Mode Dial: Exposure Control in P Mode


Olympus® OM-D E-M1 Mark II Fast Start


Lesson Info

Mode Dial: Exposure Control in P Mode

Alright, getting back to the regular photography stuff. Switching over to the P mode. The P mode stands for Program, which means the camera is gonna set shutter speeds and apertures for you, and unlike the Auto mode, it does not have the child safety locks on a bunch of the features and the menu system and throughout the camera. So now you can get in, and make all sorts of changes on the camera. So first and foremost, it's setting shutter speeds and apertures for you, and you can see those shutter speeds by looking in the viewfinder, and you will see along the bottom of the camera a little bit of information. On the left, it tells you the exposure mode. It then tells you your shutter speed, your aperture, and then it's gonna give you exposure information, how far off you are. Are you underexposed or are you overexposed? But with the program mode, you should be getting even exposures to start with. And so you can change the program, which shutter speeds and which apertures you're gettin...

g, by turning the back dial on the camera. You can change the exposure compensation, which is the brightness of your images, by turning the front dial. So each dial has it's own unique operation, and in Program that's how these work here, but in other modes, they may be different. So the exposure compensation is great when you want to lighten your images or darken your images, and so you can dial it up to three stops to make it darker, or you can go up to three stops brighter and you will see that right there in the viewfinder. Which is what's nice about these electronic viewfinders is you can see the actual brightness of your image as you are composing it, and so that's simply done by having the camera in the Program mode and turning the front dial. So let's go ahead and take a look at how that works on our camera here. So I've got the camera in the Program mode right now, and if you'll look down here at the bottom, we have our shutter speed at a 60th of a second at F/2.8, and I can see a problem right now before I encounter the problem I'm gonna fix the problem, as I wanna show you these numbers moving properly, and I have the camera in auto-ISO, 'cause I did a full factory reset. So I am gonna go change the ISO on the camera, and I'll explain what I'm doing more close a little bit later on, and it's not super super bright in here, so I'm gonna set the ISO at 1600 for right now, and now what I really wanted to talk about with this was the shutter speed and aperture, and if I said, you know what? I would prefer more depth of field. I can turn this dial on the back of the camera, and now I have more depth of field at F/22, and if I said I want less depth of field or a faster shutter speed, I could go to the other side and you can see that it becomes a PS anytime I've done this program shift. If there's no S, that's kinda the standard place the camera would recommend, and why does the camera recommend this? It wants you to have a shutter speed fast enough to handhold the camera, it doesn't know if it's on a tripod or not. It has no idea what your photographing, but it just figures, eh, that's a pretty good place to just generally keep it. Now, you'll notice that we have a number over here in green. That is the front dial. We can choose to make this picture a little bit brighter, or we can choose to make this a little bit darker if we want and so we can actually go beyond the three stops all the way down to five, but our light meter doesn't show it down here, and so we have a visual graphic on the right, and the numbers right there on the left. By default, you probably wanna leave it at zero, unless you're specifically wanting to make it brighter or darker. But the Program and the Program shift mode allow you to get to virtually any combination of shutter speed, aperture and brightness quite easily, and so it's a good quick shot mode, a very simple way for somebody who does know about photography to have the camera automatically assisting them, and then they can jump in and manually adjust a lot of things if they need to. Next up, is the Aperture Priority mode. I'm gonna switch my camera, and switch your camera at home as well. So Aperture Priority is great when you know that you want more or less depth of field, and so when you're in a landscape or a cityscape type scene where you want everything from the close foreground to the distant background to be in focus, you could stop down to F/16 or or whatever the case needs to be. But if you wanna show shallow depth of field, if you have one of those faster lenses that goes down to F/1.4, great time to use that, dial it down to F/1.4 for the shallow depth of field. Like the Program mode, the front dial is used for exposure compensation, so you can brighten things up. But the back dial is used for controlling the apertures, and once you put it into the Aperture Priority mode, you will see that aperture become green, the numbers in the back. So that green means that you are manually setting, and you have manual control over that particular feature. Very similar to Aperture Priority is Shutter Priority, and so obviously in this one you get to change the shutter speeds, and one of the things to watch out for is a blinking number. That means that you do not have an aperture bright enough for shooting at that particular aperture. It's kind of a conflict, a problem that you might have. So if you need fast shutter speed, for capturing an eagle going into the river, that's gonna be around maybe a thousandth of a second. If you want to blur these scarves blowing in the wind, you might want to use a slow shutter speed like one full second. Now, Shutter Priority is not my favorite because it's very easy to get out of range. So let me change my camera over to Shutter Priority and just show you on my camera. Right now, I have the camera at 250th of a second, and you can see my lens is blinking at me at F/2.8 saying it is not bright enough to do a picture at 2.8. So I'm gonna change this back dial so that I get down into a number that is not blinking. So I can shoot a picture at 250th of a... well, let's see. Let's go down to 200th of a second, and I can get a nice normal shot here. Let me play that back and so that's my normal exposure. But if I just, said you know what, I really need a fast shutter speed. I'm gonna shoot a picture at 1000th of a second, and I wasn't paying attention to that 2.8 blinking which will also happen up in the viewfinder, I'm gonna get that picture back and it's gonna be too dark, and so, do be aware of the little blinking warning that your lens is not bright enough, and make sure that's not blinking. Generally, on a camera, anything that blinks is a warning. Something is not totally right when it blinks. So keep aware of those.

Class Description

We know what it’s like to dive right into taking pictures with your new camera. But reading dense technical manuals can be time-consuming and frustrating. Get the most out of your new Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II with this complete step-by-step walkthrough of the camera’s features. 

Join expert photographer John Greengo for a fast-track introduction, and unlock your camera’s full potential. In this fast start class, you’ll learn: 
  • How to use the exposure system
  • How to customize the camera controls for your needs
  • How to use and customize the menu 

John is a CreativeLive veteran instructor and an experienced photographer. He has extensive experience teaching the technical minutiae that makes any camera an effective tool: aperture, ISO, the Rule of Thirds, and the kinds of lenses you’ll need to suit your camera body. This fast start includes a complete breakdown of your camera’s exposure, focus, metering, video and more. John will also explain how to customize the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II settings to work for your style of photography.


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 !!!

Jeff McPheeters

I am enjoying the presentation immensely. My first experience with John's classes and he's excellent. It's a no brainer to buy this for anyone using the Olympus E-M1 mk II. I've been using Olympus OM-D bodies since 2012 when they debuted, and have two E-M1 mk1 bodies and just purchased the mk2 model this week. I thought it would be a simple modest upgrade, easy for me to configure, since I feel I'm pretty adept with the mk 1 settings. But I was wrong. This is way more than an upgrade. It's an entirely different camera in many ways and this class has already saved me time in my configuration planning and trying to understand how I'll use this camera alongside my other Mk1 bodies. Thanks for the class. The timing couldn't have been better in my case!