Sunday, 13 January 2013

Menus, Buttons, Dials and Settings on Olympus Mirrorless Cameras

Seems lots of people are buying into Olympus PEN and OM-D models. Some people come from Canon, Nikon ownership, others come from film. I've had Olympus Digital since the C-750 Ultra Zoom camera and eventually moved to the DSLRs, the E-510, E-330, E-620. Then,  E-PL1,  the E-PM2, now that E-M1. So I've lived the Olympus approach to buttons, menus, dials and settings for a little while.

If you hand me a Nikon or Canon, I take a while to figure it out, I find the Olympus approach fairly logical but that's because I've used that gear for a while. As an aid, I thought I might write a series of articles for new users (not necessarily new to photography) on using / setting up the Olympus cameras.

The My Settings Idea

When I shot film SLR, I was often caught out. I would set up the camera for indoors and then wander outdoors and vice versa, with the wrong settings. I'm kinda klutzy like that. If you don't set up a profile / My Settings, you'll encounter the mistakes like that more often.

The Idea

You can reset the camera to factory settings. Most digital cameras I know have a menu to do that. What's worthwhile in Olympus gear is to have two or more "My Settings" to set up as a "home". You could set up My Settings 1 for indoors, My Settings 2 for outdoors. You could set up My Settings 1 for shooting colour and My Settings 2 for Black and White. You could switch between them very quickly without remembering a whole brace of menu steps. You could switch to one of them when you start a shooting session or at the start of a day.

Yes, there are deficiencies with the implementation of My Settings - for example, we could have a memorable name for My Settings 1 - I am such a klutz that I forget what My Settings 1 was set for.

To set up your camera and then save the state to My Settings 1 

This only works when your camera is in either P A S or M exposure modes. It won't be much use in Green Auto / iAuto / Auto Everything. It won't be useful for SCENE modes or Art Filter modes.
  1. Set up your camera the way you want. 
  2. Press the [Menu] button - there will be a vertical menu panel on the left
  3. Choose Camera 1 Icon also known as  "Preliminary and Basic Shooting Options"
  4. Choose the menu Reset / My Set. Then you see the choices - Reset, Myset 1, Myset 2, Myset 3, Myset 4, Myself 5
  5. Place the cursor on Myset 1 and press Right Arrow to choose Set
  6. Press Ok
You have now stored the camera's settings to Myset 1. 

To get the camera back to this state

You could now have used the camera for a bit, played around with this or that menu. You now want to recover back to Myset 1
  1. Press the [Menu] button
  2. Choose Camera 1 Icon 
  3. Choose Reset / My Set menu
  4. Place the cursor on Myset 1
  5. Press Ok and confirm
You have now restored he camera's settings to Myset 1.

You can subsequently tinker with the camera and choose different settings. These can be saved as Myset 2, 3, or 4

If you want to get the camera to "as delivered" from the factory, choose the Reset menu item.

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