(UPDATED) E-P5 focus peaking does work!


For a short time Robin Wong (Click here) scared us a bit with that sentence in his first part of the ongoing E-P5 review:

Unfortunately, I have to drop a bomb this early: the focus peaking did NOT work with the CCTV lens. When using a manual lens with no electronic contacts, I find NO way to activate the focus peaking! Believe me I have tried digging all the menu system and press all buttons, and if I am wrong in this I would GLADLY be corrected (this is the one time that I wish I am wrong, believe me). Focus Peaking on the E-P5 does not work with manual lenses. I could not use the CCTV lens to test the focus peaking, hence I chucked the idea of using the CCTV lens altogether. So much for an interesting, unconventional plan to do a review differently this time!

UPDATE: But the good news is that Pekka Potka gave us an answer about Robin’s issue:

“Robin is simply wrong here. Focus peaking works perfectly well with all manual lenses. Electric contacts are not needed, but of course FP can not be actuated then by turning focusing ring. It can be assigned to at least three different buttons, just pick your choice. Another matter is if a lens too soft to be able to give any sharp details at all…”

UPDATE_2: Robin Wong officially apologized. Editor’s note: Don’t worry Robin, nobody is perfect and we still like you a lot :)

Damn, got a shock for a while :)

Links to all newly announced Olympus stuff:
E-P5 Black at Amazon, Adorama, Bhphoto and Samys. In Europe at Amazon Germany, Amazon UK and at Wex UK.
E-P5 White at Amazon, Adorama, Bhphoto and Samys. In Europe at Amazon Germany, Amazon UK and at Wex UK.
E-P5 Silver at Amazon, Adorama, Bhphoto and Samys. In Europe at Amazon Germany, Amazon UK and at Wex UK.
E-P5 Black with 17mm f/1.8 lens and VF-4 at Amazon, Adorama, Bhphoto and Samys. In Europe at Amazon UK.
E-P5 Silver with 17mm f/1.8 lens and VF-4 at Amazon, Adorama, Bhphoto and Samys. In Europe at Amazon UK.
E-P5 White with 17mm f/1.8 lens and VF-4 at Amazon UK.
E-P5 Black with 14-42mm lens at Amazon Germany, Amazon UK and Wex UK.
E-P5 White with 14-42mm lens at Amazon Germany and Amazon UK.
E-P5 Silver with 14-42mm lens at Amazon Germany, Amazon UK and at Wex UK.
17mm f/1.8 Black at Amazon, Adorama, Bhphoto and Samys.
45mm f/1.8 Black at Amazon, Adorama, Bhphoto and Samys. In Europe at Amazon Germany.
75mm f/1.8 Black at Amazon, Adorama, Bhphoto and Samys.
VF-4 viewfinder at Amazon, Adorama, Bhphoto and Samys.

  • Mister_Roboto

    That… wait what? Isn’t that… like 50% of the point of having focus peaking?

    • Gekopaca

      No, it’s 99% of the point of having focus peaking

      • Pharque Moi

        Well…no, Its 100% of the point of having focus peaking.
        In any case, focus peaking is for chumps.

        • MJr


          • c0ldc0ne



            • ssgreenley


  • Horacio

    It works on stills, but not for video

  • Ross

    That is surprising, but I would imagine (hopefully) that Oly will fix it as they did with the IBIS for manual focus lenses focal length for video use on the E-M5 (& also the noise issue for the IBIS). It would crunch some sales if they can’t.

    • E-P5 focus peaking will not be extended to be available during video shooting. This technical solution would both affect frame rate and be seen in final video. Fixing the latter would make your video a slow slide show. Naturally you can FP for the first frame of video, but that’s it.

      • Ross

        Thanks Pekka for that clarification.

      • NPrincen

        Start rant! But, video is exactly when you want to use focus peaking! FP was invented for video cameras. That is where the feature first appeared, prior to finding its way to still cameras. When electronic viewfinders were even lower resolution than they are now and you had to keep attention on the framing of the shot at the same time as pulling focus for a moving subject, FP was the way to make that easier for camera operators.

        Now, with all of the much better technology processors from when FP was invented, Olympus is telling us that they can’t implement this for video? They really don’t have enough processing power? Sony is able to do it on the NEX during video (I am NOT a Sony fanboy). Olympus needs to step up their game on video or risk becoming an even smaller niche player in the camera market. They lose sales because of these things. They need to hire some better programmers that can write some more efficient firmware code. And, at the same time they can clean up the user hostile menu system and add some other frame rates than 30 fps that is only used by part of the world.

        Panasonic is also not blameless. The GH-3 should have had focus peaking for stills and video. It is an important feature that was left out. I currently own hacked GH-1 and GH-2. I will NOT be paying the price to upgrade to the GH-3 unless it has focus peaking during video. So, still waiting for the micro4/3 camera with real focus peaking that works all the time. End rant!

  • Steve Wandy

    Don’t know what Robin is smoking but everyone (including Blunty’s video) have seen it work with manual lenses.

  • Gekopaca

    Well, I already was not so excited by that release (due to the lack of built-in viewfinder), so that bad point will make me waiting for the E-P6 or the to come GX

  • steelshark

    It sounds quite strange.
    In the review from dpreview, it also showed peaking value focus worked well with a manual focus lens. In that review, they used a third-party adapter.

  • DrDave

    If you can’t focus your camera, you really need a different camera. Focus peaking on a small screen is total BS. If you really need it, all you need is an external monitor with peaking, which will give you false color as well. If you can’t tell if the image is focus with the 7x enlarger or better built into these cams, all I can say is, I’m sorry.

    • EEmu

      I think it’s a speed thing. It’s easy to focus, but it takes some time to nail it… Maybe only 2 or 3 seconds, but that’s enough to make manual lenses difficult or impossible to use in many situations. With peaking, that can get cut to under a second which really opens up the usability of manual lenses.

    • That’s obviously the dumb comment of someone who never used it ! Shooting manual lenses on m4/3 without FP, or on NEX with FP, makes a WORLD of difference. I shoot moving toddlers and dogs with FP with a very high success rate, but gave up on the GX-1 before I found the NEX as it was such a frustrating process. Think before making such rash comments next time…

      • Manyysp

        Wow ,what a bummer two primo shills disagreeing , where is Thein when you need him lol !!!I am curious who cannot manual focus using the zoom feature present in all mFT models.Do you have supersonic toddlers ?Otherwise you can easily take photos of them , I have never heard such nonsense as the posts of parents with babies or toddlers suggesting that they are “too quick ” and yes as with every other parent I have hundreds of pictures of my kids at all ages

        • OMega

          Makes me think of the shots I lost of my child crawling about the floor or taking her first steps, only thing then, any that were just out of focus cost me a few shillings while the others were keepers Today they’d cost me nothing, I just delete them if I’d want to, no loss to my pocket whatsoever, in fact I’d take so many more because of that cost factor. Yep bring on them old MF lenses there are some little beauties out there, one word to many of those guys, learn to focus and stop down a little you’d be surprised the difference it makes, thinking of stopping down, you even have an extra stop of latitude there due to the ‘FACTOR’.

    • Actually focus peaking is a treat through VF-4.

      • Hubertus Bigend

        I have yet to see an EVF with which I can reliably get the focus right without having to zoom-in, with or without focus peaking, and I’ve checked quite some of the recent mirrorless cameras from Sony NEX to Fuji to Olympus (E-M5 and E-PL3 with VF-2).

        Is the VF-4 actually that good?

        • OVF

          It has a little over 2M pixel right? So it’s at most as good as a pc monitor with, say, 1000 x 700 pixel. Not useful for critical focus evaluation unless you zoom in or the peaking is really really good. I tried some cameras with peaking and it was *not* good enough.
          But look at the price of this thing anyway: I find it absurd.

    • Anonymous

      yeh because its very easy to MF a 180mm lens with 7x zoom!

  • PannyBoom

    what a bunch of stupid people!, i hope this is fixed in an update because if Olympus is stiffing one to its costumers with this overpriced crap then they can suck it!

    • Anonymous

      Geez.. Take a break man.. you are stressed! Make peace with your life.
      ..Just saying..

    • Anonymous

      Wow, a straw to cling on to, for Oly-hating Panny fanboys. Sorry that the straw did break. :-)

  • J Shin

    What about with the Dandelion chip?

  • Hubertus Bigend

    Robin Wong must be wrong there. It may well be, though, that his “CCTV lens” simply isn’t sharp enough for focus peaking to function.

    My NEX needs some minimum sharpness and/or micro contrast performance before focus peaking can be seen, and the sharper a lens is, the more pronounced the peaking display. All the manual lenses I use produce a focus peaking display, but some more exotic and less sharp optics I tried, especially when combined with converters or other optical elements, failed to bring up a visible focus peaking display on the NEX, too. Sometimes stopping a lens down a bit was needed to bring up peaking. And “CCTV lens” sounds just like a candidate for such a failure.

    • Ross

      That sounds like the most likely scenario. Thanks for the explanation (not that I will be getting one as I’ll be sticking with my E-M5).

      • Ross

        And now Pekka has enlightened us with the real reason. :)

  • mahler

    When I tried the E-P5 I was disappointed with the focus peaking anyway. It made the view finder quite laggy and reduced the resolution. I thought that I would not use it under this conditions very much.

  • Jarkko

    Pekka Potsa said:”… my feeling is that E-P5´s focus peaking is one of the best I have seen and I found it perfectly usable and exact.”
    See more at http://www.pekkapotka.com/journal/2013/5/20/olympus-pen-e-p5-w-vf-4-hands-on-preview-pt2.html

  • true homer

    must be hidden in the 342 page menu

  • Robin is simply wrong here. Focus peaking works perfectly well with all manual lenses. Electric contacts are not needed, but of course FP can not be actuated then by turning focusing ring. It can be assigned to at least three different buttons, just pick your choice. Another matter is if a lens too soft to be able to give any sharp details at all…

    • Anonymous

      Shall we call him “Robin Wrong” now?

      • admin


  • Anonymous

    Yes! Let’s spread the rumor that it doesn’t work so the price will fall sooner and deeper and it will be all mine.. Mine! buahhabaahbuhah huah!

  • tamrong

    it does work

    I tried EP5 with 2 c-mount CCTV Lens and a c-mount cinema lens


    and it all works , but not very accurate,

    the peaking colors stripe is thicker than the DOF,
    so sometimes it out of focus area

    it will be great if you can adjust the peaking amount to Low medium and high

    • BdV

      Yep! And put it in an fw-update for the OMD too. Please. Thank you.

      • Anonymous

        and my EP1 ;)

  • Pffuit

    What a surprise, Robin is Wong!

  • PLI

    How compares the Oly FP to Pana’s FP? Does it have also hard times with manual lenses?

  • Matt

    Now we know that Robin, in spite of his special relationship with Olympus Malaysia, does not just compromise his blog or his independence.

    When he first tested the E-M5, he told us that the viewfinder got foggy inside. Luckily, that was a once-off or fixed by the time the camera was available for sale to us.

  • Anonymous

    What’s the difference between an “official apology” and just a normal one? Was it published in a newspaper?

  • m112

    oh good, since this software works I guess the camera really is worth $1000.

  • Hifinut

    This goes to show that oly UI is confusing and in need of serious improvement. Even a oly expert can make such error.

    • MJr

      Wouldn’t even say it’s an error, or confusing. Just getting to know a new camera. Can’t put every feature on there right in your face, some will have to be down in the menu.

  • Ellen

    but Robin Wong is just a blogger… He is not able to talk what is good or bad. Is just only HIS opinion…

    • MJr

      What opinion ?

  • Anonymous

    I want this for E-M5 in a firmware update

    • Ross

      Keep wishing. ;)

  • MJr

    Gave us a scare ? really ? Manual lenses is the whole point of focus peaking, obviously it’s gonna work there. And obviously not everything quoted on the internets in black and white facts. Come on.

    • MJr

      Doesn’t even mean them people saying it are wrong, just not doing it right.

  • Anonymous

    Regardless, of focus peaking or not, that is the stupidest looking camera,with the huge viewfinder in the middle. Has everyone been brainwashed or something? Olympus does stupid stuff long enough, and suddenly people love it? Sometimes I’m ashamed to be human.

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