Skip to main content

Olympus OM-D EM-5 Fast Start

Lesson 1 of 7

Product Overview


Olympus OM-D EM-5 Fast Start

Lesson 1 of 7

Product Overview


Lesson Info

Product Overview

Welcome everybody to the fast start for the worst name camera in the last fifty years the olympus o m d e m five and we'll talk a little bit about exactly why it's called that in a short bit so this class is going to take you through how to use and set up this camera taylor just the way you want it to work so here is kind of what we're going to doing for the next several hours. No, I'm sorry we cannot describe how to use this camera in a ten minute youtube video we're going, we're going to spend some serious time to dive in we're going to go through all the menu settings we're going to talk about a little bit overview what we've got ourselves into here because this is a very different camera than your typical night cons and cannons we're going to go around to talk about every button on the camera, what each of the buttons is for and how it could be customized and what you might want to use with it. We're going to dive into the debate display system and go through that we're going to go...

through the menu system and it sounds incredibly tedious, but we're going to go through it line item by line item we're not going to spend a lot of time in some of them, but we're just going to go through and I'm gonna be giving my recommendations on setups for different people, different types of photography and so forth, and I should mention at this time, if you do buy the class, you do get a pdf, which is a nine page color outline that I hand out for my in person classes that I teach outside of creative life, and this is a great way to download things and kind of it's not a full instruction manual by any means, but it's a great way to take notes, but what I like about it is because I'm a very visual person, and a lot of photographers are I've put the entire menu system on one page as well as my recommendations, and with this camera, I've had to change my recommendations, and I have kind of average recommendations and then for advanced users, and so we'll talk about that when we get to the menu system so that you can kind of get your camera set up, and if you were to set this up, you know that you're not doing anything majorly wrong, you can tweak it from there, it's your own camera, tweak it anyway, you want I'm not say it's, the only way to do it on, and then finally, on the final two pages of the outline. Is recommendations on how to set the camera up with focusing and exposure for different types of situation where the you're shooting, say, landscape photography or you shooting sports or action photography or different types of things? So if you kind of want to have an idea on how to set things up on the camera, it's a nice little quick to taurel on that, all right? So let's get started with the camera, and it comes with a rather small instruction manual, it's much, much smaller than the ones I've seen with other cameras and there's a lot of things that are lacking in here, so hopefully we're going to fill in those gaps in this class, but there are things in this class that I'm not going to address that are in the instruction manual, so there is perhaps something I'm not going to cover, and you may want to check the instruction manual for certain set ups and certain exact button sequences in order for something to work, so it is still a valuable resource. Keep it around while you are early on working with this camera. Now, if you haven't been to one of my fast start classes, this is not a photography class, this is a class on a camera, so we're not going to go into compositional tips we're not going to talk a lot about depth of field other than how to set the aperture on the camera and so if you want to take better pictures, you need knowledge on how to work the camera, which is what we're going to do today and then you also need basic photography, knowledge and skills in whatever aspect that you're working in so this is covering one niche of taking better pictures at least with this particular camera. All right, I want to do a little overview on the camera that we're working on because things are a little bit different here so if you are new to olympus they have been around for quite some time they started making micros scopes way back in the day there first camera don't know why they came up with the name semi olympus says if it's partially olympus but it was the semi olympus one and the history here mate seem like well, this is redone that this is stupid why do we need to talk about the history of olympus? Well on this camera is kind of important because olympus has a long history of making small cameras and that's kind of what this camera is known for is being a small high quality camera and their original penn camera designed to be as small as a pin very small came out in nineteen fifty nine and they can continued with this very small camera philosophy including their own liam siri's of cameras which started in nineteen seventy three one of the best high quality thirty five millimeter cameras was the om four which came out nineteen eighty three and if you've ever picked up one of these in used one of them remember many years ago I was working in a camera shop when we had some used I picked it up and I looked through the view finder in the viewfinder was notably larger than any nikon or cannon that I had seen and if you just pick it up the viewing experience to the camera was fantastic really, really good viewfinders I remember when they came out with the first really consumer grade digital camera it had point three megapixels it was a six forty six forty by four eighty which our cell phones blow away today in two thousand three this is kind of important here they brought out the four thirds format and lend system it's kind of funny because olympus was this major manufacturer of thirty five millimeter gear on there's a lot of professional national geographic type photographers using the om siri's of equipment and then when auto focus came around in the late eighties and throughout the nineties olympus just kind of like where'd they go it's like they fell off the planet? They just they just couldn't compete with canon and nikon but when digital came around they came back at it very very strong and then so they introduced ah whole new system whole new lens mount a whole new sensor system in this four thirds lens mount we're going to talk a little bit more about this as we go on and then they came up with a new system in two thousand dollars nine called micro four thirds and this is the smaller size that we're dealing with here this is a micro four thirds and they had the pen camera the return of the pan which kind of reminiscent of their camera back in nineteen fifty nine and this is a another family member of the pen siri's and so we need to talk about the four third system because this is different than your typical night cons and cannons and so the fourth third system is a consortium these different companies actually decided to work together on a common product lens mounted a sensor system that they would share between them now some of those companies air mohr involved in this than others and it was all based around the four thirds sensor which measures thirteen by seventeen millimeters in size which is notably smaller than a thirty five millimeter piece of film or a full frame sensor as we know it today now it gets its name partly from the aspect ratio it's a four to three aspect ratio which is like traditional tvs which is a little boxy if you compare it to the full frame standard one by one and a half and my personal feelings on it is that the four to three ratio is very nice for vertical very rarely do you shoot a vertical on a cannon or nikon and want that full length a lot of times when you're shooting a portrait for instance you're cropping down to eight by ten which is very close to that four by three ratio for landscape work it's a little boxy for me so I don't like it as much for landscape but I think it's better for vertical work and the fourth third system also has to do with a lens mouth there's a common lens mount between olympus and panasonic cameras and lenses like it was originally involved but they really don't have much in the products now but there are some like a design lenses that you can get that are made by panasonic that work back and forth between the olympus and the panasonic but the original cameras that they came out with are these cameras here these air what's called for third system not micro four thirds just the fourth third system and they came out with some pretty interesting products the basic problem that I had as with a lot of people is compared to your night constant cannons they cost the same amount of money they were the same size but they didn't take us good a picture because their sensor was half the size so why am I going to buy a camera that's the same money same size and not as good and these cameras ultimately didn't do very well with market and it basically came down to the size that was the issue that they wanted to address and these cameras worked off of a traditional slr system so a single lens reflex system has light coming in through the lens it bounces off of amir up to a ground glass around the prison system and out the viewfinder okay, this is the way thirty five millimeter slrs have worked for many, many years they've just added a digital sensor the lens mount to censor distance is actually pretty large what they decided to do is take out the mirror the prison system, the ground glass and move the lens mount closer to the sensor they're able to make the camera smaller they're able to make the lens smaller and they're able to make the whole package much, much smaller in size and this is what they call micro four thirds so it's related but it's different than the four third system you'll also see it bree v ated sometimes is m fifty micro four thirds or you might just see the number forty three which kind of is the shortcut for four thirds now comparing micro four thirds and four thirds it's. Exactly the same sensor. All right, it's got the same lens mt, so lenses can work back and forth. But there are different lenses because we're mounting the lens closer to the sensor with the micro four thirds. You need an adapter, which, of course, they sell so that if you bought a whole bunch of the original lenses and you want amount those original four thirds lenses on your micro four thirds camera, you can do that because that puts the lands back in the right direction. Now, the interesting advantage that you have on a camera like this is that you can buy an adapter to fit all sorts of lenses. If you have an old original oh, am olympus lends. You could buy an adapter and put it on this camera. You can put a like a pentax canada, and you can put almost anything on this camera. Now. You may not get all the functions you're not gonna get autofocus. Auto exposure, there's a lot of implications of doing this, and the lenses are as biggest. They've always spend there not the new, smaller lenses, but you can adapt a lot of lenses. And there's been a lot of people who've had a fun time going to camera stores and on ebay and garage sales and craigslist, finding old lenses that are kind of funky that you can put on this camera. So it's, one of the most adaptable cameras out there, and, yes, the price variance in these adapters is quite large. I personally haven't been using it just because I think the auto focus system is so fast and so good on this. I really like the auto focus lenses that are available today. Now, with olympus, they have a micro four thirds family of cameras, and it seems as if they've kind of abandoned the fourth third system. They haven't introduced a new camera, and I don't know at least two years, and they haven't introduced any new lenses in that system in more than two years, and so they're going after this micro four thirds group, because it was able to make the cameras much, much smaller. Now, the pen siri's cameras came out, and they're kind of interesting. You got manual control, you got interchangeable lenses, but you're stuck holding the camera away from your face because they don't have a viewfinder and part of my definition of a good camera it's, a camera that has a good view finder because that's, a big experience to the to the photographer and so I really didn't take him too seriously until this camera came out because it was their first micro four thirds camera with a built in viewfinder and they call it an omg syrians and there's only one cameron the line it's the e m five but it's available in silver or black so I got the black so this is actually my camera here I got the black because I like the black cameras, but the fact of the header is is that if you get the silver lenses, if you like some of their prime lenses, I think it looks a lot better in silver. So I actually think the silver is a little better looking, but I like to be a bit more subdued with my camera, so I like the black version but they're both good. All right, so what's, so cool and what's so great about this camera besides this small size to it. Well, it's got sixteen mega pixels, which is going to give you a very good picture quality. Yes, you can get higher with other cameras, but this is going to be good enough for what most people need to do with this camera. It's got a one point, four million dot elektronik viewfinder and so it's got a pretty darn good viewfinder and that's a big experienced tio to the photographer and I keep harping on the viewfinders on these cameras because I like cameras with good viewfinders and while it's not perfect and I would love to see ten million dots in their one point four million is doing a pretty good job it's a pretty good user experience this camera has but I will say it the most amazing stabilization system I have seen in any camera or lens out there in conjunction with one of my favorite lenses will talk about over here I have been able to shoot sharp pictures at one half of a second I did get a couple at one full second that were sharp but it's amazing how good this stabilization system is so for anyone who wants to shoot under low light conditions handheld it's amazing because you could take this they didn't take old like a olympus lenses nikon canon lenses and you could get the stabilization work on any lens because it's built into the body so I'm excited about that you also have a high eye so of twenty five thousand at that level it's not very good but it is very very clean up through eight hundred still pretty good at sixteen hundred I will be showing you some actual tests different esos as we get into the ice so settings on the camera and then finally we can shoot it nine frames per second now the camera does not have great auto focus so it's not a great sports camera but if you do need a fast frame rate for something that's not moving towards you or away from you very quickly nine frames per second is very, very high up there in the category of fascinating cameras and so those are some of the headlining features of the cameron will get into talking about setting those up in a moment now this camera does have some weather proofing on it yeah, I always love this it's waterproof but cannot be used under water to do be careful about that and so specifically what olympus says is that there are multiple ring shaped seals to protect the camera from sand dust rein in water spray they make no claims as to what it will withstand uh, torrential rainfall for twenty minutes or so joining with the hose or a bucket of water it doesn't specifically say if you look on the camera on the lens itself let's see if I don't get a shot of this but around the lens there's a rubber seal on this particular lands but it's not on most of their lenses this rubber seal that connects up with the camera body and the camera body is pretty well weather sealed and so it's going to do pretty good in the rain but you have to be careful because if you get another land so think another lens here, this lens does not have any rubber seal on it, and so you kind of need a weather seal body, which you got, and you gotta have a weather sealed lens and there's, not very many weather sealed lenses, so you do need to be careful if you're going to be in a very wet environment. All right, so if you're watching at home with the class or you're here, hopefully you have charged battery it takes about four hours that's a little bit longer, charge down with some of the other cameras that are on the market. Battery life is not as good on this camera as it is with some of your night constant cannons because it has an electronic viewfinder, so you're using a lot more power for visual means to see what's going on, so it might be wise to have an extra battery. We'll talk about those a little bit, so hopefully you got your lens on you got your battery and installed you got your memory card. Take your lens cap off. Go ahead, turn your camera on kills me to say this absolutely kills me, but put your camera in the eye auto mode make sure my camera's turned on here and just go ahead and take a picture I'm going to go ahead and take a picture in here. Let's, make sure everyone's cameras working, if not good time to go throw your battery on the charger while we go through a few other things here. Now, for the rest of this class, I'm going to recommend turning your modi oil on the top. Your camera to em for manual. That way, we can get in and access all the features of the camera.

Class Description

Off we go into the wild world of mirrorless cameras! Join John Greengo for an in-depth step-by-step tour of the Olympus OM-D EM-5. With a hands-on introduction to your camera's operations, detailed instructions on how all the menus work, and instruction on how to shoot great photos with this specific camera model.


  1. Product Overview
  2. Photography Basics

    Learn the basics of photography and get a better photograph every single time you shoot.

  3. Button Layout
  4. Display System
  5. Menu System
  6. Camera Operation
  7. Next Steps



Thanks John Good clear instruction. I will watch a few times and practice. I've also purchased the mark 11 camera with pro lens. I'm due to leave for a trip to Greece and Istanbul with my new camera. Then I was overwhelmed trying to figure it out. this has helped a lot. I'm hoping to love this camera. I want to shoot video too. I'm hoping you do a Mark 11 course with video and shooting in low light. Many thanks you have saved the day...

Ron Villiotti

Excellent, excellent class. Just purchased the camera yesterday and the class gave me a fantastic start. Much better than I could have done in any other fashion. Having someone actually show you the inner workings of the camera and the complicated menu system is the way to go without question! The handout materials were a good method of taking notes and for future reference material. Thank you, John!

a Creativelive Student

I'd already purchased the camera and have only ever used auto mode for any camera. I was having trouble understanding the instructions that came with the camera and so googled to find help. Came across this course and well its the best thing I did. IT was easy to understand, very thorough and easy to listen too. Can rewind and keep going back to to the video for review, so much better than going to a camera shop course at triple the price and forgetting most of it by the time I get home. Great instructor , thankyou Sharon