What's the knob on the front of the EM-1

SpecFoto

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It's called a PC flash synchronization port. It is used for hard wiring connections to flash heads. In my case I use a PC Buff ring flash setup where the EM1 camera fits inside the circular diameter of the ring flash and there isn't room to mount a connection off the standard hot shoe, (or any wireless transmitters) so this is where I plug the ring flash into the camera.
 

RamblinR

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The little button cover screws into place.
Be sure to check it now and then as I lost mine even though I never use it.
Maybe putting it in and out of a bag has slowly turned it.
Ordered a new one from Olympus
 

beameup

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Oct 23, 2013
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These are "old school" connectors. I just bought a plug off ebay for a dollar and put the "original" plug in a box with the hot-shoe cover and other unused accessories, for safe-keeping.
 

Mikefellh

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The PC connection was frequently used for studio flashes before wireless or slave triggering made it more convenient.
Actually if you want to be correct, Prontor-Compur connections were the PRIMARY way to connect a flash before hotshoes existed. I've owned a few cameras that had this limitation like:
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You can see the PC connector right of the lens; you'd put the flash into the accessory shoe (which was the same size and shape of today's hotshoe, but no electrical contacts), and run a cable from the flash to the PC connector. Here's another example, the PC connector is on the left side of the lens where it says "125"...BTW the lever above the word "COMPUR" is to cock the shutter before every shot, and the lever inbetween is aperture control:
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