Olympus OM-D E-M10 review – Autofocus

Even though the E-M10 is positioned slightly lower in the OM-D range than the E-M5, it benefits from 81-point autofocus, which is a significant improvement over the E-M5’s 35-point system.

Contrast-detection AF on the E-M10 is speedy in fair light, and performs well in low light using the AF-assist beam, particularly in poor lighting situations. Although focusing is noticeably slower in low light, it’s still decent and I rarely noticed the E-M10 hunting. The autofocus was also helped in poor light by manually selecting the AF point. AF points can be grouped into nine areas or single targets, which can be selected manually using the twin dials, with the right dial selecting points horizontally and the left dial selecting vertically. It’s also possible to cycle through the points using the D-pad. However, the ability to focus and shoot images by touching any point on the screen highlights just how fast the AF really is.

Touchscreen focusing is an increasingly popular feature in new cameras at the moment, with Panasonic having implemented it in its Lumix G-series models, as did Canon in its EOS 650D and the recently released EOS 100D. This feature works very well on the E-M10, enabling you to switch between focal targets swiftly.

The E-M10 has manual focus with magnification and focus peaking, single AF, continuous AF and tracking AF modes, but Olympus has also included face-tracking AF, which gives the option to focus on a single eye or both. This feature in particular is great for portraits.

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