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User experience from using in-camera focus bracketing
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zzffnn



Joined: 22 May 2014
Posts: 1687
Location: Texas USA

PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 2:39 pm    Post subject: User experience from using in-camera focus bracketing Reply with quote

Please kindly share your owner experience, from using cameras for fast in-camera focus bracketing. I would like to know, if you consider:
1) the UI to be learnable; and
2) changing imaging parameters on-the-fly not too difficult.
Please do include names of your particular brand and model/version.

I do not require in-camera stacking.

Cameras that I really like to know more about are those Olympus micro 4/3 ones that are older and CHEAPER than Pen-F. Such as all capable versions of M1, M5, M10, ect. I am open to buying used ones. Feel free to PM me as well, if you have one to sell to Texas USA.

What I require include (in addition to in camera focus bracketing):
1) motionless electronic shutter;
2) swivel LCD that can tilt up and down;
3) hot shoe for flash AND (not or) viewfinder;
4) sensor not significantly smaller than micro 4/3 - yes, I am open to brands other Olympus, if such option exists;
5) at least 1080p video.

Application is for microscopy (which does not benefit from in-camera focus bracketing) and macrophotography (which does).

Lou told me that Pen-F is good in terms of user interface (UI), while some Olympus cameras have terrible UI (among which, I feel my current E-PM2 is an example; even though I consider it usable, it is awkward to change its imaging settings on-the-fly).

So I am trying to decide, should I save up for Pen-F + Olympus 60mm F/2.8 macro? Or buy a cheaper used model right now + macro lens, then upgrade the body later on?

Thank you and have a great day!
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Last edited by zzffnn on Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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enricosavazzi



Joined: 21 Nov 2009
Posts: 1068
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know about the Pen F, but the E-M1 Mark II can do everything on your list. I don't use much the E-M1 (Mark I) these days, but I think over the years it has acquired most or all the originally missing functionality through firmware updates.

The Olympus 60 mm macro supports in-camera focus bracketing, and several of the Olympus pro lenses do as well. The 60 mm would be the logical choice to start with.

Perhaps someone else among the PM site users can comment on using the Olympus 60 mm for in-camera focus bracketing when used with additional optics for higher magnification in front of the lens? I seem to remember this has been done successfully.
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zzffnn



Joined: 22 May 2014
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Location: Texas USA

PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you very much, Enrico.

Used E-M1 Mark I + 60mm macro is right for my budget. Do you consider M1's UI usable/learnable for focus bracketing in the field? Since I managed to get used to the UI of my E-PM2, which should be much worse than M1, I am guessing I can get used to M1's UI as well?

I see that M1's LCD can tilt up, but can it tilt down as well? Sorry, if this is a stupid question. I am just not familiar with swiveling camera LCDs.

I likely won't need on-sensor magnification higher than 1:1 in the field. Most of my smaller subjects can be photographed under my stationary macro rig. I do have an auto kit tele Oly 40-150mm non pro, which may be used as (auto focusing!) tube kens for 4x-10x infinity objectives. Fast in-camera focus bracketing w/o a rail/micrometer is very convenient, even in studio macro.
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enricosavazzi



Joined: 21 Nov 2009
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Location: Stockholm, Sweden

PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

zzffnn wrote:
Thank you very much, Enrico.

Used E-M1 Mark I + 60mm macro is right for my budget. Do you consider M1's UI usable/learnable for focus bracketing in the field? Since I managed to get used to the UI of my E-PM2, which should be much worse than M1, I am guessing I can get used to M1's UI as well?

The GUI of the E-M1 is very large, but the parts you need to learn for macrophotography and focus bracketing are maybe 1% of it. I don't think anyone actually tries to learn the whole GUI (except perhaps those who write technical guides), or actually uses more than 20% of it, even for day-in, day-out work with these cameras.

I know that I compiled an Excel spreadsheet of all the GUI menus and choices available on the Mark II, but now I remember at most 10% of it (although I have an idea of where in the menus to look for commands I remember only partially). At least once a month I read online about menu items and commands I was not aware of (e.g. long-presses of certain buttons that do things different than short-presses) and are not documented in the user guide, or documented only partially and buried in the documentation.

Before pulling the trigger, you need of course make sure that the Mark I does everything you intend, in the way you intend it (or at least in another way that achieves the same results).
Quote:

I see that M1's LCD can tilt up, but can it tilt down as well? Sorry, if this is a stupid question. I am just not familiar with swiveling camera LCDs.

Not at all a stupid question. On the E-M1 it tilts about 80 degrees up, 40 degrees down. On the E-M1 Mark II, after swinging 180 degrees to the left, it tilts 180 degrees up and 95 degrees down.
Quote:

I likely won't need on-sensor magnification higher than 1:1 in the field. Most of my smaller subjects can be photographed under my stationary macro rig. I do have an auto kit tele Oly 40-150mm non pro, which may be used as (auto focusing!) tube kens for 4x-10x infinity objectives. Fast in-camera focus bracketing w/o a rail/micrometer is very convenient, even in studio macro.

In principle, tube lenses for infinity systems should not be focused away from infinity, lest they force the objective into a non-optimal (or at least not intended by the designers) performance. In practice, if your tests show it works sufficiently well, there is no reason not to.

So far I have had remarkably little success with zooms as tube lenses. Their entrance pupil, at least in the zooms I tried, seems to be too far within the lens, and severe vignetting is common. Possibly there are further optical limitations intrinsic to zooms that I do not know about.
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zzffnn



Joined: 22 May 2014
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Location: Texas USA

PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you very much, Enrico. You are very kind and helpful.

Would you be able to share your GUI menu Excel sheet with me, if I purchase a M1 MK1? I would highly appreciate that. I know MK1 and MK2 are not the same, though it should still help a lot. For example, I never knew there are long-press controls in any of my cameras.

It sounds like M1 MK1 will do everything I need. 40 degrees tilting down is good enough, for example.

Are there main difference in macro application, between M1, M5 and M10 models? I find the MK versions confusing too.

Thank you for reminding me about the zoom lens/tube kens issues. It is not a deal breaker for me. My kit zoom tele is dirt cheap and I can use it for zoom animals anyway. I am only hoping it works at max zoom of 150mm, but no big deal if it does not.
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enricosavazzi



Joined: 21 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure, my Mark II GUI list is at http://savazzi.net/photography/e-m1markiisettings.html

There you can also find a link to what I regard as the best Mark I list (not my own).

Basically, the E-M1 (Mark I) and the E-M1 Mark II are different models. The E-M5 and E-M5 Mark II likewise. They are not just upgrades, the hardware and firmware is also different, and there is no assumption of upwards or downwards compatibility (although the GUI and capabilities are largely similar).

The E-M5 (Mark I) was quite limited, compared with the two E-M1s. I don't know about the E-M5 Mark II, since I was not interested. The E-M1 Mark II is a significant upgrade over the E-M1 in several respects, but the E-M1 is still a very capable camera, and has acquired many new capabilities via firmware upgrades. It seems Olympus used the E-M5 and E-M10 models as test beds, then introduced similar capabilities (or at least those possible on the E-M1 hardware) in the E-M1, or subsequently in the E-M1 Mark II.
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zzffnn



Joined: 22 May 2014
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got them. Thank you very much, Enrico!

So for a budget of $500 USD, I should get M1 MKI over M5 MKI or M10 MKI. That helps very much!

I see that a used M1 MK1 is not much cheaper than a new M10 MK2........ So I am guessing M1 MK1 is more capable than M10 MK2 and M5 MK2? Do those upgrades/difference matter in terms of macro, to a casual macro shooter?

When you said M5 MK1 is pretty limited, would you be so kind as to elaborating a little bit, with regards to macro? Thank you again. Edit: no worries, I found one article comparing the 3: http://www.cameradebate.com/2015/olympus-om-d-e-m10-ii-vs-e-m10-e-m5-ii-vs-e-m1/
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zzffnn



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did a lot of reading online, regarding Olympus E-M1 Mark I vs E-M10 MII.

It seems that neither has that 40 mp high resolution mode or produce native 4k video. Both seem to produce 4k time lapse (but fps seems to be 5fps for E-M1 and 1FPS for E-M10 Mark II, in which case burst mode using electronic shutter would work better).

There seems to be some differences that matters to macro and nature (telephoto) and they most favor E-M1:

1) focus stacking is only available from E-M1, not E-M10 Mark II;
2) continuous automatic focus is better with E-M1;
3) E-M1 has better EVF (1.4x vs. 1.2x or 0.62x?);
4) E-M1 offers slightly faster burst;
5) E-M1 offers a better grip

Low light ISO performance seems to be slightly better, on paper, with E-M10 Mark II. I don't know if that translates to real-world difference though?


Last edited by zzffnn on Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:06 pm; edited 4 times in total
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dolmadis



Joined: 07 Dec 2011
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I posted in an old thread discussing the EM-1 a note from an Olympus Web Page, which was backed up with reference to an EM-1 Manual (ver 4.X I think), that focus bracketing was available on any M4/3 lens with AF.

I can't find the thread at the moment but I do have a .pdf of the Olympus Web Page where the URL is no longer resolvable.

How can you post a .pdf on the forum?

BR


John
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zzffnn



Joined: 22 May 2014
Posts: 1687
Location: Texas USA

PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dolmadis wrote:
I posted in an old thread discussing the EM-1 a note from an Olympus Web Page, which was backed up with reference to an EM-1 Manual (ver 4.X I think), that focus bracketing was available on any M4/3 lens with AF.

I can't find the thread at the moment but I do have a .pdf of the Olympus Web Page where the URL is no longer resolvable.

How can you post a .pdf on the forum?

BR


John


John,

Yes, I did read that any AF M4/3 lens should work for focus bracketing. A few of those M4/3 macro lenses can do focus stacking with M1.

I was talking about using legacy 4/3 AF lenses for focus bracketing with M1. Are there good working examples of such legacy 4/3 macro lenses?
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dolmadis



Joined: 07 Dec 2011
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recall that 4/3 were specifically excluded from focus bracketing on EM-1.

BR

John
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dolmadis



Joined: 07 Dec 2011
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=30177&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=olympus+focus+bracketing&start=45

See Page 4
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Pau
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dolmadis wrote:
How can you post a .pdf on the forum?


You can't but you can post a link to a could stored file (Dropbox, Google docs...) or you can request the email address to another member via PM
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zzffnn



Joined: 22 May 2014
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dolmadis wrote:
I recall that 4/3 were specifically excluded from focus bracketing on EM-1.

BR

John


John,

You are right. Please see:
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4047991

Search "Four-Thirds lenses" in the following page and you will see that 4/3 lenses do not work with in-camera focus bracketing. Only m 4/3 lenses do.

E-M1's better compatibility with legacy 4/3 lenses is due to its phase detect auto focus. I misread an online comparison (which was a little vague). I have edited my above posts to correct this.
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dolmadis



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fan

No problem. Thank you for replying.

BR

John
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