The E-M1 was a fully-featured camera when it launched last year. We liked it so much that we named it our Camera of the Year, and it’s subsequently led to the increase of Olympus sales. We found very little lacking with it the first time around, and now it’s getting even more unique features that owners can download starting this week. We got to play around with a new silver E-M1 on the show floor of Photokina 2014 and were duly impressed.
Olympus says that tethered shooting was a frequently requested feature: It'll be an absolute boon for photographers working in a studio. Using the camera's USB connection, the E-M1 can now communicate with the Olympus Capture software and display shooting info and images in a matter of seconds. The software will be available later on this month for both Mac and PC, and we think studio photographers will be pleased with how zippy it is.
A more surprising announcement was regarding the camera's EVF. We thought the EVF was a really nice unit when we reviewed the camera last year, and found it to be among the best on the market at the time. Now, without having to do anything but a simple firmware update, the EVF will get even better. Somehow, Olympus has reduced the latency from 29ms to 16ms. In the limited environment of the show floor we couldn't draw any meaningful conclusions about the update, but the EVF still looks as great as ever.
Building on what Olympus did with Live Bulb (letting users watch a bulb mode image develop before their eyes), the E-M1 gains Live Composite with firmware 2.0. This feature will allow photographers to watch as successive photographs are combined into one shot. Instead of waiting until after you've finished shooting (relying on a desktop computer and Photoshop), the E-M1 will allow you to combine multiple exposures on the fly.
Keystone Adjust is another one of those Olympus "why didn't I think of that" features. With a click and flick, you can adjust the perspective of your subject as you frame your shot. It works like the E-M1's shadow/highlight correction feature, with an easy-to-understand onscreen interface. The big control dials of the E-M1 make controlling this feature a breeze. We think this will be one of the most useful features in the new firmware and it certainly worked great in our first few minutes with the camera.
Needless to say, the new 2.0 firmware is going to make the E-M1 seem like a new camera—even a year after it first hit the market.
Meet the tester
Brendan is originally from California. Prior to writing for Reviewed.com, he graduated from UC Santa Cruz and did IT support and wrote for a technology blog in the mythical Silicon Valley. Brendan enjoys history, Marx Brothers films, Vietnamese food, cars, and laughing loudly.See all of Brendan Nystedt's reviews
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