How much have micro 4/3 cameras improved for action shooting?

Started Jun 27, 2014 | Discussions thread
SmoothGlass Senior Member • Posts: 1,277
Re: How much have micro 4/3 cameras improved for action shooting?

DaveyB wrote:

Hi, at the following link you can watch the CameraStore's video of a real-world, telephoto AF shootout between the best mirrorless cameras on the market, from Olympus, Panasonic, Fuji and Sony - with a top-class Nikon DSLR as a comparator. The Panasonic GH4 is a clear winner, only marginally behind the Nikon DSLR - its a major leap forward for m4/3 cameras' AF in this last generation of bodies.

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LX3, FZ10, FZ200 and Nikon D80 + 18-200VR + 70-300VR

I wish people would stop posting that video, it proves nothing as what they deemed to be in focus didn't look 100.0% in focus, but close. Also the issue of EVF lag was glossed over. I'm a mirrorless convert as I rarely shoot action. But even I'd gladly admit that EVFs have a ways to go to catch up to the best DSLRs, and I doubt that any mirrorless outside of the Nikon 1 series has fully caught up to the Nikon D7100 or Canon equivalent. And even the Nikon 1 EVFs have slight EVF lag.

ImagingResource had this to say about the A6000 which has autofocus performance similar to the GH4 and EM1:

"When I picked up the Nikon D4S to shoot with it for awhile, I noticed something else that seemed very odd. I was seemingly better at predicting the action with the D4S -- I was catching more peak moments. My strong sense is that the electronic viewfinder of the A6000, with its slight delay, was causing me to react late when the ball was passed and the action shifted. The optical viewfinder of the D4S has no equivalent delay, but on the other hand, the camera does blackout the viewfinder briefly for every frame. Whatever the precise cause, there was no question that I was slightly, but noticeably, faster at following changing action with the D4S. It's of no real concern to me overall, but if shooting sports for money was in my game plan (it's not), this would drop the A6000 off my shopping list.

When I examined my pictures closely later, I saw that, yes, the Wide and Zone AF area modes were often fooled into focusing on the wrong subject. My first shot or three in any given sequence were also often not really sharp, although the camera would usually catch up in later frames. To tally up my approximate hit rate -- i.e. sharp shots vs. soft shots -- I didn't count aborted sequences or ones where I knew or strongly suspected that I had messed up. With those caveats stated, my hit rate in typical properly executed burst sequences was roughly 50%.

It's important to understand that number in context. A 50% hit rate at 11 frames-per-second works out to 5 or 6 sharp pictures per second. That's pretty good, and comparable or better than what most DSLR cameras in the A6000's price range can do."

I'd expect the GH4 and EM1 to be on par with the A6000 and suffer from the same EVF lag issue. Their GH4 test doesn't seem to have included as much fast action shooting, but it's worth reading:  I haven't seen an E-M1 shooter's report yet.

All of that said, mirrorless has come a long way in the last 5 years, and I expect EVFs to keep improving and eventually catch up to at least the Nikon D7100 level as far as fast action AF performance.

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