Olympus OM-D E-M1 Review
Controls and customization
It's fair to say that the E-M1 isn't short of customization options. However, unlike the cameras further down the range, this isn't about adding direct access to your frequently-used features, since most key features already have their own buttons or means of access. It's more about the ability to assign the settings you change most often to the controls you find most convenient.
The diagram below shows the features you're given access to by default:
2x2 Dial system
The E-M1 includes the 2x2 Dial interface we first saw on the E-P5, in which a switch on the back of the camera changes the behavior of certain controls, giving quick access to more functions than would otherwise be available. The diagram above highlights the default settings, by which the camera's dials are switched to control white balance and ISO.
New for the E-M1 is the 2x2 switch's ability to also change the behavior of the buttons on the camera's left shoulder. This can be enabled or disabled independently of the main 2x2 function, so you can gain quick access to WB and ISO, without affecting the shoulder buttons. Equally, you can disable the 2x2 switch's effect on the dials, and just have it change the shoulder buttons' functions.
The control's main function can be customized so that, rather than placing WB and ISO on the dials (in either order), it instead swaps between two focus modes, which means it can be used to switch between autofocus and manual. Alternatively, it can be set to place WB and ISO on the Fn2 and REC buttons (again in either order). However there's no way of adjusting which features the switch engages, or combining its various options.
The E-M1, continuing something of an Olympus tradition, is one of the most customizable cameras we've ever encountered, and it's full of features designed to give fairly direct access to almost any function you might choose, just in case the defaults aren't sufficient.
A step forward on the E-M1 is that all 26 options can be used on the six main custom buttons.
|Button||Fn1 / Fn2 / REC / AEL AFL / Upper Front / Lower Front|
|Available Functions||• AF area select
• AF area reset
• Manual Focus
• Test Picture
|• Underwater scene
• Exposure Comp
• Live Guide
• Digital teleconverter
• Multi Function
• Level Disp
• DOF Preview
• One Touch WB
*REC can only be assigned to one button at a time, so needs to be de-registered from the REC button before it can be reassigned.
** The exact behavior of a button set to AEL/AFL can be defined elsewhere in the menus (with different settings definable for each focus mode)
If this isn't enough for you, then you can also choose to change the function of the four-way controller (which gives direct access to focus point, by default), so that the right and downward directional buttons can be redefined. You can still get quick access to focus point selection by pressing the Fn1 button on the camera's shoulder. These are the available options:
|Button||Down or Right on four-way controller|
|Available Functions||• Drive Mode
• Lock touchscreen
• Electric Zoom
• Exposure Comp.
• Flash Mode
Interestingly, these buttons (which are only accessible by removing one of the methods of specifying AF point), can have several functions assigned to them that aren't available elsewhere.
Customizable mode dial
In a feature unique to Olympus, any of the positions on the exposure mode dial can also be customized. The camera has four 'Myset' user memories which can be assigned to any of the positions on the mode dial. So if you have a specific shooting setup you like to be able to access quickly, perhaps for low light work, and you never use the Photo Story mode, you could save a Myset and assign it to that position for quick recall.
|Any of the positions on the E-M1's mode dial can be customized to recall one of the camera's four 'Myset' memories.|
This opens up some interesting options; for example, you could store specific setups for each of the PASM modes. One option might be to configure the S position as a 'sports' mode, keeping it as shutter priority but adding continuous shooting and tracking autofocus. But at the same time you could set up the A position with your preferred settings for general shooting, and switch between two different setups at the flick of the dial. This would certainly be easier than trying to remember exactly what purpose you had 'Myset2' set up for (or indeed 'C2' on other brands).
The E-M1 includes the Multi-function button we first saw on the E-M5, allowing access to four functions from a single button. These include the Highlight&Shadow Control feature that allows you to tweak and preview changes to the camera's tone curve, and the new Color Creator mode that allows you to make tonal and saturation shifts to the camera's color response. In addition you get access to aspect ratio selection and magnified live view.
To change the button's current function, simply hold it down and spin the rear dial. Once you've selected the one you're after, then pressing the button once brings up the on-screen interface to operate it.
Apr 27, 2016
Apr 6, 2016
Mar 14, 2016
Mar 21, 2016
|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..
Chinese gimbal manufacturer Gudsen has released a firmware update for its Moza Air that lets you control the direction and angle of the head remotely just by moving a small handlebar-mounted control unit.
Curious how the Sony a9 performs underwater? Our friends at Backscatter took the camera diving off the Baja California coast, to find out how it handled shooting great white sharks.
While most of the DPReview crew put away our cameras and just watched the celestial event, Rishi decided last-minute to hack together a rig and capture a few shots.
Defunct Russian camera maker Zenit is making a comeback, and they're planning to release a full-frame mirrorless camera in 2018.
The days where you're more or less locked into premium or first-party flash units has gone. They're less than $50 now, so there's one less excuse not to get one. Here's our case for adding one to your kit, and a few pointers to get you going.
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.