Why not? Custom PASM dial

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by MarkRyan, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. MarkRyan

    MarkRyan Instagram: @MRSallee Subscribing Member

    May 3, 2013
    Dear Olympus:

    I can't be the only person who rarely uses the PASM dial. For me, more often than using it intentionally I accidentally switch modes and don't realize until after I've snapped a few shots. I know I'm not the first person with this problem because some cameras, including the EM1, allow the user to lock the position of the dial.

    I would be 100% just as happy (if not happier) switching between PASM modes via a menu function. So what if...

    What if new Olympus firmware allowed us to customize the function of existing PASM dials? Rather than just switching modes, it could be used for ISO, shutter speed, or aperture control. Suddenly, cameras with just one control dial would now have two. My EP5 would have three customizable dials. The new EPL7 would have two.

    If you had the option to customize your existing PASM dial to another function (like ISO, shutter speed, aperture), would you? I know I would.
  2. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    How about allowing the different positions be assigned to MySets? That might be useful.
    • Like Like x 5
  3. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Errr - you can already do this (except on the E-M5 and earlier bodies).
  4. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I agree that PASM on a dial seems pointless. When lower end cameras seem to be crippled with only one control wheel (E-PLx etc), there's still room for the bloody PASM dial. Odd! I sometimes wonder if camera designers ever use th stuff they design...
  5. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    I use the mode dial to switch to auto before handing it over to someone else.
    Otherwise its always on "A".

    There are users who use "M" and others who use "S" ... I feel the mode dial still has a useful function, but is not strictly necessary.
    My e-pM1 and e-pM2 do not suffer from lack of a mode dial, they suffer from stupid TINY LCD screens and stupidly designed menu access.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    No kidding, especially with the GM1/GM5 top dial that sets AF mode. What a waste of space!

  7. MarkRyan

    MarkRyan Instagram: @MRSallee Subscribing Member

    May 3, 2013
    I'm also almost always in A-mode :)

    Just thinking of all the things I change more frequently than I change my shooting mode...

    • Aperture
    • Exposure compensation
    • Shutter speed
    • ISO
    • Focus point size
    • White balance
    • Focus mode (auto vs. manual, continuous vs. single, face detection on vs. off)
    • Bracketing
  8. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    A lock would be good, I do use it from time to time.
  9. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Wouldn't that cause you exactly the same problems that you already appear to have ie accidentally changing settings, except with a fully adjustable PASM, the results could be worse? How would you identify the dial settings? The E-3 and E-5 totally did away with the PASM dial and it didn't really work as well in practice as in theory. It slowed you down somewhat when you needed to go from one setting to another. The PASM dial is a good compromise.
  10. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    I completely agree that a lock would even be more important if you could customize the dial functions. But replacing the dial with a button dial combo like the E-3/E-5 is what Nikon and Canon have been doing for years.

    But never having used the E-3/E-5, did they do something different?
  11. MarkRyan

    MarkRyan Instagram: @MRSallee Subscribing Member

    May 3, 2013

    (1) I'm not arguing that dials are a bad input method and prone to error, but that the only time I seem to use my PASM dial is to correct for when it is accidentally turned. My other dials are also accidentally turned but not nearly as often as I intentionally turn them.

    Let's say I accidentally turn each dial once per week, regardless of the dial. For aperture and exposure comp, that is one accidental turn compared to a hundred intentional turns. On my PASM dial, that is one accident compared to zero intentional.

    (2) Dials work great for aperture, exposure compensation, etc. because they are settings I am always mindful of. Switch to P-mode by accident and the camera doesn't explicitly tell me that I am in P-mode.
  12. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 5, 2013
    The button dial combo is why I went from a Rebel to a 20D. Hated it. Loved the controls on the 20D.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Mikefellh

    Mikefellh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 7, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    I remember having no mode dial on the E-3, and HATED IT! You had to hold a button and then turn a wheel to change modes. I do switch modes regularly depending on what I'm shooting.

    And many of you know my feelings of how USELESS it is having MyModes on the mode dial!

    Personally though I'd like to see the exposure modes gone altogether, and just have a marked shutter and aperture dial (like old school cameras), and each can have an "A" on it to enable automatic control, like the Panasonic L1 had and LX100 HAS (although they should get rid of the exposure compensation dial and replace it with a marked ISO dial).

    But there is no such thing as a perfect camera!
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Initially the all button design appeared to be a great move, but it didn't really offer the versatility that I expected. The configuration of the E-M1, I think, is far superior and offers greater flexibility. What I think Olympus could do is leave the PASM and get rid of the iAuto etc settings and provide the dial with a simple set of custom settings, C1, C2 etc, which the user can do with as they wish (even set to iAuto).
  15. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    The Bassman
    My first wish would be to eliminate PASM modes and use Auto settings on a shutter speed control, an aperture control, and an ISO control. It's just simpler, accomplishes the same thing, and is completely symmetrical.

    My second wish would be to retain a physical control to call up presets. It could work the way shutter mode and HDR work on the EM1: press a button, see the list of choices, spin a control wheel to select. To solve the problem I and perhaps others have of forgetting what each setting means, allow each MySet to be named, and show the name on the display as you set the mode.
  16. zathras

    zathras Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 13, 2014
    Waikato, New Zealand
    Chris Nielsen
    The camera I had which suited me the best was my Nikon F5. No PASM dial, just a mode button by your index finger and a wheel by your thumb. Didn't have to take your eye from the viewfinder. What a wonderful camera, pity it shot film... Also having had an F5, it's why I fail to see the point of the Df... The late 90s Nikons were so well sorted, I can't for the life of me figure out why they decided to go back to an 80s design and just jam a million dials on it...
    • Like Like x 1
  17. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    That's why I like the E-M1, it has exactly that and allows me to control the important settings.
  18. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    I'm happy with the dial, so long as it's customizable (a la E-M1) or at the very least has a few slots for Custom settings (a la just about every single serious compact and DSLR out there).

    I'm hoping that the E-M5 Mark II will feature a better implementation of MySets (thus allowing me to actually use the PASM dial).
  19. I use the mode dial to switch between A and S, but if Olympus had Auto ISO customisation as good as Samsung's I would probably just leave it in A almost all of the time.
  20. bjurasz

    bjurasz Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 10, 2014
    Cedar Park
    Egads. It does NOT accomplish the same thing. Making choices between shutter speed and aperture setting WILL impact the final image. I'm not saying auto modes are bad. But to claim that auto everything captures the same image as making some (or all) the choices yourself is just incorrect.
    • Like Like x 1
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