Olympus has updated the firmware of its PEN E-P5 mirrorless camera, introducing improved Wi-Fi remote control functionality and a '0 sec' anti-shock setting. The latter should help prevent blurred images at certain shutter speeds - our main gripe when we reviewed the camera. There's also an update for the Stylus 1 enthusiast compact with similarly-enhanced Wi-Fi control. Both updates are available to download and install now, using the Olympus Digital Camera updater program. The new Wi-Fi features also require the latest version of the Olympus Image Share app.

We first saw Olympus's electronic-shutter based '0 second anti-shock' in FW 1.3 for the OM-D E-M1.  Just to recap, the shutter systems on most mirrorless cameras have tended to work in a different way to SLRs. The shutter is held open during normal live view, and when the shutter button is pressed it closes so the sensor can be reset, then quickly opens again to make the exposure. This process has been blamed for sometimes introducing image blurring across a specific range of shutter speeds (usually around 1/60-1/250sec). 

With an electronic first curtain, the exposure is started by a purely electronic process (as the name implies). Some manufacturers such as Canon and Sony have used this for several years, as it can be used to entirely eliminate any vibration from the physical shutter action. Olympus's implementation is however subtly different - the physical shutter still closes and opens as usual, but the exposure is slightly delayed to allow any vibrations to die down, and then started electronically.

Olympus has rather played-down the new mode in its release notes for the firmware, simply saying 'A 0 second setting has been added to Anti-Shock mode'. But the camera itself is much less shy in telling you what's really going on:

The E-P5 displays this screen on selection of its new '0 second' anti-shock mode

We didn't investigate this in any great detail on the E-M1, simply because we found it relatively insusceptible to this kind of image blurring. In contrast we did find it to be a problem on the E-P5, to the extent that it was one of biggest criticisms we had of the camera in our review. So it's great to see Olympus attempting to address the problem - we're looking forward to playing with the latest firmware and finding out whether it's succeeded.  


Press release:

We are pleased to announce the release of new firmware upgrades for two of our award-winning products, the PEN E-P5 and the STYLUS 1. 

Details of how these upgrades will improve the functionality of the cameras can be read below. 

E-P5 firmware version 1.3 --> 1.4 

• Improved remote control functionality when using the "Olympus Image Share" app.

Art Filter mode, custom self timer, zoom operation when using electric zoom lenses, digital tele-converter and cable remote release mode

*It is necessary to use the latest version of the Olympus Image Share app so it is recommended you also check your smartphone for updates too. 

• A 0 second setting has been added to Anti Shock mode

STYLUS 1 firmware version 1.0 --> 1.1 

• Improved remote control functionality when using the "Olympus Image Share" app.

Art Filter mode, custom self timer, zoom operation when using electric zoom lenses, digital tele-converter and cable remote release mode

*It is necessary to use the latest version of the Olympus Image Share app so it is recommended you also check your smartphone for updates too.