Manual Focus with Ease with the Olympus OM-D
As many of my readers know, I’ve switched to the Olympus OM-D EM5 a few months ago and I absolutely love it. But one of the features that was lacking was focus peaking.
Focus peaking became popular and highly useful in still images when Sony included it with their NEX mirrorless cameras, but it has been around for several decades with video cameras. Without going too technical, basically it applies some form of masking that allows you to see edges and contrasting areas easily without zooming in or relying on your own eye’s ability to judge focus.
Normally, the camera/software shows bright red or green indicators of all areas in focus at a glance, so you can quickly tell if the eye, for example, is in focus in a portrait shot.
My Olympus doesn’t have this feature and recently, a member in our Facebook Olympus User group shared a link from m43rumors (link) that allows OM-D (and in essence, any Olympus PEN users) to take advantage of focus peaking.
Watch the video for the step-by-step instructions.
For someone like me with bad astigmatism, manual focusing has always been a chore even with film cameras with excellent viewfinders.
Manual focusing with my older Canon DSLRs were nearly impossible without tethered live view. Luckily, Magic Lantern software can add focus peaking to most Canon DSLRs these days.
Obviously, I didn’t come up with this, the thread/link above is the source, but I created the video above to show the step-by-step procedure for those who are confused with text instructions.
I love manual focus lenses, I find their imperfections (as they’re not optimized for digital sensors) produce very unique images full of character and a less clinical feel of today’s modern and near-perfect engineered optics.
Unfortunately, this focus peak hack will only work for still images and not video modes, but until Olympus comes out with an official fix, this is a godsend for anyone who use manual focus lenses. Manual focusing with macro shooting and telephoto, wide aperture shots are now easy-as-pie!
Now let’s hunt for manual focus lenses on eBay!