Firmware updates are great. Your camera’s hardware technology may be fixed from the moment it leaves the factory, but many of its features and capabilities are set by its internal processor – and a firmware update can bring substantial improvements, usually because the designers have found a better way to control and exploit the camera hardware.
So if you have an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, an OM-D E-M5 Mark II or an Olympus PEN-F, this could be your lucky day. All you need is the Olympus Digital Camera Updater, an Internet connection and a few spare minutes.
Olympus has released firmware updates for three cameras, but it’s the OM-D E-M1 Mark II that’s the big winner.
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II firmware version 2.0 update
These enhancements are all going to sound pretty specific, but if you own one of these cameras they could prove highly useful:
- In the Pro Capture mode the number of pre-captured images increases from 14 to 35. That gives you more time to react with your trigger finger when the action starts. All lenses are now compatible with those mode too.
- There’s a new Small AF target setting in both single and continuous AF modes. This lets you set a more precise AF target.
- The in-body Focus Stacking feature now works with the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4.0 IS Pro lens, bringing the number of lenses supported in this mode up to eight.
- You now get in-body Fisheye distortion correction when shooting with the M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm Fisheye Pro lens. This means you can use it either as a fisheye or, with the correction enabled, as a regular wide-angle lens with no fisheye effect. You even get to see the corrected image in Live View before you take the shot.
- A new Flicker Scan function shows how much fo a scene is flickering when shooting with LED light sources in silent electronic shutter mode, helping you find the best shutter speed.
- Olympus’s new Bleach Bypass Art Filter has been added. I’ve seen this on the new Olympus E-PL9, and it’s pretty cool, with a high-contrast, low saturation look.
- Other improvements include better continuous autofocus, improved image stabilisation for movies and more natural panning, improved response in tethered shooting and a better battery level indicator.
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II firmware version 4.0 update
It’s not so exciting for E-M5 II owners, I’m afraid, with just two new features:
- You can now apply Focus Stacking in-camera, with a total of eight M.Zuiko lenses, just like the E-M5 Mark II.
- You get the new Bleach Bypass Art Filter here too.
Olympus PEN-F firmware version 3.0 update
Again, it’s just a handful of improvements for this camera, but worthwhile nonetheless:
- New ability to transfer and save Monochrome and Colour Profiles settings of images captured with the PEN-F to the camera via the Olympus Digital Camera Updater (version 2.1)
- Shading effects added to the Colour Profile Control and Colour Creator, for a “wider range of photographic expressions”.
- The new Bleach Bypass Art Filter (you knew that was coming by now, right?
Don’t forget, if you want to apply firmware updates to these or any other Olympus model, you’ll need the Olympus Digital Camera Updater.