Olympus EM-1 - I've got CAF working for me!

11/09/2013 - 05:58



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


29/10/2013 - 16:47
Have you tried using C-AF activity set to high
16/11/2013 - 14:01
Dear Brian,

Is it better of to use C-AF than C-AF + Tracking?

Can I ask if I am doing this correctly in getting the CAF shots; half press shutter and focus on the subject and follow the moving subject keeping it inside focus points while fully pressing the shutter in burst mode?

Thanks alot !

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