Macro,  Photo Gear

Putting Focus Peaking to the Test on the Olympus OM-D E-M1

Olympus has added a new focus peaking feature on the Olympus OM-D E-M1 that was not on the predecessor E-M5 model.  Focus Peaking is a feature that highlights the area of the composition that is currently in focus. 

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Focus Peaking White Highlights

Focus peaking can help out a great deal while manually focusing an image.  However, focus peaking doesn’t seem to work when using lenses from other camera systems that are manual focus only on the OM-D E-M1.  I tested a Canon 100mm Macro lens with a Rainbow Imaging adapter and focus peaking did not work.

On the Olympus OM-D E-M1, focus peaking can be invoked by turning on “Peaking” in the Gear Menu –> AF/MF –> MF Assist.  I configured the Fn2 button on top of the camera to be able to more easily access the focus peaking function. 

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Focus Peaking Black Highlights

In the Gear D submenu you can also change the focus peaking highlight color to black instead of white.  This is a nice feature if the peaking color is the same as the subject you are trying to focus.  Focus peaking can be used both on the viewfinder and the LCD screen.

Overall, I did find focus peaking on the Olympus OM-D E-M1 convenient, accurate, and easy to use.  Focus peaking worked better in non macro situations.  When shooting macros, the peaking highlights seemed more sparse and were difficult to distinguish.  When using magnification on a macro with focus peaking, I had a difficult time telling the static from the peaking.

Related Posts
Setting Up Olympus Focus Peaking for Macro Photography
Canon 6d vs. Olympus OM-D E-M5 for Travel Photography
How to find the Shutter Actuation Count on the Olympus OM-D


  • PSYL

    Great instructions, thank you.  May I ask a newbie question – do you have issues where the focus peaking is deactivated at the half-press of shutter button (when using MF), and know how to prevent that?  Thanks in advance.

    • Martin Belan

      Hello.  Thanks for visiting the blog.  I just tested that scenario tonight and yes it appears that focus peaking is deactivated when the shutter is pressed half way.  I guess that I never noticed since I don’t press the shutter half way while manual focusing and usuaully use a remote shutter release.  Good catch.

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