Unlocking the Custom Menu on your Olympus

The Olympus Pens and OM-D have a very powerful and flexible set of configuration options. Finding the right options, however, can be daunting. Reading the manual can help but can also be cryptic at times. I decided to write a series of blog posts to explain some of the finer points of Olympus Pen configuration.

The first place to start is to enable the Custom Menu on the camera. Through the Custom Menu you can configure an unbelievable number of settings to really customize your camera. I own 3 Olympus Pens, the E-PL1, the E-P3 and E-PM2. All 3 work pretty much the same way. The OM-D also has the same menu structure.

Olympus E-PM2 Setup Menu

Olympus E-PM2 “Mode Dial” (only on the Pen Minis)

Step 1: The E-PM1 and E-PM2 are the low cost cameras that lack a mode dial. The menu above is used only on these two cameras to set the shooting mode. Simply hit the menu button and click over to the “SETUP” option on on the right and hit the OK button to access the menu.

Other Olympus Pens models can directly access the menu without going through this screen. Just hit the menu button.

Olympus E-PM2 Setup Menu

Olympus E-PM2 Setup Menu

Step 2: Most Olympus micro 4/3 cameras (The Pen and OM-D) have menus that look something like this with 4 icons along the left side. If you have 5 icons, an extra icon with “2 gears” above the “wrench” icon, then you are set. The Custom Menu is already enabled.

If you only have 4 icons, as pictured above, then select the “wrench” icon by clicking down on the round control dial. The control dial is located in the bottom right corner on the back of the camera. It has 4 icons surrounding a center OK button. By clicking on the right side of the control dial, you can now scroll through the menu options on the right. Click down to the “Menu Display” option, as shown above. Then click the OK button.

Olympus E-PM2 Menu Display

Olympus E-PM2 Menu Display

Step 3: Clicking the OK button from the previous step should display the screen above. Turn on the top “Menu Display”, the one with the 2 gears, by clicking the control dial to the right. Then clicking up or down on the control dial will turn on or off this option. Click the OK button to set your choice. Once set, you can use the MENU button to back out of this sub menu.

Olympus E-PM2 Custom Menu Display

Olympus E-PM2 Custom Menu Display

Step 4: Confirm if the custom menu has successfully been turned on. If all worked properly, you should see a new icon, a “two gears” icon, above the “wrench” icon on the left side, as pictured above. If you select the “two gears” icon, you will see a lot of new options on the right — from menu item A through menu item J.

Congratulations, you now have the custom menu enabled. This is the first step to unlocking the myriad of customization options on your camera.


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