Sunday, April 20, 2014

Continuous Focus with Olympus E-PM2 at Rally Cross Race

I was recently at the first round of the 2014 British a Rally Cross race at Lydden Hill.  I was lucky to have the Panasonice 100-300mm f4-5.6 lens on loan with me.  Using my Olympus E-PM2 with C-AF + TR (continuous focus with tracking) I was able to get photos in focus around 80% of the photos.  The camera can only focus continuously at the lower frame rate of 3.6FPS.  The technique I used was to focus on the car and let the camera track and then start shooting.  Even if the car move off the focus area, the tracking follows most of the time.  Of course, the lens is not fast so the larger depth of field does help.

Here is a sequence of two cars the camera managed to track.  The focal length was 100mm at f4.  The camera was focused on the car on the right and tracked it well.  Note you can see the background is not blurred out, so focusing does not need to be spot on to achieve sharp images.

Here is another sequence of the same car when I zoomed in to 300mm at f5.6 as the car came towards me.  This is a much tougher test for the focus system of the camera.  The car was in focus throughout.

Overall, I am very happy with the continuous focus performance of the E-PM2 with the Panasonic 100-300mm lens.  A very usable combination for motor sport.  I just wish there were less depth of field with the 100-300mm lens.

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