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Thread: E-M5 and 4/3 lenses

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    E-M5 and 4/3 lenses

    When I first got my E-M5 I naturally tried out my existing 4/3 Lumix Leica lenses just to see if they would operate properly with this micro 4/3 body. They would not autofocus, and I believe I read that they would not.

    The other day I tried that combination again and now they will autofocus - not too speedily, but they do work. Has there been a change in one of the firmware updates?

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    Re: E-M5 and 4/3 lenses

    Four Thirds lenses have always been able to autofocus with Micro Four Thirds cameras when fitted using the appropriate adapter. The problem has been with focus speed and reliability, with the most problematical lenses being SWD type lenses as these are optimised for phase detect focus actions. There have been some improvements in firmware updates so that may well be what you have noticed but unless you own an E-M1, which has on-sensor phase detect focus sensors, Four Thirds lens AF will continue to be slow and sometimes unreliable.

    Ian
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    Re: E-M5 and 4/3 lenses

    Thank you Ian for the knowledgeable reply. I don't know what my initial problem was with the E-M5, probably a poor connection. I never pursued it until last week, not that I plan to use my 4/3 lenses with the E-M5!

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    Unhappy Re: E-M5 and 4/3 lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    Four Thirds lenses have always been able to autofocus with Micro Four Thirds cameras when fitted using the appropriate adapter. The problem has been with focus speed and reliability, with the most problematical lenses being SWD type lenses as these are optimised for phase detect focus actions. There have been some improvements in firmware updates so that may well be what you have noticed but unless you own an E-M1, which has on-sensor phase detect focus sensors, Four Thirds lens AF will continue to be slow and sometimes unreliable.

    Ian
    Hi Ian,
    I only hope that Olympus will continue to consider us FT users by continuing to provide a phase-detector option for us. I was disappointed to see that the OMD 5 does not have phase detection AF, leaving only the OMD 1. Better than nothing but not good enough I think. I certainly can't afford to re-equip with all new MFT lenses even if I wanted to which I don't because I am perfectly happy with my extensive list of FT lenses.

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    Re: E-M5 and 4/3 lenses

    Olympus' investment in on-sensor phase detection for the E-M1 was considerable. Canon, Samsung and Sony see it as the way forward so I would be very surprised if Olympus didn't continue with it. My expectation (pure speculation) is that an E-M1 Mark II will be with us at some point with an improved PDAF system, including cross-type AF point support.

    The E-M5 ii is great in many ways but doesn't critically need PDAF because we have the E-M1, but it makes sense to see PDAF being introduced to more Olympus models over time.

    Ian
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    Re: E-M5 and 4/3 lenses

    Despite all the new features and improvements in the E-M5II, the E-M1 remains the flagship (or 'pro' model) of the range and needs a key feature that sets it apart from the rest. That feature is PDAF and, as Ian said, is almost certain to be improved upon in the next update of the model, which is also likely to include many of the good things featured in the E-M5II.

    I'm not sure about the eventual incorporation of PDAF in other models of the E-M range. Most of the really desirable and expensive FT lenses, by virtue of their size and weight, need a fairly substantial body with prominent in-built grip to provide good balance and a comfortable user experience. For this reason the E-M1 linage is always likely to be more substantial in terms of size and weight than other E-M models. So what would be the point in putting PDAF in, say, the E-M10 (and adding to its cost) when it would not be the natural choice of most FT lens users?
    View my ebook, The Light Fantastic, at: http://store.blurb.co.uk/ebooks/3026...ight-fantastic

    John

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    Re: E-M5 and 4/3 lenses

    Thank you for your response to my comment John. It should be stressed that PDAF is just as relevant to MFT lenses as it is to legacy FT DSLR lenses. Also, on-sensor PDAF is already appearing on cameras competing with the E-M10.

    Ian
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    Re: E-M5 and 4/3 lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    Thank you for your response to my comment John. It should be stressed that PDAF is just as relevant to MFT lenses as it is to legacy FT DSLR lenses. Also, on-sensor PDAF is already appearing on cameras competing with the E-M10.

    Ian
    I always thought that leaving PDAF out of the E-M5 II was a poor choice on Olympus' part. Ian gives two good reasons to include it: 1) PDAF helps with all lenses (including MFT), especially for moving subjects, and 2) competitors are including it at a similar price-point. After devoting so much time and money to on-sensor PDAF in R&D, it made little sense to me to leave it out of the latest camera.

    I understand the worry about cannibalizing sales of the higher models, but in practice, crippling a new model with older technology have proven to be a mistake. It's the way of technology that new models leapfrog over old ones, even when the old ones are higher in the product line. Customers expect this (I certainly do!) and new products with older technology don't sell as well as they could. The practice also leaves a bad taste in consumers' mouths, as it feels as though we're being shortchanged.

    The E-M1 still offers features and benefits that the E-M5 II does not, including a bigger grip, more rugged build, and additional buttons and control points. Sales may have dropped off more if the E-M5 II included PDAF, but it's also an opportunity for Olympus to entice E-M5 II buyers to upgrade to the E-M1 II when it arrives. After my experience with the original E-M5 (extremely positive, except for the AF with my 4/3 lenses), I plan to buy the next iteration of the E-M1. I now understand first-hand the value of the more advanced body for my photography. I skipped over the E-M5 II partly because I plan to upgrade to the higher model, but a big factor was the omission of PDAF.

    - Hal -
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    Re: E-M5 and 4/3 lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by hschnee View Post
    ......

    The E-M1 still offers features and benefits that the E-M5 II does not, including a bigger grip, more rugged build, and additional buttons and control points. Sales may have dropped off more if the E-M5 II included PDAF, but it's also an opportunity for Olympus to entice E-M5 II buyers to upgrade to the E-M1 II when it arrives. After my experience with the original E-M5 (extremely positive, except for the AF with my 4/3 lenses), I plan to buy the next iteration of the E-M1. I now understand first-hand the value of the more advanced body for my photography. I skipped over the E-M5 II partly because I plan to upgrade to the higher model, but a big factor was the omission of PDAF.

    - Hal -
    It would seem that the strategy from Olympus would be the right one for them now then since you will buy the E-M1 Mk II when it comes which you might not have had the E-M5 Mk II included PD-AF which you may have bought & then you may have felt the camera could have been better when you realise the E-M1 Mk II is better in controls, buffer, grip etc. which also handles better with the 4/3's lenses, so you will now experience the better 'Pro' features of the top model when it comes.
    Ross
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    Re: E-M5 and 4/3 lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Ross View Post
    It would seem that the strategy from Olympus would be the right one for them now then since you will buy the E-M1 Mk II when it comes which you might not have had the E-M5 Mk II included PD-AF which you may have bought & then you may have felt the camera could have been better when you realise the E-M1 Mk II is better in controls, buffer, grip etc. which also handles better with the 4/3's lenses, so you will now experience the better 'Pro' features of the top model when it comes.
    I was suggesting that if the E-M5 II included PDAF, I may have bought one; and if the E-M1 II is/was/will be compelling enough, I may have also bought it as an upgrade. I don't usually replace my gear so frequently, but there is a chance that Olympus could have convinced me to buy two cameras instead of one.

    - Hal -
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    Olympus E-M5; Panasonic-Leica DG Summilux 25mm; Zuiko 12-60 SWD, 50-200 SWD; Sigma 105 Macro; Rokinon (Samyang) 7.5mm fisheye; Olympus 8/1.8 PRO fisheye; FL-50R; Giottos MT-8361 tripod with Gitzo GH2780QR ballhead.

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