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Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Fast Start

Lesson 13 of 32

Backside: Super Menu


Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Fast Start

Lesson 13 of 32

Backside: Super Menu


Lesson Info

Backside: Super Menu

We have a flash mode. And so if you do have a flash, the camera does not have a built-in flash, but it does come with that free small flash or any other flash, you can go in and choose many of the different modes for working with the flash. Taking a quick look at some examples of these modes. It does have a redeye mode which will reduce redeye with a pre-flash system. Slow flash will allow you to use slow shutter speeds combined with flash, also potentially using the second curtain with the slow shutter speed for getting some interesting effects for subjects that are moving. There is also the option of wireless off-camera multi-strobe. I apologize. We do not have time in this class to do a full explanation of the wireless off-camera mode. That is probably about a four hour class in itself. So that is one of those accessory items that requires a whole separate class. I don't have a class on it at this time, sorry to say. The top shutter speed that you can use with flash is 1/250th of a ...

second. However, if you are with that silent shutter, it needs to be back at 1/50th of a second. So it is very limited when you are in that silent shutter mode. So be aware of that for using the flash. So one of the best reasons for using flash is a little kicker flash for adding lights to portraits. So if someone is relatively close in front of you, adding a little bit of fill lights, getting a catch light in their eyes, often is going to be a good recipe for a better exposure of a person. And so using a little bit of fill flash is a very good idea. So that's when you get in a change your flash modes when you have a flash attached to the camera. However, the problem with using flash is that it's not always the right power because it is controlled by the camera and the computer in the camera. So if you want, you can power up the flash, or you can power down the flash. The problem with most TTL systems, like the one in this camera, is it tends to want to do what is a technically perfect job, but aesthetically is a little bit too powerful in some cases. And so powering down the flash is a very common technique for a portrait photographer. So if you are using the TTL system, with portrait photography, I recommend setting it to TTL - and seeing how that works for you. And as you can see in this case here, the camera is reading the dark top and the dark background and it's trying to overcompensate the flash. It's just too powerful. And probably in this case TTL - is rendering better skin tones than anything else. And so it will vary according to the situation. And you can adjust that right there under flash exposure compensation. Next up: the image stabilizer. This camera has one of best stabilized systems on the market. And there's a number of different ways for this to operate. We can turn the image stabilizer off. And the reason that you'd want to turn it off, is if you have the camera mounted on the tripod and that tripod is not moving at all. It's best to have everything stationary on the camera, and not have the sensor moving at all, if you know the camera is steady. For hand-held work, you want to look at using one of the stabilized systems. So SIS1 is the main one that you're going to want to have turned on most of the time. And this will stabilize a 5-access stabilization. It does up and down and twisting and forward and backwards. And when you use it with the right lenses, and we'll talk about a few of their lenses, like their new 12 to 100 meter lens, you will actually combine the stabilization of the sensor with the stabilization that is built into that particular lens, and getting a combined six and one half stops of stabilization. So you can have incredibly low shutter speeds. Now SIS2 and SIS3 are for panning, depending on whether you are in horizontal or vertical format. And SIS Auto is for automatically detecting which direction you are panning. Now I have a little bit of issue with these numbers and lettering and titles of this. It seems like there is a little something out of order here, but I guess the thing to remember is, SIS1 is your number one choice for choosing stabilization and it's a general one that most people are going to want for most hand-held use. Now we have a different stabilizer. It's technically the same stabilizer but we have different controls for when you are shooting movies. You might have it work in a different direction. Now SIS1 is all directions shake image stabilization and it's going to shift the sensor and it's also going to use electronic image stabilization which means it's going to crop in on your image a little bit so you're going to lose some of your wide angle capability. And it's going to give you a very stabilized image, but at that cost of cropping your image. SIS2 is only using the sensor, so you're still going to get the full sensor width. But it is physically moving the sensor to stabilize the image. And so we'll talk a little more about this as we get into the menu system as well. All right. Ugly slide coming, forewarning. Olympus has decided to have more options than I've ever seen for recording to multiple card slots. This camera has two different card slots, and we have a lot of different ways that we can store images. So let's talk a little bit more closely about how we can store images on this camera. The standard method is to store images to one memory card. And it stores to one designated card. You can choose whether it's slot number one or slot number two. And the other card sits in there and it does nothing and it kinda sits in the pocket as little backup card for you to go to. Next option is the Auto Switch where you shoot images to one card. When that card fills up. It dumps it onto the second card. I think this is really good for the general photographer out there who just needs to store images on a card but they have a second card and they don't have to carry it in their camera bag, it's in the camera. It's ready to go and it will go there whenever it needs to. Next up: we're going to be shooting to both cards. Duel independent means you're going to be shooting dual to two cards but it's independent. Each card is getting its own type of file. You could be shooting raw to jpg. You could be shooting a large jpg on one card, and a small jpg on the other card. It's whatever you want to choose, a different type or style to each card. Now the key thing when this is on is that it stops when one card is full because you are requesting that it record to both cards at the same time. And so you want two files, one on each card. Well there is a slightly different version of this. And it's called Duel Independent. Images, like on the other Duel Independent, are going to both cards, but it won't save one copy if there space on one card. So if there is one card that is larger than the other, it'll keep saving to that one card. But it will only be saving one image at a time. So it just makes use of a lopsided card system that you might have in your camera. I do not recommend Dual Independent with the up arrow. I would recommend it with the down arrow. I wish they would have invented a slightly different name. The next option is Dual Same. You are shooting the exact same files to both cards. If the arrow is pointing down, that means it will stop when one card is full. That means you should replace both cards on the camera. Then we will have Dual Same but with the arrow pointing up which means same files to both cards and it will continue to save as long as there's space on one of the two cards. And so I would be very wary of the arrow pointing up, just because you will be getting only one file when you were expecting to get duplicate files on both cards. But it is a way of utilizing all of the space on the cards. All right. So that is our card settings. We will see more about saving cards as we get into the menu system as well for how to designate how to go to one card to go to the next. We just talked about White Balance, but we're of course going to have a shortcut for it here in the Super Control Panel. We're going to see a number of things for the second time here. So for those of you shooting jpg, if you aren't satisfied with the colors, you can come in here and adjust the white balance on this. Now it's not as important to the raw shooters, because you can adjust the white balance after the fact if you shoot raw. But if you want to adjust the amber or the green settings in here, you can do so using the plus or minus numbering system. You can change your focusing points. And some people like looking at the back of the camera and to do this rather than pressing the buttons, so it's the same as we saw before with that button on the back of the camera, but if it gets reassigned, you may need to come in here and redo it. Once again, we're going to see a lot of duplicate features. We talked about the focusing modes. Everything will be here in case you have reassigned those buttons elsewhere on the camera. So once again, the focusing button, which we saw earlier, adjusting the Face Priority. The Drive Mode. Once again, we have all of those different options here. Sometimes it's easier to see and go through it right here. Metering Mode. Which we also have as a button on the top of the camera but some people reprogram that, so we can get to it here as well. I don't think we've got to this one yet. So this is the Image Quality setting. And so we have our choice between raw and jpg images here or combined. So if you want the highest quality image out of this camera, you probably want to shoot with the raw file, which Olympus calls an ORF an Olympus Raw Format. 20 megapixels. They are always going to be 20 megapixels. So it's that 5184 x 3888 resolution. It's a lossless compression. It's going to be about a 21 megabyte file. That will vary according to the exact situation. All the other ones here are going to be jpgs. And so we have our large fine quality jpgs. So large refers to the pixel count. Fine refers to the compression quality and you can go in and you can tweek these as much as you want to get the exact file size. And if you look along the bottom, you'll see that the file size drops dramatically when you start shooting with smaller sizes and start compressing that information more. And so some people are very specific about the needs that they have for their jpgs, and you're going to be able to go in here and really tailor these to be the exact resolution, compression, and file size you want if you need jpgs straight out of the camera. And then of course you can choose jpg plus raw. So that you are getting a jpg image as well as an original raw image with every picture you take. Now you have to be careful about shooting this, because you're going to be using up more data, and you're going to be filling up your memory card faster, and your hard drives faster. And if you have a raw, you can always create a jpg because people who are using this are usually people that need the jpg straight out of the camera, either very quickly, or they want to see exactly how the camera treated the jpg. For instance, one of the things I like to do is I like to shoot in black and white mode from time to time. If you put this camera in black and white, you're going to see it in black and white in the viewfinder, which is pretty cool to start with, and you're going to get a black and white jpg, but you're going to get a color raw that you can turn back into a black and white. You may want to look at that black and white jpg because maybe you adjusted the contrast and look of it and you would like to match what you saw in the viewfinder. And so, those are your options for recording. For a move from camera to photography, I would probably say a large quality fine jpg would be a good option to start until you get your computer and your software game all in place. For some of the more serious shooters, you are probably going to want to be in the raw setting so that you get as much out of your images as possible. And you will be able to adjust those between the different cards as well. Next up is the Picture Modes. So this is only important for the jpg shooter. And this allows you to shoot with different tweeks to your images. Now we did see some of this before when we were looking at the I-Auto and the art filters. And so we can shoot with slightly different variations on color and contrast and saturation. And of course we have all of the art filters and the I-enhances is where the camera will look at a particular image and will try to decide, well, do we need a little contrast or not. Many people prefer to leave it in the natural mode which is where you are going to get pretty consistent results. And it's not going to do anything really strong or heavy with your images and you will have a little bit of room to adjust them later. Vivid might be good for doing landscape photography. Portrait is good for portrait. It's going to de-emphasize certain tones in the skin that don't look good if they are overly saturated. And I really do like the Monochrome mode because you can view through the viewfinder and see black and white. Now there is a mode that is kind of buried in here, that's a little bit hard to get to, that's called the Color Creator mode. And this is where you can get a little creative with your photographs. And so if you want to have kinda of a color cast over the entire image, you can go into the Color Creator mode and control this. So I'm going to give a little demo here on the camera. And I might as well use my little color swatch right here, because we're looking at color. Make sure the camera is turned on. Focus on my subject here. And so you can see on the back of the camera, I have a little color swatch there. Just just back it off so we can see a little bit around us here. And so, what are we doing? We are going to the Super Control Panel. And we're going to go up to the mode, and I'm gonna look for- along the bottom here, we have a lot of different options, monochrome, custom, underwater, Color Creator. And see Select Color. We're going to hit Info up above. So now we've got a wheel that we can change our intensity, our saturation levels. We can desaturate and we can saturate our subjects. And so we can see how much those colors change. And now we can change the color kinda the overall color scheme. So if we want everything to be very reddish, we can do that. We can change it to be very blue. If we want it to be very very subtle in color, but with a little bit of a blue, we could add that. And so, the front dial is controlling which color we see, and the back dial is controlling the saturation that we see it. And so, a lot of different ways to customize this. And don't forget, to pay attention to the little controls down here. OK. To Reset it. So if I hold down OK, it resets the whole thing back to normal. And so once again, this was in the Super Control Panel. This is called Color Creator. And I can go in here and we can get to all the other art modes that we saw samples of earlier. So one of the ones that I'll show you real quickly is a custom one. So you can go into Custom, hit Okay here, and then come back in and change your sharpness level, your contrast levels, your color, your color curves levels, and that will all get programmed into the Custom mode right there. For normal use, I'm going to go back to where I normally keep it, which is number three, natural. All right. Getting back into the keynote here. So that is the Color Creator. So a number of those boxes in here will change according to which mode you're in. I'm not going to go through each one of these, but these control the look of your photograph. And this is really only important for jpg shooters. But some people need jpgs that have a particular look and they aren't satisfied with the look they get straight out of the camera. So feel free to go in here and adjust these to meet your accorded needs. So the E Effects will come up when it is in I-enhance and it will give you basically this is where the camera is going in and giving you its own idea, about, oh, this picture should have more saturation or less. It's just determining the level, of that standard that's going on. And that will only work in the I-enhance mode. And so, in some cases as you go around, you're going to find there's an empty box. It's like they forgot to give you something. No, there's just certain things that when you're in certain modes the box will be in. We saw a little bit about this before, but the camera can be shot in different aspect ratios. Now the camera normally is a four thirds camera, that is the aspect of the sensor, that's the way most people want to have the camera, if they're trying to capture as much information as possible. But sometimes you're capturing information and you know it's going to be cropped, it needs to fit in a particular frame of some sort, and you want to see that in the viewfinder. That's one of the advantages of the mirrorless camera, is that it will crop it in the viewfinder and show you exactly what you are going to get in any one of those different aspect ratios. But normally you want to have it in the four by three mode. The Color Space, jpgs come set to sRGB which is a smaller color gamut, which is usually the domain of the internet. It's you know, simplified colors to reduce the file sizes of everything that gets passed around. If you plan to print, and get in an manually control your images in Photoshop and Lightroom and things like that, you can switch that over to Adobe RGB. When you shoot with raw, you automatically get Adobe RGB, that's just the default system you're going to get, so you don't need to worry about it. But if you want your jpgs with a larger color gamut, you can change that over to Adobe RGB space. We're going to have a little shortcut here, so that you can go in and change the quality settings for your video recording. There will be a number of different preset options here and you would just choose one of those. We'll be diving more thoroughly into this when we get into the menu section in the second half of the class. We have our Highlight and Shadow control. This was part of the multi-control button we talked about earlier, but this is simply the exposure or tone curve on our camera. We can control the highlights, how bright they are, as well as the shadows, and so we can make our images a little more contrasty or less contrasty. Once again, you see that jpg only warning, so it does not affect the raw images, only the jpgs. A lot of customization on this camera, and this is a shortcut to go into the Buttons and reprogram them. And so we'll be doing this for real in the full menu system but this is a great way to get in there and reprogram one of those functions, 1, 2 or some of the other dials or other buttons on the camera. And so, easy options on that. Now, just real quick reference. These are all the different controls that you can customize on the camera. And so they have made almost everything customizable on the camera. So there's going to be a lot of different options for you to get the camera exactly the way that you want it. If you want a good drinking game, every time I say customize, you can take a little drink. He he he! It's going to be a very dangerous class for that. All right. So that's our Super Control Panel. I heard that Olympus has programmed the image stabilization so that the camera knows when it's on a tripod so that you wouldn't need to turn image stabilization on. Is that true? That sounds true to me. Most camera companies who have a stabilization system will officially say, oh, no, no, no you don't need to turn the stabilization system off. Our camera senses it and it works perfectly fine. But it doesn't hurt to turn it off. Yeah, they will quietly say that. And so, I've actually not had a problem with it on this camera. And so it seems to do a pretty good job if you forget to turn it off. But it's possible it could cause a problem, and so, you just don't want that possibility of it causing a problem, you would turn it off. But in general it hasn't caused as much problem as I've seen on other brands. Thanks. Good question. Thanks. All right. So we'll be talking about the menu in the second half of the class and we'll be talking about it for a very long period of time.

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.