Its official. Oly AF sucks!

Started Sep 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
erichK Veteran Member • Posts: 5,902
Re: Oly's latest DSLR AF sucked- not mine

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.


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.


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.

-- hide signature --

saskatoon, canada
Photography is a small voice, at best, but sometimes one photograph, or a group of them, can lure our sense of awareness.
- W. Eugene Smith, Dec 30, 1918 to Oct 15, 1978.
underwater photos:

 erichK's gear list:erichK's gear list
Olympus E-1 Olympus E-330 Olympus E-620 Olympus E-5 Olympus PEN E-PL5 +23 more
Post (hide subjects) Posted by
(unknown member)
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow