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Custom Functions / settings

Olympus has developed a tradition of making phenomenally configurable cameras - even its least-expensive DSLR has always allowed the kinds of changes that 90% of people will wonder about the need for, but the remaining 10% will be delighted to be able to change. Many of the settings included tend to be of the type that you'll likely set once and never return to, which makes Olympus's trick of hiding the settings menu quite an astute one. The menu that controls the Accessory Port can also be hidden, if you don't have anything to plug in there.

Settings menu

This is the real biggie; fully ten sections ('A' to 'J') of options ordered into fairly logical groups that cover everything from autofocus to image quality settings and button behavior. Although separated into sections, once you're in the main list the pages all link together, effectively creating a 15-page list of options (unlike the top-level tabs, that loop at the end of each tab).

A: AF/MF

The Custom A menu is where you'll make changes to focus parameters. In typical Olympus fashion, you can even specify the rotational direction by which the lens will focus towards infinity.

Option Values / Actions Notes
AF mode  • Still Picture
S-AF
C-AF
MF
S-AF + MF
C-AF + TR
 • Movie
S-AF
C-AF
MF
S-AF + MF
C-AF + TR
TR = Tracking mode
Full-time AF*  • Off
 • On
 
AF area  • Automatic selection
 • Single area
Select area using arrow keys
 • Expanded area*
Select area using arrow keys
Auto uses all focus points to focus on the closest object.

Expanded area uses a 3x3 grid of AF points
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.
Focus ring  • Counter clockwise
 • Clockwise
Defines the direction in which the manual focus ring operates.
MF Assist  • On
 • Off
Automatically magnifies the preview image as soon as the manual focus ring is moved.
[...] Set Home  • Automatic selection
 • Single area
Select home area
 • Expanded area*
Select home area
Sets a 'Home' AF point position that can be reset quickly using the Fn keys (when assigned)
AF Illuminat.*  • Off
 • On
 
Face Priority*  • Closer eye
 • Left side eye
 • Right side eye
 • Off
 

B: Button/Dial

The Custom B menu is where button operation and control dial settings can be configured. If desired, you can also lock the control dial, preventing unintentional changes to exposure settings in the PASM modes.

Option Values / Actions Notes
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.

(Described at the bottom of the page. Click on the focus type to jump to the correct table)
AEL/AFL MEMO  • Off
 • On
Toggles whether AEL/AFL button needs to be held to retain AEL.
Button Function  • Fn
AEL/AFL
Movie record
Preview
One Touch White Balance
[...] Home
MF
Quality
Test Picture
Myset1
Myset2
Myset3
Myset4
Backlit LCD
Underwater/Underwater macro
Live guide
Digital Tele-converter
Off
 • Movie button
AEL/AFL
Movie record
Preview
One Touch White Balance
[...] Home
MF
Quality
Test Picture
Myset1
Myset2
Myset3
Myset4
Backlit LCD
Underwater/Underwater macro
Live guide
Digital Tele-converter
Off
 • Right arrow
Drive mode
WB
Dial Lock
Exp Comp
Flash Mode
 • Down arrow
Drive mode
WB
Dial Lock
Exp Comp
Flash Mode
Note: The available options displayed by the camera for the various customizable buttons are contingent upon the functions currently assigned to other buttons:

When selecting the function for Fn or the Movie Record button, the options currently assigned to the other button are not displayed.

When selecting the function of the 'Right' and 'Down' arrows, the option currently assigned to the other is not displayed, aside from Exposure Compensation which is always available on both buttons.
Dial function  • P
Program shift
Exp. Comp.
 • A
F No.
Exp. Comp.
 • S
Shutter speed
Exp. Comp.
 • M
F No.
Shutter speed
Allows functions to be applied to the rear dial.
Dial direction  • Exposure
Dial 1
Dial 2
 • Menu
Dial 1
Dial 2
Swaps the direction in which the dial operates.
Dial Lock  • Off
 • On
Allows the rear dial to be locked to prevent unintended operation

C: Release/Continuous

The Custom C menu lets you decide whether the camera can release the shutter without achieving focus. This is also where you define the camera's high and low frame rates. Note that this designation merely defines the parameter. Changing the frame rate (from high to low) is accomplished in either of the Live Control or SCP screens.

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.
Low fps*  • 1fps
 • 2fps
 • 3fps
Sets the frame rate when low fps is selected.
High fps*  • 4fps
 • 5fps
Sets the frame rate when high fps is selected.

D: Disp/Beep/PC

The Custom D menu is quite extensive, with 15 submenus that define much of the user interaction with the LCD screen. It is here that you can enable or disable entire screen views and picture modes. If you choose to enable a highlight/shadow clipping warning, you can define the luminance levels at which the warnings will appear.

Option Values / Actions Notes
HDMI  • HDMI Out
1080i
720p
480p / 576p
 • HDMI Control
Off
On
Set the HDTV output resolution
Video out  • NTSC
 • PAL
 
Info setting  • Play Info
Image Only
On/Off
Overall
On/Off
Histogram
On/Off
Highlight & Shadow
On/Off
Lightbox
On/Off
 • LV Info
Displayed Grid
Off
5 x 5 grid
3 x 3 grid (rule of thirds)
Cross hairs
Diagonals
Histogram
On/Off
Highlight & Shadow
On/Off
Multi View
On/Off
Image only
On/Off
• Thumbnail settings
4
On/Off
9
On/Off
25
On/Off
100
On/Off
Calender
On/Off
Enables/Disables the different playback and Live view screen modes that are found by pressing the 'Info' button.
Camera Control Settings  • iAuto
Live Guide
Live Control
SCP
 • PASM
Live Control
SCP
 • Art
Art Menu
Live Control
SCP
 • SCN
Scene Menu
Live Control
SCP
Allows various control options including Super Control Panel (SCP) to be turned on or off in different exposure modes
Picture Mode Settings*  • i-Enhance
 • Vivid
 • Muted
 • Portrait
 • Monotone
 • Custom
 • Soft Focus
 • Grainy Film
 • Pin Hole
 • Diorama
 • Dramatic Tone
Allows each of the Picture Modes and Art Filters to be individually turned on or off.
Histogram Settings  • Highlight
245 - 255
 • Shadow
0 - 10
Allows setting of the levels at which highlight and shadow clipping warnings will be displayed
Mode Guide  • On
 • Off
 
Live View boost  • Off
 • On
'On' brightens screen for visibility, 'Off' mimics brightness of exposure.
Art LV Mode  • Mode 1
 • Mode 2
Optimizes Art Filter preview for accuracy or refresh rate
Play Close-up Mode  • Mode 1
 • Mode 2
Changes behavior of enlarged view in playback
Backlit LCD  • 8 sec
 • 30 sec
 • 1 Min
 • Hold
 
Sleep  • 1 Min
 • 3 Min
 • 5 Min
Sets the period of inactivity before sleep mode is engaged.
Beep  • On
 • Off
Decides whether the camera beeps upon obtaining focus lock
Volume  • Mute, 5 levels  
USB Mode  • Auto
 • Storage
 • MTP
 • Print
 

E: Exposure/Metering/ISO

Parameters related to metering and exposure are located in Custom menu E. While ISO values can also be set in the Live Control and SCP, it is here where you can change the EV increments in which they are made available, specify the default and maximum values for Auto ISO, as well as select the shooting modes in which Auto ISO is an available option. Anti-shock allows you to stagger the shutter's opening and closing cycles to counter any shutter-induced vibrations.

Option Values / Actions Notes
EV step  • 1/3 EV
 • 1/2 EV
 • 1 EV
Sets incremental steps used for exposure
Metering mode  • ESP
 • Center Weighted Average
 • Spot
 • Highlight based spot
 • Shadow based spot
 
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.
ISO  • Auto
 • ISO 200
 • ISO 400
 • ISO 800
 • ISO 1600
 • ISO 3200
 • ISO 6400
 • ISO 12800
(1 EV steps shown here - 1/3 EV steps also available).
ISO step  • 1/3 EV
 • 1 EV
Sets incremental steps used for sensitivity.
ISO-Auto set  • High limit
ISO 200 - 12800
 • Default
ISO 200 - 12800
Sets the upper limit and default value used by Auto ISO mode.
ISO-Auto  • P/A/S
 • All
Selects which modes ISO-Auto is active in. All includes Manual mode.
Bulb timer  • 30 Min
 • 25 Min
 • 20 Min
 • 15 Min
 • 8 Min
 • 4 Min
 • 2 Min
 • 1 Min
Sets maximum exposure in bulb mode.
Anti-Shock  • Off
 • On: 1/8 - 30 sec
Equivalent to 'mirror lock up' on a conventional SLR.

F: Flash Custom

The shortest of the custom menus, Custom F is where you control flash sync and link flash intensity with exposure compensation.

Option Values / Actions Notes
Flash X-Sync  • 1/60 - 1/160 Sync speed of flash
Flash slow limit  • 30 secs - 1/160 Lowest shutter allowed with flash
Flash + EV comp  • Off
 • On
Links AE compensation and flash exposure compensation

G: Record mode/Color/WB

The Custom G menu is where you can alter noise reduction and WB parameters in addition to defining JPEG compression parameters for the camera's various quality settings.

Option Values / Actions Notes
Noise reduction  • Off
 • On
 • Auto
Enable or disable long exposure noise reduction.
Noise Filter  • Off
 • Low
 • Standard
 • High
Changes the noise processing level. 'High' is recommended for high ISO images.
White Balance  • Auto
 • 5300 K (Daylight)
 • 7500 K (Shade)
 • 6000 K (Cloudy)
 • 3000 K (Incandescent)
 • 4000 K (Fluorescent)
 • Underwater
 • 5500 K (Flash)
 • Custom 1
 • Custom 2
 • Kelvin (2000 - 14000 K)
- Fine tune Amber / Green (15 steps)
- "
- "
- "
- "
- "
- "
- "
- "
All WB comp  • All Set
Amber (15 steps)
Green (15 steps)
 • All Reset
Applies a correction to all WB presets. Or resets that correction.
Auto WB Keep Warm Color*  • Off
 • On
Maintains warm colors under candlelight etc.
Flash + WB*  • Off
 • WB Auto
 • Flash WB
Automatically changes WB mode when shooting with flash
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
1920 x 1440*
1600 x 1200
• Small
1280 x 960
1024 x 768
640 x 480
Defines the sizes of 'Middle' and 'Small' JPEGs. The actual pixel values produced are dictated by the Image aspect option (below).

H: Record/Erase

The Custom H menu allows you to control filenaming convention and specify whether both the JPEG and Raw file are erased when deleting images captured in Raw + JPEG mode.

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.
File name  • Auto
 • Reset
Auto continues numbering onto new cards Reset starts again.
Edit Filename   Add up to a 4-digit prefix to image names. One preset per color space.
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.
Copyright settings*  • Copyright Info
Off
On
 • Artist
(Set Name)
 • Copyright Name
(Set Name)
Allows copyright information to be incorporated into image EXIF data

I: Movie

The Custom I menu gives you access to shooting modes, art filters, and sound recording. You can also choose to have the camera automatically capture a still image upon completion of a movie recording.

Option Values / Actions Notes
Record Mode  • P
 • A
 • S
 • M
 • Art 1
 • Art 2
 • Art 3
 • Art 4
 • Art 5
 • Art 6
 
Movie + Still  • Off
 • On
 
Movie Sound  • Off
 • On
 

J: Utility

In the Custom J menu you can manually shift the default exposure metering. You can also fine-tune the appearance of battery level warnings.

Option Values / Actions Notes
Pixel Mapping  • Start Automatically senses 'dead pixels' and maps them out by averaging color values from surrounding pixels.
Exposure shift  • ESP
 • Center weighted
 • Spot
Each metering mode can be fine-tuned in 1/6 EV intervals between -1 and +1 EV.
Battery warning level  •+2 to -2 Adjusts whether the battery warning lights up sooner or later than usual.
Eye-Fi  • Off
 • On
Enable use of Eye-Fi WiFi-enabled SD cards

Accessory Port menu

The Accessory Port menu is short, dealing with the options available when using Olympus's PENPal image sharing device and the VF-2 clip-on EVF.

 

Option Values / Actions Notes
Olympus PenPal share  • Please Wait
 • Address Book
 • My Olympus PenPal
 • Picture Send Size
Size 1: Small (640 x 480)
Size 2: Large (1920 x 1440)
Size 3: Medium (1280 x 960)
 
Olympus PenPal Album  • Copy All
 • Reset Protect
 • Album Mem. Usage
 • Album Mem. Setup
 • Picture Send Size
Size 1: Large (Original size)
Size 2: Medium (1920 x 1440)
 
Electronic Viewfinder  • Brightness -7 to +7
 • Color temp -7 to +7
Adjust brightness and color balance of the EVR

Setup menu

The setup menu contains just six options, with one of them acting to simplify the menu structure by hiding or displaying the Custom and Accessory Port menus. It's an interesting idea (especially since it's unusual to have to regularly delve into the Custom menu, given that all key settings are directly accessible), that can make the Olympus menu system considerably less intimidating.

Option Values / Actions Notes
Date / Time  • Date
 • Time
 • Date Format
 
Language   Selects menu language. Varies depending on market. Additional languages can be added with Olympus Master software.
LCD Adjust  • Brightness -7 to +7
 • Color temp -7 to +7
Adjust brightness and color balance of the LCD
Record View  • Off
 • 1 - 20 sec
Amount of time record review is displayed. Auto playback then moves to playback mode - allowing deletion.
Settings / Acc. Port menu display  • Settings Menu Display
Off
On
 • Accessory Port Menu Display
Off
On
Hides or reveals the settings and accessory port menus, to simplify the menu structure.
Firmware  • Show Displays lens and body firmware

AEL/AFL button combinations

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

*Naturally, all AFL functionality listed in the table above is inactive in MF mode.

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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Comments

Total comments: 2
mach37
By mach37 (9 months ago)

Where and what is the "thumb dial" on the E-P3, that is missing on the E-PL3? I have seen this mentioned in a few other Olympus reviews, but I have not seen any dials on the PEN cameras except the single mode dial on the top.
And while on that subject, I see the PM1 is totally dial-less - has no mode dial at all, anywhere. I presume that function is covered in a menu on the LCD? I would have been satisfied with a PM1 except the mode dial seems much too handy to omit.

0 upvotes
Sults
By Sults (8 months ago)

The "thumb dial" on the E-P3 is the dial you see.
The other dial (like on other Olympus PEN-s) is the ring over the 4-way rear controller. See the Operations and controls section: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympusepl3/4

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Total comments: 2