Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Starting to customize the OM-D E-M5 MkII

Many say that the Olympus Menu system is overly complicated and confusing. I disagree.

I've used a lot of menu systems in my time. In fact, I've used pretty much all of them. And I don't find the Olympus menu system to be inferior or purposefully confusing at all. I do agree that it's complex - but that's not the same as complicated.

Really, what it comes down to is the fact that Olympus cameras (and many of the other mirrorless systems) are just so incredibly customizable. You can change, tweak or alter almost anything to your own preference - or not.... They don't have to be confusing. And I don't believe that they are.

But, like any piece of serious technology nowadays, it does require some effort on the part of the user to get the most out of the system. Same is true with smartphones, smart tvs etc.

If you dig deep enough, take the time to get to know your gear, and shoot with it often, you will be rewarded with a very responsive - and dare I say it, even intuitive - picture taking experience.

To help us on our way, and indeed to give us the ability to set the camera up in not just one, but several different configurations, cameras include groups of programmable 'sets' where you can store different functions and recall them quickly.

This is nothing new. The higher end DSLR's from Canon and Nikon have given us this ability for many years. But I never really saw the point in them, and never used them. There were often only a few basic functions that could be changed on these cameras anyway, and it seemed to me to be fairly easy to change them on the fly.

Now, however, with the plethora of features, switches, dials and modes that can be customized on cameras, the use of different custom 'sets' has become much more helpful. Olympus call them 'Myset' and allow for up to four different configurations for quick recall. They are very easy to set up, and even easier to switch between - especially since you can programme one of the many buttons on the camera to take you straight to the Myset screen if you so desire.

I have three of these set up at the moment - Myset 1 are my 'standard' settings that I shoot with 90% of the time. Myset 2 is a Monochrome setting for shooting Black and White (with a green filter applied). While Myset 3 is a 'fun' setting that defaults to my three favorite art filters and shoots in bracketing mode. While these are fairly easy to remember, it would have been great if Olympus could have made it so that you could name the Myset options whatever you liked, just to help you remember what you've set for each one? Maybe an option in a future firmware upgrade?

If you haven't already, then set up some different shooting styles using the Myset menu. With three or four different camera configurations within quick access, maybe the complex menu system might just become less complicated to use?

Just a quick side note:

It was my Birthday a few days ago, and beforehand my wife asked me what I would like (within reason and budget). Without hesitation I said "The Olympus 9mm Fisheye bodycap lens."

So I am now the very excited owner of the 9mm fisheye, and I can't wait to get out and take some images with it over Christmas.

My next post will be about my initial thoughts/images using the lens. Bring on the holidays!

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