Is the E-M5 II recent enough? That's the camera my dad uses and I borrowed it during my last vacation. Minimum shutter speed is not available. Auto ISO range is not what I'm talking about. If you had used a Pentax or Nikon body, you would know what I mean. I'm talking about the ability to bias the 1/focal_length algorithm the camera uses. Olympus forums are filled with people asking for an option to set the minimum shutter speed, yet it's still not available (and don't tell me the flash sync is a work around : it's not).
As to HDR stacking, you say it yourself "you do have to do the processing yourself". That's what I'm talking about, the camera doesn't save a single RAW file you can use.
As far as RAW processing goes, several other manufacturers let you convert RAW -> jpeg in camera: Fuji, Olympus and Pentax at least. However, it's clunky and inconvenient. Read my text again.
AFAIK, Pen F and EM-5 Mk II have more or less the same menus, so it should be possible to set a minimum shutter speed, as well as a maximum iso. I owned the EM-5 II for a fairly short time prior to getting en EM-1 II, so I can't remember for sure, but it certainly is easily possible on a Pen F.
Regarding HDR-stacking: considering the stacking options, personally I would like to control the stacking myself. I am used to using a modified Zone-system, originally for 35 mm negatives, and adapted for digital. Generally speaking, I find a DR of 10 or more plenty, as monitors display a DR of 8 at best, and prints 6. If I want to "compress" more into what is displayed, I would like to control stuff exactly as I'd want it, to keep things as natural looking as possible, and don't want to be bound by a standard type in-camera processing algorithm, apart from the file format to have to be different as well (tiff or dng I guess, for Raw). When I shoot HDR, I shoot it very deliberately, and personally have no need for a camera created Raw (or jpeg).
I don't know where you get the idea HDR cannot be done in Raw, however. You have plenty options to shoot a set of Raws for HDR stacking. F.e., an automatic set of 7 shots at 3 stops exposure difference results in more DR than even the brightest daylight with darkest shadows possible. And converting these to jpegs I would always want to do and therefore control myself, IOW, in PP.
As to reading your text (again): I was on a small mobile device, which means I answered to specific remarks rather than all - it is hard to keep on scrolling backwards and forwards all the time, with most of the screen taken up by a keyboard.
You must be the only user who thinks Olympus menus are logical, well organized, and make sense. Olympus cameras are great, but menus are the recurrent complaints of a lot of experienced people who have shot with many systems (Dpreview, Thom Hogan, Nasim Mansurov, etc.).
Just to illustrate my point, here are two examples quoted from http://m43blog.dthor...o-menu-matters/ comparing Panasonic and Olympus menus:
1) Custom settings
One of the best features of digital cameras is the ability store often used settings for instant recall. Both camera work this the same way. Go to the shooting mode you want to use, aperture priority, manual, whatever. Go through the menus setting everything as you want it. Brilliant! You now have a digital camera that works for you. Ok, lets save that so that it can be instantly recalled.
Go to the Custom Menu and choose Cust. Set Mem. There, select C1 for example and OK to confirm it. Now, when you set C1 on the mode dial, you summon up – surprise, surprise! – the settings you just set.
Set everything as you want it, same as the Panasonic. So far, so good. Now, go to Shooting Menu 1. Select Reset/Myset. Now MySet1, Set and Yes. Now go to Custom Menu section B, Button/Dial/Lever, then Mode Dial Function where you can set MySet1 to any mode dial function except a custom one, since there isn’t any such thing. So find a mode like Art that you won’t use and put it there. In future, to recall your custom setting 1, set the mode dial to Art. Now I don’t know who thought of that but I can tell you that I won’t be hiring him to design my new house. He can argue as long as he likes that labelling the back door ‘front’ because you can walk through the house to the front door is perfectly logical, I’m not buying it.
2) Setting the file quality
Rec Menu, Quality.
Shooting Menu 1 and then this image :
Now I can’t tell what that symbol means. It looks a bit like one of those little guys that the Space Invaders used to kill. Or was it one of the Space Invaders themselves? Or a radio telescope? Maybe an Anglo-Saxon warrior’s helmet that came off his head after he was slain? Maybe it sets the camera to Shotgun Mode where pressing the button peppers an uncooperative subject with buckshot? I’d have liked that for sessions with one or two of the footballers I’ve had the misfortune to have to photograph. Whatever it is, how does it mean ‘record mode to take pictures or movies’ as the Info button informs you? Couldn’t you just print ‘Quality’ there in place of the icon? Why wouldn’t you? There’s more but I think I’ve made my point.
FWIW, considering the number of options available with an Olympus body, there is a logical subdivision, which I find way more natural than with e.g. Panasonic, where I always either do not have enough options, or have problems finding the option I need, and not so with Olympus.
Setting a custom mode via the Custom mode settings is as easy as with any camera. Set up your settings as required/liked, and save it to one of the Custom modes on the Mode dial, or as you suggest for the E-M5 II, allocate it to Art, or to one of the available Myset options. I don't see the problem, apart from it having no specific Custom mode options via a mode dial. It works as it does with any other camera with custum modes I have ever used. An E-M5, II or I, was never intended as a pro-camera or top of the range camera. Using the Art mode as a Custom mode, does allow you to have two different modes by the flick of a dial, however. In the mean time, you can easily set up many MySets, and choose between them via the menu. I don't see the problem. See here: http://www.lessgearm...s-olympus-om-d/
I do think they will likely add Custom modes to the Mk III, however. The Pen F has 4 custom modes, the E-M1 II has 3. In addition, with the current firmware, you can save and restore custom profiles very easily if need be; the E-M1 II already had this option, it was added to the latest firmware with the Pen F.
Of course, on the Pen F obviously there is a seperate Art dial, and each of the settings can be set to any art filter you like via Picture Mode in shooting menu 1, which can be finetuned to your own liking. When you're used to that it is a great option.
As to the image quality menu option, once you have checked it out, you are not likely to forget - and isn't that the idea of a menu option? . The image is like an option choice of less or more pixels, that is how I see it anyway. In addition, to me this is just getting used to how a specific menu option looks like.
In the end, one needs to get to know the intricacies of each camera brand and model in order to become a master of it, and considering the amount of options an Olympus has, that may look daunting at first, but OTOH it is really great one can set it up exactly to one's liking. And standard or basic options are just as easy to control and set as with any other camera, just as it is with the basic options and controls required to be able to drive a car.
In short, no, you did not make your point. You just need a bit more time to get acquainted with the more advanced options, because they are, just as with cars and other pieces of equipment, implemented differently than with other brands. It'll allow you, straight out of the box, just as is the case with other cameras, to create great pictures, just using the standard controls and dials.
You are IMO trying to make a point just for making a point, based on relatively superficial first hand knowledge, and some writing on the internet. I'd suggest, however, to get better acquainted with the camera, and you may actually come to like the way things are implemented. And Olympus does listen to its customers, just consider the auto-iso and minimum shutter speed limts, as well as being able to save custom profiles off camera, and I am sure there is more.
As to HDR (which I rarely use as mentioned above), upon checking it appears both Pen F and E-M1 II have the option to generate a single Raw and/or jpeg from 4 shots, with a high contrast and a super high contrast option. A little research showed that the E-M1 Mk I, E-M5 II, and the E-M10 I and II also have this option. I guess that is your last objection out of the way. See also http://blog.martinbe...e-olympus-om-d/.