Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Firmware v1.3 for Lumix 14-140 and AF speed

In the beginning of October 2010, a new firmware version 1.3 became available for the Panasonic Lumix 14-140mm f/4-5.8 superzoom lens. The new version is said to give faster AF speed, as well as faster startup time.

I have previously tested the AF speed of the Lumix 14-140mm. My conclusion was that the AF speed was very fast, albeit with some hunting in the longer end of the zoom, at close to the minimum focus distance. So I wanted to see if the new version improved the focus speed.

Again I used the same setup, with a LEGO figure as object to be photographed. The LEGO figure was placed at a distance of 0.5 meters, which is the minimum focus distance for the lens. After turning on the camera, I pressed the shutter release button, and measured the time until focus was achieved. The lightning was dull, about 6 EV.

I used the Panasonic Lumix GH1. Here's the experiment using firmware version 1.2:

And using the firmware version 1.3:

The time until focus was 0.76 seconds with firmware version 1.2, and 0.68 seconds with the latest firmware version. This is hardly any significant difference, but there is still some improvement.

I was not able to reproduce the focus hunting at 140mm that I experienced in my first comparison. The first test was done using firmware 1.1, so I guess this was fixed already in the version 1.2.

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