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Custom Functions / settings

No one could accuse Olympus of not giving E-3 users choice; there are seemingly endless pages of menus and sub-menus containing options for every conceivable aspect of the camera's operation. The advantage of such an approach is that the E-3 is one of the most customizable cameras in its class; this is one area where it earns its 'professional' stripes with ease.

The disadvantage is that scrolling through nine pages of options makes finding the thing you want to change a little trying, meaning you tend to 'set once, forget about' most of the options buried away in the sub-menus. This is unfortunate because some of the stuff in here (auto ISO options, focus options, white balance tuning and so on) is actually very useful, and even a more logical approach to the ordering of the menus (prioritizing things you're likely to need when shooting, for example) would have made a huge difference to the usability of the wealth of options on offer.

Custom Menu 1

This is the real biggie; nine pages ('A' to 'I') of options grouped into fairly logical sections covering everything from autofocus to image quality settings and button behavior. The menus are navigated using the up and down buttons (or the control dials), with the right arrow opening menus and the left arrow taking you back one level.

Actually this isn't always the case; there are some levels you cannot exit by pressing the left arrow (you have to press 'Menu' again), which is not only inconsistent it is deeply annoying. In this case the shutter button doesn't cancel the menu either (something we'd prefer it always did; no matter how deeply you are into the menu system the shutter button should return you to shooting mode). Whilst I'm at it I'd also add that in future firmware it would be nice if Olympus allowed you to change settings within menus without having to confirm them with the 'OK' button, but that's a personal preference.

A: AF/MF

Option Values / Actions Notes
AF Illuminat.  • Off
 • On
Uses the internal flash to assist autofocusing in low light.
Focus ring  • Counter clockwise
 • Clockwise
Defines the direction in which the manual focus ring operates.
C-AF Lock  • Off
 • On
Locks the focus, once attained to avoid distraction by movement.
AF area pointer  • Off
 • On
Dictates whether the AF point illuminates in the viewfinder.
AF sensitivity  • Normal
 • Small
Normal includes the area around the AF point for focusing.
AF Illuminat.  • Off
 • On
Uses the internal flash to assist autofocusing in low light
AF area setup  • Off
 • Loop
 • Spiral
Defines the order in which AF points are selected when using the control wheel to move between them.
Reset lens  • Off
 • On
Refocuses to infinity when the camera shuts down.
Bulb focusing  • Off
 • On
Defines whether focus can be altered during exposure in bulb mode.

B: Button/Dial

Option Values / Actions Notes
Dial  • P
Program shift
Ev comp
Fl comp
 • A
Aperture value
Ev comp
Fl comp
 • S
Shutter speed
Ev comp
Fl comp
 • M
Shutter speed
Aperture value
 • Menu

Allows functions to be applied to the main and sub command dials. In each instance, any of the options can be applied to either dial to suit the operator.

Menu allows the behavior of the dial while navigating menus to be swapped.

AEL/AFL  • S-AF
Mode 1
Mode 2
Mode 3
 • C-AF
Mode 1
Mode 2
Mode 3
Mode 4
 • MF
Mode 1
Mode 2
Mode 3
Allows the selection of modes that dictate the behavior of exposure and focus at shutter-button half press, full press and AEL/AFL button held.
AEL/AFL MEMO  • Off
 • On
Toggles whether AEL/AFL button needs to be held to retain AEL.
Fn Function  • Preview
 • Live Preview
 • Set custom White Balance
 • Current AF point/Home point
 • Manual Focus
 • JPEG/RAW+JPEG
 • P/A/S/M Mode
 • Test picture
 • My mode
 • Under water wide/Under water
 • Off
Assigns a function to the function button.
My Mode setup  • My Mode 1
Set
Reset
 • My Mode 2
Set
Reset
Normal includes the area around the AF point for focusing.
Button timer  • Off
 • 3 Sec
 • 5 Sec
 • 8 Sec
 • Hold
Sets how long the direct-access buttons remain active after they are pressed. Hold leaves the button active until pressed again.
AEL/AFL <> Fn  • Off
 • On
Swaps the function of the AEL/AFL and Fn buttons.
Lens AFL button  • AF Stop
 • AF Start
 • AF Area
 • S-AF
 • C-AF
 • IS Stop
 • AEL
Assigns a function to the AFL button on long zooms. The assigned function is then only activated when pressing and holding the button.

C: Release/Continuous

Option Values / Actions Notes
RLS Priority S  • Off
 • On
Chooses whether camera waits for focus before shooting in S-AF mode.
RLS Priority C  • Off
 • On
Chooses whether camera waits for focus before shooting in C-AF mode.
Seql. L mode fps  • 1 fps
 • 2 fps
 • 3 fps
 • 4 fps
Sets the speed of the limited-speed sequential shooting mode.

D: Disp/Beep/PC

Option Values / Actions Notes
Beep  • Off
 • On
Decides whether the camera beeps upon obtaining focus lock
Sleep  • Off
 • 1 Min
 • 3 Min
 • 5 Min
 • 10 Min
Sets the period of inactivity before sleep mode is engaged.
Backlit LCD  • 8 Sec
 • 30 Sec
 • 1 Min
 • Hold
Selects the period for which the LCD remains lit after a button press.
4 hr timer  • 4 Hr
 • Off
Auto power off after 4 hours
USB Mode  • Auto
 • Storage
 • MTP
 • Control
 • Print Easy
 • Print Custom
Defines the behavior of the camera when connected by USB. Auto brings up a selection menu each time a connection is made.
Live View boost  • Off
 • On
On brightens screen for visibility, Off mimics brightness of exposure.
Frame assist  • Off
 • Grid
 • Golden section
 • Scale
Chooses the composition guides that can be shown in live view mode.

E: Exposure/Metering/ISO

Option Values / Actions Notes
Ev step  • 1/3 EV
 • 1/2 EV
 • 1 EV
Sets incremental steps used for exposure
ISO step  • 1/3 EV
 • 1 EV
Sets incremental steps used for sensitivity.
ISO-Auto set  • High limit
ISO 100 - 3200
 • Default
ISO 100 - 3200
Sets the upper limit and default value used by Auto ISO mode.
ISO-Auto on  • P/A/S
 • All
Selects which modes ISO-Auto is active in. All includes Manual mode.
AEL Metering  • Auto
 • Center weighted
 • Spot
 • Spot (Highlights)
 • Spot (Shadows)
Selects the metering mode used when the AEL button is pressed. Auto meters using the mode currently selected.
Bulb timer  • 1 - 240 Min Sets maximum exposure in bulb mode.

F: Flash/Custom

Option Values / Actions Notes
Flash X-Sync  • 1/60 - 1/250 Sync speed of flash
Flash slow limit  • 1/30 - 1/250 Lowest shutter allowed with flash
Flash/EV comp  • Off
 • On
 

G: Record mode/Color/WB

Option Values / Actions Notes
All WB comp  • All Set
Amber (15 steps)
Green (15 steps)
 • All Reset
Applies a correction to all WB presets. Or resets that correction.
Color space  • sRGB
 • Adobe RGB
Sets the color space used in JPEGs.
Shading comp  • Off
 • On
Automatically corrects light fall-off at image corners
Compression set  • JPEG size/quality 1 set
Large / Compression
Medium / Compression
Small / Compression
• JPEG size/quality 2 set
Large / Compression
Medium / Compression
Small / Compression
• JPEG size/quality 3 set
Large / Compression
Medium / Compression
Small / Compression
• JPEG size/quality 4 set
Large / Compression
Medium / Compression
Small / Compression
Selects the image size (Large/Middle/Small) and compression settings (SuperFine/Fine/Normal/Basic), that the camera uses for shooting JPEGS.
Pixel count  • Middle
3200 x 2400
2560 x 1920
1600 x 1200
• Small
1280 x 960
1024 x 768
640 x 480
Defines the sizes of 'Middle' and 'Small' JPEGs.

H: Record/Erase

Option Values / Actions Notes
Quick erase  • Off
 • On

Defines whether a confirmation screen appears before deletion.
RAW + JPEG erase  • JPEG
 • RAW
 • RAW + JPEG
Dictates which components of a RAW + JPEG shot are deleted when deleting images individually.
Filename  • Auto
 • Reset
Auto continues numbering onto new cards Reset starts again.
ISO-Auto on  • P/A/S
 • All
Selects which modes ISO-Auto is active in. All includes Manual mode.
Priority set  • No
 • Yes
Sets default position on delete and format confirmation screens.
dpi settings  • Auto
 • Custom
Applies print resolution based on image size or a chosen output res.

I: Utility

Option Values / Actions Notes
Cleaning   Raises the mirror for cleaning
Ext. WB detect  • Off
 • On
Disables the built-in WB sensor for when the subject is differently lit.

AEL/AFL modes (S-AF & MF)

Mode

Shutter half-press

Shutter full-press AEL/AFL button
mode 1 AEL & AFL Exposure AEL
mode 2 AFL only AEL & Exposure AEL
mode 3 AEL only Exposure AFL

AEL/AFL modes (C-AF)

Mode

Shutter half-press

Shutter full-press AEL/AFL button
mode 1 AEL & AF Start AFL & Exposure AEL
mode 2 AF Start AEL & AFL & Exposure AEL
mode 3 AEL only AFL & Exposure AF Start
mode 4 No action AEL & AFL & Exposure AF Start

 

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