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EM-5, Canon 7D and #$&@ menu frustration

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by fsuscotphoto, Dec 26, 2014.

  1. fsuscotphoto

    fsuscotphoto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2013
    St. Cloud, FL
    I've been using my EM-5 over a year now. I love the camera, it's nice and light and the pictures are great. Now, my frustration. It's the blankity blank menu system!!! I've had a Canon 7D for three years, almost four. I've not used it in six months and I can STILL pick it up and go right where I want to in it's menu system. My EM-5 drives me crazy!! As much as I use it, play with it, read about it, I STILL have to look at the menu system and I forget where stuff is!! It's almost like having to use a dictionary for every word in a ten word email!!!!

    Am I doing something wrong? Am I worrying too much or is that just the way it is and I'll have to wait for the menus to be redesigned or some Magic Lantern type of hack? Someone tell me I'm not crazy or making myself that way.:eek: 

    • Like Like x 1
  2. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    .... use the info button .... very easy ......
  3. fsuscotphoto

    fsuscotphoto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2013
    St. Cloud, FL
    That's my point. I STILL have to look at the menus!!! With the 7D it was just move the wheels or button and I didn't even have to look away. EVERYTHING on the Oly is menus!! Don't get me wrong, I love the camera, but I'm not going to snappy changes, it's just not possible. I'm willing to have someone show me the error of my ways. After all, I'm here to learn for the most part.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. chrisca70

    chrisca70 New to Mu-43

    Oct 23, 2013
    United States
    I agree with you, I sold my Pentax K-7 to get the EM-5 to get something more portable but still great. Yes the EM-5 is wonderful but I could not get used to its menus and ergonomics... I noticed that I was actually not as motivated to take pics with the Oly... Regret to say that I'm getting rid of the EM-5 to get a Pentax K-5IIs...
  5. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    Hi Ron!

    Can you give an example of what control(s) you need to access that's causing you to use the menu system? (I feel your pain - I'll never, ever, ever get used to having the aperture control anywhere other than the lens body :biggrin:).

    In my setup the main controls (O.K., main to me) of shutter speed, aperture control, and ISO are available via dial or combination of button + dial (the ISO is assigned to the record button, but an arrow key has to be used to move the setting once the button is pressed. It's used frequently).

    I don't often work with white balance (if I feel that the camera missed I can adjust in post processing; I shoot jpg+RAW) but it's assigned to the Fn1 button 'just in case". I use this so rarely that I forget where I've assigned it.

    The Fn2 button is assigned to 'multi-function' - and is very, very rarely used (again, I tend to forget what it does).

    I'm not overly fond of the 'mysets' on the E-M5; on my (former) Nikon system they could be labels "Sports", "Interiors", etc. With my poor memory it's faster just to reset the controls than it is to remember what the heck I saved under 'mysets' :rolleyes: .

    However - I'm probably not a 'typical' digital camera user. I don't use the rear screen (chimping once in a great while to check exposure or to format the card). I've never used the touch screen for releasing the shutter (I forget that the camera can do that). I tend to use the thing as I did film SLR's - except for the autofocus, which is neat.

    I adjust aperture, shutter speed, and ISO as required and I'm pretty much good to go and they all, as noted, are available via dial or dial+button.

    Thus while I don't remember the Olympus menus from day to day it's not an issue - if there's something I need to adjust I hit the 'O.K.' button to bring the Super User Menu to the viewfinder and the arrows to make a choice. That can pretty much be done without taking ones eye away from the viewfinder.


  6. The Olympus menu system has only five menus, and with the more detailed 'Gears' (Custom) menu using a tree-type menu/submenu structure which has been commonly used in computing for decades until only recently when ribbons became popular (which I think are inefficient and wasteful of screen space but have learned to use all the same). I only go into the menus when I first get a camera and then maybe every few months if I want to check or change something so it's good that there is a structure to them.
  7. SkiHound

    SkiHound Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 28, 2012
    I think the Oly menu system is not very transparent, but I don't think it's that bad. It offers lots of flexibility but after setting up the camera and using the SCP I rarely need to go menu diving. Probably the most frustrating thing is that there is no direct bracketing.
  8. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team Subscribing Member

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I actually really like the Oly menu system. It's not perfect, but what is?
    • Like Like x 4
  9. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 7, 2010
    So do I. I find them all to be fine, except for Sony. I just don't click with Sony.

    The OP reads like posts from a few years back when everyone didn't know about the SCP. Any chance that is the case Ron?
  10. lightmonkey

    lightmonkey Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 22, 2013
    ricoh is pretty good at it. sony too
  11. dombi

    dombi Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 30, 2013
    I agree. The Olympus menu system is far from being intuitive.

    My previous camera was a Panasonic Lumix system, and the menu was pretty straight forward. I never had to look at the manual with that camera.
    With the OMD, I keep going back to the manual to find where things are in the menu.
  12. Geoff3DMN

    Geoff3DMN Mu-43 Veteran

    I have to agree as well. As much as I love my EM-1 and the lenses available for it easily the worst 'feature' of the camera is the menu.

    That nasty old fashioned menu tree structure has no place on a modern camera and it's well past time they implemented a flatter menu system.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    I never had big problems with the Oly menu: I just look at the small icons at the top level menus and after a while it is quite clear where to go (focus stuff, display, ecc.). And I do not see much difference from the Panasonic or Canon one either.

    There are a couple of things that I never find easily, like the focus peaking color, or the IBIS focal lenght (better to use the SCP for this one). In this cases I just start with my best bet second level menu and scroll down ALL the items of all the second levels. These are not so many after all and usually you find what you need before a full cycle. It is much faster than jumping in and out of the first level/second level menus.
  14. Jfrader

    Jfrader Guest

    I guess I'm pretty easy. The only thing I routinely have to use the menu for is when I want to bracket several exposures for HDR. That requires going into the menu to set up number of exposures and aperture adjustments. Everything else is either available on the SCP or via the custom button functions I have assigned. It took some experimentation to get the buttons assigned for the most efficient choices but I think I have them where I want them now. I could wish Olympus would give us a couple more buttons but you eventually run out of places to put them.
  15. Plumballs

    Plumballs Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jul 11, 2014
    Whitchurch, Hampshire
    Personally I do not have a problem, but I am probably at an advantage. The EM10 is the first decent camera I have had for a while, so I do not have any perception of where the features are on different makes to confuse me. I am finding my way around quite quickly and am thoroughly enjoying the experience, but If I now went to Cannon or Nikon I would probably get frustrated things are not where I expect them to be.

    Just need to reprogram yourselves to the way whatever you have is. Pick it up regularly and play as repetition = familiarity.

  16. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    There are several long threads....

    If you find Olympus menus unintuitive, you are not alone. I personally feel it ranks towards the bottom in terms of design.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. fotomatix

    fotomatix Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 13, 2011
    like anything though, use it long enough and it starts to look familiar and you have "oh yah...I remember....." moments......
  18. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Its sounds like the OP's problem is that he has to go to menus in the first place. His comparison is to the physical wheels and buttons on his Canon. I've used Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, and Fuji menus and even when familiar they take time to use.
  19. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Mike Aubrey
    I set my E-M5 menu once. I almost never need to even think about menus. What are you doing that you're always needing to go into the menus?
  20. fsuscotphoto

    fsuscotphoto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2013
    St. Cloud, FL
    No, the SCP works, but you still have to look at it to do anything. For instance in the 7D I can change ISO, shutter speed, f-stop all without taking my eyes off the view finder. I can change what Oly calls My Sets with the flick of a dial and not miss a beat. As I said before, I love the camera, it has great color and I love my pictures, I love the size and my lenses, BUT I can't do anything in a hurry.

    One thing that I know for sure is a problem is that I have trouble seeing what is going on through the viewfinder. I just had Lasik and while I can see anything beyond my hands now, anything close can be a blur. The diopter adjustment doesn't get me any help. I can adjust it to read the screen or I can see what I'm taking a picture of. Not both.
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