Skip to main content

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Fast Start

Lesson 21 of 32

Video Menu


Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Fast Start

Lesson 21 of 32

Video Menu


Lesson Info

Video Menu

All right, time for the video menu. So, when you put the camera in the video mode, would you rather have the camera in the program mode? Aperture priority, shutter priority, manual, and so it depends on how you are shooting your movies. There's a lot of people who have gotten very much into making movies, and so those will want to have full control of our shutter speeds and apertures, set this to M. If you're shooting more simplistic videos, I would recommend shooting it in P, let the camera decide for you. Video specification settings. So, I don't need to say it but I will say it, we're in the video menu, so everything we do here only pertains to the video functions of the camera and will not apply to other settings. So, while you're in the video mode, what sort of video quality do you want? We talked a little bit about this before. And so you're gonna get this screen here and it's pretty simple, you're gonna be able to go left and right to choose the different settings. Now let's tal...

k about some of the video specifications of this camera. We can shoot in HD, FHD, which is full high definition, and we have two versions of 4K, yes, there are two versions of 4K that have different resolutions depending on what you're doing. The standard 4K is kinda the standard 4K that most of us have gotten used to, but the slightly more intense, pro-level of 4K is the DCI 4K, which is a little bit wider format, a little bit more resolution. All right, beyond that, we have some more options. We have different frame rates, but not all of the frame rates are available with all of the resolutions because the file size can kinda be figured out by resolution times frame rate, and the camera can only handle so much. We have two different formats, movie files is kinda your common, good movie format these days. There is a more simplistic, lower resolution one if you just wanted to do like a basic YouTube video, you could do that in the M-JPEG and that would be perfectly fine for that, but most people who want the highest quality will go with the MOV file. We're gonna have a multitude of different frame rates available for us. 30 frames is the standard here in North America, in the European countries PAL system, 25 frames is standard. We have in many of the resolutions a double frame rate, and you can either use that for showing fast action in a different way, or if you know you want to slow down your video to half speed, you could do the double rate. And then there is of course one more, the movie frame rate. So there's a Hollywood look to their movies which is shot at 24 frames a second, and so if you want a different look, you can try that. So those are the ones available. Now there are a few other options when it gets into the movie setting. You can shoot movie clips. Conceptually speaking, I do not understand this. It forces you to shoot short movie clips... Maybe if you were teaching a class on how to shoot video, every video you shoot will be four seconds in length. Make it work. I think most people would wanna have control over how much time they shoot, but this forces you to shoot specific-length clips. Okay, so we're gonna shoot standard movies most of the time, but then we can also shoot custom movies. And this is where we go in and really specify exactly what's the bit rate, how much compression do we want, how many frames per second do we want, and then there's a slow fast option where we can shoot the whole thing in slow motion or fast, so that when we get the finished video, it's either moving in slow motion, or it's all speeded up. And all of that's gonna be controlled here on this screen. And so you go into the first box to control the size of your video. And so I think for most people you're gonna wanna be in FHD for full HD, or 4K if you want the highest resolution out of the camera. The bit rate, we have different options on how much each frame of video in the entire collection is compressed. And this is gonna depend on how much you're editing with it, and what the final use is of it. The higher the quality, the bigger the file size, and so these are all compromises that you need to make when you're setting up your video. Frames per second, for most people in most situations I'd say is probably gonna be 30 frames per second, but there's a lot of good reasons to switch those around and go to the other settings. If you did wanna use the clips, you could set that clip length in that final, fourth window there. All right, so when you go into the movies, you're gonna have down at the bottom, you're gonna have a number of kind of pre-set options, and then you can go in there, and you can make some customized settings with those. And so that's where you're gonna be able to go in and change some of those things, and let me do just a quick demo here on the back of the camera. So let me throw this into the... Video custom modes, we are in the specification settings here, and so movie settings and so we can see all these different settings up in here. Well, we're gonna see those same basic ones if we go into the super control panel, and we come down here to our video settings, and we'll be able to come across all and choose all of these. Now, keep aware of these other words up here, settings, info. So if you wanna change some of the settings, like if you wanna go into... I'm gonna have to get my glasses on for this, this is really small letters. So to the custom 4k setting, and I'm gonna hit info button, and now I can choose a number of different settings, and so we'll be able to choose the frame rate here, and so I can speed and slow things up. For instance, we're shooting at 24 frames a second, 2.997 frames a second, and so it's gonna speed things up by 8.01 times, and so there's some really fun things you can do about speeding up and slowing down the motion. And if you get to, let's see if we get to one of these other ones, let's get back in there. Hit the info button, and so we can change our 4K, full HD, HD normal, fine, our different compression rates, and then our frames per second, and so if you wanna do that funky, fast and slow, you wanna use the custom option in there. And so feel free to kinda play around, explore, figure out what you need with what you're doing, just be aware, if you need a specific size, don't shoot smaller than that, but if you know that a smaller size fits all of your needs, there's not a lot of good to shooting that much more when it comes to the quality, sometimes you can shoot high and res it down later, but it will use up more space on the memory cards. So, lots of different options in there. There is a noise filter that the camera's processing system will automatically put on its videos, and take a look at the videos, see how they look to you, it's probably fine to choose the standard to start with, but if you need to adjust it, this is where you can do it. Picture mode option, this allows you - okay, now, this, folks, this is one of the strangest things in the entire camera. Because what it tells you is exactly the opposite of what it means, all right? So if you tell the camera picture mode off, off means that you are allowed to use picture mode settings on the camera. I have no idea, I do not understand this. If you choose it on, that means it disables the picture mode settings, and so the picture mode settings are those things like natural and eye enhance and black and white, and all of those other different looks to the images. So like if you wanted to shoot a black and white video, you would set picture mode to off, and then you would go to the picture mode setting in setting tab number one, and set it to the appropriate setting for what you wanted. And so this is exactly the opposite, I think, of what they intended. Okay, so, next up in the video menu is the AF and the image stabilization settings sub-menu, so let's dive in there. First up, the auto focus mode. When the camera is shooting movies, how do you want it to focus? Basic video, single auto focus is gonna work fine. Let me focus on something else, shoot a video of it. The more serious photographer might prefer manual focus so that they can manually rack their lenses according to their subject movement. The continuous focus is pretty good but not great at tracking subjects. Potentially, the tracking mode would be pretty good for tracking your subjects' movement back and forth. See what works for you. Looking at the image stabilizer, we have three different options. One of them is just turned off, but if you are hand-holding the camera, it's nice to have a little bit of stabilization, and you can get that with M-IS 2, which is using the sensor to stabilize the entire scene. If you put this in M-IS 1, it's gonna slightly crop your image, it's going to physically stabilize your image and, simultaneously, digitally stabilize your image for a very, very steady shot. So you get almost a glide cam look of this camera hand-held with it, but you are losing a little bit in image quality and in wide angle capability. So it is a bit of a compromise as to what's more important, the straight, pure image quality off of the sensor, or the smoothness of how you are shooting the video. And so normally, I would probably leave this in M-IS 2, but if you're just very casual about your using it, then the M-IS 1 version, which does the lots of stabilization. Next, button, dial, lever, and so this deals a lot with the customization of the controls of the camera when you are shooting in the video mode. So, in a moment, we're gonna get into all the button customization on the camera. Well, that's different when you're in the still modes versus the video modes. And so if you wanna get into the video, and you wanna change where the record button is on the camera, or how you access any of that extra information, you can go in here and re-assign any or all of these buttons to something that works for you when you're shooting video. The dials on the camera can be adjusted as well. And so if you're in any of the particular modes, you can change what the dials on the front and the rear of the camera are controlling. And so, do you really need this? Maybe, maybe not, it's hard to say, but it's nice to be able to have that option to get in here and do it. Next up is the lever function on the camera. So you remember on the back of the camera, you have that nice little lever. Mode 1 is the normal operation, and mode 2 allows you to go to a pre-set auto focus area mode, and so if you quickly wanna change where your camera is focusing, have this program to mode 2, and with the flip of the switch, it moves your focusing point to a different area. If you just don't wanna use it, you can of course just turn it off. The shutter function. The shutter on the camera is normally used for auto-focusing, but if you would prefer that it actually trigger the start of the recording, the start and stop of the recording, you can reassign it to either recording option. The electric zoom speed is only gonna be effective with a couple of the EZ lenses that are available from Olympus. This is where the camera will do a powered, motorized, very smooth zoom, and this will describe how fast or slow that zoom will be, it only works with those motorized zoom lenses. Next up are the display settings, things that are gonna be displayed in the view finder and the LCD on the back of the camera. And so the live control and the live super control panel have the exact same information in them, but they're just accessed differently. The super control panel basically puts up a big checkerboard of all the options available, and kinda blocks out the entire image that you're looking at. The live super control panel is something that you would navigate by going up and down, and finding the item you want, and then going left and right to choose the option on it. The nice thing about live control is that you can still see the subject that you're actually looking at, which can be really helpful with some of the options that change the exposure or the color of that situation. But by keeping both of those checked boxes checked, you'll be able to switch between them simply by hitting the info button on the camera. Next up are the info settings, and so when you hit the info button on the camera, how much stuff do you wanna see in the camera? And kinda by default, I think a good option for some people is either to do two things, one is uncheck everything and just simply check a few of the items that you want, or, check off everything, play around with it, see what you like in there, and then go in there and then uncheck those items that you think are just not important to your style of shooting. Time code settings, so this is getting into some nitty-gritty details for those of you who like to get serious about your video shooting. And so one of the options is a drop frame option, and that's because the camera, when it's recording at 30 frames a second, well, that's another little white lie, it's actually recording at 29.997 frames a second, and there gets to be a slight disparity if you record for a long enough time, and the drop frame will allow the camera to compensate for this slight difference, or you can do non-drop frame and deal with it on your own if you are a professional video editor, for the most part. Count up, this is the little counter that tells you how long you've been recording. You can do a free run where you could have multiple cameras running with the same clock running, or you can just have it how long you've been recording that clip for, which is what most basic people shooting video would be fine with. The starting time, as far as the clock that's running in the camera, can be selected if you need to get in there and adjust it yourself. Next up is the display pattern, how much life is - or how much time do you have left on recording, do you want that to be in minutes, or in percentage of what's left on that clip? Most people are fine with the minutes. Next up is movie sound, and so there's a lot of different controls, because you can hook up external microphones as well as using the built-in microphones. And so for the built in recording volume of the built in microphone, you can set this as need be, remember you can have headphones plugged in to monitor the sound, you can adjust the volume of an external microphone that is plugged into the camera. You have a volume limiter which will dampen loud sounds if necessary, for instance if you were gonna shoot fireworks and there's a really large burst of sound, it sometimes is beyond the audio range of what the camera can handle, and so having this turned on may be helpful in that type of situation, but normally, you wouldn't want to leave this turned on to get the full arrange of sound. You can also have the camera dampen the wind noise, a couple different, subtle standards in here, and so if you're in a very windy situation, with the built in microphone you're likely to get some really bad sound, but this will help it out a little bit. If you wanna get much better sound in windy situations you need an external mic with some sort of cover. And so with an external microphone, if you need power to it, some need power, some do not, you can turn that power on and off to go through the plug-in cable. You can hook the camera up to external recorders, like a PCM recorder, pulse code modulation, that's what it stands for. And so you can have the camera recording volume pass over to the external device. You can have it record a slate tone so that you can match the audio in the camera to the audio recorded in the external device. Olympus makes some external recorders, they are quite known for their external micro-recorders. You can synchronize the recording sound between the record, when you press record on the camera, it automatically starts recording on the external device, so you don't have to press two start devices at the same time. So it's built up pretty well for video. You can control your headphone volume right here, and that's our movie sound. Finally, we have our HDMI output, so if you're gonna hook an external device into the HDMI plug on the side of the camera, a little monitor or recording device, you can choose whether it's in a monitor mode or a recording mode. Monitor mode is gonna give you information on the screen like your shutter speeds and apertures that you wouldn't want to record on your final... video. Record bit, on this one it sends the record signal to the external device, so once again, you don't have to press record on both devices, you just press it on the camera, and it will start that external device. Some cases they don't, people just restart record on the external device. The time code can be synchronized with it as well, and that brings the video section to a close, there.

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.