The Two Biggest OM-D E-M5 Annoyances

  1. It’s very complex. There’s lots of settings to master. This sort of comes with the territory when shooting digital, and I expected it.
  2. The official documentation is, quite frankly, awful. Olympus only ships a very abridged printed manual with the camera, expecting users to consult a PDF file for any detailed information. Not a reasonable expectation, really, given that I don’t carry my computer with me into the field. And even the unabridged PDF version of manual is incomplete; see below for an example. This does not necessarily “come with the territory” and I didn’t expect at all.

Probably the most egregious example of how lacking the documentation is is Olympus’s description of the Magnify function:

Press the button once to display the zoom frame, again to zoom in. Keep the button pressed to cancel zoom.

“Excellent!”, I thought. I’m planning on using the camera, via an adapter, with my old Pentax telephoto lenses (which, thanks to the crop factor, will be twice as telephoto as they were before). “A way to force the camera into an MF assist mode with a single button press will be quite useful.” So I used the setup menu to assign the Magnify function to a button.

And kept finding that button did nothing. I tried and tried pressing it for various lengths of time, pressing it while turning one or the other of the two dials, pressing it while holding the shutter button halfway, etc. Nothing ever worked. Until I happened across a blog post that prompted me to try it again, this time with the preview screen enabled to display a live view (normally it is off and one uses the EVF to preview the scene).

That did the trick, but it shouldn’t have taken me over a week of experimentation followed by a number of Google searches to figure out something which should have been explicitly described in the manual.

I’m still glad I bought it, mind you (and consequently just spent more money to round out a basic lens outfit for it). It’s just that using it would be a far better experience if only the manual were more complete.

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