Skip to main content

Olympus E-M1 Fast Start

Lesson 6 of 12

Segment 6 - Button Layout: Left &Front Side, Bottom, & Lenses

John Greengo

Olympus E-M1 Fast Start

John Greengo

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

6. Segment 6 - Button Layout: Left &Front Side, Bottom, & Lenses

Lesson Info

Segment 6 - Button Layout: Left &Front Side, Bottom, & Lenses

we're gonna work our way around to the left hand side of the camera, and depending on the lens that you have, you'll have a lens function button. You won't get this with the Panasonic lenses, but you will get it with the Olympus. Some of the Olympus lenses this is the only ones I have. The 12 to 42.8 has a lens button so you could have that button. Activate the maybe magnify, focusing or some other feature of your camera. You could have it do the I s o almost anything you want. Just need to dive into the menu system to that custom menu button and dial, and then program that in. We also have a little door on the left side of the camera. That access is a few of the controls of the camera. We have a standard 3.5 millimeter jack. If you want to hook up a stereo microphone, there's a number of good microphones from Road and Sinai's ER that you can mount in the hot shoe of the camera for getting better quality audio. In your video recordings we have in HD, my connector that will connect up t...

o an HD TV, so if you wanted to a slide show or show movies on a flat screen TV, you could do that. We also have a connection to your computer, and this is, ah, terrible way of downloading your images. I'll give you a better away in a moment, but you can do it. It's just a very slow processor in the camera for downloading. It is where you could attach the RM. You see one, which is a remote control. Great for firing the camera from the tripod so that your camera does not move when you are shooting the picture. This will sell for about $ over on the right hand side, not much going on other than the memory card door uses the SD memory cards. There is a right protection switch on the side of the cards that will prevent them from being deleted. And so, if you're having a card error issue, you might want to check to see if that got bumped to the downward position. Upward is the normal position. If you're going to shoot video with this camera, you want to make sure that your memory cards air class six or higher. It can handle all the different cards that are available on the market, at least as of today. Class two through 10 and in the new U. H s classic can handle as well. One of the things that you want to do when you get a memory card for the first time, or when you go out on a new shoot after you have checked it that you have downloaded and backed up all your images is to reform at the memory card. So what that's going to do is it's going to delete all the pictures, and it's gonna format the memory card for this camera, deleting all the residual ghost folders and directories that are often put onto these memory cards from other devices. So just a good practice to format each time you go out and shoot. But make sure that you have backed up your images because you will be deleting all of your photographs when you reformat the memory card for downloading your images. Rather than downloading through your camera directly to your computer, which can be a very slow process, it's much faster if you use a card reader or just plug the card directly into the computer itself. It's gonna be a faster system, these card readers or not too much money. And they have a pretty simple system that's gonna work with Mac and PCs equally well. Over under the front side of the camera, we have a PC sink. That's kind of a Hallmark item of a professional camera right there. It's a sink so that you can hook up external strobes. For instance, if you are working in a studio environment, we have our lens release for taking our lens on and off, and our electrical contacts for communicating aperture focusing information with the lands are 16 Megapixel sensor is exposed there, so you want to have the lens off for a very limited amount of time. On the front, we have two different function buttons that be can be program to do a multitude of different things, like all the other function buttons we've talked about on the lens, on the top and on the back of the camera. And so you could do that in the custom menu itself lends alignment marks so that when you grab a lens, you know where to mount it up on the camera, there is a self timer lamp and an F assist lamp. That kind of shared double duty here, and I like to always leave my camera in as much of a stealth mode as possible. So no lights, no sounds, no distractions. And this is something that you could turn off in the custom menu that I'll recommend when we get there down onto the bottom side of the camera, we have our battery. The BL in one sells for about 50 bucks and the Charger B and C one and let me give you a quick little tip on the charger. One of the things I don't like about the Charger is that in order to power it, it's got the standard mains power connector. And you got this big old cord that you have to take with you. And so, if you want a small travel charger cause I love the ones that have a little flip out that you just plug straight into the wall for anyone that has apple accessories, they're gonna have this little power adapter, and this fits right into here. Pop it out and you can plop it into the wall. It's a great system if you don't want to carry that court around. And these things, if you don't have apple, that's okay. You can still buy these little adapters for as little as about five or maybe $10 at the most. And it's a very standard connection that we have on here. And so there may be other that probably are plenty of other non Apple products that you could buy. But it's a great way of having a simple wall charger without having the big, clunky cord that comes with these things. So I saw that I was like, That is a good idea. Okay, next up on the bottom, there's a little rubber cover for attaching the power battery holder. This is a vertical grip, so if you do a lot of vertical shooting or you have big hands, you might be interested in this grip because it allows you to shoot vertically more easily by having the shutter button in a more comfortable position. This will sell for about bucks on its own. Uh, and it, as I say, works really good for sports photography. Or if you do a lot of portrait photography. And, of course, the tripod socket is your standard quarter 20 tripod socket, so you can attach all sorts of accessories to it. Your serial number for the camera will be down there along the bottom, so you can note that for insurance purposes, here is the list of the kind of the complete list of all the customizable buttons on the cameras. You can see we have function 12 and tons of other buttons front, back inside. And so get into that custom menu. We will be getting into that later in this class, and you can customize all these buttons to your heart's content. And that's one of the great things about these newer cameras is that you can really get it dialed in exactly the way you want it to work. All right, let's move on to lenses. The lens that came out at the same time of this camera. That kind of got a lot of people's attention, and a lot of people have purchased with this camera is the 12 to 42.8. It's the very useful range that is very close to the 24 to 80 millimeter range. So it's gonna give you a good, solid wide angle lens as well as a long enough plans to do nice portrait work with. And having that constant 2.8 aperture is gonna make it very easy to work with under low light conditions. One of the interesting things about the customizing of the camera is you can also customize the lens a little bit in which way the focusing ring turns on the camera. Now two of the biggest camera systems out there, Canon and Nikon have their lenses turn in opposite directions when you are focusing, focusing towards infinity, and you can have this one adjusted to work or match either one of those systems. So it's nice to be able to customize that for anybody who's making that transition from the DSL ours into this camera. Also on some of the lenses, as I mentioned before, is a lens function button, which will be delisted as an l F N for lands function. We have our Mount Index just telling us where to mount it up on the camera body to get it lined up right. The better quality lenses have a focusing scale on them. This is really nice for doing a visual manual check on the lens to see where it's focused at. Ah, lot of the lenses will not have that. They'll just have a focusing ring on them. Only some of the very high end professional ones will. They have that focusing scale right there on the lens up towards the front. There's a couple of little notches, and this is for mounting the lens hood. And this is for blocking light, hitting the front elements or the front, a group of elements in the lands and causing flare problems. And so you're likely to get a little better contrast in your images, and it also works kind of as a nice bumper on the camera to have a lens hood on that, And each lens I will mention has its own unique lens hood, so you don't want to lose it. It's gonna cost around 40 bucks if you do lose it. And one of the great things about using the Panasonic camera is that you can use Olympus lenses with it. They make a number of really nice little prime lenses. White angle 12.2 pretty good, low light capabilities. Nice white angle, Great photo, journalistic lens. The 17 18 Good for street photography. If you want a normal lens, they make a 25 18 The short telephoto for shooting portrait's the 45 18 and one of the sharpest lenses in all of photography is the 75 18 and here with me, I hold it up right next door camera Here is the little 45 this is a great little lands for shooting portrait work. And look how tiny that little thing is that hardly adds any weight onto the camera at all. The 1.8 aperture is pretty good for getting that background out of focus. And so if you wanted to throw just a extra little lens in the bag for doing portrait work, this one's quite nice. Now these lenses will range anywhere from 400 to $800 in price, kind of depending on which lens it is the ones on the extremes. The 12 and 75 or on the more expensive range 17 and 45 are going to be around 400 bucks. Olympus has announced They're kind of road map of where they're going in lenses and they're going to be introducing soon. A wide angle 7 to 14 2.8 lens. This is a ultra wide lands, great for architecture or landscape photography. Seven millimeters is gonna be very, very wide on this camera. And one little downside on this lens is that they don't have filter threads. So you're not able to put a polarizing filter or screw in other types of filters right on the lens. I don't know the price of it yet they have yet to announce the price. For anyone who does a lot of sports photography, the 40 to 1 52.8 is going to be a war course of the lands. It looks like it's gonna be built really well. And this is all these lenses here, including the 12 to 40 that I have on the lens here. This is their pro Siris of lenses. They have fast apertures there really well built. They're going to be weather resistant and so very high quality stuff. And then for anyone who's doing wildlife or maybe some sports photography, they're gonna have a 300 F four. So this, of course, is the equivalent of a 600 millimeter in a full frame camera system. F four. Nice fast aperture. I don't know how big and heavy that lens is going to be, but it should be something that you can handhold relatively easy. Some of the more traditional Panasonic great lenses. They have their own 7 to 14 Lenz. They have a 12 to 35 lens, and they have a 35 to 100 which is a nice, good short telephoto but still pretty good. And it's low light capabilities at F 2.8. Now, Panasonic will have their own little letter codes that they add on to their lenses and designations, indicating what they're for. And so here's kind of a cheat sheet to what some of those are. The newer lenses will have power O I s, which is a little bit better image stabilization system that will work a little bit better for anyone who shoots video. But that really doesn't matter when you put it up on this Olympus camera, because the Olympus camera has its own stabilization system, and in general, whenever you put a lens with stabilization system on a camera that has a stabilization system, or at least in this case, the camera reverts to its own system. And so that's the default system. If you did have another lens that had a really good stabilization system in it, and you wanted to use not the camera but the lens stabilization, there will be a menu option that you can go in and select. Use the lenses stabilization system. But you would have to manually turn that on when you put that lens on. Now Panasonic has partnered with, like a in order to make some of their lenses, and so they've made a number of very nice lenses. The lens that I have here is the 25 1.4 lands, and I bought this because I wanted a normal lands for my micro 4/3 camera, and I wanted something that was fairly fast, and I wanted something that was fairly nicely built. And one of the thing about these leads is that it's really nice is that the focusing is just butter smooth. It is just so nice. It feels like a really well made lens back in the days when they were making manual focus lenses. Now, if you're kind of wondering well, is this a Panasonic lands because it's got Lou mix on it, But it also will say in some place like up here as well, who's making this lens? And what's going on? Is Panasonic just making it and throwing like a badge on it? Well, the matter the vaccine matter is, is that it is designed by Panasonic. It is built by Panasonic, but it goes through a number of quality checks and standards and measurements that are all done by either like equipment or like approved equipment. So it does meet a higher standard of quality control than the rest of the Panasonic year. They also have a 45 macro lens that's quite nice. They've just introduced a 15 millimetre wide angle as well as a portrait 42. double that gets you to that traditional 85 millimeter focal length that a lot of people like with that very fast F 1.2 aperture, which is going to do a very good job blurring the backgrounds. Aziz, well as you can with the Panasonic auto focus lenses, now a few of the other favorites that I'll just kind of give a shout out to is 3 14 and 20 millimeter these air little pancake lenses and let me hold one up for the camera. Here. You can see that it's, I think it should be called the cookie lands because it's right about the size of like a perfect little cookie. Effective, I would call it a small cookie, not even a large cookie. It's so flat and small optically, they're pretty good there. Maybe not the best on the block, but they're good enough for most general purposes, and they make a This is the white angle. They also have a slight white angle in the 20 a couple of other favorite lenses, if you want one big zoom range is the 14 to 1 40 It's ah, going to stretch from nice wide angle to a pretty good telephoto, and it keeps the sharpness in there pretty well. It's a pretty good, well rounded lens, and for anyone who wants a really big zoom, the to 300 is going to get you out there about as long as you can get and the great thing about this Olympus camera is that you can go back and forth between the Olympus and Panasonic lenses. I have kind of liked the design of most of the Panasonic lenses over the Olympus lenses, at least until the new pro lenses that have come out with Olympus. Now those seem to be quite nice, really liking the 12 to 40. The ergonomics, the way it feels, is very important to me. I like having a nice, smooth manual focusing. I like a lens that's got a metal lens mount on it. I like having that focusing scale that this has on it. And so those pro lenses from Olympus are excellent. I think the primes from Olympus, the little primes are really nice. But there's a select number of Panasonic lenses that are also very good, and frankly, I just really like having the options. I wish those of us who shot Canon's and Nikon's could shoot with lenses from the opposite manufacturer. I think that would really mix the game up and be a lot of fun. So beyond the Olympus and Panasonic, there's other companies that make lenses. One of them of note, is white Lander they make a Siri's, a kind of a slightly wide normal and a short telephoto that are really, really fast lenses. 0.95 lenses. Now these lenses air not cheap. They're going to sell for about 1000 bucks. They're also manual focus on Lee, so there is no auto focus on these. But if you are looking for lenses that let in a lot of light available to work under very low light conditions or to get the shallowest possible depth of field under any conditions, it's really the fastest lens. That air is available out on the market for this camera today. And so I know there's a few people out there using these lenses that are getting some very, very good results, and that kind of brings to a close the tour of the outside of the camera. So let me check in with you can in our viewers and people in the chat room, see if there's any questions that we can address, right? Well, let me go back over to the questions and feel, too. Do you have a question? Oh, great. Go. So we've been talking a lot about how lightweight and portable. These cameras are so if you can only do two lenses when you go travel with this camera two lenses? Well, the 12 to 40 would definitely be the one that I would want to have on their most of the time. I'm very interested to see this new 42 50 But I have a feeling it's going to be a pretty big chunk. And unless you have specific telephoto needs, I think that's gonna be pretty heavy. And you're gonna feel like you're carrying around a DSLR Olympus makes a 14 to 1 50 This is the lenses is the 40. This is a Panasonic 45 to 1 50 which is quite small and lightweight. I my preference would be for the Panasonic 35 to 102.8. And that's just simply because 200 millimeters is enough for what I generally like to work with. And I really value that 2.8 aperture, and I think it's a fair bit sharper than this one. But for somebody who really wanted to go lightweight, I like the to 1 50 from Panasonic. If you don't mind a little bit bigger size. I like the Panasonic. Make sure my numbers air right. 35 to 100. And so those would be my two favorite options for the telephoto work. I'm trying to think if I would change anything else. No, I really think that this with this camera is just a beautiful set up right there.

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.



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.