Firmware Friday: Focus and sensitivity tweaks for Olympus E-M5; bug fixes for high-end Canon camcorders


posted Friday, January 31, 2014 at 4:35 PM EDT


After last week's generous selection of APS-C camera updates, things are quieter on the update front this Firmware Friday, at least for still cameras. We have one update to report on for the Olympus E-M5, and three updates for Canon camcorders -- but that Olympus update will surely be welcome news for E-M5 owners.

The reason? It adds two handy new features. With firmware v2.0, the Olympus E-M5 now offers a Small AF Target option that will help ensure you're placing focus just where you want it with difficult subjects. It also adds a new ISO 100 position, giving E-M5 shooters a new option below ISO 200. While this likely decreases dynamic range because it's below the base sensitivity of the sensor, it's still nice to have the option.

If you want to update your E-M5, there's no specific download link for the update -- instead, you'll want to install and run the Olympus Digital Camera Updater software. Depending on how current your firmware is, it may take two updates to get to the current release.

Canon, meanwhile, has updates for three camcorders -- two aimed at professional use, and one a high-end consumer model. In all three, the changes made (and the new version numbers for the firmware) are the same. Firmware version for the Canon XA20, XA25, and Vixia HF G30 makes four tweaks to the operation of these camcorders.

Perhaps most importantly, an issue causing delayed audio on the camcorders' headphone outputs when the Monitor Delay option was set to Normal has been resolved. Final Cut Pro v10.0.9 users will welcome a fix for time code display of 35Mbps MP4 video at either 50p or 59.94p framerates. Compatibility with third-party remote controls has also been improved, and some errors in non-Japanese language text relating to Remote Browse functionality have been improved.

The new firmware is available at the links below:

And that wraps up this week's Firmware Friday rundown. Remember to check back each week for all the latest digital camera firmware!

(Camera parts image courtesy of Kelly Hofer / Flickr; used under a Creative Commons CC-BY-2.0 license.)