Odd G1X MK2 focusing quirk

Started Apr 24, 2014 | Discussions thread
Ranlee Senior Member • Posts: 1,749
Re: Odd G1X MK2 focusing quirk

Mr Sincere wrote:

Ranlee wrote:

Dale Buhanan wrote:

That is very annoying and downright scary to those of us contemplating getting this camera. I can't imagine what could make it behave that way. It also seems to be affecting more than one camera. I know that misery loves company. But not so much in this case.

I hope this can be resolved, or that Canon will release a firmware update to correct the issue. There is too much good about the camera to have something like this spoil the fun. I am so sorry....

This is going to take more study I think. I'm sitting in a relatively dark room. 3 roof windows with shades drawn - early evening. There is about a 3.5' space between my roof windows with knotty oak boards (enough texture contrast normally but with the relative brightness of the windows I can barely make out the grain 6 feet away, naked eye). The MkII will not focus on any area between the windows while the windows are showing in the viewfinder. Zoom in to eliminate the windows and it may focus a little better, not much. Put the focusing reticle even the tiniest bit into any of the window frame lit up by the window and it will focus easily every time. Now the strange thing is that without zooming, simply aiming up above the window at the roof peak where there is no window in the frame it focuses just fine yet it is just as dark if not a little darker. Same wood grain.

Test 2, tried the same thing with my GX7 and 20mm 1.7 and my GM1 with 12-32. Both acted exactly the same as the Canon. Unable to focus in the area between the windows but no problem when the raised above the windows with no strong light in the frame. Both Pany's focus faster and are much easier to focus on a smaller objects accurately. In fact the GX7 can focus on little more than a pinpoint area but they are still unable to focus in the same areas the MkII cannot focus. At least in my inner sanctum.;-)

Long story short, I'm not sure its that much of a problem. More experience will tell. Also, I don't presume to speak for anyone else. We all have different needs and tolerances.

Thanks for doing that testing Randy.

It's interesting to read you found that the GX7 didn't do much better than the G1X mk2. I was using an em5 with a few different lenses as my "control", and found it did reliably better in circumstances that troubled the g1x mk2. This wasn't surprising, but gave me some confidence I wasn't just picking subjects that lacked the contrast for CDAF. Again, I'm not even talking about speed, I'm talking about the ability to even focus.

If you find another subject that your g1x mk2 fails to lock on, try to move the focus point one click in any direction, and then try again. I've found this simple change makes a world of difference. It makes zero sense from a technical point of view, but I've found again and again that there's a large difference. Definitely feels like a firmware bug of some sort.

Thanks again for the contribution.

Your welcome of course but I'm sorry I haven't helped.  I did wander around the house for a half hour this evening finding dark things the MkII didn't want to focus on and then trying your moving the focus point technique, and either fortunately or unfortunately I couldn't make it work as yours does.  I also tried the GM1 again and once again it mimicked the MKII in focusing proficiency.  I accidently left my GX7 at my woods so its out of the picture for now.

You've probably tried everything but I'll drop a couple options anyway just in case they help.  First, you can save the moved focus point to Custom 1 or 2.  You might try that since yours is more sensitive one notch moved.  At least you wouldn't have to move it off center each time you power up.

The other thing is more complicated to describe.  I normally do as you do with the center focus and then recompose method.  The problem I have when it can't achieve focus is it usually leaves me with a totally unfocused screen.  In these cases (such as my window test shooting)  switching to AiAF mode may not grab the focus area I wanted but it always focused on something so then I could use the AF/MF option to manually focus as a fine tune so to speak since I was already quite close to having focus where I wanted it.  Hope that makes sense.

Overall, in my case, I think I was guilty of expecting too much from the MkII as far as focusing.   The comparison to the Pany's showed me I wasn't judging fairly.  I do wish the focusing reticle could be made smaller than its smallest size.  I'm not sure why it's not allowed.  I noticed that using the touch focus option on occasion leaves a very small reticle (about 1/4 the size) so its certainly should be possible.   Oh well.  I hope you can sort yours out.  Good luck!

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