Olympus E-M1 focus peaking is extremely laggy?

Started Dec 20, 2013 | Discussions
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Clyzm Forum Member • Posts: 64
Olympus E-M1 focus peaking is extremely laggy?

So I'm in the market for an m43 camera. I'm ditching my 6D and lenses. I've realized that the E-M1 with a 17mm f/1.8 and 45mm f/1.8 are good enough for what I shoot and how I shoot.

However, one thing bothers me. On my 6D with magic lantern firmware installed, I've been using focus peaking A LOT with my Sigma 35mm f/1.4. It has been fantastic, dead on, and very responsive. I've also picked up and used the Sony A7, and the peaking has been great there as well. However, the E-M1 has been a whole other story. With peaking turned on, as soon as I touch the focus ring it feels like everything slows to a crawl. The rear LCD (or the EVF if I'm using that) feels like it slows down to a slide show. I tried two different bodies at two different camera stores, and both times the sales reps agreed with me regarding how awful peaking seems on the E-M1.

Am I missing something? Is peaking on the E-M1 really this bad? Is there something switched on in the menus that's causing this sort of lag? I would love some feedback from people who own or at least have used the camera, as this is a dealbreaker to me in a $1400 camera body. If this is really an issue and there is no word from Olympus, I feel like I'm better off grabbing a used E-M5 or a new A7.

Canon EOS 6D Olympus E-M1 Sony Alpha 7
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Hagane
Hagane Regular Member • Posts: 114
Re: Olympus E-M1 focus peaking is extremely laggy?

Hi,

I'm using an E-P5 (AFAIK with the same peaking as the E-M1). Peaking on the E-P5 also slows down the frame rate, its useable, but annoying...

It seems that peaking on these cameras is enabled with an art filter which would explain the laggy display.

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bimmerman Senior Member • Posts: 2,396
Re: Olympus E-M1 focus peaking is extremely laggy?

Yes it is extremely laggy. Seems to me like an afterthought and a very poor implementation compared to Sony's. I assigned focus peaking to a button and just doing that already disables the high refresh rate EVF even without actually using focus peaking. I immediately disabled focus peaking on my EM-1.

tgutgu Veteran Member • Posts: 3,650
Re: Olympus E-M1 focus peaking is extremely laggy?
2

Yes, Wehen using focus peaking, the EVF becomes a bit laggy and it looses contrast. However, that does not disturb at all, because when I set the focus, composition is usually finished, and I don't move the camera a lot afterwards. Also, focus peaking is only engaged when you turn the focus ring, as I have set up my E-M1. After pressing the shutter half, the EVF image returns to normal. The slightly lower contrast image with focus peaking active helps to recognize the contours.

On the contrary, I find the focus peaking contour display in Sony cameras too disruptive.

To me Olympus has found an excellent way to implement focus peaking. It is not meant to be always on, as the view finder is so excellent for focusing anyway so that it is needed only in special situations.

So, for me, no problem with it.

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Thomas

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DoubleSwitch New Member • Posts: 6
Re: Olympus E-M1 focus peaking is extremely laggy?

It doesn't slow down on the Panas. You can even change the peaking color.

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LTZ470
LTZ470 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,926
Re: Olympus E-M1 focus peaking is extremely laggy?

Never noticed to be honest, will have to look at that next round...

Utilised FP on all of these:

http://acwilli.smugmug.com/Other/EP5-Close-Ups/31910986_gfXFt4#!i=2770775389&k=PmzQFjj

http://acwilli.smugmug.com/Other/EM1-Close-Ups/32244574_qtJnnH#!i=2804555043&k=LsBnXTQ

http://acwilli.smugmug.com/Other/EM1-100-300/32265571_p7mCGq#!i=2806840628&k=cNHfxNQ

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JYPfoto Contributing Member • Posts: 790
Re: Olympus E-M1 focus peaking is extremely laggy?

It lagged on the E-P5, it lags on the E-M1.  It's not as smooth as the Sony.

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LTZ470
LTZ470 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,926
Re: Olympus E-M1 focus peaking is extremely laggy?
1

JYPfoto wrote:

It lagged on the E-P5, it lags on the E-M1. It's not as smooth as the Sony.

Problem is I haven't seen any Sony close ups that even come close to the details…even if they have a great EVF…and I own several 5n, Nex-7, A7r, RX100, RX1...

Really nice details for ISO 1600...

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Mr Ichiro Kitao, I support the call to upgrade the FZ50.
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Brian Wadie
Brian Wadie Veteran Member • Posts: 6,995
the answer is

buy a Sony,

why use a camera that doesn't meet your needs, then complain about it?

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Florida Nature Photographer Senior Member • Posts: 7,861
Re: Olympus E-M1 focus peaking is extremely laggy?

LTZ470 wrote:

JYPfoto wrote:

It lagged on the E-P5, it lags on the E-M1. It's not as smooth as the Sony.

Problem is I haven't seen any Sony close ups that even come close to the details…even if they have a great EVF…and I own several 5n, Nex-7, A7r, RX100, RX1...

Those are quite impressive. I especially like the first two.

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Clyzm OP Forum Member • Posts: 64
Re: the answer is
1

Brian Wadie wrote:

buy a Sony,

why use a camera that doesn't meet your needs, then complain about it?

It does meet my needs. It meets my needs more than any other camera. It was less of a complaint and more of a question asking if I was doing something wrong and producing lag. Sadly, that seems to be the current status quo with this camera and I'll be waiting around to see if that changes.

I'm not sure why anyone is posting photos comparing sharpness between this and a Sony, but that isn't what this thread is about. Sharpness (especially in macro) is a function of the lens and the skill of the photographer, not laggy focus peaking.

jkrumm Veteran Member • Posts: 9,077
Re: the answer is
1

I messed with the peaking a little but always seemed to take slightly off-focus photos with it. I have more luck with the magnified view. Never got around to being bothered by the slow-down.

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John Krumm
Juneau, AK

Brian Wadie
Brian Wadie Veteran Member • Posts: 6,995
Re: the answer is

jkrumm wrote:

I messed with the peaking a little but always seemed to take slightly off-focus photos with it. I have more luck with the magnified view. Never got around to being bothered by the slow-down.

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John Krumm
Juneau, AK

my experience too, I don't even use it for my manual focus lenses. Even with the EM-5 I found the magnified view did everything I needed, whether shooting bees in flight with the macro or birds in flight with the Tamron 500mm mirror lens

Simplicity in all things works for me (but we all have different needs and styles, there is no one right answer - thank goodness   )

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Godfrey Forum Pro • Posts: 29,054
Re: Olympus E-M1 focus peaking is extremely laggy?

Focus peaking seems to be implemented by an art filter type of mechanism so it slows down the viewfinder refresh. That said, I find it more likely to accurately indicate the in-focus area than the focus peaking in my other cameras.

To get around the slow refresh, I have focus peaking assigned to the lower front function button. I enable it when I'm getting my focus point where I want it to be as a rough guide, then disable it. If I need critical focusing beyond that, I enable magnification.

Both the Sony and the Ricoh GXR focus peaking runs faster, but I find I have to enable/disable it the same way for most accurate focusing, and use magnification there for critical focus as well.

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Clyzm OP Forum Member • Posts: 64
Re: Olympus E-M1 focus peaking is extremely laggy?

It sounds almost as if they saw the little trick people started using with the E-M5 and shoehorned it into the firmware. I think I've settled on my choice being the E-M5. If I really need peaking, I'll just map a myset to one of the function buttons, but otherwise the image quality is just too close for me to spend $600 more on the E-M1.

Thanks for everyone's feedback in this thread.

Martin.au
Martin.au Forum Pro • Posts: 10,379
Re: Olympus E-M1 focus peaking is extremely laggy?

Agree. This is why I use a myset for peaking, rather than have it in the default settings.

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Florida Nature Photographer Senior Member • Posts: 7,861
Re: Olympus E-M1 focus peaking is extremely laggy?
1

Clyzm wrote:

If I really need peaking, I'll just map a myset to one of the function buttons, but otherwise the image quality is just too close for me to spend $600 more on the E-M1.

You do not need to use a MySet to map any one function, such as focus peaking, to a MySet to have a function button control it. Just map that function to the function button. MySets are for use with a series of different functions that you want to change for a given purpose. I change about three different things to shoot moving subjects vs stationary one so I have a MySet to cover both of those situations so I don't have to change all three setting individually.

Further, you can set focus peaking to come on when you moving the manual focus ring so you don't need to occupy a function button with the focus peaking function.

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Martin.au
Martin.au Forum Pro • Posts: 10,379
Re: Olympus E-M1 focus peaking is extremely laggy?

Florida Nature Photographer wrote:

Clyzm wrote:

If I really need peaking, I'll just map a myset to one of the function buttons, but otherwise the image quality is just too close for me to spend $600 more on the E-M1.

You do not need to use a MySet to map any one function, such as focus peaking, to a MySet to have a function button control it. Just map that function to the function button. MySets are for use with a series of different functions that you want to change for a given purpose. I change about three different things to shoot moving subjects vs stationary one so I have a MySet to cover both of those situations so I don't have to change all three setting individually.

Further, you can set focus peaking to come on when you moving the manual focus ring so you don't need to occupy a function button with the focus peaking function.

You use my sets so that when you aren't using peaking you can keep the EVF on high speed refresh rate.

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