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E-PL5 custom setting changes - huge improvement!

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by msatlas, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. msatlas

    msatlas Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 5, 2013
    Madison, WI
    Before I got my E-PL5 I was a little worried that its control logic was slightly annoying. I primarily use aperture priority, and the default setup of pressing the exposure compensation button to unlock adjustments, and then having to adjust aperture with the arrow keys instead of the dial, seemed really counterintuitive.

    I read through the slightly horrible manual before buying and it looked like there might be the ability to change these around, so I took the plunge. Upon playing with the camera I changed a couple of settings, which you can find on p. 72-73.

    Dial function - I switched this so aperture is the default adjustment and exposure compensation is accessed by (shocker) pressing the exposure compensation button.

    Dial lock - I switched this to off. So if I want to adjust the aperture, I just spin the dial.

    This seems like how the camera should have been set up from the factory but hey now that I changed the settings around, all is well.

    The other setting I recommend changing as soon as you get the camera is to disable the Auto White Balance "keep warm color" option which is turned on by default and gives an ugly red/yellow cast under incandescent or CFL with incandescent-like color temperature. It's on p. 76 of the manual.
    • Like Like x 6
  2. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    This works well with the E-PL5, because the dial is cast metal, with sharp edges, unlike my E-PL2 where the dial is slippery plastic with nubs.

    Also, under the wrench settings, the LCD display color should be changed from the default Vivid to Natural. This gives a much better idea of what the colors in the pictures actually look like.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. msatlas

    msatlas Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 5, 2013
    Madison, WI
    Good call on that. I was in the middle of writing my E-PL5 review which includes all the custom settings that I fiddled with to get rid of the many defaults which are set stupidly.

    So...here's a copy & paste from my review with the whole rundown....

    Monitor brightness (p. 70) - change the display brightness from Vivid to Natural which gives you a better idea of how your pictures will actually turn out.

    Enable custom menus (p. 71) - In order to get at most of the configuration options I describe, you first have to enable custom menus, which are hidden by default. If you plan to use the accessory port for an external viewfinder, you'll also want to use this screen to enable the accessory port menu.

    Dial function (p. 72) - This gives you options for what the dial does by default in each of the P/A/S/M modes. The default is to exposure compensation, which is annoying. I changed the setting for A to f/stop and S to Shutter.

    Dial Direction (p. 73) - for some reason the default settings for dial direction are counter-clockwise for a larger number when adjusting exposure settings. But when you turn the dial counter-clockwise in a menu, you don't go to the next item on the list, you go up the list! I changed the Dial Direction for menus to Dial2 which changes it to counterclockwise to go down the menu, which feels more consistent to me.

    Dial lock (p. 73) - I switched this off. By default, you have to press the the exposure compensation button to activate the dial. With this setting off, the dial just does whatever you set it to depending on mode. To get at exposure compensation, press the exposure compensation button. To return to the regular dial function, press the OK button.

    Auto White Balance "keep warm color" (p. 76) - this is turned on by default and gives an ugly red/yellow cast under incandescent or CFL with incandescent-like color temperature. Disable it for more natural AWB under this type of lighting.

    Fn button (p. 79) - I set this to adjust ISO. Auto ISO works well enough, and you can adjust the range of what settings Auto ISO will select, but sometimes the camera goes up to a higher ISO when you could probably get away with a slower shutter speed. This is especially true with non-moving subjects. So I like quick access to ISO.

    Enable Super Control Panel (p. 84) - by default the E-PL5 is set to give you Live Guides which let you select a certain effect on the picture (i.e. shallow DOF) without showing you the underlying setting. If you know anything about photography, this is pretty useless, and the SCP gives you access to way more settings. The manual talks about what you can do with SCP on p. 84, but doesn't mention you have to first enable it. Here's how:

    Menu button
    Go down to Custom Menu (the gears icon)
    Select the (gear icon)D Disp/(sound icon)/PC menu
    (camera icon) control settings (third line)
    Set both Live Control and Live SCP to On

    Once you do this, when in P/A/S/M modes, you can now press the OK button to bring up Live Control, and then while in Live Control press the Info button to display the SCP. You can toggle out of SCP by pressing Info again, and exit Live Control by pressing OK again.
    • Like Like x 8
  4. AgentRaj

    AgentRaj Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 18, 2012
    Vaughan, ON
    @msatlas....thanks for the tips...makes things much easier.

    How about expanding this thread for E-PL5? It would be great if the more experienced members could list useful tips for E-PL5 to help the beginners (myself included).

    Possibly format suggestion (using msatlas example)...
    -Feature being changed
    -User Guide Pg# (if applicable)
    -How to get to the setting (eg Menu > Custom Menu > Select D (Disp/sound icon/PC) > Control Settings > P/A/S/M
    - Action "Set Live Control to ON and Live SCP to ON"

    Terrific m4/3 community...thanks all...
  5. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    Good stuff to know! Thanks guys.
  6. Stephen Geis

    Stephen Geis Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 13, 2010
    Charlotte, NC
    Great suggestions!
  7. wonglp

    wonglp Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 28, 2011
    There's another useful feature I realize that's not available with previous models including EM5.


    How it's activated is to go into AF box selection and press info and then Up/down to select box size. I love this as it's improves accuracy of AF on tricky situations. Hope that helps.
    • Like Like x 2
  8. ad78

    ad78 Mu-43 Rookie

    Feb 4, 2013
    im using this setup and i turned off my AF light assist. man so blazing fast!
  9. CanonConvert

    CanonConvert Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 22, 2012
    when i press up/down, it just selects a different box instead. is there any other way to change the size?
  10. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Did you press INFO first before pressing up/down? I think you can also press INFO then turn the dial...
  11. wonglp

    wonglp Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 28, 2011
    As Ned mentioned, have to press info button first before you can press up/down. Let us know if it works. It's gotta be EPL5 though. EM5 and previous models had this rather similar feature when you use zoom function and change the box to zoom into (5 x to 14 x) , but once you press ok button, it's reset again to default box size. So EPL5 implementation is cleaner and better.
  12. CanonConvert

    CanonConvert Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 22, 2012
    ah shucks, so sorry i missed it.

    got another problem though - i already activated the 'small af box', but when i use touchscreen AF, it still reverts back to the bigger rectangular AF box. any way to change that?
  13. wonglp

    wonglp Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 28, 2011
    You can, just press zoom button, info and then up/down:) 
  14. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    Tap the control wheel (left side) for selecting AF sensor point, and then tap the screen to pick the sensor point you want.
  15. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    I've just been using the touch LCD for trigger the shutter rather than setting the af point, though that's with LCD shooting.
  16. stevew

    stevew New to Mu-43

    Feb 22, 2013
    LCD on/off

    Thanks for these really useful tips, they certainly make the lovely little EPL5 much more user-friendly.

    I am starting to do some "street" photography so I added the ability to turn off the LCD to save battery life and avoid the give-away glare in low light (I point the camera in what I hope is the right direction from chest height with a 14mm lens at f/8 set to its hyperfocal distance, so I don't need the LCD on).

    I did it by-

    cogs menu
    B Button/Dial
    Button function
    O Function (2nd line - red video record button)
    select "Backlit LCD" (Back Light On/Off)

    (I don't use video but if you do you could select a different button).

    Now I can toggle the LCD on and off - it comes on by default when you switch on so it hasn't caused me a heart-stopping "My new toy is broken!" moment yet...
  17. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Great advice here. I'd actually made many of these changes, but one new idea is a great find. Sometimes I wonder if Olympus hired these great engineers to design the E-PL5 and a stand up comedian to choose the default settings.
    • Like Like x 2
  18. Tapper

    Tapper Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 12, 2013
    That focus box size feature really needs to be added to OMD in a Firmware update. :-/ And while they're at it, add/enable official NEX style focus peaking.

    And while I'm dreaming, add a NEX style HDR feature. Love my OMD, but some NEX features were really fun and useful... smile shutter and panorama were great for trips with my (then) fiancee last summer.

    OK, I'll stop babbling now. Back to EPL5 settings. :tongue:

    LOL! The same comedian made some of the same funny decisions on the OMD as well. ;-)
  19. pdbphoto

    pdbphoto Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 19, 2013
    I to don't always understand why manufacturers choose the default settings they do. The only thing I can think of is that m4/3 is more popular in parts of the world - especially Asia - than it is in others, and maybe their way of approaching things is just different from that of the people who make up this forum.
  20. wonglp

    wonglp Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 28, 2011
    I don't think it's an Asian thing :)  maybe it's Japanese? Scp should be on when mode is msap, keep warm colors off when using auto wb, etc.
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