Needed: Even More Clarity on Back-button (AF-on) Focusing-Shooting

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Mohun, Jun 11, 2014.

  1. Mohun

    Mohun Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 19, 2012
    In narrowing down my final move (a side grade perhaps as much as an upgrade) from my GX1 to either the Panasonic GX7 or to one of the Olympus E-Ms, the three elements of difference among the choice between the GX7 and the correct one, if any, among the E-M10, E-5 or E-M1 are the viewfinder(s), especially with eyeglasses; the IS capabilities of all the bodies, and what I now am confident is my first priority: the ease or even possibility of back-button or “AF-on” focusing with my final selection. I must admit, as a Nikon DSLR user, that my muscle memory has been trained for back-button focusing, and that I’ve practiced and continually tried to train my synapses for the half-press focus…shutter release without success. This exercise was accomplished quite easily with my GF1 and continues with the GX1.

    What is not clear to me is whether back-button focus is really even possible with any of the Olympus E-Ms and is at the same time compatible with the excellent Olympus IS process.

    I have one posting on another forum, i.e., the one that prohibits this M43 forum’s links from publication in postings on that other forum, that states definitely that the two processes are incompatible on the E-M bodies and that the Olympus IBIS will only function with the half-shutter-press method of achieving focus, then releasing the shutter. I think I understand that there are potentially two times in the shooting process when IBIS may be actuated: 1) when viewing through the viewfinder the focusing of the lens, and 2) when actually releasing the shutter.
    Is it true that neither part of the back-button focus-shoot process on the E-Ms (neither while focusing the lens as viewed through the viewfinder nor at the time of execution of the shot with the shutter release) will actuate the IBIS? Or will the IBIS be actuated upon one or both of the two elements of the focus-shoot process?

    The newer Nikon DSLR bodies can actuate Nikon’s lens-based IS “VR” at AF-on or back-button, the older bodies just at shutter release.

    Which, if either, process actuates Olympus IBIS when back-button focusing is in use, or are these processes wholly incompatible?
  2. peter124

    peter124 Mu-43 Regular

    On my E-M5, IBIS is activated as long as the back button is pressed. Then it activates again on shutter half-press.
  3. Mohun

    Mohun Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 19, 2012
    Well, as I contine to digest this more encouraging information, I've invented what may be a bizarre, but related, question. The E-M5/back-button link provoked a new look for me at what may be impossible. If the general menu manipulation discussed in the link could be applied to the less costly E-M10, recognizing that the Fn1 button and the display button seem uncomfortably close together, could I program both (in effect, either) the Fn1 and the display button to be the "back-button" for the purpose of focusing, and "re-assign" the display function itself elsewhere in the E-M10 body? I don't "chimp" often enough that I'd need the display button to perform the display function in its current location, the 3-way IBIS of the E-M10 may be perfectly adequate for my little 20mm f/1.7 and my only other lens at this time is my time-tested, very satisfactory 14-45 Lumix OIS lens the lens-based IS of which has been very effective on my GF1 and GF1.
  4. Mohun

    Mohun Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 19, 2012
    It looks as if I wrote too soon. I must have been on something rather than onto something. I've just looked online at the relevant (I think) pages of the operating manual and one review so far and it appears that my programmble button scheme is not on. There seem to be only two programmable buttons.
  5. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    If I remember correctly the programmable buttons on the EM-10 are: fn1, fn2, rec, two arrows out of the four, the lens button.

    You cannot reassign anything to these buttons but only a limited set of functions that depends on the button. Fn1 and fn2 accept almost anything, rec is a little less versatile and the arrows to me are almost useless. This is for the EM-5, but looks the same as the EM-10:

    The fn1 is not that close to the play button so I never had that issue. The problem I found is that the shutter button is not very forward I have to keep my hand a little turned inward. In this way the thumb goes down to the thumb-rest and it's tricky, but not impossible, to hold the index on the shutter and moving the thumb up to the fn1.
  6. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    Real Name:
    call me Arg
    For me, silent mode on GX7 has become non-negotiable for my future cameras. I never knew what I was missing! :dance: