m43 - the Ultimate Solution to MF (and DOF control) is really very simple...

Started Aug 13, 2009 | Discussions thread
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duartix Veteran Member • Posts: 3,590
m43 - the Ultimate Solution to MF (and DOF control) is really very simple...

...but it hasn't arrived yet.

Please bare with me. The end all be all solution is very simple and it's not even original, I'm just trying to push it.

Let me just present some reasons first:

Before anyone says "Who cares about MF?" just look around and see what kind of lenses people are mounting on the G1/E-P1. The answer includes: a lot of MF lenses.

Some of the people who really care about MF are people interested in video , many are even professionals. I'm sure you can film some great video filmed with a fixed focus, but being able to switch focus accurately from one subject to another is essential for telling a story and making good video.

Unfortunately even though the G1/GH1 EVF can somehow help, it's not precise enough for serious work and I'm not even mentioning any of the LCD's on either Olympus or Panasonic because they will fail miserably at this demanding mission. You would need the camera connected to an HDMI screen and there is no guaranty that you wouldn't hunt around for focus.

What we, the photographers and videographers even more more desperately need is a peaking aid like some video cameras already have. We need a MF Assist mode that when we point the camera at this scene:

will show you this:

or when you point it at this scene:

will show you this:

This transformation is so cheap and fast that I'm sure Olympus could pull it at 10fps without breaking any sweat (considering they can produce some more demanding Art Filters at 6fps in 720p and also that they only would need to process the screen resolution).
What does it involve and how did I produced them?

  • Taking a copy of the image that is sent to the LCD.

  • Processing it with a Gradient Filter (amount=5). This is as cheap/fast as a sharpening/blur filter.

  • Applying it a threshold filter (I used 128). No comments on speed. You end up with a rough mask of sharp edges.

  • Process the original image by desaturating everything outside the previous mask and coloring with a visible tone (I used RED) inside the mask.

There are much more elaborate edge detectors and threshold filters but I wanted to make a point that even the simplest of tools can be of great benefit.
This could be as fast for MF as using a split focus screen.
And I know no better way to control DOF either.

I would gladly spit out an extra 100€ for this, is it worth anything for you?
Duarte Bruno

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