Focus Peaking Settings Menu
Macro,  Photo Gear

Setting Up Olympus Focus Peaking for Macro Photography

Focus peaking is a useful feature for macro photography.  A lot of times manual focus is required for macro photography and focus peaking will indicate when your subject or part of your subject is in focus.

Olympus OM-D cameras have several useful features that can assist with manual focus for macro photography.  In this blog, I’ll show you how to set them up.

Focus Peaking Settings
Focus Peaking Settings

Focus Peaking Settings

In the Focus Peaking Settings in the D3 submenu under the Gear/Cog menu, you can customize Focus Peaking.  In this menu, you can customize the following settings:

  • Peaking Color.  The highlight color can be set to red, yellow, white, or black.
  • Highlight Intensity.  The highlight intensity can be set to low, medium, or high.  Why not set it to high to ensure the highlighting can be seen.
  • Image Brightness Adjustment.  This setting will increase the image brightness on live view to enhance the highlight visibility.  This will not be the exposure of your final image.
Manual Focus Assist
Manual Focus Assist

MF Assist

In this setting you can set up the camera to take actions when the focus ring is turned in manual focus mode.  These settings are located in the A4 submenu of the Gear/Cog menu.

You can choose to have focus peaking and/or to magnify the image when the focus ring is turned.

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MF Assist is great if you use the focus ring to manually focus for macro photography.  But what if you use the Rocking Technique to focus for macro photography.  With the Rocking Technique you do not use the focus ring to focus, you rock back and forth (move the camera closer to and farther from the target) until the subject appears sharp on the viewfinder or LCD then you press the shutter.  Focus peaking is perfect for the Rocking Technique.

To make focus peaking work with the Rocking Technique, you will need to assign focus peaking to one of the buttons on your camera.  Then when ready to focus, press and release the button and focus peaking will be turned on.

Button Function
Button Function

How to Assign Focus Peaking to a Button

To assign Focus Peaking to a button on your Olympus OM-D, use the Button Function which is located in the B1 submenu of the Gear/Cog menu.  On the higher end OM-D cameras, you can reprogram almost every button on the camera.

Scroll down until you find the button that you want to assign Peaking, press right on the Arrow Pad, Press up or down on the Arrow Pad until you find Peaking.  Press OK to set your choice.

Live View Boost
Live View Boost

Live View Boost

If you use flash for macro photography, you’ll want to turn on Live View Boost.  When photographing with a flash, you may use settings (such as small aperture settings) that will cause LCD or viewfinder to be too dark to see your subject.  When you turn on Live View Boost, the Live View brightness will not reflect the exposure settings and you’ll be able to see your subject to compose and focus.

Live View Boost is located under the D2 submenu under the Gear/Cog menu. Under Live View Boost, set Manual Shooting to On1.

If you find you are using these menu features frequently, you can add them to My Menu by pressing the Record button while on that menu item.

Written by Martin Belan

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