User Guide: Getting the most out of the Olympus E-M5
Modifying camera functions
The EVF's eye sensor is part of what makes the E-M5 shooting experience so seamless when you switch between electronic viewfinder and rear display panel. However, there are times it can be a little over-sensitive. Triggering the sensor will switch the camera straight to shooting mode, which is great if you want to quickly grab a shot, but slightly frustrating when you're trying to show someone a photo and it disappears as they point at it.
There's no way of adjusting the sensitivity of the sensor (and it's sensitive enough that you'll want to switch the camera off when it's hanging 'round your neck, to avoid burning through the battery by having the eye sensor keeping the EVF on). However, you can easily access the menu setting that disables and enables the function.
Hold down the live view button on the right-hand side of the viewfinder hump and you'll be taken straight to the 'EVF Auto Switch' menu option, usually found in Custom Menu J.
There are three settings that affect the behavior of the Auto ISO system and allow it to be fine-tuned to your needs. The first thing to do is define an upper limit - the E-M5's image output is very usable a long way beyond the ISO 1600 limit that's set by default. We were entirely happy for the camera to choose an ISO up to 6400, which can be set in Custom Menu E - 'ISO-Auto Set.'
By default, Auto ISO is concerned about camera shake and will push the sensitivity up when it reaches 1/Effective Focal Length or 1/60th, whichever is faster. However, the lower limit threshold can be raised, for instance if you're trying to retain fast enough shutter speeds to freeze action. The 'Flash Slow Limit' setting in Custom Menu F effectively sets this threshold. It's not a documented feature, but it's worth knowing.
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). Changing the Custom Menu C setting 'Half Way Rls With IS' to 'On' means that the preview will be stabilized when you half-press the shutter button.
...and for legacy lenses
If you want to retain this stabilized view, even when you're manually focusing legacy lenses, there's another setting you'll need to change. 'LV Close Up Mode' on the second page of section D of the Custom menu defines whether half-pressing the shutter cancels live view magnification. Changing this setting to 'Mode 2' allows you to combine the camera's magnified live view with its image stabilization.
Don't forget, before you race to set 'Magnify' to one of your function buttons, it is already quickly available by holding the Fn2 button and spinning the control dial. Once selected in this way, Magnify can be engaged just by tapping the Fn2 button, making it easy to change its function if you're swapping between Micro Four Thirds and legacy lenses.
Finally, it's worth knowing that stabilization is, by default, disengaged when shooting continuous bursts of images. To enable it, you need to use the '[Continuous] + IF Off' option in Custom Menu C and set it to 'Off.'
The E-M5 offers a high-speed, 120Hz live view refesh rate, offering a smoother live view experience. However, our testing suggests it also gives improved AF acquistion times. The view is slightly more pixelated but not to a degree that's troubling. The setting can be found in Custom Menu J, and involves setting 'Frame Rate' to 'High.'
There's a price to pay, of course - in low light, you more quickly lose the ability to correctly simulate exposure compensation (the most Exp Comp. brightness you can represent drops progressively as light levels fall, until you can only show up to +1EV), and, in extreme low light, you can lose the ability to find focus at all. Until you reach that extreme autofocus is faster but, for working after dark, you might prefer the reliability brought by reverting to the 'Normal' refresh rate.
Optimizing JPEG settings
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. We'd suggest changing 'Noise Filter' (which is what Olympus calls high ISO noise reduction) down to Low or Off. This setting is the second option in Custom Menu G.
Once you've turned the noise reduction down, it's worth easing up on the sharpening, too. This can be adjusted from the Super Control Panel and we'd recommend a setting of -1.
|JPEG - Fine||JPEG - SuperFine|
Olympus offers a uniquely low-compression JPEG option on its cameras, called 'Super Fine'. Compared side-by-side with 'Fine' JPEGs, there's no appreciable difference indeed even performing a 'difference' comparison in Photoshop, you'd be hard-pressed to see what's changed. Generally we feel that, if you want to retain maximum editability, you're better-off shooting Raw, rather than larger-than-probably-necessary JPEGs. However, if you do wish to do so, '[IQ] Set' on the second page of Custom Menu G will allow you to specify the size and quality settings available when shooting.
Some people have complained that the Auto white balance produces images that are a touch too 'warm' and orange. Obviously you could apply a little white balance fine-tuning, applying a little negative correction to the Amber axis (the E-M5 will remember a different adjustment for each preset - which is excellent, so long as you remember you've applied it). But, there's also a menu option to change the behavior of Auto WB. Custom Menu G - '[WB Auto] Keep Warm Color' can be set to 'Off' if you want less of an orange tint to your images.
May 30, 2014
Dec 4, 2014
Nov 15, 2014
May 5, 2015
|Moon 99% D55 C14 St-Zénon 20170806 DP by MarioSS|
from Best Picture of the Week
|Reeds on lake by kkardster|
from Abstracts in Nature
|Florence & the Machine by Dutch Newchurch|
from Second chances..
If you're shooting the solar eclipse here's a hint: don't fry your camera's sensor. Use a proper solar filter that offers at least 16 stops of light filtration, along with UV and IR filtering. More important? Don't look at it unless you've got solar filters. Sensors can be replaced, your retinas can't.
Photographer Rick Wenner recently captured an odd event called the Race of the Gentlemen with a rather odd camera: The Phase One XF IQ3 Achromatic, the world's only 101MP black-and-white digital back.
Buying used is a good way to save some dough, and with the right precautions you can protect yourself from falling victim to a scam.
This two-part video series takes a deep dive into the world of dynamic symmetry and geometric composition, using iconic photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson's brilliant photographs as a guide.
Award-winning photographer Jeremy Cowart tells the moving story behind this drone photograph, captured in the aftermath of the devastating wildfire in Gatlinburg, TN in 2016.
Happy 2017 World Photo Day! We asked everyone on staff at DPReview to share one photo that they took within the last year that makes them jazzed on photography. Here's what we chose.
French President Emmanuel Macron has lodged a legal complaint against a paparazzo who snuck onto the president's private vacation property to take pictures.
Ever wonder what the difference is between compressed, uncompressed and lossless compressed Raw files? Photography Life's Nasim Mansurov breaks it down for you in this informative article.
The oldest known portrait of a US president was just discovered after over a century in storage. It's going up for auction in October, where it's expected to fetch between $150,000 and $250,000.
If you're using the popular Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 Art lens with Sigma's MC-11 converter, listen up: you'll want to update your lens and converter firmware ASAP.
If you've heard it once, you've probably heard it a thousand times: never check in your camera gear when flying. This shattered $11,000 lens is what can happen when you do.
Lensrentals just did its first Cine lens comparison, pitting five top-notch 35mm primes against each other: the Zeiss CP.2 35mm T2.1, Canon CN-E 35mm T1.5, Sigma 35mm T1.5 FF, Rokinon Xeen 35mm T1.5 and Schneider Xenon 35mm T2.1.
A team of Google researchers have found that slightly warping watermarks when embedding them into images can help prevent automatic removal.
You don't have to empty your savings account to take your photography to the next level. These cheap buys cost about $50 or less, and come with outsized benefits for your photography.
Joey L, Dani Diamond, Brandon Woelfel and Jessica Kobeissi go head-to-head in an episode of "4 photographers shoot the same model."
The latest flagship phone from Asus combines a 12MP 1/2.55" Sony IMX362 main sensor with a smaller Sony IMX351 chip for 2x zoom and a background-blurring portrait mode.
The company behind popular photo editor Picktorial 3 just released the X-Pack: a preset package that allows you to add Fuji's in-camera film simulation profiles to your RAF files in post.
Photoshop. GoPro. Every once in a while a product emerges that defines a category. And sometimes, it vanishes just as quickly as it arrived on the scene. This week's Throwback Thursday remembers the Flip, the pocket camcorder everyone had – until they didn't.
The Nokia 8's dual-cam combines the image data from a 13MP RGB sensor and a 13 monochrome chip for better detail, improved dynamic range and lower noise levels.
The company behind retail giant B&H Photo has agreed to pay out $3.2 million in monetary relief and back wages to settle a discrimination and harassment case from 2016.
After a popular Facebook teaser and some studio portrait samples, Godox has finally officially released the Godox A1 smartphone flash and flash trigger. Cheap, versatile and innovative, color us intrigued.
Canon’s EOS 5D Mk IV has won the European Imaging and Sound Association’s Professional DSLR of the Year award, making this the third year in a row that the brand has beaten Nikon to the top spot in the professional camera category.
A photograph and quote tweeted out by former president Barack Obama has officially become the most popular tweet of all time, receiving over 1.3 million retweets and 3.4 million likes.
Edward Weston was one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century, and in this episode of Advancing Your Photography we learn the extreme technique he used to capture one of his most famous still life photos.
Instagram just released a small update that will make a huge difference if you're active on the photo sharing app: threaded comment replies.
Venus Optics has announced the price and delivery date of the second lens to join its Zero-D line up: the 15mm F2 for Sony’s E mount. A lens they've dubbed, "the world's fastest 15mm rectilinear lens for full-frame."
Cinnac is a new social network for photographers that will help you separate your good photos from your great ones through a Tinder-like community-based rating system.
The Canon EF 35mm F2 IS USM is an understated jewel of a lens, and one that we've enjoyed on a variety of cameras since its release almost five years ago. Its relatively small size and image stabilization make it a versatile tool for a variety of photography - check out our sample gallery.
You don't need a fancy studio or tons of gear to capture the kind of classic product photography you see in magazines. In this video, Dustin Dolby shows you how to do it with just a couple of speedlights and some know-how.
The life-logging camera is trying to make a comeback. Say hello to FrontRow, a live-streaming enabled life-logging camera from Ubiquiti that hangs on a necklace like a pendant.