|Figure 1. Top left corner shows you information about what you have selected.|
The Super Control Panel (SCP) on Olympus cameras is one of my favorite features. It is very powerful in that it gives you one button access to about 21(on the the E-M1) camera functions to include ISO, White Balance, AF Modes, and many more. So, why is it even “More Super” on the E-M1? It’s that little square in the lower right corner that shows you the settings for each button on the camera … but, more on that in a minute. First, let’s just talk about general use for the SCP.
I don’t know why Olympus doesn’t enable the SCP by default, but they don’t. So you have to enable it by going into Menu – Custom Menu D – Disp/*))/PC – Control Settings, and here you have to enable it individually for iAuto, P/A/S/M, ART, and SCN. And I enable it for all of them. Oh wait … you don’t have a Custom Menu (gear icon)? Well, that is also NOT on by default for some strange reason. So go to Menu – Setup Menu – Menu Display, and turn on Menu Display(gear icon).
Once enabled, you invoke the SCP by just pressing the OK Button while in a shooting mode (not Photo Story or Movie). If the SCP doesn’t show itself at first, then press the Info Button once or twice until you see it. Now, you can move around the screen with either the Rear Dial, the Arrow Pad, or Touch Screen (if enabled). After you’ve selected the function you want to change, you can either turn the Front Dial to cycle through the settings, or press OK which will open up that functions various settings.
Okay … now, we’re ready to talk about the extra “Superness” (it Should be a word :-). On the E-M5, if you selected the square in the lower right corner of the SCP (Figure 2), you could use the Front Dial to cycle through each of your customizable buttons settings to see what you have set … kind of a nice reminder, especially at first while you’re still trying to remember what all of those buttons do. Now, on the E-M1, press OK and you will be taken directly into the Menu system for that Button (Figure 3) so you can quickly change its action if desired. SUPER! 🙂
One more Tip: When making changes to different functions, be on the lookout for an “Info” icon somewhere on the screen (Figure 4). (You will only see this IF you use the OK button to select the function on the SCP.) Sometimes, it will show up in the lower left corner, but other times it’s located elsewhere. This important icon is telling you to press the Info Button to open up a deeper level of settings for that particular function. In this case (figure 5), pressing the Info Button highlights the little “x2”, indicating that by using the left/right keys on the Arrow Pad you can change this setting, which tells the camera how many shots to take with this timer setting. Very nice feature!
The Super Control Panel is a wonderful time saver, keeping you out of the menu system most of the time. Plus, it’s easy to use whether you’re looking at the LCD or the EVF, so be sure to enable this feature and save yourself some time and frustration.
For more In-Depth information about the Olympus OM-D E-M1, check out Gary Friedman’s book, available at: http://www.friedmanarchives.com/OlympusE-M1/index.htm