Tips & Tricks

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Olympus OM-D E-M1[edit]

Displaying the Green Focus Box[edit]

It's often useful to display, either on the LCD or through the EVF, the location of the green focus box. This is how I do it:

If you set a button (I use Fn1) to "magnify" the first press of that button will display the focus point. A second press magnifies.

This allows the focus point to be displayed (green box), moved using the arrows, and resized via the info button. It magnifies only after pressing Fn1 again. It can be switched off after holding the Fn1 button for more than 1 second. Alternatively, a half-press of the OK button will also cancel the green box.

Continuous Focusing modes - important differences[edit]

C-AF mode is the standard Continuous Autofocus mode. The camera will check focus continuously via the selected AF point or points and adjust focus as appropriate. Focusing is by Phase Detection AF with both Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds lenses.

C-AF+TR is Continuous Autofocus with Tracking mode. This mode is not designed for action photography, like tracking a bird in flight. It's a tool for maintaining focus on a subject in a scene while you recompose your shot. It is believed that C-AF+TR uses Imager AF (Contrast Detection) (This will be verified in due course).

Olympus E-3[edit]


  • Button Timer
    • By turning this on in the menu, when you press a button, it will remain 'pressed' for the set amount of time. This means you can make changes without having to hold a button and turn a dial at the same time. Credit to dlinney
  • Easy Exposure Compensation
    • When using Aperture or Shutter Priority, the redundant Command Dial can be set to control Exposure Compensation so that you do not have to use the button.
  • Easy switch between AF (Auto Focus) target modes
    • Pressing and releasing the 'AF Target' [...] button activates the focus point control, turning the command dial moves the focus point around the screen, assuming the Button Timer tip has been followed.
    • If the AF Target [...] button is pressed and held in, turning the command dials switched between All Area/Single/Single Dynamic. Thanks to an answer by R MacE on the


  • Pick & Candidate Review
    • When reviewing an image (in your chosen mode, eg flashing highlights), view a 'pick', then hit the AF point button hcg diet (...), this will view it '2-up' with the next image, the 'candidate'. Then use the 4 way controller to change the second image to others. Useful if comparing critical focus between multiple shots, or whether eyes are open for example. You can zoom into the image in the normal way using the rear dial and it will affect both images.
    • By hitting Fn, or Info, you can select either just the 'candidate', or both images, and move around within them. Credit to emirpprime
  • Protect Image/Clear Card
    • By hitting AEL/AFL in playback, you can lock an image against accidental deletion. Alternatively you can use this to delete all but a few images from a card. Credit to emirpprime
  • Quick Zoom Out
    • When reviewing images magnified, press the FN button to go directly back to the normal view without needing to scroll to zoom out again. Credit to R MacE
  • Playback Magnified
    • To view your shots magnified without needing to constantly zoom in and out, zoom in on the 1st image and press Info, this brings up a green box which you can place anywhere on the thumbnail. Pressing info again sets the area and magnification meaning that you can scroll through the other images at the same magnification . Press the Fn once to return to the starting image magnified, press Fn again to return to thumbnail. Credit to R MacE
  • Manual Rotation
    • Hitting +/- during playback will manually rotate images (once for every time you press it). Credit to emirpprime
  • Copy to XD card
    • Hitting AF (aka Copy in green writing) in playback mode will copy the current image to the xD card. If you want to copy multiple images, review them and hit OK, a red square and tick will be shown. Do this for all images you want, then hit AF/Copy. Credit to emirpprime

Hidden Menu to access camera service menu for E system cameras, up to E-3 (E-5, E-M5 & PENs do not have a card door switch)[edit]

Thanks to Jens "jebir" on the Four Thirds Photo Forum for the source. Also thanks to John Foster, his full page on the subject is at BIOFOS.

Service menu:

  1. Switch on the camera.
  2. Open the card door --> "CARD-COVER OPEN" message on LCD.
  3. Press the "OK" and "MENU" buttons simultaneously --> 
"Olympus E-xxx" message on LCD (on the E-1 and E-500 press "OK" and "PLAYBACK" buttons). 4. Press "North", "South", "West", and "East" in a sequence. 5. Press the "shutter button" once for 2 seconds. 6. Press "North" --> "PAGE 1" with parameters; "B", "U", "C", "A", "L", "F", and "M". 7. Press "WEST"--> "PAGE 2" with parameters; "R", "S", "C", "U", "V", "B", and "L". 8. Press "SOUTH"--> "PAGE 3" with parameters; "CS" and "MCS". 9. Press "EAST"--> parameter "D".

Hidden Menu to access camera service menu for E-5, E-M5 & PENs[edit]

Service menu: 
1. With a charged battery installed hold down the MENU button while switching on the camera.
2. When the LCD lights release the MENU button and immediately press it again, once.
3. In the menu go to SPANNER (line 5) and press RIGHT.
4. Press DOWN until you are at the LCD brightness screen (line 3).
5. Enter the brightness screen (shows twin adjusters) 
by pressing RIGHT and then press INFO and OK sequentially. 6. You will see on the LCD 'OLYMPUS' followed by the designation of your camera (eg E-P1). 7. Press in sequence UP, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT, SHUTTER and UP for screen 1. 8. You are now in the hidden information screens:
RIGHT = screen 2, DOWN = screen 3, LEFT = screen 4. 9. When you have your information simply switch off the camera.

The parameters should be the same between cameras, but may appear on different screens or in another order. The meanings should be:

Page 1: L - lens code F - flash code

Page 2: R - counts the number of shutter activations S - counts the number of times a flash was fired. C - counts the number of times the mirror has been locked up (cleaning mode). U - number of times the camera has been turned on (and the ultrasonic wave cleaner activated). V - counts two operations: [1] number of times the mirror has been locked up in Live View, and [2] number of times the AEL button has been used to auto focus while in Live View

Page 3: CS - camera serial number MCS - Is the same as the "Internal Serial Number" recorded in the EXIF data of pictures recorded with the camera. The 16-digit number contains a variety of information. Here is what we understand so far:

   Digits 1-4 represent the camera model; 4001 = E-1,   4007 = E-300, 4011 = E-500, 4016 = E-330, 
4038 = E-410, 4060 = E-420, 4046 = E-510, 4031 = E-3
   Digit 5 is the year of manufacture. For example, "3" equals year 2003.
   Digits 6-7 represent the month of manufacturer. For example, "06" equals June.

Page 4: D - shows damage messages, used by Olympus engineers to see what error message the camera has registered.

Hidden Functions Menu[edit]

On some cameras there is a hidden menu where you can choose settings not normally available.

On the E-400 and E-500 you can choose new ISO values (but they only persist until you change the value normally or power off the camera) including 50 and 3200. For full instructions and screenshots see Biofos here