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GH5 autofocus improvement on new firmware update for soon


Emanuel

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News with some days already but I believe this is worthy of its own thread considering the whole AF controversy which has made Panasonic to lose clientele for the rivals out there...

Interview with Yosuke Yamane, Director of Panasonic’s Imaging Division:

https://dpreview.com/interviews/9493665945/panasonic-s-head-of-cameras-talks-gh5-restructuring-and-future-ambitions

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Agreed...but this is of course huge for them as a business and it's almost impossibly hard to satisfy everyone....if not AF it would be the "videoy" look (will Webster adopt this word into it's dictio

DFD is far too limited. Its limited to Panasonic lenses only. Its limited to lenses with no optical defects so that the character of the out of focus areas are rendered the same between lenses. Its li

I don't have a GH5 so I was drifting along reading that. And then he mentioned a new version of the LX100 

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But he still seems to be unaware of the benefits of PDAF, talking nonsense about how it doesn't work as well at apertures smaller than f/8. Who's shooting video at f/11 on a micro four thirds camera? That's the equivalent of f/22 on full frame.

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DFD is far too limited. Its limited to Panasonic lenses only. Its limited to lenses with no optical defects so that the character of the out of focus areas are rendered the same between lenses. Its limited by the use of filters, which can greatly affect those out of focus areas; the shape of the bokeh, etc. They need to get phase detect on board. 

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9 hours ago, jonpais said:

From the transcript, it's apparent that this was primarily a cost-saving measure.

Agreed...but this is of course huge for them as a business and it's almost impossibly hard to satisfy everyone....if not AF it would be the "videoy" look (will Webster adopt this word into it's dictionary) or lack of DR or poor low light ability...as a business one has to pick your battles...personally I strongly doubt that they can beat Canon's AF system with a FW update, but again personally I prefer what they put in the camera as is...but then...many others disagree...well, we will know soon enough how well the FW update does.

our friend on 3 men and an elephant just did a quick review of AF on his GH5 and seemed to find it quite acceptable for his use.

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10 hours ago, Fritz Pierre said:

our friend on 3 men and an elephant just did a quick review of AF on his GH5 and seemed to find it quite acceptable for his use.

Indeed. Funny that a few on these boards wondering themselves were asking me how tap-to-focus could solve the issue and it is actually his first bet in order to handle the job and fix it... Sorta hilarious to my eyes when I've watched such workaround there. So, I beg your pardon for the immodesty here and this 'I want my medal' note now :-)

And from minute 02:28 to 02:51.

BTW, also previously posted here:

 

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2 hours ago, Dimitris Stasinos said:

My query is "How can area autofocus fail when tap to focus just works in the exact same area?" In both cases there is a specific area where the camera has to focus, whats the difference in defining the exact same part of the image with a square box or by your finger?

Good question. I guess it is only a matter of choice, that is, the need of human intervention vs artificial intelligence too. If you notice on the tree example, the machine/algorithm has no clue which subject to focus. Antos explains it pretty straightforward here at this point:

Hence the good chances a real improvement may hopefully be implemented by firmware update, now practically announced and @ brand top-level BTW. Meaningful IMHO.

Without mention the touchscreen focus workaround.

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20 hours ago, Fritz Pierre said:

Agreed...but this is of course huge for them as a business and it's almost impossibly hard to satisfy everyone....if not AF it would be the "videoy" look (will Webster adopt this word into it's dictionary) or lack of DR or poor low light ability...as a business one has to pick your battles...personally I strongly doubt that they can beat Canon's AF system with a FW update, but again personally I prefer what they put in the camera as is...but then...many others disagree...well, we will know soon enough how well the FW update does.

our friend on 3 men and an elephant just did a quick review of AF on his GH5 and seemed to find it quite acceptable for his use.

And I too find the AF quite acceptable as I've demonstrated with some of my videos, such as the one below. With that said, firmware improvements are always welcome. ;)

 

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1 hour ago, Ken Ross said:

And I too find the AF quite acceptable as I've demonstrated with some of my videos, such as the one below. With that said, firmware improvements are always welcome. ;)

Exactly Ken!...and what I'm really liking about Panasonic's approach, is how they are treating the GH5 more as one of their pro range cameras...the camera came full of features, but even more importantly, full of yet untapped potential as more advanced FW is being developed for it....as is ongoing with the Varicam LT and actually also years ago in the private community on the GH2...and as Panasonic's releases are far less frequent (a philosophy I find far more sustainable than the "I need a new IPhone every 4 months" insanity) that we are now seeing. This model of constantly upgrading the Flagship camera, while at the same time trickling some of the pro features in the GH cams down to the less expensive later cameras that follows, gets my loyalty to Panasonic.

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On 5/17/2017 at 0:28 PM, jonpais said:

But he still seems to be unaware of the benefits of PDAF, talking nonsense about how it doesn't work as well at apertures smaller than f/8. Who's shooting video at f/11 on a micro four thirds camera? That's the equivalent of f/22 on full frame.

Everyone who shoots video with red video button or using S-exposure mode in daylight without ND. And they never know using f16-22 because the camera is not showing it.

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@Orangenz

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The foreground stays in focus but there does seem some pulsing in the background. AFC with 1-area box sitting on players (ie. tap to focus). Might try MF

Yep! That's exactly Panasonic's "illness", not only on the GH5...Even when you tap focus, and the Pana camera will keep focusing on the tapped area, you will (almost) always register a pulsating and pumping background (AF microadjustments). But again, this is nothing new when working with Panasonic AF on consumer / prosumer cameras...

Personally I have a problem with this issue, because Pana proved to do it better: When using the current HC-X1, not only that AF works very accurately (even in challenging situation, when subject X crosses subject Y) and there is no pumping or pulsating in background or foreground - NEVER...So why can this be done with a 2.800 Euro camcorder and not with a 2.000 Euro GH5? That's my point...

In my eyes, Pana completely underestimated the necessitty of a reliable AF these days...There is a bunch of people out there NOT buying this great camera because of the desastruous AF failure. It's sad, that many really extraordinary features and a exeptional usability and built quality are overshadowed by a failure with AF. When a manufacturer wants to make money with a product, they have to go with A. very expensive and exclusiuve (eg RED) or B. moderate/cheap pricing for masses. "Enthusiasts" manual only advocates aren't by far a large enough market to survive...Pana could have learned "mass market behaviour" from Canon's AF success in moderately priced cams...A moderate/cheap priced camera has to be extremely easy to use nowadays to get a large audience - and a reliable AF is crucial therefore...

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6 hours ago, Orangenz said:

The foreground stays in focus but there does seem some pulsing in the background. AFC with 1-area box sitting on players (ie. tap to focus). Might try MF, with slide to focus the 1-area box. 

 

I always found it fascinating how the foreground can stay in focus, yet if you watch, you can see some pulsing in the background. You'd think that would have some impact on the foreground too. I'm actually also amazed at how many people seem to focus more on the background than the subject. ;)  I did an early test of the GH5 AF in a shopping mall, and it stayed in focus on the subject, but the background did, on occasion, show that pulsing. I got a comments from a few posters that seemed to only see the pulsing and never the fact that the subject remained in focus. I can understand that a pulsing background can be distracting, but still... Oh well. :) 

Of course using AF lock, where possible, totally alleviates that issue.

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@Ken Ross

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Of course using AF lock, where possible, totally alleviates that issue

Ken I work on Pana cameras with back button focus AND AF lock. And here you are completely right, THIS working style alleviates the issue.

Shooting situation: You lock on focus with back button and release the BBF...Now your camera will stay focused on your subject till end of time and the background will NOT pulse at all...IF...Yeah, IF the subject doesn't move toward or back from shooter...So it's ideal for all not much moving subjects...But this workaround breaks down as soon as the subject moves toward or back *...Even more when you work with a wide aperture or some tele...

So, in these situations you just need an reliable continuous AF...Why? There is no even pro puller pulling as fast & precise as a reliable AF as seen on Canons DPAF devices, or Sony a6x00, RX100 m5, or Fuji X-T2x, etc. For sure, you can try to shoot with aperture F5.6  and smaller, to get much DOF. But therefore you don't simply need a bigger sensor camera, you can do this with a 1/2.3" cheap camera and all will stay in focus...Or you can try to shoot as wide as possible...But, in these cases you will always be artistically restricted because of a miserable continuous AF. Please consider, that this pulsing is pretty visible and for most clients/audience simply not acceptable...In forums we are peeping around on 400% crops and almost non visible color nuances...But we refuse to see the terrible pulsing? Nope...Pana has to work on this - or to resign interested buyers...

If one doesn't shoot impredictable or fast moving subjects, you can work around these flaws for sure...But this kind of shooting doesn't meet the requirements of nowadays "capturing the moment"...Just my 2 cents...

EDIT: * When using BBF during a shot with a towards/back moving subject WITHIN a restricted focusing area, the pulsing outside the non focused area is almost invisible...Therefore you have to hold on BBF during shooting, "track" you subject with the camera body and try to keep your subject framed within the restricted AF area...

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