Features of the Olympus flagship E-M1 II are trickling down to older models via new firmware

olympus updates em1 mark ii em5 pen f digital camera
Wireless compatibility with the leading strobe manufacturer is coming to Olympus. On May 8, the company announced new firmware updates for the OM-D E-M1 Mark II, OM-D E-M5 Mark II, PEN F with Profoto Air Remote TTL-O system compatibility, as well as updates for two lenses. In addition, several high-end features from the flagship E-M1 Mark II are trickling down to the less pricey models, including the ability to save custom color profiles.

The new Profoto Air partnership gives Olympus access to the Through the Lens (TTL) strobes wirelessly when using the Profoto Air Remote mounted on the hot shoe. Olympus says the firmware gives users the same full control over the Air Remote wireless lights as cameras from other brands.

“We’re excited to see Profoto working with us on the new TTL option,” said Eric Gensel, Olympus Technical Specialist. “I’ve had a lot of opportunity to work with Profoto and their functionality and it’s pretty exciting as the leading manufacturer for light shaping and strobes will be working with us for that compatibility.”

The E-M1 Mark II flagship updates to version 1.2, with auto playback adjustments in the “Rec View” mode, which means the camera recognizes when you pull your face away from the viewfinder and replays the media on the LCD screen instead. That electronic viewfinder also sees improved color with a look that Olympus says is closer to the colors in the final image. The update also allow the in-camera focus bracketing and focus stacking, introduced in an earlier update, and high-resolution shot mode to be used with a non-Olympus flash. When turning the camera off, the update also maintains the location of the focus point when powering back on, while the accuracy of the battery life display also improves with the download.

Both the E-M5 Mark II and PEN F will gain the “Myset” features already found inside the E-M1 Mark II. The settings allow users to save custom color profiles, such as creating a profile to mimic a specific classic film. Those settings can now be easily recalled and even saved to a desktop computer and loaded to another compatible camera using the Olympus Camera Updater software.

Several updates in version 2.0 breathe new life into the PEN F, a classically-styled rangefinder camera launched in February 2016 and a camera that Olympus says is still selling well. But with the viewfinder on the left of the camera, some left-eye shooters were accidentally adjusting the focus point with their face against the touchscreen. The firmware, however, brings an improved targeting AF pad, which means the touchscreen can now recognize the difference between a finger and a nose, Olympus says.

The PEN F also now includes a shutter speed threshold — which tells the camera when to stop lowering the shutter speed and switches instead to increasing the ISO in semi-manual modes using Auto ISO. The update will also now show a preview of each art filter in real time as well.

The E-M5 Mark II is gaining the ability to adjust mid-tones in camera with update 3.0, as well as enhanced spot metering and the same improved touchpad as the PEN F that prevents accidental focus adjustment when using the electronic viewfinder.

Along with updates to the camera bodies, Olympus also released updates for the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4 IS Pro and the M.Zukio Digital ED 300mm f/4 IS Pro for quieter shots in burst mode. The 12-100mm update also includes enhanced 5-axis Sync image stabilization when paired with the E-M5 Mark II and E-M1 Mark II.

The firmware updates are now available directly from Olympus’ download portal.


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