Turning on the Olympus Super Control Panel

Olympus E-PM2 Super Control Panel

Olympus E-PM2 Super Control Panel (SCP)

The Olympus Super Control Panel is a special hidden control system. As you can see above, it makes viewing and changing settings on your camera really easy. It’s not turned on by default. Here are simple instructions on how to enable it.

I own 3 Olympus Pens, the E-PL1, the E-P3 and E-PM2. I can confirm that all Olympus Pen cameras, since the old E-PL1, as well as the new OM-D have the Super Control Panel (SCP) option — they are all turned on in the same way.

Before you can turn on the Super Control Panel, make sure you have the Custom Menu turned on. It is easy to do and here are instructions on how to turn on the Olympus Custom Menu.

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 and OM-D models can directly access the menu without going through this screen. Just hit the menu button.

Olympus E-PM2 Custom Menu

Olympus E-PM2 Custom Menu

Step 2: Confirm that you have the Custom Menu turned on. If you can see the “2 gears” icon, the Custom Menu is on. If not, here is how to turn on the menu.

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. You can simply click down on the control dial to select the “2 gears” icon. Once the gears are selected, you should see menu options labeled A, B, C …

Click on the right side of the control dial to access the A, B, C menus. Click down on the control dial until you select the “D Menu”, as shown above.

Olympus E-PM2 'D' Menu

Olympus E-PM2 ‘D’ Menu

Step 3: Click right on the control dial to access all the menu options under the “D Menu”. Look through the menu for an option that says “Control Settings” or “Control Setting”. The position of this option varies with the camera model.

Olympus E-PM2 Setting Control Settings

Olympus E-PM2 Setting Control Settings

Step 4: Click right to bring up another menu with shooting modes such as iAuto, P/A/S/M, ART. The available Shooting modes will vary slightly by model. With these options, you can turn on the Super Control Panel for a particular shooting mode. I only turned on the SCP for the more advanced P/A/S/M mode but you can turn on the SCP for any mode you like.

Olympus E-PM2 Setting 'Live SCP'

Olympus E-PM2 Setting ‘Live SCP’

Step 5: After you select the mode, click OK or right on the Control dial. You will see 2 or 3 menu options on this screen depending on the shooting mode selected. For the P/A/S/M mode, you get two options. Click right on the option you want to turn on or off.

NOTE: Only one option should be turn on for the displays to work properly. In the example above, notice that I have Live Control turned Off and the Live SCP turned on. This is the proper configuration to enable the Super Control Panel. Use the MENU button to back out of all the submenus that you entered.

Congratulations, you are now ready to use the Super Control Panel. To access the Super Control Panel click the OK button. Doing so should display the SCP over whatever scene is showing on your LCD. Use the Left, Right, Up and Down positions of the control dial to navigate to the setting you want to change.

You can change any setting in two different ways. You can click OK to select the option to change or you can simply rotate the control dial to change the settings, in place, within the SCP. With the Olympus E-PL1, which does not have a spinning control dial, you will need to click the OK button to change settings.

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47 thoughts on “Turning on the Olympus Super Control Panel

  1. Just wanted to add to your ‘note’ that you can leave the other options to ‘on’. What you do is when you press ‘ok’ to bring up the control panel, you press the ‘info’ button to cycle between available control panels (including SCP) much like you do in other views such as playback. Then whenever you press the ‘ok’ button it will go to the control panel option you last used.

  2. One other note is that in the latest touch models (so all but the E-P3) you can select items in the SCP using touch and then use the rear control dial to adjust, just makes it that bit faster jumping from option to option rather than use the up, down, left, right controls (and something the E-P3 really should have had).

    1. That’s true, I should mention this too… Thanks again.

      Though for me, I find that the touch screen actually drives me crazy. I need to do a post on how to turn it off.

  3. Got it. I had to turn the live menu OFF on all the other settings to get the super menu to come up. I don’t know why, but it wouldn’t come up until then. Now, its just fine. Thank you so much. I had no idea how to find it though I knew it was there!!

    1. Glad it’s working for you now. I’ve been meaning to write a post about this so it was good timing for you to remind me.

  4. Reblogged this on SERENDIPITY and commented:
    For anyone who has an Olympus PEN and can’t figure out how to get the super menu to display, here are real instructions you can follow! Wow, what a gift!!

  5. I know this is an old post, but I save it because everytime I need to set up a camera, this is priceless. I just set up the new PM2 and once more, you saved me! My PL-1 is moving on to a friend who is ready to transition from a crappy P&S that don’t give her no satisfaction and I will make sure she has it too, though the PL-1 is already set up. You have given me SO much help!! Thank you a million times.

  6. “Only one option should be turn on for the displays to work properly. In the example above, notice that I have Live Control turned Off and the Live SCP turned on. This is the proper configuration to enable the Super Control Panel. ”

    Thank you so very much, I was thinking I did something wrong until I read this. Success!

  7. Thanks for the help. Just found how to adjust ISO settings. The instruction manual could use some help.

  8. I am an ‘old school’ photographer with much hobby experience with my wonderful OM2. Now I have a new OMD EM-5. I seem to have trouble getting similar depth of color etc that i used to with my old slides at asa 64. I cannot seem to get an ISO lower than 200. Maybe today’s ISO do not equate with the old kodachrome 64 etc. Any ideas would be helpful. Thank you.

    1. Hi Bruce.

      ISO 200 is the lowest the OMD EM-5 will go. Other digital cameras may start at ISO 100 and the rare camera that starts at ISO 50. That’s par for the course. If you want shallow DOF in bright light, you’ll need to use a neutral density filter.

      Regarding color, do you shoot in JPEG or RAW? You may notice that JPEGs are bit more color but RAW definitely requires post processing on a computer to bring out it’s color and sharpness.

      I actually post process my JPEGs too to bring out more color, sharpness and make exposure changes.

      That said, I find that the color in digital is different from film. I don’t see the same richness and depth. Perhaps with some other post processing techniques, this may be possible but I haven’t been able to achieve the same look.

      1. Thank you very much for the speedy and informative response. Now I can stop looking for a lower ISO. I do shoot in JPEG mode and will try some post processing techniques as my familiarity with digital expands. Good advice to get the neutral density filters. I certainly will. Thanks again !!

  9. Bought the OMD EM5. The menu and little buttons to push drove me crazy. I have tried to understand instruction to access the super control panel but can not do it. What in the hell were those jerks thinking of by hiding something so simple and so important which make using the camera much more user friendly. I do not understand why anyone in their right mind would hide it??????????? WHY WHY WHY????????? I love the results this camera gives me but it is so hard to use. I accidentally press buttons which changes settings and drive me crazy. I am going back to my Leica M3.

  10. Thank you so much. I have tried for 3 months to turn on the super control panel. I finally did it thanks to your instructions. I even gave up at one strange and thought I would end up having to stick to scenic scn setting and was really feeling down over this. I spent good money and people were saying “Turn on the super control panel” Grrr where in the world was it and how to gain access. Now I am able to begin my new journey with my EP5

  11. I just used this to set up the super menu on the PL5. The custom menu setup is slightly different — it’s the C menu (not the D), but the symbols are the same, so anyone who has any kind of understanding of these cameras should be able to make the connection. The PL5 is very interesting. Different than the other PENs I own or have owned.

  12. hi

    I have a problem – I cant switch off this menu on OMD M5.
    When I try to get through to D and set up the way you posted in the other way – it is still there.

    iAUTO mode is always showing Super menu – and when I press the arrows on the dial pad to position the green frame/bracket for sharpness – I have grey screen in the background – it is not showing the image. in SCN selection though the picture is there…

    Is this some software issue? I didnt try to change any option there but once I fired up the camera – this super menu was there

    Please help

    And sorry for this question as I am new to this camera

    1. Plotr, I’m not sure if I completely understand the problem you are having. I did try and I was able to both turn on and off the Super Control Panel under iAuto. To do this, under the “Control Settings” menu option (see the 5th screen shot on this blog post) select “iAuto” instead of “P/A/S/M”. On the “iAuto” submenu, you should see 3 menu options (instead of the 2 I have shown in my blog post). To get it back to the standard “iAuto” menu, make sure “Live Guide” is turned On but both “Live Control” and “Live SCP” should be turned off.

      I hope this fixes the problem you are having.

      1. Hi

        Thanks for prompt reply,

        What you have sent is exactly what I needed but unfortunately the issue is still there.

        I have updated Firmware to the 2.11 and I have sent ticket to the Olympus support – I am afraid that something is messed up… : (


  13. Hi
    My SCP on my E-M10 keeps flashing on/off. I can’t work out what I am doing wrong ??? I touch the screen then it goes blank come on goes blank comes on . I have just brought the camera and finding it a little confusing thanks

    1. Mandy, I wondering if you are triggering the EVF sensor when you are trying to use the touch screen. The EVF sensor turns off the rear display when you bring your eye to the EVF. It’s a bit sensitive and maybe your finger is affecting it

      1. thanks for the reply, that maybe it but i don’t think so, as when it, the monitor turns off it goes off and on for 3 or 4 times with only a second in between. Any other thoughts

      2. Sorry Mandy, I can’t think of anything else. Probably best to give Olympus tech support a call. Maybe it’s a defective camera.

  14. I notice you have updated this. Just to let you know, the new (got it today) PL-6 (PEN Lite) has different menus. You can still turn on the super menu, but it is more complicated than it used to be. A couple of extra menus, moved menus, different clicks. It’s an interesting camera, though. Not like any of the other PENs.

  15. Thank you very much for posting such a helpful blog . It saved me from losing sleep over the confusing instructions in the Olympus Stylus menu ! Really easy and thanks again

  16. Many thanks for posting these instructions. I have literally wasted hours trying to get the Live SCP to display. This information should be included in the Olympus manual.
    Thanks again,

  17. Just bought an EPL 7 as they are going out of fashion and therefore cheap. Wonderful little camera , a bit disappointed with the noise, but in digital terms, its knocking on a bit. Anyway, without this blog I would have been stuck trying to get the SCP working. Olympus must be crazy, it should just come up normally, on pressing the info button and scrolling through the views. Come on Olympus get your act together. There are actually too many options altogether, anyone who knows anything about photography just needs basic image capture, and then use PS and LR if necessary. After all there is iAuto for beginners and I use this myself when its not critical. So 90% of the options in this camera will be as set by the original programme.

  18. I recently purchased an Olympus Pen lite PL5 body, and was beside myself to making shooting options my own. Then, I found your “tutorial”, and, BINGO! OMG, I was so frustrated before I found your instructions. I was close, many times to getting the SCP activated, but missed one item or another. I feel like I can get out now and capture images. Thank you so much!

  19. I have a E-PM2 and have been able to set up the SCP screen, thanks to your tutorial.
    When I hit the OK button, the SCP screen comes up but only stays on for 8 seconds,
    it then goes to a screen with the settings around the periphery for 3 seconds, then to a
    blank screen. Is there any way to maintain the SCP screen for a longer period?


    1. Hi Richard, glad I can help. I’m getting the same behavior as you with the E-PM2. I don’t know any way to extend the display time. On my OM-D E-M5 Mark II, there’s a separate button that I can press that seems to keep the SCP displayed indefinitely.

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