Olympus Firmware to EM1 and EM5 MK II Upgrades the Autofocus

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Olympus OMD EM5 Mk II first impressions product photos (8 of 10)ISO 1001-30 sec at f - 4.5

Olympus announced a brand new firmware update for their OMD EM5 MK II and OMD EM1 cameras. The OMD EM1 is getting a new focus stacking feature that is found on the new EM10 Mk II–the more entry level option in the OMD lineup of cameras. This feature will shoot up to eight images and then stitch them together into a JPEG; though the camera will still keep the RAWs on the SD card–which means that this is excellent for macro shooting. It’s also going to feature the new simulated optical viewfinder setting, advancements in the focus peaking and new movie functions.

Meanwhile, the new EM5 Mk II that was announced earlier this year is getting new video features, tethered shooting enhancements, and a 4K time lapse mode.

With these new movie enhancements comes flat color profiles for video shooting; and the company’s PRO lenses are getting a smooth aperture change update for shooting video.

The press release is after the jump if you’re interested in more, but the firmware updates are coming this November.

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The Olympus 14-150mm f4-5.6 II Gets Weather Sealing


In addition to the two new cameras, Olympus is also announcing two new lenses and a major firmware update to the EM1 tonight. First up on the list is the brand new 14-150mm f4-5.6 II, which is now weathersealed. It’s also a further improvement on previous models by incorporating a coating that reduces scratch, ghosting and lens flare. It’s a great addition to the already weather sealed bodies from the company.

That’s about all that’s new for the Olympus 14-150mm f4-5.6 II; it will launch in March $599.99.

But that’s not all that Olympus is announcing tonight.

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A Comparison of How Olympus and Sony’s 5 Axis Stabilization Work

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Olympus OMD EM10 product photos (3 of 7)ISO 4001-60 sec at f - 4.5

Sony and Olympus entered a gentleman’s agreement years ago to start collaborating in closer ways. With the latest announcement of the Sony A7 Mk II, it’s easy to believe that they have the same stabilization process. For many years now, Olympus has held the honor of having the best in-body image stabilization that we’ve seen. Indeed, whenever I need to shoot in impossibly low light, the camera that I reach for is my OMD EM5 paired with a Voigtlander 17.5mm f0.95 lens to shoot at very slow shutter speeds and with the lens wide open. Due to the depth of field and size of the sensor, shooting at f0.95 gives me the full frame equivalent of f2 in focus.

In a situation like that, technology like this could be very advantageous. But that isn’t a reason to discount what Sony is doing with its new 5 Axis Stabilization.

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Panasonic GH4 Autofocus Speed Found To Be Close to the Nikon D4s

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Panasonic GH4 announcement photos (1 of 5)

As mirrorless cameras have improved over the years, so to has their autofocusing. Many companies claim that they have the world’s fastest autofocusing capabilities. For years, we’ve stated that Olympus is king in terms of speed but the new Sony A6000 has also really impressed us lately. But the Camera Store decided to put four of the top mirrorless cameras to the test on a dirt bike range. Plus, they also brought along the Nikon D4s.

The cameras put to the test were the Sony A6000, Olympus OMD EM1, Panasonic GH4 and the Fujifilm XT-1 as well as the Nikon D4s. They were all tested with comparable focal lengths at f4. In the end, they conclude that the D4s is still king but that the GH4 is close.

There are problems with the test though:

– At f4, more is in focusing with a Micro Four Thirds sensor than with an APS-C or full frame sensor. They were testing the lenses out at f4

– Panasonic lenses don’t focus as snappily on Olympus cameras and vice versa. This could help account for the findings with the OMD EM1.

– The Sony A6000 was tested with an Alpha adapted lens; not a native E-mount

– The D4s is significantly more expensive.

Despite these flaws in the non-scientific test, it’s still very much worth watching for the insight. Check it out below after the jump. Be also sure to check out our reviews of the Sony A6000, Fujifilm XT1 and the Olympus OMD EM1.

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J.B. Camera Designs Has a New Grip for the Olympus OMD EM1

EM1 Grip Base-8

We don’t know about you, but this new grip for the OMD EM1 from JB Camera Designs has us wanting to cuddle with our cameras. The company has created many other grips for other cameras such as the EM5. Sometimes they’re even made from quality wood. JB’s new grip is designed for folks with larger paws but that don’t necessarily need a vertical grip of some sort. The Grip-Base adds 0.5 inches to the base and 2.2 ounces the weight of the camera.

This grip isn’t made from wood, but instead the company is stating that, “each part is hand poured and hand finished and made in the USA.”

Want one? You’ll need to drop $46.95 on Amazon. The OMD EM1 is the winner of our Editor’s Choice award here on the site.

Review: Olympus OMD EM1 (Micro Four Thirds) (Slightly NSFW)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Olympus OMD EM1 Product Photos (8 of 8)ISO 2001-40 sec at f - 2.8

The Olympus OMD EM1 is the company’s new flagship of flagship cameras–it replaces their aging E5, which was a DSLR. Interestingly enough though, this camera is a mirrorless Micro Four Thirds camera. Rumors of the camera were abound for a while and we’ve been working with a review unit for around three weeks. Complete with a 16.3MP LiveMOS sensor, TruePic VII imaging processor, WiFi, weather sealing, a brand new viewfinder, and lots of new controls, the camera is an aggressive stab at the flagship mirrorless camera world and the high end APS-C DSLR lines offered at the current moment.

But does the company’s new flagship have enough in it to deliver and cater to the needs of the professionals that it is targeted at?

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