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Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Fast Start

Lesson 7 of 32

Top Deck: Shooting Modes

John Greengo

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Fast Start

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

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.


  Class Trailer
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1 Class Introduction Duration:05:29
2 Camera Overview Duration:10:21
3 Photo Basics Duration:04:10
4 Top Deck: Mode Dial Duration:16:27
6 Mode Dial: Manual Exposure Duration:08:46
7 Top Deck: Shooting Modes Duration:22:35
8 Top Deck: HDR & AF Mode Duration:05:58
10 Backside: Viewfinder Display Duration:07:15
13 Backside: Super Menu Duration:20:50
14 Backside: Playback Menu Duration:06:15
17 Olympus Lenses Duration:05:05
18 Camera Menu Settings Map Duration:03:03
19 Shooting Menu 1 Duration:08:30
20 Shooting Menu 2 Duration:20:18
21 Video Menu Duration:17:41
22 Playback Menu Duration:09:04
23 Custom Menu A & B Duration:22:01
24 Custom Menu C1 & C2 Duration:11:24
25 Custom Menu D1-D4 Duration:19:31
26 Custom Menu E1-E3 & F Duration:13:35
27 Custom Menu G Duration:04:11
28 Custom Menu H1-H2 Duration:07:20
29 Custom Menu I Duration:05:04
30 Custom Menu J1-J2 Duration:05:45
31 Setup Menu Duration:05:32
32 Camera Operation Duration:12:52

Lesson Info

Top Deck: Shooting Modes

Alright, so that is our Mode Dial. Next up is our Function 2 button. We're taking a tour of the top, and this next button up here is the Function 2 button. There is a number of function buttons on the camera, but this is currently programmed as the Multi Function feature, and the Multi Function feature allows us to change, guess what, a multitude of functions, and so depending on what you want it to do, and I gotta admit it's a little funky in how it works, so I wanna show you a little bit on how it works. And so, the Function 2 button is up here on top, and if I hit it, it has currently activated this highlights and shadows, which, how do I control it? Our two general controls, and so I can kind of control the contrast of what I'm shooting. And a little tip: if you press the OK button, it resets the whole thing. And so, I can press the button and it disappears. But John, I thought you said this does a multitude of functions. Well, here's what you have to do. Press and hold, turn the d...

ial, and now there's all these different things that we can do along the bottom here. All right, so let's turn on something that we can clearly see, let's do Image Aspect, okay? So now when I hit this button, I can now change the different aspects that I am recording with the camera. And so, this is a quick way to dial between a number of different features, and so, if you said, I wanna be able to get to a number of these things pretty quickly, you can do that. Now, unfortunately, I just came up with a new way to customize the camera that you can't, actually. You can't choose what items are in here. This is a preset list, and if you don't like it, tough. (polite audience chuckling) You're just gonna have to choose between these, and so if there is something here that you really like, or two or three of them, it allows you to have two or three things set by this button. And so, it's an on-off button, but if you wanna switch, you gotta press and hold and turn at the same time, and then, you can do it. So for instance, you can do ISO and white balance, so now when you press this, it brings up the ISO and white balance so that you can change that pretty easily and I actually like that one on there. So I'm gonna leave it there right now for myself, and so, we can completely reprogram that button to do something completely different if we want, but the multifunction option is pretty good in my mind. If you do want to get in and control it, you can go into the custom menu under the displays under the Multi Function Settings, and you can get in there and make some adjustments to it there. Next up is our video record button. We've talked a little bit about this. You'll notice there is a blue check mark next to it. That's gonna deal with things in the playback world which we'll talk more about in a little bit. But what you're doing there is, when you hit the record button, when you're playing back an image, is you're making an image selection. It's kind of a thumbs up or a check mark so that you can go back and find that image later on in a search system. If you wanna reprogram that button, yes, you can do that by going into the Button Function in the Custom Menu and just reprogramming that button to do something else. Over on the left side of the camera, we have this round raised area with two buttons, one on the top, one on the bottom, and folks, we're getting into some ugly slides here, I apologize about this. This is gonna get a little overwhelming. It's not me, write your letters to Olympus, tell them they have too many features. Okay, so when you press this button and you turn the rear dial on the camera, you're gonna change the Sequential Shooting or what a lot of cameras call the drive mode. Also in there is the Self-Timer. Here is the list of things that you can change it to. So we have a lot of different little symbols over here, and so we've got a box for Single shooting, Sequential shooting for the motor drive. We talked about the diamond for Anti-Shock and the heart for Silent. We've got a Pro Capture mode, we're gonna do a little demo here on that. We've got the Self-timer and then we also have a High Resolution mode which we're gonna talk a lot about, and so this is kind of the way the camera is capturing individual images. How is it going about doing this? So let's talk about this cluster of options. First up, let's talk about the electronic shutter that we've been talking about. A normal shutter, as I've already displayed and mentioned in this class, has two shutters, the top and the bottom, the first and the second. What happens is it needs to close the shutter, and then when it opens up, kind of a downside is that it opens up so quickly, there is sometimes a little bit of vibration. There is a notable problem on the E-M1 Mark I version of this camera where there was some shutter shock that caused a little bit of vibration when the picture was actually being taken. This camera seems to be very well dampened for that. In any case, this is your exposure, and then the second curtain needs to come in and close, and that is normal procedure for a mirrorless camera. All right, let's talk about the Anti Shock. The diamond mode, if you will. All right, shutter number one, is out of business. Not working anymore, all right? So what happens is that the camera electronically turns on the pixels scanning up the sensor, and then it uses the mechanical shutter to turn them all off, essentially, to stop the exposure going in. And so you only hear half as much sound, because only one of the shutters is working. The camera can work a little bit faster because there's less mechanical operations going back and forth. Next up, let's go to the Silent Shutter, the heart mode. So this is an electronic first and shutter curtain which allows the shutter to work up to 32,000th of a second. So what it does here, is that it turns the, it scans essentially the image on by turning the pixels on and then turning them off, scanning up the sensor. Now, the problem is that the scan time takes around, and this is my estimate, nothing technical going on here, I'm just guessing, it's around 125th of a second. So things that would normally be blurry at 125th of a second are gonna look a little bit weird because of the scanning shutter on this. It's sometimes called the Jell-O Effect, and so, some examples of what's going on. So I shot a test chart, which is rigid, straight lines with a mechanical shutter and the electronic first shutter curtain, and I'm moving the camera left to right. I then put the camera into the silent shutter mode and you can see what's happening as you are moving the camera left and right and it's not just that it's a modestly fast shutter speed of 250th of a second. If you go up to a fast shutter speed, you're still gonna get the effect. Now, what this looks like in the real world, as you're panning down the street with a car, everything behind it is gonna be kind of angled in a weird way. Or with a bicycle riding in front of a stationary camera, the wheels are no longer round, and so the electronic shutter, it's a bit of a conundrum on this camera because some of the very fastest shooting modes are with the electronic shutter, but the electronic shutter just doesn't work real well with anything that's moving around in the frame because it's gonna potentially distort it. It doesn't really distort things moving up and down, so if you had something that was just horizontal and moving up and down, it wouldn't distort it, but anything vertical, because of that scanning process, it just doesn't look real right. So you do have to be very careful with subjects in motion using the full silent shutter. With the electronic first shutter curtain, it's not a problem. It's only the full silent shutter that causes that scanning problem. All right, folks, ugly slide coming up. Sequential modes. We have low, we have high. We have hearts and diamonds, okay? So we have our normal sequential shooting which goes at 10 or 15 frames a second. Or, we can choose to be shooting with the Anti-Shock, which is the electronic first shutter curtain, at 10 frames per second, which is gonna make a little bit less noise. Or, we can have the camera in the full Silent mode at 18 or 60 frames a second, and the buffer on the camera, I've been getting around 54 raw images and around a hundred JPEG images. All right, so there's a number of things going on. If I was shooting sports, I would be very wary of that silent shutter. Woo, I can shoot at 60 frames a second! But it's gonna distort my subject, so I probably wouldn't wanna do it for most type of situations. But there's a couple of other, two other very important points that I wanna know about that you're gonna wanna know about. Number one is, these little ones with the blue asterisk are ones that will give you live display between the images which means you'll be able to pan and follow your subjects more easily, and so those are the three that you would wanna do if you want to compose and frame your subjects very carefully as they're moving around. The other important aspect is, focusing, and so, those two ones with the red, there is no continuous auto-focus. So those are not real good for shooting action that's changing direction from you. If action is happening in one location, then you're okay, but it can't track movement, and so if you wanted to shoot sports, with auto focus, with being able to see your images, the silent low-speed 18 frames a second would be the fastest frames per second that you would want and so a lot of people will shoot this camera either at the sequential or the silent 18 frames per second. All right, so, for silent shooting, the pros, the reason that you wanna use silent shooting is that you get really fast shutter speeds which you might need under bright light and very fast lenses. It's good for silent photography if you're gonna work in a courtroom or you're gonna work maybe in a theater, or on a TV set where they don't want you to make any noises. It's also gonna be vibration-free, so it's potentially very good for high magnification work. Maybe you're working with a telescope or a microscope of some sort. And so those are the main reasons that you wanna be shooting in the silent mode, not so much movement. Now, the cons to shooting in the silent mode is the distorted moving subjects, and there are some limitations with the camera. One notable one is the flash sync speed. And so you can't get to all of the ISOs, and where you can use the flash will be limited. There may be a few other things I'm not gonna get into, but they're pretty minor at this point. And so I would save silent shooting for some special situations. It isn't how I would normally use the camera. The anti-shock mode is pretty good, with less, many less limitations than the full silent mode. All right, next up is the Pro Capture mode. We have a low version, where we can capture 10 to 18 frames a second, or 15 to 60 frames a second. When you press halfway down in the Pro Capture mode, the camera starts buffering images. It's storing images temporarily in the camera, and it's waiting until you press all the way down on the shutter release. And so it stores the buffer images, and it's ready to store them as soon as you press all the way down, and it will store anywhere from 0 up to 14. And when you release the shutter is when it's going to stop shooting, or it will stop at 25 images, depending on what you want. And so you can limit the total burst to 25 images because if you were to hold down the shutter, oh, let's just say for three seconds, that would be 180 images if you were in the high-speed capture mode at 60 frames a second, and that's a lot of images to go through. Now, if you want to get into doing this, you need to go into the Release/Drive mode and put it into the Pro Capture mode, and there are a number of warnings here. First off, there's no continuous auto focus. Exposure is locked, and there is an electronic shutter being used in this case as well. And so, there's a lot of exceptions to the rules in here. Next up, self-timer. We have more self-timer options than I have ever seen, okay? So we have a two second, 12 second self-timer. You can choose whether it's anti-shock or silent according to whatever needs you have in particular. We also have the option of customizing this, and I wanted to show you on my camera a little bit about how to customize it. I'm just gonna throw this back in the program mode and then how are we changing this? I'm hitting the top dial, and then I'm turning this back one, and so I'm gonna go down to the custom self timer down here. Now what I'm gonna need to do is, what do I need to do? I need to hit the INFO button, because it says SettingsINFO. But I didn't do it fast enough, so I'm gonna have to do this again. So now I see SettingsINFO, I hit INFO. Now, we can choose how much time do we want? I want a three second delay, and I wanna take three photos, and I want them to be one second apart, and I want the camera to refocus on every image. We'll see how this works out here. And I'm gonna press OK. And so now, the camera is gonna shoot three photos after three seconds, so here's picture number one. Number two. And number three. And so let's see if it actually was able to refocus in that one second, so it focused on the background, the foreground, and the background. So if you were moving, you could potentially take a series of shots of you walking towards the camera where it's refocusing on everything. And so, interesting mode there, so just remember you've gotta hit that INFO to get in there and customize it. So, lots of different options when it comes down to the self-timer modes. Next up, High Res Shooting. All right, so this has been around for a little bit with Olympus. They're not the only company to do it, but it is very interesting what's going on. So this is what the sensor looks like. This is the bare matrix that it's using on the camera to record light. Each pixel records one color of light. So what the camera does in the high res mode is, it moves the camera around, because remember, this camera has an image stabilizer on it, and it can move the sensor back and forth. So, the camera needs to be stationary. You'd really need to shoot this from a tripod. You can get some creative results, if you want to do it hand-held, but if you wanna get high-resolution images, you need to be shooting from a tripod. So here is what the camera does, is it moves the sensor from the first shot, to the second shot, so all of these first four is to get better color information. It then moves the pixels in between the other pixels to pick up more resolution. And so with these eight images, it combines them into one, combining all the data, so it's actually using 160 million pixels of information. And it's combining it into a slightly smaller file sizes here. And so, you are using the electronic shutter, so anything that would not work well with an electronic shutter is not gonna work well here. And there are some exposure limitations that we're not gonna get into, but there are some limitations as to what you can do, and you can't have any camera or subject movement, so landscape photographers, be wary of the wind and blowing grass and leaves, that's gonna cause a problem in certain areas of the photograph. So, when you shoot with a camera in a standard mode, forgetting about high res mode, you're either gonna get a 20 megapixel JPEG or a 20 megapixel raw file, which is what Olympus calls an ORF. You can get smaller sizes, but that's what you get with a large fine quality JPEG. When you shoot with a high resolution shooting, you can get a 25 megapixel or 50 megapixel JPEG image, so you can get a little bit more resolution out of it. Or, you can shoot JPEG plus raw, where you get a raw that is an 81 megapixel image, and if you want, you can also get what's called an ORI file which is a special case thing that we're gonna do a little demo on in just a second here. You also can shoot the 50 megapixel JPEG along with a raw so you have three different files. Now, to open and work with these is a little bit unique. And so what I am going to do is, I am going to do a little test here, and we are going to shoot our subject here, but I need to keep things simple so I am actually going to delete all the pictures that I have taken so far today, so I'm just gonna go into Card Setup and I'm gonna format my card real quickly. ♪ Dee dee dee dee dee dee ♪ Okay, and so we're gonna get ready to shoot a high resolution image. So we are talking about the drive mode up here and we're gonna dial it all the way over to the right, high resolution shooting mode. So here is the key thing: it's now in the high resolution shooting mode, but I haven't really specified which one of these high resolution modes that we were just looking at. So I'm gonna go into the super control panel and we're gonna talk more about this in a little bit, and I'm gonna come down here to the high resolution shooting mode. Actually I'm gonna come down here to the quality mode right here, and we're gonna see, I can shoot a 50 megapixel JPEG, a 25 megapixel JPEG, a 50 megapixel JPEG and raw, or the 25, and I wanna get the largest raw and JPEG together. And so what we're gonna do is I'm gonna zoom in on my subject, and I am going to shoot a photo right here of this subject, and it's gonna use the electronic shutter, shooting its eight photos. While it's working, I'm gonna wheel in a computer over here. All right, so now I've shot the high resolution image. I'm gonna take my memory card out of this camera and I'm gonna load it up into the computer and I think you're gonna be able to see exactly what I'm doing on the computer here. And so, first up, so, on my card, which should only have those images that we shot, in the DCIM folder under the Olympus folder, we have a JPEG, an ORF and an ORI, okay. So the ORF is an Olympus Raw Format. It's what they've been using, and that's what the standard thing they have is. Now, an ORI is kind of like an ORF, but it can only be read by the Olympus software, and I don't know anyone who uses the Olympus software. It comes with the camera, it's free, you're welcome to use it, and so what I wanna do is I'm going to take those three images and I'm gonna throw them into this photo folder. And I'm gonna do what a lot of photographers do. I'm gonna open up Lightroom. And I'm gonna synchronize my folder. And I wanna bring in all those photos into Lightroom. Lightroom only sees two photos, see. Import new photos, it only sees two of them. Well, okay, let's bring those in. And there's our two photos, okay. So we've got a JPEG and the ORF. Hey, what happened to the ORI? Didn't wanna come in, that's because Lightroom doesn't understand it. I don't know why Adobe doesn't understand it, but here's how you can read it, okay. So watch what I'm gonna do with this ORI. I am going to go in here, and I'm gonna rename it from ORI to F, okay? But I can't do this because it's got the exact same file name as the one right above it. So I'm gonna change it ever so slightly and just give it an A. I'm gonna hit Return, and I wanna use the ORF little suffix on it and so now, I'm gonna come back to Lightroom. I'm gonna synchronize my folder again and see if it recognizes that remaining image, and it does, Import new photo. So let's import that. And so now we have our three photos. So we have our JPEG image, which is 8160 pixels by 6120, which is I believe a 50 megapixel image. We have a 10,368 size on the long side raw file, which is I believe 81 megapixels, and then we have an original raw at 5184 pixels on the long side. So we have an original raw, a 50 megapixel JPEG, number one, and then then the number two image is an 81 megapixel raw image, and you can work from there. So, let's take a look at an example, and so I wanted to shoot an example to see how much extra resolution is this giving us. So, our standard 20 megapixel JPEG, standard 20 megapixel raw, then I shot the and the 50 megapixel JPEG, and the 81 megapixel raw, and the raw does look a little bit flat, when it comes to the contrast, and that's because raws are not sharpened and they don't have contrast added the way in JPEGs. And so I haven't done anything with the raw. But it's got nice, good material that you can work with there. But that 50 megapixel JPEG certainly does look good. I wanted to bring it out into the field and so I wanted to do another little test out in the field to see what it looks like, so let's run through that same test with the standard JPEG, the standard, well actually in this case, I went with the high-res 25 megapixel and 50 megapixel JPEG. The 81 megapixel raw doesn't really look that good. Now, I haven't gone in and sharpened and played with the contrast, but if you were looking for just really high resolution, simple get it out of the camera, that would be the 50 megapixel JPEG. But if you do want to have more control over that information, you can do it with the raw but you have to be shooting from a tripod with a subject that is not moving, and so this little art sculpture was very easy to work with because nothing is moving at that point in time. And so I have found the high resolution mode is a very very selective mode that might work in a few situations. It's an interesting concept. It technically works in my opinion, but its practicality is a little bit on the low side at least for the type of shooting that I see myself doing. And so, yeah, that's an ugly slide. Lots of things going on, what can I say? But hopefully we've been able to explain that fairly clearly in there. We will talk a little bit more about the pro capture mode where you set the camera up to collect buffer images. How many it collects, because you can have it collect or up to 14, we'll talk about that more when we get into the menu settings.

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.


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.