Poor AF in low light!


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apex

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#1
Dear all,

I understands this topic has being post again and again. Recently try using my E300 in low light condition and found out the AF is always out. It confirm AF blur and not hand shake/slow shutter blur.

So is this due to kits lens is not good enough since is F3.5 or olympus itself is a little weak in AF? Pls forgive me as I had nv try other DSLR (canon/Nikon) and expansive lens (F2 or F2.8) in such conditions. Therefore I am not sure if the problem is on the brand or lens.


Regards,
Apex
 

surge

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#2
apex said:
Dear all,

I understands this topic has being post again and again. Recently try using my E300 in low light condition and found out the AF is always out. It confirm AF blur and not hand shake/slow shutter blur.

So is this due to kits lens is not good enough since is F3.5 or olympus itself is a little weak in AF? Pls forgive me as I had nv try other DSLR (canon/Nikon) and expansive lens (F2 or F2.8) in such conditions. Therefore I am not sure if the problem is on the brand or lens.
Regards,
Apex

i am using the prosumer c-7070. i can tell you that the AF sucks big time in low light. even w a flourescent lit living room its tough. i have since learnt that this is olympus's weakness. my casio p600 can lock on, taken the picture and the 7070 still haven got a lock. :( :thumbsd:
 

smtan24

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I don't use an Olympus but if I'm not wrong if you use a external flash ther is a focus assist lamp. This should help focusing in low light conditions.
 

thorrey

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the focus speed of olympus camera is slower compare to the other brand, but AF+MF should be able to help u in low light shooting. :)
 

selamatlzh

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#5
I use external flash with focus assist light in low light condition. Normally when you have that problem the environment must be very dim.
 

wind30

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actually I used quite a number of different brands of DSLR and ALL of them have problems AF in low light lah. Esp when you shoot at wide open and the DOF is much smaller than P&S.

Like what most of them says, a flash with AF assist lamp helps a lot lor. It is not the brand nor the lens. AF just don't work very well under low light.

I tried to find information relating to which brand has the most accurate/sensitive AF but nobody seems to have done a comparison study.

But the photozone.de owner who tested a LOT of canon and olympus lens said that the E300 has a more accurate AF compared to a 350D.
 

surge

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wind30 said:
actually I used quite a number of different brands of DSLR and ALL of them have problems AF in low light lah. Esp when you shoot at wide open and the DOF is much smaller than P&S.

Like what most of them says, a flash with AF assist lamp helps a lot lor. It is not the brand nor the lens. AF just don't work very well under low light.

I tried to find information relating to which brand has the most accurate/sensitive AF but nobody seems to have done a comparison study.

But the photozone.de owner who tested a LOT of canon and olympus lens said that the E300 has a more accurate AF compared to a 350D.

haven done any test against time w a D70 or D200 and a 18-70 kit lens nikon DSLR can lock much much faster as low light that the 7070 cant even lock.
 

OlyFlyer

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Mar 22, 2006
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#8
surge said:
haven done any test against time w a D70 or D200 and a 18-70 kit lens nikon DSLR can lock much much faster as low light that the 7070 cant even lock.
Wow, what a surprise!! :bsmilie:

Surge, you compare two very competent DSLR with an advanced P&S. The 7070 may be a very good camera in its class but definitly not comparable with any DSLR and that includes the old E-300. The D200 costs (body only) quite a bit more than the 7070 and not without reason.
 

OlyFlyer

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Mar 22, 2006
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#9
apex said:
Dear all,

I understands this topic has being post again and again. Recently try using my E300 in low light condition and found out the AF is always out. It confirm AF blur and not hand shake/slow shutter blur.

So is this due to kits lens is not good enough since is F3.5 or olympus itself is a little weak in AF? Pls forgive me as I had nv try other DSLR (canon/Nikon) and expansive lens (F2 or F2.8) in such conditions. Therefore I am not sure if the problem is on the brand or lens.


Regards,
Apex
That may depend on the battery condition also. Fresh and charged batteries are better. I have an E-500 and the 14-45mm + 40-150mm kit zooms. Actually, it is amazing how well it focus in very bad conditions, very low light. I did some tests with a 10W halogen light from about 0.5 meters, camera about the same, black background and light chess figure, ISO 100. The setup was for testing noise. I was convinced that due to the bad lighting I had to use manual focus or first focus with normal room light than switch off for the shot. That was not needed, the camera focus without any problems. Here are two images. The first is a full and resized image, the second is part of the first in 100% crop. The first image was resized and recompressed by CS resulting in quality degradation. I uploaded a second image because it was smaller in size to prevent quality degrading action from ClubSnap. The real life size of the figure is 4cm in height and the foot has 1.6cm diameter. I switched off AF assist the same day I bought my camera, never use it, the AF assist strobe is just too disturbing.



On this second image you can even see the dust spec on the top left side of the figure. I think that is pretty good for AF in that bad light. And the AF speed was not bad either.



I do not know about your E-300, I suggest you test it and if it is not working properly just turn it in for a checkup at Oly. However, the capabilities of the E-300 should be known to you, since that is an old camera.

BTW, I don't think it is fair to expect E-300 to be the same as D70 or D200. Those are both newer and more expensive cameras, so I guess Nikon customers would not be very happy if they would not get more for the money.
 

OlyFlyer

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Mar 22, 2006
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I just did some test again. This time using three not so bright yellow LEDs from about 0.5 metres. The 14-45 focous without complain at any focal length. I used flash to take the picture to be able to judge the focus and to eliminate camera shake. Otherwise the room was dark, no other light source for AF than the three LEDs. Yes, it focus a bit slower than in normal room light but nothing to complain about under those conditions.

So, it may be a plastic Made in China camera, but definitely focus OK in low light. :thumbsup: I suggest you check out yours if you have problems.
 

surge

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#11
OlyFlyer said:
Wow, what a surprise!! :bsmilie:

Surge, you compare two very competent DSLR with an advanced P&S. The 7070 may be a very good camera in its class but definitly not comparable with any DSLR and that includes the old E-300. The D200 costs (body only) quite a bit more than the 7070 and not without reason.
:bsmilie: i dont expect 7070 to out perform d70. but at least shouldnt be so much slower. or worst, can lock on ( unless you use multi Af pt which often the cam selects the highest contrast pt but the the wrong focus pt).

casio p600 is also a P n S. but it lock on almost the same thing as the D70.

i bought the 7070 becos i love the square look and love pictures when it can focus correctly.
 

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thorrey said:
the focus speed of olympus camera is slower compare to the other brand, but AF+MF should be able to help u in low light shooting. :)
Whoops!!!! where did you find that info :sweatsm:


For Actual Query
Anywayz, like suggested check your batt - first n most important.... I use E300 and have been doing shooting events using it...imagine focusing on people seating in dim spot lights...

btw its not your kit lens too...:bigeyes: dun knw how the "OLYMPUS" focusing speed was compared against the lens kit lens aperture....

night/low light photography is not a easy subject... and it really doesnt matter on the equipment, there are lot of things to take care and remember...

Why not give it a try on http://www.olympus.com.sg/e-academy/ if you are really interested...
 

OlyFlyer

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Mar 22, 2006
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I agree with marlboro_guy and forgot to ask the same question, how do you use AF+MF if you consider AF to be too weak and bad? In the conditions I was testing I could definitely not use MF since I could hardly see anything through the viewfinder, so focusing was definitely out of question.

surge,

Your camera is your choice and I am sure it is a very good one for you, but I would not say that it is better than any DSLR, regardless of brand. That just demonstrates the fact that you have to do some more reading about photography. Sorry if I sound rude.

Regards
Olyflyer
 

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#14
Well AF fast and slow is really subjective. But the cool thing is I was trying to take a wedding shot with E300 using the Kit lens. I try AF-MF and C-AF. Seems like AF is slow. During bright conditions or less movement the AF work just fine.

The AF is always slow and Out of Focus Esp when people are walking. What happen is my Fuji F11 can give me fast AF and yet only 4 shot out of 300 shot is out of focus.

Thanks for all the input!
 

OlyFlyer

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Mar 22, 2006
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The F11 is a fine camera, but again it is a tiny camera with a tiny CCD and a tiny lens with a tiny zoom range. I think you are doing the wrong comparision, small P&S cameras are optimized and oversharpened electronically for the everyday people's needs. Most consumers like that way, so pocket camera makers do that to win market. I would suggest to let Oly check out the camera and the lens or practise more with your E-300. I would say it definitely beats any pocket camera in the right hands. Even with the worst kit zoom, the 17-45mm I would never exchange that with any pocket camera.
 

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#17
OlyFlyer said:
The F11 is a fine camera, but again it is a tiny camera with a tiny CCD and a tiny lens with a tiny zoom range. I think you are doing the wrong comparision, small P&S cameras are optimized and oversharpened electronically for the everyday people's needs. Most consumers like that way, so pocket camera makers do that to win market. I would suggest to let Oly check out the camera and the lens or practise more with your E-300. I would say it definitely beats any pocket camera in the right hands. Even with the worst kit zoom, the 17-45mm I would never exchange that with any pocket camera.
Well the Cam is already out of warranty! Therefore I would consider again. Anyway I own a C-8080, C-370, C-730, Mju Mini S and C-50 all suffer from same problem of AF. Tat why I come into this post.
 

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