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.
Ever get those moments when all your creativity leaves you? Yes, well so do we all. Here YouTuber Jamie Windsor shares his tips for getting back on track
Colin Goudie is a film editor with a career spanning over 35 years, known most recently for his work on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. He talked with DPRevew about editing movies back in the film days, and the transition to a fully digital workflow.
Photographers used to do crazy things like smear petroleum jelly on their lenses to create interesting photos, but thanks to the Lensbaby Omni you can get those same effects without plopping goo on your glass. Join Chris and Jordan for some creative photography.
The ‘Overall’ winning shot was captured with a DJI Phantom 4 Pro, marking the first time the winning image has ever been captured with a drone.
The system can simulate the camera's movement and the set lighting to perfectly match the background with the scene.
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) isn't new technology, but this does mark the beginning of an era where you can search for text found within your images hosted on Google Photos.
Photographer Aryeh Nirenberg used an astro-modified Sony a7S II to capture the 1,100 images that went into making this 55-second timelapse.
The Sony RX100 VII takes the place of its RX100 VA sibling as our top overall pick, while the Canon G5 X II replaces the Panasonic LX100 II as our alternate choice.
A recent screenshot from the German Nikon Professional Service website shows that only 1,000 of Nikon's 500mm F5.6 PF ED VR lens are being produced each month.
Viltrox has shared photos and specifications on its official Weibo account of three upcoming APS-C lenses for Fujifilm, Sony and Leica camera systems.
Weird lens aficionado Mathieu Stern quite literally got more than he bargained for when he paid just €2 for a rare projector lens that creates some of the most intense swirly bokeh we've ever seen.
The short video shows off the silhouettes of four new lenses — one large lens and three compact lenses — alongside two current Tamron Sony E mount lenses.
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VII is the most capable pocket camera currently on the market thanks to a combo of good image quality, smooth stabilized 4K and an industry-leading autofocus implementation. For these reasons it receives our gold award.
New top end calibration package aims to reduce waste when printing on difficult surfaces by making color measurement more accurate
Moment's new 37mm Cine filters are compatible with various models of iPhone, Pixel, OnePlus and Galaxy devices.
Instagram has dismissed another viral spam image that is circulating on its platform, this one claiming that, starting tomorrow, all user content will be made public (including deleted messages) and that the company will be able to use images against users in court.
The upcoming products are designed to create a ‘complete line of photo and video products’ designed for photographers of all levels.
Sony's FE 35mm F1.8 answers a lot of a7-series photographers' prayers. But was it worth the wait? Find out in our full review.
Nikon has finally made it possible to transfer Raw images from their Wi-Fi-capable cameras to smartphones and tablets running the new SnapBridge 2.6 application.
DroneDJ conducted a comprehensive search of DJI's official online store and noticed most models were out of stock.
The new app, which is limited to iOS, for the time being, makes it easy to deliver images to clients, who can easily sort through and download images on-the-go.
The adapter uses a six-element design to make the most of even the fastest Hasselblad V lenses on Fujifilm's GFX mount camera systems.
Huawei's upcoming high-end devices are likely to catch up with Apple and Samsung in terms of 4K video frame rates.
In this video we’ve traveled to southern Spain with the Olympus OM-D E-M1X. There, we headed for the town of Sevilla to meet up with action sports photographer Fernando Marmolejo.
Henry Diltz recounts how he became the official photographer of Woodstock and shares what it looked like through the viewfinder.
Canon Australia appears to have leaked two upcoming cameras in a pair of promotional videos - an ‘EOS M6 II’ and an ‘EOS 90D.’
The adapter sits inside the camera and compresses the lens image to fit the camera's Super 35mm sensor, and restoring the look of the original focal length of the lens
Sydney-based coder Greig Sheridan and his photographer partner Rocky have introduced Intervalometerator, an open-source intervalometer designed for deploying inexpensive remote time-lapse systems involving Canon DSLRs, Arduino and Raspberry Pi hardware.
The lens, set to ship later this year for a yet-to-be-determined price, is an update to Yongnuo's original 35mm F1.4 lens that adds an ultrasonic motor.
The One Action's ultra-wide camera lets you to record horizontal video while holding the phone vertically.