New Olympus Firmware Updates Add Macro & Video Features For OM-D Mirrorless Cameras

Olympus just announced a series of firmware upgrades designed to enhance the performance of its OM-D mirrorless camera line for pro and enthusiast photographers. The firmware updates include Version 4.0 for the Olympus OM-D E-M1 camera, Version 2.0 for OM-D E-M5 Mark II camera, and updates to M.ZUIKO lenses as well as Advanced Olympus Capture Version 1.1 and OI.Share Version 2.6.

The firmware updates, which will be available in late November 2015, are highlighted by new Macro shooting modes, advanced video performance and other imaging capabilities found on the recently announced OM-D E-M10 Mark II.

Here's a breakdown of the Olympus firmware updates.

Version 4.0 for OM-D E-M1: Macro Images
Focus Stacking Mode (exclusive to Version 4.0 for OM-D E-M1) is designed to expand the macro photography options while adding performance capabilities to M.ZUIKO PRO lenses. In Focus Stacking Mode, a single press of the shutter captures eight Raw or JPEG shots with varying focal positions and automatically composites them into a single JPEG file for a macro shot with incredible depth-of-field. Users can also take their macro photography a step further with Focus Bracketing Mode, which captures up to 999 shots with varying focal positions. Third-party photo-editing software can be used to merge the files into one image that reveals the details of any subject, from small to a large depth of field in a telephoto landscape.

Enhanced Customization & Control
The firmware upgrade also give users more support and ease of use when capturing pro-quality images. The new simulated optical viewfinder (S-OVF) delivers a view similar to that of the naked eye—just like an optical viewfinder. Exposure compensation and white balance are purposely not shown so users who are more familiar with the optical viewfinder in their traditional DSLR cameras can use the OM-D in the same way until they become comfortable with the benefits of an electronic viewfinder. Advanced Focus Peaking adjusts settings and turns Focus Peaking on/off at while shooting in Live View. Just like the Advanced Focus Peaking already on the OM-D E-M5 Mark II, OM-D E-M1 users can select the desired intensity level (low, standard or high) and color (black, white, red or yellow) for consistently sharp images during shooting.

Menu Cursor Position Memory enhances customization by automatically returning to the last menu setting used, less time navigating menus and more time is spent capturing moments. Anti-Shock mode is easier and automatically switches to the mechanical shutter at speeds 1/320 (and faster). And when users are shooting in quiet situations, Silent Mode eliminates all camera sounds for completely silent shooting, perfect for a piano recital or wedding ceremony with shutter speeds up to an amazing 1/16000th sec.

Movie Functions
Advanced movie capabilities include the ability to easily synchronize PCM audio and video recording when using the Olympus LS-100. A Slate Tone can now be added to make it simple to perfectly synchronize audio and video during the editing process. Users can further optimize their 1080p Full HD video with additional features, including Movie Image Stabilization with five-axis optical IS and digital IS, 24p/25p frame rate, movie record start with a release cable, support for time code setting and, finally, a movie info display that shows histogram, level gauge, audio level and time code.

Version 2.0 for E-M5 Mark II: Enhanced Video Power
In addition to many of the updates in Version 4.0 for the Olympus E-M1 camera, including Focus Bracketing and S-OVF, Version 2.0 firmware upgrade for E-M5 Mark II enhances the camera’s ability to capture crisp, clear video with no need for additional editing software. Movie-Exclusive Picture mode flat provides for post-production color grading by lowering the contrast to minimize blown-out highlights and loss of detail in shadows. The new 4K Time Lapse Movie captures up to 999 images automatically and combines them in-camera into a stunning 4K file.

Tethered Shooting Gets Easier
Advanced Olympus Capture Version 1.1 makes tethered shooting in-studio easier for still images and video by allowing the user to customize the camera’s display and layout for quick, easy access to the most frequently used functions. Direct PC makes image transfer four times faster by saving images directly to a computer without having to record to an SD card. Features like Keystone Compensation can be utilized from a computer as well by simply connecting the computer and camera body.

More Advancements for the OM-D System
The latest firmware for the M.ZUIKO PRO and PREMIUM lenses will also be released and will include aperture drive, which has been improved for smooth exposure control even when shooting movies with sudden changes in brightness. The update also gives the shooter the convenience of disabling the MF Clutch and Snapshot Focus even at the MF Clutch position. The new Version 2.6 update for the OI.Share app for Android and Apple is available now and enables Live Comp to be viewed in real time. Now users can make adjustments to their settings and monitor the progress of the image as it develops right on their smartphone or tablet.

The Olympus Version 4.0 for Olympus OM-D E-M1, Version 2.0 for OM-D E-M5 Mark II and Olympus Capture Version 1.1 will be available in late November 2015.

More info  on the new Olympus firmware updates here.