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Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Fast Start

Lesson 9 of 32

Top Deck: Metering and Flashes


Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Fast Start

Lesson 9 of 32

Top Deck: Metering and Flashes


Lesson Info

Top Deck: Metering and Flashes

All right, next up, same button but the front dial controls our metering system. And so, we have a number of different metering systems. So, let's look a little bit more detail as to what's going on. The first and most basic of these metering systems is the Digital ESP. The Electro-Servo Pattern which is 324 segments, and is really good for mixed and general lighting situations. And anything where you're gonna have brights and shadows, it really kind of does this amazing job of analyzing all the areas, running it through an algorithm, and then coming up with a proper exposure for it. For those who like a traditional metering system, cameras back from the 70s and 80s used center weighted metering. And so, if you have a subject in the middle of the frame that fills up most of the frame, it's gonna do a nice even job on that. Some photographers like to have a very precise area so that they can meter the light in one particular area, and then it doesn't matter how bright or how dark the re...

st of the area is. And so, if you have a small subject that is of average brightness, the spot area would do a pretty good job. Now, the camera has a couple of other metering modes that are not common on other cameras. The first is a Spot Highlight mode. And so, it's a spot metering but it gives it about a two stop EV push. And so, it's great for putting on a subject that you know you want to be brighter than average, but you don't want that area to be blown out. And so, the Spot Shadow is exactly the opposite. It's an area you would put on an area that is notably dark, but that you don't want to be perfectly black. And so, it's gonna really depend on how you, your style of shooting as to what you would choose. For the most part, I use the Digital ESP meter about 100% of the time. I will do some tweaking manually or with the exposure compensation from there. But these are just different tools to accommodate different ways that different people work. All right, so we got a lot of controls with those two buttons. But if you want, we can have different controls with those two buttons. You can go in to the Button/Dial/Lever options for the function lever settings and switch settings, and you can go in and you can change what these control. And so, if you don't like these controlling the drive, HDR, focusing, and metering, well you can have them control Bracketing and Flash Exposure Compensation. If you find those more useful, you can do that in the Function Lever settings. Camera has a Hot Shoe. It's got a little cover on it, which isn't real important but it comes with a little Hot Shoe. And so, let's talk a little bit about the optional flashes from Olympus. It comes with the FL-LM3 which is a not very powerful flash. But if you just need a little kicker there, it'll do the job. It has a little bit of a tilt upwards. It's not powerful enough to work under most bounce situations, but you can use it if necessary or if it does work. They do have a number of larger flashes that are gonna sell for more money and are gonna have much, much more power. Most of these flashes are available for use with the wireless flash system that we'll talk a little bit about. These other ones will use external batteries. And as you can see, their guide number, their power rating is much, much higher. So, if you are gonna be shooting flash for multiple subjects very quickly or larger groups, or on a regular basis, I would probably look at the FL- which is their top of the line flash. They do make a couple of other smaller flashes which can be use wirelessly. And so, they do give you the wireless option of triggering an off camera flash cause you do need a flash on your camera to trigger all of the other ones. All right, next up we do have stereo microphones so that when you are recording you'll get stereo sound. It's not the greatest sound in the world but it does record that. And then there's a little UFO or Saturn symbol on the side, and that is the focal plane. Not really important to most photographers, but if you're into macro photography or cinematography where you need to measure the distance from where the sensor is to your subject, that is where the sensor is and how deep it is into the camera. Are there different versions of Lightroom that support or don't support what you showed earlier with the ... So, as I was warming up for today's class and trying it on My computer, it wasn't working because I was using Lightroom version 6. and you need to either 6.9 or 6.10, if I recall the numbers correctly. So, you do need kind of the current versions of Lightroom to work because this camera and that ORI file to my knowledge did not exist more than just a couple months ago. And so, all those old versions of Lightroom didn't know about this. And so, Adobe didn't know how to read those files but now they do. Cool. Well, actually let me clarify. Lightroom still does not know how to identify the ORI files, but they can identify the new files or F files from this camera. Okay. When would you wanna shoot ... Jerry asked, when would you wanna shoot in hi-res mode versus-- The hi-res mode might be good if you are trying to get, obviously, the largest resolution of a subject that's not moving. So, let's say your friend did a painting and they need a high resolution copy of this painting for archival reasons. You could set it up, the picture's not moving, or the sculpture or whatever artwork they did is not moving. You got your camera on a tripod. So, a situation like that. Architectural photography, it could work quite well for that. It's just not gonna work for handheld. It's not gonna work super well for landscape if there's a lot of things moving. Okay. If it's trees moving, that's really bad. If it's water moving, that's probably not so bad. Okay.

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.