Focus Peaking with the Olympus OM-D E-M5

Amin Sabet

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Some readers at 43 Rumors figured out a simple way to use one of the art filters for on-demand "focus peaking" with the Olympus OM-D E-M5. Unfortunately it doesn't work for video, but it works a treat for still photography.

Here are the steps:

1) Change the mode dial on the E-M5 to "A"

2) Menu > Shooting Menu 1: set the "Picture Mode" to "ART 11 Key Line" (press right and choose Filter II). You may need to repeat this step twice to get the art filter setting to stick.

3) Optional step if you want magnified view during focus peaking: Menu > Shooting Menu 1 > Set "Digital Tele-converter" to "On"

4) Menu > Shooting Menu 1: select "Reset/Myset", then select "Myset1" and choose "Set"

5) Menu > Custom Menu B: select "Button Function", then select "Fn1 Function" and choose "My1"

6) Menu > Shooting Menu 1: set the "Picture Mode" to "Natural" (or whatever you started out with)

7) Menu > Shooting Menu 1 > Set "Digital Tele-converter" back to "Off" if you set it to "On" in Step 3 above


At this point, you'll have the "Key Line" art filter, which acts like a form of focus peaking, assigned to the Fn1 button. You can hold down the button while focusing for a kind of "on demand" focus peaking and then release the button before you shoot so that the art filter doesn't affect the captured image itself.

Quick video showing the steps to configure:

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/3ArqBplO8cQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


Credit to 43 Rumors and their readers Nicolas, Lucio, and Wickster for finding and explaining this technique.
 

Hyubie

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merosen said:
Raw is disabled :frown:
I think you can still shoot RAW+JPEG even w/ art filters. Certainly with EPL3 u can. I assume this hasn't been changed in EM-5.
 

st3v4nt

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Raw is disabled :frown:
If you assign it with Fn1 > My Set you can shoot it in RAW. All of you have to do is press Fn1 for focusing (with Art Filter 11 a.k.a key line) and released it when you already have focus then you press the shutter that's all.

Comparing it with NEX focus peaking the Olympus focus peaking is much more contrasty in some condition.

the only draw back (which i may have not figured out yet or because OM-D limitation) is I'm not able to use it with magnification.
 

Amin Sabet

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I get it
when you press Fn1 it goes to key line (jpeg mode function)
after using focus peaking, release Fn1 it goes back to RAW - 3 natural
You got it.

As I have it set up, if I shoot while holding Fn1 to see peaking, I get RAW + JPEG, whereas after I release Fn1 it goes back to RAW only.

the only draw back (which i may have not figured out yet or because OM-D limitation) is I'm not able to use it with magnification.
One thing you can do is set Shooting Menu 1 > Digital Tele-converter to "On" before you save it to Myset1 and then change the Digital Tele-converter back to "Off" for normal shooting. That way whenever you push the Fn1 button, you get focus peaking at 2x magnification, then release the button to go back to normal view. I added this as an optional step in the OP.

I keep Myset1 set without magnification and Myset2 with magnification. Myset2 seems to work better for wide angle lenses. Again, credit goes to Lucio for the idea.
 

Ned

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Thanks Amin, that's a great tip! The new E-PM2 and E-PL5 also have the Key Line filter, and so we know all future models will as well (since the Pen Mini line will have the most limited art filters of the lineup). So this isn't just an OM-D trick, this could henceforth be considered a trick for all Olympus cameras.
 

Amin Sabet

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True, Ned. I find focus peaking pretty distracting for composition, so having it "on demand" assigned to a button is pretty much ideal. I can absolutely nail focus with this method, even shooting my Rokinon fisheye from 2 inches away from a subject.
 

Ned

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Yeah, currently I use my cameras with magnification on the back button (if not back-button AF), so using Focus Peaking with that method will be perfectly natural. :D
 

st3v4nt

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You got it.

As I have it set up, if I shoot while holding Fn1 to see peaking, I get RAW + JPEG, whereas after I release Fn1 it goes back to RAW only.



One thing you can do is set Shooting Menu 1 > Digital Tele-converter to "On" before you save it to Myset1 and then change the Digital Tele-converter back to "Off" for normal shooting. That way whenever you push the Fn1 button, you get focus peaking at 2x magnification, then release the button to go back to normal view. I added this as an optional step in the OP.

I keep Myset1 set without magnification and Myset2 with magnification. Myset2 seems to work better for wide angle lenses. Again, credit goes to Lucio for the idea.
Will try it Amin thanks :)
 

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