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Strange and Surprising things about the OM-D E-M5 MarK II

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by w0den, Mar 6, 2015.

  1. w0den

    w0den Mu-43 Regular

    26
    Feb 13, 2015
    New Jersey
    Hi,
    I am fairly new to this forum. I am a proud owner of a new OM-D E-M5 MKII. I am coming from a canon T1i that finally died after 10 years. I wanted to start a thread about things I found strange, and/or surprising about my new OM-D E-M5 Mark II. Some of these may be general well known Olympus things, but they are new to me...

    I am going to start with three strange things, and three surprising (and awesome) things.

    Strange:
    1) When the EVF is in mode 1 and mode 2 you lose some of the screen real-estate on the bottom and side. I would have expected an overlay like in mode 3. Since mode 3 mimics the main LCD, you cannot customize it outside of main LCD customization. Not a fan of this setup, but I can live with it.
    2) I love the focus peaking. Right now I have it configured to to turn on when I switch to MF. I am using the 12-40mm 2.8 pro lens. It works great, but when I use electronic zoom to really see what I am trying to focus on, the focus peaking turns off randomly (more then 50% of the time). I fixed this by tying focus peaking to the lens function button, but I find it weird and annoying. (note you can have it configured to zoom in and focus peak when you switch to manual, but then I lose all perspective).
    3) The customization of the lever is extremely limited. I thought I would be able to customize all the buttons or at least have it tied to mysets.

    Surprising (and awesome):
    1) The EVF!!!! I love it! So much more useful than a plain old viewfinder in an SLR. I am a convert. My favorite thing... Putting grid-lines on, and having a display that lets me see over/under exposed areas even before I take a picture.
    2) The configuration and manual button control. I know I said I wish the lever did more, and I do, but... I am happy with using it right now to quickly change ISO, though I wish I could use the other dial to change something other than WB in mode 2. I really have it configured for my shooting style. Fn3 jumps me to AF home, so I can quickly go from one AF point to multiple. Lens button enables peaking, I think the other buttons are perfect.
    3) Build quality. Everyone says it, but I have not held a camera that feels like this since my Dad's old camera from the 70's (though I did get a lemon originally with a broken rear dial).

    Well that is it for now. Other thoughts anyone?

    -w0den
     
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  2. m43happy

    m43happy Mu-43 Veteran

    430
    Feb 18, 2012
    I recommend picking up the bigger eye cup, the ep-16. Makes viewing the EVF that much better as it blocks out more stray light.
     
  3. SirGadden

    SirGadden Mu-43 Regular

    33
    Oct 27, 2014
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Filling up with more quirks(all of them very minor) if I may, keep in mind this is my first Olympus, coming from a Panasonic GH4:

    - Only 2 of the four buttons on the d-pad is customizable. Would be neat if all four where.
    - The function buttons are missing a few customizable actions (mostly flash exposure and metering mode)
    - No touch screen in menus. I got really used to this on my GH4, should't be to hard add in software I guess.
    - No pinch to zoom when reviewing pictures. This is probably hardware limited (i.e. single touch display) but is kind of industry standard since Apples iPhone 3G IMHO.

    All in all, I really love my new camera! No doubt best ILC I've ever owned.

    Edit: Judging from the replies, I obviously stirred up some emotions when writing this post so I clarified it a bit. Theses are all very minor quirks!!! And ofcourse no camera is 100% perfect.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2015
  4. sdb123

    sdb123 Mu-43 Veteran

    249
    Jul 25, 2014
    Northants, UK
    Steve
    I'm not sure that I'd find pinch to zoom useful tbh...I just use the dial to zoom, zooms straight in on the point of focus (on my E-M10).
     
  5. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Totally agree with your point 1. I'd like an uncluttered display that fills the screen. Mode 3 needs to be customisable so we can turn off all the cr*p that adorn the edges - or mode 1&2 need to be put at the left or right edge (since the screen is wider than the image in 4:3 mode).
     
  6. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    Clint
    You can set the function dial (d-pad) to Direct Function in Custom Menu B > Button Function > and then select the 4 arrow Function and change it to Direct Function. The assign each button a function.

    Function Buttons have limited selection? – you have nearly 30 options, not exactly limited. See SCP below.

    No menu when using EVF – yup no menu and that makes a lot of sense.

    No pinch to zoom in playback mode, however you can touch the LCD on the right edge and use the small scroll bar to zoom in and out and then use a finger on the screen to scroll around the picture. You should also be able to use the read dial to zoom in and out.

    (SCP) Concerning the customizations – if you have been using an Olympus without accessing the Super Control Panel (SCP) I’d recommend you check it. I think the E-M5 II defaults to the SCP displaying when you press the OK button when in shooting mode. This provides one press access to 16 menu items most commonly accessed. Touch enabled!
     
  7. SirGadden

    SirGadden Mu-43 Regular

    33
    Oct 27, 2014
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Still, only 2 out of the four buttons is customizable.

    IMHO, yes. I lack basic things as flash exposure, metering mode, AFC etc.

    Maybe for you but coming from Panasonic I find it annoying to get thrown out of the menus every time you accidently trigger the EVF sensor.

    Yes the SCP is nice.
     
  8. Ian.

    Ian. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2013
    Munich
    Ian
    The mk1 button customisation is there, but always disappointing when the command you want is not on the list for no good reason.

    Sent from my GT-I9195 using Mu-43 mobile app
     
  9. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    Clint
    Cameras are not “Have It Your Way” like Burger King’s past mantra. They are tools to be learned and mastered, and every camera seems to have its idiosyncrasies. Here are some easy alternatives for what @SirGadden@SirGadden mentioned.

    Flash Mode and Flash Exposure Compensation (Olympus calls it flash intensity value) is best used on the flash itself. But if one must use the camera: 1st way - it is the 2nd and 3rd item down on the SCP, 2nd way - is set up the camera for wireless flash and use the control panel to adjust, 3rd way – set up Lever 1 . Mode 1, Set up Lever 2 to “On” > with the Lever in position 2 press the AF button on the top left side, you’ll now have control of both flash mode and flash intensity.

    Metering mode: 1st way – SCP 1 button down from middle button/icon, 2nd way - With Lever in position 1 press the AF button on the top left of camera. Adjust away

    S-AF and C-AF focusing: 1st way – SCP panel middle button/icon, 2nd way - With Lever in position 1 press the AF button on the top left of camera. Adjust away.

    Very seldom should one have to dive into the E-M1 menus if they set up the camera to take advantage of the design. The E-M1 could arguably be called one of the most customizable cameras made.
     
  10. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    @Clint@Clint Yes, there is definitely a learning curve to use any camera to it's fullest.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2015
  11. SirGadden

    SirGadden Mu-43 Regular

    33
    Oct 27, 2014
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I'm learning new things about it every day it seems and man am I in love with this camera :love:
     
  12. SirGadden

    SirGadden Mu-43 Regular

    33
    Oct 27, 2014
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I just found out that if you keep the LCD "closed" ie. facing in towards the camera, you can actually access the menu using the EVF.
    I'm removing this point. :thumbup:
     
  13. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    Isn't the 'lever' key to the '2x2' control system that is integral to the camera's design?
     
  14. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    I've said it before and I'll say it again. Comparing a new camera with one's previous or other camera and calling the differences 'quirks', is, well, quirky.

    It is we operators who are the quirky ones. How well a camera model matches our individual quirks is called its fit. The question of a camera's fit is more a discussion of its owner than the camera.
     
  15. Ian.

    Ian. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2013
    Munich
    Ian
    That doesn't excuse Olympus for making ergonomic mistakes though. The Mk1 had some terrible gaffs. I'm pleased they acknowledged it, and improved things on all subsequent models. But it sounds like there is still a way to go.

    I agree that wanting a particular operation because that is 'what you are used to' , is not good for progress. But there is nothing wrong with wanting all the best bits from other cameras all in one. It's just a shame Olympus appear to be a bit slow at it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2015
  16. w0den

    w0den Mu-43 Regular

    26
    Feb 13, 2015
    New Jersey
    Until I read your comment, I did not know that this was called their 2x2 control system, I had to google it...
    I do like what the lever does, and it suits me OK, but I find the options somewhat limited. Personally, I never muck around with the white balance, I usually fix that in post, if necessary. So switching it and changing the ISO is great, but I wish I could remap the other dial to something I am more likely to want to change... Like focus mode, or shutter release mode.

    There is one other thing that I did not mention on my strange list, but, I find Photo Story Mode bizarre. This is a pretty serious camera. Is that something people who buy a camera like this actually use? I am surprised they have an entire mode on the mode dial dedicated to it. I plan on using this for a myset. It would have been cool if they had a position for myset1 or something like that instead of Photo Story Mode, but at least I can reassign the spot.

    I happen to love the camera, though I am still getting used to the ergonomics (which is particularly difficult because I have had practically 0 time to use it). I just find it strange that some things are crazy customizable, and others aren't. I have found no showstoppers. The thing I find most annoying is item 1 on my list.... But again, it is just a minor annoyance, and I think it is a very strange design choice....

    I will say this:
    The only thing I think is egregious is the terrible manual! I can deal with bad menus, you get used to them. Bad instructions? That is a whole other world. My favorite is the explanation about turning on and off BGM! No explanation about what BGM could possibly be. Background music? Really? On top of that does anyone ever use that?
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2015
  17. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Walter
    FYI, OP. Darrell Young, author of Mastering Your Olympus OMD E-M1, is working on a Mastering Your EM5 II version. Keep an eye out for it. Will be published by Rocky Nook. I just got my MYO EM-1, and it is a wealth of information. It has all the information in the Olympus manual and more, and actually explains that stuff and provides recommendations for settings, unlike the Olympus manual. It'd be worth getting to really get a handle your camera. :)

    There are sites that offer recommended settings for the EM1 and EM5. Not sure if there is one for the EM5 II, but much of what applies for the EM1 may apply to the EM5 II.

    I do not have any relationship with Darrell Young or Rocky Nook except as a satisfied customer.
     
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    • Informative Informative x 1
  18. Brian Beezley

    Brian Beezley Mu-43 All-Pro

    man.
    site.
     
  19. w0den

    w0den Mu-43 Regular

    26
    Feb 13, 2015
    New Jersey
    Clear as mud
     
  20. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    Common to all user manuals IME including Canon, Panasonic....

    User manuals are an easy target; I can roundly condemn them in general with some comfort that I won't be far wrong.

    Better IMHO to ask for help with bits you just can't grasp or work through. Plenty of willing helpers here then, if you appreciate their help instead of giving 'clear as mud' retorts.

    As for the Picture Story Mode, I agree that it barely warrants a place on the mode dial of an advanced camera. I would have thought better as one of the Scene mode options or Art filter slots -- although I can see how Oly designers would have seen it as illogical in those places. Your news that it is re-assignable is appreciated, thanks, I will look and see if I can use it for Hi-Res mode.