Could the OM-D be upgraded to focus peaking via firmware?

Started May 2, 2013 | Discussions
don_van_vliet
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Could the OM-D be upgraded to focus peaking via firmware?
May 2, 2013

Just revisiting this often wondered question. Apparently the new PEN has focus peaking, and uses the same processor, I think (Truepic VI), so presumably it wouldn't be a processing power issue. It would instead be an issue of effort/programming/marketing. Thoughts? It would be good if the OM-D was upgraded to use the smaller focus points of the current PENS too, but I suppose Oly don't want to remove all the reasons to upgrade your OM-D...

Art_P
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In reply to don_van_vliet, May 2, 2013

I'd sure love the option of a smaller focus box that doesn't go away.  Assigning mysets to otherwise unused slots on the mode dial- brilliant.  Even assigning one function button to toggle through mysets would make me happy.  Focus peeking?  not a top priority for me

But I'm not holding my breath- Olympus wants to sell new cameras, not update old cameras for free so we don't need to buy new...

Also, while the processor may be the same, the new camera may have additional memory slots needed to hold the additional settings, so just updating the FW might not be enough to give us the goodies we want.

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Sergey Borachev
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Re: Or any of them?
In reply to Art_P, May 2, 2013

Art_P wrote:

I'd sure love the option of a smaller focus box that doesn't go away.  Assigning mysets to otherwise unused slots on the mode dial- brilliant.  Even assigning one function button to toggle through mysets would make me happy.  Focus peeking?  not a top priority for me

But I'm not holding my breath- Olympus wants to sell new cameras, not update old cameras for free so we don't need to buy new...

Also, while the processor may be the same, the new camera may have additional memory slots needed to hold the additional settings, so just updating the FW might not be enough to give us the goodies we want.

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Art P
"I am a creature of contrast,
of light and shadow.
I live where the two play together,
I thrive on the conflict"

If additional memory is required to hold more settings and code, and not available, that can be created by data compression/decompression, swapping on demand with other functionality not selected.  It is just a matter of will and what Olympus wants to do.  I believe that, being the top OMD line, the newer and more significant improvements like the small AF box should be provided.  Focus Peaking is not used by most people, and not used all the time even for those who use them, and not really essential.  If Olympus does not provide the essential ones, it loses some credibility of its commitment to this OMD, supposed top model.  As well as the E-M5 is selling, I think we will get the Myset and small AF box, and hopefully also the FP improvements.

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SkiHound
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Re: Could the OM-D be upgraded to focus peaking via firmware?
In reply to don_van_vliet, May 2, 2013

Could they? I don't know but I suspect they could. But in the past Olympus really has not released new features in firmware. They've mostly done fixes. So I doubt they will.

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Art_P
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Well, I hope
In reply to Sergey Borachev, May 2, 2013

they can at least do the small focus box... that's more of a fix than a new feature anyway.

But like I said, this is Olympus, I'm not holding my breath

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Sergey Borachev
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Re: Well, I hope
In reply to Art_P, May 3, 2013

Art_P wrote:

they can at least do the small focus box... that's more of a fix than a new feature anyway.

But like I said, this is Olympus, I'm not holding my breath

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Art P
"I am a creature of contrast,
of light and shadow.
I live where the two play together,
I thrive on the conflict"

I know what you mean.  Olympus is different.  or difficult? 

Other makers will make sure they support their main, their important or best selling products well.  The E-M5 is like the Samsung S3, and the E-P5 the Samsung Note 2, a more niche product.  The S3 gets all the goodies, accessories, updates, but the other models not as much.  I am not surprised if Olympus neglects the E-M5.

I am still waiting for some proper support products for what is its new image builder flagship line, like a proper waterproof flash unit, a faster proof kit zoom that fits this top model better, and more weather proof lenses, and black lenses (coming soon) that matches the silver and black models better than some funny silver colours as on many existing lenses.  If Olympus does not support properly its OMD models and only provide updates in the form of a new version, it will lose credibility in this flagship line.  I like the idea of passing on features to other models and not holding back on technology (like Canon and Panasonic), but it should also support its high-end products properly, at least for a couple of years.

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RealPancho
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Re: Could the OM-D be upgraded to focus peaking via firmware?
In reply to don_van_vliet, May 3, 2013

don_van_vliet wrote:

Just revisiting this often wondered question. Apparently the new PEN has focus peaking, and uses the same processor, I think (Truepic VI), so presumably it wouldn't be a processing power issue. It would instead be an issue of effort/programming/marketing. Thoughts? It would be good if the OM-D was upgraded to use the smaller focus points of the current PENS too, but I suppose Oly don't want to remove all the reasons to upgrade your OM-D...

Whether it could, I certainly can't tell you, but I can all but guarantee you that it WILL NOT. When has Olympus ever offered a substantial upgrade via firmware? And this is a shame, because if the E-M5 had focus peaking, I think I would use it extensively. I hate focussing digital cameras. I miss my OM-1's micro prism, and I hate these stupid focus rings that go round and round endlessly. Wow, do I sound like an old curmudgeon. Sorry.

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captura
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Re: Could the OM-D be upgraded to focus peaking via firmware?
In reply to don_van_vliet, May 3, 2013

It is possible that several of the newer cameras already have the capacity built-in, only requiring that (call home, ET!) firmware update for F.P. Certainly that was the case with my Sony NEX-3, about a year after I purchased it.

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Art_P
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Olympus did once
In reply to RealPancho, May 3, 2013

add a feature.

When the E-520 came out, IS did not work w legacy lenses.  They added that as a FW update.

I don't know, however, if they originally planned to include it but it wasn't ready in time, or if they buckled under the pressure of many folks asking for it.  They never did add focus conformation for legacy lenses.

Now if the E-P5 is using the same architecture, same support chips, same mapping of circuits as the E-M5, it should take very little effort to import the new features to the previous body.  And yes, it would make for quite a bit of good will.

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MichaelKJ
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Re: Well, I hope
In reply to Art_P, May 3, 2013

Art_P wrote:

they can at least do the small focus box... that's more of a fix than a new feature anyway.

But like I said, this is Olympus, I'm not holding my breath

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Art P
"I am a creature of contrast,
of light and shadow.
I live where the two play together,
I thrive on the conflict"

I agree. After all, this is the company that puts making money from lens hoods over customer relations. It also probably depends on when Olympus plans on releasing a successor to the E-M5. The more new goodies they can put in the next model the more likely people are to upgrade.

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Najinsky
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Re: Could the OM-D be upgraded to focus peaking via firmware?
In reply to don_van_vliet, May 3, 2013

don_van_vliet wrote:

Just revisiting this often wondered question. Apparently the new PEN has focus peaking, and uses the same processor, I think (Truepic VI), so presumably it wouldn't be a processing power issue. It would instead be an issue of effort/programming/marketing. Thoughts? It would be good if the OM-D was upgraded to use the smaller focus points of the current PENS too, but I suppose Oly don't want to remove all the reasons to upgrade your OM-D...

According to a rumour site, a hacker claims FP is already built into the OM-D firmware, along with enhanced video performance options, but both have been disabled by hiding the menu options to engage them.

It's an unsubstantiated rumour, of an unsubstantiated hacker claim, so easy to dismiss. Yet still I feel inclined to believe it.

It's not uncommon for software to have features built in during development but which for some reason (usually bugs or poor performance) is made inaccessible to the user until such time the bugs/performance issues are worked out.

I doubt Olympus will see the E-P5 as targeted at OM-D users. OM-D will remain a flagship, and the E-P5 will sit along side it as a replacement for the E-P3.

In 'traditional' Olympus style, the E-P3 will not get any new features via firmware, but I wouldn't rule out OM-D gaining access to features it may have been intended to have via a firmware update.

-Najinsky

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jll35
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Re: Could the OM-D be upgraded to focus peaking via firmware?
In reply to RealPancho, May 3, 2013

but in the old days, they never had focus peaking.

so. why can't you just focus manually, the EVF is good enough and it has

magnification to help you focus better

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RealPancho
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Re: Could the OM-D be upgraded to focus peaking via firmware?
In reply to jll35, May 3, 2013

jll35 wrote:

but in the old days, they never had focus peaking.

I used my eyes to do the focus peaking. I could look at the scene in my viewfinder and see what was or wasn't in focus.

so. why can't you just focus manually, the EVF is good enough

Sorry, but it really isn't, at least for me.

and it has

magnification to help you focus better

I've tried the magnification, and it just drives me crazy to have the scene jumping in and out like that.

I should add that my focus problems are rare, and I've never even seen focus peaking, let alone used it, but from its description, it sounds like a very useful benefit.

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captura
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Re: Could the OM-D be upgraded to focus peaking via firmware?
In reply to jll35, May 3, 2013

jll35 wrote:

but in the old days, they never had focus peaking.

so. why can't you just focus manually, the EVF is good enough and it has

magnification to help you focus better

In the old days, there were no cameras.

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FoolyCooly
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In reply to don_van_vliet, May 3, 2013

I added that functionality and more to my 5D MKii with a 3rd party firmware. Magiclantern is what it was called. Sadly I recently let my 5D go... too many camera brands. I'm only going to shoot MFT and Nikon for now.

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AllMankind
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In a word YES.
In reply to don_van_vliet, May 3, 2013

In fact, the original NEX 3/5 did not have peaking, but it was added in a firmware upgrade.

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captura
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Re: In a word YES.
In reply to AllMankind, May 3, 2013

AllMankind wrote:

In fact, the original NEX 3/5 did not have peaking, but it was added in a firmware upgrade.

Yes, I posted that. I really pleasant and unexpected surprise for me when it happened with my NEX3.

A video of the FP working on a G6 reveals a somewhat different appearance to the one on the NEX's.

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Pixnat2
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It can, but it won't at 99%
In reply to don_van_vliet, May 3, 2013

Knowing Olympus FW updates history, don't hold your breath.

But I would be happy it they'll prove me wrong, that's why I leave 1% 

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Art_P
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I give it a 10% chance of happening.
In reply to Pixnat2, May 3, 2013

guess it's just the optimist in me

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Art P
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Pixnat2
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In reply to Art_P, May 3, 2013

Art_P wrote:

guess it's just the optimist in me

That's nice to be optimist

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