*Olympus OM-D E-M5 Firmware Update, please.

As much as I do love this camera, I find myself absolutely frustrated with it in certain situations.  While the squeaky wheel is normally the most annoying, it is also the one that gets the grease.  Let us become a loud enough wheel so that Olympus may take notice and deliver some updates to make this camera all it can be.

I’m sure that there are many of us that are absolutely fine with the camera as is, tired of listening to those of us frustrated with certain things continuing to go on and on about how this or that really should be this way or that way.  Feel free to skip over this one.  I know, I too am tired of it though, which is why I’m hoping to gain a consensus on the most common shortcomings.  I’ve been shooting with the OM-D E-M5 for 4-5 months now, and this is taking into consideration the newer v 1.1 (and since vanished v 1.2) firmware update released over the summer, which, as far as I can tell, really only benefited those shooting underwater…

Here are issues that I’d like to see resolved in a future firmware update, and I’d love to hear your thoughts as well.

Banding at ISO 6400

1) (Abnormal) High ISO banding.  Yes, it seems it is really only an issue (consistently) with the much beloved Lumix 20mm f/1.7 pancake lens at or above ISO 6400, but it is an issue and one that has been well documented ever since I’ve owned the camera.  Please fix it.  If it is a lens firmware issue, get on the phone with Panasonic, I’m sure you have their number, and have them fix it.

2) Sleep Mode.  Okay, there are two separate issues, the first of which seems to have been addressed in the v 1.1 update being the sleeping beauty freeze which necessitated a full battery pull to get the camera awake again (wait, I just had it happen again when using the Panaleica 25mm f/1.4 lens…).  The camera freezes up after going to sleep in powersave mode and nothing wakes it up short of pulling the battery out.  The second sleep mode issue is I find that I need to turn the camera off and then on again any time the camera goes to sleep, then wait for it to power up as opposed to just “waking up” from sleep mode with a shutter press.  Some may like this as they won’t unintentionally turn the camera on with a button press while in a pocket I guess, but every camera I’ve owned wakes at the touch of the shutter button which has me shooting (nearly) immediately (as opposed to 3-5 seconds which, let’s be honest is a lifetime if you’re wanting to capture a quick moment), and I want to be able to do this with the OM-D E-M5.  Please give us this option. *** One update here, I have switched the “Auto Power Off” in the Cust D menu (yeah, three screens in all the way down to the bottom, there you go…) to “OFF” while I used to have it set to 30min, and it has remedied some of my issues.  The camera doesn’t seem to go entirely narcoleptic as it has in the past, most noticeably the freeze issues that I came across within a few minutes of the camera going to sleep after one minute of inactivity (set to save battery), necessitating an ON/OFF switch, and I’ve not yet had to pull the battery either…  Still too soon to say just how it may or may not affect my already preciously short battery life though.

3) This leads me to Battery Life.  While not necessarily a firmware update candidate, there may possibly be things we can do to further power save.  I’ve switched almost everything I can off, with minimal review settings, IS off and still gone through a battery in under 200 shots.  Many do not seem to have this problem which leads me to believe that Oly had a quality control issue with some of their batteries.  This should be remedied by determining which run (by way of feedback and serial number) and you should send anyone with this issue a new battery, let alone make new ones available to purchase.  That said, if you’re going to sell subpar batteries, at least have the decency to do so at a realistic price.  I spent over a grand on a camera that won’t last a full day of shooting on a battery charge.  I’ve heard that it may be the charger, that’s fine, send those of us with this problem a new charger.  This is silly, make this right and fix it.

4) Button/Screen Lock.  There are certain inevitabilities with cameras this small, and cramped buttons with big hands are going to produce certain issues.  Would it be so hard to include a quick toggle, or option to lock buttons, perhaps with one of the Cfn buttons disabling them from being pressed by a nose, or fingers while shooting?  Not a huge issue for me so far, but one that seems like it would help make others out there very happy.  Might I suggest something like pressing the INFO button for three seconds to “lock” buttons and the touch interface with only the shutter, wheels and custom function buttons being usable, and then a three second press of the INFO button to unlock the buttons?  To remind us that it is locked, perhaps when one of the locked buttons was pushed, a prompt on the screen could tell us “Depress the INFO button for 3 seconds to unlock screen and buttons”.  Something like this would be a handy option.

5) Menus.  Unfortunately, I don’t know exactly what to say other than you have the second craziest menus I’ve ever seen OM-D E-M5 (the first were the original NEX menus, those things were ridiculous).  I hear just as many people defending them as berating them.  Surely there can be a middle ground.  Perhaps it isn’t realistic to change them on an existing camera, and I have started to memorize where certain things live, kinda, but damn.

The OMDEM5 histograms in playback do their best Pong impression

6) Histograms in playback.  I really appreciate the live view histogram integration with the green area providing the levels within the focus area, but I don’t normally have time to pay attention to the histogram while still paying attention to my subjects.  For landscape or static subjects, it’s wonderful but if I’m staring at the histogram, I’m not paying attention to the image which is a problem if decisiveness is necessary, so I choose to review the histogram after the shot is taken.  Have you seen your playback histograms?  They are, and I’m being as gracious as I can be here, the absolute worst histograms I’ve ever seen.  Black (or dark charcoal) on black with blocky, jagged color makes it very hard to determine where values fall and even more difficult in sun or bright light.  They make the original Atari graphics seem like three dimensional virtual reality dreamscapes by comparison.  Fix’em.  Might I suggest moving the capture info (as seen on the right in the shot above) to where the current histograms are (I know I shot in RAW and don’t particularly need to review the format or file name, but I do want to see the info captured in the image in question), and utilize the real estate for better, less blocky (more accurate and readable) histograms?  Thanks.

7) Custom Functions.  Is there a reason that certain custom functions are available for certain Fn buttons, but not others?  Seriously, this is weird that you wouldn’t have done this from the get.  It also pisses me off that I have to assign ISO to one of the two customizable directional buttons, or displace my exposure lock or magnify which are much better employed in the Fn1&2 buttons so that I may keep me eye in the viewfinder when shooting and needing to use these, as regardless of the custom function assigned to the directional buttons I must first disengage the AF green box by pressing, and holding another of my Fn buttons which I have set to Focus Assist/magnify so that I’m not just pushing my green box around the screen via the directional buttons while trying to adjust my assigned custom function.  I then set my ISO and have to reverse the steps to re-engage  my focus point.  I also don’t want to use my REC button to set my ISO because I actually need to use that to record believe it or not.  PLEASE, oh PLEASE make every single custom function available and assignable to each of the four customizable buttons and honestly, give us direct access buttons to ISO, WB, AF mode and Metering like every other camera.  Those settings didn’t all of a sudden become obsolete with the release of this camera :)

8) Something I’d forgotten, and thank you to John Griggs via the comments, is Focus Peaking!  A very cool implementation of digital technology to help manually focus lenses.  One of, if not THE major reason I originally chose the m4/3 system was for its adaptability to older “legacy” or third party optics.  The MAIN reason I chose to purchase the OMD was the IBIS (in body image stabilization) which helps stabilize these legacy/3rd party lenses.  Great for those with less than perfect eyesight, or anyone needing to manually focus quickly and accurately, focus peaking should be part of every mirrorless camera from here on out.

9) Speaking of Legacy lenses, how about you allow the IBIS to function in movie mode when using these legacy/3rd party lenses hmmm?  Sure, serious film makers will have rigs or steady cams/gyros, but I doubt many serious film makers would choose this camera over a GH3, 5D3, etc, and for those of us who may want to use the OMD for motion video with a third party lens (I’m thinking skating or snowboarding, etc which would be great with the enviro sealing) could benefit from this feature.  We have the ability to input focal length in the IS menu for still capture, why not for video?  If a varifocal lens, perhaps you could provide a more simple, 2 axis IS or something…  Regardless, it just seems like a really random omission.  Please get this sorted, thanks.  *UPDATE!!! Now with the new firmware v1.5 (click here to see a video comparison) we have this one taken care of!

10) Here’s one from Sylwiusz (in the comments) that would really make a lot of sense.  A Focus Distance Scale in the viewfinder/LCD screen.  He (I am assuming Sylwiusz is male, as I know very few photog ladies who enjoy nerding out to camera equipment as they normally just get out and shoot, so I’m sorry if I’ve assumed incorrectly :) ) outlines that all of this information (focus distance) is recorded in the EXIF data, meaning the camera knows how far away your subject/point of focus is.  It is merely a mathematical algorithm based on focal length, focus distance, aperture and sensor size to establish a DOF/focus distance scale which could be eloquently overlaid along the bottom of the screen perhaps.  Wouldn’t this be awesome?  I think it would.

Just because, here are some hardware and packaging issues I feel should be looked at for future cameras…

  • Please print a damn manual.  I don’t want to have to tote a computer around and I’m certainly not spending $40 on ink and paper to print one.  Every camera I’ve purchased has come with a printed manual.  I paid a lot of money for this remarkably complex little machine, give me an effing manual so that I may figure out how to properly decipher your menus and use it as a reference if and when I come across an issue while in the field, which has happened multiple times.  I guess this wouldn’t be as big an issue if the menus were more intuitive, so, whichever is easier, thanks.
  • Do away with the long cord on the battery charger.  Save some money by eliminating it and going the way of the flip out plug.  You can use the savings to print us the manual!  Everyone wins.
  • Please put the tripod mount on the lens axis.  That’s it.
  • I like the customization, but please provide direct access buttons (not a point and shoot style quick menu) for exposure and basic operational parameters (ISO, WB, AF, Metering, et al) without having to use one of the four custom buttons to occupy them, which, let’s be honest, should be available for Custom Functions like focus assist, exposure lock, et al (not standard, exposure based crucial operational functions).
  • I would greatly appreciate an integrated flash over the add on.  There is enough functionality provided with the on camera (adapted in the OMD’s case) in the way of becoming a wireless TTL trigger for other Olympus flashes, but the weird design and 4 different pieces involved in putting the thing on (and having to keep track of) makes it more a bother than anything.  I think a slightly less powerful pop up encased in the viewfinder hump would be a better design personally.

To any reader, before you get upset and go balistic in the comments, please understand this is largely being written with tongue firmly in cheek.  It doesn’t change the fact that there are some simple things that can be done to make this already wonderful camera that much better with very minimal effort.  No camera is perfect, and the OM-D E-M5 is no exception.  I’d also like to see that a company which I’ve invested in, and plan to continue to do so with future camera and lens purchases, is willing to listen to their customers.  It’s always nice to see.  Much of what I’ve suggested here would be entirely optional to anyone shooting with this camera, and I feel would greatly benefit a majority of shooters.  Rumors are saying that there is an imminent firmware upgrade for this camera and I think that is wonderful.  Unfortunately though, I doubt much of my list will make it on this time around, but kudos to Olympus in offering the third firmware update since this camera was released about 5 months ago… although, that also seems to be speaking to a larger issue.

For those that may say, “then buy camera X” I say, no, I bought the OMD EM5 because of what it DOES offer (namely IBIS, enviro sealing and good high ISO performance).  I’d just like to see some of these issues, which I feel are glaring oversights, remedied with a simple firmware update.  This camera deserves a great amount of praise, but I do feel a couple issues being resolved will make it nearly perfect for 90% of shooting situations we’d need it for.

What would you say are the more important issues you’d like to see in a future firmware update?

Please add your frustrations with, concerns for or accolades of this camera below in the comments.  Perhaps we can find someone to listen.

Cheers and happy shooting,

Tyson

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81 thoughts on “*Olympus OM-D E-M5 Firmware Update, please.

  1. I too bought this camera several months ago, my first ever Olympus, and 4 or 5 mostly Panasonic lenses but shoot mostly with the cool little 12mm f:2. Always carry the thing near me and love the look and feel of the of it. I own and use Hasselblad digital and Canon 1Dsmkllls and 5Dmkllls and a half ton of related lenses. And only truly “enjoy” using the little Olys. Even a few times on real jobs. Made everyone smile!
    You left off the inexcusable farse of neither WiFi or GPS being part of the package and a full swivel screen. Both of which they could easily add to the rumored Pro Model coming in the future. Why that is going to be called Pro is as silly to me as calling any Leica in this century a Pro camera!
    Regardless. Nicely said rant.
    Carry on.

    • Thanks Jim,

      I would certainly bet that we’ll see WiFi/GPS/App Support on the next OMD camera. I too prefer the full swivel LCD, but I will say that the OMD’s tilt screen is far more solid feeling than the tilt/swivel screen on my G3.

      Cheers,
      t

  2. Hi, Tyson:

    Enjoying your blog. I don’t comment often but I do want to chime in here. Besides what you’ve cited, I’d like to see:

    * Named mysets. Although I can live with two unnamed (my first two are normal single frame shooting; and the second a high speed 5 shot 1 EV bracketing to get 3 shots 2 EV apart for HDR), it would be nice to have it called out if you expand the list.

    * Be able to assign mysets to a button and not have to HOLD the button.

    * Focus peaking for the big collection of legacy manual focus glass I have from various places (I’m an “older photographer”, lol)

    * A separate place (not the flash speed workaround) to set a minimum ISO speed like my NIkon’s had. I do miss that. I want to be able to explicitly set the minimum shutter speed INDEPENDENT of the 1/f rule the camera slavishly follows for auto ISO bumping.

    * Some better control of autofocus area size and working. I have to compensate focus too often when the detail I want to lock onto is dark, and something else in the autofocus zone at the wrong distance is light. Particularly irksome when shooting something like the 75/1.8 lens and doing shallow DOF shots.

    Overall though, like you I love this camera and can live with the limitations. I actually sold my pair of Nikon D7000′s and pro Nikon glass to concentrate on the micro four thirds. I love them for the urbex stuff I do — such a small light kit with so much capability and suprising quality with the advent of this body.

    One positive tip I picked up from Pekka Potka’s blog: setting up the camera for ETTR (expose to the right) using the low/high light warnings in the viewfinder makes it so easy to maximize single-shot dynamic range. Something an electronic viewfinder makes possible. You do have to set your jpg rendering (and your viewfinder’s preview therefore) though to a very flat low contrast display but I shoot RAW anyway so it is no hardship.

    Thanks for the chance to sound off.

    Regards,
    John Griggs

    • Hey John,

      Thanks for the comment.

      As for the “mysets” I wish we’d just have two or three custom/user defined settings on the control wheel (C1, C2, etc). I’d be very happy with that, and vastly prefer being able to quickly twist a dial as opposed to a menu based switch.

      The whole Hold vs Tap the button for custom functions is remarkably frustrating, and befuddling. If it were not for the wonderful community online, I’d have pulled all of my hair out.

      Focus peaking is one I forgot! Yes, I completely agree. Focus peaking would be wonderful. Another one regarding Legacy/3rd party lenses that I also forgot and should add is utilizing the IBIS in video!!!!!!

      Regarding the AF area, this is exactly why I have my AF point set as small as I possibly can (14x). The ability to touch focus too is something I’ve really come to appreciate.

      Thanks for taking the time.

      tyson

  3. Tyson, I share your frustration, but frankly I’ve given up. I switched from a Nikon D300 to shed the weight and I didn’t expect the two cameras to be competitive. I didn’t realize the cameras would be so different that the learning curve would be beyond me. The dozens of options for the options, a little green square that I can’t lock, or don’t know how to lock, different screens that I don’t expect, the crazy sleep system and a pile of other frustrations make me want to throw the camera at a stone wall.

    Printing the manual would be a waste of time because it is also worthless. It’s just a list of camera setting, nothing more or less. Not even a brief explanation as to why I might prefer one setting over another based on Olympus fuzzy logic.

    The madding thing is it takes great pics. But only in auto. If I attempt to mess with any of the basic settings, PASM, the results are unpredictable. Just adjusting the Aperture with everything in default results in over or under exposed photos. Thank you Apple for Aperture!

    I noticed yesterday that Olympus has added to new cameras to its lineup. If Apple did business like Olympus they’d have gone belly up shortly after the first iPod because there would have been no accessories and no support. Why put two new cameras out when they can’t even provide simple accessories, like batteries, for their existing lineup.

    I’ve got a grand in the body, another grand in a 75-300 lens that I waited four months to get, $600 in a 14-150 and another $300 in the 12-50 kit lens. I can’t afford to switch but I can make sure no one that I talk to ever buys anything from Olympus. Maybe if Sony management takes the camera line away from the Olympus engineers who seem fascinated with proctology we finally get some folks who think like photographers.

    • I think you’ve described my major issue with the Micro 4/3 system, or at least the Oly side of things. Olympus has done a very poor job at making their cameras translate to shooters looking to adopt the system from the larger, more traditional power players who have done a great job at making their interface intuitive to a larger audience. Some may call it dumbing it down, but I don’t care what you’d call it if it makes sense, it works, and it doesn’t require a PhD in nuclear physics to truly understand.

      The Panasonic cameras are intuitive (to me) and functionally are just as capable (aside from the jpeg engine arguably). The one major thing that had attracted me to go with this camera, my very first Olympus camera, was the IBIS. Most every other perk was more or less icing. The IBIS is amazing and has helped me get around some of the glaring deficiencies in the total package that is the OM-D E-M5. If the Panasonic bodies had IBIS, I wouldn’t even be voicing these issues.

      I’m a bit confused by the Apple connection (Aperture/software vs aperture/physical lens iris mechanism) but I agree that Olympus (and honestly most camera companies, or any companies in general) could learn a thing or two from the Apple marketing and product development teams. A good example of making something intuitive that works and translates easily and effectively.

      I’d be careful what you wish for regarding Sony. While they are getting their fingers into seemingly every photographic pie, I don’t want the Sony menu engineers anywhere near my cameras. I’ve never seen a more poorly designed interface than I did with the NEX 5 (the OMD EM5 tries, but fails to unseat it believe it or not). It was like an afterthought, or a poorly designed cell phone user interface, it was horrible. I don’t know if Sony has done a major facelift since, but it was enough for me to not look back personally. An otherwise capable camera completely hindered by a horrible UI.

      Thanks for taking the time, and I do feel much of your pain (as I’m sure others do as well).

      Cheers,

      Tyson

      • Tyson, the business about Apple/Aperture/iris is a little hard to explain but what I have experienced with the E-M5 is that if you use any setting other than Auto the results seem less desirable. The shots are under or over exposed, lack contrast, incorrect white balance, etc. I’ve tried every approach, trying to isolate the differences but have come up empty. Unless I’m forced to select a setting other than Auto I just leave it alone. When I do use one of the setting, like A, S, or M, I can use Apple’s Aperture to correct any problems with my RAW files.

        Thanks for starting the thread. Who knows, Olympus might actually be listening. And, thanks for the superior website and all the info.
        Steve

      • I hear you Steve, although I’ve had a different results I guess. Maybe try playing with your metering? It sounds almost like you might be spot metering, and depending on what that spot falls on when exposure is determined, might be throwing it off. I think the sensor does really well at preserving highlight info, and when exposing, I tend to slightly over expose when shooting in Manual, or add 1/3 stop exp comp when shooting in aperture priority when shooting in full light and using the evaluative metering. If spot metering, I’ll try to find a midtone, or adjust exposure to suit. I rarely use any other mode (M or A) myself, but they both seem to work very well for me, exposure wise. One area I hope the micro 4/3 platform looks to grow is in a processor and files that can support a 14bit RAW file which will give us better tonal gradation vs a 12bit file. This, more than most any other thing to me, would be a huge bump for the next generation sensors. I left it off the list as it isn’t feasible via a firmware update if the processor isn’t up for it, but I really hope to see it in the near future.

    • What a shame Steve, that you are going out of your way to advise people NOT to purchase Olympus when, reading between the lines, I see lack of research before making a MAJOR change in your photography and I detect that your photographic abilities and understanding of basic exposure may need to be raised a bit.
      To balance the case, my Olympus history is OM1; E-1; E-3; E-5 and now E-M5 and there are absolutely NO unpredictable results when I capture images with my E-M5. I love this camera and the quality results it gives me.

      I would like to say that In this post, I have intended to be objective not personal and I am addressing the camera basics of Steve’s gripes, not the design or marketing abilities of Olympus.

      • Just my two cents. Since I sometimes give photography classes in a local photo school, I need to know at least a little bit about all the systems on the market. All have their quirks, all have their problems. Even the D4 and 1D-x and the medium format ones. At the school they have a Pentax 645D body, some Canon 5D Mk3 and 5D Mk2 bodies, both systems with a good selection of lenses). Some of the camera issues are visible only to those that push the cameras to extremes and some are a pain every single day. You just have to really learn your camera and to know it’s limits. Some examples: the 645D is insanely slow to shoot sequentially (1 photo/s for max 4-5 RAW even on Sandisk Extreme Pro cards) and the AF speed is very low if you are comparing it to something in the SLR space, but the photos at it’s max ISO (1600) are almost noise free, it’s built like a tank and at the time of it’s release was the only weather proofed medium format camera. The D4 is one of the top cameras, but it had it’s share of issues like oil spilling on the sensor from the mirror mechanism, random lock-ups and, at least the unit I tested, was constantly in back-focus with a 50 f1.8 lens.

      • To Michael Taylor,
        I’ve really enjoyed Tyson,s Blog and it’s a shame that some folks are having a difficult time understanding that not everyone is blindly enthusiastic about Olympus. For what it’s worth I’ve been a photographer for 70 years and started with digital shortly after the first Sony 3mp came on the scene. My objections have more to do with the interface, drilling down through level after level to find settings that probably ought to be on the dials. Having endless options to program the buttons might seem like a good plan for some but I find it only makes matter worse. Combine that with the crazy flipping multi-button menu/info/view/EVF selections and it all becomes a jumble. This is not a question of understanding basic photography, or advanced, or just plain point and shoot. The E-M5 is not cheap and the folks writing the firmware ought to be able to put a package together that better meets the needs of the advanced user. Read Tyson’s firmware requests. As I said, I agree with him. No matter what you think, I’m entitled to my own observations regarding the camera and as far as I’m concerned I would not recommend the camera to another Canon or Nikon user because it would drive them nuts. You’ve obviously grown up with Olympus so you just don’t know any better.

        Sorry Tyson, I couldn’t resist.

        Steve Housley

      • I apologise Steve, if I have misunderstood your reasoning behind your comments.
        I would however like to say that, as the education and training co-ordinator for our camera club and the guy who does most of the tutorials on every aspect of photography, trying to get to grips with both the Canon and the Nikon screens and menus and buttons drives me and many of the attendees nuts too! :-)

      • Michael, I think we have a better understanding of each others issues. As a senior it’s very difficult to adapt to new methods. To me, Nikon is very straight forward. I just can’t get a handle on the Olympus maze. You have also pointed out one of my other frustrations. There is no Olympus support, at least that I can find. The camera shops run and hide when I walk in the store with the Olympus, and if I do a search for camera dealers on the Olympus site I get Best Buy, Walmart, Ritz etc. I still haven’t found a spare battery but this blog has given me some leads. I travel a lot so it’s difficult to put down roots anywhere or join a club, assuming I could find one, and I have to depend on folks like Tyson for support. If I was still using Nikon I could find support most anywhere, on the web, in camera stores, Nikon training and a dozen other places. My problem was/is, I didn’t even question the switch to Olympus. They have always made such great equipment and I wrongly assumed switching from one brand to another would be transparent. I just spent a full day hiking in Great Basin National Park and I’m really sorry I didn’t take the Nikon, even if it does weigh twice as much. My results were not rewarding and I don’t know why. That’s what is so frustrating.
        Thanks for the feedback,
        Steve:>)

      • All said and done, each individual concern is valid, regardless of any universality or lack of and while I can’t speak for anyone, I do find that the translation into the Olympus system from another system seems to be a divisive issue. But, if we want to use the system, it’s something those of us not used to it just need to learn and deal with, myself entirely included. Personally, I do feel they could more intuitively lay the UI out which could certainly make the transition easier, and the system potentially more appealing, to a larger audience. Of course, someone who’s shot Oly for years could make the same argument against changing and getting used to menus and the interface for Nikon or Canon or Pentax or Ricoh, Leica, Sony, etc, etc. It’s all in where you’re standing and through which window you’re viewing.

        Thanks guys.

      • I recently ran a course which included metering.

        There was one person, with a Nikon, who couldn’t get to grips with a spot metering example of pointing at the finest detail in a white cloud and setting the exposure so that the meter scale read +2 stops.

        I sat with her and her pictures were always so dark. I eventually tried doing it myself and was ready to throw the camera against the wall after about 15 mins when I noticed (why didn’t I spot it before!) that the Nikon metering scale went from +2 stops on the left to -2 stops on the right. The exact opposite of the all other camera brands I had come across.

        So my instructions of “2 stops to the right” were making it darker. I was incensed by the illogical nature of this and so dived into the menu system and after another 15 minutes found a place which allowed this to be changed around to what I would call the normal situation . Darker to the left and lighter to the right, as per a Histogram, which I was relieved to see was OK.

        Another lady member at that point announced that she too had been having the same problem wih her Nikon but didn’t want to say anything. She had a different model. So with a smile I dived into her menu system and after 30 minutes gave up on finding the place to change things around. She was forced to remember that, for her, Darker is to the right and lighter is to the left. To this day I do not understand the logic behind this apparent Nikon ‘Standard’.

        The number of camera models of both canikon ‘camps’ I have to lay my hands on during my courses that frustrate me when the vastly different menuing systems will also vary depending upon the main camera setting of ‘PASM’ selected.

        The users are relative novices and probably reflect 80% or more of the photography hobby population who will never access more than a small percentage of the functionality because they don’t understand it or don’t realise that it is there and who end up working (or failing) with whatever defaults that are set.

        It took me a while to realise that I took so much for granted by ‘assuming’ that the functionality and abilities I had with my Olympus were available to everyone else. For example, I’ve had ‘Live View’ and displayed Histograms for years. Only recently have other major brands offered such treats and on some of them it wasn’t the default and had to be switched on.

        So nowadays during my courses I don’t assume and leave nothing to chance.

        The one bonus from all this is that, as a senior, like Steve (but perhaps not quite so senior :-) ), it has done wonders for my little grey cells. Mind you my stress levels have risen a bit at times!

      • Steve,

        I understand your frustrations and, if I was close to you, I would love to come round and spend some time in helping you to better understand and operate the E-M5.
        Michael :-)

  4. Sorry my english!
    I am Brazilian.

    It seems by your text that you’re not using the menu direct access to various functions. See photo:

    The sleep mode can be changed and configured getting totally different from what you described.

    Custom Functions other information that is not correct, direct mode menu it already appears as the first item in a click, but even without using the Direct menu, I recommend to all VERY User OM-D, you can set the ISO to other buttons at REC for example (if not shooting).

    I agree that a lock to small buttons could be interesting.

    • Don’t apologize, your english is far better than my Portuguese.

      I’ve got my camera set up to go to sleep at 1 minute (which is largely due to the fact that this camera sucks battery juice like none I’ve ever seen). I have the auto shutoff set at 30 minutes. If the battery didn’t suck as much power as it does, I’d certainly set sleep to 3 or 5 minutes, but still, it doesn’t explain the behavior of this camera within the window between when it enters sleep mode and hits the auto shutoff time.

      My problem is that many times, when less than 30 minutes have transpired, the camera is effectively “shut off” anyway. For instance, just today, with these settings, I waited (and timed) 5 minutes after the camera had gone to sleep (after one minute) and tried to wake it by way of the shutter button, and it didn’t work. I had to turn the camera off/on which woke it up. Doing it again, but only waiting about a minute after it had gone to sleep, it awoke with a shutter press. Why? I do not know, but it is inconsistencies like this that can make this camera MADDENING. I can’t afford (the battery) to keep this camera awake at all times when out shooting, yet I’d like to not have to manually wake this camera up every couple minutes just in case I see something I’d like to shoot. It is what it is, but I feel it could and should be better.

      I would set ISO to the REC button, but I actually record video from time to time. THE custom function button I’d like to add my ISO to is the Fn1 button as I use my Fn2 button (right next to the shutter button) for magnify (which once I finally figured out is great and the button is the perfect placement for it so that I can keep my eye in the finder and my thumb securely holding the camera so that I may actually accurately focus). Of course the Fn1 button does not have the ability to assign ISO to it, but Fn2 does… This pisses me off. I want the REC button to record, and I want my Fn2 button to work as I have it set up, to Magnify, and I’d like the option to assign ISO (which I use all the time as light shifts, etc and I don’t like auto ISO because I feel I’m better able to determine which setting I’d like to maximize resolution and range) to the other Fn button (Fn1). Because it isn’t available, I have to use the right direction button (or the down direction button) for ISO which, as I describe above, moves my focus point around if I don’t first disengage the AF green box. Just poor design to not allow each custom function button to be assigned to ALL custom functions in my opinion. Either that, or give us a damn direct ISO button :) The other alternative of course is going into the quick menu which requires too much time and too many button pushes for me as it’s still slower than the way I have it set up. All I would like is for all custom functions available to be assigned to all custom function buttons, that’s all really and I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

      Obrigado, I do appreciate it.

      Cheers,

      Tyson

  5. Had my OMD for 4 months and love it. If only one thing could be changed though (well, two things) it would have to be some form of button lock.

    The number of times the camera only focusses on the left of the screen because the arrow buttons on the back of the camera have been knocked (and therefore changed the focus screen) … extremely frustrating.

    Second issue is quirky “wake from sleep” – but the focus buttons are more annoying (for me at least).

    Otherwise a fantastic camera – even with my giant hands! And the value of an EVF can never be understated – I could never go back to a camera with only a rear LCD.

    • Thanks Simon,

      I think quirky is one of the more accurate ways to describe this camera. One thing that might help with the touch screen/focusing issue is if you were to disable the touch interface (which has three settings, OFF, Touch Focus, Touch Focus/Shutter) when not needing to use it, ie: set focus point and turn it off to avoid moving it around? It’s the little yellow and black button on the lower left on the screen. It shows up in all but the totally blank screen or the level screen (when cycled through via the INFO button). Just a thought, although it would be a much more elegant implementation (in my opinion) to have a lock toggle.

      Cheers,

      Tyson

  6. Many thank Tyson – turns out I didn’t explain myself very well – the problem is with the 4 way controller, not the touch screen.

    Still – you inspired me to delve into the menus and, under the camera utility menu for re-assigning buttons, it turns out you can disable the four way arrows for changing the focus area.

    Perfect and problem solved. Though this does demonstrate the need to study the manual, and the problem of paying £1000 for a camera with no printed manual!

    Kind regards

    P.S. Most enjoyable site – many thanks

  7. Also having the exact same problem. I’ve upgrade from the P100 to the P500, and battery life is abysmal. If I happen to leave the P500 not plugged to the power, even after a single day the battery is completely dead! (And the camera was off the entire time)How can this be acceptable?I just hope this is a firmware issue, something not properly entering a power-save mode or sleep when we turn the camera off, that can be fixed via firmware update – but it really is unacceptable for such a brand like Nikon.I sincerely hope this can be fixed ASAP!

  8. About point 8 (focus peaking) on your “wish list” …. I am rather pessimistic about that ever happening and here are the reason as of why – actually this is their TOP BRASS position:

    Mr. Haruo Ogawa: … When we introduced the Pen, many people sought to use their own legacy lenses or other brands of lens, but the E-M5 user is more frequently buying Micro Four Thirds lenses to use with their new camera. The E-M5 has a much, much higher attach rate. Part of this is due to the overall lens lineup, not only the Olympus Micro Four Thirds lineup. The total Micro Four Thirds lens lineup is really attractive for the SLR traditional type of users.

    From an interview published by Imaging Resource during Photokina 2012

    … The Olympians figured out that they can sell more with less …sic! Not a very happy combination from the “end user” perspective …

    • Yes, it seems as if Olympus is a bit more bull headed than your average digital imaging company, but damnit, if we can be loud enough, who knows. :)

      With the new 60mm macro, even being an AF lens, true macro work is going to be manually focused, and I’m guessing many of the folks who pony up for the 60mm will also have been lured by the OMD’s siren song. For serious macro work, focus stacking, etc I’d guess focus peaking would be pretty wonderful. Focus peaking makes sense, especially for these mirrorless systems seeing that regardless of what is released in a native mount, the fact we can mount just about ANY lens ever created to these things should be reason enough to attempt to play to that strength as a system. If you can get more folks, like me, that chose the system BECAUSE I could adapt optics, you will ultimately have more people buying into the system period. Most of us also buy native lenses, accessories, etc. To me it’s a no brainer. My question to Mr Ogawa would be, what could you possibly lose by adding this feature that wouldn’t be entirely absorbed (R&D cost) after the first generation (if not well before in new sales) as it could then be implemented in future bodies providing another nullification on a NEX system feature, etc.

      Thanks for the comment.

      t

    • http://www.pekkapotka.com/journal/2012/10/2/discussion-with-mr-terada.html

      “During Photokina I had a meeting with Toshiyuki Terada, Manager and Group Leader of the Product and Marketing Planning Group from Olympus Imaging Corp. … Now, a week later, we know that sensor technology from Sony is part of the new agreement between Olympus and Sony. Already during our discussion Mr. Terada told that technologies like PDAF (phase detecting auto focus) on sensor and focus peaking are available for them, although “no decision yet” about usage. … I would still guess that both, PDAF on sensor and focus peaking, will be seen in future Olympus bodies, although this was not said explicitly.”

  9. Concerning the tripod hole : I like it the way it is, because this allows me to change battery without unscrewing the quick release plate. When I do pano and need the hole in e lens axis, I use the horizontal part of the H-LD6 grip. I like to have this choice, especially because the batteries are short lived.

    • Thanks Anna,

      It is annoying in my other cameras to have to remove the plate to access the battery, but in all my other cameras, the battery is not nearly as much an issue. Really, this is only a problem for me when wanting to set up horizontal pano shots (I’d imagine it could be an issue for certain video panning as well), and while I haven’t used the OMD for a paid interior shoot, I couldn’t (or wouldn’t) because of this issue. I guess it also brings back the whole battery life issue too though… I have just received three of the Chinese batteries (for $18) and I’ve been shooting on one of them for the last three days!!! More evidence that the OEM batteries have a serious issue (to and for me anyway).

      Thanks for the comment,

      t

      • Everyone here seems to mentions “battery life” and I’m not sure why. When I got my EM-5 some months ago Oly did not offer any spare batteries nor a modern retractable prong wall charger. Very dumb. Sort of like Nikon forcing the D$ users to accept a lame new card format. Arrogant to say the least.
        So I ordered a set of Wasabi batteries and their perfectly “normal” battery chargers.
        They work great and are also made in, surprise, Japan.
        Oh and the price! Whoa. Go straight to their site or Amazon which is my choice.

      • It has been remarkably hard to buy an OEM battery. I’m very glad because I’d have spent $60 on what could very well have been another lemon. I’ve spent under $20 now for 3 Chinese knockoffs + the charger and they’re great so far (they wont charge on the Oly charger, nor will the Oly battery charge on the Chinese charger, but that’s fine with me). Good to hear about the Wasabi batteries too! Thanks for the info.

    • You’re right Johan. I’d not really found issue with this as I tend to work with larger apertures (and am used to a traditional dslr setup which has me needing to compose and focus wide open) but I guess I’d assumed with a live view application, we were “seeing” real time exposure (which we are EV wise, but not DOF wise). It would require the lens to stop down as opposed to the screen just generating an exposure approximation but I think it would be very useful.

    • Yeah, I’m not sure if it is a sensor issue or purely an internal processing issue. I did just find a workaround though (see the newest article reviewing the new de-banding on the Topaz DeNoise plugin, pretty sweet).

      As for the dial lock, I think if Oly were to add a feature that enabled us to customize a lock to include/exclude buttons and dials, it would be really nice. I personally would like to have access to the dials if implementing a screen/button lock, but perhaps in certain shooting modes it would make sense to have a total lockdown.

  10. My OM-D has 3 months and almost 23k photos.

    First quality issue: I glued myself with industrial grade glue the rubber on the eyepiece because after one month it started to peel off – it was glued with some sort of light adhesive. Second quality issue: the camera was sent to service because the cover of the exposure dial fell off after 2 months of use – I was lucky it fell off in my hand and not somewhere in the street. I experience regularly the “comatose sleep” and it’s particularly cumbersome to remove the battery as I use the camera with the full battery grip; I still experience it even if the camera returned from service updated to the 1.2 firmware version.

    Functionality issues:
    1. The huge AF – focus area – you really can’t set exactly the point you want to focus. I would prefer a mixture of the GH-2 smallest size focus area with the OM-D positions – more like the positions I have on the E-3.
    2. The AF speed is good, but because of the previous point it suffers from lack of precision – while shooting fast action sports it’s really hit or miss. Try to shoot on table tennis or basket and you’ll realise why.
    3. The Fn and B-Fn buttons that can’t get all the functions from the menus.
    4. The difficult to access focus pad during shooting with the vertical grip.
    5. The abysmal battery life (I use the back screen only to review the photos and never do this extensively) – I have 3 BLN-1, but I would never dare to go on a week long trip only with the OM-D and the 3 batteries. Though I had once the surprise to shoot more than 700 photos on a single battery – don’t ask me how as I haven’t been able to reproduce it. The camera is set to sleep after 1 min, no NR, IS is used rarely as I always carry a monopod, facial recognition is set to off and every other setting is set to minimum of automation. I’m shooting almost exclusively in manual mode, if not it’s Speed priority.
    6. Sometimes it takes more than 1 second to shoot a photo, even if the AF-confirm is lit and the camera was shooting without issues seconds before, and continues to behave normally after the “problem” photo. It happened with all the lenses I have and in all kind of lighting situations. And it happens both with release priority on or off, so it’s really camera related.
    7. The intricate menu system – even if I come from the 4/3 system and I’m used with the peculiarities, still I have to find my way in the menu system.
    8. Sometimes, after I deplete the battery in the grip, turn off the camera, change the battery in the grip, turn the camera on, the camera continues to shoot on the battery in the body, even if the priority is set to PBH.
    9. Sometimes the facial recognition gets activated by itself after I activate by error all the focus points – if I get outside the grid while selecting the focus point.
    10. Once, I was looking in the super-panel and all the pixel sizes for the files got one zero in plus – i.e. for the RAW the camera was showing 46080 x 34560 px as pixel size, the RAW files got recorded correctly but the display was still quirky. Turned off and on and since it didn’t get away, I pulled the grip and the battery in the body, left it for 1 minute and it went away. It was after the upgrade to v1.2 firmware.
    11. Not body related but system related: Olympus needs to release all the expensive lenses with weather sealing, included lens shade and pouch. Got the 75 f1.8 and was surprised that for a 900 E lens you don’t even get the pouch, the lens shade I knew wasn’t included.

    I am shooting with the following lenses: Pana m4/3 12-35 f2.8, Pana m4/3 25 f1.4, Pana m4/3 14-140 f4-5.8, Oly m4/3 12-50 f3.5-6.3, Oly m4/3 75 f1.8, Oly 4/3 9-18 f4-5.6, Oly 4/3 50-200 f2.8-3.5, Oly 4/3 14-54 f2.8-3.5, Oly OM 50 f1.8. Sometimes I use the Oly 50-200 in combination with the Oly TC-20.

    As bodies, I also use the Pana GH-2 and Oly E-3.

    • Wow, thanks Chris.

      Beautifully detailed. I’ve found a bit of a battery bump if I do not use the EVF (it drains the juice like crazy) but still sub-par. I have just received three off brand batteries, and so far, they kick the crap out of the Oly battery. I’ve also heard it may be an issue with certain chargers not enabling a full charge. Either way, bad on Oly for not figuring this out and making it right.

      I don’t have the battery grip, so I cannot personally relate to those issues, but it seems to further justify the general consensus that the OMD is a very quirky camera.

      Thank you for taking the time to eloquently outline your personal findings. Hopefully we can get someone to read through, and potentially address all of our issues.

      Cheers,

      Tyson

      • My two spare BLN-1 batteries were ordered on the same day as the body, and they came after two months (one on August 24th and one on September 3rd – the body came on June 29th). Mid-August, on the waiting list of my dealer were 10 BLN-1 on preorder and I was the second.

        I spoke with the Olympus representatives at Photokina and they knew about most of the issues but I got no comment about if and when it will be fixed. We’ll have to wait and see.

        Now I am using the OM-D as my main body and generally I’m very pleased. Let’s hope the v1.3 (and not v1.4) firmware will get at least the big quirks ironed out. From my experience, one thing it’s sure, the E-3 was more polished and thoroughly tested when it got released.

        I had for a while the EP-2 with the Oly 14-150, but the lack of viewfinder really put me off and I sold it as soon as I got the GH-2.

        I have the Pana 35-100 on preorder at my dealer but for the moment I didn’t even got the price confirmed. I asked also if there is an option for a GH-3 + 35-100 kit as I already have the 12-35 and still no response from Panasonic, even if last Friday I’ve pressed the dealer to call again the local office of Panasonic. I have to know how much to put aside …

  11. P.S. I need to use an integrated viewfinder as I often shoot with external flashes or with an external microphone for video.

  12. I make no bones about, I’ve fallen in love with the little OMD. It’s not perfect, but as someone who’s come back to photography after 25 years it has something of the feel of a 35mm film camera. But I also love the new technology which adds real value to the experience – the IBIS and the fast AF (though as EVFs improve I’d happily settle for manual focus in the future – for me the flexibility of focus control was nearly as important as exposure and composition in some instances). The two manual dials on top and the beautiful EVF were what sealed the deal.

    So what would improve it? Well, I couldn’t argue with much of what’s been suggested already. Most of them would improve the OMD. And it’s essential that Olympus get to hear the views of their customers as there’s nothing that will better promote brand loyalty than listening and delivering continuous improvement.

    But I’m going out on a limb here. In some ways I’m asking asking for less. Less options and confusing menus, less ridiculous auto and scene modes that quite frankly belong on a 100 quid compact, not a 1000 quid serious camera. All I want are the essentials to produce (under my control) a great quality still image. Sorry, I don’t need histograms and curves – and this will make a few folk squeal, no video, thanks. Don’t get me wrong, there is a place for video, and that’s on a camera like the GH3. All I want is a great handling camera with a quality sensor and great lenses, please. And somewhere under the OMD’s fluff (most of which is added simply to make the features list longer and more flashy than the competition I suspect) lies a fantastic enthusiast’s camera.

    Does simple work? Perhaps not for the mass market. But look at high end sports cars. What are the models that the real enthusiasts dream of owning? They are the ‘stripped back’ special editions that are all about delivering the best, the most engaging driver experience. It’s all about the handling. Gone are the massively complicated hifi systems, satnavs, electric windows, the air conditioning and the computer controlled everything…and even the carpets!

    What I want is a simple, high quality ‘stripped back’ OMD camera, please Mr Olympus. Put your R&D into further improving the essentials – the sensor, the EVF, the OLED, and the already great IBIS. Add more manual controls/buttons for easy, intuitive access to ISO, WB, etc. And finally, integrate the hand grip but keep the package as light weight as possible. Then, then you have one of the finest camera’s money can buy.

    Am I a lone voice?

    • Hi Trent,

      Thank you! I too often crave a more simplistic interaction with these high tech devices. I know that we won’t see video disappear on any major market cams anytime soon, but that is easy enough to ignore. I’ve actually done a complete 180 in regards to video after having it on my 5d2 for the last few years. I’m no expert, but I have had more fun with our family videos than I ever would have otherwise and now greatly appreciate the ability to capture video with high end optics and large sensors.

      One thing that I will say in regards to your assessment is that I believe there is no reason that a high performance camera, such as the OMD EM5, shouldn’t be easily set up to be that simple, effective image making device. In the OMD’s case, I feel they just tried too hard and did too much with it, which has in turn made it a pretty complicated camera. Certainly one that once you’re used to it can be boiled down to a somewhat streamlined interaction, but I’d never call it an easily operated, basic still shooting device, and I do mean that as both a criticism and a compliment. There is a lot of technology in this little machine, and often I wish that I didn’t have to interact with as much of it as I do when using this camera, or at least that it was more intuitive and efficient in its execution.

      That all said, I’ve not used my canon setup once in the last few weeks and I like to make a point to shoot every day. I’ve been having a lot of fun with it, and they’ve certainly done something right :)

      Thanks for taking the time,

      Tyson

    • Thanks for the comment Elfidge,

      While I’d love to see a more open platform with third party flash support (which hopefully we will) I’d like to see them take care of even the Olympus and Panasonic compatibility issues first (flashes, lenses, etc).

      cheers,
      t

  13. Tyson,

    Thank you for posting this, it comes at the right time as I have on my own compiled a little “wish list” that I may add here.

    The first point on it however isn’t really related to Olympus or the firmware:
    Me and many others I know are very unhappy about the colors that the only camera profile supplied with Adobe Lightroom (Adobe Standard) gives. Especially for (caucasian) skin tones, they appear dull and brownish. The camera’s own colors (as seen when shooting JPEG are far more pleasant IMO.

    I’ve tried many things including making my own profiles without success. Now I start wondering whether something like an open list/letter addressed to Adobe could show the number of users wanting one or two more color profiles that match Olympus’ own Picture Modes …

    Ok, on to the list:

    1. focus peaking – as so many others ask for it.

    2. time setup with seconds – it’s ridiculous that you can only set minutes! This is a $1000+ camera!

    3. time zones / daylight saving time – another thing that shouldn’t be missing in a camera of this price range. Especially given the huge number of other functions and settings.

    4. save settings to computer/SD card – thousands of parameters and no way to save/transfer them. That’s tough!

    5. show which MySet is currently selected – especially if you have MySets that only differ in a few hidden parameters. You have no clue what’scurrently set without digging deep.

    6. rename MySets – yes, I too would like to see this

    7. more symbols for file name like -_ (dash, underscore) – just give us at least the full ASCII set. You CAN change filenames, why cripple this function?

    That’s it so far, thank you for listening and thank you for posting. Hopefully Olympus will have open ears!
    Thomas

    • Hi Thomas,

      Interesting about the Adobe profile issue. I’ve been primarily using Aperture and my default EM5 RAW conversion profile seems to do very well, to my eye at least. I do use LR as my backup library and occasionally jump in there for some batch processing, but I’ve gotten so used to my cataloging and conversion workflow that I must consider myself a bit of an old dog at this point.

      I do not use MySets (or haven’t yet anyway), so I cannot personally share your frustration there, but what you’ve outlined seems as if it would drive me nuts if I were to be using the feature regularly.

      Thank you very much for the list. Very valid issues and seemingly a very straightforward firmware fix.

      Cheers,

      Tyson

  14. Just downloaded the revised 1.2 firmware from Olympus UK (now reads as v1.3).

    Left camera on coffee table in sleep mode for an hour, and then pressed shutter button and camera woke up straight away.

    The wake-from sleep issue was/is an intermittent issue, so too soon to say if the problem is fixed after one go – but encouraging nonetheless.

    Bonus point for Olympus: very easy updating system – much better than the old Panasonic method of downloading updates onto a memory card. For Olympus you just open up its downoad manager app on your computer, connect camera to computer, and off you go.

    Dble bonus point: just got the 15 body cap lens. Actually works very well, and is super convenient for site visits when need camera but do not want to be wrestling with lens caps etc, and where massive depth of field is really useful.

    • Yes, Si,
      You’ll need to run the updater again and it will automatically get v 1.5 for you.
      The main benefit I think, is that the IBIS now only runs when you half press the shutter which means no more noise all the time and probably longer battery life.

      • Hi Chris and Mike – thanks for pointing out, Turns out you have to update to 1,3, then when you re-check with the updater app, you get offered v1.5.

        The difference with v1.5 is dramatic (if you are inside, in a quiet place). As you say, the IBIS now only functions when the shutter button is pressed. Hearing the difference between “on” and “off” is immense. Definitely an upgrade!

        For people who like shooting in quiet places such as the theatre, this update would be a must – it means that you can keep the camera on and not annoy the person next to you.

        Many thanks

    • I have also (in fw v.1.2) had good luck in wake mode when turning the auto shutoff to OFF. I’ve had a quick wake time and not yet had the need to toggle the camera on/off to wake. I’ve not noticed a huge difference in battery life since doing this, but then again, my original battery sucked to begin with and the new, cheap three pack I got is outperforming the Oly OEM batteries all over the place.

      I assume their designation of “OM” lenses means third party (or non proprietary), adapted lenses now function with the IBIS in video mode when setting the focal length manually (as we have to do with still shooting as well) which is great! Other than that, and as Michael mentions, the IBIS waiting until the shutter button is pressed, I think it’s a pretty minor update otherwise. Baby steps I guess.

      I have not yet updated personally, but will when I have time over the next couple days.

      • I have also just ordered a 3-pack of ‘non-proprietary’ lenses on eBay. They are coming from the states (I’m in Western Australia). Perhaps they are from the same source and will outlast my OEM originals, although having upated the firmware I think they will all last longer.
        I also ordered them because of the car charger that is icnluded which is an extra safety net for long outdoor photo shoots. I think the order total was $30. It certainly beats the $100 I paid for my single spare Olympus battery when I purchased the E-M5!!! :-(

  15. I’d like to see just one feature. I don’t care about focus peaking as it is inaccurate (yes, I used it on NEX3 with manual Pentax 50/1.4 – there was only about 30% of properly focused shots). But I do care about FOCUS DISTANCE SCALE visible all the time in the viewfinder (just like in Fuji X100/X1 Pro/X-E1). Preferable with marked DOF at given aperture/focal length. This is encoded already in EXIF, but useless after the fact. I used it with classic SLR lenses often to get hyperfocal… It would be very nice to see it, especially, that Olympus already has this information provided in camera as seen in EXIF…

    • That’s actually a great idea, especially today’s computerized cameras with their large screens could easily provide this information together with any calculations you could imagine (like DOF etc.)

    • Sylwiusz,

      My thought exactly, I do panaroma and VR-spheres (so I have to do some focus stacking from time to time) and the only gripe I have with the whole micro 4/3 system is the total absence of focus information. The dipstick that introduced fly by wire focussing, should have realised that accurate focus information is essential since photography was invented…..my ancient Panasonic LX3 did this (sort off)……my GF1 and my OM-D do not…..5 years into micro 4/3 and this bloody simple item is not realised….and you can realise it in a few lines of code.

      I use old Nikon glass and the adapter when I want to focus hyperfocal…..so let me ad on addition:

      Hyperfocal setting…….just one button on the camera (editable Fn2 for instance) press and voila hyperfocal setting for the selected lens, focal length and aperture, also quite simple to calculate.

      Greets, Ed.

      • Just got the comatose sleep again. With firmware 1.5. Had to remove the grip and the battery inside the body to get it working again. So it seems the issue wasn’t resolved.

        Also, there is a compatibility issue with Panasonic lenses as I sometimes get a 2-3 sec lag from pressing the shutter to the recording of the photos and it’s always on Panasonic lenses (had it with the 14-140, 12-35 and 25). It always happens on long shoots where I have to shoot 3-400 photos in less than 2 hours (sports). I didn’t mention it the first time as it wasn’t really confirmed, but now I already had it 5-6 times and it happened also with fw 1.5, Pana 12-35 and Pana 25. The photos are recorded correctly.

      • Chris, I think it might be time for you to borrow another E-M5 and see if your problems can be replicated, thus ascertaining whether it is your particular camera or the model.

      • The 2-3 second lag was present also on the replacement I had while my body was in service (got it with the 14-140). So I don’t think it’s present only on my body. On the other hand it could be the grip or one of the batteries.

  16. You can make your factory OLY charger cordless for $10 Amazon Conntek 30001 Travler Male Plug Adapter U.S. Male Plug To Laptop/Power Adatper IEC C7 Female Connector

      • Oh, I did indeed, but more to the fact that Olympus still ships these out. I don’t feel it entirely necessary to pay even more money to correct their design flaw, as frustrating as it may be. Thank you for the workaround though :)

      • My pleasure.when I spoke to OLY tech a while back,they told me the battery was too heavy for a cordless charger?HUH?

      • Seriously? Maybe it’s the cynic in me, but that doesn’t speak to a company that has it’s ducks in a row, or is coming up with half assed excuses for common complaints. (I’m still waiting to hear about what is going to go on for the cracked LCD casings that seem to be very, very widespread, although, going by that answer it’s probably our fault that the plastic is too weak to handle the stress of a small screw and in no way a design and/or raw material sourcing fault on Olympus’ part…) I’d hope it was just a misinformed employee who had no idea about what they were saying. I have batteries that are probably two to three times the weight that are just fine in wall plug chargers… but maybe they fall out when I’m not looking. Thanks again for your insight, always good to hear others bizarre experiences so that I don’t seem quite as nuts ;)

  17. Thanks Tyson for this wonderful blog (and web site). I am doing all my research and learning online using web sites like this, having just bought my first non compact camera, the O-MD E-M5. I chose to start with Zuiko 12-60 1:28 lens. Whilst I knew a couple of focus functions would be lost using an Olympus 4/3 lens on this micro 4/3rd body, I didn’t expect to lose flash functions. It now has Auto or Off options and the auto focus / lens speed functions are giving variable results when using flash. Firmware upgrades did not help. Good thing this lens works so well in low light.
    I found this blog when looking for a new primary lens and was researching the 25mm f/1.4. Is this lens fully compatible with the E-M5?
    Thanks again for your blog, I have learnt so much from all the posts.

    • Hi Phil,

      Thank you and welcome! The PL25/1.4 isn’t only compatible, it is a great lens on the OMD, or any micro 4/3 cam I’ve used. I’m in the process of reviewing the new Oly 60mm macro and 75/1.8, and honestly, neither focuses as well in lower light as the PL25 does to my eye. It’s not cheap, but compared to a few other lenses, it isn’t too expensive either. Personally, I’m very happy with it.

      t

  18. I don’t get why people want the flip out plug chargers. Most outlets are behind things and not readily at hand. Give me the cord I can run it behind bookshelves or anywhere I want.

    • I guess I feel that having the flip out plug keeps bulk down for storage and travel, not to mention keeping clutter down by keeping cords off the ground, and everyone owns a power strip or household extension cord to use if and when you need to get around furniture and the like, but I think your preference is certainly valid in this case. Thanks John.

      t

  19. I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog both from an information and entertainment aspect.Please keep up the good work.

  20. Tyson, I haven’t been following this thread. It occurred to me that its been a while since you first brought this subject to the table. I’m not aware that Olympus has done anything to respond to your recommendations.

    Steve

  21. Now that EP5 is out and finally with focus peaking … there is nothing to hold back Olympus from adding the same feature to OM-D via firmware update (as they share the same sensor and processor). I am betting that they sill are not going to do that … unfortunately!

    Contrary to lets say Fujifilm with it much more customer friendly attitude … Olympus is plenty focused on endless exercises in camera design and adding small step functionality improvements along the way … forcing their user base to change/update cameras to get hold of new “add-ons”. Grrrr!

    • I’m not holding my breath, but I do think Olympus would gain a lot more sway with customers if they did update the firmware to include newer features, or at least they would with me. It would be nice to see this camera become more functional :)

      thanks

  22. Hello this is kind of of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors
    or if you have to manually code with HTML.

    I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding skills so I wanted
    to get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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