Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Olympus OMD E-M1 Firmware Update 2.0 - How to shoot Tethered with Olympus Capture Software

Screen grab from DP Review

Not too long after one of the biggest photography expos, Photokina, Olympus released a new firmware update for all Olympus OMD E-M1's, which is already included with the newly announced Silver OMD pictured above. While I have always been a fan of the black & silver two tone look, I don't think I will be do doing a purely aesthetic upgrade. Firmware 2.0 for the OMD E-M1 is a move in the right direction for the flagship camera that will undoubtedly make aspiring professionals and professionals alike extremely happy. 

The following information has been greatly summarized by my internet buddy, Mike Hendren, on his blog Thru Mikes Viewfinder and I will summarize it below.

8 New Functions:

  • Tethered Shooting via the new Olympus Capture Software 
  • Live Composite mode
  • Keystone Compensation (digital shift) to correct vertical distortion.
  • 2 New Art Filters: Vintage and Partial Color.
  • Aperture Lock function has been added to Aperture Preview.
  • Panning Shot shooting mode has been added to SCN mode.
  • Old Film effect has been added to movie effect.
  • New Photo Story mode features: Zoom In/Out and Layout framing options. Save (complete partway through), Temporary Save, and Resume functions.
16 Operability Improvements:
  •  EVF image display time lag reduced to 16 milliseconds (when frame rate setting is set to high speed)
  • Multiple simultaneous settings now available in Live Guide.
  • Exposure compensation (±3 EV) is now available in HDR 1/HDR2 shooting.
  • A function has been added to cancel Color Creator and return to the original Picture Mode by pressing the MENU button when using Color Creator function.
  • Movie Tele-converter can now be used simultaneously when Art Filter is set to Picture Mode.
  • AF function for each frame was added to Custom Self Timer. In Drive Mode's Custom Self Timer settings, you can now press the INFO button to change settings.
  • MF Assist is now supported in magnified frame position.
  • 3x has been added to high resolution magnified Live View.
  • The Peaking display frame rate has been improved.
  • Electronic zoom speed setting function was added. An icon appears on the LCD monitor when using an Olympus electronic zoom lens.
  • When the arrow pad is set to Direct function, the Underwater/Underwater macro functions can be used with the left and down button on the arrow pad.
  •  Double tap is now supported in touch operations on the Super Control Panel.
  • The level gauge and histogram can now be displayed during magnified frame display. The Touch Off icon was added to magnified frame display.
  • A function was added so that shooting information recorded in HDR1/HDR2 can be viewed in the playback screen.
  • Information on composited number of shots for images recorded with Live Composite was added (Can be checked in Olympus Viewer3).
  • When the BKT button is held down, the BKT menu now appears.

Among the many features I will be using in my home studio, I believe the new tethered mode takes the cake. The new Olympus Capture Software is pretty much everything I wanted since I started doing studio photography with the OMD and I wanted to run you through the initial stages and how I personally set up the software. I would also take the time to watch the video in the link provided below and consider purchasing a new cord to extend the distance you can operate being physically tethered to you computer. I purchased this longer CORD and this USB ADAPTER for the extra reach and can attest they work perfectly well. 

I know this typically goes without saying, but make sure you have a full charged battery when connecting to the computer. Unlike the Sony A7, this will not charge you battery nor will it run on your PC power. Once connected you want turn the camera on and select the the third item down that shows the the icon of a camera wired to a computer.

I am incredibly impressed that I now have the option to actuate the shutter and take control from either the camera or from the computer. It covers pretty much all the bases I need and more. You can select your focus point, change white balance, ISO, shutter speed and aperture. I haven't found anything the computer can't do that the camera can, but I will admit I have had very limited exposure to the new software. I will update as I spend more time with the software.   

Since I spend most of my time doing studio portraits, I prefer to spend as little time looking at the computer and most of my time interacting with my model(s). My intended use for tethering is to make sure that my lighting is spot on. I have learned not to trust what I see on the back of my LCD screen as I have experienced a handful of instances of over exposed portraits. When shooting RAW + JPEG, the software allows you to immediately transfer the JPEGs to a designated folder on your computer for immediate review. The transfer rate is quick especially when you are shooting SMALL JPEG. Below are steps to configure the software for the aforementioned set up (from a PC user perspective):

  1. Create a folder dedicated to transfer anywhere on your PC
  2. Access the Options menu in the upper right corner of the software
  3. Select Transfer Settings on the LEFT column of the menu
  4. Select "ON" - Transfer images automatically from camera
  5. Under the Transfer Destination section find the folder you created in Step 1
  6. Optional (my preferred setting) - Click the check box Create subfolder with shooting date automatically
  7. I opted for the default selections under: File Name After Transfer and Rule When The Same File Name Exists
  8. Under Download Settings, I opted to Omit Raw Files as to speed up the review process. Transfer Raw files will takes significantly more time especially with consecutive shooting. 
  9. Select RAW + JPEG either on your camera or on the computer and you are ready to go. 
I would love to hear what the rest of you think of the new software. I have only done a quick 10 minute portrait with my fiance, but I already think this is a fantastic addition to my home studio. I hope this helps and I would love to hear about your experience. Happy tethered shooting.

So say we all,

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