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Since writing most of the stuff below, I've found this page with PDF and Microsoft “Excel” spreadsheet.

My new Olympus OM-D E-M1 must be the most complicated camera I have ever seen. To compensate for this, the instruction manual is almost completely useless. After nearly a year, I'm still working on understanding it, but here I'm accumulating of the things I've changed from the standard settings.

Adjusting the level display

The E-M1 has two level displays, one showing lateral horizontal level, the other showing vertical level. My camera has a strange idea about the horizontal level. To change, select “Level Adjust” from Custom menu K. “Reset” sets the levels to what the camera thinks, which in my case is wrong. “Adjust” sets the level to whatever the current position of the camera is.

How long to display previous image?

An electronic viewfinder has many advantages over a purely optical viewfinder. One is that when you take a photo, it is briefly displayed in the viewfinder, by default for 0.5 s. You can get rid of it sooner by half-pressing the shutter release.

But what happens when you're taking many photos of moving objects? It's really irritating. So, of course, you can turn it off (you can also set the display time to between 0.3 and 20 s). But how? Looking at the overview of the cog menus, it's clear that it belongs in menu D (“Disp/bang/PC):

 
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But no, it's not there. In the past I've spent lots of time looking for it. It's in the “spanner menu” at bottom left on this view:

 
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And the name is “Rec View”. No wonder I couldn't find it.

Undocumented and useless “features”

A number of the features of the camera are so badly documented as to be useless. Here are some I have found:

“Myset” settings

The camera can store 4 different sets of settings, which it calls “Myset”. This is up from the 2 that the E-30 has. On the down side, it's much more difficult to access them. On the E-30 you press two buttons (±EV and ISO) and then select the mode with a wheel. On the E-M1 you have to select menu, right arrow to Shooting Menu 1, down to “Myset”, right arrow, down arrow to the mode you want, press OK, up arrow to answer "Yes”, then OK again, then Menu. Maybe there's a faster way, but it's not documented. Here's how I've set each of the four settings:

Most, probably all, of the settings below can be set from the configuration menus. Press the MENU button to get this display:

 
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This is half-documented in the manual (version 2) starting at page 77. You can get rid of the irritating “help” text by pressing the INFO button. This doesn't seem to be documented anywhere.

Most of the functions are in what Olympus calls “custom” menus. You access them via the custom symbol icon (press the down arrow 3 times to get there). Then you see this display:

 
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The tiny letters to the left of the texts are the letters I refer to below.

I'm still trying this out, and some of the stuff below may be contradictory. A ! at the beginning of the line means that this is the default setting (or was for firmware versions 3.0).

Myset 1

These are settings for normal photos. They keep getting reset when new firmware updates come in. The sequence is designed to make it easier. In particular, how do you disable this silly popup text that obscures the menus? It's not documented in the “manual”.

Main

Disable popup explanations:
D  Mode guide  off   Don't display text when rotating wheels

raw images

Set ISO 24°/200
Central AF target

D Backlit LCD 30 s
Power off 30 min
Menu       Parameter       Setting       Purpose
Main display       AF target       central
Main menu
      Flash compensation       +1.0 EV
      Flash       Fill-in
      Meter Mode       Centre-weighted
      Focus mode       S-AF+MF
      ISO       200
      Recording format       Raw
A
!       AF Mode video       C-AF       Focus follows subject
!       AEL/AFL       S-AF mode 1
!             C-AF mode 2
            MF mode 3       AEL/AFL button focuses
      MF assist       peaking on, magnify off       Use upper front button for magnify
!       C-AF lock       normal
B       Button functions
!       Fn1       AF ara select
!       Fn2       Multi-function
!       REC       Rec
!       AEL/AFL       AEL/AFL
      Top front       magnify
      Bottom front       focus peaking toggle
      Arrow pad       Direct function
      Arrow right       ±EV
      Arrow down       Multi-exposure
D       Displayed Grid       First grid choice
      Mode Guide       Off       Don't display texts when rotating mode dial
      USB Mode       Select
      Backlit LCD       30 secs
      Power off       30 min
      Live View Boost       Manual: On2
H       File Name       Auto

The remainder of these settings have not been updated since firmware revision 1.1. Various difficulties make use of Myset much less attractive than it might seem.

Myset 2

Settings for non-HDR panoramas. Start with the Myset 1, and change:

Menu       Parameter       Setting       Purpose
      IS off
A       AF Mode still       MF       Manual focus, focus with AEL/AFL
C       Image stabilization       off
B       Fn2       Myset 3       Move to next Myset
?       Aperture       f/8

Myset 3

Settings for HDR panoramas. Start with the Myset 2, and change:

Menu       Parameter       Setting       Purpose
B       Fn2       Myset 4       Move to next Myset
C       Image stabilization       off
Button       HDR       3F/3.0 EV
Button       EV       +1.3 EV       Together, expose -1.7 EV, +1.3 EV, +4.3 EV
?       Aperture       f/8

Myset 4

Peaking Settings for manual exposures with flash. Start with Myset 1, and change:

Menu       Parameter       Setting       Purpose
C       Image stabilization       off
D       Live view boost       On       Don't darken viewfinder
?       Aperture       f/22


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