Back Button Focus on the Olympus EP3

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by sebecker1982, Mar 28, 2013.

  1. sebecker1982

    sebecker1982 New to Mu-43

    2
    Mar 24, 2013
    Hello,

    I did some searching on the forums, but wasn't able to find anything on this topic... I would like to set my Olympus Pen EP3 to do back-button focusing. Has anyone done this, and if so, could you provide instructions? I've only been able to find step-by-step instructions for the OMD cameras.

    Sarah
     
  2. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    You should be able to do it the same way as with the OM-D, but here are my generic instructions anyways for all Oly digital system cameras, both Four-Thirds and Micro Four-Thirds...

    Go to Menu => Sprocket => Button/Dial => AEL/AFL. There you can set Single AF, C-AF, and MF modes. Mode 3 is the one that assigns any of those AF types to the back-button. If you set MF to Mode 3, then that will still give you MF capabilities with the focus ring, but will add S-AF capabilities to the back-button. If you set C-AF to Mode 3, that will give you continuous AF as long as you hold down the back-button. You can also set S-AF to Mode 3, but in my opinion this is redundant if you have MF set to to Mode 3. You get S-AF + MF by using MF Mode 3 anyways. I just leave S-AF to the default Mode 1 just in case I ever for whatever crazy reason want to switch to shutter-focus. But I never do. ;)

    Next, after you have your AF modes set, all you need to do is assign the AEL function to a button, which will become your back focus button. On the PEN cameras this is in Menu => Sprocket => Button/Dial => Button Function, but this is the one part that can vary between models. For instance, on my old E-System cameras there was only one AEL button but it could be swapped to the Fn button so you had two choices instead (if I remember, I think the E-P1 was the same). With the newer PEN cameras your possibilities are much more expandable, and the OM-D has the most customizable buttons yet, allowing you to use the Fn1, Fn2, or Record buttons which are right by your right fingers for easy access. I would also suggest setting one of these to ISO. ;)

    Of course, you then need to go through your regular control panel to set your camera to use one of the AF types that you have set to Mode 3, or use Menu => Sprocket => AF/MF => AF Mode to do that.
     
  3. sebecker1982

    sebecker1982 New to Mu-43

    2
    Mar 24, 2013
    Thanks so much! I'll give this a try!

    Sarah
     
  4. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    No problem. :)
     
  5. tardegardo

    tardegardo Mu-43 Veteran

    375
    Apr 3, 2012
    Rome, Italy
    What is back button focus, Ned?
    What I am trying to do with this camera (which is esthetically and ergonomically gorgeous) is to assign magnify button to any button which is not the one with lens. Is there a chance maybe?
     
  6. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    Here's a link (originally posted to another thread by Ned) that explains what back button focus is. Here are a couple more articles (1|2) that elaborate on why you might want to use it.

    As for the magnify functionality, I don't believe that's one of the functions that one can re-assign on the PENs. Do you just not like the location of the magnifying glass button?
     
  7. tardegardo

    tardegardo Mu-43 Veteran

    375
    Apr 3, 2012
    Rome, Italy
    Thank you!
    Yes. I don't like that location. I'd like much better the one which Now is the rec button.
     
  8. woof

    woof Mu-43 Top Veteran

    511
    Oct 18, 2011
    The present.
    Excellent post Ned. This should be a sticky post.

    With a small tweak this works for EM-5 also. To wit: On the EM-5, the functions under Menu => Sprocket => Button/Dial => AEL/AFL in your post are under Menu => Sprocket => AF/MF => AEL/AFL

    Did not realize the power of these settings. I have it now set as follows:

    S-AF default Mode 1 and mapped to Fn1
    MF Mode 3 and mapped to Fn2
    C-AF Mode 3

    So when set to S-AF the behavior of the shutter button is "normal," and AEL is under Fn1... something I use pretty often. However, with a press of Fn2, I am in MF, which can in essence work as Focus Lock if you use AF first. this is how i use it most. And yet, if I need to refocus, AF is available under Fn1.

    A quick dive into SCP gives me C-AF if I am feeling lucky, and I like very much that it can be invoked and stopped by holding the button.
     
  9. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Thanks for the correction, and for sharing your setup Woof! :D
    And thanks for sharing the articles, DeeJayK!
     
  10. Strick

    Strick Mu-43 Regular

    128
    Jan 8, 2013
    Columbia, MD
    Rob
    Thank you for this. I just set up my EP3 with the back focus tied to manual focus and it works like a charm. I am loving my EP3 more and more thanks to this forum! :smile: