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ThePhoBlographer: The OM System OM1 Has Greatly Improved Continuous AF


ThePhophlographer tested the OM-1 autofocus performance with the new 1.2 firmware update. Here are his findings:

  • It’s better for sure. But it degrades a bit when the scene detection modes are on. Granted, Bird AF is pretty essential technology for a camera like this.
  • OM System lets you prioritize either the spot you tell it to focus on or the scene detection. And the scene detection for birds isn’t that great unless the bird is taking up 1/4 of the photo if they’re in shadows. An example of this is birds hiding in trees. But if they’re in full sunlight, it’s a different story. The camera just needs to see the head and detect that it’s a bird.
  • Eye detection for birds is still not the best compared to Canon. Right after using this, I went and tried the Canon EOS R7, which did a much better job.
  • In C-AF with the 2x teleconverter and the 40-150mm f2.8, I was able to track birds in flight pretty easily when setting the autofocus to the whole area of the frame or to a large area in the center. The images aren’t incredibly sharp consistently, but I blame that on the teleconverter. I’ve never got photos with it that I’m very satisfied with.

So overall, the C-AF ability has improved; and I’m glad to know that my earlier critiques of it were looked at with some seriousness. Would I use this in the forest or for serious bird photography? Totally! But I also really want to use it with other lenses. The camera does a great job otherwise. And overall, it’s still the lightest and smallest system in the hand that you can use for birding.

OM-1 store links:
OM-1 at BHphoto, Adorama, Amazon. GetOlympus.
OM-1 in EU at Calumet DE. Fotokoch DE. Wex UK. Olympus DE, Olympus UK, Olympus FR, Olympus IT, Olympus ES. Olympus NL. Olympus BE. Olympus AT. Olympus CH.

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