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Does Olympus need to make their user interface easier to use?

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  • Does Olympus need to make their user interface easier to use?

    One of the most striking points I learned, or - more correctly - I was reminded of at the weekend's hands-on with the E-M1 II - came from a good number of invited professional photographers and journalists who are not regular users of Olympus cameras. And that was that the camera menus are very difficult to use because they are too complicated and there are too many options.

    I'd like to open this up to everyone here; do you agree? Members who have also been used to using Nikon, Canon, Sony, Pentax, Panasonic, etc. - how does Olympus compare?

    I for one think it's great that Olympus provide so much functionality, but I have been using what is essentially the same style of UI that Olympus has developed for over ten years, so I am used to it. Maybe that's why I was intrigued and slightly worried about the feedback concerning ease of use I was hearing...

    Ian
    Founder/editor
    Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
    Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
    Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
    Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)
    Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
    Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
    Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ianburley/

  • #2
    Re: Does Olympus need to make their user interface easier to use?

    I think they have made it (Menu UI) better in the E-M1 Mk II with all the Menu pages now directly indexed (if that is the right description) & accessible, unlike previous models with Menu *D where there are 3 pages to scroll through.

    I welcome the extent of customisability, but to help those that have difficulty understanding the Menu list to have updated [Info] descriptions where needed (if users aren't too proud to look at them) in future FW updates. Feedback to Olympus with suggestions could help there.
    Ross
    I fiddle with violins (when I'm not fiddling with a camera).
    Cameras: OM-D E-M1 & Mk II, Olympus Stylus 1, OM-D E-M5.
    Lenses: M.ZD12-40mm f2.8 PRO Lens, M.ZD40-150mm f2.8 PRO Lens with MC-14, M.ZD12-50, M.ZD60 Macro, M.ZD75-300 Mk II, MMF-3, ZD14-54 II, Sigma 150mm F2.8 APO Macro DG HSM.
    Flashes: FL36R X2, FL50R, FL50.
    Software: Capture One Pro 10 (& Olympus Viewer 3).

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    • #3
      Re: Does Olympus need to make their user interface easier to use?

      I don't seem to have any issues with the OLY menu..more so because i've grown int it with time..and i find it quite well worked out into the sub-menu levels..
      what i have noticed though whenever i trie to figure out the menu in some other camera brand, i have difficulty..so i believe its just the familiarity of the menu system for any user that comes into play.

      What i would like though...is that the super-menu in the OLY system could be user-customizable ( just like the many function-buttons )..which would deal with some of the deep access required into specific settings.

      regards.
      E510, E3, E-PL1,E620 ,E-5,OM-D
      50-200SWD, 14-54Mk1, 50mm f2. 35mm,70-300mm,12-60mmSWD,PL-25mm-1.4,150mm-F2
      MFT: 14-42(kit)/12mm/45mm

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      • #4
        Re: Does Olympus need to make their user interface easier to use?

        There isn't much argument that Olympus allows almost unparalleled configuration access to settings. This is welcomed by those of us who feel comforted by the fact that we can use these settings if we need to. But some of the same people, as well as others, definitely have problems finding what they need to adjust. The Super Control Panel is an excellent 'front door' to camera settings, but the frustration I detect from users not happy with Olympus menus mainly stems from finding settings beyond the SCP. Does anyone, incidentally, like or prefer the Live Control alternative to the SCP?

        I'm particularly interested to hear from Olympus users who are also used to rival systems and their UIs.

        Ian
        Founder/editor
        Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
        Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
        Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
        Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)
        Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
        Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
        Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ianburley/

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Does Olympus need to make their user interface easier to use?

          I haven't used any other camera systems, so I can't help with the comparison. I love how customizable Olympus cameras are, so I appreciate the extensive options in the menus. I do agree with many reviewers, however, that the menus are confusing and not designed very well (note that my latest experience is with the E-M5). I don't know exactly how they should be changed to make them easier to navigate. Using more descriptive names than "camera 1" or "gear A" would be a good start. Including better descriptions of what each menu option does would help as well. I also like the idea expressed by some reviewers that Olympus should have a "quick menu" that would allow users to include the settings they access most for making quick changes.

          I like the SCP and use it often. I like Raj's idea to allow it to be customized to include only the settings that a user wants. A button on the SCP to access a "quick menu" would be a good idea as well. Making icons and text on the SCP (and the menus, for that matter) bigger, prettier, and more representative of the functions they control would also improve usability.

          - Hal -
          A Still Mind - Photography, Music, Meditation, Ministry - www.astillmind.net
          Olympus E-M5; Panasonic-Leica DG Summilux 25mm; Zuiko 12-60 SWD, 50-200 SWD; Sigma 105 Macro; Rokinon (Samyang) 7.5mm fisheye; Olympus 8/1.8 PRO fisheye; FL-50R; Giottos MT-8361 tripod with Gitzo GH2780QR ballhead.

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          • #6
            Re: Does Olympus need to make their user interface easier to use?

            I don't like Live Control & prefer the SCP (being used to it from previous DSLRs, E410, E520 & E30), but one thing, when a Menu function is 'greyed out', it would be really nice & convenient if there was an indicator which other Menu setting was causing it to be so (without having to search through the hidden settings or asking on a forum). I don't know if that has been addressed in any way with the E-M1 Mk II though, but I hope it has to some extent.
            Ross
            I fiddle with violins (when I'm not fiddling with a camera).
            Cameras: OM-D E-M1 & Mk II, Olympus Stylus 1, OM-D E-M5.
            Lenses: M.ZD12-40mm f2.8 PRO Lens, M.ZD40-150mm f2.8 PRO Lens with MC-14, M.ZD12-50, M.ZD60 Macro, M.ZD75-300 Mk II, MMF-3, ZD14-54 II, Sigma 150mm F2.8 APO Macro DG HSM.
            Flashes: FL36R X2, FL50R, FL50.
            Software: Capture One Pro 10 (& Olympus Viewer 3).

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Does Olympus need to make their user interface easier to use?

              Over the years I have got quite used to the menu system although it does get somewhat complicated if you delve too far into it.
              I make great use of the 'super control panel' (SCP) and this fits most of my needs.
              Any changes which help the system would be welcome.

              Regards. Barr1e

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              • #8
                Re: Does Olympus need to make their user interface easier to use?

                Agree familiarity makes the Olympus system easier it can be difficult to remember where some things are but how often do you change a lot of things not set up in mysets?
                Like others I find Canon and Nikon etc confusing simply because of lack of familiarity or expectations where thing are.
                Would like customisation of the SCP to allow mainly needed features at hand or to hide others not often needed.
                Menu has been evolved in my opinion by software writers rather than by photographers or camera users a rewrite could be in order but existing users would find it confusing for a while.
                I still do not know why all cars do not have the lights indicators etc on the same side of the steering wheel on all makes. On changing cars I find myself flashing the wipers and changing wipe speed to indicate which way I wish to turn for a while when changing vehicle.
                Ed.

                The early bird gets the worm , but the second mouse gets the cheese!

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