User Guide: Getting the most out of the Olympus E-M5

Buy on GearShopFrom $999.0024 deals

Things to know about movie shooting

There are a couple of quirks in camera behavior worth knowing about if you're going to shoot movies with the E-M5. These aren't so much about settings changes as trying to explain undocumented behavior. Once you understand exactly how the different buttons have and interact, you may find you're able to achieve more than you might expect with the camera's movie capabilities.

Movie behavior

A lot of the camera's AF behavior in movie mode is rather clever and (you might be spotting a theme by now), is not really documented in the E-M5 user manual. The first thing you need to know is that whatever AF mode you specify when in movie shooting mode (or in Custom Menu A, 'AF Mode' - 'Movie') is the one you'll get when you hit the REC button, whether you're shooting from Movie mode or a stills shooting mode.

Autofocus and Function button behavior:

Also worth knowing is that C-AF behaves differently when in movie mode. Depending on which lens you use (and it's particualrly good with the 12-50mm F3.5-6.3), the camera will perform a slower focus change, rather than racing to find the subject. Also worth knowing about is the 12-50's L-Fn button, which is set to be AF-Stop, by default. Holding the button down stops the camera trying to refocus, and when you release it, the camera will try to focus slowly and smoothly to the new subject.

As mentioned earlier, only four of the functions that can be assigned to Fn1 are available in movie mode (AEL/AFL, Off, Digital Teleconverter and AF Area Select). Setting it to Off, or to any of the settings from stills mode, will cause the Fn1 button to act as focus acquire/hold while shooting movies. Digital Teleconverter and AF Area select are only available until you hit the REC button - once shooting has begun, Fn1 has no effect. AEL/AFL will work during movie shooting if the camera is in movie mode - press REC from a stills shooting mode and it has no effect.

Being able to use AEL during movie shooting is useful, as it's the only way of influencing exposure as you shoot. However, the ability to perform AF-acquire/hold can be useful too. Unlike the dedicated AF Stop option that can be applied to L-Fn, pressing the Fn1 button causes the camera to try to jump quickly to the new subject and releasing it causes it to do the same again.

The 12-50mm F3.5-6.3's lens function button can be configured to be AF-Stop, a function we'd really like to see available on other function buttons.

The interesting thing is that the two buttons can even be used together. Once focus has been held, whether by the L-Fn button, Fn1 button or a half press, you can hold the L-Fn button and release the other buttons. Release the L-Fn button and you get a a smooth attempt to refocus. However if, when holding L-Fn, you press and hold the Fn1 button then, when you release L-Fn, the camera will attempt to perform a fast jump back into focus.

Another knock-on effect of Fn1 acting as AF acquire is that, if you shoot with C-AF+TR in movie mode, the Fn1 button tells the camera to start tracking whatever is now in the selected AF area (chosen before the movie shooting was started).

Letting the Fn1 button be AF acquire does mean that you lose AEL, but that can be assigned to Fn2, if you need both features. It means you lose the handy Multi-function feature from stills shooting but, if you're recording video in which you need to be able to lock exposure and control refocusing, it's likely that you're mainly focused on video shooting.

Overall the E-M5 is a very capable camera, even without delving around in the menus but, depending on how you want to shoot, you may find some of these hints and tips make it even more enjoyable to use.

1429
I own it
263
I want it
173
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 262
123
peter xyz
By peter xyz (May 16, 2012)

Great article.
Just two comments:
- I hope it will be a "living" article, i.e. it gets updated by the authors with new learnings / tips from the DPReview readers community (eg. with the often excellent tips or corrections made on the m4/3 Forum here on the site)
- A versioning (or mention the "updated on" date) of the article would be a nice addition in that case

Thanks a lot !

6 upvotes
RestyF
By RestyF (May 22, 2012)

I agree on this one. I'm about to comment the same thing, but I saw this post. The new findings from the user would help this document a very powerful guide. For example, there's a lot of new user asking if photos can be displayed on the rear screen after the shot. The default Review Time set is 0.5sec which is some of the users are not noticing it and always end up pressing the "play" button.

On more thing I notice is that the default level gauge is way off and you need to re-calibrate it.

1 upvote
fcheh
By fcheh (Jun 29, 2012)

I concur with your suggestion and a great idea.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Jul 12, 2012)

I'll try to keep an eye out for suggestions (and I'm sure Timur will, too). Finding time to go back and edit things will be tricky, but I'll try.

3 upvotes
Ignace
By Ignace (May 15, 2012)

Some background: I'm a proud owner of an old OM system. Bought my first digital (Olympus E-30) last year. Great camera. Ridiculously horrific ownwer's manual--pure garbage.

New to digital, I needed something that a human being could actually understand. Based on the garbage manual, I swore that I would never buy another Olympus camera.

Then, doing research on the Nikon D7000, I noticed the new Olympus EM-5. Based on the exhaustive DPREVIEW, the quality of the pictures is better than any APS-C camera available for comparison! (If I'm correct, the otherwise excellent review should have made this point clearly!)

So, I am seriously considering the EM-5. Before I hit my head against the wall again, however, I wonder if you, more experienced EM-5 users, could help me with some info:

--Is the Owner's Manual actually comprehensible, or another piece of garbage?

--Can anyone confirm that the Leica lenses used by the Lumix cameras are also "AOK" for the EM-5?

Thank you so much!

--

2 upvotes
pcblade
By pcblade (May 15, 2012)

Let see it for yourself at : http://gakuranman.com/eng/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/man_em5_e.pdf
But, if you're looking to find where to put your roll of film, I think that you will be disappointed ;-)

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
brumd
By brumd (May 16, 2012)

The manual is a bit of a poorly written mess, and use of the camera is not straightforward; it takes hours before things start to make sense. When you reach that point, you know you have a great camera in your hands. I have mine one week now, and the camera's results make me very very happy!

If a well written manual is essential to you; don't bother with the EM-5, or wait until there is a 3rd party book which explains things more clearly and in a better organized fashion.

However, if you make the effort to learn, and work your way through a frustration or two, the camera itself won't disappoint you.

3 upvotes
Ignace
By Ignace (May 29, 2012)

Thank you, brumd !
I'll try to download the manual and see how (il)legible it is.
It seems downright weird that a world-class company like Olympus puts up with such crappy translations into English !
By the way, the translation (of the E-30 manual) into Spanish is taken from the English version, so you can imagine how ridiculous it is.
Is Olympus global marketing listening ???
Such fine technology...such crappy communications!
Olympus marketing, this is costing you market share !

0 upvotes
Ignace
By Ignace (May 29, 2012)

pcblade, thank you for the re-direct. I'll check it out!

0 upvotes
Steinar Kibsgaard
By Steinar Kibsgaard (Jun 5, 2012)

Ignace: I have Nikon D7000 (amongst others) and I do not think M5 is as good for a pixel-peeping high detailed landscape shot, printet out huge, as I often do (D7000 is also iso 100), and the D7000 is better for sports, but the D7000 is not pocketable, and the Olynpus M5 is = I ordered it with the Sigma 30mm, and now I can have a camera with me all the time in my pocket and that counts a lot for me

0 upvotes
Gandalfsson
By Gandalfsson (Jun 5, 2012)

Yes, it is more even, but some details are better from the Oly M5, I think

Comment edited 40 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Steinar Kibsgaard
By Steinar Kibsgaard (Jun 5, 2012)

Sorry, it is Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 I have ordered (I was torn betw. those 2 lenses)

0 upvotes
Dougbm_2
By Dougbm_2 (Aug 1, 2012)

Say a comparison of the same scene shot with a 5D MkII and an OMD. Not much difference.

0 upvotes
fivetonsflax
By fivetonsflax (May 14, 2012)

Anyone know a combination of settings which will let me wear the camera, turned on, eye sensor enabled, without draining the battery super quick?

Or a way to disable the eye sensor without forcing the EVF to mode 3?

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Michael J Davis
By Michael J Davis (May 26, 2012)

I got my camera on Monday, and it's been a busy week anyway. So I'm just trying to set the thing up. To avoid battery drain I've switched off eye-sensor and use the evf for continual use with a time out of around one-minute. Then to see through it, I've only got to half press the shutter release. When I go into review the screen comes on. I can switch back to evf by pressing the evf button.

I think that will work for me; but what's mode 3?

0 upvotes
Phoque
By Phoque (May 12, 2012)

One thing I'd like to see on these cameras is the ability to tweak all those settings on a computer and then load it up on the camera.

3 upvotes
Ad B
By Ad B (May 11, 2012)

I really like this camera.
Very nice to read that Olympus makes such a good camera.
Also very nice Olympus makes very, very good lightsensitive lenses.
But...
Why doesn't Olympus make it that way, we can use these two very good products together!!
Shame on Olympus!
Pity for me...

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
surfsnow
By surfsnow (May 10, 2012)

I found this behavior on "Auto" mode.
When I set the Noise Filter to OFF under Auto Mode, seems like the setting will back to "Standard" if I switch to P mode and back to "Auto".
Seems like the setting didn't really save.
Any idea?

0 upvotes
Vlastik
By Vlastik (May 11, 2012)

It's not saved just for iAuto. It works well in case of P/S/A/M.
For iAuto all setting is always set to defaults values ...
Feature or bug? I'm not using iAuto so dont care so much...

0 upvotes
DOBM
By DOBM (May 12, 2012)

Page 12 of the PDF manual states:-

• When rotating the mode dial or turning off the power in the easy shooting modes, functions with changes made to their settings are restored to the factory default settings.

0 upvotes
Greynerd
By Greynerd (May 10, 2012)

I am not sure why there is an inference that Super-Fine JPEG is unique to the OM when all top end Samsung compact cameras and NX have it. This seems to be hyping up the camera a bit.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Jul 12, 2012)

I can't think of any other camera that produces such low compression JPEGs as Olympus does. Samsung may call its mode 'Super-Fine' but it's not the same thing at all.

Whether it's helpful to use Olympus Super-Fine is another matter, but it is a feature you won't find on any other brand I can think of.

3 upvotes
TPS88
By TPS88 (May 10, 2012)

While I await my camera I can console myself with the helpful tips for setting it up. Thank you for a great article and for sharing the benefit of your experience. I hope there will be more articles like this in the future.

1 upvote
SeeRoy
By SeeRoy (May 9, 2012)

Well, this is the first camera I've owned where after a couple of hours with camera, instruction manual and this site, I'm so far unable even to find a way to change the file format to RAW. As for the Super CP, it remains elusive, even after following the suggestions above. I am beginning to hate this software.

0 upvotes
Timur Born
By Timur Born (May 10, 2012)

There are four ways to change file formats, surely the manual will explain at least one of them, more likely even all four?! :P

1 upvote
TANK_JONES
By TANK_JONES (May 12, 2012)

Perhaps you're not actually reading your manual... if you look at page 54 of the manual you will find what you need. Or, look in the index of the manual for "RAW" (hint: it is under "R") and it will tell you what you need to know once you go to the directed page.

2 upvotes
airedalemd
By airedalemd (May 9, 2012)

Thank you for the review, BUT, no one has tested this with existing Olympus
lenses. I've tried to sell my E-620 and $4K in lenses because I didn't think Olympus was going to advance. I took my Olympus lenses to the store to try with the OM-D and it seemed slow to AF. Has anyone done this? I need to know so I can divest of Olympus and cross over to Sony (?) or Nikon. Thanks for any help.

0 upvotes
Melbourne Park
By Melbourne Park (May 10, 2012)

You have a kangaroo, so just some advise: Olympus provide for Australian purchases of he OM-D EM-4 camera a free MM-3 adapter, which allows most 43 lenses to autofocus.

Speed of focus depends on which lens you use, plus which camera,

1 upvote
airedalemd
By airedalemd (May 10, 2012)

Thanks for that. Does anyone know of any testing of those lenses with this camera? I still may buy this camera as I don't want to invest in a whole new system. Richard?

1 upvote
Vlastik
By Vlastik (May 11, 2012)

I have E-PL1 and tested some 4/3 lenses, all of them too slow so I sold adapter and only chance is in my opinion use Micro4/3.
I have now 9-18, 14-150 and 45 and really impressed with OM-D. I've downloaded full manual from olympus web and no issues with any settings. Also help in camera sometimes helps...

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Melbourne Park
By Melbourne Park (May 11, 2012)

Which 43 lenses do you have? I have used the 11-22 on an EP-2, and it focused quite quickly. It depends on the lens, what you are trying to focus, the conditions, and also the camera settings. ie vivid increases contrast and hence increases focus speed. I have not got the adapter yet, and by then, it won't matter. The 14-54 mkII lens focuses at the speed of the original 14-42 kit lens for m43, some say faster. And you can always manually focus, which works, and the camera can be told to zoom right in when you rotate the dial on the lens. And now, IBIS can work on a half shutter press, so that makes focusing manually much easier.

And you know, some of the 43 lenses are extremely special. But they are a lot bigger than m43 ones.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
airedalemd
By airedalemd (May 12, 2012)

I also have the 14-54 mk II and the 50-200. I tried the latter in the store and it seemed slow. Maybe I should have tried it elsewhere.

0 upvotes
Alexander Vienna
By Alexander Vienna (May 9, 2012)

Enabling the Super Control Panel for fast settings changes
Hello, I do not understand this.... it does not work...
anybody here how can help?

The Super Control Panel is one of our favorite user interfaces - it puts all your key settings on a single screen, making it easy to check or change your setup. On the E-M5 it's been made even better by being made touch sensitive, meaning you can simply hit OK to bring the screen up, tap the setting you wish to change, then spin the dial to change it. Alternatively, you can press 'OK' to see a list of available settings.

Strangely, though, Super Control Panel isn't enabled, by default, in the E-M5's live view settings. We think this is one of the most important single changes you can make for making the shooting experience faster and more enjoyable.

0 upvotes
SeeRoy
By SeeRoy (May 9, 2012)

Me neither. I've set the SCP to on for every mode however I cannot manage to get the screenshot shown above to appear. Infuriatingly I am completely unable to find any other way to change the file format. I find this scarcely believable. How about some suggestions DPR!

0 upvotes
GEB1918
By GEB1918 (May 10, 2012)

I too have followed the above directions on the SCP and can't get it to be super-imposed over the live view image the way it is in the screen shot. I am loving the camera so far and appreciate the article. Some further explanation to figure this out would be great. Thanks.

0 upvotes
Peter 1745
By Peter 1745 (May 10, 2012)

Enable the SCP in the menu as described in the article and exit the menus.

When in live view press the "OK" button. This brings up one of the control panels (Live Control, Live SCP, Live Guide) depending on which you have enabled in CustomD>Control Settings for the mode you are in (PASM etc.).

Once one of the control panels is displayed, then you can use the "info" button to scroll between them.

The camera remembers the last control panel used and opens that control panel the next time you press the "OK" button in live view.

Hope this helps

4 upvotes
GEB1918
By GEB1918 (May 11, 2012)

Thank you so much Peter 1745!!

0 upvotes
Steven Rounds
By Steven Rounds (Jun 13, 2012)

Thanks to Peter 1745! I had laboriously been switching to the SCP by hitting the button on the side of the viewfinder, which didn't always work. Your technique of hitting the OK button to bring up the SCP is a HUGE improvement! BTW, it supers the SCP over the live view, so it's better than the normal way of accessing the SCP, which blanks out the live view. This lets me run the camera in my preferred mode (with ALL icons turned off), but still lets me access the options directly. THANKS!

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Jul 12, 2012)

I'll amend the text to make it clearer.

0 upvotes
Doug
By Doug (May 9, 2012)

Odd, I enabled Live SCP, but I can not get that screen that they show.... why?

0 upvotes
jll35
By jll35 (May 9, 2012)

press the OK button, you can change the setting by touching that section and the front dial to change it, or press the OK button again to enter that setting for fine tuning,
if you cannot see the super control panel go back to menu and turn off control panel(default setting)

0 upvotes
SeeRoy
By SeeRoy (May 9, 2012)

"turn off control panel"
Please explain what this means.

0 upvotes
GEB1918
By GEB1918 (May 10, 2012)

Please do explain.. I can access the SCP with no problem and understand how to use it, but regardless of having it turned on or off in the menu settings I still can't get it to super-impose over the live view image.

0 upvotes
thx1138
By thx1138 (May 18, 2012)

Looking through VF press the ok button to bring up the LV control panel. Note you cannot get the SCP to superimpose over the LV image when looking through VF. The SCP is for the rear screen in LV mode. The LV control panel is not the same as the SCP.

0 upvotes
Roger Nordin
By Roger Nordin (Aug 31, 2012)

I get the SCP just fine in the EVF, overlayered on top of the Live View... obviously I cannot poke my fingers to touch the options inside the EVF *grin* so you work it using the cursor keys.

0 upvotes
filmlaw
By filmlaw (May 9, 2012)

I am really torn and solicit everyone's opinion. I can't decide between a Sony NEX 7 and E-M5. Kit lens with both to start. I want a camera that delivers great images after enlargement and post-processing and is easy to travel with thus the reason the DSLR must stay home. I have now ordered both but will only purchase one. I like the idea of the size of the APS-C sensor over the 4/3. I have downloaded and thoroughly read both manuals and every review and I am still looking for the definitive reason to select one over the other. Conversely, the E-M5 image stabilization in the body seems superior to optical stabilization. Thank you for any help.

0 upvotes
emircruz
By emircruz (May 9, 2012)

one word: lenses.

6 upvotes
filmlaw
By filmlaw (May 9, 2012)

So more lenses for EM-5 but ability to use Leica lenses on NEX-7. Eventually I will set aside the kit lens and go for the Leica lenses if I get the NEX 7, but not now. Thank you for the response.

0 upvotes
Red13
By Red13 (May 9, 2012)

In the main there isn't enough difference to worry about. If you like how one operates over the other go with that one. Sony may have the best senors but it has the a so-so processor. I've owned a 5n and borrowed a 7 so I know how easy it is to fool the processor. Operation is where the biggest difference will be.

0 upvotes
TANK_JONES
By TANK_JONES (May 9, 2012)

Hmm... last time i checked you can use some leica lenses with the micro 4/3 bodies as well.

5 upvotes
snake_b
By snake_b (May 9, 2012)

If you're willing to pay, the Zeiss 24 and 50 on the Sony will get the nod from me.

Focus peaking for the many high end manual lenses (not all are priced through the roof) is a huge plus.

IBIS in the Oly is a plus, certainly, but in the favor of the NEX7, one can run higher ISO levels for faster shutters. Not the same thing, but there are options.

0 upvotes
evshrug2
By evshrug2 (May 9, 2012)

µ4/3 can mount any lens with the right adapter. So that includes all the Leicas, as well as many other legacy lenses such as pancake primes from Pentax and Konica, and even tiny CCTV lenses. Adapters for µ4/3 are all over eBay, and guides are here in the micro 4/3 forum and across the web. I have an f1.8 40mm Konica Hexanon I've been using for great paid portraits over the years on my 4/3rds E-620, and just adapted it to fit on my new Pen E-PL1.

1 upvote
ChrisKramer1
By ChrisKramer1 (May 9, 2012)

If enlargement is important, then the NEX7, because it has a bigger sensor and higher resolution. You would need of course very good lenses to get the most out of it. In this respect, the manual focus assistance is very practical and widens your choice of lenses. However, you need to read the reviews carefully, because not all manual focus lenses work ideally with the NEX-7's sensor. However, you should have enough compatible Voigtländer and Zeiss to get on with.

0 upvotes
Steven Rounds
By Steven Rounds (Jun 13, 2012)

Go for the E-M5...the IBIS allows for amazing video footage hand-held. I've been a professional video cameraman for 35 years, and Olympus's IBIS cannot be matched by any other camera, period. I just shot some long hand-held takes (3-4 minutes each) and my producer couldn't tell that I hadn't used a tripod, even though I was zooming into medium-telephoto shots up to 40mm (80mm equiv.). The supposed smaller-sensor deficit of the E-M5 compared to APS-C is negligible...the 5-axis IBIS of the E-M5 makes it superior to ANY other camera, regardless of sensor size (and that INCLUDES full-frame).

1 upvote
adiprcike
By adiprcike (Aug 16, 2012)

Yup, one word, lenses is truth.

0 upvotes
Ben Raven
By Ben Raven (May 8, 2012)

Hmmm, "Getting The Most Out Of The Olympus E-M5".

HOW ABOUT JUST BEING ABLE TO GET IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
Kit Laughlin
By Kit Laughlin (May 8, 2012)

Gentlemen: excellent work. Mine should arrive today... Thanks for making the effort to codify all this information.

0 upvotes
Louis_Dobson
By Louis_Dobson (May 8, 2012)

The link says "making auto ISO less warm". You mean Auto WB..

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (May 9, 2012)

You might be right there. I've corrected it.

0 upvotes
DNG2
By DNG2 (May 8, 2012)

Very useful, This camera is sooo customizable (like many Oly's are). This guide on key functions is a nice help.

0 upvotes
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (May 8, 2012)

DPR, it would be nice to have the article linked somewhere from the "Database" > "Olympus" > "Cameras" > "E-M5". (Same goes for other cameras/etc and camera-specific articles and overviews.)

Otherwise, it would be hard to find it, when (and if) for example I decide to buy it this autumn.

P.S. Such articles IMO add a great value to the site!

3 upvotes
increments
By increments (May 8, 2012)

Really interesting addition. I hope you're able to do more of these in the future.

2 upvotes
mauritsvw
By mauritsvw (May 8, 2012)

So while the DPR guys and the Olympus crowd are happily chatting away and learning to use the E-M5 down to the finest details, the rest of us are still waiting for reviews of other, also interesting cameras to be published...

0 upvotes
Domagoj Batinic
By Domagoj Batinic (May 8, 2012)

well, we Olympus crowd also had to wait for E-M5 review here

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (May 8, 2012)

One DPR guy, who is not normally a reviewer and who is currently helping to publish a review.

2 upvotes
JaFO
By JaFO (May 8, 2012)

good things always come to those who wait ;)

0 upvotes
Spunjji
By Spunjji (May 9, 2012)

Why the sour grapes? :/

0 upvotes
audijam
By audijam (May 8, 2012)

where is Canon F1D or AE1D? seriously!

0 upvotes
wwcove
By wwcove (May 9, 2012)

Canon has become the 'sleeping giant'...

2 upvotes
evshrug2
By evshrug2 (May 9, 2012)

Sure gets the snooze from me... I'm almost excited for the over-segmented P&S cameras to die off.

0 upvotes
wwcove
By wwcove (May 8, 2012)

Great add-on article and glad you add this on as an extra 'how to' guide so we don't need to search through all the pages of a review over and over again as we get acquainted with a new camera. This is kind of like a quick reference guide and wish that camera manufactures would add this type of information in their manuals.
Glad the guys at DP are doing it for them...Maybe you guys could contract with these camera companies to show their buyers how to use their products to get the most out of them:)
Thank you for all your hard work!

0 upvotes
michalc
By michalc (May 8, 2012)

hmmm.. was there a review posted before? would expect such an article before or at least in it. such info used to appear years ago at dcresource but with time every review became alike. i understand that comparing pixels, buttons, iso, dynamic range etc. is useful to assess a camera. but for a potential buyer info how to set settings to get most out of a camera is essential if not more important than bare facts.... well done but would ask guys at dpreview to take a little more time when reviewing cameras and introduce a section called recommended/cute/cool settings or whatever, that would be definitely of a value add to potential customers, thanks

0 upvotes
MAubrey
By MAubrey (May 8, 2012)

there was a review posted last week.

0 upvotes
michalc
By michalc (May 8, 2012)

and that is what surprised me ... I figured that playing with settings would take less time than putting all the review together... so better late than never...

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (May 8, 2012)

While it is quicker to write this piece than a whole review, I didn't want to do anything to delay the review. As it was, I only just managed to get it published before the UK special offer finished.

3 upvotes
lester11
By lester11 (May 11, 2012)

Guessed you'd be trying to get your info out ahead of the UK offer deadline, but didn't *know*, so went ahead with purchase anyway on strength of gallery shots alone... Great idea to break out a "Getting the most out of..." article, most helpful.

0 upvotes
davidashapiro
By davidashapiro (May 8, 2012)

This is a really useful and helpful article. Thank you. I am strongly considering buying the E-M5 (it seems to be back-ordered everywhere I've looked though). I have a PEN EP2 - which I really like, especially the size.

Two questions: 1. Is it possible to set auto-bracketing easily? I do a lot of landscape photography and setting/unsetting bracketing on the EP-2 is a real pain. I don't see this listed as a feature on the custom dials..... (and if it isn't possible, please tell me the bracketing control is not set at the bottom level of a series of menus as for the EP-2).

2. Size. The E-M5 is clearly 'cute' and has small SLR look to it. However, for me the beauty of the PENs is their size/function ratio. I've left my Canon DSLR in the cupboard for the past 2 years. So, is Olympus planning a revised PEN - with many of the features of the E-OM5?

0 upvotes
DuStorm
By DuStorm (May 9, 2012)

As far as size goes, I just upgraded from the EP3. The size is no larger unless you add the grip - which is I did and is quite nice.

0 upvotes
Dan Burkholder
By Dan Burkholder (May 9, 2012)

It's best to set up your auto bracketing parameters and then save them into one of the four MySet memories (Shooting Menu One). Though you can set up a seven shot bracketed burst, you're limited to 2/3 stop range, so it's better to set up a one-stop bracket using five exposures. Hope this helps and happy shooting.
And thanks to the dpreview team for this tremendously helpful article!

Comment edited 13 minutes after posting
1 upvote
davidashapiro
By davidashapiro (May 9, 2012)

Thanks. Both replies are very helpful. Now I'm going to get on a waiting list to get one... Again, thanks to DP Review - this type of article is really helpful and goes beyond the straightforward review (giving specfics for those of us a little slow to change the default values is appreciated!).

0 upvotes
donbosco182
By donbosco182 (May 8, 2012)

Thank you very much! I really appreciate it. This camera is so AWESOME!!!

0 upvotes
spacemanspiff72
By spacemanspiff72 (May 8, 2012)

First post for me and I have to ask the silliest of questions. I just got the camera and cannot select multiple images in order to delete a batch of photos. It says in the manual that you can do this, but how?

I must be one of the very few "less intelligent" owners...

0 upvotes
spacemanspiff72
By spacemanspiff72 (May 8, 2012)

I am answering myself: zoom out when reviewing pictures and then select pictures by pressing the RECORD button. Then delete and you get to delete multiple images at the same time

4 upvotes
evshrug2
By evshrug2 (May 9, 2012)

Hey, glad you found the answer! Posting on the forum may have been more appropriate, but you would've gotten help. As far as manuals, sometimes when writers start from scratch they forget some basic things that seem old pat. Still... better descriptions and writing is a golden thing for companies to improve on.

0 upvotes
cosmoxl
By cosmoxl (May 8, 2012)

Thanks for the guide! I've made a few changes based on your recommendations.

0 upvotes
Marshall1
By Marshall1 (Aug 3, 2012)

How do you playback images in the EVF??

0 upvotes
Ranger 9
By Ranger 9 (May 8, 2012)

I own an E-M 5 and am finding this guide very helpful. But the very need for it seems to suggest that Olympus is using customization as a substitute for design.

It's as if someone said, "We can't be bothered to think through all the aspects of our user interface. We'll just dump that job off on the purchaser instead."

To make matters worse, many of the setting procedures seem arbitrary or arcane: turning a feature "on" by setting its "Off" mode to "Off", to choose the particularly silly example of enabling stabilization for continuous bursts.

The E-M 5 feels good in the hand, and it usually can be made to take good pictures eventually, but I still often find myself wondering whether I bought the right camera.

4 upvotes
JaFO
By JaFO (May 8, 2012)

Could it simply be the result of them trying to translate to English ?
It wouldn't be the first time that all your base belonged to us.

0 upvotes
erichK
By erichK (May 8, 2012)

Actually, the OM-D most of the control interface is better than many. That's based on almost four decades of experience. You rightly post a few possible exceptions. Certainly having to finish the actual camera and get it out the door during near-death times may have led to some slip-ups, but much of the complexity is a necessary complex of the huge rang of functions, and, especially, the high degree of configuability

As for the manual, having taught technical communication for years, and also having done some technical translation, I can assure you that it is monumental task to try organize and explain the multiple functions of such a modern high-level instrument in multiple languages. Especially as features are being finished, and sometimes even -along with bugs - being discovered!

This makes it very much easier to post, and therefore be able to update and correct online information, rather than wasting whole forests.

Comment edited 59 seconds after posting
7 upvotes
Mouser
By Mouser (May 13, 2012)

erichK - Sorry, but I have to disagree with you on the OM-D interface; it's a mess! The organisation of the menu system could certainly be better, and many of the options are rather mysterious (probably due to poor wording / use of English).

I do agree with you to a large extent about the manual. However, I think much of the problem is that it (and many other manuals) doesn't describe how to actually *use* the camera, but rather what each individual feature does in isolation.

Criticisms of the menu and manual aside, I love my OM-D. :-)

1 upvote
STURKEL
By STURKEL (May 8, 2012)

This has been a very timely article having used the OMD on 2 events recently. The high ISO and image stabilization makes this a nice option for receptions. Small unobtrusive and more then capable for the job.

Thank you for taking the time to share this info, and please continue to update as more is learned. Job well done!

1 upvote
yvind Strm
By yvind Strm (May 8, 2012)

Even if I do not own this camera, and probably never will, I read it with interest. Really useful. Kudos to the authors.

1 upvote
Abtin
By Abtin (May 8, 2012)

Well done DPReview. Maybe Olympus should outsource the production of their instruction manuals to you guys?!?

6 upvotes
Detail Man
By Detail Man (May 8, 2012)

"Hats off" to Mr Timur Born for his steadfast interest in, knowledge gained, and knowledge shared with others, surrounding the Olympus OM-D E-M5 !

1 upvote
Timur Born
By Timur Born (May 8, 2012)

Thanks for the hats off!

Personally I still have to decide myself if the extra functionality and quality is worth the considerable higher price and increased bulk compared to the Fujifilm X10. For that I first concentrated on functionality and getting to know the camera and will now have a closer look at sensor/image quality (45/1.8 should arrive tomorrow) and revisit AF performance comparisons.

In any case, the E-M5 seems like a fine camera and you get what you pay for in a positive sense. It's not unlikely that I will keep it and thus take a full step into the mFT system.

0 upvotes
prospero
By prospero (May 8, 2012)

Thanks for a very useful article. However, I do think that it is ridiculous that an item costing well in excess of £1000 arrives with an inadequate manual. The paper manual is only a few pages long and the CD manual is minimal. This trend is not confined to Olympus and seems to be a feature of computer software also. Surely it's not due to the expense when you can pick up thick printed catalogues from shops for nothing. The manual that came with the Panasonic G1 was much better and that was just covering the basics. Despite this quibble, I must say that this camera is a delight.

0 upvotes
M Clausen
By M Clausen (May 8, 2012)

Great article with a lot of insight help. - Thanks

As an E-M5 user I have a question:
After shooting you'll get the image on the selected display for e.g. 3sec.
Using the view finder you'll see the image in the view finder
Using the display - similar -> on the display.

I'd like to take the shot using the view finder and see the result on the display - like I am used from my DSLR (E-5)

Any idea/ chance?

0 upvotes
dmenart
By dmenart (May 10, 2012)

It is possible with some limitation.
In Setup Menu > Rec View you must choose Auto instead of seconds.

0 upvotes
Erik Johansen
By Erik Johansen (May 8, 2012)

I have the camera. I have the manual.
Yes, this article, together with the review, makes it a lot easier to get it right.

An old man like me have got buried in the menus a cpl. of times... ;-)

THANKS!

3 upvotes
h2k
By h2k (May 8, 2012)

The sheer existance (and necessity?) of an article as this discourages me to consider the camera. The readers' questions here aren't encouraging either.

4 upvotes
Sourze
By Sourze (May 8, 2012)

Care to explain? Don't you want anyone to ever make any similar article about any camera? Would it discourage you to buy a Mark III in the same situation?

Most of the readers comments are positive...?

5 upvotes
Domagoj Batinic
By Domagoj Batinic (May 8, 2012)

then go use a p&s camera

6 upvotes
Erik Johansen
By Erik Johansen (May 8, 2012)

Have you got some vaccine against positive behavior?

1 upvote
h2k
By h2k (May 8, 2012)

Answer to the three replies: Sorry, am not a techie, quite probably shouldn't have posted this and not even looked at the article. Hope you're not angry.

2 upvotes
JaFO
By JaFO (May 8, 2012)

I understand exactly what you feel regarding the manual and its apparent need to be explained in depth by articles such as these.
The thing is complex enough as is.
I think that a lot of this could have been fixed if Olympus had used better translators. At least that is assuming the Japanese version of the camera doesn't suffer from the rather weird/unconventional names for some of the features mentioned.

OTOH there's always a need for more in depth articles for a device as complex as this anyway.
Consider the fact that there are 3rd party books dedicated to the famous Canon and Nikon cameras.

2 upvotes
PapaRappa
By PapaRappa (May 8, 2012)

This is a great article. As a future E-M5 owner, I'll definitely be coming back to this, especially for the "recommended" jpg settings. Great info there on turning off the noise filter which I normally do but then also pulling down sharpness which I would not have thought to do.

I'm guessing you guys just created a bunch of new work for you all as owners of other popular cameras will soon be clamoring for guides for their cameras. More work is never a bad thing :)

2 upvotes
Santoyo
By Santoyo (May 8, 2012)

One question? as it is to shoot the same image twice with different configurations and still look like one, perhaps stopped the time to take the same photos with other settings?
I mean the two images that refer to the fine and superfine settings. Obviously nobody is going to find any difference in these two images as they are the same, so I see it. I think not even shot with the Casio Exilim Pro EX-F1 to get two identical images, when a train is moving, the wind moves the trees, the birds walk on the beach, the waves in the water, etc, etc. is that not even taking a photo with two cameras next to each other .. not you think so?
I believe that DP will be merged to the brain looking for a difference in these photos.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (May 8, 2012)

The camera allows you to re-process Raw files, using the camera's current settings. These images are the Fine and Superfine conversions of a single Raw file (with all other settings identical).

4 upvotes
Santoyo
By Santoyo (May 8, 2012)

But you would not be "shooting in jpegs", you would be processing a raw.

0 upvotes
ppotka
By ppotka (May 8, 2012)

Processing a shot raw file in-camera gives just the same final result as shooting it originally as jpeg. This method gives you a great option make several different jpegs and test how jpegs look like at various jpeg settings.
-p-

3 upvotes
Photo-Wiz
By Photo-Wiz (May 8, 2012)

Great article. Thanks

3 upvotes
RoelHendrickx
By RoelHendrickx (May 8, 2012)

Not an E-M5 user yet, but I may become one.
This kind of guide is useful, even for long time Olympus users.
Wrotniak used to write them.
It's good to see DPR taking the torch (albeit in a different way).
Roel

1 upvote
Midnighter
By Midnighter (May 8, 2012)

Thanks for this, seems like a near perfect camera although I would like focus peeking and a fully articulated LCD (and a variable aspect sensor would be candy!) Cant have everything though. I intend to buy into MFT later in the year so unless Panasonic pulls a rabbit out of the hat by Christmas the OM-D looks like it will be that camera. Just need to work on the budget for lenses.

0 upvotes
Steve_
By Steve_ (May 8, 2012)

Here are two questions I can't seem to answer myself:

1. How do you set the direction of the second (rear) dial? The options on the dial direction menu seem to apply only to the front dial. E-P1 and 2 have clear and seperate setting for either dial.

2. You've zoomed all the way in on a picture in playback mode. How do you go back to the full image without turning the dial five times to zoom back out? On other cameras I've used 'OK' does this, but on Olympi it just bring up the (useless) RAW edit menu. I've pressed everthing there is to press to no avail.

0 upvotes
Timur Born
By Timur Born (May 8, 2012)

Quick zooming functions are available via Fn1 key. When you are already zoomed in press Fn1 twice to zoom all the way out again.

0 upvotes
Steve_
By Steve_ (May 9, 2012)

Thanks for the suggestion, Timur.

That's what I've been resorting to, but it seems to me that I am just simulating the function. It's hard enough to press the Fn1 button once with a thumb of my barely above average dimensions, much less twice. And if you zoom again, it jumps to whatever level of zoom you were at before hitting Fn1. I just want something that resets the view, rather than involving me in an arcane feature that seems of little real value to me. The 'quick zoom' that is most useful to me is to be able to hit the OK to reset the zoom to gain perspective, and if I choose to zoom in again I prefer to do so progressively to retain that perpective.

0 upvotes
Timur Born
By Timur Born (May 9, 2012)

From the Zoom screen that shows the arrow keys at the edges there are two alternatives:

- Press 'Info' twice. That will reset the zoom but keep the zoom box on screen (so no additional information is shown).

- Press 'Info' once and then Fn1 to reset to the original Playback screen (whichever you set last via Info). Obviously you can just as much press Fn1 twice then, so it's not really a practical alternative

A reset option on OK would be nice, but could also lead to accidental resets as the navigation keys are so close.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
jbckhoo
By jbckhoo (May 8, 2012)

Great article Richard, thanks!
Regarding JPEG compression, did you see much of a difference between "Large Fine" and "Large Normal" in your testing?

0 upvotes
Timur Born
By Timur Born (May 8, 2012)

"Super Fine" uses 98-100% JPG quality, "Fine" uses 93-98%. "Normal" can go below 80%, but can also go above 90% (I saw up to 95%). The latter depends on the scene you are shooting and you may still not be able to see much of a difference, if any.

While differences can be very small, file sizes can vary a lot. "Normal" can have half the size of "Fine" and even only a third the size of "Super Fine". Again depending on the scene's detail.

This is better discussed in detail on the forum than here, though. So feel free to start a thread. ;)

1 upvote
dark goob
By dark goob (May 8, 2012)

Yep, thanks for the heads up.

0 upvotes
kamiyama
By kamiyama (May 8, 2012)

Richard,

Many thanks for a truly excellent guide. One question: how does one access the four "My Modes" ?

On the E-5 this is a simple matter of holding down the Mode button (on the camera's top plate to the left of the pentaprism) and turning the main dial which results in each of the four My Modes being displayed (both in the viewfinder and the Super Control Panel) along with P, A, S, M and B.

This permits very rapid change of shooting Modes each with numerous pre-selected options, for instance: from My Mode 1 aperture priority with IBIS at 1, single auto focus, Noise filter at off and ISO at 100 to My Mode 2 aperture priority with S-AF, NF at low and ISO at 800 or to My Mode 3 shutter priority with continuous auto focus, ISO at 1600 and IBIS off, and so forth

Does the EM-5 have an equally quick means to do the same? In the absence of a Mode button, can this be done only by designating either the left or down arrows for drive mode?

0 upvotes
dark goob
By dark goob (May 8, 2012)

I've said it in emails to Olympus and on the forums here. They really need to totally re-think the user presets. They need to be namable. They should use standard English nomenclature like "save current settings to slot 1, overwrite existing saved settings in slot 1, clear existing saved settings in slot 1" for saving settings to the slots, and "load settings from slot 1 to camera (this will overwrite the camera's existing settings!)" etc.

Instead they just say "Set" for both operations and don't warn you when you're about to overwrite existing settings.

0 upvotes
sheepthief
By sheepthief (May 9, 2012)

Yes, it's not well thought out at all. I did manage to figure it out, but by the time I next need it I will most likely have forgotten. And they really do need to add the ability to name your modes - they have keyboard code for entering copyright info, so it would be a trivial matter to do. I've already forgotten what I've set modes 2 & 3 for!

1 upvote
erichK
By erichK (May 9, 2012)

Have to agree here. The Mymodes are terrific and they did improve the logic of getting at them and the even more confusing RESET in moving from the E-3 to the E-5, but it would be so much easier if we could input a name, notres or a Mnemic.!
With the generous LCD's, there just is no place to put stickies or masking tape anymore!~ ;-)

0 upvotes
Gakuranman
By Gakuranman (May 8, 2012)

Great writeup! I learnt a thing or two myself, especially about video shooting :).

0 upvotes
DonInPgh
By DonInPgh (May 8, 2012)

More camera reviews, less filler please...

0 upvotes
sderdiarian
By sderdiarian (May 8, 2012)

DPR, please ignore this. Thank you for a very informative article and taking the time to share what you learned during your review of the camera. Invaluable.

7 upvotes
erichK
By erichK (May 9, 2012)

Absoluitely agree that your article is very helpful. Reviews, even very detailed ones, cannot possibly explore in detail every function of a camera as complex and versatile as this. Your article is very mach appreciated by those of us interested in making the best possible use of such a complex imaging instrument, especially when it will likely be some time before a book or video will actually be available.
Oner request: could you produce a more printable format?

1 upvote
Mouser
By Mouser (May 13, 2012)

The article is excellent - more like this please DPReview!

1 upvote
nand
By nand (May 8, 2012)

Very nice. This will get me started quickly.

0 upvotes
Ergo607
By Ergo607 (May 8, 2012)

Really very good, and I already changed a few settings. The info over the super control panel is great; hadn't found that yet...

Q; how do you set the camera to have the super control panel overlap the live view image? I don't seem to be able to do that...

Txs!

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (May 8, 2012)

If you've switched into standard live view mode (the first step described), then, once you've engaged Super Control Panel, it will be overlaid on top of live view.

2 upvotes
MichaelKJ
By MichaelKJ (May 8, 2012)

Thanks, Richard and Timur! This guide clearly shows that you think the E-M5 is a special camera.

0 upvotes
Timur Born
By Timur Born (May 8, 2012)

On the other hand you might also say that it's a complex camera lacking beginners-friendly (as in new to this camera) documentation. ;)

1 upvote
Total comments: 262
123