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AF customization with the OM System OM-1

The AF performance of the OM-1 has been, compared to its predecessor, dramatically improved. Why and which techology improvements are responsible for the improvement you can find in my blog post “OM System OM-1 AI detection AF“. However you are able to even improve your auto focus performance when us the AF customization with the OM System OM-1

Options for AF customization with the OM System OM-1

Depending on the subject your are shooting, four settings improve your AF performance.

  1. Use your own AF field settings
  2. Adjust C-AF sensitivity
  3. C-AF centre priority
  4. AF home settings

The above mentioned point do have an influence in the auto focus performance. Therefore you should have a look on them. It is important to know, which settings is helpful in which situation.

Own AF field settings

Beside the default AF field settings the user is able to define his / her own presets. Beside size and form you can also define the step size. The step size influence how fast you are able to move the AF fields with in the image area. Therefore this value influences the speed how fast you can react while you are photographing. You can define your AF fields as follows.

Screenshot Om-1 to show where to define the AF Target mode settings

1 Open the menu and navigate in the green AF menu to page 5 and select ” AF Target Mode Settings”

Screenshot of OM-1 menu to show where you can set up the Market mode settings

2 Press “OK” and select C1. Use the right key to open the settings menu.

Screenshot OM-1 menu to show how to make the AF customization

3 Adjust the field size to your needs with the forefinger and thumb wheel. Changing the step size is possible by pressing the “Info” button.

screenshot of OM-1 menu to show how to activate the custom AF target modes

4 Confirm with “OK” button. Press again the “OK” button to activate your settings.

Which settings are useful for the AF customization with the OM System OM-1?

How are those settings helpful to increase the AF performance? Quite simple, it helps the AF algorithm to find the focus when you are using only a part of the image area for focusing. For example when you are shooting birds in flights. Most properly in this case only the upper area is relevant for the AF. When you use in this case AF field which are covering the hole width but only half of the height, then you support the AF.

A second option, is to use only a single AF point. This is helpful when you are shooting small details, like you find in macro images. In addition a single AF point is also helpful when you capture birds in tries.

In case you would like to follow a step by step tutorial you also find this on my Youtube channel here:

Adjust C-AF sensitivity

If you use continuous auto focus you can define how sensitive the AF algorithm. In this case sensitivity means the reaction speed of the AF in case of changes in the image. Adjust the C-AF sensitivity as follows.

Screenshot of OM-1 menu to show where to finde C-AF sensitivity

1 Open the menu and navigate in the green AF menu to page three. Select C-AF sensitivity.

Screenshot of OM-1 menu for C-AF sensitivity settings options

2 Press “OK” and adjust the sensitivity between -2 and +2. Thereby shortens a high value and increases a low value the reaction time.

When do I use which sensitivity?

You use a high value of +1 or even +2 in case you are shooting object with fast changes. For example when you photograph a squirrel. Those small animals are moving quite fast and you never know what happens in the next second. Also the auto focus must be able to adapt fast in such kind of situation.

squirell in a tree


You use a low value of -1 or even -2 in case the auto focus should not be disturbed by changes. One example would be soccer. The camera should focus on the player you have selected, even though another player is running through your image. Same is true in case you are shooting birds in flight, which are partly covered by tries.

C-AF center priority

Especially when you use bigger AF fields the C-AF center priority is a topic. It defines which AF fields are used for focusing. Is the C-AF center priority activated the center AF field is prioritized. This means the camera use only other fields, if changes happens in more than one of the other fields. In case you would like to set AF center priority do following.

Screenshot of OM-1 menu to localize C-AF Center priority

1 Open the menu and navigate in the green AF menu to page 3 and select “C-AF center priority”.

Screenshot of OM-1 menu to show options for center priority

2 Confirm with “OK” and selcht select the AF preset which should use the C-AF center priority.

In which case is the C-AF center priority helpful?

The C-AF center priority helps to avoid that the algorithm uses the border fields to often. This helps you in case your are not sure that you are able to follow an object. Thus you are not able to keep it in the center of your chosen AF fields

AF home settings

In case you fast moving object speed is important. So you are able to react fast. In this case AF home settings is helpful. In case you would like to use the AF home settings do following.

Screenshot of OM-1 menu to show how to set-up Multi selector settings

1 Open the menu and navigate in the yellow gear menu to page 1. Select “Multi Selector Setting”

Screenshot of OM-1 menu

2 Press “OK” and select “Center Button”

Screenshot of OM-1 menu

3 Press “OK” again and select “HP” Confirm with “OK”.

Now the camera is coming back to the standard settings, once you press the multi selector button. In case you don’t like the standard settings you can change them as follows.

Screenshot of OM-1 menu

1 Open the menu and navigate in the green AF menu to page 5. Select “Set Home”

Screenshot of OM-1 menu

2 Press “OK” and define which AF field and which position you would like to have as home settings.

For all of you, who prefer to have a short move showing how to do the settings I also Lada a small movie on my YouTube channel.

E-M1 Mark III und E-M1X

You don’t have an OM-1 and would like to know how those settings are done for E-M1 Mark III or E-M1X? Then you find a small instruction in my blog post “Customize your AF points

USB-RAW processing in OM Workspace useful?

OM Workspace is a RAW file developer, which is for Olympus / OM System camera owners for free. Ist can be downloaded from the OM Digitalsolution website. As it is the OM Digitalsolutions own software it will be renewed on every product launch. Therefore the first one supporting RAW files of a new camera. Beside the possibility to use the computer processor it offers also to utilize the camera processor to process the RAW files. In forums and the social networks it is heavily discussed whether it makes sense to use the USB-RAW processing capabilities or not. With this short article I would like to help.

OM-1 product image

What is USB-RAW Processing in OM Workspace?

A in camera processor has different tasks than a processor in a computer. Therefore concept and design is fundamental different. A camera processor is optimized for the task needed in a camera. Means that the usage of a camera should be possible, without any delay, at all times. For this task the camera processors has special areas, which are optimized for image processing. This means that a camera processor can make image processing much faster than a ordinary computer processor. A ordinary computer processor is optimized for general usage. This is the reason why OM Workspace offers you the option to utilize the camera processor for RAW image development

How can I use USB-RAW Processing?

Preconditions to use USB-RAW processing is that you have installed OM Workspace and have one compatible camera (E-M1 Mark III; E-M1 Mark II, E-M1X und die OM-1) connected via USB to your computer. It is important that you are using the same camera for processing as you have used for taking the images. Also important is that you set the camera mode to “RAW/Control” . In addition it is important that the camera is connected directly to the computer and no hub is used.

After you have startet the software you can activate USB-RAW processing in the icon bar

screenshot how to activate USB-RAW processing in OM Workspace

Or in case you prefer to uses USB-RAW processing all the time you can make the setting also in the option menu.

where the USB-RAW procession option is located in the settings

Now OM Workspace is able to utilize the camera processor to develop your images..

When does it make sense to use USB-RAW processing?

In case you are using the newest version of apple computers, like the Mac Studio, which do have massive computer power, it only makes sense to use USB-RAW processing, if you would get the same image quality as you are getting from in camera JEPG images. For all other scenarios, the development with the camera processor, which is as said optimized for images processing, will be much faster than processing the images with your computer. I do have a MacBook Pro from 2018, the development with the camera processor is 10x faster as with the Intel processor. In case you would like to judge the advantage in your case, make a simple test. I would be happy when you would share your experience down in the comments.

Focus stacking and focus bracketing

Normally in photography one tries to separate an object from the background with the help of the smallest possible depth of field. This helps to reduce the viewer’s gaze to draw attention to the important part of the picture. However there are situations in which the depth of field is too small and needs to be expanded. This is mostly necessary when you make macros and you are very close to the object. For this purpose, many cameras from OM Digital Solutions provide focus bracketing and focus stacking. How these two functions work and what differentiates them I want to show you here.

The differences between focus stacking and focus bracketing

In case you are using a camera of the OM-D series focus bracketing and focus stacking differentiate in the following two points.

  1. With focus stacking you can shot not more than 15 images, whereas in case of focus bracketing you can shot up to 999 images.
  2. With focus stacking you are getting a JPEG file, which is stacked out of the different images and each single shot in addition in RAW/JEPG. In case of focus bracketing you just get the single images and not a final stacked one. Those images can be used for stacking in a dedicated software afterwards.

Both methods are suitable to expand the depth of field of your images. Focus stacking is easier to use, as the result can be viewed directly in-camera. In addition, the camera shows you a small frame, which indicates the area which will be lost after the images are stacked. Focus bracketing does make sense in case the number of images available in focus stacking is not enough.

Last but not least it is important to know, that Fokus bracketing can be used with all Micro Four Thirds, which have autofocus functionality. Whereas focus stacking is usable only with compatible lenses. Which of the lense are compatible depends on the camera you are using and is also changing from time to time. Therefore please have a look at the OM Digitalsolutions Q&A website if needed.

The settings

Screen shot OM-D Menu showing bracketing capabilities

In “camera menu 2” you find the entry “Bracketing”. Select it, navigate to “Focus BKT” and open it with the right key on the keypad.

Screen shot OM-D Menu showing stacking capabilities

Select “Focus stacking” to activate focus stacking or select “off” in case you would use focus bracketing instead.

Screen shot OM-D Menu showing stacking capabilities

The amount of images you would like to take is selectable in “Amount of images” In case you have selected focus stacking you can select up to 15 images. Otherwise, up to 99 images are possible.

Screen shot OM-D Menu showing focus distance settings in case you are using focus bracketing or stacking´

In addition, you can define the focus difference between every single shot.

Which value to be selected depends on the object, aperture and focal length. Therefore you could not tell which is the best fitting one. Best you start with the standard value 5 and change it in case you see issues in the final image. As a starting point, I determine the distance between the focus points when using the M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm F2.8 Macro on the closest focus distance

SchrittgrößeDistance of focus points on the object
10.2 cm
20.3 cm
30.5 cm
40.7 cm
50.8 cm
61 cm
71.1 cm
81.3 cm
91.4 cm
101.5 cm
Screen shot OM-D Menu

In case you would like to use an external Flash you can choose the time your flash needs to recharge in the flash charging time.

Attention:

As focus stacking is using the silent shutter, the flash is deactivated. In case you would like to use the flash you have to activate it in the camera2 menu under “Antishock / silent”.

Screen shot OM-D Menu

Finally, a small animation of images that were taken with different sharpness settings.

After merging the single images the final result looks like this. Compared to the normal image the depth of field is increased.

Focus Stacking result sample image
Out of 15 images merged result

In case you do have any comments please leave them below.

Customize your AF points

The E-M1X and the E-M1 Mark III do have already a lot of AF layout presets, which are usable in many different situations. Customize your AF points to increase your AF hitting rate. You can adjust them like follows

Customise your AF points in the menu

Screenshot OM-D menu to localize Target mode settings

1 In the gear menu select A2 “Target Mode Settings” and open the menu with the arrow right key.

Screenshot OM-D menu to show target mode settings options

2 You can program and save up to four AF field presets.

Screenshot OM-D menu to show Mode Settings location

3 To be able to select those presets you have to activate them under “Mode Settings”.

You also can watch the following film, which shows step by step how to program your AF fields.

Olympus PEN E-P7 and OM-D E-M10 Mark IV compatible with Profoto Air Remote O-TTL?

Silberne Olympus PEN E-P7 liegend

The Swedish flash manufacturer is one of the world-famous. Their studio flash systems are high-quality, very reliable and could be triggered remotely. With Air Remote O-TTL they have a remote control that can control the light amount via TTL. This makes the studio flash photography much easier than before and speeds up the workflow in the studio. In addition, it is easier to operate studio flash systems.

E-P7 infant of a pillow with the text "let's spend the night together"

Official compatible Olympus products

On the Profoto website following Olympus cameras are compatible:

  • E-M1 Serie (E-M1X, E-M1 Mark III, E-M1 Mark II and E-M1)
  • E-M5 Mark III
  • E-M5 Mark II
  • PEN-F
  • OM-1

On the list are only high-grade cameras, which have as target group professional photographers in mind. Makes sense as those cameras are bought by poeple, who are very interested in photography and therefore most properly are using them also in the studio.

What about the PEN E-P7 and the OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

Recently Olympus released its own system to remote control their system flashes, which controls the flash intensity via TTL. The PEN E-P7 and OM-D E-M10 Mark IV are the first entry-level cameras that support this system. The basic requirements for this system are surely similar to the ones of Profoto. Therefore I just tested it. Air Remote TTL-O connected to the camera and set to TTL. Flash switched on and put to full power. The camera pointed to a white wall and released. Lo and behold, the settings of the flash are automatically reduced and the white wall is taken neutral grey. Seems that both cameras are working with the Air Remote O-TTL.

E-P7 white with two lenses
E-P7 black with two lenses

Are both cameras compatible with the Air Remote O-TTL now?

No, they aren’t. As long as the cameras are not on the official Profoto website staged, they are not compatible. It is possible that the cooperation with the Air Remote TTL-O no longer works at any time. For example when one of the firmware versions will be updated and the communication with the Air Remote TTL-O will be adjusted. On this occasion, you don’t have any possibility to complain that the cameras have to work. In addition cover my short test, not all functions, which has to be covered to be compatible. For example, it could be that the high-speed sync is not working or the flashes are not 100% in sync.
Therefore I would not recommend buying an Air Remote TTL-O in case you own a PEN E-PL7 or an OM-D E-M10 Mark IV. In case you already own one to use with a compatible camera you also could try it on a PEN E-PL7 or an OM-D E-M10 Mark IV. In case you do, please leave a comment underneath.

E-P7 black mit 17mm F1.8 auf einem Regal