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Olympus C 8080 autofocus and shutter lag performance

 
 
Bill A
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      07-08-2004
Can anyone comment on the speed of the Olympus for action photography.
I need to know if it is fast enough to capture say a fast mvoing
mountain bike coming towards the camera. What is the autofocus speed
like ? Is there much shutter lag. I've read most reviews regardgin
these 2 figures, they put that combination in the .5 - .6 second range
which is certainly a lot quicker than my c740 !!
In a nutshell, what is it like in a point and shoot situation ?
 
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Kevin McMurtrie
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      07-09-2004
In article <(E-Mail Removed) >,
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) (Bill A) wrote:

> Can anyone comment on the speed of the Olympus for action photography.
> I need to know if it is fast enough to capture say a fast mvoing
> mountain bike coming towards the camera. What is the autofocus speed
> like ? Is there much shutter lag. I've read most reviews regardgin
> these 2 figures, they put that combination in the .5 - .6 second range
> which is certainly a lot quicker than my c740 !!
> In a nutshell, what is it like in a point and shoot situation ?


..5 seconds probably assumes bright lighting and no motion. A moving
mountain bike will probably cause autofocus to take much longer or fail.
Put your C740 on a tripod and I bet it can focus in .5 seconds too.

Consider a DSLR and a lens with an ultrasonic motor. SLR cameras use a
focusing mechanism that instantly determines the focus error and makes a
correction in a single jump. You can manually turn the focus dial to
where you expect your target to appear. When it's time to shoot, the
focus locks with only a small jump. Total lag time is about .1 to .2
seconds. It won't be confused by moving objects either.
 
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Fred McKenzie
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      07-10-2004
<< Can anyone comment on the speed of the Olympus for action photography. >>

Bill-

A friend at work briefly let me try the 8080. It was definitely faster than my
C-3040Z, but still not as fast as I would like. (Other than the slight delay,
it is an outstanding camera.)

Now, consider a DSLR (your choice). Guess what - it takes time to focus. It
may be faster than most non-SLRs, but you can imagine a situation where it
isn't fast enough. The ultimate problem is not the fact it is digital. It is
the fact that autofocus is not instantaneous, at least not for the current
state-of-the-art. (Maybe a pinhole camera?)

What to do? Before autofocus arrived, you had to either manually pre-focus or
set the distance scale to the estimated distance. If your camera has a manual
focus option, you can try either. The trouble is that autofocus cameras do not
usually provide support for manual focus. There usually is no split-image or
microprism, and there may not even be a ground glass area in the viewfinder.

I think the bottom line is that whatever camera you have, you have to learn its
shortcomings and deal with them. In the case of my C-3040Z, I learned to
prefocus, so the actual exposure was nearly instantaneous. Now, with a newer
Canon Digital Rebel, I still find myself pre-focusing, but primarily because I
don't always agree with the spot the camera chooses to focus on.

Fred

 
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Georgette Preddy
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      07-11-2004
Kevin McMurtrie <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:<(E-Mail Removed)>...
> In article <(E-Mail Removed) >,
> (E-Mail Removed) (Bill A) wrote:
>
> > Can anyone comment on the speed of the Olympus for action photography.
> > I need to know if it is fast enough to capture say a fast mvoing
> > mountain bike coming towards the camera. What is the autofocus speed
> > like ? Is there much shutter lag. I've read most reviews regardgin
> > these 2 figures, they put that combination in the .5 - .6 second range
> > which is certainly a lot quicker than my c740 !!
> > In a nutshell, what is it like in a point and shoot situation ?

>
> .5 seconds probably assumes bright lighting and no motion. A moving
> mountain bike will probably cause autofocus to take much longer or fail.
> Put your C740 on a tripod and I bet it can focus in .5 seconds too.
>
> Consider a DSLR and a lens with an ultrasonic motor. SLR cameras use a
> focusing mechanism that instantly determines the focus error and makes a
> correction in a single jump. You can manually turn the focus dial to
> where you expect your target to appear. When it's time to shoot, the
> focus locks with only a small jump. Total lag time is about .1 to .2
> seconds. It won't be confused by moving objects either.


That's pretty optimistic. DSLR motion prediction modes don't take
into account acceleration. How many times is something moving at a
perfectly constant rate in a perfectly singular direction while you
focus? Maybe a train would work ok. But natural action shots?
Hardly.
 
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Kevin McMurtrie
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-11-2004
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
(E-Mail Removed) (Fred McKenzie) wrote:

> << Can anyone comment on the speed of the Olympus for action photography. >>
>
> Bill-
>
> A friend at work briefly let me try the 8080. It was definitely faster than
> my
> C-3040Z, but still not as fast as I would like. (Other than the slight
> delay,
> it is an outstanding camera.)
>
> Now, consider a DSLR (your choice). Guess what - it takes time to focus. It
> may be faster than most non-SLRs, but you can imagine a situation where it
> isn't fast enough. The ultimate problem is not the fact it is digital. It
> is
> the fact that autofocus is not instantaneous, at least not for the current
> state-of-the-art. (Maybe a pinhole camera?)
>
> What to do? Before autofocus arrived, you had to either manually pre-focus
> or
> set the distance scale to the estimated distance. If your camera has a
> manual
> focus option, you can try either. The trouble is that autofocus cameras do
> not
> usually provide support for manual focus. There usually is no split-image or
> microprism, and there may not even be a ground glass area in the viewfinder.
>
> I think the bottom line is that whatever camera you have, you have to learn
> its
> shortcomings and deal with them. In the case of my C-3040Z, I learned to
> prefocus, so the actual exposure was nearly instantaneous. Now, with a newer
> Canon Digital Rebel, I still find myself pre-focusing, but primarily because
> I
> don't always agree with the spot the camera chooses to focus on.
>
> Fred



The Digital Rebel lets you focus manually and automatically at the same
time if you have the USM lenses. It's handy if you want to focus
through a fence or some vegetation. Crank the focus ring to the next
field of focus and then the AF will lock on to it. It's also about the
only way you can make multiple AF zones work. It helps focusing in
darkness too.

The USM lenses are a lot faster than the kit lens. The kit lens
sometimes gets twitchy because the gears are so slack.
 
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Bill A
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-11-2004
Kevin McMurtrie <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:<(E-Mail Removed)>...
> In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
> (E-Mail Removed) (Fred McKenzie) wrote:
>
>>

>
> The Digital Rebel lets you focus manually and automatically at the same
> time if you have the USM lenses. It's handy if you want to focus
> through a fence or some vegetation. Crank the focus ring to the next
> field of focus and then the AF will lock on to it. It's also about the
> only way you can make multiple AF zones work. It helps focusing in
> darkness too.
>
> The USM lenses are a lot faster than the kit lens. The kit lens
> sometimes gets twitchy because the gears are so slack.



Sounds like the Digital Rebel might be the way to go (as opposed to
the C8080 and Sony F82
How much of a difference does a usm zoom lens make to camera
repsonsiveness as compared to putting on a cheap lens such as a Tamrom
28-300mm ??
Primarily I want to be able to capture windsurfers (usually a fair way
away from the camera, Im guesstimating about 100-200 metres) at the
optimum moment e.g. when they are jumping etc. (Also mountain bikes
as mentioned a my earlier post, and jumping border collies !!)
I have considered a film camera - say the Canon EOS 33 with an
accompanying lens; that boasts 4 fps. Whichever camera I use, it
would proably be in the telephoto postion most of the time, which I
believe further slows responsiveness down.
 
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Fred McKenzie
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      07-11-2004
<< How much of a difference does a usm zoom lens make to camera
repsonsiveness as compared to putting on a cheap lens such as a Tamrom
28-300mm ?? >>

Bill-

I have one lens that is Ultrasonic, but wasn't aware its focus could be
"nudged". I didn't notice that it was any faster in focusing either. I think
the main reason to choose the Ultrasonic lens is to get higher quality.

If you go for either film or digital Rebel, I recommend you NOT get such a
wide-range zoom as the Tamron. Use a wide-to-near telephoto lens such as the
digital Rebel's kit lens for "normal" photography, and get a better telephoto
zoom for your action shots.

You may be hard pressed to find a sharper Canon lens than the Olympus lens
supplied with the C-8080, but you can find them with wider apertures. That
equates to faster shutter speeds and less motion blur, which is critical at
longer focal lengths.

As far as choosing between a film and a digital Rebel, consider whether you
want the image to be in digital format or not. The film camera probably will
permit a large number of rapid exposures, while the digital Rebel has a limited
buffer. When the buffer fills, you have to wait before taking another photo.
(I think the more expensive models also have larger buffers.)

On the other hand, converting film to digital entails an additional imaging
process that can degrade the resulting photograph. Then, what happens if you
want a print several years from now? I recently dug out some ten-year-old
negatives, but found they had degraded to the point where new prints were
almost unusable. They had somehow reacted with the glassine sleeves, messing
up the surface of the emulsion. As much as I hate to abandon my wonderful film
camera collection, I doubt I'll take many more film photographs!

Fred

 
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