Olympus OM-D E-M1 Custom Firmware

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New E-M1 Firmware with better video!

We/I developed 2 custom firmwares for the Olympus E-M1 together with Nabil Fathi. Both are tested and should be save to install. Please report any problems you have. If its a small one please use the comments, if it’s a bigger one write me an e-mail (check my profile on the right).
You can also flash any official firmware you want. Check my Firmware Control Tool for that.

I would like to produce more, but the testing is up to you. I don’t own a E-M1, but @nabilfathi15 does and we are working together to give you features. Also there is a certain risk for everything, so please read the description of each firmware.

The main feature of this release is, that is a bigger part of the sensor for the 1080p videos. This means that a resolution similar to 4k is read by the sensor and then downscaled to 1080p. You gain a lot of nice things like:
  1. The Auto Focus in videos should be smoother.
  2. Full Sensor read in video mode. No crop.
  3. Better ISO performance in low light video situations
  4. More Dynamic Range in video
  5. This firmware is based on the official version 2.0.

This firmware is in development. The changes are sometimes only visible if you compare the firmware with he unhacked one side by side.
Please report your experience with the firmware.

Future plans:
Because the firmware Olympus designed is not very well developed we do our best to continue.
Next up would be a higher framerate, higher bitrate and of cause the 4k feature itself.
Stay tuned for new possible updates and check this blog on a regular basis. I can’t promise these features, but nevertheless we are working to enable those.

 

Difference between the old and the new firmware : http://youtu.be/qZUUer2CVXQ
Day time test: http://youtu.be/UFVaJUzd-9k

Night time with ISO 3200:  http://youtu.be/M3mg2UsC_Cg

The last 2 videos are UPSCALED and not native 4k. It’s done to show all the details of the video.

How to flash a firmware

Method 1:
Extract the file and put the whole folder “DCOLYMP” on your SD-Card.
Check if the firmware file is inside the folder and put the SD-Card into your camera. Now start the camera while pushing the OK button. The red LED will go on for about 1 minute. If it’s flashing on/off you know, that the process is finished. You can restart your camera now and you’re all done.

Method 2:
You can use my “Firmware Control” tool to flash any firmware.
Use the web page or in-program tutorial/help if you need.
Link: https://lightsnowdev.com/blog/firmware-control-tool-to-flash-any/

 

Download


Firmware 1: Mega.co.nz
This firmware was produced in cooperation with @nabilfathi15never-prod.com.
This firmware is save and has been tested. Though some users reported, that the WiFi is not working with the firmware. In this case please please flash back to the normal 2.0 firmware.
Sometimes there is problem with the output file. On some of our SD-Cards the video file would not want to save. But see for your self.

Firmware 2: http://gdurl.com/edAq/download
This firmware only has 1 feature.
Changed the INFO screen for the firmware button as seen here.
The firmware is based on version 1.4
This firmware should be save.

Q: Will this break my camera? Is my warranty void?
A: No it will not break or brick your camera if you follow the tutorial. Even if something goes wrong your warranty should stay intact and you can contact your company to get a new camera.

Q: My WiFi is not working any more.
A: Please use my Firmware Control Tool to download and flash the normal 2.0 firmware

Q: I don’t see any difference. What did you change?
A: Look at this Showcase to see the benefits of this firmware. If you don’t see a difference I can’t help you. You will have to wait until we release a new firmware. If you really want to know what we changed and also want to help us with the coding you can contact me.

 

Please donate some money to ensure further development.
I would never force you to do that, but I spent many hours of developing and hacking.

 

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145 thoughts on “Olympus OM-D E-M1 Custom Firmware

    1. Me and many other olympus users are hoping for a e-pm2 and e-pl5 update that includes the '' 0 sec antishock first electronic curtain'' to eliminate shutter shock, olympus did release a firmware for the e-m5 and e-p5 that includes the feature but seems like users like me who use lower end cameras are ignored by olympus….

      Can you please develop a custom firmware and add the '' 0 sec antishock'' feature to e-pm2 and e-pl5 models? they are the same camera as the expensive ones in theory only with less buttons and cheaper built materials, is it possible to do it? i even would pay for it

    2. I wouldn't want to sidetrack this astonishing video project, but just add a voice to this electronic 1st curtain for E-PL5 request, if you can decompile and recompile Oly FW. Thanks for the good work!

  1. It would be great if you can do 25P as it would stop 50% of the posts on 43rumors with people arguing whether Oly can do it with a FW upgrade or not!

  2. Are you focused entirely on video? It would be amazing if there were a way to hook into the camera UI for scripting various operations, sort of like CHDK. I looked at the PEN firmware strings several years ago and saw lots of debug stuff in there, but I didn't get very far.

  3. Could you provide some kind of "proof" of this hack in action? Like same video, before and after the hack. I guess people are now too scared to try it.

  4. Hi – I have a EM1 and access to EM1 – if you need any help testing let me know, I will tweet nail – he will know how to contact me.
    🙂
    Well done

    1. You can test, if the improvements are visible to you. Also you can do an ISO test. Compare the 3200 ISO-Video with the hacked firmware and without. It would be nice if you email me and tell me your experience.

  5. Can you please add 24p and 25p video with manual control to a custom firmware for the E-M5? That's the most realistic feature that many of us E-M5 owner wants. My E-M5 still have over 1 year of warranty left, I don't mind testing and bricking it =) Thanks.

  6. Congratulations for the great job !
    Adding 4k and more bitrates will be a fantastic accomplishment.
    Keep going the good work !

  7. I really would like to see some evidence of your work before trying the fw, like some video comparisons, camera screenshots, and more and more detailed infos about the mod (is it a user selectable mod or it's a new default? Wich video mode is it going to be affected? What are the technical parameters that are changed? How do I know the mod is working?,…).
    I have also some questions regarding the bigger sensor area being read: I think the obvious meaning of the claim is that the sensor is not being read with a line skipping method but by a full read and than resized to HD res. Or not? Can you better explain it? I think you should not only show the details of your work but go a lot deeper in to explanations and evidences to substantiate your claims.
    I don't want to sound harsh, I really appreciate your work and yours efforts, but if you want testers to "risk" a 1400€ camera you should give a whole lot of infos and not just 3 lines of vague claims.
    Thank you

    1. Do not want to sound harsh.. but just don't try anything like flashing custom firmware's if you can not miss your 1400 euro camera. It's pretty obvious that this is all new, and the exact consequences are not know, not even to the developers.

    2. Mark, maybe I wasn't clear enough in my comment. If this mod is working (as I hope, because I love this kind of things) and you want this mod to become mainstream, then you need people testing and using it.
      I'm wandering who's going to test this fw without knowing exactly how it's supposed to work and what are the features implemented. I think the dev should at first report his experience and bring evidence of the results of his work, then ask for testing (when one knows what to look for).
      I can afford to repair a briked camera, but only if I have a good reason.

      Thank you very much Jonathan, I'm really eager to better understand your work.

    1. You mean with the Olympus Capture program? Thats close to impossible.
      You can use the mulit-port AV output to get the same things that are shown on your screen to show pictures on a TV.
      On the E-M10 you can use the WiFi feature to connect to your PC.

    1. I just checked my E-M10 and it does have this feature build-in. I does give me a 1920×1080 output with a center crop. I would be surprised if the E-M1 does not have this feature, but let me know if that is the case.

    2. No, unfortunatly it has not. As the test on dpreview shows, the digital converter on the E-M10 reduces the video quality. (Which means that most likely it is upscaled to 1920×1080.) The feature the user above is talking about is real 1920×1080 read out of a smaler part of the sensor, like on Panasonic cameras.

    3. The E-M1 does have crop mode. Normally E-M1 reads full sensor and then downscales it to FullHD (2.1Mpix 1920×1080). But when you do enable the Crop mode (not the digital converter! they are two different things!) via magnifying button then you get 1:1 pixel recording filling FullHD area from any part of your sensor. Naturally your noise is higher as it isn't downscaled from full sensor read, but you don't lose any details whats so ever.

      Dpreview doesn't know how to do tests with mirrorless cameras as they are biased to "full frame" cameras.

  8. So about updating the firmware with the SD card. What file are you referring to with "Extract the file with a program like winrar." the .bin file of the firmware cant be extracted, so could you explain more? I don't have the cable to connect the M1 to my PC, so I figured I'd do this with the SD card. Thank you!

  9. Thanks, I was trying it with the original 2.0 firmware .bin and it didn't work. The install started fine with your version!

    1. You need to rename the original 2.0 firmware to E1092006.BIN
      And do the same thing as you did with the custom firmware.

      Anyway have no problem with the custom firmware, it is based on the official firmware 2.0.
      Don't need to worry.

  10. You are doing a great job! My only question: is there any chance to see e-p5 version if it will ever be released for e-m5 (cameras should be quite similar if I got it right).

    1. Thanks, saw that but wondered if there was a direct Oly download link but I'll get it from your tool. BTW, "huge" Thank you for working on this and Nabil's support.

  11. Hi,
    Would you make a Custom Firmware for the EP5?

    The E-P5 was supposed to do High Speed Movie Video.

    Looking here at the youtube Olympus channel:

    [url]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVZABJ-lzeA[/url]

    The E-P5 has everything needed to create High Speed videos…i don't why olympus didn't include that on the E-P5…

    1. The thing is, that every micro 4/3 camera does support a more or less high fps mode.
      For Example: All the OM-D cameras support more than 120fps for their EVF.
      Thats one of many points we are working on.

    2. OM-D cameras support 120Hz, that isn't same as 120fps!

      Same way as 24fps isn't same as 1/24 shutter speed!

      The refresh rate only means the display update whole display area X times a second. But the signal it gets and it updates, can be much lower than that.

      Example we can have 60-120Hz displays but still watch a 24fps video. The footage is 24 frames per second, but display refresh 60 or 120 times a second. Hz doesn't make the footage any more sharper.

      Same thing is with fps. Many likes that movement in videos is blurry, that is THE 24 FPS LOOK.Not the actual 24 frames per second but that the footage has been recorded with 1/24 frames per second, each frame exposure time is 1/24 of a second.

      Now with digital cameras, we can have 24/25/30 fps but use much faster shutter speed like 1/100, 1/320 or 1/8000. That means each frame has exposure value any of those. But it as well means we can't get any lower exposure value for frame than the frame rate is.
      And difference between 1/24 and 1/30 shutter speeds is negligible.

      24 fps can be used for very high speed footage, but it requires to be used with high speed shutter speed. 30fps is even better as there are 6 frames more to fill higher speed caps. With low shutter speed, the motion has very motion blur in it, that fills the movement caps.

      So if you are shooting in daylight, use ND filter to get lowest possible shutter speed so it match with the framerate. Then 30fps looks identical to 24fps.

      Then if you want sharper movement without jittery, you need higher framerate with higher shutter speed so each frame is without motion blur, but each sharp frame can be played back in fast rate.

      The shutter speed, display refresh rate and frame rate are totally different things.
      Example with OM-D we record 30 fps, 1/60 and what we get is that each frame is like we would take a photo with 1/60 shutter speed. But we only capture frame every 1/30 of a second. Then that 30 frames per second is observed via EVF that refresh 120 times a second, meaning the display plays back one frame for times until swapping it to next frame.

      To get higher x framerate, the sensor needs to be capable to flush full frame data x times to memory, compress each frame, and then save it. It isn't something that can be done just by tweaking some values in firmware.
      The sensor needs to be capable to flush the full frame data as many times per second as the framerate is. Now calculate how demanding it is to capture 16Mpix sensor 30 times a second (that is about 15MB per frame) totaling 450MB per second and that to be compressed on the fly. Now if we want 60fps in FullHD, that is over 900MB per second. The RAM in E-M1 is only around 2GB so it would fill up in two seconds and both CPU would be compressing data and flushing to card.

      Thats why 720p 120fps is same as 1080p 30fps by data amount. But even 720p requires FULL SENSOR READOUT. Compression and scaling is tighter. But if sensor is build so it can't do more than 30 flushes per second (it is always full frame readout) then it can't even give faster framerate for lower resolution video, unless video is cropped so sensor is read out only from very small part.

  12. Congratulations for the your success Jonathan!, Why dont´t you open a crowdsoursing fund for it? I would love to have focus peaking on the EM5!

  13. I have just downloaded and run unRAR on my Mac for the custom firmware for the e_M1. Can the original firmware be reinstalled after an update from the SD card. I am on a Mac and have not been able to run your firmware update program. Could you make the original 2.0 version available on your site /Wetransfer if it could be done this way. I would love to test your firmware but need a fallback option.

  14. I tried both your custom 2.0 firmware and stock 2.0 firmware on my E-M1. Going back and forth between the two firmwares was no problem with the SD card method (Note: the flashing was not working with my 64GB SDXC card, so I had to switch to a lower 8GB SD card to make it work). Comparing movie captures however, I don't see much, or any, difference in details between the two firmwares… I tried both ISO 200 and 3200. captures and compared, but didn't see the degree of difference shown in your shocase video post.

    1. So either they improved the video on the 2.0 and the published comparison is with the 1.4, or they uploaded the wrong hacked version was published or the difference in the magnification coupled with the shitty codec is giving rise to the observed difference, or… I hope not.

    2. I unpacked the custom firmware and took a look at the modifications before I flashed the firmware.. From the modifications I see earnest effort to modify the firmware (changes mainly consist of debug string changes and changing occurences of 1920×1080 to 3840×2160), so I think it could be that wrong version got published… I also made sure that the custom firmware was correctly flashed by repacking the file with string modification to main-lang.bin and verifying that the string was changed in the menu after flashing the file (checksum generation seems to have changed manually instead of using oly_fw_manip tool.. please upload the updated version). Few observations from my testing:

      1. Why did so many debug strings had to be changed? From the looks they look like a prompt strings for the olympus internal debug shell and changing these strings doesn't seem to serve any purpose.

      2. As mentioned above, the checksum generation method seems to have been changed for packing, and if using the current oly_fw_manip tool to generate the packed file the firmware doesn't flash.. since the custom firmware is flashing correctly and has correct checksums, I think that a new oly_fw_manip version modified for use in e-m1 2.0 firmware is in existance.. Please upload the latest version.

      Thank you Jonathan and keep up the great work!

    3. correction on above comment.. (checksum generation seems to have changed so I had to manually change the checksum instead of using the tool)

    4. Yes the checksums have changed, I mentioned this in a earlier post. The checksums are generated by hand because of this.
      Not all of the debug strings are really for debug purposes. It was just a try to edit them all. There was no need to revert them back to normal.

    5. Hey Jonathan, thanks for all the work.
      Do you have an idea why nobody reports any improvement in video as you do?
      All the people that have tried it say they see no improvement.

    6. Anonymous, i don't know your name

      But it is impossible to recompile the firmware 2006 with the actual tools, you need to resign the firmware itself to be able to flash this one.

      It was long to find the correct signature, i don't think you could even flash the firmware after unpack and repack with the oly firmware tool, you can't and i'm sure of this at 100%, i work on the resign myself, that's why you can flash it

      Changing the debug strings is helping for testing purpose, the firmware as different call function that is not necessarily only debug strings.

      It take a long time to find every call function and you can't change the size of the firmware,
      Is not that easy to work on firmware like, everything is there but it need time to figure out where it goes
      and keep it stable, we don't have the Olympus Official SDK for that.

      I already discover a lot of calling function but more time we help, a 100% custom firmware that will change the way you use your camera same as the magic lantern, will not be ready just tomorrow, it can take weeks or month for that, (even year).

      Some part of the firmware need to be rewrite because Olympus release this firmware too fast and without fixing a lot of important issue.

    7. That sounds good. I will look forward to future releases of your custom firmware, and will try on my e-m1 and give you feedback when released.

  15. Tested the firmware and did a test with both firmwares original and hacked, even magnified video to 4k resolution and saw no difference. People on other forums reporting same findings, they just can't seem to mimic video results shown.

  16. Is this some kind of stunt tied with the supposed new video firmware that Olympus tested since no one has verified these claims?

  17. Jonathan, it is great that you are working to customize the firmware of the EM1 even without having the camera yourself.
    But before people can help you (donate) you have to make sure what you claim the hacked firmware does is verified by other users too.
    A lot of people are interested in this project and it will be a pity to waste this on false claims.
    Thank you and keep on the good work.

  18. Here's a question: given a UK model Olympus EM1 (with a 29 minute time recording limit), can I flash a Japanese EM1 firmware (without this limit) to it? If so, how?

    1. I am told that the JAP models have no time limit. I don't know for certain about the USA models. Can anybody confirm this?

  19. Given that nobody seems to see an improvement, it looks like all you did was changing the display strings, and likely some debug strings as well. As a computer science student you'll know that it's common to separate resources from functional code, so this is rather expected.
    Have you actually made other changes besides text resource changes and calculating a new checksum to make it installable?

  20. Please upload the original firmware. On the poppy has not run your program for a reconstruction of the original firmware. At least version 1.4 in order to flash to 2.0 officially.

    1. I'm just saying, nobody has been able to duplicate the results found in your video.

      I WANT this to work and I will support development with donations. Provide us with something where EVERYONE gets the results show in your test videos and I will start with a $25 US donation and we'll see where it goes from there.

    2. Anonymous.
      No one force you to use the custom firmware, no one force you to make a donation.
      This is not about Donation or Hoax at all.
      You can expect us to delivery a custom firmware that fast, it take time, it take me few days to find the correct signature to recompile the firmware 2006, because the public olympus tool doesn't work properly with the new firmware.

      If you are not happy with this, you should work on it yourself.

    1. Unfortunately have only on E-M1 for test.
      No specific information ?
      Simple (same distance, a little different angle, one with full sensor read and the other no)
      ISO 3200, Shutter at 1/4000 (why that much, simply to show the details at the extreme settings in video mode) 40-150mm not even the best lens.
      have no problem with the magnification.

      Let's take a example of the 4K downsample to 1080p
      Here is a little bit similar
      crop 1080 -> encode 1080p (loose a lot of details)

    2. I'm waiting for comparisons between native firmware and hacked firmware that noncropped and nonedited in normal situation.

    3. Are you kidding me ?

      Under is native firmware, upper is custom firnware.
      Nothing is cropped in here.
      You don't know anything about what the Full Sensor read mean.

      Anyway i'm not going to loose my time with people like you.
      You are not happy, go check someone else.

  21. FYI, Link to original EM1 OLY Firmware from OLY source. Although Jonathan told me above in the thread that it is in his Firmware Control program, I wanted to find the original public OLY source just for file integrity or version history sake before I attempted the OLY 2.0 or any non-OLY source. Has nothing to do with trusting Jonathan or not…

    1.4:
    http://dl01.olympus-imaging.com/OLYMPUS_MASTER/FIRMWARES/0001/1090/OLY_E_109_1401_0000_0000.BIN

    2.0
    http://dl01.olympus-imaging.com/OLYMPUS_MASTER/FIRMWARES/0001/1090/OLY_E_109_2006_0000_0000.BIN

  22. Guys, stop hating – WTF?
    Those guys are private developers – they are doing this for fun, not profit.

    If you don't wanna risk you M1 – don't do it.
    But keep in mind: There are no CLAIMS, there is only humbleness!

    At the devs: Keep the momentum! Good luck with the further implementation; will test it soon!

    1. The problem is that nobody else has been able to duplicate the results shown in the video here. Either they uploaded the wrong firmware or the video is staged.

      When we try to ask the developers why nobody else can get their results, they get defensive and provide no real answers.

    2. I have not seen one example of anyone else proving that this works. Please, prove us wrong and show us third party examples!

    3. You are too blind.
      We are not your dogs, i have nothing to prove to you or anybody else.
      If i want to work on it, i work and if i want to stop, i will stop.
      So keep your talk for someone else, it doesn't work like that.

    4. You are obviously naive with the way software is developed. You don't expect someone to simply trust an unknown source with no real proof that the risk is worth it.

  23. I would kiss you if you can do 24p and boost the bitrate. Good luck, will pledge to donate $50 if you manage it. James

  24. Another glaring shortcoming in the original Olympus firmware is the 10FPS framerate on timelapse footage. If one were able to save a timelapse at 24, 25, 30 or 60fps it would be much more useable.

  25. Thanks for the impressive job!
    Two questions – Is it possible to add RAW-mode blinkies? today the blinkies mode is based on the JPEG that is converted from the RAW and this doesn't show the real clipping point. Also, is it possible to add more mysets?

  26. wow fantastic work, will certainly be keeping an eye on this, if you can bring 4k internal recording to the EM1 you will definately be getting my support 😉

  27. With the full sensor readout you mention that it has no crop, so would this be the same view as a 16:9 image using the same amount of sensor? So would the hack mean that it uses the 4608×2592 lines then down scales it to 1080? I know that if you turn on M-IS it creates small crop because of the electronic Image Stability.

  28. Moikka,

    Onkohan 60fps mahdollista lisätä ripattuun firmwareen. Olisi käytännöllinen hidastuksissa. Kiitokset 🙂

  29. Please keep on keeping on!!!
    This is the best news! Really appreciate you dabbling in such a crazy endeavor
    If you can give more features i will donate $50
    Happy holliday and merry new year!

    Cheers

    1. After all Nabil also is a "stunt" man! 🙂

      Either way you don't take down all your content and delete everything if it were all a big stunt or to get Twitter followers? I suspect a big hand-slap from OLY because of Panasonic licensing problem?

  30. What is the latest status for the near future of this firmware project? Firmware 3.0 is coming out soon for E-M1–will there be a new version of the custom firmware based on 3.0? Also, anyone care to comment on whether the custom firmware has actually improved their videos?

  31. I have an E-M5 and would gladly test firmware on it. I think the most important feature would be a higher bitrate, larger videostreams, because the default (for all modes/resolutions) on the EM5 is bad. Really ugly artifacts. Even my hacked GH1 that is way older had MUCH better quality (Full HD) video. Sad really, since the OMD stabilizer is really good.

  32. Would also be super interested in an e-m5 update for either a higher framerate or an improvement of the codec in order to have better video results. Therefore I could also take the risk and test it. It would be worth for me to donate about 250€ depanding on what exactly is going to be done, because otherwise maybe I'd have to change or increase my system. Hopefully there'll be some updates about when or if there will be any custom firmware in the future. I'd really appreciate it!
    Sincerely, Simon 🙂

  33. Giày là một trong những thời trang không thể thiếu, đặc biệt đối với những chàng trai chân ngắn thì lựa chọn đôi giày phù hợp rất quan trọng. Bạn có thể tham khảo cách lựa chọn qua bài viết
    nam chân ngăn nên mang giày nào. hoặc có thể tham khảo
    cách chọn giày cho phái mạnh giúp bạn lựa chọn được những sản phẩm thích hợp nhất.

    Hướng dẫn cách bảo vệ giày đi mưa giúp bạn bảo vệ đôi giày của bạn được tốt nhất.

    Bài viết chia sẽ Cách đeo đồng hồ đẹp và quý phái giúp bạn lựa chọn cho mình những chiếc đồng hồ có thể tôn lên nét đẹp riêng cho bạn. Ngoài ra, chúng tôi còn chuyên cung cấp dây da dùng cho đồng hồ dây da nữ với giá rẻ và chất lượng tốt nhất trên thị trường hiện nay. Tìm hiểu chi tiết về thương hiệu đồng hồ nổi tiếng trên thế giới

  34. Noi that van phong gia re là tên gọi chung của rất nhiều loại nội thất khác nhau. Tuy nhiên không phải tất cả chúng đều cần thiết cho phòng làm việc. Nhưng lại có những đồ nội thất chắc chắn phải có để tạo nên một phòng làm việc có đủ vật chất và không gian làm việc hoàn chỉnh nhất. Vậy khi mua nội thất văn phòng bạn mua những bàn làm việc văn phòng giá rẻ

  35. Why is Live composite mode limited in all Olympus cameras to shortest 1/2 sec?
    It might be possible to extend it via a firmware hack to say 1/125 sec for daytime lightnings… 😉