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Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Fast Start

Lesson 8 of 32

Top Deck: HDR & AF Mode


Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Fast Start

Lesson 8 of 32

Top Deck: HDR & AF Mode


Lesson Info

Top Deck: HDR & AF Mode

Now that same button with a front dial controls something called High Dynamic Range which is also a general bracketing mode. So this is where the camera will shoot two different styles of HDR images or we'll set the camera to shoot a bracket series of photos. So let's take a look at an example. We have a jpeg image here, we have HDR1, HDR2. And if you wanna kind of check out these areas in the red squares, you can see where the camera has either held back on the highlights or has brighten up the shadows. You can see on the bottom of the screen the histogram, how it's kind of push the histogram towards the middle so that less information is stuck against the edges. And so what it does is it shoots four shots. The ISO is fixed at 200 and so this is something you would also wanna be using from a fixed tripod with subjects that are not moving around too much. This is not gonna work with a crowd all mixing and moving around. Now the other option on this is just to go ahead and shoot a brack...

et series of photos that you would later combine potentially with an HDR program. And so this is just standard bracketing and the camera actually has bracketing in two places. This is one of those places where you are getting individual images. And so you can select how many images you want and how much exposure difference you want. And so it's kind of combining two very different modes. I don't know why they put these in here other than just simply for convenience. We'll see bracketing again when we get into the menu section of the camera. Alright, kind of the bottom half of that is another button which controls our Auto Focus. And the Auto Focus modes you see are listed here. You're gonna use those for different types of photography. Let's take a closer look of what we would use those for. So, single Auto Focus is great for subjects that are not moving around too much. And so single focus for instance, port of photography, general photography. Single focus is where I think most people have their camera for basic photography. C stands for continuous and this is great for subjects that are moving. So if you wanna track a subject move it and you wanna shoot a series of photos. We just talked about the motor drive but these sets that focusing so that it will continually track subjects and this is the best Olympus camera ever when it comes to tracking auto focus. We of course have the option of Manual Focus and we'll be able to turn on something called magnification and peaking to help us get very, very accurate focus. We'll be doing a demo of that later on. S-AF is Single Auto Focus with a Manual override and so if you are the type of person who occasionally doesn't like the way camera focuses and you wanna override at yourself, this gives us an option. Now, there are some people who enjoy back button focusing and I will be showing how to set the camera to do back button focusing. This is for people who's still like using the shutter release but they wanna be able to touch up and manually control their focus. And so there's two different ways of accomplishing a similar problem. Now C-AF with tracking is where the camera will use a tracking box to do our subject. And I think we're gonna do a live demo and I think I'm gonna be grabbing one of my students to do help us do a demo here in just a moment. Finally, we have PreMF which is a preset manual focus distance and in the menu system you'll be able to go in and select a particular distance that your subject is away and you can have the camera preset to that distance. I think this is first camera that I've ever seen with that. But what I wanna show you is the tracking mode 'cause it is good but it is not perfect. So I'm gonna leave my camera in the program mode and so to change these modes, I'm gonna press the AF mode and then I'm gonna turn the back dial on the camera and I can't get to the tracking mode for some reason and I think I remember and that's because I still have the camera in the High res mode. So you gotta be careful 'cause you will get blocked out and you gotta remember what am I doing with the camera. So anytime it's doing pro capture, high res mode, there's a lot of things that don't work right on the camera. Now I have access to the tracking system and so for my focusing point, I'm just gonna choose a point here in the middle and if I could have a volunteer from the audience. Can I have a volunteer from the audience? You can leave your notes there. Come on up and just take a stand over here by our table and what I'm gonna see is if - What I want you to do is actually stand right in front of the table and what I want you to do is just take a few steps to the left, a few steps to the right and we're gonna see if we can track your movement. Okay, go ahead and you can see how- far enough, come back. Walk back and forth. Okay, that's good. And you can see how it's tracking right there. And come straight towards the camera now and go back. Too close. And we got back. Very good tracking. Thank you very much. Excellent job. Alright, so that's the tracking mode. Now when it's in the tracking mode, you can kind of choose where it starts but if it falls off of it, you kind of have to go get your focusing bracket back on it. And so it may be a really good way for tracking, say, a child who is moving erratically around. In some sporting situations, you may wanna have more definitive control where you are using specific focusing brackets on a particular area. And it's a give and take as to whether it's the best mode or not for subjects that are moving. As you saw it, it did do a pretty good job. And so I'd give it a chance and see if it works for you. If not, then I would just turn that particular mode off and go back to the continuous auto focusing. I'm gonna put my camera back in the single auto focus 'cause that's just kind of the basic simple mode. Alright, good. Got a good demo there, liked that one.

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.