Olympus EM-1 - I've got CAF working for me!
It arrived today and my first reactions are very positive. Everything feels better engineered and fabricated than the already not bad EM-5, wheels click with a nice solid feel, buttons are larger and give posiitve feedback and the customisation options of the controls are a bit overwhelming but useful to have.
One positive aspect is that it uses the same batteries as my EM-5 - so I didn't need to wait whilst the battery charges before I started using it :)
I had an hour to shoot on Mudeford Quay with some variable results (largely because I didn't take the time to set the camera to my "ideal" settings for birds in fligh)t but so far I'm very pleased with it.
I've put a few shots are in the new gallery I have created for this evaluation so pop in and have a look if you have time.
I'll be updating this blog and the gallery when the opportunity allows
I've had 4 x 1 hour test shoots with the EM- now and my first reactions have been reinforced, this s a seriously nice camera to use.
A few points of note:
- SAF with my olympus 40-150, 75 -300 and panasonic 35-100 appears significantly quicker in acquiring focus lock and holding focus once acquired, particularly when using the small centre focus point but also with the 9 point central focus
- I still am not convinced that CAF will work for me but it maybe I'm expecting too much from it (and I am one of the few people who couldn't ven get it to work with my Canon 7D which was acknowledged to be one of the best for this! )
- noise control up to ISO1250 in reasonable light is stunning, to my eye its a major advance on my copy of the EM-5
- all the controls continue to feel "right", with nice positive feedback on buttons, wheels and switches
I'm off to Thruxton to shoot motorcycle racing today as a trackside photographe, a chance to give it a real work-out. I'll let you know how I get on
12-10-2013 Thruxton Track Day
What a brilliant day, made all the better by finally sorting out the settings which let me use CAF and get some excellent action shots at Club Chicane (I have created a new gallery in which I shall be reocrding these)
The key settings are:
- under Gear Wheel A, C-AF lock, set to "Normal".
- Shooting at 6fps
- "Release Lag-time" set to "Normal"
- 9 spot focus points set 2 steps to the right
Handling continues to be first rate and battery life was incredible, I shot over 2000 images (JPG + RAW, recorded as over 4000 photos in LR5) and used 1 full battery + part of another (which still showed a full green battery charge indicator at the end of the day)
15-10-2013 Hawk Conservancy shooting Birds of Prey in Flight
An excellent session where I found that using the same settings as those I used for the Thruxton Day I was able to capture sequences of shots with a speed and accuracy very similar to that which I could manage with my 7D + 70-300 LIS, including one that I never managed, tracking the Peregrine through its high-speed stoop, up to and past the moment that it hit the lure and carried it off in its talons!
It wasn't all good news however as I has a sequence of 3 separate lock-ups on the day + 1 the following day, all whilst using CAF + 6fps. Others elsehwere have also seen similar events and Olympus support are looking into it to identtfy the problem and hopefully come up with a (firmware upgrade?) solution
Despite this I'm still delighted with the camera, especially now I have CAF working as I'd hoped