Coming December 2nd: major Olympus OM-D firmware updates

Accompanying this morning’s exciting product announcement, Olympus has revealed the details of four forthcoming firmware upgrades, planned for December 2nd of this year. The OM-D E-M1X will gain the most functionality, but users of the E-M1 Mark III, E-M1 Mark II, and E-M5 Mark III can all look forward to worthwhile, free upgrades as well. Watch our Latest Firmware page for direct links when the updates are released.

E-M1 Mark III
E-M1 Mark II
E-M5 Mark III
Bird detection
RAW video data output
Lens that supports Focus Stacking added
Improved video image stabilization
Focus indicator display added

Bird detection

Intelligent Subject Detection AF is already a powerful feature on the OM-D E-M1X, as anyone who’s used it can testify. Developed using deep learning AI technology, the current iteration allows the E-M1X to isolate and target planes, trains, and automobiles—in fact specifically seeking out the operator of each of those vehicles, when possible—even in scenes full of visually similar forms that might confuse other AF systems.

Firmware version 2.0 will extend that functionality to avian subjects (while using the C-AF+TR focusing mode). The camera will automagically seek out a bird’s eye as the focal point; if no eye is visible, it can also identify and track a bird’s head and/or body. By letting the camera hold the focus where it needs to be for you, you can spend your time making sure your framing is perfect. With fast-moving subjects like birds, even the barest fraction of a second can make a difference!

RAW video data output

Post-production pros: the E-M1X and E-M1 Mark III will be a whole lot more attractive for your mobile video needs after this update. Apple ProRes RAW video can now be exported to a compatible external recorder (as of this writing only the Atomos Ninja V). 12 bit 4K (3849×2160) 16:9 video can be recorded at 30, 25, or 24 frames per second; 12 bit Cinema 4K (4096×2160) 17:9 video can be recorded at 24 frames per second.

Focus indicator display

The OM-D E-M1X and E-M1 Mark III will also receive a subtle but (in my opinion) significant usability upgrade: when manual focusing, a new Focus Indicator display will indicate the approximate focal position (from closest-possible to infinity) as well as which rotational movement is which: no more focusing randomly until you figure out which way you’re trying to move. (I know it should be easy to remember, but somehow I seem to forget every time…)

The upgrades for all four cameras listed on the table will also add compatibility for focus stacking using the new 150–400mm lens and more natural video stabilization compensation while panning.

You can find links to each download page here after the updates are released. As always, feel free to reach out in the comments below, on our Facebook page, or through one of our stores if you would like any sort of assistance installing your firmware update.

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