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Differences in focusing between Stills and Video? Olympus 12mm

Aug 5, 2017
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Hi All,

Just back from a practice flight on a nice sunny day. As a pro-photographer, but newbie pilot, I was excited to see what the video and stills looked like with good light.

Having been impressed with the sharpness of the 12mm Olympus on the X5S at the wider apertures on murky days, I was surprised to see many stills and clips nicely sharp in the centre, but horribly out of focus at the edges. I'd had the odd one previously, but assumed I'd not been careful enough with my dab-focusing on the app.

Frustrated, I set my I2 up in the window and experimented with both stills and video...

Focusing on distant trees at f2.0, I get sharp stills, edge to edge. If I switch straight to video, without refocusing, I get a nice crisp clip.

However, if I focus again on the trees while in video mode, the edges of the frame go to mush.

If I then focus on the mush at the edge of the frame, the resulting clip is nice and sharp, edge to edge.

Am I missing something here? The only difference is I'm focusing while in video mode.

Is pre-focusing in stills mode the only way I can be sure of getting sharp video?

Thanks in advance for your help.

I've noticed a difference in focus in flipping between the Still and Movie mode too on the X5S. Noticed it more on the Laowa 7.5mm too, and it bothered me in my testing of it before I sent it back for a replacement for not hitting infinity right.

If you turn on the Focus Peaking and set it to High, it might show you some Still & Video differences with objects at infinity like a cell tower. I saw that immediately with mine and I don't know why it happens. Might be the video image is a fractional part of the image MOV/MP4 data as with the larger data stored in the Still image. Something like when you hit the upper right shutter button on the RC while taking video and finding it a much smaller JPG file than the same JPG shot of the same scene while locked in Still mode would be. It's like the camera de-focuses a bit in video, maybe to mask Jello or the rolling shutter. Dunno.

Sometimes I hit the lens re-calibation way down at the bottom of the camera menu a few times and it seems to do a better lock on the focus.
Thanks for your thoughts Casey.

Looks like I'm going to have to look at calibration and manual focusing.

All rather annoying, as focusing is one of those areas that should just work... there's enough else going on when you're airborne!


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