OMD battery life / EVF / LCD

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by pdk42, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I managed to get my OMD to work like this:

    - Back LCD off, unless I hit MENU (toggles menu on/off) or INFO (cycles round SCP, then level gauge, then off)

    - EVF auto-on via eye proximity

    This makes a HUGE difference to battery life.

    This is what you do:

    1) Menu -> Gears -> Menu K (Utility) -> Touch screen settings -> OFF

    2) Menu -> Gears -> Menu D (Disp) -> Control Settings -> PASM -> Live control Off + Live SCP On

    3) Menu -> Gears -> Menu J (Built-in EVF) -> EVF Auto Switch -> On

    Now, press the button on the right of the 'prism' and you can switch between EVF and LCD. When EVF is selected, it will turn off automatically when you remove your eye - so both displays off.

    EDIT - > I've found that I can turn touch-screen back on and it continues to work in this way, but not sure if this is a necessary step or not so I've left it in the instructions.

    Hope this is helpful.
  2. sugarbaker

    sugarbaker Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 6, 2013
    Seattle, WA
    This is exactly how I use my setup...
  3. owczi

    owczi nareteV 34-uM

    I have the same setup now with one difference - I have the touch screen on, so I need to verify with touch screen turned off, but during some night time shooting I noticed that with all the above settings but the touch screen enabled, there is one catch to this...

    The LCD is not actually turned off, it's just black, so effectively when you're carrying the camera around it's on all the time. You don't see it in daylight but in the dark it is glowing and only turns off when you activate the eye-level sensor. Also the icon showing SD card write, and the critical battery level warning, both come on on the LCD. I'm hoping this is just a case of disabling the touch screen.
  4. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Ah - OK, done some testing on this. This is what I've discovered:

    - The LCD screen really is fully off whether the eye is to the finder or not. This is true whether touch screen is enabled or not. This is where the real battery saving happens since unless you're taking a shot neither the EVF nor the LCD are on.

    - If you take a shot with your eye to the EVF, then the LCD screen remains off but of course the EVF is on. Once you press the shutter, the EVF will show the battery indicator and the card write icons briefly and then, if you have Rec View set to anything but 'Off', a preview of the shot.

    - If you take a shot with your eye away from the EVF, the EVF and LCD are off - until you press the shutter. At this point, the LCD will show the battery indicator and the card write icons briefly and then, if you have Rec View set to anything but 'Off', a preview of the shot. However this only happens if you take a shot with your eye away from the viewfinder which is not a likely scenario since if your eye is away from the finder, chances are you'll have the LCD on anyway to see what you're shooting!

    Overall, I find this combo of settings really useful. The screen usage (and maybe the sensor reading too) is completely off except for the time that you're composing and taking a shot - this makes a huge difference to the battery life. I think every OM-D user should know about this since one of my big gripes with the OM-D compared to my old 5dii is the battery life. With this change, it's getting pretty close.
  5. IDLookout

    IDLookout Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 26, 2012
    Northern Idaho
    I find that when using the flip screen out, such as holding it low to the ground, I occasionally trigger the EVF.

    So what I've done is disable the EVF Auto Switch -> Off and use the button on the side of the EVF to cycle between the Touch Screen and the EVF.

    This effectively keeps the Touch Screen off unless I need it. Seems to make my battery last much longer, and if I hit "Play" to review photos, it comes right on.
  6. owczi

    owczi nareteV 34-uM

    I'll try to track down what's causing this, will need to check out the rest of my settings - which unfortunately isn't too easy with the gear menu jungle :)
  7. owczi

    owczi nareteV 34-uM

    Right, I went through all settings more than once, the LCD only physically turns off when I activate the eye-level sensor, otherwise it's black but on, and if I have a battery warning it is on at all times. I'm wondering if some settings unrelated to display may be causing it - I get the same behaviour across P/A/S/M and iAuto. I tried disabling all info settings I normally have (histogram, highlight/shadow warning, level indicator etc.) - no change.

    I'm guessing this must be some setting I have on that's causing this.

    Update - I did spend some more time on this, and the LCD keeps glowing. At one point I could swear it was off but it went away - maybe I wasn't keeping my hand off the EVF completely.

    Did you try this in complete darkness? What firmware version is your E-M5 running? I'm on 1.6. I'm really running out of ideas - maybe I'll try with an Olympus lens.
  8. Mikefellh

    Mikefellh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 7, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    First of all the monitor on the E-M5 is NOT an LCD, it's an OLED.

    With OLED there s NO backlight...power is only being used when something is being displayed.

    With firmware 1.5 whenever the monitor is switched off it is totally black when switched off.
  9. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    Real Name:
    Thanks. I inadvertently changed my settings, made a year ago, and was trying to piece together how to get them back. You did it.
  10. owczi

    owczi nareteV 34-uM

    Thanks but I'm aware of that, that's not the point, I simply meant "screen". Backlight or not, the fact is that when my eye is near the sensor, the screen is completely dark just like when the camera is turned off. When it's away from the sensor, the screen is glowing slightly i.e. it's displaying a black rectangle. Unfortunately I can't compare with fw 1.5. I'll give Olympus support a shout about this.
  11. cstevens

    cstevens Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 11, 2010
    these are good tips thanks.

    I have set mine up like this now and it feels much more natural to me as I am used to shooting a D700 and rarely look at the LCD.
  12. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I'm running 1.6 and it works fine. Would be a nice feature to dump settings to a PC and print them out. Hard to know exactly what settings are defined after significant fiddling!
  13. Linh

    Linh Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 14, 2009
    Maryland, US
    Interesting. I really dislike the auto-EVF thing (I have mine set at manual), but might be useful when I need to squeeze out battery life.
  14. owczi

    owczi nareteV 34-uM

    Exactly... I could really swear I had the *OLED* ;) display fully off at one point, but I did the mistake of changing two settings at once, and it went away again. I think I'll have to list all of my settings one by one... probably screenshots would be the easiest thing to do.

    If you find a moment to compare with yours I could match them. If I manage to track down the offending setting(s) this should definitely go into a FAQ somewhere.

    My suspects are AF illumination and MF assist - don't ask me why, I just remember I touched one of those. Also need to somehow capture the glowing screen as well, probably a long exposure will do it.

    Will stay in touch.
  15. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Yes, happy to do a comparison. Let me know either via this thread or PM once you've done it.
  16. pictor

    pictor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 17, 2010
    I don't understand, how your instructions could work that way. When I want my E-M5 to behave that way, I just use the Info-button which toggles between the screen with the SCP, the screen with the electronic level and the screen being turned off.
  17. owczi

    owczi nareteV 34-uM

    Well, that's because you already have the proximity sensor enabled. The live scp / live control settings don't matter that much, the original instruction simply summarises how this works for OP and what settings he's using in conjunction. The final effect is the same you state above.
  18. cstevens

    cstevens Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 11, 2010
    I've set up some of these but honestly just get some spare batteries :)
  19. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Yea, I know. Done that already, but missing the battery life of my old Canon gear. It's about the only thing I'm missing having switched to MFT.
  20. cstevens

    cstevens Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 11, 2010
    Yes I know what you mean, I rarely ever switched to the battery in my D700 grip even after a full day shooting.

    Thing is I don't want to turn off too many features just to get good battery life. So I have 4 batteries :)

    Same thing with the iPhone 5, to get good battery life turn everything off. Now I just carry mobile battery charger and have a fully functioning phone lol