Olympus OM-1 Guide

The Olympus OM-1 Guide is a fully comprehensive guide (65000 words) covering everything you could want to know about how to use this incredible camera, fully illustrated with example images, tables and graphics and with a wealth of step by step instructions, walk-thoughts and tips.

It includes a menu walkthrough with clear directions of what to change and what to leave as default, explanations of why, full walk-throughs for customising buttons with lots of tips, setting up Custom Modes with a helpful table of useful settings and a wide variety of suggestions to try out. Custom Modes are personal to the user, so I give examples to consider and encourage users to think about the best use scenarios and explore the possibilities.

It explores all of the camera features such as Live Time, Live ND, Bracketing and Focus Stacking and goes into detail of how to actually use these out in the field with practical examples and images you can learn from and apply yourself.

As a Landscape photographer I also take you through the technical theory of photography in ‘Photography 101’ where we explore the Exposure Triangle, how to get great Depth of Field, learn how to nail exposure, improve your composition and even tips on how to plan your shots with tips on Apps to use. We also explore Processing with tips on which applications to explore and how to develop a good workflow.




The Guide has its own dedicated website which you will have access to.

It is also Mobile Friendly making it easier to digest and access. Bookmark or add it to your Home Screen.

A 250 page e-Book is also included for offline viewing.


In ‘Techniques’ I take you though all the OM-1 Modes and show how to use each one with examples, such as Exposure and Focus Bracketing, Live ND, Live Time and even tips for using A.I Modes. Look out for the highlighted ‘Tips’ and also what to avoid.

This Guide has evolved into something that is very comprehensive and I truly believe my years of experience as a photographer and using Olympus will help you get the most from your OM-1, not just with the full menu walkthrough, but also to help you with better composition. There is also a section to help with the E M1 MK3 and much of this guide will be relevant if you use that body.

Also included is a 250 Page PDF e-book to download for offline reading.

Contains all the content from the Online Guide.

Full colour images and diagrams.

Contents Page with links to each chapter.

This Guide is for you if you want to learn about:

  • How to Set Up and Use the OM-1

  • Using In-Camera Features such as Live Time

  • Focus / Exposure Bracketing and Blending

  • How to Set Up and Use the OM-1

  • Using In-Camera Features such as Live Time

  • Focus / Exposure Bracketing and Blending

  • Exposure, Aperture and Depth of Field

  • Good Composition and What to Look For

  • How to Develop a Processing Workflow


Although the PDF is English, the Guide is also provided as an online version, which can be translated* into many different languages including among others French, German, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese using Google Translate.

Try it with this web page at Google Translate.

*Translation is by Google and I cannot verify the accuracy.

Guide Sections

Each Section goes into quite some detail. The OM-1 Section goes through the Menu indicating what needs to be set up, suggestions for setting up buttons and Custom Modes including how to set up my own Custom Modes and suggestions for others. In Exposure & Focus Bracketing I not only show you how to do it but also how to combine images in Post Processing. In Composition we explore the Rules of Composition such as Rule of Thirds and Golden Ratios with examples and annotated diagrams. Processing Workflow explores how to create and organise a workflow with suggested Apps, workflow diagrams and tips on processing.

Below is an overview of topics contained in each Section.

Olympus OM-1

  • Main Menu walkthrough and settings

  • Setting up Custom Buttons and suggestions

  • Setting up Custom Modes and suggestions

  • E-M1 MK3 Comparison 

Photography 101

  • Understanding the Exposure Triangle

  • Understanding Metering for Correct Exposure

  • Depth of Field and Hyperfocal Distances

  • Planning and Researching Locations

  • Composition and How to Improve It

  • Processing Workflow


  • Long Exposures-Using Filters, Live Time and Live ND

  • Exposure Bracketing and Blending Images

  • Focus Stacking, Bracketing and Blending

  • Using High Resolution Mode

  • Using Live Composite

  • A.I Detection Modes


  • Tips for Useful Gear and Accessories

  • Tripods and What to Look For

  • Bags and Backpacks

  • Camera Filters

  • Useful Accessories

Wildlife & Detection Modes

A full section exploring all the features and settings to use for wildlife for stationary subjects and birds in flight. In this section we will look at the various options for getting the best from the Detection Modes, how to use AF Targets effectively, selecting appropriate Sequential settings and how to use Pro Capture. You will also find settings for Custom Modes for making shooting easier, along with suggestions for additional Custom Modes.

Custom Modes Planning

Available as a printable download is a Customising Cheat Sheet.

Specific to the OM1 it allows you to plan out your own button settings and plan your Custom Modes before making changes. Print at home as A4, write on your own button settings and make a plan before committing to making changes in the camera. Advise is also given for planning out other settings, not just buttons.

OM-1 Settings

We explore the OM-1 Menu, how to use My Menu, set up basic settings and then explore options for button settings. We then move to advanced settings with Custom Modes for landscapes and wildlife with tips and suggestions for other genres.


We explore how to understand composition and create balanced images using the Rule of Thirds, using Lead-In Lines, the Golden Ratio, Points of Interest and Positive/Negative Space with annotated examples.

Discovery and Planning

My tips on how to find inspiration and then plan your trip using a variety of Apps to research location, plan routes, check sunset and sunrise, weather including wind, precipitation and cloud cover, and tide times.


In Techniques I not only explain many photographic techniques such as Long Exposures using the traditional method and in-camera methods but give examples. In Exposure and Focus Bracketing I give examples of how to combine and merge Exposure Bracketed images, Focus Bracketed images for landscapes and more advanced manual blending techniques.

Depth of Field

We explore Depth of Field, the technicalities of it and more importantly how you can maximise it using simple techniques and more advanced Hyperfocal techniques but with and without Apps. We also look at Diffraction, why it matters and how to avoid it.

Processing Workflow

Getting organised with your files and how to develop a Workflow of your own, including an overview of which applications to use, a few pros and cons and how to integrate them into a logical path to follow. Go the Adobe way or avoid it? We explore options and a few recommendations.


We explore the Exposure Triangle, how ISO, Aperture and Shutter are intimately connected, the effects of noise and what it actually is, the various options for Metering and how to understand the Histogram.

What People Are Saying

“Oh My Gosh! Your guide is amazing. I wish I had known about it two years ago. O thought it was going to be just a guide for the EM1-MKIII but it is so much more than that, it is a comprehensive guide to photography using the camera.”


“5* for highly recommending this guide, worth every penny.”

Mike - USA
“Very readable and the sections on lenses, accessories and workflow are useful.”
Peter - UK

“I can highly recommend Phil’s guides, comprehensive and easy to use.”

Helen - Australia
“I can absolutely recommend the OM1 guide. Comprehensive, well structured and easy to use”
David - UK
“Excellent Guide, it goes beyond the usual ‘push this press that’, with explanations and examples of how to use each of the in-camera features.”
Helen - USA
“An outstanding resourse that is going to be very helpful indeed. Highly recommended for new users and experienced alike, thanks very much.”
David - UK
“Very useful, not only comprehensive but backed up with stunning images to inspire. Thanks for all the hard work.”
Andreas - Germany

“Really useful tips and insights. Really appreciate not only the camera tips but also the composition and depth of field which I struggle with.”

Christine - Australia

“So useful! Highly recommended. My camera is all set up and it’s made me really think how I can use it better. And love the processing tips too!”

Kim - Canada