Push-button Focus on OMD?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Dave Jenkins, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. Dave Jenkins

    Dave Jenkins Mu-43 Veteran

    My Canon DSLRs have something called Custom Function 4, which allows one to autofocus by simple pushing a button on the back of the camera. Once set, the camera stays focused on the same point until it is changed by the operator. Does the OMD offer any such capability?
  2. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Yup, AEL/AFL mode 3. Program a button to do AEL/AFL then shutter half press does AEL and full press does capture.

    Menu, gears, A, adl/afl then choose from saf, caf or m select mode 3.
    I ushered button programmed for ael/afl so press red button to af then shutter button.
  3. Dave Jenkins

    Dave Jenkins Mu-43 Veteran

    Thanks, Rob. Question: does it lock the focus at that point so I can shoot several exposures, or does it refocus for each shot?
  4. Mikefellh

    Mikefellh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 7, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    The way it's done (on most cameras) is you have the camera set to manual focus, and use the AFL button to focus..lthat way the camera will retain focus untill you touch the AFL button again, adjust the focusing ring, or zoom (if you change the zoom you will have to refocus with most modern lenses).
  5. uci2ci

    uci2ci Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 22, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    The settings that Rob gave will lock the focus so it wont refocus when you press the shutter button. Half-press will only adjust the exposure.

    Although I find it easier to set fn-1 for AFL, rather than the records button as Rob has his set.
  6. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    I like back button focus (FN1), that way one finger can always be on the focus and one finger always on the shutter release. I find this is the quickest way to focus, reframe, release, focus ...

  7. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Back-button focus is how I have my OMD set - with the Fn1 button to focus. I can't imagine doing anything else. Focus on half-press of the shutter is the wrong thing to do in so many situations I'm surprised so many people leave their cameras like this.

    However, I wish the Fn1 button was bigger and/or not obscured by the thumb rest thoiugh. If you have the HLD6 grip, in vertical format, the function buttons are much better positioned for back-focus use.
  8. newbert

    newbert Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 22, 2012
    Glens Falls, NY
    I have my DSLR set-up to use back-button focus, but find it awkward on the OMD (due to smaller size). The reason I like back-button focusing is that it allows you to pre-focus and then re-compose.

    While it's kind of in reverse order, the OMD's touchscreen AF accomplishes the same thing for me. Instead of pre-focus then re-compose, it's compose then select your exact focus point by touching the screen. I think it works great, when using my tripod for landscapes, etc.
  9. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    The little FN1 button is a pita. But FN1 is cut at a slight angle, so instead of crushing the button, place your thumb just a slight bit high and when you're ready to focus, just slide her down. Seems to work better than slamming the button down and leaving your thumbprint a quarter inch deep into the casing, (which was how I used to affect FN1).
  10. uci2ci

    uci2ci Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 22, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    ^^Good tip Gary
  11. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    How is this different from just half press on the shutter? Does it just separate focus and metering?
  12. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Back Button focus (FN1) is Focus only. I reserve half shutter release press to Exposure Lock.

    1) Focus (FN1), release and focus is locked until re-activated.
    2) Compose (focus won't change after you release see 1 above).
    3) Half Shutter press for AEL.
    4) Full press Shutter Release.

    It takes a while to become comfortable with this technique. After proficiency most photogs never go back to single button focus/exposure/shutter release.

  13. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 10, 2013
    Will setting the camera to Auto temporarily disable back-button focus? Sometimes, there's a need to hand the camera over to someone else, so that you can be in the picture.
  14. newbert

    newbert Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 22, 2012
    Glens Falls, NY
    No, it won't.

    Of course you could have different settings in different Mysets, and switch between then when handing the camera over. Bit of a pain, but I think that's what you would need to do.
  15. Dramaturg

    Dramaturg Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 7, 2013
    Just tried the whole FN1 focus thing today and I liked it. I like the fact that you can (1) re-compose + (2) do much more with exposure of the set! You could also re-compose even with shutter release button set to focus/exposure by half pressing it, but then you were limited with your exposition. Also it seems that using the tiny FN1 button for focusing is not too uncomfortable.
  16. Dave Jenkins

    Dave Jenkins Mu-43 Veteran

    Thanks for the help. I now have my OMDs set up for push-button focus. I decided to use the Fn2 button for focusing, since its placement is most convenient for me.
  17. rfortson

    rfortson Mu-43 Veteran

    Are you sure it doesn't revert to shutter button focus on iAuto? I know my E-P1 does that. I have it set for back button focus, but if I hand it to someone else and change to iAuto, it reverts. I haven't tried it on my OM-D, but it would be nice if it behaved the same way.
  18. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    The Bassman
    IAuto is P&S mode -shutter button focuses. Perfect for handing the E-M5 to someone. Also pretty good for taking pictures yourself ...
  19. newbert

    newbert Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 22, 2012
    Glens Falls, NY
    I stand corrected - Sorry. :redface:
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