When you first pull the E-M1 out of the box you’ll want to charge the battery and attach the screen protector (Amazon sells a great one that comes in a two pack for $16, it says for the E-M5 but it fit like a glove on my E-M1). Once the battery is charged up and you’ve attached a lens you’ll want to start with the EVF/LCD settings you’d like. The way the camera comes is the scene will be in your EVF and the LCD will be your Super Control Panel that you can access by pressing the OK button. This is odd because the LCD is able to accept touch input in any other setting so if you’re wondering why the LCD isn’t recognizing your nubs then mystery solved.
(Read below for the HDR instructions… Finally!)
(Want to know what the best lenses are for the EM1? Check out the list here.)
Change LCD View
Most people like having their EVF (electronic view finder) and LCD Screen switch back and forth between scene preview depending on where their eye is (if they get close to the viewfinder then the preview switches to the EVF and when they pull away it goes back to the LCD). You can achieve this by pressing the little button to the left of the viewfinder.
Enable Super Control Panel Over LCD Live View
Olympus ships the camera to you set to pull up the Live Control menu when you press the OK button while using Live View. The Live Super Control Panel is much better and puts all the crucial controls right at your finger tips (literally). To enable this option here is what you do:
Menu – Custom Menu – D – Control Settings – Choose the Exposure Mode You’ll Be Using (I choose P/A/S/M) – Press the OK button on the Box Next to Live SCP
Now when you press the OK button while the Live View is on the LCD it will bring up the Super Control Panel (if you left the Live Control menu checked in the settings then it will be the first one that shows up, just press the INFO button and your Super Control Panel should show up.
Turn Off Proximity Sensor
The proximity sensor is what tells the camera to move the Live View from the LCD screen to the EVF when your mug gets close to the viewfinder. This is all well and good until you try to show your friends some of the awesome shots you got and every time you put your potato wedge fingers close to the screen it triggers the sensor and the screen goes dark because it thinks your face is close. Alternatively, if you leave your camera on while strapped around your neck the camera will think your face is close and keep the Live View on in the viewfinder burning up precious battery juice. To turn off the proximity sensor do this:
Press and hold the little button next to the viewfinder – Select Off
Customize The Buttons and Dials
Whenever I use a new camera the first thing I like to do is make it mine by customizing every button and dial to suit my workflow. With the EM1 you’ll quickly realize there are enough programmable buttons in strategic places that you’ll rarely have to dig into the cameras menu.
To change the button designations here is what you’ll do:
Menu – Custom Menu – B – Choose the Button You’d Like to Customize
Once in the you’ve accessed custom menu B you’ll notice about 10 different buttons on the EM1 you can customize as well as what function is currently assigned to them. I can’t tell you how to set yours up (we all like things our own way) but I will say the first thing I did was set the Fn2 button to my ISO selector for ease of use (I’m not a fan of auto ISO).
Customizing the dials works the same way and can be found in the same menu. I like the way the dials are set up as is so I don’t have any recommendations for alternate settings.