Olympus releases PEN E-P3, E-PL3 and E-PM1 firmware update

Olympus releases PEN E-P3, E-PL3 and E-PM1 firmware update
Olympus PEN firmware has been upgraded for the 12-50mm power zoom

Olympus has issued a firmware update for its latest range of PEN compact system cameras. The new firmware is a relatively minor change, offering slightly enhanced performance with its upcoming Micro Four Thirds 'power zoom' lenses.

The new firmware (Version 1.2) enables a more accurate display of the focal length of the electronic zoom lenses, during both shooting and playback and in the EXIF data.

The update can be downloaded using the Olympus camera software or the Digital Camera Updater utility.

Power zooms coming

Olympus is set to release its first power zoom lens at the end of January.

The £349.99 M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ offers an equivalent 24-100mm focal range when fitted to a Micro Four Thirds camera.

The quiet electromagnetic motor enables photographers to zoom in and out at the touch of a button, without the need to manually twist the zoom ring by hand. This feature makes power zoom lenses particularly appealing to videographers, since it improves stability and reduces motor noise that could potentially be picked up by a microphone.

In addition to the smooth zoom, the new 12-50mm lens is pitched as "a versatile zoom lens for the toughest conditions". Sealing rings have been used in its construction to prevent water and dust penetrating into the lens. This is leading some commentators to suggest that the upcoming Olympus OM-D will be similarly weather sealed.

The release of the new Olympus lens follows the debut of Panasonic's power zooms in 2011. Both the 14-42mm and 45-175mm Panasonic Lumix G System lenses bear the company's premium 'X' branding, and feature powered zoom levers on the lens barrels.