Is Focus Peaking possible with a firmware update?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by recasper, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. recasper

    recasper Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 12, 2012
    Alameda, California
    In waiting for my E-M5 and fighting off my thoughts of just going a different route... I've stumbled upon something I wish the E-M5 had.

    Focus Peaking, such as on the Nex and K-01, looks incredibly useful for Legacy Lenses. And as a m4/3 is a Legacy Lens gem, I'm curious as to why something like this hasn't been integrated into the E-M5. Seems like it would be a match made in heaven.

    This leads me to my question. Is a Focus Peaking feature a possibility with a Firmware update?
  2. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 29, 2012
    It's just software, so yes, it's possible. That's how it's done with the Magic Lantern hack for my Canon T3i.

    Professional field monitors for video also have focus peaking, so you can actually have focus peaking on a camera that doesn't support it. It's basically just highlighting areas of highest contrast.
  3. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    Can they do it? Very much so.

    Will they do it? Very much doubt it.
  4. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010

    Is it likely to happen retrospectively - unlikely.

    Both vendors seem reluctant to add new features (other than support for new lenses and accessories) to existing bodies. Ricoh seems to be a good example of a vendor that actually implements requested features in firmware on their cameras.

    There is an argument that the cpu and memory is limited (probably pared back to the absolute minimum required to get the camera up and running to save costs). So, potentially, new features aren't possible because theres not enough horse-power or space to implement these extras.

    One day I suspect someone will make an interchangeable lens camera with a full-blown OS (Android?) that can be hacked around or modified with plug-in software to allow all sorts of goodies to be added by third-parties. Until that day comes we're at the mercy of the manufacturers.

    For what its worth, people do speak very highly of the evf's ability to make manual-focussing much more accurate than the built in screen.
  5. recasper

    recasper Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 12, 2012
    Alameda, California
    Wild, I have used Magic Lantern for a lot of things with my 550D, but never realized the Focus Peaking or even the Zoom in frame focus assist features till you just brought it up. Nice... thanks
  6. recasper

    recasper Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 12, 2012
    Alameda, California
    I've really never looked much into the Ricoh systems... It never really seemed a direction that would fit me.

    I think that the camera capability is there since my lil old workhorse the 550D can rock it with Magic Lantern as kinlau noted. I would assume the E-M5 would have a comparable processor (wishful thinking)...

    Google would likely resolve this, but is there a Magic Lantern for Olympus... or rather, if there is, has anyone had experience with it who could say if its reliable enough.
  7. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 29, 2012
    It made my t3i so much more useable for video.
  8. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    For legacy glass, unless you want something wide, you can't really beat the Nex7. It crops less, the EVF is huge, focus peaking, built in flash, 24 megapixel, incredible dynamic range at a cost of $200 more than the EM5.

    Sony have updated their cameras with new features and changes to the UI going back to their oldest model.

    The Pentax lacks a EVF and I don't believe it can mount non Pentax lenses.

    The Ricoh can only mount M mount lenses.

    To answer your question, yes they can put in new features, and its highly unlikely they will.
  9. recasper

    recasper Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 12, 2012
    Alameda, California
    Not to go off topic but I'm definitely weighing the option of the Nex-7...

    The big things that lean me to the E-M5 as my next camera are:
    - Amazing in-body IS
    - Touch Screen (plus shutter)
    - Articulated Screen
    - Epic Auto Focus speed (for street and low light)
    - Small stature (actual small stature w/lenses)
    - Extensive Native Glass
    - Weather Sealing (Not as helpful with the current limited weather resistant lenses, of course)

    For me I'm needing a reliable walk around system for street and fine art photos. Landscapes and long exposures on occasion, but not as important. So for walking around being my primary focus... the features above seem hard to beat.

    The Nex-7 seems a bit "computery". I enjoy having responsive dials and dedicated controls. The double-dial on top is just too squirrally for me when bumping around while I walk. The native glass is quite limited and its AF speed/accuracy just doesn't compare. Don't really need an on board flash. Never really used it with my 550D. Also, once you put a piece of glass on the Nex, the compact nature kinda goes out the window.

    The K-01 just doesn't seem like a compact mirrorless option to me. Its pretty much a squatty DSLR without a VF (which is a Huge negative on my list). Plus I personally think its rather fugly. lol ... Image quality is great though, I give it that. Plus the 40mm is sliiiiiim. lol... I just don't want anything that large though.

    Ricoh, I just don't know much about. Seems like a financially lofty system to get into, but I may just be ignorant on that front.

    Sorry again to get wordy and off topic. I kinda just started thinking out loud and decided to hit post. ;-)
  10. gsciorio

    gsciorio Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 29, 2011
    Miami, FL
    Time for an online petition I say. I'd love peaking. The magnification is ok but if you have bad eyes like me then focus for your eyes you're not really going to get a sharp photo. However if you have some type of peaking then you can get sharp photos anytime.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    The EM5 has a tilt screen just like the Nex7. I believe the Nex 7 also has a touch screen feature.

    But I agree, the EM5 is probably the best all around still camera with EVF.

    I think it would be nice to have some sort of focus confirmation or peaking but I wouldn't buy a EM5 and expect that it would appear at a later time.
  12. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Real Name:
    Not to burst anyone's bubble about peaking, but having owned the GXR with the M module, the NEX 3, 5n and 7, focus peaking is not foolproof, and doesn't always lead to optimum focus. It's certainly helpful, but not the end all. The best thing is to have both peaking and magnify. But for whatever reasons, on the NEX7, 99% of shimmering disappears when you go into the magnify.

    That being said, I'd love to see peaking implemented in the OMD. Along with the IBIS ... Legacy lenses dream camera!!
    • Like Like x 1
  13. epsilon

    epsilon Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 17, 2012
    Yes, I would love Olympus to implement focus peaking for camera through a firmware update. This feature will surely speed up focusing of manual lenses, I am not saying EVF is not good but it is Alway good to have a alternate way to manual focus.
  14. lowincash

    lowincash Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 6, 2012
    Los Angeles
    I loved using focus peaking on the NEX-7 and it's something I wish the E-M5 would have. Focus peaking makes using legacy lenses a breeze. I've become so accustomed to it that I was afraid manual focusing won't be as good with the E-M5. However, I find it easy and more accurate to focusing as I am able to magnify the screen and have it stabilized. That was something I couldn't do with the NEX-7. So now I'm getting used to manual focusing on the E-M5 that it's not that big of a deal anymore.
  15. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Sony implemented it via firmware update. So yes, it's absolutely possible.
    Sony Firmware Update Brings Peaking To NEX-3 and NEX-5 | Popular Photography
  16. recasper

    recasper Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 12, 2012
    Alameda, California
    I definitely don't see it as the most accurate manner, but for pinch situations it would definitely be worth while.

    I like the magnify option, but I'm not sure which I would find more efficient... even with the magnify option, while helpful, when shooting in the street you don't really have the time to mag/focus/compose. Thats where I can definitely see it being helpful for such work... especially with legacy glass.

    In line with Armanius... IBIS + Peaking... The legacy glass gods would be smiling happily.

    EDIT: I wanted to add...

    Ahhh.. very good point.

    I surely don't anticipate it. But as it seems like a feature that would be easily implemented and with a decent request by users.... it would be cool if we could push it and see if Oly listens.