Panasonic GX80/GX85 tracking / moving focus failure

Started May 13, 2016 | Discussions
Ixhu New Member • Posts: 6
Panasonic GX80/GX85 tracking / moving focus failure
2

I have a Panasonic GM1. It has a serious deflect: It can't refocus during movement. Now the GX80 (GX85) came out with improved video capabilities (in-body stabilization, 4K, DFD autofocus, etc.), so I went to to see if this problem has been corrected. To my great disappointment, it isn't. Please check my demonstration video:

Panasonic GX80 (GX85) tracking focus problem 1.

Are all micro 4/3 cameras has this trait?

Do Sony mirrorless cameras (especially 7S / 7R I & II) work the same way?

Nikon Df Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 Sony a7R Sony a7R II Sony a7S II
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alcelc
alcelc Forum Pro • Posts: 18,636
Re: Panasonic GX80/GX85 tracking / moving focus failure
1

Above everything, we have to realize that the pure CDAF base AF tracking of Panny camera would never be better than any PDAF or hybrid AF cameras. DFD might make the gap closer, but still need to read more real life reports on its actual power.

Do you mean AF in video mode? Please understand that although the AF of M43 is already quit fast, it still needs time to find a focus and lock on it. We better pan/zoom in a more steady way for a better result.

My experience on GX7, GX1 or GF3 are generally at least at usable level.

For the ending of your video, I suspect it might be a matter of the minimum focus range of the lens? It couldn't focus for a while until you back up slightly. During that split second, I can see a quick focus lock!

If mirrorless (specially Panny and Sony are the king of it) can't do it, forget dslr.

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Albert

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OP Ixhu New Member • Posts: 6
Re: Panasonic GX80/GX85 tracking / moving focus failure

It's not because of the minimum focus range. This lens has a minimum distance range 20 cm (7.9 inch), and the subject distance was at least 40-50 mm. On the last 5 seconds of the footage you can see that the lens can focus to the subject, it just hadn't tried. Focusing starts only when the object become still.

In photo mode, this camera and lens combination is fast indeed. Focus change from minimum to infinity is less then a second. But in video mode it's much slower. On my video the focusing is between 0:33 and 0:37 - aprox. 4 seconds, and focusing starts only after the subject is stopped!

Are you saying that any DSLR works the same? It's hard to believe, because this behavior makes impossible to video any fast-moving sports (except if anything happens in the infinite focus range - in that case auto focus could be disabled).

Karld70 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,553
just tested my GM5

Ixhu wrote:

I have a Panasonic GM1. It has a serious deflect: It can't refocus during movement. Now the GX80 (GX85) came out with improved video capabilities (in-body stabilization, 4K, DFD autofocus, etc.), so I went to to see if this problem has been corrected. To my great disappointment, it isn't. Please check my demonstration video:

Panasonic GX80 (GX85) tracking focus problem 1.

Are all micro 4/3 cameras has this trait?

Do Sony mirrorless cameras (especially 7S / 7R I & II) work the same way?

I have never noticed that with my GM5 and I shoot moving subjects all the time, even moving while I'm moving (riding bike filming others on bike).

I just did a really fast test with the GM5 and PL15, almost same test with a bird feeder in my back yard, walking toward and away. I do not get the same results, it will refocus as I move. If I'm moving to fast it does not 100% keep up, but it is not waiting till I stop like it looked like in your video.

bluelemmy
bluelemmy Senior Member • Posts: 1,098
Re: Panasonic GX80/GX85 tracking / moving focus failure
1

Your problem there is the subject.

The drone has a plain white surface and gives the camera nothing to focus on unless the lined parts of the drone are within the sensor. It would be hard to pick a worse subject for a test.

Try pointing an auto-focus camera (whatever type) at a plain wall. That is the ultimate expression of the problem. Remember that if you were manual focusing, it would be just as difficult to find focus on that drone.

My GM1, like all my Micro Four Thirds cameras, is very good at autofocus. It's intentionally slower in video, of course.

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Pikme Senior Member • Posts: 2,176
Re: Panasonic GX80/GX85 tracking / moving focus failure

Curious what lens you were using?  I'm surprised it was that slow, unless it would have also been a difficult subject to focus even with SAF, either for lack of a good target or because it was too close.  Even my old EM5(1) does much better than what your video shows.

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Roberto M.

OP Ixhu New Member • Posts: 6
Re: Panasonic GX80/GX85 tracking / moving focus failure

It would be a great explanation, so it's sad that it's wrong. To prove my point, here is an another example, made by me 10 minutes ago with the Panasonic GM1:

Panasonic GM1 tracing failure

This subject is very easy to track, and it's in the focus range, because I'm going away, not toward. Still, the camera isn't focusing while I'm cycling it slowly. When I stop moving it, the focusing happens.

OP Ixhu New Member • Posts: 6
Re: Panasonic GX80/GX85 tracking / moving focus failure

Lens: Panasonic 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH MEGA OIS LUMIX G

Here is another example with Panasonic LUMIX G 20mm f/1.7 II ASPH. Lens + Panasonic GM1:

Panasonic GM1 tracking focus failure

I have made a footage with the Panasonic 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH POWER OIS LUMIX G + GX80 too. The results are the same.

The 20/f1.7 has slow focus, but the zoom lenses has very fast. However, the results are the same: sometimes the camera decides not to focus until the subjects (and/or the camera) stops moving.

It doesn't happens every time, but quite often. This sample with the GM1 was "successful" only by the third try. In the first two the focus was more or less continuous. But the glitch can be reproduced quite easily: If you begin to cycle with the camera before you start moving, the auto focus "disables itself" almost every time.

OP Ixhu New Member • Posts: 6
Re: just tested my GM5

Karld70 wrote:

Ixhu wrote:

I have a Panasonic GM1. It has a serious deflect: It can't refocus during movement. Now the GX80 (GX85) came out with improved video capabilities (in-body stabilization, 4K, DFD autofocus, etc.), so I went to to see if this problem has been corrected. To my great disappointment, it isn't. Please check my demonstration video:

Panasonic GX80 (GX85) tracking focus problem 1.

Are all micro 4/3 cameras has this trait?

Do Sony mirrorless cameras (especially 7S / 7R I & II) work the same way?

I have never noticed that with my GM5 and I shoot moving subjects all the time, even moving while I'm moving (riding bike filming others on bike).

I just did a really fast test with the GM5 and PL15, almost same test with a bird feeder in my back yard, walking toward and away. I do not get the same results, it will refocus as I move. If I'm moving to fast it does not 100% keep up, but it is not waiting till I stop like it looked like in your video.

Try to cycle the camera before you begin to move away/toward, like I did in this new example:

Panasonic GM1 tracing failure

This way the problem happens almost every time to me. (I haven't tried it with GM5 yet)

tokumeino Veteran Member • Posts: 3,173
Re: Panasonic GX80/GX85 tracking / moving focus failure

That's convncing, indeed ! And I like the pretty music a lot given the circumstances

Karld70 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,553
Re: just tested my GM5

Ixhu wrote:

Karld70 wrote:

Ixhu wrote:

I have a Panasonic GM1. It has a serious deflect: It can't refocus during movement. Now the GX80 (GX85) came out with improved video capabilities (in-body stabilization, 4K, DFD autofocus, etc.), so I went to to see if this problem has been corrected. To my great disappointment, it isn't. Please check my demonstration video:

Panasonic GX80 (GX85) tracking focus problem 1.

Are all micro 4/3 cameras has this trait?

Do Sony mirrorless cameras (especially 7S / 7R I & II) work the same way?

I have never noticed that with my GM5 and I shoot moving subjects all the time, even moving while I'm moving (riding bike filming others on bike).

I just did a really fast test with the GM5 and PL15, almost same test with a bird feeder in my back yard, walking toward and away. I do not get the same results, it will refocus as I move. If I'm moving to fast it does not 100% keep up, but it is not waiting till I stop like it looked like in your video.

Try to cycle the camera before you begin to move away/toward, like I did in this new example:

Panasonic GM1 tracing failure

This way the problem happens almost every time to me. (I haven't tried it with GM5 yet)

I can try it later to see if I get the same. But not sure how much of a real life test that is moving the camera so much like that. I have done tons of movies of people running around and even shooting a hockey player moving fast towered and away from the camera and not had an issue, but I'm keeping the subject centered and following them.

I think you moving the camera around like that (not like when you did the drone) You are not giving the camera anything to focus on.

I'm no expert, just saying have not had a problem with real life situations when I do video other then it does not always keep up 100% of the time, but it is trying to refocus as the subject is moving not like the drone shot you did.

OP Ixhu New Member • Posts: 6
Re: just tested my GM5

Is it possible that your subjects are almost always in the infinite distance focus range and near to that? In this case, you will never experience this problem.

I'm trying to make videos about my children at home, inside. I'm moving, they are running close to me and away, and focus problems happens so often that most of the records became useless. I hoped switching to GX80 will solve the problem, but it seems to have the same flaw. Now I'm curious if Sony cameras are working the same. If not, I will have to leave mft.

Karld70 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,553
Re: just tested my GM5

Ixhu wrote:

Is it possible that your subjects are almost always in the infinite distance focus range and near to that? In this case, you will never experience this problem.

I'm trying to make videos about my children at home, inside. I'm moving, they are running close to me and away, and focus problems happens so often that most of the records became useless. I hoped switching to GX80 will solve the problem, but it seems to have the same flaw. Now I'm curious if Sony cameras are working the same. If not, I will have to leave mft.

I don't think so, but most of what I shoot is outside, maybe the better light might help.

I just reviewed a video I did of my daughter last month running a 5K, she runs under a 7min/mile pace. I was on the sideline she was running toward me, she was in focus the whole time other then right as she passed me (she more then filled the frame might have been to close) right after she passed it locked focus again as she pulled away. Was a bright sunny day.

Maybe your kids are really fast ! Anyway not disagreeing with you, just saying after almost a year with the camera, have hardly noticed a focus issue. I do manual focus a bit also for my movies because the issue I find I have the most trouble with is as far as problems is if my center point leaves my subject the person quickly becomes out of focus.

Hopefully someone with the GX85 can give their findings. Expect to see a lot of post the next few weeks with the GX85 out now. I'm also looking at the GX85 to add as a second body, waiting for more feedback on the 4k video with IS. Whatever camera I buy next will have 4k, so will see if the GX85 looks good, if not wait for whatever comes next from Oly or Pan with 4k.

alcelc
alcelc Forum Pro • Posts: 18,636
Re: Panasonic GX80/GX85 tracking / moving focus failure
1

Ixhu wrote:

It's not because of the minimum focus range. This lens has a minimum distance range 20 cm (7.9 inch), and the subject distance was at least 40-50 mm. On the last 5 seconds of the footage you can see that the lens can focus to the subject, it just hadn't tried. Focusing starts only when the object become still.

What was the lens in using?

Or would it be lack of anything offering enough contrast for your camera to focus on (a white drone which accounted for majority of the frame).

As said, the shooting should be done in a steady manner otherwise the camera would has no idea on where to find a focus, needless to say to lock focus on it.

In photo mode, this camera and lens combination is fast indeed. Focus change from minimum to infinity is less then a second. But in video mode it's much slower. On my video the focusing is between 0:33 and 0:37 - aprox. 4 seconds, and focusing starts only after the subject is stopped!

It tells the story! When you give your camera enough time (just a brief moment indeed) to find and lock focus, it could be lightening fast. IMHO the 1st thing in shooting a video is to allow viewer enjoying the footage comfortably instead of the view of a drunk man wondering around... It is why we urge Panny to add IBIS to video for a more steady video for shoot-on-the-move.

For serious video work, many prefer MF, tripod, sliding track if need to move following the movement, or use Panny's 2 video driven PZ zoom lenses (silence, steady, smooth zoom action).

Have you looked for the not very porper way of using video?

Are you saying that any DSLR works the same? It's hard to believe, because this behavior makes impossible to video any fast-moving sports (except if anything happens in the infinite focus range - in that case auto focus could be disabled).

You might try the latest dslr, 7D II or 5D III which claim to have best live view among dslrs. You won't hard to find the difference there. They are great when shooting in PDAF (miorror and off-sensor PDAF unit). When lock up the mirror and use sensor to do live veiw shooting (CDAF), it was a joke in the old days until adaption of hybrid AF (on chip PDAF points). So far, Sony seems the most success one (not in poor light). So video...

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Albert

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loph Regular Member • Posts: 303
Re: Panasonic GX80/GX85 tracking / moving focus failure

Ixhu wrote:

I have a Panasonic GM1. It has a serious deflect: It can't refocus during movement. Now the GX80 (GX85) came out with improved video capabilities (in-body stabilization, 4K, DFD autofocus, etc.), so I went to to see if this problem has been corrected. To my great disappointment, it isn't. Please check my demonstration video:

Panasonic GX80 (GX85) tracking focus problem 1.

Are all micro 4/3 cameras has this trait?

Do Sony mirrorless cameras (especially 7S / 7R I & II) work the same way?

I just got mine and used it with the 42.5 lens, and the focus with this lens in video is useless. It does not focus with it. With the kit lens it's acceptable.

Overall, for video, it's overrated. But I compare it to the A6300 and RX10III.

I'll do a firmware update to the 42.5 lens. But the camera is nothing to rave about. It will go back:)

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Briwil Forum Member • Posts: 53
Re: Panasonic GX80/GX85 tracking / moving focus failure

loph wrote:

I just got mine and used it with the 42.5 lens, and the focus with this lens in video is useless. It does not focus with it. With the kit lens it's acceptable.

Overall, for video, it's overrated. But I compare it to the A6300 and RX10III.

I'll do a firmware update to the 42.5 lens. But the camera is nothing to rave about. It will go back:)

I also have the camera and the 42.5mm- yeah, even after the lens firmware update, the AF in video is bad. (But in fairness, if you're shooting wide open at 1.7 with an extremely shallow depth of field like this lens gives you, of course AF will be slow).

BUT to say the camera for video is overrated is just crazy to me. There isn't a video camera out there today with this picture quality and this level of stabilization, it really is like it has a built in gimbal. I sold my RX100iv to get this (not an RX10iii like yours but basically the same camera) and there's nothing the RX100 has over this, except the crazy slow mo settings and SLog. The image quality is equally as nice, the sensor is bigger, and the stabilization is miles above (though the RX100 wasn't bad in its own stabilizing).

Briwil Forum Member • Posts: 53
Re: Panasonic GX80/GX85 tracking / moving focus failure

Here is a quick AF test I just did with the GX85, 42.5mm in relatively low light.

https://vimeo.com/167038673

Bhima78 Senior Member • Posts: 2,850
Most cameras suck at Video AF.

There are very few cameras that can do good continuous AF in video. I am not sure exactly why cameras with good continuous AF in stills mode struggle so bad with video AF, but they do. Its better to use manual focus for video.

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kolyy Senior Member • Posts: 1,528
Re: just tested my GM5

Ixhu wrote:

Karld70 wrote:

Ixhu wrote:

I have a Panasonic GM1. It has a serious deflect: It can't refocus during movement. Now the GX80 (GX85) came out with improved video capabilities (in-body stabilization, 4K, DFD autofocus, etc.), so I went to to see if this problem has been corrected. To my great disappointment, it isn't. Please check my demonstration video:

Panasonic GX80 (GX85) tracking focus problem 1.

Are all micro 4/3 cameras has this trait?

Do Sony mirrorless cameras (especially 7S / 7R I & II) work the same way?

I have never noticed that with my GM5 and I shoot moving subjects all the time, even moving while I'm moving (riding bike filming others on bike).

I just did a really fast test with the GM5 and PL15, almost same test with a bird feeder in my back yard, walking toward and away. I do not get the same results, it will refocus as I move. If I'm moving to fast it does not 100% keep up, but it is not waiting till I stop like it looked like in your video.

Try to cycle the camera before you begin to move away/toward, like I did in this new example:

Panasonic GM1 tracing failure

This way the problem happens almost every time to me. (I haven't tried it with GM5 yet)

Neither my GM5 does this. I have tried your test and it refocused every time, even when moving the camera in circles like you do.

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pannumon Veteran Member • Posts: 4,080
Re: Panasonic GX80/GX85 tracking / moving focus failure

Try different focus modes. Try AF-C, try larger single point focus area, try multi-focus-point AF.

Panasonic has deliberately slowed the focus in video. My GH1 has broken down, but I have a feeling is that it had faster AF in video than the more recent models. It was not great, though.

My experiences with tracking focus are bad. The tracking ability is much better in G7 than it was on GH1, but tracking has no function is the camera does not focus in to the subject it is tracking. This is about as bad in 1080p as in 4k. I suspect the 1080p mode uses the less processing power demanding 4k AF function. Seriously, I want a menu item that allows us to change the preferred focus speed on video (at least on 1080p if the processor on 4k is already fully utilized).

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