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Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Fast Start

Lesson 10 of 32

Backside: Viewfinder Display


Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Fast Start

Lesson 10 of 32

Backside: Viewfinder Display


Lesson Info

Backside: Viewfinder Display

We are moving to the back side of the camera. So, we've got the big flip out LCD touch sensitive screen on the back. Which is very helpful and handy. We also have our electronic view finder, 2.4m dots. Which is one of the higher resolutions out on the market. And one of the ways that they wanted to make this camera better than in previous versions, was a faster frames per second in the view finder. Cause your looking at a T.V. monitor in there and when your shooting action, this is gonna give you one of the clearest views of any camera, any mirror less camera out on the market. Over on the side there is a diopter which controls the focus of what you see in the view finder. Now that will occasionally get bumped from time to time and you won't be able to read the numbers and the technical information in there properly. So, just make sure that you dial that in, appropriate to your eyes. Now, where you see the image in the EVF or on the LCD depends on the monitor button. So, you can press ...

that to go back and forth and you will either see an image or you'll see something that we're gonna be talking more about called the Super Control Panel on the back of the camera. And so, some people like composing on the back of the camera and then putting their eye up to the view finder. Some people just like having technical information on the back. So, once again very customizable, and that one is very easy cause it's just a simple button press. There is a rubber eye cup. Potentially could wear out after a period of time and that's the EP13. Sells for about 20 bucks if you ever need to replace that item. There is an eye sensor so that it can determine whether you are looking through the camera. It actually just senses if something is within about four inches of the view finder and then it turns on the EVF and turns off the LCD. If you don't like that auto switch you can turn it off by going into the custom menu. It tends to be pretty good but you have to be careful especially in any sort of rain or mist because if a water droplet gets on it you'll have to wipe that clean so that it works properly. So, looking in the EVF let's talk about what we're gonna see in there. We have three different styles of view finder. Style one has that bright blue back ground down there and I prefer not to have bright colors in the view finder so that's not my favorite. Style three gets you the largest image possible but it does over lap the image with important information. And so, I prefer Style two but you can chose whatever you want by diving into the custom menu and we will see that once again when we get into the menu systems. In the view finder itself the frame will be 100% accurate because it's just showing you what's coming in off of the sensor itself. They have a number of different focusing frames. We're gonna talk about focusing coming up here in a few minutes. And your gonna see a little black box in there or you're gonna see a green box for areas that it has kind of confirmed it's focusing on. So, that'll very depending on the situation. The info button on the back of the camera can be pressed to change information. If you want you can see the image only, which is what I like for compositional reasons. But if you press that you can get into other information as well and so one of the options is getting basic information. Which is this large collection of information along the bottom of the camera. Mostly this is gonna be telling you if something is turned on that maybe shouldn't be on. Give you a little bit of information. The battery check. I'm not gonna go through each one of these. But it tells you, you know what shooting mode you're in. What mode you are in. Then it gives you exposure information. That's the really important stuff. Shutter speed, aperture, exposure information, as well as the meter. Now that meter is kind of interesting because it's got a scale on the top and the bottom side of it. The bottom is your light meter or exposure compensation. So, that's the basics of whether your picture is gonna be brighter or darker than average. But indicators on the top half of it are telling you about flash exposure. So, if you are one that likes to power down your flashes a little bit, you will see that indicated on the top half of that exposure indicator. There's a number of other features as I say that you can have turned on and off and we will be talking more about these as we go through the rest of the class. But everything in there has some sort of importance and that is under the basic info. There is also two different custom options that you can create. Custom one and custom two are a grouping of information chosen between these three things. So, you can chose histogram, highlight and shadow, and level gage all depending on what you want in custom one and custom two. And so, for instance you can have the histogram, which will show up at the bottom of the screen. And that's gonna show you a graphic display of how bright the image is. Now if you notice there's a part of that histogram that is green. Well, that's kind of special because that is what the spot meter is reading at a given point when you have the camera pointed at a subject. You can chose highlight and shadows, where it will blink in orange and in blue where the highlights and the shadows are in a particular photograph that will warn you for potential over or under exposure in a photograph. You can also have a level gage. Which will show you if you are tilting your camera left, right, or forward or down, and what you can do is go in and chose custom one to have one, two, or three of those options. And custom two to have one, two, or three of those options. And so you get to kind of chose which one are available to you. And then you would just simply cycle through those by pressing the info button on the back of the camera as you are looking through the view finder. And you're gonna be able to control all of this and we'll talk more about this when we get in the custom menu which has a lot of features. This one is under the display option in a feature called Live View Info. One of the other options are grids. If you like grids for compositional reasons, there's a number of different grids that you can chose from in here. There's a wide variety of reasons that people would want to use these and these can be turned on and off in the display grid option in the custom menu. Now this is an area that a, can be highly customized because you can go in and you can customize and I've never seen this, and this is the best I've ever seen on any camera. You can chose different colors and different opacity levels. So, if you said I like it red but not too bright a red you can, you can scale back how bright a red, or blue, or green, or you can really chose it's infinite on the number of colors that you can chose. Now, this camera as I say has more things in the menu system and it's very conflicting. And so the option under D3, the display grid option, will turn grids on in the view finder and the LCD on the back of the camera. But sometimes you don't want the same grid in the view finder as you do on the back of the camera. And so you can specifically go into the EVF option of the custom menu and chose which you want to see in the EVF and you can have something different displayed on the grid of the camera in the back. And so I'll tell you more on how to do this when we get into the menu section.

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.