Olympus Update Tool reworked

Since the old ‘Olympus Update Tool’ was outdated most of the time I reworked the tool. It is now updating itself every week on it’s own. I am sure it leads to a more up to date database.

The design has not changed a lot, but under the hood it is completely different. One of the few design additions might be the cookie notice to comply with the EU-privacy-law.

In addition, I added a lot more cameras, containing now the TOUGH version.
The full list contains a total of 22 25:

TOUGH-TG-630 PEN-F PEN-E-PL1s OMD-E-M5II
TOUGH-TG-4 PEN-E-PM1 PEN-E-P5 OMD-E-M5
TOUGH-TG-2 Limited PEN-E-PL7 PEN-E-P3 OMD-E-M10II
TOUGH-TG-2 PEN-E-PL6 PEN-E-P2 OMD-E-M10
Stylus-TG-1 PEN-E-PL5 PEN-E-P1 OMD-E-M1
Stylus-1 PEN-E-PL3  OMD-E-M1II

Any idea how to improve it further? Contact me or write a comment.

A repair oddysee – A little calm story

You know what really grinds my gears?
My camera. Not very often, but sometimes our relationship is complicated.
Let’s tell the story from the beginning: As you may know I own an Olympus OM-D E-M10 as of May 2014. I really like the camera. It was the best choice for an entry level camera.

It’s got a great design, it’s made of metal and it’s lightweight (for those of us who do not want to carry a brink all day). But I experienced a little repair story with my Olympus I want so share with you.

As I bought my Olympus I was happy. I got as a birthday present and opened it right away at home. The build quality was fine. Olympus standards are not bad, but as I looked trough the viewfinder I was a bit surprised to see a lot of of black fuzzy things. The viewfinder was simply dirty and had grain in it.
I went back to the store the next day and the seller wondered how this could happen. I thought ‘Ok, bad luck. Let’s wait for a quick repair. It is nothing to be mad about.’.

Let’s wait for a quick repair. It is nothing to be mad about.

Well… It got worse.

Next, a few weeks later, the wifi signal disappeared out of nowhere. Again: Back to the store. Send it back to Olympus again. This procedure takes about 2 weeks each time. So keep calm. They will fix it. Eventually.
Got the camera back and a few weeks after that it suddenly stopped operating at all. I went to the store again to give it back. With the European low you can do that usually quite easy – as I thought. But apparently a store is not Amazon. To be precise the ‘ring foto’ store did not even adjudicated my  legal warranty. What is the point of supporting your local industry, if Amazon has way more benefits?

So I waited another 2 weeks. Now I was being informed that Olympus is short of cameras. How? I do not know. Maybe I bought it at a time where is was new. I waited another 2 weeks for a repaired camera.This time I got my first replacement. But the camera was black and not silver.

Even the document said it was changed into a black version. Was it done on purpose? I hope not.
So I requested, because it is my right (and also the silver one is a lot cooler), another replacement. From now on I only spoke to the head of the store. He phoned the Olympus Europe headquarter in Czechia and made sure I’ll get a new one.

I for one was allowed to carry on with the black camera for limited period of time. But was I able to shoot? No.

So keep calm. They will fix it. Eventually.

The new black camera was not able to shoot. Well, it was, but only without the In-Body-Image-Stabilization (IBIS), which is kind of the point of an Olympus camera. All pictures where blurry and the camera made some noise you can briefly see/hear here. So I phoned the store again.

They gave me an E-M5 as an exchange. Unexpected but nice to have a camera and having to wait for another replacement. Olympus was still short on the new product but a new E-M10 did arrive soon.

This all happened to me last year between May and October 2014. It was quiet since then.
In march I turned on the integrated flash. I do not use this flash often, in fact I do not use it at all. It is just a flash for emergency situations. So I took a picture at night at full power, not thinking that this might be dangerous for the flash. Does such a thing have to heat up? I’m not a flash guy.

This time I did want a quick repair. I emailed my store and Olympus send a postman to pick up my device. The week after I had something in my mail. A new device. Again. I was lucky. Again. And it was broken. Again.
The rear display had some not working pixels. It is not the case that I can not take pictures with that camera, but.. you know… I have a decent repair history.I send it back to Olympus. They told me they’ll repair it. but they did not. The camera was send back again with a short note, that I should enable the hot pixel fix in the menu. No comment on that.

Since the camera was operation normally and I was about to drive to Paris it was OK for the moment. Not thinking about the quality of this camera I left it this way. It’s a mistake to think this was with an E-M10.

I shot a interval video with the camera a week before my trip to Paris and it broke again. Apparently the shutter does not like to be used rapidly in the sun. It got stuck and the camera never went on again.

I just got my 6. replacement of the E-M10 in the mail.

So, is there a conclusion to make? I do not know. Maybe I am the misfortune guy.
Olympus has to improve their control mechanisms and the communication! At this point I only speak to some kind of chief of the repair division, and he can not ensure me a camera free of errors.
The main conclusion is about us. The customer. Say what you want! All the while I claiming what I wanted. Say to the service that you can not wait to get the camera back. Ask them what they can do about you.A second and not so positive lesson from this is to by your gear at Amazon. They respect the law and pay your money back, if you have 3 or more repair cases (Europe, Germany). The local store business has to rethink their strategy about young people. They are used to the fact that you can return things if you want.
And a good support, either Olympus’ – which is OK – or my local store Ring Foto’s – which lacks at this – never made a customer run away. The whole camera business is about company loyalty and they must have an interest to make you stay in the system. Thanks to some good support I am still here and own this camera. Happily.

Have self confidence in you and a nice day!

If you have a similar story please share it!

Olympus Online Firmware Update Tool


I created a simple online tool too help you update your camera.
It keeps you in control of what firmware your cameras has. May is be a down and upgrade – with a downloaded firmware file it is easier and more secure to install than with the official updater!

Link to the online tool

It supports all the current OM-D models, most of the PEN series and the last Stylus. Basically every camera I could think of which a update was provided for. If your model is missing write me a short mail here. It also provides a number of questions regarding this process. Don’t tend to ask if yours is not answered.

A screenshot of the update tool

I will try to expend this as I can. All the possible coming hacked firmwares will be available.
This also replaces the old firmware update tool for Windows.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Custom Firmware

This is outdated. Please have a look here if you want to up/downgrade your camera.
Follow this blog to get news about hacking a Olympus camera.

 

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.