Firmware Friday: Olympus tweaks E-M1, E-M5 II; Leica T (Typ 701) and Arri Alexa Mini get new features


posted Friday, February 5, 2016 at 4:38 PM EDT


If you're shooting with Olympus' E-M1 or E-M5 Mark II compact system cameras, the Leica T (Typ 701), or Arri's Alexa Mini, we have news for you today. The trio of companies have released firmware updates for these products, and we've got all the details in this week's Firmware Friday roundup!

We'll start off this week with Arri and Leica, whose updates add a whole raft of new features to their cameras. The Leica T (Typ 701) firmware version 1.5 release makes a significant step forwards in performance, with the company claiming that its camera will now autofocus twice as quickly, and yet also more accurately than before. Startup time is also said to have been "significantly" reduced, and there's a new ability for the camera to set up a Wi-Fi hotspot as well, rather than having to connect to an existing hotspot. You can get the new Leica T (Typ 701) firmware version 1.5 here.

The Arri Alexa Mini, meanwhile, is showered with lots of love, with its brand-new Software Update Package 3.0/3.1 adding several new features, and these come accompanied by some more minor improvements as well. New to the Alexa Mini are an intervalometer function for time-lapse shooting, and a stop motion mode for animation and motion control. There's also new support for Lexar's 3600x CFast 2.0 cards in 128GB and 256GB capacities. (Note, though, that the 64GB 3600x card is not supported.)

Arri has also added the ability to sync the sensor clock with a timecode input signal, and allowed users to quickly control the viewfinder status display, as well as improving display of battery / card status, lens data, and timecode. The new version of firmware also improves accessory support for ENG-style lenses with LDS contacts, and adds support for ARRI GPIO box on the ExT connector to allow third-party remote control. Additionally, it adds a beeper warning when the CFast 2.0 card is filled, as well as user buttons for ND filter and color bar control. The prerecord mode now remains active through a camera power cycle, too. And as if that wasn't already plenty, there is also a public beta of a new 4:3 ProRes 2.8K recording mode and a 2x anamorphic desqueeze function, as well. There's lots more information in the official release notes, and you can get the new Arri Alexa Mini firmware here.

And finally, we come to Olympus. Here there are no new features, but a couple of important bugfixes. Both the Olympus E-M1 and E-M5 Mark II get improved stability for the image stabilizer function in their respective firmware releases, version 4.1 for the E-M1 and version 2.2 for the E-M5 II. In addition, a problem whereby the E-M1 failed to fire an external strobe when shooting in RC mode has been resolved. You can install either update on your camera using Olympus' Digital Camera Updater utility.

And that brings us to the end of another week's firmware news. Check back next time for all the latest from the world of camera firmware!

(Camera parts image courtesy of Kelly Hofer / Flickr; used under a Creative Commons CC-BY-2.0 license. Image has been modified from the original.)