Using the 50-200 SWD on both E-5 and E-M1

Started Nov 2, 2013 | Discussions thread
Fleabag Senior Member • Posts: 2,401
Agree on S+AF

After a few weeks using the camera almost everyday with about 75% BIF shooting the rest static shots I would agree with your assessment regarding S-AF. It's at least as good as the E-5 with the exception of when the focus system freaks out and can't decide what to do. (yes this really happens)

With C-AF I tried and continue to try multiple options to see if anything would help it perform better. In reality, at least on my 4/3rd lens it does not perform well at all. In addition, there are multiple issues that stack up to making C-AF more difficult to use than on the E-5. I also use release priority. Nothing more frustrating than mashing down on the shutter when you can see the target is in focus and nothing happens because the camera does not agree with your eyes.

  • For whatever reason, it just does not track as well as the E-5, which isn't that great to begin with.
  • No C-AF+MF which contributes to the problem under certain circumstances. Assigning a button to toggle MF causes missed shots.
  • Single focus point and focus point groups not conducive to BIF shooting. My perspective is trying to hold up a heavy 300mm lens. Single Small AF point is too small to keep on target. Single large AF point can also be too small. There should be an AF group that is center weighted, which does not seem to be the case with this camera.  The grouping options in general just don't seem to work well on anything other that a relatively smooth background.  I would have liked to see a diamond similar to the E-5 that is center weighted. The square AF block is just too big.
  • No focus in 10fps mode
  • Shutter blackout in 6fps mode, which is the mode that should attempt to autofocus between frames which pretty much makes it useless. In actual use for me, this means you can't autofocus between frames in C-AF on the EM-1.

I did attempt to use C-AF +TR for BIF and thought that it had potential. I was testing this on ducks which are pretty fast movers. I found that all you really needed to do was to get the bird in the center and wait for the green box. I even enabled the focus beep to help me know when the camera was in focus. I found that for at least for a short amount of time, like miliseconds the system would be green and I could take the shot. Even if it turned to red the camera should still be in focus as the focus stayed at the last point. However when I viewed the images shot when the box was green I found that they were slightly out of focus

There is still a lot to like about the camera, it's just not a BIF camera (for me). Now that the prices of the Canon 1DMkIV has come down, I may just keep the EM-1 300mm on the tripod for static shots and have the 1D and 400f5.6 on my shoulder for BIF.

After having shot thousands of images with the EM-1 shooting BIF I give it a grade of D+

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