Disappointed with E-M1 II Manual

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by ijm5012, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Is anyone else disappointed with the E-M1 II manual in terms of information depth? I'm talking about the ~200 page online PDF one.

    One of the biggest reasons I bought the E-M1 II was the improved C-AF abilities over the E-M1. I enjoy shooting motorsports, and having improved (and customizable) C-AF performance was a big draw for me.

    However, when I go to the menus on the E-M1 II, I hover over a menu item and press to info to give me a little blurb about what the function does. Sometimes its enough, sometimes not. So I went to download the E-M1 II manual to learn more about the AF Scanner and C-AF Lock features, however the manual is nigh useless. The detail around AF Scanner is more in-depth (though I still have no idea what it does, as I haven't seen a real difference after going through the three modes), but the info for C-AF lock is embarrassing "Sets the tracking sensitivity for C-AF."

    I would have appreciated something more, maybe like what Fuji manages to do with the X-T2 (in-camera mind you), giving some examples of different scenarios about what the optimal settings would be for that scene and subject.


    Am I the only one who is a bit disappointed with the lack of depth that the manual goes in to?
     
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  2. retiredfromlife

    retiredfromlife Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 15, 2016
    Sydney, Australia
    To a certain extend all camera manuals are like that, technical references not user guides. Really good to remind you of a feature that you already understand.
    I like the Panasonic manuals a little better. Things a bit better explained and they use colour. But I do miss the alphabetical index in the back of Olympus manuals. Why Panasonic manuals do not have an alphabetical index in the back is beyond me. (The G85 does not have one, others may)

    Having to purchase another reference guide to work out the camera functions should never happen these days.
    You would think it would be a selling point to provide the required information to use the camera and all it's functions, but apparently not.

    Especially hard if you are new to a system.
     
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  3. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    While I don't expect the manual to be a hand-holding, step-by-step guide, I would expect something a bit more than this:

    "C-AF Lock: Sets the tracking sensitivity for C-AF"

    That is literally what is says in the full E-M1 II manual. That is completely and utterly useless. No shit it sets the sensitivity, but it would be nice if you would say what the two ends of the adjustment are. The two ends of the adjustment are "loose" and "tight". What is "loose tracking sensitivity"? What is "tight tracking sensitivity"?

    I have no clue. This is one of the biggest improvements of the E-M1 II (better, customizable C-AF performance), yet they do an extremely poor job of explaining the adjustment in the manual (IMO). Fuji does a better job of explaining this in the menu system on the camera. See the image below, which are the screenshots from X-T2:

    Z-xt2-c-af-parameters.JPG

    That is far more useful than anything Olympus provides, in-camera or in-manual.
     
  4. retiredfromlife

    retiredfromlife Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 15, 2016
    Sydney, Australia
    Fuji has done a better job for sue. Had a quick at one the other month when in my local camera store. I like their menu system.

    I think one of the problems is that menu's and manuals are designed and written by engineers, a problem in itself. Probably because no one else in the organisation can work anything out. You would think someone would question that.
     
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  5. AussiePhil

    AussiePhil Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 1, 2014
    Canberra, ACT, Aust
    Phil
    I agree the mk2 manual could be vastly better in describing the new features and wtf does loose and tight really mean.
    But what about the king of the hill Canon1dxmk2 manual now that shows from page 113 how Olympus should do it they are truly serious about the professional use
     
  6. retiredfromlife

    retiredfromlife Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 15, 2016
    Sydney, Australia
    Having a bit too much time on my hands at home at the moment I had a look at the Canon manual. Looks detailed but one never knows until you try to use it. If I looked at the right manual P113 does give some good explanations

    P113.
     
  7. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    I agree. I noticed that Nikon created quite a few users guides explaining the AF features of the D500. Something like that would be great for Olympus to do.
     
  8. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    Graham
    Especially since there are professional technical writers whose jobs are to write things like user manuals. Oops, forgot they cost money.
     
  9. AussiePhil

    AussiePhil Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 1, 2014
    Canberra, ACT, Aust
    Phil
    Yep that's the one :)
     
  10. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    OK, I'm glad to see that I'm not crazy and the only one that finds the manual to be severely lacking.

    This is their flagship camera, the most expensive Olympus camera ever released, and they can't bother to explain what the new settings do, and how to configure them to maximize the performance of the camera.

    It seems like a big oversight to me personally.
     
  11. retiredfromlife

    retiredfromlife Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 15, 2016
    Sydney, Australia
    I suppose most manufacturers of most products know people will purchase their wares without good documentation, and that I suppose makes us part of the problem.
    I think until something does not sell well because of the lack of documentation no much will change.

    But the more we complain the better it will get and some manufacturers are getting better.

    In the meantime I will pay the extra for third party guides where available.
     
  12. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    I've never purchased a 3rd party guide before for a camera, simply because I found the supporting documentation to be sufficient. However, this may be the camera that breaks the mold. There are so many features on this camera, and the manual doesn't do a sufficient job of explaining them.
     
  13. AussiePhil

    AussiePhil Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 1, 2014
    Canberra, ACT, Aust
    Phil
    Most of the features are simple to work through with the current manual and hands on use however the CAF stuff doesn't lend itself to that but I'd expect that given a little more time some forum posts will expose the mysteries.
    I did find that for tennis action the +2 setting performed the best
     
  14. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Yeah, I could go try out some different settings on moving cars. The problem is, shooting cars going at 40, 50, or 60 mph is VERY different than shooting proper race cars on a circuit. I don't want to be experimenting when I'm at the track, I want to have my camera set up in such a way that I can set it to one of the custom modes for the scene I am shooting, and know that the camera will perform as needed.

    I've still got some months to work through it before the first outing at the track, but I was just surprised to not find a whole lot of explanation in the manual.
     
  15. BradS

    BradS Mu-43 Regular

    115
    Mar 9, 2017
    Newcastle NSW
    Also disappointed in downloaded manual. In addition the printed manual that came with me EM1 mk2 is missing lots of pages.

    Does anyone know of a third part guide for the em2 mk2?

    Regards,

    Brad
     
  16. Giiba

    Giiba Something to someone somewhere

    712
    Aug 19, 2016
    New Westminster, BC
    They're manuals have been like this as far back as I've seen. Why should they change now? This opens the market for entire books explaining the camera :shakehead:
     
  17. masayoshi

    masayoshi Mu-43 Regular

    131
    Dec 5, 2016
    Salt Lake City
    Masaaki
    I don't know about Fuji's manual so I can't comment on which one is better, but I agree this 'loose' or 'tight' does need more explanation.
    In fact, I had to do some experiments by myself. So far, this is what I did and found.

    1. Place a light blue towel on the table 10-12 ft away from the camera, and put a toy bird (black) on top (simulation for my BIF).
    2. Set up EM1.2, 40-150 F/2.8, 3x3 AF target area, C-AF tracking.
    3. Lock AF within the 3x3 area. Then, pan right and left, go 'around' the bird, etc to see if the green box (locked) becomes orange (lost) when the bird is outside of 3x3 area.
    4. Repeat this by changing AF Lock parameter between -2 and +2.

    When AF Lock is +2 (loose),
    AF target seems to be locked even the bird is outside of the 3x3 area, but the green box tends to be completely outside of bird, and migrate somehow 'around' the bird. Sometimes, it was locked on the head of the bird, and migrated to the feet of the bird.

    When AF Lock is -2 (tight),
    AF target box seems to be 'sticky' to the area initially locked within 3x3 area, and lost (orange box) easily when I pan the camera or go around the target. So, I felt the AF was 'tight', meaning it is locked more strictly to the initially locked target (or the part of the bird).

    Of course, this is just a test with a phantom object, so I have to practice in real situations which one suits for my purpose.
     
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  18. retiredfromlife

    retiredfromlife Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 15, 2016
    Sydney, Australia
    This video tutorial linked to via the below from this forum has had a few good reviews
    Olympus OMD EM1 ii Training Tutorial Crash Course Available Now! - Michael Andrew Photography Blog

    Above video topic this forum
    Michael the Maven's "em1 mk 2 crash course" is available


    Mastering the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II: Darrell Young: 9781681982540: Amazon.com: Books
     
  19. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    My understanding is that the "Tracking" feature is a complete waste of time. It's a hangover from earlier ideas and will not give you what you want for BIF. I think the AF lock and AF scanner settings apply only to CAF without tracking. From what I've read I think it's best to use the 5 box "plus sign" AF point arrangement and then keep the subject in that area by adjusting the aiming of the camera.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
  20. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    On the wider issue of how bad the manual is... I'll confess to never having read any manual for any camera - mainly because every one I've ever seen had been so badly written that it's not worth the effort. It seems the mark II is no exception.

    However, given the complexity of CAF on the mk II, I think Olympus need to try a lot harder to explain how it works and how to use it for typical shooting scenarios. Maybe they should try using the wonderful new technology we have that I believe is colloquially called "the internet" to provide some really good usage guides. They seem to have realised its utility for marketing so maybe they could push a few £/$/¥ to do some training!
     
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