E-P3: menu settings for advanced users

Started Dec 30, 2011 | Discussions thread
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NZ Scott
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E-P3: menu settings for advanced users
Dec 30, 2011

Hi guys,

I just spent a bunch of time explaining some advanced E-P3 menu settings for someone in another thread. I thought I'd reproduce it here, just to help out people who've just bought the camera.

The idea is to help newbies set up their camera to take better photographs, but changing some of the factory default settings.

I welcome comments from other E-P3 users who disagree with my suggestions, or who have suggestions for other settings that might be helpful.

Here we go:

"The menus are indeed a pain in the bum at first, but after you get used to them you might find that you enjoy being about to customise the camera so much.

"The first thing you need to do is activate the full menu and have a good dig around in there. The full menu is activated if you go into the menu that looks like a little wrench (sixth from the top) and once you're in there go down to Menu Display (fifth from the top). Choose "On" for the icon that looks like two cogs/wheels.

"Now if you go back into shooting mode and press the Menu button, it should bring up the main menu and you will see the icon that looks like the two cogs/wheels. This is the Big Boy menu that you just activated, which is where the advanced settings lurk. It should be the fourth one down (looks like two cogs/wheels joined together).

"If you go in there you will see the advanced menus, which are colour-coded and listed from A to J.

"Here are some advanced setting choices you might want to consider...

"1) The screen is set to Vivid by default. Change it to Normal, or you might find yourself taking what you think are awesomely colourful photos, only to find them looking washed out when printed or viewed on a PC monitor. I only learned about this screen setting four days ago, and I've had my E-P3 since August. To change it, go into the menu that looks like a wrench (not the big-boy menu that looks like two cogs/wheels), and scroll down to the third option ("Adjust the brightness and colour temperature of the LCD monitor"). Go in there and you should see "Vivid". If you press the Info button, you can change it to Natural. It really is worth doing this.

"2) Somewhere in the big-boy menu is a setting for "Keep Warm Colour". Many advanced shooters turn that off (otherwise you can get some unnatural skin tones, etc). I think it's under menu G.

"3) Some people either turn off or reduce the amount of sharpening and noise reduction applied by the E-P3 (personally, I turned off NR and turned down the sharpening to the lowest setting). This is in big-boy menu G - Colour/WB.

"4) The auto-ISO upper limit is set at 1600, from memory. I reckon it's a tossup whether 1600 or 800 is the better setting. I prefer 800. This is in big-boy menu E - ISO Auto Set.

"5) There's an "Auto Gradation" setting in there somewhere. I've turned this off, although I can't remember why. From memory, Auto Gradation helps to recover detail in shadow areas, but in doing so it can introduce noise. I prefer to recover detail with Photoshop, which probably does a better job. (This might be Shading Comp under big-boy Menu G, but you might want to double-check that).

"This might all sound very daunting, but most of this stuff only has to be done once.

"I hope I haven't put you off the camera with all this... "

 NZ Scott's gear list:NZ Scott's gear list
Sony QX1 Olympus PEN E-P3 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G II Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:4-5.6 +10 more
Olympus PEN E-P3
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