Its official. Oly AF sucks!

Started Sep 11, 2013 | Discussions
Beach Bum Senior Member • Posts: 1,055
Actually, Oly CDAF is well ahead of CaNikon
2

I'm not sure why there are all of these responses claiming that Oly's AF isn't up to par with the best of CaNikon.

Take it from someone who's tested a lot of cameras for autofocus, I would rank Panasonic, Oly, and Sony CDAF well ahead of both Canon and Nikon. Seriously, has anyone here tried a Canon or Nikon P&S recently or a Canon/Nikon DSLR in live view (thereby bypassing the PDAF), with the new Canon 70D being excepted. These two companies literally are clueless with CDAF, and I have no idea when/if they'll figure it out.

While Oly isn't up to Panny's standards with CDAF, they've come pretty close with their recent crop of m4/3. When on-sensor PDAF becomes more commonplace (i.e. 2nd/3rd generation), my prediction is that m4/3 will blow CaNikon out of the water. The reason I say this is because I think it's far more likely that Panny/Oly will make their PDAF/CDAF combo work than CaNikon will ever figure out how to make CDAF work. In other words, I believe that within a year or two, m4/3 autofocus will be better on all counts than $6000 full frame behemoths from Canon or Nikon.

Let's not forged that both CDAF and PDAF have their advantages and disadvantages. What PDAF has in terms of speed, it lacks in accuracy. And vice versa for CDAF. The company that can best combine the two will be the industry leader, and I don't believe that's going to be CaNikon.

Raist3d Forum Pro • Posts: 36,392
Re: Right, .. it's bacause ..

Louis_Dobson wrote:

Absolutely delighted with the resolution from the D800, why?
I only had the E3 as a primary camera for a few months, after that Eva swiped it, and I got the D3. The original idea was that we would share both systems, but Eva used the D3 once and refused to use it ever again Hence, from there on in, most of my work was done on the D3 and that's what I posted to DPR.

I do think Sergey has a point though. If you disliked the D3 so much and you were so delighted with the E3, I think the most basic logic would dictate you would sell it (given it's even the pricier model) and get an E-3.

The E-3 was the jarring model that started to cause the Olympus base 4/3rds divide.  It did some things well and some things bad.  You always said the ergonomics were superb- look at the evolution into the EM1- the EM1 is ergonomically/interface wise better in every way, and they got rid of the stupid electronic switching of modes with no mechanical feedback.  About time- it was just horrible.

Compare to your ability to know without turning on your EM5 what mode it's in. You can still full state change the EM1 if going by what you can do on the PEn5 is anything to go by.

Of course the E-3 had serious focus issues which apparently you were blessed with one of the very few models with no issues, though your main subjects were non moving landscapes.  And the horrible banding at higher ISO the camera could get was not much of an issue to you because you never really did street night life (emphasis on life).

Anyway, I think we can both we glad there's finally a superior product out in every way

These days the D3 has gone in favour of an OM-D, with which I've been having great fun, but i no longer have the time for photography I used to

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Midwest Forum Pro • Posts: 17,215
Re: What do you do for fun.

CollBaxter wrote:

Pull the wings off flies and make them walks.

Kind of like the insect-world version of an EVF.

Dan Veteran Member • Posts: 3,608
Re: Its official. Oly AF sucks!
1

And the winner is...Nikon/Olympus/Nikon/Olympus but overall it has to be the Nikon D3 and 300f4 AFS.

Some things the E3 does really well...first and foremost I had the E3 in S-AF...at the end of my testing I put the E3 in C-AF and well that's a no brainer it just jumps all over the place on relatively static objects.  I think I've said this in the past too...even with soccer players (fairly large relatively slow moving objects) you're tracking someone in C-AF with the Oly and then a fly or something gets snagged by the processor and the focus jumps from 35 yards to minimum or all the way to the end of the field. The SWD is just so fast and Oly's algorithm isn't capable of controlling it.

Anyhow on relatively simple and straightforward objects with Nikon 300 AFS in full range mode it's probably a toss up...the Oly hangs right in there in S-AF...non moving objects.  Put the Nikon into 3m to infinity and then the Nikon wins but not by much...it's just able at this point to "realize" I don't have to check close where the Oly still does from time to time.

Toss in a little confusion into the background ie I want just the tree branch 30 yards in front of the shiny leaves from the next tree and the Nikon wins.  It just seems even though the Olympus is selected for single point it's using those other points and getting confused or it's focus sensor is just to large move down and grab a little larger size section of the branch and the Oly jumps right to it...it will grab the "smaller" object in front from time to time but probably just enough to frustrate one really bad when you're trying to grab something meaningful and it keeps hopping to the further object.  The Nikon really handles these "changes" of close in the view finder but large distance really well...ie almost like my mind is tellling it when to change.  Moving a little left a little left and then bang on it switches right when I'd expect it too...when going through this with the Olympus I was half hitting the focus button as I'd move left or right...with the Nikon I wouldn't have to do this since the Nikon was in C-AF for the entire testing.

Anyhow, pretty much as I remember things.  This particular Olympus body and 50-200SWD really do snap into place with the right target but you just have to be a little more careful of your expectations and maybe I'm not using the best technique since I've been away from consistent use of the Olympus gear.  I know I've gotten plenty of great shots of soccer players on the field and in poses off the field with Olympus gear in the past.

Dan

TrapperJohn Forum Pro • Posts: 16,488
Or the D600
2

I hear it has interesting AF characteristics.

Plus an in camera shutter/sensor oiling system. That's a feature no one else has.

And then, there's the N1 system... Nikon announcing to the world that because it didn't sell, mirrorless must be a dead end. And then the EM1 came out to rave reviews and massive pre-orders.

Just because Nikon and Canon can't make a decent CSC, doesn't mean it can't be done. Or that it won't draw the interest of a lot of people.

Glass houses and stones...

esco Senior Member • Posts: 1,780
not sure if anyone's af is as good as canikon
1

Pentax, Sony, Olympus id say they're all pretty similar in AF performance. Its easy to think of Olympus as only being sub-par but the af-modules and lens motors on the above brands aren't too hot either!
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Franka T.L. Veteran Member • Posts: 8,143
Re: Its official. Oly AF sucks!

Well, that certainly is a way to sees it. My take though DPR is not really wrong in their original statement. Cause they were saying the AF not up to CONTEMPORARY DSLR standard , as such, with the E-M1 I would be more inclined to think of contemporary DSLR as like of Nikon D7100, Canon EOS-70D , not the Olympus E-5. So while many a 4/3 user would be happy to hear that the E-M1 do indeed perform right up there with 4/3 lens as that of the E-5. The sad fact is that standard is no longer standard as far as 2nd quarter 2013 goes.

What really boils down is how good that on chip PDAF work in real world environment. AF test done in lab is almost entirely on high contrast subject well lited and stationary. Most real world subject are less so well defined though. The ultimate test must be the one that real user dictates, say taking photo of your friend at the pub ( low light and motion ), catching the pet ( try a black cat on dark colored sofa ), the kids, etc ....

For the price the E-M1 asking and its mission to be the one to take those 4/3 lens back to 2013 , it really do need to deliver. Shall have to wait and see how it all goes.

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- Franka -

plevyadophy Veteran Member • Posts: 4,258
No they don't! Re: you seem to
2

Messier Object wrote:

Then your intention is to FLAME and the MODs need to pay attention . . .

So what your are asking for is a fascist-type thought police to ensure that the congregation of the Holy Church Oly aren't offended by any evidence that might challenge their beliefs?

Louis_Dobson
Louis_Dobson Forum Pro • Posts: 27,361
Re: Right, .. it's bacause ..

I did sell the D3, and I still have an E3, although it is Eva who uses it, not me.
I have an OM-D, which is great apart from the C-AF, on which basis I am interested in the E-M1.

Raist3d wrote:

Louis_Dobson wrote:

Absolutely delighted with the resolution from the D800, why?
I only had the E3 as a primary camera for a few months, after that Eva swiped it, and I got the D3. The original idea was that we would share both systems, but Eva used the D3 once and refused to use it ever again Hence, from there on in, most of my work was done on the D3 and that's what I posted to DPR.

I do think Sergey has a point though. If you disliked the D3 so much and you were so delighted with the E3, I think the most basic logic would dictate you would sell it (given it's even the pricier model) and get an E-3.

The E-3 was the jarring model that started to cause the Olympus base 4/3rds divide. It did some things well and some things bad. You always said the ergonomics were superb- look at the evolution into the EM1- the EM1 is ergonomically/interface wise better in every way, and they got rid of the stupid electronic switching of modes with no mechanical feedback. About time- it was just horrible.

Compare to your ability to know without turning on your EM5 what mode it's in. You can still full state change the EM1 if going by what you can do on the PEn5 is anything to go by.

Of course the E-3 had serious focus issues which apparently you were blessed with one of the very few models with no issues, though your main subjects were non moving landscapes. And the horrible banding at higher ISO the camera could get was not much of an issue to you because you never really did street night life (emphasis on life).

Anyway, I think we can both we glad there's finally a superior product out in every way

These days the D3 has gone in favour of an OM-D, with which I've been having great fun, but i no longer have the time for photography I used to

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Beach Bum Senior Member • Posts: 1,055
Ummm. No.

esco wrote:

Pentax, Sony, Olympus id say they're all pretty similar in AF performance. Its easy to think of Olympus as only being sub-par but the af-modules and lens motors on the above brands aren't too hot either!
--
Photographer first, gear second

I'm afraid you're misinformed. Without hesitation, I'll tell you that if Panasonic or Olympus were to enter the full frame (with mirror box) market, they'd have products that are competitive with Canon and Nikon within two years. In fact, their bodies would likely beat CaNikon on a number of fronts, most notably video and CDAF.

The reason they don't do this is because their products would never sell. CaNikon have such a large selection of lenses and installed user base that they would never be able to get their foot in the door, even with better products.

Canon and Nikon have quite a few and notable deficiencies in their products that would be obvious to anyone who's ever really tested cameras. The most notable of which is their POOR CDAF autofocus. I challenge you to pick up a Canon or Nikon P&S camera and compare it to a Panasonic P&S for autofocus. The difference will be striking and immediately obvious. Panasonic does CDAF better than any other manufacturer BTW, but some manufacturers are getting close.

The only type of AF that CaNikon excel at is PDAF. Canon seems to have been able to pull it off with their 70D in live view mode (with on sensor PDAF), but, with the rest of their cameras, the only way to get decent focus out of them is to use a camera with a mirror box and dedicated PDAF sensor.

This is why I've said before that m4/3 is going to have better all around autofocus in a couple years than anything Nikon and Canon can do. Look how long they've had to get CDAF right, and they still can't do it. This tells me that when Panny and Oly start working with on sensor PDAF, they'll leap frog Canon and Nikon, all while incorporating the outstanding CDAF that already comes standard with all current m4/3 cameras.

Bank on it.

FFS Senior Member • Posts: 1,757
It's more reflection of an incomplete test suite.

Big Ga wrote:


See ... that's what happens when you spend too time reviewing things like D4 and 1DX cameras (or perhaps even any modern mid range APSc camera?).. one tends to forget... totally understandable.

Now ... for everyone on 1022. Put 2 and 2 together. I'll give you a clue. The answer isn't 5 ... LOL ....

To me it is just a reflection that they did not do a thorough testing.  For example, they obviously did not test nor make a report on how the AF performance of D4 and 1DX compares to the AF performance of E-M1, in facial recognition mode.

esco Senior Member • Posts: 1,780
Re: Ummm. No.
1

esco wrote:

Pentax, Sony, Olympus id say they're all pretty similar in AF performance. Its easy to think of Olympus as only being sub-par but the af-modules and lens motors on the above brands aren't too hot either!
--
Photographer first, gear second

I'm afraid you're misinformed. Without hesitation, I'll tell you that if Panasonic or Olympus were to enter the full frame (with mirror box) market, they'd have products that are competitive with Canon and Nikon within two years. In fact, their bodies would likely beat CaNikon on a number of fronts, most notably video and CDAF.

The reason they don't do this is because their products would never sell. CaNikon have such a large selection of lenses and installed user base that they would never be able to get their foot in the door, even with better products.

Canon and Nikon have quite a few and notable deficiencies in their products that would be obvious to anyone who's ever really tested cameras. The most notable of which is their POOR CDAF autofocus. I challenge you to pick up a Canon or Nikon P&S camera and compare it to a Panasonic P&S for autofocus. The difference will be striking and immediately obvious. Panasonic does CDAF better than any other manufacturer BTW, but some manufacturers are getting close.

The only type of AF that CaNikon excel at is PDAF. Canon seems to have been able to pull it off with their 70D in live view mode (with on sensor PDAF), but, with the rest of their cameras, the only way to get decent focus out of them is to use a camera with a mirror box and dedicated PDAF sensor.

This is why I've said before that m4/3 is going to have better all around autofocus in a couple years than anything Nikon and Canon can do. Look how long they've had to get CDAF right, and they still can't do it. This tells me that when Panny and Oly start working with on sensor PDAF, they'll leap frog Canon and Nikon, all while incorporating the outstanding CDAF that already comes standard with all current m4/3 cameras.

Bank on it.

Uh I was talking about pdaf/dslr focusing. . . .
--
Photographer first, gear second

ROC124 Contributing Member • Posts: 781
Dear Olympus: Yes, Please.

eaa wrote:

My experience is that especially the bigger SHGs focuses not only faster, but also more precisely w/ the HLD-4 on the E-5, due to more juice from the batteries. But sadly it seems as the HLD-7 is configured differently, as it (allegedly) uses just one battery at a time. For use w/ the bigger SHGs, there should be a m4/3 HLD-8, holding 2 batteries in parallell, in addition to the one in the body. That would provide enough juice, as well as longer battery life.
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I agree with Erik. Olympus, you have done much with the EM-1 to satisfy 4/3 users, so you know those of us wanting to continue using relatively big, heavy lenses won't be offended by slightly bigger, heavier accessories that maximize 4/3 lens utility.

Please! Give us an HLD-8 holding two batteries in addition to the one in the body. I would prefer the two in the grip to be the bigger BLM-5 batteries.

While you are at it, Olympus, please be sure to align the tripod socket with the lens axis.

Do those things, and give me 5 or 6 EV of bracketing, and a fully articulated LCD in the next model, plus a 100mm Macro, and I will happily switch to the EM-1(n). In lieu of a new model with articulated LCD, give me an accessory vari-angle EVF that also rotates. Yes, I know a smartphone might substitute for the articulated EVF, but I don't want another thing to hold while operating the camera.

Come on Olympus! You are so close now.

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papillon_65
papillon_65 Forum Pro • Posts: 27,030
Re: Ummm. No.
2

Beach Bum wrote:

esco wrote:

Pentax, Sony, Olympus id say they're all pretty similar in AF performance. Its easy to think of Olympus as only being sub-par but the af-modules and lens motors on the above brands aren't too hot either!
--
Photographer first, gear second

I'm afraid you're misinformed. Without hesitation, I'll tell you that if Panasonic or Olympus were to enter the full frame (with mirror box) market, they'd have products that are competitive with Canon and Nikon within two years. In fact, their bodies would likely beat CaNikon on a number of fronts, most notably video and CDAF.

The reason they don't do this is because their products would never sell. CaNikon have such a large selection of lenses and installed user base that they would never be able to get their foot in the door, even with better products.

Canon and Nikon have quite a few and notable deficiencies in their products that would be obvious to anyone who's ever really tested cameras. The most notable of which is their POOR CDAF autofocus. I challenge you to pick up a Canon or Nikon P&S camera and compare it to a Panasonic P&S for autofocus. The difference will be striking and immediately obvious. Panasonic does CDAF better than any other manufacturer BTW, but some manufacturers are getting close.

The only type of AF that CaNikon excel at is PDAF. Canon seems to have been able to pull it off with their 70D in live view mode (with on sensor PDAF), but, with the rest of their cameras, the only way to get decent focus out of them is to use a camera with a mirror box and dedicated PDAF sensor.

Erm....you forgot the 100D and 700D as well so I think it's safe to say that most future models will have it and it will improve, as will their CDAF implementations.

This is why I've said before that m4/3 is going to have better all around autofocus in a couple years than anything Nikon and Canon can do. Look how long they've had to get CDAF right, and they still can't do it. This tells me that when Panny and Oly start working with on sensor PDAF, they'll leap frog Canon and Nikon, all while incorporating the outstanding CDAF that already comes standard with all current m4/3 cameras.

Bank on it.

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OP Big Ga Forum Pro • Posts: 18,607
Re: Its official. Oly AF sucks!

Louis_Dobson wrote:

As I've said before, I had two D3s and one E3, and the E3 was right up there with the D3.
I dunno whether this was because the E3 suffered terrible sample variation and I had one of the few good ones, or if I had two duff D3s. I mustard mitt I was very disappointed by the D3 rather than delighted by the E3, so perhaps the latter is more likely.

Yes but Louis, you're the one who's also on record in saying that the modern EVFs don't seem to suffer from ANY sort of disadvantages, and you've never come across ANY situations where you've had contrast issues etc.

I'm afraid anyone uttering those words needs to have every single thing they have ever said treated with the deepest suspicion!

OP Big Ga Forum Pro • Posts: 18,607
Re: "Please sir ... is the answer 5 ?"
2

eaa wrote:

"The way see it is this: if you're a Four Thirds lens owner and hoping for contemporary DSLR performance, you're going to be disappointed"

So that's about the E-5 then?
Who would have guessed...

Well most people seem to have missed it.

If you're still talking about the E-5 (talking about smoke), I guess you're right.
But the optimal D4 or 1DX PDAF systems that DPR is comparing with, I don't think Canicon puts that into their lower tier DSLRs.

Can you show me where DPR are comparing the E5 performance to D4 or 1DX cameras in the EM1 review? I didn't see it. They just said 'contemporary'.

But for front- and back-focus issues OTOH, I'd wager the E-M1 beats them hands down

Well that's an interesting one. Personally, I'd think that I would actually take that wager (albeit for something small like a pint) if we were comparing like for like DOF. The extended DOF of 4/3 hides a multitude of sins and the mostly fast apertures used by FF users suffering focus issues makes things more obvious.

PDAFOS is intrinsically precise, as focus is determined at the imaging sensor itself, as opposed to an external PDAF sensor, that is prone to misalignment w/ the imaging sensors plane of focus.

I will have to ponder this, however I don't believe you're correct in it being 'intrinsically precise'.

Sure, you've removed the problem of a potential offset due to inaccuracies in the external PDAF sensor, but that's what adjustment is for, and then the rest of the system (and the lenses) are the same.

I'm not one of these evangelists that thinks CDAF is infallible. My take is that the AF with some lenses would be unacceptably slow if they were to go for maximum accuracy, so the algorithms have to do a certain amount of extrapolation and guessing to ensure an AF confirmation in an acceptable time. I don't believe they always get it right.

Well, CDAF is lightning fast, almost instant, w/ the new MSC motors in the m4/3 lenses designed for CDAF. Supported by PDAF they will also gain speed during CAF. I guess the only thing holding the native 4/3 lenses back now (when mounted on a m4/3 body), are their focusing motors themselves, along with physical inertia due to bigger elements w/ bigger moves, combined with (sadly) weaker battery configurations to drive them.

That's why I said 'some lenses'

I myself am very happy with the performance (and general accuracy) of the native MFT lenses.

Not so with the older lenses. neither in speed or accuracy.

Messier Object Veteran Member • Posts: 6,298
No
1

plevyadophy wrote:

Messier Object wrote:

Then your intention is to FLAME and the MODs need to pay attention . . .

So what your are asking for is a fascist-type thought police to ensure that the congregation of the Holy Church Oly aren't offended by any evidence that might challenge their beliefs?

Have a look at how Erich approached this subject in his post . . .http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52148743

Now read again how Ga did it . . .and his comment to me as to why  he did it that way

One is information the other is making trouble using hyperbole, sarcasm and in-your-face comments like rushing into a church yelling that their god sux and they are all deluded

like using the term "fascist"  in a photo gear forum. This is not the OPEN TALK forum !

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dingenus Senior Member • Posts: 1,878
Re: Its official. Oly AF sucks!
on relatively static objects. I think I've said this in the past too...even with soccer players (fairly large relatively slow moving objects) you're tracking someone in C-AF with the Oly and then a fly or something gets snagged by the processor and the focus jumps from 35 yards to minimum or all the way to the end of the field. The SWD is just so fast and Oly's algorithm isn't capable of controlling it.

For that fly and others there is caf FOCUSLOCK. You will find it in the menu.

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Thomas Toolan Regular Member • Posts: 208
We all know the ultimate answer is 42.

No text.

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Jan Chelminski
Jan Chelminski Contributing Member • Posts: 948
Maybe DPR is hiring, you'd fit right into
1

the review department, without any orientation needed.

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