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New OM-D Owner: user interface issues over-stated.

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by jpmac55, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. jpmac55

    jpmac55 Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 3, 2012
    Averill Park, NY
    So far, I couldn't be happier with the OM-D. A common knock that I found to be overstated is confusing menu's and user interface. Any new camera system has a learning curve and the Olympus camera is no exception. I migrated from Canon to Leica to Fuji and now Olympus.

    The point here is I held off buying the OM-D because I got hooked on Leica's simplicity. Still much to learn but if you are on the fence on buying an OM-D, the user interface issues shouldn't deter your decision.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. (G)

    (G) Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 5, 2012
    Couldn't agree more!
  3. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    While moving from the Canon interface (which is quite intuitive), I found myself getting accustomed to Olympus in a matter of days. I now find the SCP to be one of the best camera interfaces. OTOH I never managed to get used to the Nikon interface; I just stand there looking at the LCD like an idiot.

    Olympus interface concerns are far too overatted IMHO.
  4. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Its a love it or hate it kind of thing with the Oly interface (which is similar for all of their cameras that I've used - not just OMD). I've never had any problem with it at all and love how easy it is to configure to your liking once you understand it. But there are a LOT of options, some of the most important menues aren't even available when you first buy the camera - you have to find them in the ones that are and then turn them on, and it takes some getting used to. I know that some people legitimately can't stand it and I don't doubt their sincerity. I have to say there are things I prefer about the Panasonic interface, (external controls, much easier bracketing, much more useful custom settings), but on balance they aren't things I use enough to really be bothered by and I generally prefer the Oly setup.

    So I wouldn't say they're overstated so much as a matter of taste. I know the Olympus menu system really well and don't have any problems with it, but I understand how daunting it can be to someone new to it. My brother in law recently bought an OMD, partially on my recommendation and he loves it, but I felt like I was his full-time technical support guy for a while there until he got it worked out.

  5. Brian style

    Brian style Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 5, 2012
    :rofl: I am with you! I find Canon to pretty pretty straight forward and simple to me, and then I pick up a Nikon and feel like I literally have no clue where to even begin! "Why is there a flight simulator game on the back of this camera??"

    I got fairly used to the OMD menus after a couple of days. Wasn't quite as intuitive to me as Canon, but it wasn't bad.
  6. If you mentally add "in my opinion" to everything that you ever read on the internet, even the strangest things will make just a little bit more sense...in my opinion.
    • Like Like x 3
  7. Mikefellh

    Mikefellh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 7, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    While some call the Olympus menus complicated, I call them advanced and fully customizable. If you want you can hide those menus.

    Actually I'm forced to use a Canon dSLR at work and I absolutely despise it...many times I want to change a setting on it, and the option to do so doesn't exist because the Canon menus are too basic and simple.

    Quite a few reviewers have given praise to Olympus' menu structure.
  8. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    I regard the Olympus menus as an advantage and a positive feature when deciding whether to buy a camera. Auto bracketing is the one exception, but with the accuracy of Olympus metering and easilt accessible exposure compensation I find I rarely need auto bracketing anyway.
  9. Atom Ant

    Atom Ant Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 24, 2012
    Melbourne, OZ
    In my opinion, most interfaces are neither intuitive nor counter-intuitive. Any interface that is a bit like the one you know is intuitive; any interface that is different is WTF?! :eek: 

    I know some people reckon Apple's interfaces are intuitive, but even when I used a Mac full-time for a few months I found it unfathomable compared to any of the various Windows, Android or Linux interfaces I had used over the last decades. I really wanted to be a hip creative with a Mac, but I was so relieved when I returned to OSes that didn't make me guess. But that is just my opinion based on my experiences. :rolleyes: 

    The interface of my E-M5 is not the same as those I've learnt with Canon, Nikon, Minolta or Sony, but I expected it to be different. The only time it has troubled me was the night I picked it up and immediately took it to a very dark nightclub to shoot the CD launch of some friends - it wasn't just not knowing what each button or dial did, because I couldn't even see if there were buttons or dials. :doh: It was much easier when the lights went on.
  10. Mikefellh

    Mikefellh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 7, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    Fair points...I actually installed a few apps on my Mac to make the keyboard shortcuts operate more like Windows.
  11. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    I don't think its just about what you're used to - different people's brains are also just wired differently and find different things intuitive. I spent a LOT of time with both Macs and PC's back in the day, at first when PCs were still using MS-DOS and later with Windows. And some computer folks (who tended to be pretty linear / numerical thinkers) tended to LOVE the basic command line structure where with a few simple command lines you could get it to do anything, but you had to really "get" the logic of the command line conventions or "language". Whereas most end users found command lines similar to learning Greek but found the Mac interface (and later, after a few iterations, Windows) overwhelmingly more intuitive and easier to find their way around. A lot of people are just more visual - most computer geeks aren't which is a good thing, because someone has to write all of the code to put those user interfaces in place, but they tend to need UI specialists on the design teams so they know what they're supposed to be implementing, because left to their own devices, we'd all still be living with command lines.

    I vaguely remember a classic short conversation between two people I was dealing with once, of the two different inclinations. One was extolling the virtues of the Mac, because you could see the files and folders and just physically put everything where it needed to be. The other said something like, "yeah, but DOS is so much simpler because with one line of text you can just TELL IT WHAT TO DO... These people were talking right past each other. Neither was right or wrong - they were just wired differently. That was an important lesson to me because I was often the go-between between the tech folks and the end users back in those days when the various UI's were more primitive than today. So I sort of had to have my brains in both camps, but I had to understand both camps before I could. Your reaction to the mac brings that back front and center, because many, maybe even most, people have the opposite reaction to yours, which doesn't make them (or you) right or wrong - just different.

    I think the same applies to cameras to some degree. Some folks are just wired to like a simple layout that doesn't give you a lot of options but makes it VERY easy to find the ones most people use most often. Others are very happy to dive into the murky weeds of the Oly menu system and configure it exactly how they want to use it, even if that requires remembering which buttons and dials you assigned to which functions because they're not gonna be marked on the body.

    I've used a LOT of interfaces and I'm relatively comfortable with most of them, but I definitely have my preferences and I think it has more to do with wiring than what I'm most familiar with most recently.

  12. FrayAdjacent

    FrayAdjacent Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 5, 2012
    Austin, TX
    I agree that the complexity was overstated. After I took the time to get familiar with how everything flowed and worked, and went through the tips and suggestions on DPReview, it's actually pretty easy to use.
  13. Gyles

    Gyles Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 15, 2012
    Sunny Norfolk, UK
    Travelographer and self confessed Hexaholic
    I'm still getting to grips with my GF1 thanks. Looking to "upgrade" in 2013 and I really don't fancy learning something new....again. I like simple buttons and dials.........think I'll get a Konica T3n?
  14. MikeR_GF1

    MikeR_GF1 Guest


    If any interface really were "intuitive" it would know what I want to do, and just DO it.
  15. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Olympus interfaces are fine. You can get really frustrated trying to find one particular thing (how do i set the focus points to small and have them stay that way?) and that may color your whole experience. I also believe that cameras manufacturers have just given up on user manuals and that doesn't help at all.
  16. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Though I don't currently own one, the OMD was one of the easiest cameras I have ever used, to set it to exactly what you want and to control it during shooting. The only other one I've used that was up there was the Nikon D700. Oddly enough, both of them lack the "Custom" setting function found on Panasonic and Canon, as two examples. I wish Oly would add C1 and C2 on their mode dials.

    I've never used a Pentax DSLR, but have used most other major systems.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    +1 on that. This is a absolutely required feature for their rumored "pro" camera. Assigning MySet to buttons doesn't cut it.
  18. FrayAdjacent

    FrayAdjacent Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 5, 2012
    Austin, TX
    Myset wouldn't be so bad if you could quickly toggle them on and off, instead of having to hold a button the whole time. I hope they fix that in an update. Then make it easily toggle-able from the info display on the touch screen.

    Either way, I'm finding this camera to be sufficiently advanced... I have a 7D and only used one of the Cx dial modes. Most of the time I just use Manual or Av. I do the same on the EM-5 so far.
  19. AerialFilm1

    AerialFilm1 Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 15, 2012
    Wekiva, Florida
    I wish someone could hack the viewfinder to display only the matched needle of my OM-1. How cool would it be to have legacy viewfinder options?
  20. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    I'd like it on the mode dial, just to preserve the fn buttons for other uses.
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