#PENInPractice No. 1 | How To Set Up The Super Control Panel

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset
Welcome to my very first Pen in Practice column for Olympus Magazine! It’s a digital publication and you can see the original column first published here. This is my October piece all about setting up the Super Control Menu. Enjoy!

Setting up the Super Control Panel

The first thing I do when I pick up a Pen is make sure the Super Control Menu is turned on. This gives easy access to all the settings you want to play around with – ISO, white balance, manual focus, self-timer and so on. You can navigate it with the circular button control but it’s also touchscreen. It’s so much better than using the default sidebar menu!

If your Pen is fresh out the box, first of all bring up your Settings Menu.

To do this: Press the Menu button, scroll down to the spanner icon and click on that. In that menu scroll down to Menu Display with the cogs icon and go in and turn the cogs Menu display to On. Voila! Now when you press Menu the cogs icon will display and you can go in there and have a look at all the things you can do!

Now, for the Super Control Panel, press Menu. Go to your (now showing) Settings/cogs Menu and go to D. Disp/PC and then go to Control Settings. In Control Settings first select P/A/S/M, click in and tick Live SCP and untick the other boxes. Do this for iAuto, ART and SCN too if you shoot in those modes as well.

Now, back on your main camera screen, press OK and the Super Control Panel will now show across your whole screen with little touchscreen buttons.

Handy Hints

Face Priority: Make sure you know how to turn this on and off – this is the little face sign. This is a great feature if you’re shooting people, but it can conflict a little with your autofocus when you’re trying to shoot other things so I have it off as default.

Aspect Ratio: I use this all the time! My default setting is 4:3, but I set to square (1:1) if I’m shooting for Instagram or 16:9 for something a more elongated.

Buttons: Assigning certain functions to buttons and dials is a great way to make your camera work hard for you. Everyone’s different. I like to have my white balance and focus selection readily available so I’ve assigned these to the FN and magnifying buttons.

Next month’s column is all about shooting food in low light, so stay tuned! Any questions, note in the comments and if you want to show me your photos on Instagram, do tag them #PenInPractice so I can take a look!


Pictured, the Olympus Pen E-P5 and shot with the Pen E-PL7



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  1. Pls assist me on this new camera 😀

    I followed your guides, now I’m lost.. The aperture is complety slow now.. I definately did something wrong – a quick guide again how to set it

  2. Hi there,

    I am having difficulty finding my blur background settings. I just got this camera and have put on the super control panel etc thanks to your help! But cannot seem to find out how to manually blur my background for pretty photographys 🙂
    Please help me asap x

    1. Hi Jade! Ok so to access the blur settings 1. go on iAuto 2. tap the little arrow on the right 3. use the up & down buttons by OK to scroll to find Blur Background, it’s a square with a circle in it.
      I wouldn’t say this is the best way to blur, but it’ll give you something. Am assuming you are using the kit lens where the aperture only goes down to f3.5. For great blur you need a wider aperture lens which goes down to eg. f1.8. Eg the 45mm or the 17mm.
      Hope this helps! x

    1. Ah brilliant! Yes, you need to shoot the picture in RAW to begin with – so on the Super Control Panel towards the bottom middle you can find the setting for this. You’ll probably have it on LF (Large Fine) or MF (Medium Fine), so just go in and change it to RAW, or you can have RAW and a jpg file too, eg. RAW + LF. Hope that helps!

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