Like a Moth to a Flame …

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 has been in and out of my camera bag a few times, now.  Like the proverbial Moth to the Flame, I seem to be irresistibly drawn to the small but powerful Olympus.  I loved the Sony A-7RM2 and Leica Q, but they were just a bit pricey for my “enthusiast’s” budget.  And while the Fujifilm X-T1 and X100T are awesome cameras, they just don’t completely satisfy my desires.  (Although I must admit that I’m keeping a very close eye on the new X-T2.  :-))

Why the E-M1?

So what is it?  Why does the E-M1 seem to be (for me) the camera that most meets my needs? Continue reading “Like a Moth to a Flame …”

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E-M1 Firmware 2.0 Brings Live Composite Feature

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 came with a feature found on no other OM-D camera (or possibly any other camera), and that feature was called Live Composite.  It’s a way of “sort of” doing time lapse photography, but with each successive image added to all the previous images, much like using the Lighten Blending mode to merge layers in Photoshop.  Now, FW 2.0 brings this great function to the E-M1.

With this first image, I used Live Composite with the overall exposure set to underexpose by a couple of stops.  Then, I just slowly added soft light to the parts I wanted to brighten, all the while watching the image develop in real time on the LCD.

To use Live Composite (LC), you have to go to Manual and pass through all of the slow shutter speeds, past Live Time and Bulb.  Once you’re in LC, you’ll be able to adjust your shutter speed by pressing the Menu Button to access that menu.  However, before you go to LC, I suggest doing some test shots in manual to determine your base or starting exposure.  Once this is set and you begin the LC exposure, the dark areas won’t increase in brightness, only parts of the image that are brighter will be added, and only up to the set exposure.  I know this is a little confusing, but as soon as you use it once or twice, it will become very clear.  One other tip … you should use a tripod for this.

In the above photo, the image on the left shows the result after 22 exposures (46 seconds), while the right one shows after 49 exposures. The only increase in brightness is from light painting that I did with a flashlight. This also shows the display you will see on your camera, showing total elapsed time, your set shutter speed and number of exposures, plus a histogram to help you judge the correct (desired) exposure.

Live Composite should be a great tool for capturing star trails or car light trails. Or, how about getting that smooth look on flowing water or fast moving clouds. I think it’s perfect for light painting, too, but just use your imagination to come up with lots of new applications and then be sure and share your ideas with the rest of us.

This is a very brief introduction, but I go into more detail in an ebook I’ve written, a comprehensive guide to Firmware Update Version 2.0 for the Olympus OM-D E-M1.  It’s now available for FREE download at The Friedman Archives.  If you’d like to get it, please send an email request to Gary Friedman.

Olympus Firmware Update 2.0 Released for OM-D E-M1

OM-D E-M1 Firmware Update Version 2.0 Available Here

Update:  Olympus has actually issued a revised, version 2 Camera Manual
that incorporates these changes.

The new firmware, version 2.0, for the Olympus OM-D E-M1 is a major update.  With over 24 improvements and new functions, some major but all significant, I think every E-M1 user will find something to love.  There’s even a new software package coming next week (Sept, 24th) to support tethered shooting … nice!

In fact, we’ll just start there.  Olympus’ new “Tethered Shooting System Software”, called “Olympus Capture”, will be ready for download on September 24, 2014.  It will be available for both Mac and Windows, and should be very helpful in Pro Studios and home studios, too.

Here’s the link to the website:  Olympus Capture Software

Below, is the Olympus official list of new functions and operability improvements.

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).
(My Note:  Don’t forget … Frame Rate (Custom Menu D) is grayed out and defaults to “normal” if you have Focus Peaking turned on.)
·       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.

Plus, Olympus Image Share App Ver. 2.4 is now supported.

I’ve written a comprehensive guide to Firmware Update Version 2.0 for the Olympus OM-D E-M1.  It’s now available for FREE download at The Friedman Archives.  If you’d like to get it, please send an email request to Gary Friedman.


Don’t forget, the definitive guide to the Olympus OM-D E-M1 is available at The Friedman Archives.