Nice little things you just discovered about your gear

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Klorenzo, Feb 5, 2016.

  1. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    This wants to be a thread to post all those little tricks and discoveries and experiments that can be of interest to others but no so significant to start a whole thread.

    Here a couple from last week:

    1. I like the gauge mode, never used before but works and I think is also a good technique training.
    But in general I really prefer the decluttered EVF mode even if the infos in the bottom cover the bottom part making composition confusing and take forever to disappear... So I just started using the EVF "style 2" (in the J menu). Yes, the image is smaller but is not cluttered and you get a free gauge as a bonus.

    2. I like AEL, as a faster Exposure compensation alternative, or to lock the camera in a "almost manual" mode where you still can use exp comp. For example for shooting birds up on the trees against the bright sky I do AEL on the palm of my hand (yes, for real) point it up and compensate a little. Or for landscapes I just tilt the camera up and down until I'm happy with the exposure, press AEL and recompose.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2016
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  2. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I couldn't agree more... not sure why I didn't do this sooner.
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  3. Listener

    Listener Mu-43 Regular

    Both posts seem camera (brand) specific. State the context please.
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  4. Generationfourth

    Generationfourth Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 11, 2015
    For panasonic:
    • Live histogram: More of a technique that can be used with a feature. I've had this feature since my GF1 but never used it. Now it's indispensable to exposing correctly.
    • face tracking AF mode. Absolutely amazing for portrait sessions
    • tilting evf on GX8. I don't understand how so many hate it if it doesn't impede when not in use. Just tilting it up a couple of degrees makes shooting so much more comfortable
    • touch screen: I initially hated the idea of a touch screen on my camera but panasonic thought it out thoroughly and it complements our model of using touchscreens now.
    • the biggest game changer was touch screen assist while using the EVF to change the AF point. This is why I stick to panasonic, specifically their range finder styled models with the offset EVF. I scoff at fuji's joystick; and the thought of using cursor buttons, or center focusing and recomposing have become archaic to me.

    For olympus: I loved the test shot feature. Not much use for it with an EVF, but now that I've been shooting flash I wish I had it on my panasonic.
  5. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    I intentionally left the thread open to avoid, eventually, to have two twins threads. The reason is that something that works on one brand can have a corresponding version on the other one. Some users own both and/or switched. Personally I like to hear about the features of other I do not own, maybe to steer my next purchase or just not to be too biased/tunneled. Many shoot more than one genre and what works for portraits could maybe work for macro too.

    There's a thread called "what photos gear did you buy this week?" that serves just to share and suggest to others something that could be of interest. That was my inspiration: an open feed of small serendipitous tricks that made you happy. Yes, it's a little "kitchen sinky".

    For example I recently discovered that defringe can help to remove some of the residual chroma noise for high ISO shots. Nice :)

    Or the "LV Close Up mode" setting I heard about today for the first time (to suspend magnify on half-release press).

    So, to state the context: something that made your day better :)
  6. Listener

    Listener Mu-43 Regular

    You missed my point. If you had said that you were referring to Oly features, your post would make more sense to a Panasonic user.

    J menu to set EVF display mode? Our G6 and G7 have a hardware button for cycling through EVF display choices. And no J menu.

    Exposure compensation? Our G6 and G7 have very direct hardware controls for adjusting EC.

    I'm not claiming that Panasonic is superior on these points. As a Panasonic user, I just don't understand the point of your OP.
  7. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Ok, now I got it.

    The camera is an E-M10 and the first point is about different ways to display the exposure info, wb symbol, etc. By default these are displayed as a overlay scattered on the borders of the frame. With "style 2" you get a solid black bar on the bottom with all the infos there and only there.

    Oly cameras use the Info button to cycle the different display modes (default, histogram, clipping warnings, gague, image only) but also allow to choose where to place the small exposure infos with different "styles" (style choice is in the J menu, like the choice of which display modes are active).

    Point 2 is quite generic: I rarely hear much talking about AEL and I think it's worth playing with. It's just like a temporary jump to Manual mode, but where you still can easily modify the aperture if in A mode, adjust EC, etc. faster then in M mode.

    Most Oly cameras have a dedicated dial for Exposure Compensation too but sometime it just takes more time to dial in and out, and if you change composition your compensation may need to be corrected over and over. See the two example I added later to the post.
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  8. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    Two bayonet caps (one for a lens, one for camera mount) for Canon EF can hold a lot of SD memory cards?
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  9. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Real Name:
    On Oly bodies, if you have the OI.Share app setup on your phone, pairing the two will sync the camera's clock with the phone; useful when crossing time zones, and possibly quicker than using the Oly menus.

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  10. Listener

    Listener Mu-43 Regular

    Panasonic G6/G7:

    Touching the LCD to magnify that part of the frame is very convenient for manual focus situations.

    Focus peaking was a huge win when we moved from Nikon DX gear. Image magnification for manual focus was another big win.

    The hardware af/mf switch on the G7 has been far more useful than I expected. I use that control often for wildlife pictures.
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  11. dancebert

    dancebert Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 18, 2014
    Hua Hin, Thailand
    I've assigned all the functions I need to buttons on my EM5. Last week I saw the L-Fn on my O12-40. I'd forgotten about it, but if I ever have the need...
  12. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    It is handy but did screw me up one time. The older versions used to ask you or had an option to sync your camera's time with your phone's. Then they made it so whenever you connect it automatically (and silently) changes your camera time.

    It screwed me up a couple of summers ago because I carry a stand alone GPS data logger when on trips. For long logs the stand alone ones are nice because they last a lot longer on one set of batteries so great if you want to log for hours at a time (in my case this included riding the train cross country). Anyway, I like to leave my camera on my local time zone even when I travel because then all the photos are in the same time zone. When I get home and sync the GPS data logs to my photos I only need to select all the photos and tell the app doing the tagging that I am -5 GMT (-4 in the summer) and to tag them all. But two summers ago I was using the iO.Share app because my wife and daughter both wanted to snag my (much better than their phone's) photos to post to their various social media sites. So when I got home I had to determine which set of photos went with which time zones and geotag them as a group, then the next set, etc. Since we travelled the train one way across all the time zones with photos taken in all of them it was a fair number of them to figure out.

    Not a huge deal, but something to be aware of. Some people who use GPS data loggers a lot like to set their cameras to actual GMS (no matter where they are in the world) so they don't have to figure out time zone shifts when geotagging. So if they didn't know Oi.Share was changing their camera times, that could really mess up their work flow.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2016
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  13. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    The tilting EVF also reduces the likelihood of your cheek moving the focus point.
  14. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    Oh just remembered on trick I discovered on my E-M1. I don't use the LCD normally and keep it set to off (eye sensor disabled) and always use the EVF. But when I do want to use the LCD on the back, I discovered that if I am going to use the tilt function of the LCD, you don't need to use the button to turn on the LCD. Simply tilt out the screen and it will automatically turn on.

    Unfortunately the same doesn't happen in reverse. You still have to use the button to switch back to the EVF.
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  15. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    On Olympus cameras SCP:
    - you can use the back wheel to navigate through the different items. This may be more comfortable then the arrow while looking into the EVF
    - you do not need to press the Ok button after you selected the item you want to change: just use the front wheel and then half-press the shutter button.

    The SCP remember the last selected element so you can do this, for example for ISO:
    - press ok
    - just turn the wheel to set ISO. Yes, most of the screen is hidden by the SCP itself but pressing Info you can switch to the "border" version.
    - half press the shutter

    It is not much different from pressing the button that brings up the ISO selection menu (Multi-function on E-M10) but I usually use that function button for magnify. And works for other things too, flash power for example.
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  16. Gerard

    Gerard Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 12, 2015
    Vleuten, Utrecht
    OMD EM5 mk1

    Only if you only shoot RAW and use mysets:

    In Shooting Menus1:
    Assign Picture mode 1 to myset 1, picture mode 2 to myset 2, etc.

    So, only pressing the menu button once, you'll be able to see in what myset you are
  17. Clicka

    Clicka Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 28, 2014
    Real Name:
    Peter Campbell
    Thank you, thank you, thank you. My biggest annoyance solved.
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  18. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    Real Name:
    When setting up the OM-D E-M1 I knew it had HDR and AF buttons on the top left, but I didn’t know there was more functionality.

    Press and release the HDR button and using the front dial you change though several choices for HDR as radical as 5 frames with 3.0EV difference between frames. When picking an HDR selection the camera automatically changes to high sequential shooting!
    And you can use the rear dial to change between Single shot, High or low sequential, 12 or 2 second timer, or interval shooting! You select the number of frames and the interval between shots.

    Press and release the AF button you get the choice of ESP, Center Weighted, Spot, Spot Highlight, or Spot Shadow with the front dial.
    With the rear dial you get the choices of S-AF, C-AF, MF, S-AF and Manual, or C-AF with tracking.

    And then I found when I put the lever in position 2:

    the HDR button and front dial provides choices of other bracketing like, AER, white balance AB, white balance GM, FL, ISO and Art filters, all with bracketing choices by the rear wheel after selecting the type of bracket.

    Or you can press the AF button and get flash exposure compensation with the front dial, or
    With the rear dial you get your choice of 8 different flash modes!
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  19. Angus Gibbins

    Angus Gibbins Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 6, 2015
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    I'll have to play around with this a little more but I found that the buttons made no difference as to where the lever was. Maybe it depends on which mode you're in (I THINK I was in P or A)

    I generally make it a point to reread the manual every 2 or 3 months (when I remember/get time) for this reason.

    My little tip (especially handy when using the EVF) press OK to bring up the Quick Access Menu. You can then use the back dial to navigate the menu and the front dial to scroll through the selected item's settings. As pointed out above remember to use the shutter button half pressed to commit the changes and exit instead of OK (which will bring you into the menu of the selected item).

    The biggest problem I have with anything dial related is committing it to muscle memory, whenever I use a dial to change a setting (including exposure) 9 out of 10 times I always choose the wrong setting and go the opposite direction I was expecting. Maybe I need to print out some little quick reference cards until I get it right.
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  20. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    The behaviour of those buttons versus the 2x2 switch is configurable. I have them set to toggle AF/drive/bracket/flash behaviour even though I don't actually use the 2x2 to switch dial behaviour.

    I found that I just couldn't commit the 2x2 toggle to muscle memory even after many months, and kept dialling in the wrong thing with respect to aperture/shutter/exposure compensation versus ISO/WB. I made the switch operate AF/MF toggle instead, with dedicated function buttons for ISO and WB.
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