Comparing the OM-1 and OM-D Menu Systems
Olympus / OM System,  Photo Gear

Top Improvements of the OM System (Olympus) OM-1 Menu System

The menu system on the OM System OM-1 has been completely redesigned. A redesign of the Olympus OM-D menu system has been long overdue.

The OM-1 now uses a horizontal tab user interface (UI) vs. the vertical tabs in the OM-D.  The new menu system also has the features nicely divided into sub-menus.  No more searching thru sub-menus A1 – J1 under the gear icon.

Below are my top improvements to the new OM-1 Menu System.

Top Improvements of the OM-1 Menu System

OM-1 Menu Navigation
OM-1 Menu Navigation

Easier and Faster Navigation

While you could use the dials to scroll thru the menu system on prior Olympus cameras, the new menu system solely uses the dials to scroll thru the menus and sub-menus. The front dial is used to scroll thru the main menus and the rear dial is used to navigate the sub-menus.  This will take a little time to get used to, but it simplifies and speed up the navigation process.

The Arrow Pad and Joystick can be used to navigate the sub-menus but not the main menus.  But I find it simpler to consistently use the dials to quickly navigate the menus and sub-menus.

The Multi-selector or Joystick is used to scroll thru and select features.  The dials can no longer be used to navigate and select the individual features.

Sequential Shooting Settings
Sequential Shooting Settings

Feature Organization

Like I mentioned in the intro, the features are logically organized across the tabs and sub-tabs.  All of the settings fit on to one page in the sub menus so you don’t need to scroll thru multiple pages on the sub menus.

Examples of How the OM-1 Menus are Better Organized

  • All auto and manual focus settings for stills and video are located under the AF main tab. 
  • In the OM-1 Menus, MF Assist, Peaking Settings, Preset MF Distance, and MF Clutch are all located in the MF sub-tab (Tab 6) under the AF Menu.  While in the OM-D E-M1 Mark III menu, Peaking is located in the Gear – D3 menu while the rest of the settings are in Gear – A4 menu.
  • The selection for the Drive Modes that display in the Super Control Panel, the Frames Per Second (fps), and Frame Count Limiter selections for all the drive modes are now all located Sequential Shooting Settings in Drive Mode Sub-menu of Shooting Menu 1.

While it will take a while to get used to the new menu organization, overall OM Digital Solutions did a nice job organizing the menus.

Why Live ND is Greyed Out
Why Live ND is Greyed Out

Explanation for Why Features are Greyed Out

A really nice addition to the OM-1 Menu systems is that it tells you why menu items are greyed out.  Press the OK button while the menu item is selected and a pop up will displaying showing the reason why the menu item is greyed out.

Menu Start Position Set to MyMenu
Menu Start Position Set to MyMenu

Quick Access to MyMenu

Under the 2nd sub menu in the Gear menu is a selection for Menu Cursor Settings.  In the Menu Start Position item, you can choose to Start at MyMenu (My) whenever the Menu Button is pressed.  I store all of my most frequent menu items in the MyMenu so it is very convenient to start at MyMenu when I press the Menu Button.

Bracketing Menu
Bracketing Menu

Ability to Save Individual Bracketing Items to MyMenu

In the OM-D Menu System, you could only save the main Bracketing menu item to MyMenu.  This means you needed to dive into the Bracketing Menu each time you wanted to turn on a specific Bracketing Option (for example: AE BKT or Focus BKT).

In the OM-1 menu system, each Bracketing item is displayed individually on the 3rd sub tab of Shooting Menu 2. This allows each bracketing item to be independently stored in MyMenu making them easier and faster to access.

Menu items are still added to MyMenu using the Record Button.

Focus Stacking as a Separate Selection in MyMenu
Focus Stacking as a Separate Selection in MyMenu

Separating Focus Bracketing and Focus Stacking

In the OM-D menu, Focus Stacking was buried in the Focus BKT menu which was buried under the Bracketing menu.  In the new OM-1 Menu System, Focus Stacking is a separate item in the First Sub Tab (Computational Modes) of Shooting Menu 2.  This means it can be stored separately in MyMenu for quicker access.

Selecting a Menu Item

Selecting a menu item is also easier on the new menu system.  On the E-M1 menu system, if you are deep in a menu, you need to back out of the menu system using the OK button for the setting to take effect.  This happens to me all the time in the bracketing menu.  I’ve developed a habit of looking for the BKT symbol on the LCD to ensure the setting took effect.

On the OM-1 Menu System, pressing the OK button selects the item and if you press the shutter button to exit the menu, the selection still takes effect.


Overall, I think OM Digital Solutions did a nice job redesigning the menu system of the OM-1. It’s quicker to navigate and find menu items, and when I select a menu item I don’t need to double check to ensure the change took effect. I also think the flattening of some of the menus (like bracketing) will really speed up selecting these items so you don’t miss the shot.

Written by Martin Belan

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