Multi Function Menu Location - OM-1
Olympus / OM System,  Photo Gear

How the Multi Function Button Works on Olympus / OM System Cameras and Why You Should Use it

In this blog we are going to explore a useful feature of OM System / Olympus cameras that often flies under the radar: the Multi Function Button. No matter what type of photography you shoot, having quick access to key camera features is essential. The Multi Function feature allows you to customize a button for control over multiple settings, streamlining your shooting experience.

Many of the OM System / Olympus cameras have several programmable buttons, so why do I need to use the Multi Function feature? The OM System OM-1 has 8 programmable buttons, but I still seem to run out of customizable buttons. On the OM-1, I set Multi Function to the ISO button to toggle between ISO and magnify.

Other lower end Olympus / OM System cameras have even less buttons, making Multi Function even more useful.

Switching Features with the Multi Function Button
Switching Features with the Multi Function Button

How the Multi Function Button works

Once set up, the Multi Function feature is easy to use. Press and hold the button and turn front or rear dial to select the functionality to be assigned to the button. The next time you press the assigned button, the camera will remember the latest selected functionality.

For example, I have ISO and Magnify assigned to the ISO button on my OM-1. If I press and hold the ISO button and turn the rear dial and select Magnify, the next time I press the ISO button the magnify box will appear.

Custom Button Function MultiFn Selection OM-1
Custom Button Function MultiFn Selection OM-1

How to Set up the Multi Function Button

You set Multi Function to a customizable button the same way you set other functions to buttons. Using the Super Control panel, select the Cog symbol and assign MultiFn to the button of your choice.

You have to go in the menu system to set the active features for the Multi Function Button. In the OM-1, Multi Function is in the Cog menu, Sub-menu 5 – Grid / Other Displays. In most other Olympus / OM System cameras with the older menu system, it is located in the Cog Menu, Sub-menu D1.

Multi Function Settings - OM-1
Multi Function Settings – OM-1

What Functions can I Program to the Multi Function Button?

The functions available for Multi Function vary for different OM System / Olympus cameras. Below are the features available in most of the latest OM System / Olympus cameras.

  • Highlight & Shadow Control
  • Color Creator
  • ISO
  • WB
  • Magnify
  • Image Aspect
  • LV Mode / S-OVF
  • Peaking

The features are activated by putting a check mark next to the feature in the Multi Function settings under the Cog Menu, sub-menu (Sub-menu 5 – OM-1, Sub-menu D1 – others)

Below I’ll discuss the differences in the Multi Function feature for the different Olympus / OM System cameras that I own.

It would be nice if OM System made additional camera features available for the Multi Function Button, especially some of the newer features like Live ND, Subject Detection, and High Res Shot.

Can I have multiple Multi Function Buttons?

Yes, you can assign Multi Function to multiple customizable buttons on your camera. However, since there is only a single menu item to set up Multi Function, both buttons will have the same active features.

However, you can have different Multi Function features active for different Shooting Modes (Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, etc.) and the different Custom Modes. For Custom Modes the Multi Function settings are saved like other camera settings using the Custom Mode menu in Shooting Menu 1.

Multi Function Settings - OM-D E-M10 Mark II
Multi Function Settings – OM-D E-M10 Mark II

How Multi Function differs Across Different OM System / Olympus Camera Bodies

The Multi Function feature seems to have evolved with Olympus / OM System cameras. There are also some minor and some major differences across camera models.
Below I describe the differences in Multi Function across the different cameras that I own.

OM-1

All the above features of Multi Function are available and can be activated and deactivated. Multi Function is set up in the Cog menu, Sub-menu 5, Grid/Other Displays.

OM-D E-M1 III, OM-5, OM-D E-M1X

All the above features of Multi Function are available and can be activated. For some reason, Highlight and Shadow Control cannot be deselected. Multi Function is set up in the Cog menu, Sub-menu D1.

OM-D E-M10 Mark II

Peaking is not available within Multi Function. ISO and WB are a single feature with each feature controlled by the front or rear dial. Which dial controls which feature is customizable. Multi Function is set up in the Cog menu, Sub-menu D.

OM-D E-M10 Mark III

Multi Function is not available.

OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

I downloaded the manual for the E-M10 Mark IV and like the E-M10 Mark III, it does not appear that Multi Function is available for the Mark IV.

So if you’re looking to buy an E-M10 and want to use Multi Function, you may want to consider a used E-M10 Mark II.

OM-D E-M1 Mark I

Only Highlight & Shadow Control, Color Creator, Magnify, Image Aspect, S-OVF. All features are active. Which features are active is not customizable on the original OM-D E-M1.

Written by Martin Belan

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