User Guide: Getting the most out of the Olympus E-M5
1 User Guide: Getting the most out of the Olympus E-
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.
- Enabling the Super Control Panel
- Choosing live view displays and configuring Highlights & Shadows
- Buttons and dials
- Quickly disabling/enabling the EVF eye sensor
- Configuring Auto ISO
- Image stabilization in the viewfinder...and for legacy lenses
- Faster live view (and Autofocus)
- Setting noise reduction and sharpening
- Shooting Super Fine JPEGs
- Making Auto White Balance less 'warm'
User interface tricks and tips
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.
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).
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.
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.
Profoto said it spoke with Godox back at Photokina 2018 and continues to contact Godox in an effort to stop it from marketing its V1 light.
Product renders in Italian publication Notebook Italia show an unusual design that conceals all cameras with the help of a slider mechanism.
Canon says its new EF 400mm F2.8L IS III and EF 600mm F4L IS III lenses can suffer from an intermittent flickering when shooting video in M or Av modes with certain cameras.
Leica recently announced the Q2, a digital rangefinder with a fixed 28mm F1.7 lens. It's a heck of a lot of fun to shoot with, but is it right for you? Based on our time with the camera, and its specifications, we've examined how well-suited it is for common photography use-cases.
Now that our Panasonic Lumix S1R has final firmware, we couldn't wait to get out shooting with it - and we also tried the high-res mode, which combines files to get 187 megapixel images. Because sometimes, 47 megapixels just isn't enough.
DroneShield has announced a partnership with NASCAR to use its trifecta of drone-disabling technology at events held at Texas Motor Speedway.
In this article, travel and landscape photographer Mitch Green encourages us to spend more time in the the field.
the lens lacks any electronics whatsoever and is constructed entirely of glass and metal. Of course, that comes at the expense of weight — this thing weighs in at 1.1kg / 2.43lbs.
Drones can be useful tools in urban areas, where they're utilized for everything from news reporting to building inspections, but flying in these areas requires careful preparation. Here's what you need to know to do so safely.
Hasselblad has released a new cable release and USB double battery charger for its X1D medium format camera .
After a report published by NBC News, Flickr has taken heat for allegedly letting IBM 'scrape' photos for use in its facial recognition datasets. But the problem isn't what it seems on the surface.
Samyang has announced the impending arrival of the AF 85mm F1.4 FE lens for full-frame Sony cameras.
Some Photoshop shortcuts are simple and obvious. Others, not so much. Here are 15 shortcuts that are actually useful.
Twitter has redesigned its in-app camera for easier access from the timeline screen.
Independent cinema lens manufacturer SLR Magic has announced it will offer all of its existing MicroPrime range in the Fujifilm X mount and has even created a Fuji-specific 12mm lens.
We've updated our buying guides with three more cameras: the Canon EOS RP, Nikon Z6 and Olympus E-M1X.
CFexpress 2.0 cards will come in three different form factors, each of which will offer different maximum speeds.
Lensbaby has added a third tilt lens to its Optic Swap system, this time a 35mm lens, adding to the existing 50mm and 80mm options.
Sigma has released firmware updates for a number of its lenses as well as its EF-E adapter to address various errors and features with Canon, Nikon and Sony cameras.
We've added the Fujifilm X-T30 and Sony a6400 to our 'Best Cameras under $1000' buying guide. These two mirrorless models pack in a lot of features for just $900 body only.
Instagram, Facebook and other Facebook-owned services are down for users around the world.
Think Tank Photo has unveiled its new Vision series of shoulder bags, including the Vision 10, Vision 13 and Vision 15.
The OPPO Reno series will be launched on April 10 but some details have already been spotted on the web.
Insta360 has unveiled its latest camera, as well as a new VR headset app and a specialized smartphone cover that makes it possible to view 3D video on standard smartphones.
A fresh crop of ready-for-anything compacts has been added to our buying guide – just in time for Spring Break.
At the Hydrogen One launch RED promised a range of bolt-on modules designed to expand the device's feature set. However, there is now doubt if those modules will ever be released.
Due to growing concerns about drones around regulated airspace, no-fly zones in the United Kingdom will be more than four times larger than before starting March 13.
Huawei clearly hasn't learned its lesson and once again has been busted for trying to pass off DSLR photos as images taken with one of its upcoming smartphones.
A compact camera reached speeds of 264 miles per hour during a test to demonstrate the dangers presented by normal domestic objects flying around during tornado.
The Fujifilm GF 100-200mm F5.6 covers a range equivalent to 79-158mm when mounted on a GFX camera. It's also a medium-format Fujifilm shooter's longest zoom option for the foreseeable future – take a look at some sample shots.