Skip to main content

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Fast Start

Lesson 14 of 32

Backside: Playback Menu


Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Fast Start

Lesson 14 of 32

Backside: Playback Menu


Lesson Info

Backside: Playback Menu

Next up: play back. And so when you go into the play back, notice it's a blue button, so things in blue have kind of a different function in the playback mode. All right, so what are those things. Okay, so we have the erase, so we can obviously get rid of images. If you want to go through your images, click, there we go, you can use left and right on the arrow pad on the back of the camera. There is a protect button, if you see that little key next to the info button, you can protect your images which means that you can't delete them. You can still reformat the card, so it's a very low-level of protection. You can zoom in by rotating the dial on the back of the camera. You can quickly flip through images by spinning the dial on the front of the camera. You can hit the record button, which does not record, it will actually select so that you can just kind of note "this is the good one here," and so it's just one way to indicate that it is a good image. And as far as I know, I didn't tes...

t this, that information is not passed onto Photoshop or Lightroom as a star, or a thumbs up, or any other flag marking as I know of. If you hit the info button, this is gonna seem like I'm repeating myself, but anytime you hit the info button you're gonna be able to cycle through different bits of information, whether you wanna see the basic image, some of the technical information, a lot of the technical information, including the histogram, you can see just the histogram if you want, take a look at the highlight and shadows, did you overexpose or underexpose an area that you need to reshoot. And then there's a unique lightbox option which will allow you to compare one image against another image, possibly for sharpness reasons. This would be great with portrait photography. You shoot a bunch of portraits, you wanna see which one is sharpest. And so working with this will require a little bit of practice, because we have our base image on the left, and then we have our selected image on the right. So as we have the standard on the left and then one that we're flipping around on the right. And the way that you're gonna be doing that is you can move an image from the selected image, over to the base image by hitting the OK button. And then you'd just been moving back and forth through previous images and next images to look for a competitor image or looking for the best of the images. Now you can also use the controls on the front of the camera for scrolling through your images and for zooming in. You can also control the zoom position so that you can compare two images magnified to see how sharp they are. And so you can control a number of these settings as far as what you're going to see when you're in the playback mode by going into those info settings. Next up is edit options. So once you playback an image, you can do a bunch of things to it. You can edit the raw images, you can share them, you can select to share order- we'll talk about WiFi and hooking your camera up and downloading your images. You can rotate images, you can put them into a slideshow. One of the ones that I think is a particularly helpful feature, which is common on the top of the line Canon and Nikon cameras, is the audio record option. And this can be very handy if you want to record additional information with the photo that is easy to transmit in voice. So, for instance, for a travel photographer, if you take a picture of somebody, you could have them tell you what their email is so you can remember to send them an email for that photo. So let's go ahead and do an example of this. So I'm gonna take my camera and I'm gonna playback an image in my camera, and so let's find an image right here and so we've got our image right here in the camera so what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna hit the OK button, and now we're gonna see all the different options of things that we can do. And what I wanna do is I want to record my voice onto, or with the metadata of this image. So I'm gonna hit OK. And so now, when I hit the start, it's gonna start recording. And I will need to speak into the microphone on the camera. This is the best photo I've ever taken. All right. We're gonna stop it and so we're gonna go back and playback an image, and we're gonna playback an image, and here's the image. "This is the best photo I've ever taken." And so as soon as you go to that image, and so if I go back, "This is the best photo I've ever taken." you'll hear what that message was, and I don't know exactly where that file gets put when you get it taken off on the card, it's probably in one of the ancillary folders on the directory system. But you will hear it directly in the camera if you need to get that information, so a neat feature that I think can be very useful for a lot of people. All right, so when you are shooting video, and you're playing back video, that changes the way some of the features work. And so that OK button will give you some different options of what you can do. You do not have audio record with the video in there. The various controls will allow you to either fast forward or rewind through your video, you can change the volume up and down on the back of the camera, you can go to thumbnail views of your movies by turning the back dial of the camera, and previous/next images with the front dial. And so that is your playback functions. Now, if you wanna switch cards from memory card number one, you can do that by pressing and holding the play and turning the dial on the back of the camera. So, let me make sure that I have installed my second memory card, because I want to show you real quickly on this. And so, if you want to playback, "This is the best photo--" Oh, I'm tired of the best photo I've ever taken. (laughs) And so if I press and hold the play, and I turn one of the dials, you can see I can select memory card number one or memory card number two, hey I remember that photo, go back to play card one and so, it's a very quick way to get back and forth from one and two, it's just hold down play and turn the dial, and you can, I think, turn it on the front or the back of the camera, wherever you want. So, very simple to get back and forth.

Class Description


  • Adjust your camera's exposure
  • Take sharp photos with a solid understanding of the autofocus system
  • Use the camera's advanced modes, like High Res and focus stacking
  • Customize your camera's controls
  • Easily find different options in the complex menu system
  • Uncover the camera's hidden features


The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II is one of the best lightweight Micro Four Thirds cameras on the market -- but the menu system is one of the most confusing and the camera's advanced tools can be hard to decipher solo. Ditch the instruction manual and maximize the potential of the E-M1 Mark II by learning from expert photographer John Greengo.

The Fast Start class covers the camera's controls, features, menu system and more. From basics like taking your first picture to advanced topics, by the end of this class, you'll be able to expertly use the E-M1 Mark II's many features. Learn how to use the advanced features like the High Res mode and in-camera focus stacking and find shortcuts for the most frequently used settings.

Customize your camera to your shooting style by setting custom controls and settings. Walk through the different options and learn John's recommendations for each setting. Finally, set up a pre-shot checklist and learn how to adapt the camera to different types of images.


  • Photographers just picking up the E-M1 Mark II for the first time
  • Self-taught photographers that want to see what they're missing
  • Photographers considering purchasing the E-M1 Mark II



John Greengo is a travel and landscape photographer with more than 30 years of experience. When he's not traveling and shooting, his straightforward teaching style helps new photographers learn the basics and become better acquainted with their gear. He's taught dozens of Fast Start classes on different interchangeable lens camera systems, including the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II, the E-M10 Mark II, and Olympus PEN F along with cameras from Nikon, Canon, Sony, and Panasonic.


  1. Class Introduction

    The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II is a top Olympus camera -- but it also has one of the more confusing menu systems. In this short lesson, learn what to expect from the class.

  2. Camera Overview

    Get a jump start on learning your Olympus camera with a brief overview of the company and the Micro Four Thirds system. Learn what lenses are compatible with the camera, the difference between Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds, and just how weather-sealed the camera is.

  3. Photo Basics

    Pick up some essential photography basics in this lesson, starting with how a mirrorless camera works. Brush up on a few basics like shutter speed and a proper camera grip.

  4. Top Deck: Mode Dial

    Begin deciphering the camera's physical controls, starting with the top of the mirrorless camera. Learn how to use the mode dial and the mode dial lock, as well as what each mode means.

  5. Mode Dial: Exposure Control in P Mode

    Dive into adjusting the camera's exposure beginning with the Program Mode. Learn how to adjust the settings inside this mode, as well as how to use exposure compensation.

  6. Mode Dial: Manual Exposure

    Full manual control allows you to carry out for creative vision consistently with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II. Dive into manual exposure settings, including bulb and live time, in this lesson.

  7. Top Deck: Shooting Modes

    Continue exploring the top deck of the camera by looking at the Function 2 button with the Multi-Function tool, the record button, the high-speed sequential shooting options, and the HDR button. Then, learn the pros and cons of the different shooting modes, like the Pro Capture mode.

  8. Top Deck: HDR & AF Mode

    This Olympus camera makes HDR easy using bracketing. Learn how to easily bracket to shoot HDR. Then, jump into the camera's different autofocus modes and when to use each setting.

  9. Top Deck: Metering and Flashes

    That same AF shortcut will also control metering with the front dial. Learn how metering modes can help get the best exposure. Then, learn how to pair the camera with a flash, from the included FL-LM3 to more powerful flashes, which are sold separately.

  10. Backside: Viewfinder Display

    Navigate through the LCD monitor as well as the electronic viewfinder on the OM-D E-M1 Mark II and learn how to customize what you see on those screens. The digital camera offers three different styles for the electronic viewfinder.

  11. Backside: ISO Controls & White Balance

    Moving to the back of the camera, learn how to quickly switch the control wheels to adjust ISO using the lever. John shares the best ISO settings to stay away from. Find the camera's white balance shortcuts to ensure accurate colors.

  12. Backside: Focus Area and Controls

    The Function 1 button adjusts the focus area. Learn how to adjust the focus area, move the focal point, and change the target size, as well as how to switch facial detection on and off. Control what you see on the screen using the Info button.

  13. Backside: Super Menu

    The Super Control Panel contains several different settings at a glance. Learn how to adjust the settings here, like the 5-axis image stabilization system, 4K video, flash, and various other settings.

  14. Backside: Playback Menu

    Review the images on the camera using the playback controls. Learn how the controls switch to a different shortcut specifically for the playback mode, and quick tips to help review your images.

  15. Left & Right Side of OM-D EM 1 Mark II

    Explore the camera's sides and dig into the camera's port options, as well as the controls that sit on some M.Zuiko lenses. On the right, you'll find the SD card slots and access for a remote trigger. John shares why the fastest card should always go in slot one and some tips on choosing a good SD card.

  16. Bottom & Front of OM-D EM 1 Mark II

    At the bottom of the camera, you'll find the serial number, tripod socket, and battery door. In this lesson, John also shares how to add the vertical battery grip accessory, an AC power adapter, and how to safely swap lenses.

  17. Olympus Lenses

    Pair the camera with a lens that's just as good. In this lesson, gain lens recommendations for the E-M1 Mark II, including M.Zuiko lenses from Olympus. Learn the different controls available on the lens.

  18. Camera Menu Settings Map

    Start deciphering the complex menu system by gaining an overview with John's menu settings map.

  19. Shooting Menu 1

    In the first tab of the menu, gain access to different shooting settings, from creating custom modes to adjusting image quality. Besides creating an overview of the complex menu system, John shares his recommended settings for the different menu options.

  20. Shooting Menu 2

    As the shooting menu continues, find features like bracketing, HDR, multiple exposures, keystone compensation and more. Watch a live demonstration of the camera's focus stacking feature.

  21. Video Menu

    Decipher the different options available in the video menu, including the default movie mode, quality settings, autofocus, and 5-axis image stabilization settings. In this lesson, John also explains the different video options available on the E-M1 Mark II, including frame rates, noise filters, and picture modes.

  22. Playback Menu

    Inside the playback menu, find the different options for reviewing images, including editing images in camera.

  23. Custom Menu A & B

    The Olympus Custom menu can feel very overwhelming at first. Here, John explains how the custom menu is organized, then dives into the first two sections of that menu.

  24. Custom Menu C1 & C2

    Walk through the different available controls inside the release, drive mode and stabilization custom menu, including suggested settings.

  25. Custom Menu D1-D4

    Inside the display menu, choose the different view options and settings for both the viewfinder and the LCD screen.

  26. Custom Menu E1-E3 & F

    The E menu adjusts different exposure parameters -- learn how to correct your metering if necessary, how to adjust the number of settings available for ISO and exposure compensation, and how to adjust the parameters of the auto ISO option. Then, dive into the F or flash custom menu.

  27. Custom Menu G

    The custom G menu on this Olympus camera covers image quality, white balance, and color. Learn the different options and find suggestions for where to set the different controls.

  28. Custom Menu H1-H2

    In this menu, choose the different record and erase settings for the SD card, like what card you are saving to, and advanced options like saving images to a folder on the card.

  29. Custom Menu I

    In the I menu, adjust the settings for the electronic viewfinder. Here, find controls for the eye sensor, brightness, layout and more.

  30. Custom Menu J1-J2

    Inside the utility menu, adjust a handful of settings, like setting time limits for the shortcuts made by pressing and holding a button. Here, you'll also find other options like touchscreen settings and other options.

  31. Setup Menu

    In the final section of the menu, find the setup options like formatting the card, adjusting the date and time, accessing Wi-Fi settings, adjusting monitor brightness and more.

  32. Camera Operation

    In this final lesson, prepare for any shoot with camera operation suggestions. Here, John shares a pre-shot checklist, key settings, and suggestions for multiple shooting scenarios.


a Creativelive Student

This is exactly what I was looking for - I really feel like I'm not able to control my camera, rather than the camera controlling me! :) I really learned a great deal - some of it was a great review, some of it was crucial information that will (hopefully) make me a better photographer. Thanks for a great class, John!!

Spyro Zarifopoulos

Great and very informative class.... John has done a fabulous job explaining all the simple and intricate details of the very sophisticated EM1 II. Thank you !!!

John Epperson

This is a great course on learning about the OM-D E-M1 Mark II. I have watched it many times to get to were I know it by memory the best I can. I like to go over it as much as possible because there is a lot to learn. I do wish that John would do an updated version since now it is up to Firmware 3.1. It is like a whole new camera with the new settings.