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

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Getting the most out of the Olympus E-M5

During the process of preparing the review of the Olympus OM-D E-M5 we spent quite a lot of time trying to work out how every little setting worked. Also being in the fairly unusual situation of having tried to describe the menu options of most Olympus cameras over the past couple of years, I thought it'd make sense to share the things I've found, alongside the findings of dilligent E-M5 owner Timur Born.

Some of these are fairly obvious and some are a matter of taste, but they're all things that we think most E-M5 owners will at least want to be aware of. So please join us on a journey through the settings you might want to play with on the E-M5.

Throughout this article, all menus and item names are stated in bold and any symbols in the menus replaced with a [description] in square brackets.

First things first:

When you first insert a battery into the E-M5, it'll try to behave like a DSLR - showing the Super Control Panel settings screen on the back of the camera and using the electronic viewfinder for previewing the image. Which strikes me as odd - one of the main things the E-M5 offers over a DSLR is seamless operation, regardless of whether you shoot with the rear screen or the viewfinder. Pressing the Live View button on the side of the viewfinder hump pushes the camera into live view mode, allowing use of the EVF and rear screen interchangeably.

The other thing you might wish to do, when you enter the menus for the first time, is press 'INFO' to stop the camera hiding most of the screen behind very slightly extended versions of the current menu item's name. If you're ever uncertain about an option's function, you can always hit 'INFO' again, just to see if the lengthier wording helps clarify the matter.

The other thing to remember is that the menus tend to require you to press 'OK' to confirm - it's easy, especially when you're trying to go on an change another setting, to select an option and the press 'left' to move back through the menus, only to find your setting change hasn't stuck.

Jump to:

User interface:

Camera function:

JPEG output:

Shooting movies:

User interface tricks and tips

Enabling the Super Control Panel for fast settings changes

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.

 The Super Control Panel gives easy access to the camera's key settings

To enable the Super Control Panel, you need to go to the '[Camera] Control Settings' option in Custom Menu, section D. From here you can decide which user interface is available in the difference exposure modes. You can have more than one interface available in each mode. In general we'd suggest the Super Control Panel - marked as LIVE SCP in the menus - as being ideal for giving you the quickest access to the most functions, all on a single screen.

Once you've made LIVE SCP available for the shooting mode you're using, simply press the OK button from live view and the Super Control Panel should be overlaid as in the screen shot above. If you have left 'Live Control' engaged, you can switch between the interfaces by pressing INFO when the settings are displayed on the screen.

Choosing live view displays and configuring Highlights & Shadows

There five main live view display types available on the E-M5, four of which are optional. As with Super Control Panel, the one we think is best is disabled by default. The available views can be selected by visiting Custom Menu D, '[Thumbnail]/Info Settings' - 'LV-Info.' We'd suggest disabling the histogram, which is rather small and hard to read, and enable the 'Highlights&Shadow' view.

Highlights & Shadow indicates the under- and over-exposed regions of an image by replacing them with blue and red, respectively. This gives an immediate idea of which detail you risk losing with your current exposure. They're also easy to interpret, even in bright conditions where you can't see fine contrast differences on the screen.

Highlight & Shadow simulation

Better still, the threshold at which the camera indicates under- and over-exposure can be defined in Custom Menu D, 'Histogram Settings.' Depending on how you process your images, you're likely to want to experiment to find settings that suit you, but a setting of 250 - 5 usually provides a good safety-net.

The same options also exist for the electronic viewfinder and are customized in Custom Menu J - '[EVF] Info Settings'. This menu option only has an effect if you've selected Style 1 or 2 from the 'Built-in EVF Style' option at the top of Custom Menu J. These viewfinder styles offer a smaller image preview surrounded by a black or blue information panel but do have the benefit that you can choose a live view display independently of the one you've chosen for the rear screen. We've tended to stick with the default 'Style 3' which exactly mimics the rear display and uses the entire viewfinder area (but also means you have to use the same preview options you selected for the rear screen).

Buttons and dials

There are three primary configurable buttons on the E-M5's body, with the option of another two, if you're willing to give up direct access to AF point selection on the four-way controller. The three primary buttons - Fn1, Fn2 and REC have a wide range of options that can be configured in Custom Menu B - 'Button Function.'

If you also want to use the 'Right' and 'Down' arrows on the four-way controller as configurable buttons, you'll need to change the '[Four Way] Function' to 'Direct Function.' The two buttons can then be configured separately. With this option chosen, AF selection becomes a mode, accessed by pressing 'Left' on the four-way controller, and requiring a press of 'OK' to confirm each change.

A full list of the available button options is included in our Olympus E-M5 review

When configuring buttons, there are a couple of things to remember - Fn2, if set to 'Multi Function' allows access to four functions (including magnified live view), so you may find it the most useful option. To switch between functions, simply hold down Fn2 and spin a control dial. Also, 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) - if you select anything other than these, Fn1 will act as focus acquire/hold when shooting movies. More detail can be found later in this article.


Click here to read page 2 of our User Guide to the Olympus E-M5

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Comments

Total comments: 262
123
djgold
By djgold (4 months ago)

I just acquired an Olympus E-M5. When it is turned on there is a persistent background noise. When I switch off there is a loud mechanical "click" sound. Is this normal?
Thanks for some comments please!

0 upvotes
jungleboydotca
By jungleboydotca (3 months ago)

Upgrade the firmware:
http://www.olympus.co.jp/en/support/imsg/digicamera/download/software/firm/omd/em5.html

From what I can gather, it'd seem that in the initial releases, the IBIS/dust protection was on full time and sounds like a fan inside the camera. It looks like they fixed it in v1.5. Steve Huff shows it in his first impressions:
http://youtu.be/GDnbAHKueAo?t=7m18s

I purchased my E-M5 at the end of this summer this year and only makes the sound when IBIS is engaged with a half-press of the shutter (an optional setting). It's a good idea to update both your body and lenses when you buy them (lest you forget).

...which reminds me, I've bought some new lenses recently and should make sure they're all up to date.

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (4 months ago)

Best camera Help guide I have ever seen. I don't have the E-M5 but I did just pick up the E-PM2 and this guide helped me figure out everything I couldn't figure out before.

1 upvote
5C0E82F9CB91459DAA0B025DD70BFCE4

In playback mode is it possible to turn off eye sensor ?
Every time my hand accidentally goes anywhere near the sensor the camera reverts to normal shooting mode - drives me mad !

0 upvotes
Ema2010
By Ema2010 (9 months ago)

Hi,

I am getting 9 images when shooting in P, M, A, S modes, could you help me to set for one image in these modes. When trying to set myself I found options where the minimum frame was 5fps.

Thank you,
Ema

0 upvotes
Artpt
By Artpt (9 months ago)

Just rec'd the OMD a few days ago, and this guide was very helpful. I would expect a few more weeks to get very handy with it. Cheers and thanks!

0 upvotes
Malinda
By Malinda (10 months ago)

With minor changes to settings, I was able to get amazing pics out of EM5. Specially low light performance is almost perfect and I'm thinking to myslef, do we really need a flash on this cam :-)
It used to jump to ISO1600 often in low light and output is brilliant. Had no issues in AF or with grain.

1 upvote
Blaufeld
By Blaufeld (11 months ago)

Very helpful advice - I have my OM-D since yesterday, this guide helps a lot.

0 upvotes
BobKelly
By BobKelly (11 months ago)

I think I'm getting there but one thing has got me. I have the fn2 button set to MF but I can't get it to work correctly. When I hold it down and turn the dial all a get is the AF display which changes when I turn the dial. Per Mr. Busch there is supposed to be four different displays. Any ideas?

0 upvotes
lonschwartz100
By lonschwartz100 (Apr 21, 2013)

Wonderful information for initial setup. I keep doing back to it when I inadvertently change something during shooting. I'd like some info on Custom Menu Setup (please) if anyone has some.
Thanks
This is a great camera and as I learn more is more fun to shoot.

Lonnie

0 upvotes
Jim Coplan
By Jim Coplan (Apr 14, 2013)

Mysets and Fn2 button?

I would like to assign the Fn2 button to bring up the Mysets table (normally accessed by pressing Menu | [camera 1] | Mysets).

Is this possible?

0 upvotes
texinwien
By texinwien (11 months ago)

Unfortunately, it is not. There's no quick way to get to MySets. You can set one button to enable one MySet while it's pressed, but that's it.

0 upvotes
tjmanson
By tjmanson (Apr 8, 2013)

Is there any way to set the camera to display the review images (just taken) on the LCD when the EVF is locked on?

0 upvotes
hellotmr
By hellotmr (Mar 18, 2013)

Hi there,

I was just wondering if anyone can tell me how I could change the shutter speed to a slower rate, without compromising the quality of the photo?

I tried various options and while at times I managed to get slow shutter speed, the photos are distorted in terms of colour (photos become brownish somehow) and becomes very blurry and pixelated.

I'm still new to this camera and I don't think I found anything in the manual (unless I missed it), so any advice would be great!

Thanks,
Aileen

0 upvotes
tjmanson
By tjmanson (Apr 8, 2013)

hellotmr,
I'm not sure I understand your question, but I can think of two methods: (1) with the camera set to Aperture preference, turn down the exposure (+/-), and you will see the shutter speed decrease, but by far the easier method is (2) set the camera to Shutter preference and turn down the shutter speed. (This is such a simple answer that I am questioning my understanding of your question.)

0 upvotes
BHPhotog
By BHPhotog (Feb 14, 2013)

"Having tested the noise reduction and sharpening settings as part of review, we felt that the E-M5 applied more noise reduction than was really needed, then added rather over-enthusiastic sharpening to crisp things up again..."

This works particularly well with recommended Off and -1 settings used with Photoshop "smart sharpen." I can't get anything in Viewer2 to bring out quite as much micro detail,
Brian

0 upvotes
Bito1
By Bito1 (Feb 8, 2013)

Greetings all, I am new to this forum, and I have been using a Nikon D-90 for a couple of years, and now, since I travel a lot, decided to go with a low profile camera the Olympus EM 5 considering the places I go!
Can someone please advise me on how to set the shutter speed on the EM 5, it take about 2 or more seconds from the time I press the shutter button to the time the picture is actually taken. My ISO varies between 200 and 400 depending, at F stop around 5.6. I have tried many different things with no results. The shutter speed being so slow makes the pictures blurry also i am not able to take spontaneous shots.
Looking forward for your expert advises

0 upvotes
Rulebebe
By Rulebebe (Mar 6, 2013)

check your self-timer settings

0 upvotes
Mister H
By Mister H (Mar 13, 2013)

You may have the 'anti-shock' set. This can be customised in the menu (last item in cog menu E) to be on or off - when on it can be tailored from 1/8 second to 30 seconds. It's the time between pressing the shutter and taking a picture - it can be useful for tripod work or slow shutter speeds, but a 2 second delay all the time would be pretty frustrating! I hope that helps you.

0 upvotes
Photoinco
By Photoinco (Jan 26, 2013)

I've just moved into serious digital (E-M5) after years of absence (point & shoots) and wondering what to do with my Pentax Spotmatic and all those lenses. Do they have any value...other than as novelty items to show grandkids how we used to take pictures? Anyway...the Olympus OMD EM5 manual has me confused about operation of the 12-50mm kit lens, since it shows it on the camera but hardly mentions it in the text. It the 12-50 supposed to be an auto-zoom lens as well as auto-focus, or just the latter? If an auto zoom lens, there are no instructions as to how to zoom either in the camera manual or the lens manual. Is there a difference in how the lens is used in still versus movie mode?

0 upvotes
Photoinco
By Photoinco (Jan 27, 2013)

I kept looking and the manual DOES provide info on operating the E-zoom 12-50mm, nicely buried on page 105. Thanks for the info provided here. Seems like a challenging learning curve to get into intermediate-level digital photography. I'd still like thoughts on those Takumar lenses...donate to charity?

0 upvotes
vitoret_dr
By vitoret_dr (Feb 4, 2013)

There are adaptors for mounting old" lenses on the om-d.
Buy or borrow one, test your Takumars ...and tell us.
If you don't read french language, you'll have a look at the pictures, anyway :
http://www.focus-numerique.com/test-1048/decouverte-utiliser-des-objectifs-anciens-sur-un-micro-4-3-1.html
Regards,

0 upvotes
Photoinco
By Photoinco (Mar 8, 2013)

I purchased an adapter for mounting M42 screw-mount lenses onto the E-M5 body ( Fotodiox "M42-m4/3" Their item #18391335331138). The adapter seems to be well-constructed and I have successfully taken the first trial shots with my 55/1.8 and 135/3.5 Super-Takumar lenses. Of course I have to manually set the aperture and manually focus, but the lenses seem to work fine. I will report back after more experimenting with the lenses. I wonder if the camera is trying to continuously "do" anything uselessly and use excessive battery power while a Takumar is on. Any thoughts?

0 upvotes
clackers
By clackers (Jan 6, 2013)

Can someone tell me how to turn Auto-WB off in iAuto mode? Or is that not possible? Thanks.

0 upvotes
sadwitch
By sadwitch (Dec 19, 2012)

Just wish to correct this statement.

"For the first time in an Olympus, the E-M5 has the option to stabilize the camera's preview, rather than just engaging IS at the point of capture. This means you can gain the benefits of image stabilization when shooting with long lenses (which can be awkward to compose and focus with, given the way they exaggerate any camera shake)."

It's not the first time Olympus did that. Live view IS preview is available since the E3, you just need to press and hold the IS button during live view to see the stabilised effect and it'll work for a duration of 7 secs. To reengage just release and hold the IS button again. For manual lenses just dial in the IS focal length and you'll see the same effect. No luck for their OVF though unless you use panasonic IS lenses

0 upvotes
mimstyle
By mimstyle (Dec 7, 2012)

How to customize the "custom filter" ? I never find this ...

0 upvotes
Jim Evidon
By Jim Evidon (Nov 21, 2012)

I cannot bring up the Super Control panel even when I followed the instructions in this guide. Any suggestions?

1 upvote
latinware
By latinware (Dec 9, 2012)

1.push the OK button in the middle to see a menu on the right side of the LCD.

2. After that the "info" button un your upper right.

1 upvote
Parallax33
By Parallax33 (Feb 10, 2013)

Live Control needs to be off for this to function with OK

0 upvotes
Zensu11
By Zensu11 (9 months ago)

I turned off Live Control and the SCP pops up every time I hit the OK button. I do miss my shadow/highlight blinkies a lot! Can't I have both?

0 upvotes
BJN
By BJN (Nov 19, 2012)

I just got and EM-5 and really appreciate this guide through the odd configuration defaults.

I can't say I'm impressed with Olympus documentation or the interface design. It's baffling why the touch screen is so minimally functional for adjusting camera settings. The "out of the box" experience is exasperating. Why isn't the camera update utility on the software CD? Why does USB-enabled registration start out automatically with the camera model and serial number, but then force you to enter that information manually on the next web pages? Why use a custom USB cable? Why is a small camera saddled with such a large charger with a bulky AC cord? Why does using the tiny flash require removing and stowing three different plastic caps? I'm hoping that the longer term EM-5 experience will prove to be worth all the initial annoyance.

0 upvotes
tjmanson
By tjmanson (Apr 8, 2013)

BJN,
You aren't really expecting answers to all these questions are you? The only suggestion I can offer you is to your first question statement (2nd paragraph): get David Busch's book on the OMD. It's been sold out for awhile, but a new press run has restocked many of the shelves - you'll probably have to mail-order though.

0 upvotes
Susan G
By Susan G (Sep 20, 2012)

What do I need to do to extend the focus range of a zoom lens from inside the camera? In other words, say I'm using a 40-150 lens, how do I double the 150 to 300? What do I look for in the user manual? Thanks.

0 upvotes
Timur Born
By Timur Born (Sep 23, 2012)

Digital Tele-converter

0 upvotes
Kongtotoro
By Kongtotoro (Dec 29, 2012)

Does the Digital Tele-converter compromise the image quality ?

0 upvotes
jda180
By jda180 (Dec 29, 2012)

Yes - your picture will have fewer pixels, so you'll lose detail if you want to print a very large copy - say A3 or more, or display on a huge monitor/projector (but there aren't many with 16MP resolution!)

1 upvote
shenstudios
By shenstudios (Sep 10, 2012)

Could anyone help me out? I just bought the OM-D, I really like it but I can't get a live picture on the LCD 3inch screen in "P", "A", "S" or "M" mode, all I see is the exposure bars bottom and right of the screen, the image is completely black as if the cap was on. I can only get a live image when I look in in the EVF (electronic viewfinder), is this normal? When I switch to scene or movie, I do have a live display on the LCD 3inch screen.
Thank you very much for your help, and boy do I hope they update the movie mode to include 24p! If you do wish for 24p as well, please e-mail Olympus, the more they get the request, the more they will consider it!

0 upvotes
Timur Born
By Timur Born (Sep 12, 2012)

What happens when you press the button on the right side of the viewfinder?

1 upvote
witne2s
By witne2s (Oct 12, 2012)

Had the same "problem".

What you need is to press small (o) button on the right side of viewfinder.

2 upvotes
Nikonosman
By Nikonosman (Jan 22, 2013)

If you're using the 14-42mm lens, find the red dot the go around the left side of the lens at about 7 PM and you will find a switch.Move that switch and that should restore your screen.

0 upvotes
Dabrucke
By Dabrucke (Sep 2, 2012)

My second week with the OM-D and for me it is a game changer. This article has been extremely helpful in sorting out a few menu items. I do have one question: How do you set up for a bracket exposure.....I simply can not find the way....Any hepl would be appreciated.Thanks

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Timur Born
By Timur Born (Sep 3, 2012)

English manual page 63.

0 upvotes
mytake
By mytake (Aug 27, 2012)

I wonder if we will ever see a "complete guide" for the Em5, like the ones Thom Hogan writes for Nikons?

0 upvotes
danstern
By danstern (Aug 31, 2012)

FYI- I am renting the OMD this weekend and in preparation if I do purchase (after photokina) i found this book on amazon:
David Busch's Olympus E-5 Guide to Digital SLR Photography [Paperback]
David D. Busch (Author), Dan Simon (Author)

0 upvotes
OldSarge
By OldSarge (Sep 12, 2012)

Unfortunately, the E- and E-M5 are totally different cameras.

1 upvote
dspphotos
By dspphotos (Aug 14, 2012)

Excellent guide, much appreciated.

Still curious why we can't customize all four directional buttons though.

0 upvotes
wgs
By wgs (Aug 12, 2012)

About a month ago, the question of the "whirring" noise coming from the camera was said to be the image stabilization. I don't know if it is the same thing, but even with IS turned off, the noise -- sounds more like radio static to me -- persists. Any ideas?

0 upvotes
EY2
By EY2 (Aug 12, 2012)

The IS system remains "on" even when you've told the camera not to use it. The noise is normal.

1 upvote
latinware
By latinware (Dec 9, 2012)

Update the firmware, problem solved.

0 upvotes
6x9
By 6x9 (Dec 11, 2012)

I have v 1.1 (current firmware release) and still hear the noise.

0 upvotes
philmguy1
By philmguy1 (Aug 11, 2012)

If I have the EVF Auto Switch set to on and set the Rec View to, say, 3 seconds, then take a photo using the EVF it displays the image in the EVF. Any way to get it to always display the image just taken on the LCD screen?

0 upvotes
Marshall1
By Marshall1 (Aug 3, 2012)

How do you playback images in the EVF, not on the LCD screen?

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

Press Playback and then press the EVF button to switch from screen to EVF.

0 upvotes
Sanpaku
By Sanpaku (Aug 2, 2012)

@ Sharpshooter1: 4/3 lenses will auto focus, but more slowly, even those that are contrast detect AF enabled (9-18, 14-50, 14-54 II, 14-150, 25 F2.8, 14-42*, 40-150*, 70-300*, 25 F1.4*) (*=only w/ latest lens firmware). You can look at www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICfJNokJhMo for a few autofocus demonstrations with 4/3 lenses.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Dougbm_2
By Dougbm_2 (Aug 1, 2012)

Also the on screen display (in the EVF) on the OMD is messy and the font size tiny. Is this camera for people who only have 20/20 vision? Again the X100 has much clearer and simpler info. I always want to quickly see the aperture, shutter speed and ISO. The OLY seems designed by geeks and engineers (who have performed some magic on the sensor) whilst the Fuji is created by photographers for photographers (although their menus are not as orderly as they could be). If the X100 had a zoom lens (25-100) I wouldn't even think about the OLY. To be honest though one of the strengths of the X100 is it's fixed lens.

Comment edited 49 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Dougbm_2
By Dougbm_2 (Aug 1, 2012)

After a couple of plays trying to work out the menus and how to set this camera up my Fuji X100 seems a model simplicity and clarity compared to this. Image IQ 9/10. Menus 1/10. Pretty appalling! Plus the whole thing is a bit too small and the buttons so very small it hampers the operation of the camera. Hopefully Olympus can give the software a sever makeover and strip out nonsense such as 'Half Way Rls With IS' (why isn't this just called "stabalised Preview"?)

0 upvotes
Sharpshooter1
By Sharpshooter1 (Aug 1, 2012)

Has anyone used full 4/3 lenses ( ie 12-60 f2.8, 50-200 f2.8 ) on the OM-D?
Has AF been ok?

0 upvotes
jon barnard
By jon barnard (Dec 24, 2012)

When using 4/3 lenses on the OM-D, try setting focus to single- spot AF rather than multi-spot AF. You'll find that this decreases hunting, improving AF speed. However, they won't focus as fast as M4/3 lenses, and there may be occasions when you have to resort to manual focus. I use the 12-60 2.8 zoom all the time, and it works great. Love that lens and love the combination, and it's a lot better lens than the M zuiko 12-50. I find that AF is quite snappy when the camera is set to single-spot AF.

0 upvotes
ArtAlv
By ArtAlv (Jul 22, 2012)

If we shoot only RAW can we later on the camera, off the camera, or reloading back to the camera, use the camera's features like ART, SCN, etc. to create JPGS? I don't see much in the Olympus Master 2 program to do this.

0 upvotes
Timur Born
By Timur Born (Jul 22, 2012)

You can use Olympus Viewer 2, which is bundled with the camera or you can reload back to the camera.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Jul 31, 2012)

Yes. Copy the Raw files into the current directory on your memory card then, when in playback, press 'OK.' This will bring up a menu including a Raw processing option that applies the camera's current settings to the file.

So, simply set the camera picture style you want (including Art Filters), go into playback mode, and press OK a couple of times.

0 upvotes
iflash
By iflash (Jul 17, 2012)

Sold my children to medical science and bought an OM-D-EM5. Honestly if was not for this great article I would have been lost. The Olympus disk and 'handbook/manual' are an embarrassment for a camera of this quality. So thanks again DP Review. Splendiferous!

3 upvotes
sbszine
By sbszine (Jul 11, 2012)

The whirring noise is the image stabiliser -- perfectly normal. For a portrait lens, you could look at the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8.

0 upvotes
Ivan Lietaert
By Ivan Lietaert (Jul 15, 2012)

Isn't that sound annoying/recorded when doing video? (Turning off stabiliser for video isn't always a good thing...)

0 upvotes
sbszine
By sbszine (Jul 16, 2012)

In video mode it is less noisy but still applies some stabilisation.

0 upvotes
Timur Born
By Timur Born (Jul 16, 2012)

During video recording the IBIS likely is set to a more "loose" operation. Adding to that 5% of the frame is cut on each corner and used for a software based alignment of frames.

0 upvotes
latinware
By latinware (Dec 9, 2012)

Update the firmware and your whirring noise will go away almost 100%.

0 upvotes
TPBOMD
By TPBOMD (Jul 8, 2012)

Hi - new to photography thus new to my newly purchased E-M5. 1. Love it even though I have no idea how to take advantage of 99.9% of its capabilities; 2. Whats up with the continuous "whirring"/fan-like noise emanating from the camera? Assuming its a cooling fan of some sort? Normal for it to be 'on' constantly?; 3. Thoughts on the best resource(s) for me to use to learn basics of photography so I can optimize my experiemce with this amazing camera?; 4 and lastly...if chronicling the lives of my 5 and 6 year old kids lives going forward from here (sport related activities, ballet, portraits, shots around the house/playground, vacation memories, etc) is the mission of the camera, what two additional lenses would you recommend I have in my bag (I already have the 12-50 Zuiko lens that came with the camera) to, once again, optimize the OM-D's capabilities as I continue to learn and use the camera?
Clearly a lot o questions and perhaps I have busted a forum rule or something with the long series of questions, so sorry and maybe hit just ome or two of the questions?

Thanks very much, TPBOMD

-

2 upvotes
jeffg53
By jeffg53 (Jul 5, 2012)

I haven't been able to find out how take AF off the shutter button as in CF4 on Canon. I asked in a shop yesterday and was greeted with a blank look. Any suggestions?

0 upvotes
Timur Born
By Timur Born (Jul 6, 2012)

Custom Menu A -> AEL/AFL

0 upvotes
jeffg53
By jeffg53 (Jul 8, 2012)

Great, thanks.

0 upvotes
revrandy
By revrandy (Jun 28, 2012)

Having received my E-M5 just yesterday, the answer to my questions may be obvious, for which I apologize. But, I couldn't find answers in the provided user guide. First, after taking a picture, when pressing the right arrow key to view the image, instead I get a grid with no image. Re: your suggestions to change the Frame Rate out of the Menu (J) and Noise Filter (G), these options are shaded and I can't access them. Any suggestions? Thanks!

0 upvotes
Timur Born
By Timur Born (Jul 5, 2012)

The right arrow key of the four navigation buttons is not the Playback button. The Playback button is the one left to the Fn1 button.

Frame Rate and Noise Filter can only be changed in PASM modes.

0 upvotes
angstrom
By angstrom (Jun 26, 2012)

With S-AF+MF and MF-Assist I only get magnified MF if I select the focus area with the 4-way controller.
If I select the focus area with the touch screen, and then fine tune the focus manually it doesn't magnify by turning the focus ring.
Is this correct, or am I missing something?
Thanks for any help...

0 upvotes
Timur Born
By Timur Born (Jul 5, 2012)

This is correct, or rather cannot be changed. The reason is that touchscreen focus is virtually the same as magnified manual focus. What you can do is to either use the Magnify key to switch to magnified mode and back again. Another way is to touch the lower right corner of the screen to switch back and forth.

One advantage of this manual Magnify approach is that you can use AF via shutter half-press without the magnification turning off automatically.

I suggest using Multifunction -> Magnify. Hold Fn2 and turn the back dial to change the Multifunction to Magnify. Then you can click Fn2 once to get to the green box screen that you also get via touchscreen and twice to get to full-screen magnified view. Pressing OK or holding Fn2 long will return to normal AF areas.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
spencerberus
By spencerberus (Jun 19, 2012)

Well, I'm happier with my configuration now, this was definitely helpful. Always nice to find out about those undocumented features.

0 upvotes
Brian Wadie
By Brian Wadie (Jun 13, 2012)

thanks, a most helpful guide for me as I have just started setting up my new camera and don't find the menu system as instinctive as that on my 5Dmk2

0 upvotes
BLUE RIDGE WORKSHOPS EDUCATIONbeb

This would be helpful as a PDF file to use as adjunct to instruction book

6 upvotes
sai76
By sai76 (Jun 4, 2012)

Does anyone know if you can link the spot metering to any of the focus points? Thanks.

0 upvotes
Timur Born
By Timur Born (Jun 5, 2012)

No and yes. Principally no, but Face Detection in combination with Evaluative/Matrix metering shifts spot focus to the detected face area. Drawback is that when the detection is lost it jumps back Evaluative and when it detects again it jumps back to face spot and when it loses again it jumps back to...

And this only works in combination with Evaluative, not with any other metering mode.

1 upvote
Timur Born
By Timur Born (Jun 5, 2012)

Just found another "half-way" variant. When you use the full-screen zoomed in view of Magnify in combination with Evaluative metering the the currently zoomed in part of the image gets a bigger weight versus the rest of the image. But you have to use the full-screen zoom view, not the one where you see the zoom box, and again just in combination with Evaluative metering.

And that weighting is not the same as the full on spot metering of Face Detection. It somewhere in between normal Evaluative and Face Detection spot when zooming into the spot of the face via Magnify.

0 upvotes
sai76
By sai76 (Jun 19, 2012)

Thanks so much for the response. Very helpful!

0 upvotes
Timur Born
By Timur Born (Jun 19, 2012)

I checked this again and the full-screen Magnify part doesn't seem to be true in all situations. It might only work that way in combination with a detected face. Still a bit confusing, so I need more time to better understand how this works.

0 upvotes
Daveros
By Daveros (Jun 1, 2012)

Having just got my Olympus OMD this section was invaluable for getting the best out of the camera, it has saved me a lot of extra time with the manual & experimentation in deciding how best to set the OMD menus & functions.
I cannot thank or praise you enough for your excellent over all review & this section on how to get the best from your camera.
The OMD is a very configurable camera & the Olympus manual is not the most user friendly . Thanks & keep up the good work.

1 upvote
Russ Houston
By Russ Houston (May 30, 2012)

Great information, and good job. I'd love to see you add these for other cameras. Thank you.

0 upvotes
alfa
By alfa (May 28, 2012)

Brilliant. Saved me hours. Thanks very much.

0 upvotes
kjacob
By kjacob (May 25, 2012)

I just sent a long-awaited OMD EM5 back to Amazon because nothing happened after I charged the battery, put it in, and tried to turn on the camera. There was absolutely nothing on the screen, or any other indication that the camera was "On".

When I posted this in the review section of Amazon, a reply said I had to press a button on the side of the viewfinder to see anything in the screen. This is contrary to the manual, and the DP Review.

Does any of this make any sense to anyone out there???

Thanks for any insight.

Ken

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Jul 12, 2012)

That's covered under the heading 'First things first.'

It is a very odd way of working - it's essentially mimicking the behaviour of a DSLR (preview in viewfinder and settings displayed on the back).

As I said in this article, it's a strange thing to make the default on a camera which has the distinct advantage over a DSLR that the viewfinder and OLED screen can be used interchangably.

1 upvote
latinware
By latinware (Dec 9, 2012)

Yes, Amazon is right. The button at right of your viewfinder changes the option to see either the VF or LCD.

0 upvotes
ageha
By ageha (May 23, 2012)

Great guide!

0 upvotes
smartwombat
By smartwombat (May 22, 2012)

"Triggering the sensor will switch the camera straight to shooting mode, which is great if you want to quickly grab a shot ..."

I learned the hard way that it can take long enough to switch that you can lose a spontaneous shot, I think it was due to the auto power-save setting.
Enough that I lost a few race sequences because the camera didn't restart the EVF fast enough for me to acquire the racecar and start panning.

0 upvotes
Timur Born
By Timur Born (Jun 5, 2012)

This is less a problem of the sensor but more a problem of the switching taking its time. Same happens when you switch manually.

Also keep in mind that letting the camera sleep (default 1 minute) even takes longer to switch the EVF/screen back on than it takes to switch between EVF and screen.

So for action shots where you really need the EVF to on spot you better leave it running (no sleep), use manual switching and take a spare battery along.

0 upvotes
Jim Coplan
By Jim Coplan (May 20, 2012)

Autofocus in continuous shooting mode (still photos)
I am debating purchasing this camera. I believe that at 9 frames/sec, AF is locked on the first frame. I would be willing to accept a slower burst rate, in exchange for AF refocusing on the subject with every shot. I seem to recall reading that shooting at 4 fps does this. Can anyone confirm this?
Thanks.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 20, 2012)

User manual, page 56:
"Sequential H
Photographs are taken at about 9 frames per second (fps) while the shutter button is pressed all the way down. Focus, exposure, and white balance are fixed at the values for the first shot in each series ([S-AF], [MF])."

"Sequential L: Photographs are taken at about 4 frames per second (fps) while the shutter button is pressed all the way down. Focus and exposure are fixed according to the options selected for [AF Mode] (P. 86) and [AEL/AFL] (P. 86)."
Choose C-AF, will be C-AF at Sequential L.

0 upvotes
Jim Coplan
By Jim Coplan (May 20, 2012)

Hi, Peevee1
Thanks for responding. I have a PDF of the manual, and I read that. C-AF = continuous autofocus, but that means (I think) that the system is continually updating the autofocus as long as the shutter button is pressed halfway (page 43). It doesnt say what happens when the shutter button is pressed all the way down, to initiate the burst of shots. Is it being contunally updated, same as when the shutter is held halfway down? The manual doesnt exactly say that, as far as I can tell. P 86 didnt help me.
Thanks again.

0 upvotes
smartwombat
By smartwombat (May 22, 2012)

Practically I have found that using "low" mode at 4fps the camera will refocus in CAF and CAF[TR] modes.
Once I switched to "high" mode at 9fps then the camera did not refocus between shots.
That learning experience cost me about 80% of the shots in the corkscrew at Laguna Seca.

2 upvotes
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