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Pen E-PM2 - No live preview possible in M mode?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by rolfen, Apr 21, 2014.

  1. rolfen

    rolfen Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 3, 2014

    I find this somewhat infuriating and deceiving. I can't say that I'm happy about it.
    My new E-PM2 has a "live guide" feature, which will show you an accurate "live view" of what the final image will look like on the LCD screen.

    Now this is only available in "iAuto" mode, which I don't really use. I'm more of a P/S/A/M guy. I thought that the LCD would, naturally, show a preview of what the image will look like in M mode, that is, if you under expose your image (close the aperture, step down the shutter speed), then you would see a darker preview on the LCD.

    But no, the screen shows nothing like what the final image will look like. If you have spot metering on (like I do), it will darken and lighten like crazy, depending on where your central spot is, regardless of your aperture/shutter/iso settings. The only way to see what the photo will look like is to take a photo and look at the result.

    Did I miss something? Is there a way to have the back LCD act as a live preview in M mode (and P/A/S mode, please!)?

    If not, then, I am sorry, but this is crap (well, not too bad, but still...).

    Yet I hope that I missed some option somewhere (although I doubt it) - I'd love to hear from others with similar experiences or tips (maybe with other cameras... is this a common thing?) - not to turn this into a ranting fest, but to share experiences and say things like they are.
  2. wushumr2

    wushumr2 Mu-43 Regular

    May 20, 2013
    Just looking at my E-PM2, you might have Live View Boost set to On, which will remove the effects of exposure compensation.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. rolfen

    rolfen Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 3, 2014
    Live view boost is set to off. I've noticed Live View Boost yesterday, and how it results in darker images than what previewed in P/A/S mode. With Live view boost, the live view preview is accurate (according to my observations) for P, A and S modes, but not for the M mode.
  4. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    I can't help you get what you want because I've never tried ... for the same solution I use the histogram.
    I don't know if my e-pM2 will show a genuine preview of exposure, sorry.
  5. rolfen

    rolfen Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 3, 2014
    I guess there's just no way. There are many thing which would have been easy to implement and would've made the life of the photographer easier, but Olympus just didn't do it. This camera has a good sensor, a good AF system, a good kit lens, decent build quality at a good price - which is why I've bought it. I'll try to make good use of it, shoot raw and do the modifications on the computer.
    The interface is really deceiving. There was a lot of potential, yet the interface feels cluttered and half-baked. I'm sure they could've done better (and simpler).
  6. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    When you learn the intricacies you find shortcuts to most functions, especially with the newer models like this one.
    Would the histogram not work to give you an indication of the final exposure?

    I find the SCP a great help, avoids menus for most stuff, and then I put bracketing onto the Fn button on the top.
  7. MarkRyan

    MarkRyan Instagram: @MRSallee Subscribing Member

    May 3, 2013
    You must have some setting interfering with your process. I just tested on my EPM2 and the live view very closely matches the final picture down to -3.0 EV (and I assume up to +3.0 EV).

    After -3.0 EV, the live view stops getting darker with slower aperture settings, but at that point I'm just taking a black photo.
  8. rlebleu

    rlebleu New to Mu-43

    Apr 15, 2014
    Works for me too... I have highlight and shadows turned on...

    Set manual mode

    Select compensation, rotate the dial, and the live view instantly shows the effects...

  9. MarkRyan

    MarkRyan Instagram: @MRSallee Subscribing Member

    May 3, 2013
    Just did a little test with the EPM2 in manual mode, shooting the screen from my EP5 (also in manual mode). The shots below show what the scene looked like on the back of the EPM2 and then also how the exposure turned out.

    (I wasn't very careful with framing or stability, the EPM2 was sitting on a couch. Pardon the blur, not the point.)

    Correct exposure:


    Very under-exposed:

    Super under-exposed:


    Very over-exposed:
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2013
    Sure you don't have ISO on auto or something?
  11. rolfen

    rolfen Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 3, 2014
    I have the ISO on auto most of the time.

    I see many answered (even with photos!) thanks a lot. I still have the same problem, and noticed it in P mode too!
    The problem appears mostly in "extreme" situations (high contrast, low light..).
    For example, just tonight I've made some shots in a dimly lit bar, ISO was set to 10 000 (manually), and the shots differed significantly from what I was seeing on the preview.
    Using spot metering seems to trigger that problem too.
    Yes, I had Live View Boost set to off all that time. I've set it back to on while I try to make sense of all this...

    I'll post shots to illustrate it! I had almost given up...
  12. rolfen

    rolfen Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 3, 2014
    Thanks for the photos.

    Check the your 3rd and 4th shots (quoted above). In the 4rth shot, the photo is significantly darker than the one in the 3rd shot, yet the live view looks almost similar for the two shots.
    It seems that, when you go beyond -3ev or +3ev on the exposure meter in M mode (when it starts blinking), then the live view stops accurately reflecting the final photo.
    If you had kept under exposing it further on your tests, you'd probably have clearly seen the photo becoming darker yet the live view remaining the same. That's what happens on my camera, at least. Using spot metering would exacerbate the problem, because it's much easier to go beyond +/- 3 EV with spot metering.

    That would example part of the situations I've run into. I've also run into similar problems in P mode, which I still need to investigate :)  and have noticed that colors (and exposure, to some extent) also differ when shooting in high iso.
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