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This is my first article on the new Olympus E-M5. I decided to add this short introduction article so readers know what I have planned for this E-M5 section. I also like to cover a few basic points on the E-M5 before continuing with the rest of the articles. Please read this basic information first before studying any of the articles covering more in depth E-M5 adjustments.

This E-M5 section will host all the different articles I plan to write. I like to write my own review on the E-M5, probably in several parts plus various other articles on how to configure and use the camera. For general articles on photography essentials see the Basics section and for general articles on Photography see the Articles section.

This is a great camera with lots of possibilities to discover so lets start…..


Photographers Styles

The E-M5 has several configuration modes, all well designed and structured to help the user personalize his or hers new camera. Some reviewers say the Olympus menu layout is not user friendly, to complex, not well structured and more. Personally I disagree with these statements. I have been a long term Olympus user and I think the E-M5 menu perfectly evolved with the advanced nature of the E-M5. The more you practice with the menu plus the more you use the camera, you will enjoy the clear and logical structure of the menu. By adding the popup "help" windows to the default layout of the menu structure is one area I do agree, they extremely helpful but in the way also. The help windows makes everything too busy and difficult to read. Once you cancel the popup help window, you will see the logical menu structure on the high resolution OLED screen. (To cancel the popup help screen, wait for it to appear and then press the "info" button, the info button will toggle the help window on and off)

Before you join the choir criticizing the E-M5 menu structure take a moment and consider this. I try many different cameras from Olympus and Panasonic plus a few from Canon. My own experience with Olympus is good and I have been working with them for many years. Recently I bought a GH2 from Panasonic and although I am use to the Panasonic menu my first reaction was negative. Nothing really wrong with the GH2 menu other than it is different. I really think it comes down to what you have been working with in the past, we play with complex toys and for us to access all the possibilities these units offer us we have to accept a certain level of sophistication…..

I like to have a quick look at three possible types of photographers or photography styles when we discuss the E-M5. The first is your Traditional Photographer the photographer that prefer to use full Manual Mode on the camera. The traditional photographer will also use Aperture Priority at times or Shutter Priority, each determined by the project he or she will be working on. This is the photographer that will have a good understanding of traditional photographic concepts like Aperture, depth of field, bracketing and so many more. One could also think of this photographer as someone who used older type film cameras in the past.

The next Photographer could be regarded as the iPad Generation Photographer. This is not a starter or somebody ignorant to the more advanced aspects of photography. These guys are often part of the younger generation, extremely talented, capable with Photoshop or other image editors and not so much interested in all the technical points so many of us enjoy. You will find that these photographers have a completely different style when working with the camera.

Finally one has the Casual Photographer who enjoys using good equipment, likes excellent image quality but who are not technical or really interested playing with camera settings. That is the person using something excellent like the E-M5 in full auto mode. What I really like about the E-M5 is that it is a good choice for each of the three photographers we described. In future articles I will talk in more detail about the different camera configurations one could select and how the E-M5 will satisfy each unique photographic style.

How to page through the E-M5 Menu's (P26)

Before we start with any adjustments we need to discuss the layout of menu structure. In order to have access to the full menu structure on the E-M5 you need to turn the Mode Dial to the "P" position, you can always return it back to iAuto when you done. Next you need to turn "off" the unique help windows that pops up, after pressing the menu button. To do that switch on the camera and press the menu button, wait a few seconds until the pop-up help window appear and then press the "Info" button. That will turn off the pop up window, help function.

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In figure 1 you see the 5 main or top categories of the E-M5 menu structure. They found on the left side of the E-M5 screen shot. They are Shooting Menu 1, Shooting Menu 2, Playback Menu, Custom Menu and Set up Menu. The menu shown in figure 1 is the top level menu you see when you first pressed the menu button on your E-M5. With the up and down keys you can move the curser up and down to select one of the 5 main categories. To go into one of the main categories move the curser to that category and press the "OK" button or press the right key. To return back to the top level menu press the "Menu" button or the left key.

Only the Custom Menu in figure 2 has more than one level sub menus beneath the top level menu. Al the remaining top level menus has only one single adjustment menu. To go to the custom menu in figure 3, you need to move the curser to the "Custom Menu" in figure 1 & 2 and then press "OK" or the right button. The Custom Menu has two sub menu layers ranging first from *A (AF Mode) to *K (Utility) menu on the 1st layer and then each of the *A to *K menus has another menu layer. What I normally do is to move my curser to the right when I am in the Custom Menu in figure 3, that will take you to the next level where you can do the individual adjustments. To move from the top of menu *A to the last setting in menu *K you do not need to return to the upper level in figure 3, while in the 3rd level you can continue pressing the down arrow until you reach the last menu "*K*. Please practice with the menu structure and familiarize yourself with the layout before reading the remainder of the articles on adjusting your camera. See the article, "Is the E-M5 really unfriendly?"

Siegfried