Olympus Menus: Myth vs Reality

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I thought this might interest you. Via a link on 43rumors.com.

Mark Young (SouthernShutterbug) discusses what he thinks about the Olympus OMD menus and why they aren't as bad as many think.

His downloadable settings guides alone are worth the look.

 
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Phocal

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I have always felt that Olympus menus were well designed and actually a lot like Canon but maybe a bit better. Now Sony has terrible menus, well at less the ones on their APSC camera line (was always trying to help my friend who shoots a Sony something and hated the menu system).
 

fortwodriver

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Having used menus from Nikon, Canon, Olympus and Fuji, I think it's commendable that Olympus trusted the public quite a while before others to really provide so much configurability. With that comes some language issues and some logic issues but it's can be tamed.

I think some people are a bit dramatic. Some bought their Olympus cameras because they wanted such a broad range of customizable options. How did they expect those options to be presented in the menu when some have crossover or different meanings to different people?

I'm sure some synthesizer-heads would laugh at the relative simplicity of our Camera menus compared to their keyboards... (I'm looking at you Korg!)
 

Bushboy

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When I first got my Olympus, coming from a Panasonic G6, the menu drove me crazy. I didn’t know the terminology or the tech. I really struggled and stressed. After a good while, the best thing I did, was, reset the camera. Have faith. The Olympus engineers really do know what they’re doing.
Now I only use, the first 2 pages and the SCP.
After 3 years or so, of regular constant use, my M5ii, is a beautiful thing. The menu makes perfect sense now. I wouldn’t swap it for the world.
 

saladin

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He's wrong. They're diabolical. And i like Oly camera's.

The SCP is fine. But that's not the same as the menu's. You gradually learn them, but many aspects are not at all intuitive.
 

retiredfromlife

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He's wrong. They're diabolical. And i like Oly camera's.

The SCP is fine. But that's not the same as the menu's. You gradually learn them, but many aspects are not at all intuitive.
I would have to agree.
I am on my third Olympus camera now and apart from the SCP I dislike the menu's. Different people pickup technical details and manuals differently.
To me Olympus manuals are more like a technical reference for those who either pickup the details quickly or who sort of already know the system.
Most reviews also agree that the menu's need work.

Must say that the way the EM1.3 menu's are with the less nesting are a step in the right direction. I try to read the menu's but seem to fail to grasp what the words mean in real life. When on holidays or out in the field and remember one of the features that may help at the time, I can never seem to be able to set it up till the end of the day when I am back in my cabin or tent. Oh Well.

Has this stopped me buying an Olympus camera, definately not, just something to complain about and hope they improve in the future.

Luckily for me the people in this forum are forgiving of people like me who need to often ask for help :drinks:
 

Bushboy

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That was an accidental,thumbs to fat, press of that laughing at your post retiredfromlife. Sorry man I wouldn’t do that. Hope your soon wizzing through those menus like a pro.
 

Armoured

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I would have to agree.
I am on my third Olympus camera now and apart from the SCP I dislike the menu's. Different people pickup technical details and manuals differently.
If you need to download a 35-page explanatory document to grasp the logic, it's NOT intuitive. Almost definitional, that.

I think the menus are horrible. Perhaps sonys' menus are worse, I don't know. But certainly not intuitive.

Only my subjective opinion, and for those who get it straightaway, great. But as a test of sorts, I can think of many users/acquaintances/friends to whom I would not recommend these cameras to a significant degree because of the menus. And other systems where it would be a neutral or even positive factor.
 

Generationfourth

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I design user interfaces for a living. My focus has been on extremely complicated and sensitive applications with a focus on usability. Trust me when I say this- they are pretty bad, though improved recently. No one should rent a camera and after a week still have no idea how to setup a certain aspect of the camera or still be unable to find and use a certain feature. When I found myself about to buy a book for Oly menus on Amazon after reading the manual tirelessly I decided to cut my losses and send the thing back.

In my field “read the manual” or “it’s the user’s fault” in addition to similar complaints over the years indicate a badly designed product. Where there is smoke there is fire.

Times have changed. We interact with well designed products everyday and we now have high expectations of ease of use.

This is coming from someone who may switch from a G9 to em1 iii 😂
 

John King

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John ...
If you need to download a 35-page explanatory document to grasp the logic, it's NOT intuitive. Almost definitional, that.
Funny how complex devices require learning.
So does photography ...
I think the menus are horrible. Perhaps sonys' menus are worse, I don't know. But certainly not intuitive.
Like any complex system, RTFM helps.
First thing I do when I get a new car is to RTFM.
That's simply sensible.
Only my subjective opinion, and for those who get it straightaway, great. But as a test of sorts, I can think of many users/acquaintances/friends to whom I would not recommend these cameras to a significant degree because of the menus. And other systems where it would be a neutral or even positive factor.
I would recommend that most people who want a complex camera without needing to learn anything, that they stick it on iAuto (or equivalent), and use it like a smartphone ...

My wife takes better photographs with her smartphone than some do with extremely expensive cameras and lenses.

If you're not prepared to learn how to do complex things with complex equipment, plant carrots instead ...
 

Dinobe

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Never understood the issue with the Olympus menus. Just enable the SCP and you're all set.

I don't understand why the SCP isn't/wasn't activated by default.

My wife had a Sony and that's far worse.. .
 

John King

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John ...
Never understood the issue with the Olympus menus. Just enable the SCP and you're all set.
I don't understand why the SCP isn't/wasn't activated by default.
It is, on all but the most basic models.

With my new-to-me E-PM2, one has to press the OK button to bring it up. That's one out of six different bodies.
My wife had a Sony and that's far worse.. .
Out of all the makes and models of cameras that I have used, Olympus is the only one with anything equivalent to the SCP.
 

pdk42

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I've never had a problem with Oly menus, or any camera menu for that matter. They are all complex in some aspect of their design. There is underlying complexity in how a modern camera works and that complexity can't be wished away. The menu by necessity will expose that.
 
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Funny how complex devices require learning.
So does photography ...

Like any complex system, RTFM helps.
First thing I do when I get a new car is to RTFM.
That's simply sensible.

I would recommend that most people who want a complex camera without needing to learn anything, that they stick it on iAuto (or equivalent), and use it like a smartphone ...

My wife takes better photographs with her smartphone than some do with extremely expensive cameras and lenses.

If you're not prepared to learn how to do complex things with complex equipment, plant carrots instead ...

I've searched through the manual index and can't find "RTFM" anywhere. :hmmm:
 
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