I would like to see the Focus Point in my photos in LR and my understanding is that the only option is to install a plug in (this one? https://github.com/musselwhizzle/Focus-Points).
I'm weary of thrid-party additions and I am not sure it will work for me. Can someone advice?
Camera: Olympus OM-D EM1-MkII
Computer MacBook Pro (alsmost new) with latest Catalina OS upgrade.
Only via plugin, and the plugins are limited in what cameras are supported.
Actually, I am not sure these plug-ins provide what I was looking for. If I understand, they reveal which of the "focus areas" defined in the camera has been "hit" in the photo. But take the example of a bird in a tree. You may have severa objects within an area at different distances; the bird may appear less sharp that you would expect, and it may be hard to figure out if it is due to movement, camera vibration or simply because instead of the bird you ended up focussing on the foliage. Sometimes it is obvious what happened but others is not. Also, this seems to be an information stored as metadata, but I thought that there are programs that can detect that are in the photoc that looks the sharpest. I say this because in FB sharing pages sometimes and expert tells you "the problem with that photo is that the focus is on X instead of Y". I was wondering if they were using some focus-detection software, but I guess it is just good eyes and experience.
Sorry: "that can detect the area in the photoc that looks the sharpest"
The only thing that can possibly be in metadata is the camera's record of where it put the focus points. And keep in mind that any camera's autofocus will miss quite frequently.
As for someone saying "this is in focus and that is not", that's just good eyes and experience.
You can of course use filters in Photoshop (like e.g. high pass or find edges) to exaggerate high frequency detail and visually determine what looks sharpest. But zooming in to 1:1 is just as reliable. With modern high resolution sensors (36 - 60 MP), the plane of critical focus can be paper thin, even with wide angle lenses. The term "depth of field" doesn't really apply anymore: it's either in focus, or not. So very often you simply have to decide when it's enough in focus.
Mirrorless systems have an advantage here: autofocus is measured directly off the sensor, not indirectly by a separate phase detection sensor. So no fine-tuning for each lens is necessary, and it's usually more accurate with a higher hit rate.
Thank you for your instructive response.
I am using the plugin you mentioned with my Olympus OM-D E-M1-II/III, and it works like a charme for me.
This plugin is not about visualizing which parts are the sharpest ones, and which are less sharp.
Instead, it will display the active focus point at time of capture.
Which is important information when trying to figure out why an image (or more specific, the part of the frame where you put the focus) is not as sharp as expected. Of course this will not rescue the image, but it can provide information how to better deal with similar situations next time and get the desired result.
This is especially true for cameras with contrast detection AF modes (like OM-D). You can limit the focus point to a small box, but you have no control where exactly inside this box the camera will set the focus; it will just pick the edge with highest contrast. So, in your example, if the AF point covers only a small part of a branch before the bird with white plumage, it will focus on the branch and not the bird. Same is with photographing waterbirds in a distance; there is a high chance that the camera will better like hard edges on the water and not the bird if you can't manage your subject to fully occupy the AF point area.
The plugin is to understand what went wrong during the capture, either because the photographer failed or your camera just could handle the situation, to learn and to avoid the same thing happening again.
The plugin has helped me a lot to understand the limitations of my gear (especially taking images of distant wildlife at 840/1200mm FF equivalent), so I understand them and can try to workaround in the field. Plus, it reveals my own shortcomings if it comes to blurry images captured at 1200mm handheld 🙂
The plugin does not work in case of manual focus (because there is no AF point), and in cases where you swivel the camera with a half pressed shutter button.
I have assigned the two main function (Focus Point viewer, Metadata display) to "/" and "*" keys on the numpad, so I can invoke this information at the touch of a button. Very convenient addition to my workflow.