Skip to main content

photo & video

Olympus E-M1 Fast Start

Lesson 3 of 12

Segment 3 - Button Layout: Top Deck Part 2

John Greengo

Olympus E-M1 Fast Start

John Greengo

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

3. Segment 3 - Button Layout: Top Deck Part 2

Lesson Info

Segment 3 - Button Layout: Top Deck Part 2

next up is the S mode s, of course, stands for shutter priority. You get to choose the shutter speed and the camera will figure out the aperture. Let me do another little live demo here on this camera and you can see that the shutter speeds are controlled in the back of the camera and they're highlighted in yellow. And if I said a shutter speed, let's go Teoh 1/60 of a second. That's a pretty normal shutter speed. There we go. And let's focus on our lens. Here in front, we get a nice quality picture. The camera has chosen an aperture of F 4.5. If I decided I would like to shut a center speed of 4/1000 of a second, I go up to 4/1000 of a second. The F 2.8 is blinking at me. What this means is the camera says my lens goes down to 2.8 and that is not enough to make this a good picture. And if I take a picture, you can see playback. This image. It is a very, very dark image on. So that is my cameras warning to me that the aperture is not right for it, and I need to make an adjustment with ...

it. And so if I keep adjusting this down as soon as that, up to eight stops, blinking is when I can shoot the picture and right there, it's not blinking. I can take a picture and it comes out. So there's our picture properly exposed. And so pay attention to those blinking shutter speeds or apertures. It means that you are outside of the range that you can shoot at, and that's one of the problems with the shutter priority, Motor said. If you're not paying close attention, you could go outside the range pretty easily. It's very hard to go outside the range and aperture priority because there are so many different shutter speeds for the aperture for the camera to choose from. Aperture priority is a very safe and simple system, and in that regard okay, my favorite mode manual. Okay, so manual allows us to change shutter speeds and apertures on our home, and now we're gonna be using the light meter in the camera as well to get the light meter towards the zero mark in the middle, and so this, for instance, would be minus two stops on the exposure. Remember these air measured in third stops with major indications at a full stop. So this is one stop overexposed. And for a lot of times you're gonna be at zero at least as far as your missile initial shot. So your aperture control is in front. Your shutter control is in back. So let's go ahead and set this camera manually. I got my camera in manual. You'll notice here on the back of the camera that the shutter speed and the aperture are both in yellow as well. Eso we have shutter speed and aperture in yellow. Let's just say I wanted a shutter speed of 1/30 of a second. Let's just set that 1st 1/30 of a second. There we go. Now, what sort of aperture do I need? Well, I could just take a look at my light meter. I can see that I'm a little over two stops exposed as I'm adjusting it downwards to zero F 6.3. Looks good on screen. Take the picture and we're getting a proper exposure in that case. And so you're gonna pay attention to the meter. Both the graphic and the American meter in there, and that is also going to be visible in the E V f for us Well, so that you can have it up to your eye when you're shooting pictures. Now, once again, the front dial and the back dial can be switched around, and so you can change which one controls the shutter speed. Which one controls the aperture. You can even control which direction the dials turn, which is something I'm gonna recommend it change on, which is going to make working with the exposure meter a little bit more logical and easier. For some reason, I think the Japanese choose a different direction on turning dials to simulate which direction the controls work in the camera. And so it's really nice that you can get in and customize all these little different features in there, and you'll be able to do that in the custom menu under the button dialled option and the dial function in. And I'll show you specifically what I'm talking about as we get into that later section in the menu. Okay, Still on the top of the camera, the function to button what happened to the function? One button. Why don't we start with number two? Well, to happens to be on the front, one happens to be on the back. That's why we got to it first. So the function to button is something that you can program to do pretty much anything you want by default. It is handling four features. Right now, it's handling highlight shadow control, color creator mode, magnifying an image respect. And I was actually playing around my camera. And I need to jump in real quickly and change something here because I changed the function of this button and I now realize that I didn't want to change the function of this button. And so let me get back to normal because he wants to get this camera. You're gonna start changing things really quickly because this button is a little bit weird at first. Okay, there's a number of things that were about this camera. So when I hit this button, I get this highlight shadow control. Now, first off, this has zero effect on raw images, and what I can do is I can start raising the highlights or lowering the highlights. So I'm making the highlights brighter or I'm making them darker by going up and down. If I go side to side, I can make the shadows darker or I could make the shadows brighter. And so I'm changing the look of the image. And so if you were shooting J pegs and they weren't quite right, you could tweak it. But this button right now is programmed to do four things, and it's a little awkward. And let me see if I get this straight. So I gotta hold the button down and turn the back dial at the same time So you can see I'm holding the button down and I turned the back dial and I could flip this from highlight Shadow Control, which I don't ever use to color creator. And now when I hit this button, I can start changing the color of the image, which is something I'd never dio Let me change it again. Turn it off, press it turned the back dial. Let's go to the next one. Magnify. Okay, so now when I hit this button, I get the magnify and Aiken zoom in. And this, I think is pretty cool. I guess I better leave this in auto focus. So we hit it once, twice, and now when I focus, I can really see if the camera is focussed in the right area. I hit it again. Back it off. I can use the touch screen and Aiken liken. Use the tab to move it to a different area. So then put it on this camera here on the left, hit the magnify button. And now I can go in and see if it's sharply focused on that subject. And so that magnifies kind of nice. I like that one. So let me see if I can change this again. Had it there. There we go. The last one is image aspect ratio, which allows you to change the aspect of the image. And this is something I would rarely ever do. Normally you're gonna leave it in four by three. And so if you leave it at the default setting, it is a four for one option. But I'm not a big fan of any of the four options. And so what I did are what I recommend on that camera is reprogramming the function to button to doing I sl because I eso is something that you want to change on a regular basis, and that's a great place to have your eyes so control. So, as you can see here on screen, there is like 25 different functions that you can re program function number two to dio. Now, this is probably the easiest, most accessible button on the camera. So pick whatever you're going to use the most and kind of lock that in, is what you're gonna put in as your function number two. My personal choice is I s l but there's a lot of other choices that you can choose from there. So that's kind of nice having these function buttons, and we're gonna see lots more of him on this camera. We talked earlier about the video record button. You'll notice that there's a little blue check box to the lower right of this. What that indicates is that when you're going back in the playback mode, which is also a blue button, is that you could mark an image as a selected image. And so if you have an image that's the best of a Siris, for instance, you could note Note that in the camera. And then you will be able to use that information as you export those images. Yes, just a quick question because you're talking about the movie mode from me. Me que She was wondering how you got out of the movie mode once she had selected. It continued to shoot even when she took us still. Okay, so one of the things that we could maybe do a live demo on this one. So I'm gonna put the camera in the movie mode and this camera if you start recording. So it's in the movie mode right now. I'm going to start recording and you can see that I'm recording down here. There's a little clock running if I decide to take a picture, so it just took a picture, but it's still recording the movie on. So what it's actually doing is that it just kind of interrupted the movie so I could take that picture and then I will stop. And if I go back into play back, we should have a movie clip, a still image and another movie clip, and so it's kind of just automatically created those three from that one little set of circumstances. But if you want to get out of the movie mode, I think just turning the dial will be the quickest, Easiest way to get out of there OK, over on the top left of the camera is a kind of a double button, and it very it is very, very revving, reminiscent of a film. Rewind, crank, and so do not try toe. Rewind your film in this camera. There's nothing that pulls out, enables you to crank your film back in. There are two buttons, the top button in the bottom button. The top button controls a number of features. Sequential shooting, self timer and HDR. So let's talk about HDR because when you press that button as you hold it down and you turn the front dial, it is designed for HDR shooters. But it's also a standard bracketing mode as well. And so, of course I had to try out this HDR mode, and so here's a standard J peg versus an HDR one and an HDR to which is um or extreme version. HDR, if you're not familiar, stands for high dynamic range, and it's trying to take multiple photographs in HDR one. It shoots three photographs and in HDR to it takes four photographs, and it's trying to capture exposure information from all of these photographs and put them all into one shot. And so if you have a subject that has a really wide, extreme latitude of exposure for bright areas to dark areas, you can kind of squeeze it. Maurren. Now it does have, ah, slightly different look to it than standard photographs because it's trying to cram or total information into it. Now. One of the other option is that you can use external software where you will get probably better results and what you want to do. In that case, issued a series of individual pictures at different exposures, and so this camera has a number of different settings in there. You can do as many as seven stops at two stops apart in each one of them, or five frames at three stops apart, which really it gets the extreme examples of almost complete black and complete white in there. If you just want a bracketing Siri's, you can use this as well. But the camera has a separate, different set of bracket e in another place in the camera. But this is one that's pretty easy to get to. And so if you are shooting something that has a wide exposure range, you can try the HDR, see how well it works. It will be a J peg image. It will not be a raw image. And so the way that you will get to that is simply by pressing that button and turning the front dial. If you hold down that button and you press the back dial, you will get to the sequential shooting options. And for the most part, most people are just gonna leave it in the single shot mode, which is just the box. It has a high speed in a low speed motor drive or drive mode, and those speeds are gonna be nine frames per second and, I believe, four frames per second for the low one. We also have a 12 2nd in a two second self timer, as well as a continuous timer, which allows you to use or to take several photographs after a period of 10 seconds, and actually you. The low speed motor drive can get up to 6.5 frames per second. Now the second button on the bottom is the auto focusing and metering. So when you press that button and turn the front, die a little. Change them. Eatery. The camera has three main metering modes digital, E S P, and it took me a while to dig out the information. But E S P stands for electro selective pattern. Don't memorize that. It's not necessary. But what it is is it's a It's a matrix broken up into 324 areas, measuring light from highlights to shadow areas and coming up with one good average for everything. It does a fantastic job, in my opinion, and it's where I would leave the camera most all the time. It does have kind of a traditional center weighted mode. So if anyone used to camera back in the seventies and eighties, all of those cameras had center weighted metering systems on it. If you did wanna have a highly concentrated reading of light in a small area, it does have a spot meter that works quite well and would be my second choice for a selective tool in focusing. Then the cameras unusual. I don't know of any other camera that has this, but it has a highlight and shadow spot meter as well. And the idea is is that you would use the spot control and pointed at something that's a highlight or shadowed area in order to meet her you're seeing. And this is very counterintuitive to most people who worked with light meters and what it is is. It's a spot meter added in with exposure compensation. And so the highlight meter spot highlight is a spot meter with something like a plus two exposure on the compensation and the shadow is a spot meter with about a minus two exposure compensation. And so the normal spot meter. You, of course, want to try to point that at something middle tone grey. These do give you some other options. I've never used him. I don't We will see a purpose in it in my type of photography. But it's another tool there. If you can find use for it, give it a try. If you press that, uh, back for the second, the bottom button and the back dial, you're gonna change the auto focusing modes, and there are five different choices in here. Most cameras only have three. Olympus is kind of following true and giving you a couple extra and everything that they dio. So let's talk a little bit more closely about the focusing mode on the camera. The standard mode is S A F, and this is where I would leave it for most general photography. This stands for single, which means you focus on a subject and it locks in and it stays there so that you can recompose for different composition. The other major mode in this case is the C A F and C stands for continuous. So if you have a subject that is moving and you need to track their movement, this is a very good system for tracking sports action in tracking their movement forward, backwards and away from you. That would be my main choice. Now the camera also has another one that's kind of interesting, a little different than most cameras. It's continuous autofocus ing with tracking, and in this case, what it's doing is it's looking at all the focusing points, and it's trying to identify the object that is moving, and as it moves, it's going to try to track its movement. The problem with this mode is that it's a well. They call it an intelligent mode where the camera is trying to make these decisions for you and the camera makes mistakes and it kind of jumps off of it, and it's a little erratic. I think this is worthy of a try, depending on what type of sports or activity you're shooting, I think potentially if you had a small child playing around in a living room, this might work out pretty good to be able to track that movement as it's randomly moving around. But you probably gonna want to go to the continuous mode for most types of sports and regular action type shooting that you would do now. The other option I didn't talk about is I M F, which stands for manual focus, which is a good option for anyone who likes to manually set their focus. I do this a lot when I'm on a tripod and my distances aren't changing. It's just very simple to set that and be done with it. There is also an essay F single autofocus, plus manual focus and what that allows me to dio is that if I want to auto focus and let the camera choose, I can then do what's called touch Up focusing, which means I can adjust manual focus a little bit if I want. The key is is that I have to leave my index finger halfway down on the shutter release. Let the camera focus, and then I can go in and adjust it. If you have your camera in S A f A regular single autofocus mode, you press down and you turn the focusing dial. Nothing will happen. And so anybody who's used to manual focusing that likes to have that option. I would recommend the S A f plus I m f said that you could have that manual focus override. And so I like that mode as my personal favorite. And then I'll use continuous autofocus for any sort of action. But for very simple use, the S A f is a good simple mode as well. So that is the auto focus modes on the camera. Now, As you might imagine, these two buttons can be customized as well as you will see later on when we get into the menu system that those modes air not very useful to you. You can switch him out with some other modes that maybe you find more useful continuing on the top of the camera. We have a hot shoes so that you can add on additional flash. And so the camera does not have a built in flash, but it comes with and let me take off the little protectors here. A couple ones here comes with a little flash right here. And so if you want a built in flash, well, that's about as close as you're going to get. It's not exactly the most powerful flash in the world. A little flip up that turns it off that turns it on. There's a little unlock switch on the side so that you can mount it on and off. One of the nice things about this is it doesn't need any power, cause it's getting power through the backcourt of the camera, a zoo we can maybe see back here. It plugs in right here, and there's some other accessories. I'll talk about that. You can plug in there, we'll plug it in, and I'm not a big fan of built in flash. I'm not a big fan of on camera flash, but if you need something small and simple, that would be a great thing. You're gonna go camping or something. And lightweight is very, very important. Nice to know. So for Flash, the first and most important thing to know is flash has a very limited distance that it can travel. It's gonna be able to illuminate subjects that is our that are essentially directly in front of you. They are not going to reach the mountains behind you or your neighbor's house across the street. So some of the flash options that you have this is called the F L L M two sells for about $50 if you lose it, but it does come with the camera. In most all cases that I've seen has a guide number of 10 which is kind of on the low side. Olympus makes a number of other flashes which are not really that much more powerful, but they can be used in a wireless function. The place that it really gets interesting is when you start getting into the larger flashes, which is going to be the F. L 600. This is gonna have quite a bit more power if you do a lot of event photography, like a wedding or corporate gig where you're shooting a lot of pictures of people at tables and gripping grins and groups of people, then you might want something more powerful. The 600 are is really the only choice. The Olympus system doesn't have the greatest versus variety of flashes, so hopefully they'll come out with some more in between models in the future. But they the 600 is going to be a fair bit more powerful than 600 just in itself, for about $300.

Class Description

Master the functions of the Olympus® E-M1 in this comprehensive course on this powerful SLR-mirrorless camera.

The Olympus E-M1 is one of the most customizable, portable cameras available – ready to learn how to tailor it to your needs as a photographer? Join John Greengo for a one-day course that will guide you through the features, buttons, and menus of your camera. You’ll learn why the Olympus E-M1’s rugged, the weather-resistant design makes it a perfect choice for photographers who shoot outdoors. John will guide you through hands-on exercises that will equip you to capture stunning images in any shooting circumstances.

This advanced-intermediate course will help you capture professional-quality images.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Course Outline

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes



John does an excellent job of making the OMD E M1 understandable. His knowledge of the camera and relaxed style clearly and painlessly walk you through the maze of buttons, menus, and functions. He objectively points out the strengths of the camera as well as those things Olympus could of done better. His opinions of the camera are consistent with other knowledgable reviewers, and are consistent with my own (limited) experience. The manual tells you every little thing the camera CAN do. John helps you understand what is important to get the best use of the camera in most situations.

user e35335

Three simple words, " Thank you John " I have really enjoyed the course. The OMD EM1 is a wonderful camera, and with the clear guidance of this course I feel instantly at home with all its capabilities. Clear concise instructions delivered in a faultless manner. A joy to watch.


John is a very good teacher, and this is indeed a useful class. Class material is excellent as always. But I don't think this is his best work. He seems to be too conflicted with Olympus' menu systems and design decisions (which I admit, are a bit strange) to give the students a clear picture of the full potential of their new gear. He also fiddles/struggles with the camera a bit too much in all the live demonstrations. I would recommend this class only to absolute photography beginners and not really to people with any experience.