New member, new gear, a couple of problems

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by noggs, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. noggs

    noggs New to Mu-43

    Aug 4, 2014
    Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
    I recently bought an Olympus OMD-EM1 with a 12-40mm 2.8 zoom lens.

    I admit that I'm nowhere near competent or comfortable with all the settings and controls yet. I have changed a few settings based on recommendations in this forum, but nothing fancy. So far all my photos have been taken using the AUTO setting and outputting jpgs.

    There are two things that are bugging me. One is the leveling feature. When I orient the camera so that the meter says the camera is horizontal, the image is skewed. It looks dipping towards the left in the viewfinder and the output images also dip to the left. I haven't measured the dip amount, but it looks substantial, like at least 5 degrees.

    I assume that this is a defect. Has anyone else had this problem? If so, what did you do about it?

    My second issue involves exposure. The brighter portions of most of my photos appear to be overexposed on a consistent basis. I'm not talking about obvious HDR situations but normal sun dappled scenes or scenes which have both shade and sun. I'm coming from a point and shoot background and don't remember having such a big problem with proper exposure as I'm having now. It's frustrating, as I would expect the AUTO setting to give more pleasing results. The only times I get well exposed shots are when the light is pretty even.

    Any thoughts on this? Is there a setting or metering method I can select that will stop these overblown areas from being so prevalent in my photos?

    Thanks a lot!
  2. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    You can calibrate the level by placing the camera on a level surface and doing the following:

    Menu -> Gears -> K -> Level Adjust -> Adjust
    • Like Like x 2
  3. lightmonkey

    lightmonkey Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 22, 2013
    use EV Comp to dial the exposure to your liking. beauty of mirrorless camera is the live view in the finder and on the lcd screen.... eyeball to your taste or to the live histogram !
  4. jonlong

    jonlong Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 25, 2013
    Also, I'm not sure what metering the auto mode uses, but maybe switching to program mode and selecting a spot metering or matrix metering will help. And definitely use exposure compensation, even in auto mode.
  5. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Real Name:
    Andrew Lossing
    "Sun-dappled" is going to have overexposed portions every time, as it's beyond the dynamic range of the sensor. You can mitigate this by using exposure comp, enabling the histogram (and the "blinkies") and dialing down the exposure until you minimize this.
  6. noggs

    noggs New to Mu-43

    Aug 4, 2014
    Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
    Thanks a lot, guys!

    I'll try to calibrate the level gauge as instructed. I'll also play around with the exposure compensation to get a feel for it.

    I've got much to learn. I've been reading books about photography, but have to invest some time in figuring out how to use the camera. The menu and controls are daunting. I bought the OMD-EM1 to escape the limitations imposed by a point and shoot camera. Looking forward to learning all about it.

    BTW, why wouldn't a camera come from the factory with the level gauge already calibrated to horizontal?
  7. jonlong

    jonlong Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 25, 2013
    Yeah, they are calibrated, but they're made in China, which is not parallel to the US. So you need to re calibrate.

    • Like Like x 3
  8. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I assume the response above is tongue in cheek. :wink: There's probably no good answer to the question about why the camera came out of the box needing an adjustment other than "stuff happens."

    I would suggest making sure you're using the matrix metering mode. I wouldn't suggest using spot metering - if you don't meter an appropriate part of the scene you're guaranteed to get either over- or under-exposure. You should look into why you're getting results you don't like before you put a band-aid on the photos with exposure comp.

    General note: the OM-D cameras have got incredibly detailed menus that are organized in an incredibly opaque way. The on-ramp can be a lot longer than many other cameras and can be frustrating at times, but once you get the camera set up the way you prefer, all those menu choices allow you to have a camera that's really dialed in for your personal preferences. Keep at it, you're likely to be happy when you're done. :biggrin: