Advanced AF system and high speed performance

The advanced AF system succeeded the algorithm and the customisability from OM-D E-M1X, and the AF/AE tracking 18fps high-speed performance, enables to capture the “right moment” of fast moving subjects. The E-M1 Mark III equips multi selector which was demanded by photographers who shoot moving subjects, it makes easier to move the AF target smoothly while shooting.
Furthermore, a new AF feature “Starry Sky AF” has been developed, it enables accurate auto focus for stars in night sky which required time consuming manual focus operation until now.
Face priority / eye priority AF have been advanced in detecting accuracy and tracking performance.

121- point All Cross-type On-chip Phase Detection AF sensor

The E-M1 Mark III is equipped with an 121-point All-cross-type On-chip phase detection AF sensor. It detects lines both in the horizontal and vertical direction subjects, it catches an aimed subject in high accuracy. With an AF area that covers 75% vertically and 80% horizontally, even moving subjects can be tracked across a wide range accurately. On-chip phase detection AF has no light flux limitations delivering high-precision AF even when shooting with M.Zuiko PRO F1.2 series prime lenses.

Maximum 18 fps[1] AF/AE Tracking Sequential Shooting

Whilst capturing at full 20.37 million effective pixels, the E-M1 Mark III is capable of maximum 18 fps[1] AF/AE tracking high-speed sequential shooting. Live View display is supported during sequential shooting for precise tracking of even fast-moving subjects.

  • 1. When using a Toshiba SDXU-D032G. Silent Sequential L C-AF, shutter speed of 1/1000 sec, widest aperture setting, Face Priority OFF. Shooting speed drops when using ISO 8000 or above.

Maximum 60 fps[1] AF/AE Lock Sequential Shooting

Maximum 60 fps[1]AF/AE lock high-speed sequential shooting is available while capturing images at the full resolution of 20.37 million effective pixels. With the stunning sequential shooting performance, it is possible to capture split-second moments that the human eye cannot see in high definition.

  • 1. When using a Toshiba SDXU-D032G. Silent Sequential H S-AF or MF, shutter speed of 1/250. Shooting speed drops when using ISO 8000 or above.

Multi selector

A multi directional AF point selector, allowing you to quickly move the AF position while looking through the viewfinder, has been equipped in the compact & lightweight body. Even during sequential shooting or while recording video, you can quickly move the AF area to suit your subject which moves from moment to moment. It allows to have great composition as expected.
And a new setting for cursor movement in the AF target has been added, you can select either to stop the AF target at the very end of the AF field or move the AF target to the opposite end of the next row or column after moving it past in the edge.

Starry Sky AF[1]

A new AF algorithm fully dedicated for starry sky has been developed.
Focusing of astrophotography, which is normally done with manual focus, became possible with autofocus in high accuracy. This feature realises stunning AF accuracy which has been admired by professional photographers. We proudly recommend this feature to all photographers who shoot starry sky seriously, to try the stunning AF performance.
You can select two modes (speed priority / accuracy priority) depending on the shooting situations.

Speed Priority (Default)
AF speed has been prioritised, the AF operation finishes in a short time. Thanks to the world’s best[2] image stabilisation and starry sky AF, you can enjoy photographing starry sky even by handheld with wide lens or standard zoom lens.

Accuracy Priority
A mode for serious astrophotography with tripod. Autofocus on starts with very high accuracy by more detailed focus scans. It is also effective for shooting specific stars with telephoto lenses.

*Once the AF mode is set to “Starry Sky AF”, the AF operation starts by pressing AEL/AFL button (default setting).

Advanced Face Priority / Eye Priority AF

Face Priority / Eye Priority AF, automatically detect and focus on subject’s face and eyes, have evolved. Thanks to the high image processing performance of new processor TruePic IX and improvements on AF algorithm, the detection accuracy and the tracking performance have been dramatically improved.
Detection accuracy of small face/eyes has been improved, and it keeps stable focusing on a subject with tracking technology, even in the scenes that detection is difficult such as side faces. Selection of detected face/eyes with button or touch operation, and setting change of detection on/off with a single button operation, are now available. The selection works even while shooting video, this feature is particularly useful for portrait photo or video shooting including selfie videos.

  • Detection accuracy of small face/eyes has been improved.
  • Keep stable focusing on a subject even in the scenes detection is difficult such as side faces.
  • You can select a specific person that you want to focus on from all detected faces, with a button or a touch operation. Face detection function can be switched on and off with a single operation of a button. (The button needs to be assigned with this function in advance.)

AF Target Mode

E-M1 Mark III is equipped with 6 types of AF target mode to select depending on the shooting subject.
When using AF Target other than Single, Small, or 121-point, you can turn C-AF centre priority on and off. (Default is on) When AF is not possible in the centre area, the peripheral areas the peripheral area's assist the Auto Focus. This is effective for shooting subjects that actively move around.

  • Single: For shooting still or small subjects. For shooting landscapes, tripod shooting, etc.
  • Group 5-point: When 9-point is too wide for moving subjects. For shooting soccer, rugby, etc.
  • Group 9-point: For moving subjects. For shooting aircraft, sports, etc.
  • Group 25-point: For moving subjects. When 121-point is too wide. For shooting birds, small animals, etc.
  • 121-point: For quick shots and when subjects move around the entire screen.
  • Small AF: For pinpoint focusing, etc.

Custom AF Target Mode

Customise the AF target area on the E-M1 Mark III to suit the behaviour of your subject. When customiing the AF area, you can select from 11 vertical or horizontal points, or an odd number of individual points to create your chosen AF area. Additionally, there is three levels customisation available for the AF area movement in both vertical and horizontal direction.

AF area: Select any odd number of points from 11 vertical and 11 horizontal
AF area moving steps: Select from three levels of vertical and horizontal AF area movement steps

C-AF Sensitivity Settings

C-AF tracking sensitivity can be set in five levels according to the subject and scene. It enables selection for the best tracking sensitivity for an aiming subject.

Blocked shot AF response Subject motion Details C-AF Sensitivity
QuickDelayed ErraticSteady
Further improves AF performance on moving subjects which quickly change direction toward and away from the camera.
Standard (recommended)
Appropriate setting for a wide variety of subjects.

Further improves performance in maintaining focus on the main subject while other moving subjects pass in front.

AF Limiter

The AF limiter lets you set the AF operating range and concentrate exactly on the subject you want. Up to three user-set AF operating ranges can be set on all lenses. Custom operations enable instant On/Off switching and setting changes.

  • Compatible with Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds standard AF lenses.
  • Lens settings take priority for Micro Four Thirds lenses with a focus limiter.
  • Distance setting values are rough estimates.

AF customisation

You can set AF Target options and AF area positions in both horizontal and vertical shooting positions. C-AF + MF is also available where you can turn the focusing ring while shooting in C-AF to instantly switch to MF.

  • MF during C-AF is supported on the M.Zuiko PRO series and M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-200mm F3.5-6.3. Please make sure to update the firmware of the compatible lens to the latest version.
  • Individual AF area setting for vertical / horizontal positions
  • C-AF+MF

AF low intensity limit -6EV

An AF low intensity limit of -6EV[*] is available for high-precision focusing even in dark locations and for low-contrast subjects.

  • When using S-AF, ISO 100, and an F1.2 lens.

Other versatile focus features

Moving-subject-tracking cluster display

Moving-subject-tracking cluster display:A cluster display that moves along with the subject makes it easy to confirm that the subject is continuously in focus.
Super Spot AF:Super Spot AF magnifies specific areas and focuses on centre clustered AF points in the centre of the frame. Detailed focusing is possible especially on macro shooting.
Focus Peaking:Assists manual focus by showing clearly defined outlines with edge enhancement. You can select the enhancement colour and the intensity.

  • Pictures are for illustrative purposes only.
  • Screen captures in the monitor are composite images.