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Custom Menu A & B

Lesson 23 from: Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Fast Start

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

23. Custom Menu A & B

The Olympus Custom menu can feel very overwhelming at first. Here, John explains how the custom menu is organized, then dives into the first two sections of that menu.
Next Lesson: Custom Menu C1 & C2

Lesson Info

Custom Menu A & B

Alright, so in the custom menu, when I first got my first Olympus camera, I felt overwhelmed and I couldn't figure it out. It felt to me like the engineers who designed the camera just haphazardly threw everything into the custom menus. But there is a little bit of slight logic to it. There are groupings A1 through J and the letters almost mean something. A 1, 2, and 3 is page 1, 2, and of auto focus customization. B is for button, dials, and lever. I'm not sure how C translates to release drive and image stabilizer. Display, D, all the D settings. E stands for exposure. F is for flash. Not sure how G represents quality. H or record and erase. They kind of ran out of steam, you can tell, on the naming scenario there. I is where your eye goes, through the EVF, so that makes certain sense. And then some other camera utility ones in J1 and 2. And so this is a little bit different than previous cameras. One of the things that I do like about it is that there are clear and distinct pages o...

f information and there is no scrolling. So when you go to a page, something's not hidden down just below the page screen and so it's gonna be very easy to see what these things are. Alright, so diving into the custom menus, you have sub-menus that we're gonna get into and we're looking at A1, things dealing with auto focus. First option is how your camera focuses. Now, S-AF, single auto focus, is a good option. A lot of serious photographers like to manually focus their camera, which is perfectly fine and you can set that in here. You could do it in in the quick control menu or you could do it with the auto focus button on the top of the camera, so three different places that we've seen it. Alright, the auto exposure lock and auto focus lock button have a number of customizable settings that you can set here in the back. So, attention everyone who likes back button focusing, this is where you can get it done. So when you press the auto exposure lock button, I'm not gonna go through every scenario that's available, you should take a look at it, when you press halfway down versus all the way down on the shutter release versus what happens with the auto exposure, auto focus lock button on the back of the camera varies slightly from mode one to mode two, but in mode three, special mode, folks, the auto exposure lock button will act as a single auto focus option override. So if you were to go into the manual focus option and set the manual focus option to mode three, your camera will then have back button focusing. You can choose the lens to focus at any time you want, but any time you want back button focusing, you can activate it by simply pressing that button. And it's really nice, for those of you who don't get back button focusing or this is new to you, it's really nice to be able to focus when you want and separate that from when you take the picture. So that if I'm taking a picture, say a portrait of somebody, I can focus on them with the focus bracket in the middle of the frame, I can then recompose and take as many pictures as I want without the camera refocusing on the background. And so it simplifies the process of focusing and shooting by separating those two and so a lot of people really enjoy it and if you haven't tried it, I encourage you to give it a try, cause most people who try it once and get into it a little bit and figure it out totally love it. And so that M3 is how I like having my camera set up. As far as S1 and C1, it really depends on how you like the camera to work, but those are good default starting points. AF scanner, okay, so this one deals and is mostly relevant to people using very long focal length lenses as far as how often do you want that lens to focus back and forth looking for focus? And so mode one is where the scanner is not even activated and what happens here is under low contrast and under low lighting conditions, the camera won't even try to focus just because it knows that it's unlikely to focus, and I don't think that's a very good option. Mode two, it'll scan front to back once, which is probably where somebody would want to have this who's pretty serious about shooting because, okay, let's give the camera one chance to do it right and if it doesn't do it right, I'm gonna jump in and manually get it done myself. Mode three, it would just continue to scan it all the time, which is probably where it should be for most average users with average lenses. The continuous auto focus lock. Here is another feature that I think Olympus stands, it needs a little work, folks. It's a little complicated and I've tried to, you know, really get this nailed down and I can't say that I've totally nailed this one down myself, but here it is to the best of my research so far. So when you're focusing on a subject and another subject comes into the frame, do you want it to focus on that subject or not? And the answer is, it depends on what you're shooting. You might want that person that's closer to the camera or you might not want them, perhaps if they're a referee, you don't want them in, but in another case, you would want them in there. And so in this tracking sensitivity mode, there is a plus one, plus two, minus one, minus two, but it deals more than just the tracking sensitivity. And so what the experts out there have kind of concluded, and it's very light, so I would recommend to start with just set it at zero, see how well it works, here are some of the tweaks. If you deal primarily with motion that comes forward and away from you, if it's steady movement, you could leave it to plus one. If it's irregular, something that kind of starts and stops, like the long jumper who is completely stopped, goes up to top speed, jumps into the sand pit, and comes to a complete stop, changing speed like that, you could set it for plus two. The minus ones are a little bit better for side to side motion, and so perhaps field sports, football, soccer, hockey, things like that. If there's relatively few obstacles, minus one, if there's a lot of crossing of back and forth, you might try minus two. And so the differences between one and the next is very subtle, I've tried to make some good examples of how it will track certain subjects, and it's just not a big difference between these, from what I've seen. But it really depends on the type of action you're shooting, so if you shoot a lot of action, start with it at zero, tweak around, play with it a little bit, and see if you get better results with one tweak or the other on it. The auto focus limiter on this camera dives us into a little bit of a sub-menu in here. And so if you want to limit where the camera will focus, you can choose a range for the camera to focus on. So if you were focusing on sports and you knew that no one was gonna get really close to you cause you were off on the sidelines or up in the stands, you could set the parameters so that the camera's not even looking real close to the camera. Or if you're shooting product or macro photography, it's not gonna look to infinity for focus, it's only gonna stay within the short range that you are regularly using it and so you have three different presets for that. The priority release will allow you to shoot a photo even though the camera does not have it in focus. And so it depends a little bit on if you have back button focusing set up or what focusing system you're on, but this simply allows you to shoot photos while the camera is not focused. And so for the general user, they probably don't want that. Next up is our AF settings. And so which options do you want to have available to you when it comes time to selecting different focusing points? Now, you'll always get the single point as an option, but do you want to have these other points? Do you like cycling by them? I think they all have really good value, depending on what you're doing, so if you're doing a variety of stuff, leave them all checked off. If you know you'll never use them, then you can go in and uncheck the boxes that you don't use. AF area pointer is just how much visual display about the focusing. With On 1, the green frame will blink once. When it's On 2, it stays on the green, which is kind of nice, and if you turn it off, you won't see the green frame at all. And so it just depends on what type of display you like to have in the viewfinder. Alright, second page of auto focus, the targeting pad on the back of the camera. So the back of the camera has a touch screen, but it can also be used for directing what focusing point you want the camera to be on. Now, this will be differently effective whether you are left-eyed or right-eyed, because your nose could be bumping into the back of the screen. And so some people don't like using it, but some people love it cause it's a way for direct access. The numerous buttons on the camera that you can customize can be customized to be a shortcut home button where it returns all your focus settings to one particular type of group of settings. And this is where you get to decide what that setting is. And so with the press of a button, you could change focusing modes and location. And so this is where you would choose what the focusing mode is, what type of focusing target you have, and where that target is on the frame itself. And so, for instance, if you're shooting sports and you want occasionally up in the top left it does continuous focusing, you could set that all up here, but then you would need to set one of the customization bones-- (laughing) Bones. Too many words in this class. You could set one of the customization buttons to the home button, and then with that one press, everything goes to that one area. Customize settings and then you can have two different defaults here for one and two. If you would like to change the way that the camera's auto focus settings are set, you don't like the dials or the arrows that you use, you can go in here and do that. The AF illuminator. As I mentioned before, I don't like this light popping out of the camera. From a technology standpoint, hey, that's pretty cool, it projects a light for it to focus on. The reality is, it's only good for a few feet and rarely ever helps you out and is frequently annoying to subjects that you are shooting. We saw the face priority a couple of times before, but we can also choose it in here, as well. Auto focus adjustment would be necessary potentially with older auto focus lenses from Olympus that use the four thirds system, not the micro four thirds system. This gets relatively complicated when you get in here. You can do a default data where it's telling the lens to focus a little in front or a little behind where it normally focuses. If you have found that the lens is off in an unusual way, you can do this by lens data. And so it's gonna give you this massive chart where you can do plus and minus on all these different areas. And so if in the center of your camera, it was front focusing, you can make an adjustment for it. But in one of the other boxes, it was back focusing, you could make a different adjustment for that. If you want the camera to focus to a preset distance, you could set that distance in here. Be forewarned, this is an approximate distance, it's not exact, and so anyone who's trying to measure a distance, this doesn't work for exact distance, it's just an about. With manual focus assist, let me give you a couple little demos, this will assist anybody who likes to focus manually with any of the different lens options available. So the first option is focus magnification where as soon as you manually turn to focus the lens, it magnifies to a much, five times magnification. You can then move the frame around to look at different areas to see if it is in sharp focus. Another system for checking focus is focus peaking. And in this case, areas will shimmer in a highlight color to show you where the depth to field is active and how much focus you are getting. And so it's another interesting way. I like it cause it's very clear on where it's in focus, but it's kind of disturbing, so I don't always want it on. So it's the type of thing that you can turn on and off if you want. And so we have a magnified option for turning on and off and then we have peaking that we can turn on and off. Let me just check here. And so feel free to turn those on and off as you need. It depends really on how much manual focusing you do. The manual focus clutch. There's a number of lenses that have a clutch that move back and forth and you could describe whether that is operative or inoperative. A lot of people like it because it's a very quick way to flip to manual focusing, but some people accidentally bump it and suddenly their camera is manually focusing and they're trying to press down on the shutter release button for the camera to focus. And so really depends on how you use your lenses and if you're used to and you like that particular feature of the lenses. Alright, the focusing ring. I mentioned before that you can have the focusing ring turned to infinity, and that's what the arrows indicate, is which direction do you turn for infinity focus? And so, to be honest with you, Nikon is the odd one out. Everybody focuses in the same direction except Nikon. And so anyone who shoots, Nikon will know that their lenses focus in the opposite direction as everyone else's, and so if you want it to match up, either system, it's available. For bulb and time focusing, when the camera is in the bulb mode, or when it's in the time mode, do you want to be able to manually focus the camera? Most people don't, but some people who are a little bit more advanced, trying to do something very creative, you might want to get in there and be able to manually focus. Most people aren't gonna want to have to deal with that. Resetting the lens, we'll reset the lens back to the infinity focusing or whatever the normal focus position is for that lens when you turn the camera off. If you wanted to focus on something very critically manually and then turn the camera off and then turn it back on and have it set in the same spot, that is a case where you would want to leave this turned off. Alright, letter B for buttons and dials. And so this is where we get to customize all the buttons and dials on the camera. So here's a quick look at all the different buttons on the camera that have a pretty wide degree of recalibration and reassignment on what their functions will do and it would be impossible for me to go through every combination and explain why you would want to set it someplace, but clearly, if there is a function you use on a regular basis, you should have a single button or dial adjustment for making that change on the camera. And so there's a lot of buttons that you can reprogram. Set your camera up according to the needs that make it easiest for you to work on the camera. If you get the power booster holder and you bump the arrow pad in the back of the camera, you can turn that off if you want. And so this simply is an on-off switch for that arrow pad on the back of the camera. I mentioned before, you can change the function of the dials. You can change the function depending on which mode there is, so you could say, I want it to work this way in program but a different way in aperture priority. And so these are turning the top two dials, the forward and the rear dial. What exactly does it control? Does it control the program shift or the exposure compensation? And so if you don't like the way things work, there is a lot of different customization that you can get in here, and you can also customize the way it works, whether the switch in the back is in the number one position or the number two position. The way the camera comes out of the box is not too bad and so don't feel like you have to dive into this and start making changes, but if you feel like you're jumping around and making too many dial changes on the camera, there's probably a way to get it to do it with less dial changes. Next up is dial direction. And so for exposure, I highly recommend changing it to dial number two. If you change it to dial number two, when you see an indicator like you see on screen, okay, I'm plus two in over exposure, I need to get it to the left. The dials work exactly opposite the way that you would expect, unless you choose dial number two, and then they will turn the way that most people would associate those dials turning. And so that is one key change that makes this camera a lot easier for me to work with. When you're in the program shift mode, you can have a couple of different options, choosing which way the dial turns. Either it synchronizes with the shutter speeds, so the shutter speeds kind of move back and forth in the same way, or that the apertures move back and forth the same way. You can't have both, you gotta choose one or the other. And so it kind of depends on whether you are a person who thinks more about shutter speeds or more about apertures. Function lever settings. And so we have this great function lever on the back of the camera that can be modified in many different ways. First up, mode one is our normal operation. Mode two allows us to go to different auto focus systems and mode three allows us to go into movie shooting. So if you quickly want to change the camera to the movie mode, you can. And so I want to show you real quickly on this how to change the AF modes. And so the first thing I need to do is go in and turn this particular feature on. So I need to go into the menu, I'm gonna go down here to the customize menu, and they took off the screen what I was gonna be looking at, so we're going down to buttons I can remember. We're talking about the function lever settings, correct? Go to the right. Function lever mode, mode one, mode two. Oh wait, no, where's mode two? Mode two. See, these buttons really work in the opposite direction, I think. So, mode two. Okay, so mode one, I am gonna set for all points focusing, alright, so I'm gonna do that by turning the front dial so I've got everything in focus. Nice. When I go to mode two, I'm gonna press this and I'm gonna change this to focusing way over here to Drew on the left, just barely visible over there. Okay. So when I flip to one, it goes to everything, and when it goes to two, actually and let's, sorry about this, I need to provide a little bit more, something in the foreground, will it focus on this? So now, in mode one, it focuses on the entire area whatever is closest. If I flip it to two, make sure I still got this in the right area, over here on two, and I have chosen something funky about two, I'm gonna have to go in here and check what else is going on. Got the AF mode. Seems right. For some reason, when I get to mode two, there it is. Now it's working. So now, if I go to mode one, it focuses on everything, whatever's closest, when I go to mode two, it focuses in my preselected point over there. And so you can choose between different locations, different target areas, and different styles of focusing. So very cool way. But it does take up the whole function lever and so it can be used in so many ways. So I'm not sure which one to choose, but I think that's a very valuable one. Alright, next up is the switch function. And so normally, when you have this off, you have the normal operation of those buttons on the top left when you flip the switch. But when you turn this on, it would allow you, when you flip it to number two by pressing those buttons, you can get direct access to bracketing, exposure bracketing, flash exposure compensation, and flash. So if you're the type of the person that uses those features more than the other features that they used like auto focus metering and the drive settings, you would flip this one on. That is our function lever settings. Next up, function lever power. So this can actually be a power switch on your camera and that's not enough, they're allowing you to change it to power one or power two, depending on whether you want the white dot up or down to turn the camera on. And so that's what I call a deep level of customization. The electronic zoom speed. And so when you are zooming these, there's a little power zoom on them. How quickly do they zoom? Now, if this seems familiar, I believe we were talking about it in the video section before and now this is for stills, and so how quickly is it gonna zoom back and forth?

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Olympus EM1II Recommended Settings

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

This is exactly what I was looking for - I really feel like I'm not able to control my camera, rather than the camera controlling me! :) I really learned a great deal - some of it was a great review, some of it was crucial information that will (hopefully) make me a better photographer. Thanks for a great class, John!!

Spyro Zarifopoulos

Great and very informative class.... John has done a fabulous job explaining all the simple and intricate details of the very sophisticated EM1 II. Thank you !!!

John Epperson

This is a great course on learning about the OM-D E-M1 Mark II. I have watched it many times to get to were I know it by memory the best I can. I like to go over it as much as possible because there is a lot to learn. I do wish that John would do an updated version since now it is up to Firmware 3.1. It is like a whole new camera with the new settings.

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