do the shoot!
I'm really four letter word fed up with this. Is the EM-1 any better?
And yes, I know how to set it to the smallest point. The smallest point is NOT SMALL ENOUGH. Not small enough by several billion, million miles.
A nearly brilliant camera, ruined by a really infuriating flaw.
FOCUS WITHIN THE GREEN SQUARE YOU PIECE OF XXXX!
Seriously annoyed. Unless you can fill a quarter of the frame with what you plan to focus on, the AF is useless. It just adores the foliage behind.

-- hide signature --

www.flickr.com/photos/acam
http://thegentlemansnapper.blogspot.com

The firmware update helps a lot, but the EM1 is even better.

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Michael J Davis
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Re: With the latest firmware...
In reply to Louis_Dobson, Mar 11, 2014

Louis_Dobson wrote:

Thanks folks - no I have not upgraded the firmware, I'm a computer person in another life, so I don't risk bricking things for no reason, and as at now I've seen nothing in the FW upgrades that I want.
I set the camera to 14x by instinct as soon as I pick it up. I leave it set there anyway, but I like to be sure!
14x is just not enough. Would more recent firmware let me take it in tighter?

1. Hi Louis - nice to hear from you!
2. As someone whose camera 'bricked' on the first update, I was nervous about the latest update, but all went smoothly.
3. The smallest focus box has, so far, happily overcome the tendency of even the 14x box to wander off and grab the background.  I guess it would even let you focus on the dog's eye, if you wanted.
You'll have to try it and see. 
My problem is that I keep pushing the 14x button from habit, and then forgetting how to reset it!
Best wishes
Mike

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