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How to “fake” an E-M5 peaking mode :)


Our reader Nicolas made the test video you see on top after watching another youtube video. It shows a “trick” to have a sort of focus peaking mode on the E-M5. From what we see here it looks like Olympus would only have to do a small firmware update to fully support peaking mode!

Factory demo E-M5 with kit lens for $919  at Cameta (Click here). They also have factory demo 12-50mm lenses.

E-M5 at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, Jessops, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon Japan and Digitalrev.

E-M5 Case:
There is the official CS-36FBC Olympus case. A leather half case from Hong Kong. A full leather case with strap from Cina. Than we have half cases from two well known producers, Zelenpol, Kaza and Gariz.

E-M5 Batteries, and other things:
The Olympus GS-4 strap and the DSTE E-M5 batteries you have to use with an extra charger. There is an E-M5 car charger a new E-M5 LCD screen and a Front Cover+ Top Panel.

  • Gekopaca

    Clever guy :-)

    • Duarte Bruno

      Yes, this is a very nice catch, however it’s useless for video. :(

    • Duarte Bruno

      Yes, this is a very nice catch, however it’s useless for video, where it’s also very needed. :(

  • NiKo

    Haha, genius :)

  • Marck

    Nice catch!!!!! :-)) I will try it immediately! I’m already sure it will work flawlessly!

  • Bronica

    Congratulations! It works! Hahaha! :-)

  • Ryan S.

    Very clever indeed !!

    Oly!…What are you waiting for? To me, you need to do just a little firmware update !!!

  • Anonymous

    Its time to buy the voightlander

  • So Art filter come to a use, one day. :-D

  • Mar

    Peaking Art filter :D

    It’s good for stills (although art filter slows it down so not very smooth), but not really for video.

    People should just spam Olympus with requests for this as well as higher quality video compression/output.

    I bet OMD is capable of uncompressed HDMI output..

    • Bronica

      + 1 – and the Nobelprice for the Focus-Peaking-Inventor Nicolas would also be an important sign for Olympus. Unfortunately they are already awarded for this year….

  • Beautemps

    Great workaround.
    And I will never ever hear again your complains about useless Art Filter:-)

  • Mike

    Cool stuff. I’m going to mention this to the Olympus guys at the Photoplus show today.

  • Pavlo

    I wish similar solution for Panasonic G**

  • Iwantupdate

    There is necessary new firmware update for OM-D, because:
    – peaking mode is easy to implement
    – OM-D doesn’t support Thoshiba Air SD card with Wi-Fi (and EPL5 and EPM2 support) – and dedicated App for Android and Windows Phone is necessary (thre is only app for iphone)
    – EPL5 has better DR in test, and if the sensor is the same there is a necessery to improve DR in OMD by firmware
    – mode movie mode are necessary (not only for NTSC but fo PAL system also)
    – AF-C improvment will be nice
    – XZ-1 is smarter when using in-build flash, why from OM-D results are worse?

    • southbymidwest

      Your second point is not accurate… I have a Toshiba FlashAir card that I bought from Japan and it works fine in my OM-D with the new Oly App.

    • Agent00soul

      You forgot the new small AF points that the new Pens have.

      • Anonymous

        If you want A SMALL AF POINT on the OM-D ,.just use the FN1 button by assign first The button to be MAGNIFY in function,.- ,.and there you go,..all you need just press the FN1 button every time you need a small AF Point,.and press the OK button to return the regular AF point

      • jevfp

        You can have the SMALL AF POINT on the OM-D by assign The FN1 to be in Magnify function ,.everytime you press the FN1 the AF point it become small on the AF lenses,.

        • Anonymous

          using the SMALL POINT AF is really helps me a lot to nail the focus in small amount of area like an eye with 75mm or 45 mm or even when i do macro with my new 60mm Oly

  • Lucio

    I wrote already about that in this post

    but seems that nobody was interested except the user “James”…

    BTW i found a much better way to do that, here is the solution.

    you can sasave your setting with the art filter on as mysetting num 1 for example.. and the assign to the fn1 button that setting..

    In this way you can hold click and you have the art filter on…. focousing, release the button and the press the shutter… so in this way you have the horrible effect onlyu when you want to focus holding the button… so basically focus peaking on demand :D


    • Thanks. Great idea. I will certainly use it with the Voigty 25.

    • Bronica

      Thanks! You can share the Nobelprize with Nikolas!

    • alffastar

      Great idea!

    • Anonymous

      Good tip buddy. Thanks.

    • niko

      Tanks a lot for your tip !
      This is why I made this video and why I wanted it to be posted here. I was hoping that the community would share and improve this idea :)

    • Bronica

      Hi Lucio, how can I customize the Art Filter on FN1 or FN2? Theres is nothung in the menu…???

    • Lucio, this is brilliant. I set this up on my OM-D the way you described it and it works brilliantly with the Voigtländer 25mm. Great stuff.

    • LucioF

      Hey thanks guys, i also have 2 different “myset” both in aperture mode autoiso with the lower fstop possible like 1.4 (i cant store the setting with m mode cause i notice that it tends to store all the settings including shutter and fstop) in this way im sure that the exposure when i press fn1 is good enough and the lower fstop allows the shallowest DOF possible.. to better focus.. the other setup is the same with the exeption of the teleconvert x2.. i use it with wider lens (like the 12mm) so i can see better the thin line… hope this helps!


    • napalm

      Thanks Lucio for the tip. That is awesome!

      For those of you who dont know how to do it, here’s a summary. I hope I got it right…

      1. Go to Menu 1, set Picture mode to Art Filter 11, set Type to II
      2. Go to Reset/Myset, choose Myset1, then Set
      3. Change back to your normal shooting mode… (P, A, S, M)
      4. Go to Settings > Button Dial > Button Function. Set Fn1 function to Myset1
      5. Try it out. When you need to focus peak, just hold the Fn1 button and focus. Release to return to normal mode, then shoot.

      • Bronica

        Thanks a lot!!!!!

  • Fun discovery but keep in mind that when shooting RAW+JPEG the camera will put exposure priority on the JPEG which results often in a exposure shift on the raw +/-

    • LucioF

      Hey Giulio, with the method that i explain above you don’t have to shoot raw+jpg, in fact when you shoot the art filter is off :)

  • Werderano

    Hope Oly brings focus peaking with next update and smaller fokuspoints. That would be great!

  • Dave


    No joke, setting it to a myset is amazing. I just wish I could set it to fn2, rather than 1. My grip is more suited for that.

    I shoot primarily old OM glass. I’ve gotten pretty good at eyeing it, but this will be awesome on the fly at weddings and such.

    Much thanks for being a genius!

    • Alan

      Yep, thanks v.much for the tips. My CV 25mm will get even more use.

      Fn2 would be so much more handy.

      Cheers, Alan

  • metalaryeh

    I wish I had an OMD to test this. To me it looks like the peaking only seemed to work on the bear; not the floor or any flatter surface… Any thoughts? Would this work on a human face?

    • Duarte Bruno

      Just like contrast AF you need some kind of contrast IN THE SUBJECT for it to work.

    • niko

      Yes it does work on an human face because the camera sees the lines : the border of the nose, hairs, eyes….

    • Dave

      You are correct, a smooth flat surface does not show much of it, or rather, it is hard to see. It requires the contrast. I’m sitting here playing with mine and it works quite nicely. Anything with texture is good, but a plain white wall with nothing on it will show nothing. My plain white desk shows nothing as well. Carpet shows nicely because of the texture and faces work well too.

      • Dave

        Also, I find that it works more quickly and easily than the magnify mode. Particularly with medium distant subjects. I often find myself hunting back and forth a few times to nail it exactly with my longer lenses. With this i can confidently get it pretty much first try. Also, being able to keep my framing proper is amazing. I’ve always hated having to magnify, focus, demagnify, frame, shoot. It makes it hard to get the critical moment.

        • Michaelfromoz

          Dave, Why don’t you frame, choose the point to magnify, magnify, focus and shoot. Much easier.

  • Taran

    When are m43 users going to realize peaking will never happen? Sony told Olympus not to do it, and that’s that. Get over it.

    • Anonymous

      You keep saying that but following your logic Sony wouldn’t be selling sensors to competitors. Yet, you failed to show any proof for your claims while there is ample proof of Sony selling sensors to their competitors.

  • Ulli

    holy crap!

  • Just to clarify Lucio’s settings here is a step by step on how he set this setting to the Fn1 button.

    1. First select “ART” from the left dial and apply setting from the videos above.
    2. Pick another camera Pirority mode on the left dial P, A, S or M. “Do not pick ART anymore”
    3. Press “OK” on your controls on the back of the camera to bring up the controls menu.
    3. Go to the top right option called “Picture Mode” and instead of choosing i-Enhance, Vivid or Natural, select all the way to the right to choose “ART 11” again.
    4. Once selected, press the Menu button and choose Reset/Myset and set your setting to Myset1 (for example).
    5. Go to Custom Menu “B” (Button/Dial) and then “Button Function” and then “Fn1 Function” and choose Myset1.
    And you’re done.

    Many thanks to Lucio for this tip.

  • FlowerBug

    On either the electronic viewfinder or the monitor screen, when focus is reached with a manual lens, the item you focus on is suddenly crystal clear…isn’t that enough of a focus-peaking function? The whole idea is to have clear focus on the subject. What good are silly outlines? They clutter up the scene and interfere with compositional thoughts.

  • Anonymous

    Wow! Thanks to all that contributed, great work!

    “Olympus would only have to do a small firmware update to fully support peaking mode!”

    They only need a small FW upgrade for million little things that could improve their cameras considerably. And they are stubbornly doing nothing about it.

  • Withan


    I’m not sure whether I set up my E-M5 correctly.

    During the zoom-in status, I focus manually, as usual. However, sometimes I want to stabilize the image in EVF, so I press a shutter release button half way. Then, EVF jumps out from the zoom-in to usual status. Hence I cannot stabilize the EVF image during the manual focus. Do I miss anything in the menu? I’d like to enable the image stabilitization during the zoom-in, manual focus.

    • Albert

      Menu -> Setting -> C. Release etc -> Half Way Rls with IS must be set to ON.

      • Pressing the shutter cancels magnify.

        • bart

          That is configurable.

          Goto the custom menu (the ‘gears’ one), there goto the disp/pc (submenu D) menu, and in it select ‘LV closup mode’. The default is ‘mode 1’, which cancels the magnified view. ‘Mode 2’ is what you want, it will stay in ‘LV closeup mode’ when half-pressing the shutter release.

          • Withan

            That works great! Thanks.

          • Good thanks

  • bonzoo

    Half-Press the releaase button before you zoom in…

  • Anonymous

    Tried this on my E-M5. This is amazingly effective.

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