At last - Complete article on new way to use AF on the E-M5

Started Aug 28, 2012 | Discussions thread
sean000 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,354
Re: Is AF with the E-M5 really that hard? Works fine for me.

BushmanOrig wrote:

Awesome reply......

Hi Sean

Thanks a million for your reply. The first few weeks and months are critical for new products like the E-M5 or any other high end or high performance product. This forum is blessed with great photographers and hobbies t really testing and trying all aspects of gear I found...... That said the inherent discovery spirit among fellow members try all different aspects of a product and quickly several conclusions and "facts" are becoming type of norms in the day to day discussions.....

I have been one who were hit full force with some of the issues being discussed with the E-M5 and were forced more than anything else research the product.....

I guess I count myself among the fortunate in that the few issues I have had have been minor and infrequent. Before purchasing the E-M5 I read about IBIS issues, lockups with Panasonic lenses, banding issues (especially with some Panasonic lenses like the 20mm) and AF hunting issues (again, mostly with the 20mm f/1.7).

Fortunately my E-M5 has not suffered from these problems even though it still has the original firmware. It has only locked up once with the 20mm, and I only see banding on occasion at ISO speeds above 6400 (mostly with the 20mm, but I have also seen banding with the 45mm f/1.8 at 12800). I have had no AF hunting issues... even when I use the 20mm f/1.7 in low light that requires ISO6400, f/1.7, and 1/40s. I'm not saying it's quick, but it works.

But I have experienced frustration with soft photos at speeds between 1/60s and 1/125s. The problem is that it's not consistent, so I don't always know what I'm going to get. I seem to get more consistent results with IBIS disabled at these speeds, so at first I thought it was an IBIS issue. After further testing I decided that IBIS wasn't really the problem. I also tested AF accuracy, but did not have any issues there using a variety of lenses, AF targets, and distances. Then I read about the suspected shutter shock and it confirmed my suspicion that something might be going on, because I seem to always get sharp shots when the Anti-shock delay is enabled.

Must say I do not agree or full disagree with many theories on the site but thought its a good point in time to "stir" a little with respect and to let most of us take a step back to think and in your reply I see that is exactly what you did. You not 100% convinced plus you question the elements of Siegfried really liking Olympus.....

I think you've written some helpful articles, and it is very ambitious to try and tackle the frustrating quirks of a very popular new camera. I think you might have put too many ideas into this one article.You could probably get at least two distinct articles out of that one... maybe even three. The whole Panasonic vs Olympus lenses on Olympus bodies seems like a separate discussion to me since the AF/IBIS/Shutter Shock problem affects all lenses on the E-M5 (including Olympus lenses like the 12-50mm).

None of us are going to test or use our cameras in exactly the same way, so of course our results are going to vary a bit. I have yet to see convincing evidence that there is an AF accuracy issue with any camera+lens combination. I agree with you that it is more about using AF properly. I don't think it is more difficult to use AF properly on the E-M5 than it was on other cameras I have owned (although initially I preferred some things about the way Panasonic handles S-AF). It is normal to go through a bit of a learning curve with a new camera, especially those coming from smaller sensors where the enormous depth of field did not require such precise focusing. But of course a lot of E-M5 owners are very experienced photographers, and there is definitely an issue with the E-M5 at certain shutter speeds. Some have blamed AF, others IBIS (including myself initially), and these days it seems to me that shutter shock is the widely accepted culprit. But it could also be that we are dealing with multiple issues that are intermittent enough to hide from some testing sessions... or that only surface when the right combination of conditions is met.

Many readers do not do that and really trust the forum conclusions in general. In Switzerland the 12 - 50 mm lens seems to have no value at all basically as a result of public opinion.... Your reply combined with a article like I did hopefully let those readers who trust forum believes to question the facts discussed and to try for themselves....

Well again there are a lot of assumptions being made based on poor testing methods. I don't know that the 12-50mm has a poor reputation. I actually really like the lens even though I have stated many times that it is not as sharp as my 14-45mm. Well my 14-45mm isn't as sharp as my 20mm f/1.7 or 45mm f/1.8, but I still like it. Even though the 14-45mm is sharper, I find the 12-50mm to be sharp enough for most purposes... and it's an extremely versatile lens that keeps me going back to it.

That some (one in this case) react so fiercely and bad is sad.....but I understand as you sad possibly the stir I did was a little direct Panny owners ( I owned several Panny lenses and still do the 14 - 45) and I apologize for that.....

No problem! I just think that generalized statements that seek to simplify complex differences are not consistent with the level of detail you display in some of your articles. You're trying to help by summarizing and exploring some very complex issues to establish some recommended settings/practices. I think it is something I and most people on this message board appreciate, but at the same time it puts you in the hot seat when it comes to discussing the details and conclusions.

Sean

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Olympus Stylus XZ-10 Nikon D70 Nikon D200 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 Olympus OM-D E-M5 +14 more
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