Switching to Micro Four Thirds from Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Fuji, Sony

This is going to be a rolling article with new items added over time.  I will also be adding articles to this page discussing genre specific switches.  I want to address concerns and lens setups, as well as some helpful tips to keep in mind when transitioning between systems.

Lets start this off with some of the most common search items on a new camera.  A lot of these are basic functions that we need to know to just get the job done.  On most manual cameras or Nikon and Canon SLRs they are self evident as buttons on the top plate.  With olympus you sometimes have body buttons on the pro models, but on the more basic models you don’t.  The features are all still there.  I will address this in each question.  If I am missing anything, or you feel something should be included here, please let me know and I will add it immediately!

Quick Transition Guide:


Read Me First!

Right off the back you need your Super Control Panel On and the Custom Menu On.  Hit the Menu Button > Go to Setup (the tool icon) > Select Custom Menu Display > Select Custom Menu > Switch to ON and hit OK.  This turns the custom options menu on if it wasn’t.

Next you need your Super Control Panel.  Hit the Menu Button > Custom Menu > D-Display > (camera icon) Control Settings > Go into each mode and press the OK button over Live SCP option to enable it.  All set, now you can continue with the rest of the transition guide!  Oh and if this is your first time using one of these cameras…use the directional pad to navigate around.  Up and down select menu items, left and right enters menu items.  OK confirms menu selections.

How do I move my focus button to the rear?

Menu Button > Custom Menu > A-AF/MF > AEL/AFL > Pick focus mode > Mode 3.

You can also assign AEL button to any custom button.  If you have Mode 3 selected, this makes it your focus button, no matter what button you assign it to!  To assign it to a custom button, go to Custom Menu > B-Button > Button Function > Select your button > Set it to AEL/AFL

Where is my Spot meter?

Meter is in the SCP.  Press OK > SCP Third column 4th item.  You even have normal spot, highlight spot, and shadow spot!

On an E-M1 it is also available from the AF/Metering button on the top panel button next to the power switch.  It is ALSO in the Custom menu E, second page down.

Where is my ISO?

ISO is in the SCP.  Press OK > SCP First column first item.  You even can select AUTO ISO from there.

On most cameras it is also a combination with the WB selected from a function button on the top panel.  You press the button and one wheel toggles ISO and the other wheel toggles WB.  Some models have these separated into two buttons.

You can also customize ISO to any button you like.  You can also access ISO settings and options from Custom Menu > E-Exp

How do I set a custom white balance?

WB is in the SCP.  Press OK > SCP Second Column first item.  There are 4 custom white balance settings you can scroll between.  Don’t confuse with CWB.  That is actually the Kelvin setting.

You can also get to WB by default from one of the top panel Function buttons.  You can also program any button to WB or instant custom white balance.  You can also change deeper WB settings from Custom Menu G.  Make sure you go in there at some point and turn OFF “WB-Auto Keep Warm Color.”  This option makes your images overly warm toned.  It is set on by default for some unknown reason.

Where is my flash compensation and flash mode?

Both are in the SCP.  OK Button > SCP Column 1 second and third item.

Make sure you turn the flash on to manual, or second curtain if you are attaching a Pocket Wizard or other trigger!  Compensation won’t matter, but you need the flash mode ON in order to fire a trigger.

My Pocket Wizard/Flash trigger won't fire?!??

Same as item above about flash.  OK Button > SCP Column 1 second and third item.

Make sure you turn the flash on to manual, or second curtain if you are attaching a Pocket Wizard or other trigger!  Compensation won’t matter, but you need the flash mode ON in order to fire a trigger.  This is true even if you attach a PC cord!

How do I change my drive mode or shutter style?

This is again in the SCP. (Notice a trend?  You never have to go into the menus!)  Press OK > SCP Second Column third item.  This box has self timer, continuous shooting, HiRes Mode, Continuous Drive L and H, and well as anti shock versions.  Its all in here!

How do I set this camera to RAW only?

This is in the SCP.  Press OK > SCP Column 2, fourth item.  Scroll to “RAW.”

What about Mirror lockup?

No more mirror my friend!  Full time live view!  Just set a timer to reduce vibrations and you are set!

Exposure increments 1/3 or 1/2 stop

Custom Menu > E-Exp > EV Step.  You can also adjust ISO step from the same menu just a few more items down.  You can set these to 1/3, 1/2, or 1 stop.  

Turn this touch screen off?

Custom Menu > K-Utility > Touch Screen Settings.

Turn off noise reduction?

Custom menu > E-Exp > Noise Filter.

Noise Reduction is for LONG EXPOSURE Noise in PASM modes, Noise filter is for high ISO/JPG noise.  I keep Noise reduction ON and Noise filter OFF.

How do I turn automatic image review on/off?

Menu Button > Tool Icon (setup menu) > Rec View.

How do I change image stabilization?

Its in the SCP.  Press OK > SCP Column one 4th item

Image stabilization for manual lens?

See the above item to find Image Stabilization.  Once highlighted, press OK to enter into the IS option screen.  Then press INFO to select your focal length.  Press OK to confirm.

You will have to manually change this for any manual or adapted lens if you want to use it stabilized.  Remember to put in its actual focal length, not the equivalent.  So a Canon FD 35mm lens for example would get a 35mm IS setting.

How do I turn the beep off!

Menu Button > Custom Menu > D-Display > third page down.  You will see your backlight, sleep, auto power off, and then sound all in a row.

Im in the studio and I can't see due to underexposure!!

Menu Button > Custom Menu > D-Display > second page down.  You will see Live View Boost.  Set this to Mode 1.  This will show a normal view that doesn’t adjust to show estimated exposure.  The meter will still read properly.  Then again, if you are in the studio you are metering manually for your lights anyways.  E-M1 has a 1/320 sync speed!  Nice!



1 responses on "Switching to Micro Four Thirds from Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Fuji, Sony"

  1. Very keen as i am going from cannon but have struggled with exposure as i am used to the cannon meter which seems more responsive (which i am sure is just me and something i need to get used to) iso is currently in auto but seems stuck on 6400 which is the upper limit i have set i am shooting in manual mode but am still to get a sharp image :-(

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