Olympus Updates E-M1mkII, E-M5mkII, and Pen-F firmware and adds HSS with Profoto

Olympus announced some major updates today via firmware.
You can check out the firmware updates here: Olympus Joint Updating service
You can also go to my resources page to view firmware history and find out how to update as well as get other resources on one page.

E-M1mkII

Big news here in version 1.2 is that they fixed the High-Res and Focus stacking issue of the hotshoe and sync port not firing with non-Olympus flashes.  Finally we can use strobes with this feature.  I tried it out this morning and can report excellent results.  I had reported this to Olympus a couple months ago and am very glad to see they fixed this so quickly.

Next up is Profoto Air comparability!  Not only basic compatability…but HSS & TTL.  That is High Speed Sync and Through the The Lens metering.  For those of us that use profoto, this is excellent.  I have never been a fan of high speed sync generally…i prefer leaf shutters.  On an Olympus system where we don’t need to stop down as far for equivalent depth of field HSS might be awesome.  I look forward to testing this out.  HSS kills the flash power in favor of a constant strobing to match up to very high shutter speeds.  This always meant flash modifiers kill the chance of using speedlights without going through hoops and batching them up.  Shooting at F/1.8 – F/4 means greater usage of the flash power while gaining the HSS shutter speeds.  Very cool.  Do any of you use HSS regularly?  Let me know your experience with this.

Here is the Profoto Air page for Olympus.  An awesome feature is that you can use TTL to quickly get the exposure you want and then hit a button to set the lights into manual mode which retains the TTL setting.  So you can move around and not have the lights change with new metering.  Awesome.  Makes working with strobes much faster in certain situations.

They also corrected a few other small items such as EVF screen color display, battery display calc., etc…  You can look them up on the firmware page.

E-M5mkII and Pen-F

The E-M5mkII got some great upgrades.  Aside from gaining Profoto support just like the E-M1mkII…it ALSO gets settings and Presets saving and reloading!  Thank you Olympus!  I wish the E-M1 mkI had this too.  This to me makes the E-M1mkII the best value from the last generation now.  It may not have the sheer performance of the original E-M1…but with better video recording, just about all the features, and now settings saving… best bang for the buck!  Excellent back-up body too.  Another features added was spot metering is linked to the AF point.  Handy if you do a lot of that.  I used to…but now highlight warnings are more useful to me.

The Pen-F got the same profoto support and backup of settings.  This is excellent!  This makes it quite the powerhouse in such a compact body.  Especially with the gorgeous sensor it has.  The only problem is that Olympus doesn’t allow tethering yet!  WHY!?!?!  This would be an excellent backup body to the E-M1mkII if tethering was available.  Oh well.  They also cleaned up a few things with Auto ISO, the AF Targeting Pad, and Art filters.

I updated my E-M1mkII already and so far so good.  No bugs to report yet.  (and hopefully not at all…)  I highly recommend the update for these features.

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4 thoughts on “Olympus Updates E-M1mkII, E-M5mkII, and Pen-F firmware and adds HSS with Profoto

  1. Hi Tony,

    “we can use strobes with this feature.  I tried it out this morning and can report excellent results”

    Is that with manual flash setting, or can you get TTL-auto to work in focus stacking as well as in focus bracketing? I’m not given the option to use TTL with the Oly STF-8…

    1. So my reference was with non-olympus strobes that are triggered via radio slaves, or the sync cable. Generally this is for using monoblocs and other studio lighting. The Olympus hotshoe based flashes always worked. However this was an error from Olympus as their other models never had this issue. Why have a sync port if it disables? I should add a reference link back to my original discovery article.
      In terms of the STF-8… I don’t own one yet…but I have it on my list of “stuff to buy.” As far as I know, Olympus only allows the STF-8 to function in Manual mode when using focus stacking. I am assuming this is because it needs consistent shots in order to align and merge them. TTL always has a chance changing exposure from shot to shot. You should be able to use TTL in other shoot modes though.

  2. Hi Tony, sure, I understood your reference, it just wasn’t clear whether this was in manual mode or TTL. I was wondering if you now are able to get your non-Olympus flashes to allow TTL-auto shots for any of the clever stuff — focus bracketing, or focus stacking, or High-Res shooting? I understand that the in-camera processing needed for stacking and high-res might need consistency of exposure, but bracketing? Thanks!

    1. Oh, misunderstood the first time. I am in purely manual flash mode. The strobes I use are manual only. I like the Paul Buff Einsteins and that is generally what I use.

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