Big Olympus Firmware Update

(news & commentary)

Olympus today released firmware 4.0 for the E-M1 and firmware 2.0 for the E-M5 Mark II. Both releases add significant features to the cameras, including:

  • Focus bracketing
  • 4K time lapse video creation
  • Better connections and improved features via the OI.Share app and Olympus Capture

The E-M5 Mark II firmware adds a flat picture mode, while the E-M1 firmware improves Anti-Shock mode, adds focus stacking, silent mode, Time Code, plus a few other things that were in the later E-M5 Mark II but not in the original E-M1. Both firmware updates support smooth aperture changes with the premium lenses as well as the 14-42mm EZ. Note that some lenses may require a firmware update, too (e.g. the 14-42mm, 60mm, 12-40mm, 40-150mm). 

The addition of features to an existing near-end-of-life camera is great. Olympus is to be applauded for moving the E-M1 upwards in capability and performance even as they released newer cameras. This is also promising for the inevitable E-M1 Mark II (which should come next), as Olympus probably wouldn’t be pushing the older camera so far forward if they didn’t still have some new buzz worthy items being readied for the update.

However, not all is rosy: as usual, performing the firmware update means all your customimization of the camera will be lost. I’m not aware of any method by which you can write all that to a file and reload, so be sure to go through the menus and write down all your changes before performing the update.

One final note: many of us have installed Olympus firmware updaters on our computers when we first got our E-M1. As it turns out, those older updaters won’t work correctly if you’ve updated your OS to one of the current ones (e.g. Macintosh El Capitan or Windows 10). So the first thing you might want to do is grab the most current updater to insure a smooth firmware update.

Olympus Firmware Update page

Reminder: in the far right column (bottom of page for mobile users), I keep a running tally of recent camera firmware updates. I only create news articles for major updates now.

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