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Saturday, January 10, 2009

E-30 and Fast Panning AF

Olympus E-3 and ED12-60mm f2.8-4 SWD was billed by Olympus as the fastest AF camera in the world.

I would not know, actually!

I never really owned the 12-60mm. I used the E-3 with 14-54mm f2.8-3.5 lens, and it was really adequate for my daily use. Only a few months back did I replace the 14-54mm with the ED14-35mm F2.0 SWD lens. And yes, the 14-35mm was fast; though not as fast as the 12-60mm.

This time, Olympus claimed that the E-30 AF system as the same as E-3. Well, how else to know? I just had to shoot something fast.

I went to the Go-kart track adjacent to the Shah Alam stadium. I scouted for a good viewpoint to get dynamic panning shots. Good thing was, I found a place where I believed was popular with photographers. The whole portion of the fence was torn down, just enough space for great panning! Neat.

Since the longest lens I had was the ED35-100mm f2.0 PRO, it was the natural choice for the shots!

This was a panning shot of 12 frames, with the E-30 set at C-AF, single point, center, and normal AF point. Sequence shot was at 5fps, and Large Superfine JPEG settings. That meant about 8MB per image. Thus, at 12 frames within just 2+ seconds, it was close to 100MB!!! The SanDisk Xtreme III CF was on top of things! I used S-priority to lock in 1/125s shutter speed. The rest was in Auto mode.

Notice how the Continuous AF system tracked frames 1 & 2, and lost it in frames 3 & 4 due to the shrubs, then it regained focus from frame 5 to 12.


For the record, I managed to shoot 5fps continuously at LSF 8MB for up to 22 frames. That was very good!

Another shot, at 1/80s, f/10, ISO320.

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