Top Olympus mirrorless cameras get a free update

The OM-D E-M1 gets the biggest boost, but the E-M5 II has new features too

The older OM-D E-M1 has been around since 2013, and this update is designed to keep it ahead of the game in the fast-moving mirrorless camera market. It gets the biggest set of improvements with no fewer than 18 feature enhancements, and here they are in full:

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Ver. 4.0 firmware update features

  1. Focus Stacking: this combines 8 shots into a single image from a single shutter release.
  2. Focus Bracketing: a series of shots are taken at different focus distances so that you can choose the most successful later.
  3. Advanced Focus Peaking: better manual focus display.
  4. Silent Mode: uses the camera's electronic shutter for silent stills and video photography.
  5. Improved Anti-shock Mode
  6. Advanced Olympus Capture tethered shooting software compatibility
  7. S-OVF (Simulated OVF): more natural-looking 'optical' viewfinder image.
  8. 4K Time Lapse Movie
  9. Live Composite on OI.Share
  10. MF Clutch Disable
  11. Menu Cursor Position Memory
  12. Movie image stabilisation with 5-axis optical IS and digital IS: the digital stabilization is new.
  13. 24p (23.98p)/25p Frame Rate: offers a choice of frame rates rather than just 30fps.
  14. Movie Info Display: includes histogram, level gauge, audio level, time code.
  15. Movie Rec Start with Release Cable (RM-UC1)
  16. Time Code Setting
  17. M-IS1 and M-IS2 supported
  18. Slate Tone: automatically matches in-camera audio wavelengths with the OLYMPUS LS-100 audio recorder.
  19. Synchronised PCM Audio Rec with Movie Rec
  20. M.Zuiko Premium + 14-42mm EZ movie aperture support

Olympus says the emphasis is on video and professional workflow and the key updates are the focus stacking mode, extra video frame rates, digital stabilization, enhanced movie info display and silent mode.

Olympus OM D E M5 II

Olympus OM-D E-M5 II Ver. 2.0 firmware update features

The OM-D E-M5 II is much newer. It was launched early 2015 and already has many of the features in the OM-D E-M1 update. It still has some important new options, though:

  1. Focus Bracketing: the camera shoots a series of images at different focus distances so that you can choose the best one later.
  2. Advanced Olympus Capture tethered shooting software compatibility.
  3. S-OVF: simulated optical viewfinder.
  4. 4K Time Lapse Movie: shoots 4K stills at fixed intervals for combining into a 4K movie.
  5. Live Composite on OI.Share
  6. MF Clutch Disable
  7. Slate Tone
  8. Synchronised PCM Audio Rec with Movie Rec
  9. Movie-Exclusive Picture Mode: Flat/Noise Filter for video shooting: this captures footage optimised for color grading later.
  10. M.Zuiko Premium + 14-42mm EZ movie aperture supported

The key additions for the E-M5 II are the 'flat' movie mode and the focus bracketing option. The updates for both cameras are available from November 26th and can be installed via the Olympus Digital Camera Updater app.

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