Firmware Friday: Big news for Yi M1 owners; Olympus TG-5, Sony 70-200mm, Panasonic EVA1 updated too


posted Friday, November 3, 2017 at 5:23 PM EST


This week, our Firmware Friday roundup is dominated by big news from the folks at Yi Technology. They've just released an update for the Yi M1 -- colloquially known as the Yi Camera -- and it's a biggie, bringing with it a bunch of improvements which should make for a more satisfying shooting experience. We also bring news of updates for the Olympus TG-5 compact, Sony's FE 70-200 mm F2.8 GM OSS zoom lens and the just-launched, Super 35mm Panasonic EVA1 cinema camera.

We'll start things off with Yi, since the company's firmware aims to answer some of our own criticisms of the shooting experience since launch.

Yi M1 (aka Yi Camera)

In our YI M1 review, we noted that we'd long been awaiting a firmware update which, we were told back at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, would resolve some common pain points with the camera, the most notable being the lack of a raw+JPEG file format option. We must admit that we'd given up on that update arriving, with some nine months having passed between the show and our final conclusion, but it turns out that the update was still on the way, and it landed on Monday.

So what's new in the Yi M1 firmware version 3.0-int? Well, on top of the promised raw+JPEG file format (woo hoo!) we understand that the overall user interface has been improved substantially, autofocus performance has been tripled, movie and JPEG-mode still image quality improved, a sleep mode and remote shooting functionality added, and a bunch of stability and compatibility issues resolved. Per Yi themselves, the firmware includes the following changes in all:


  1. Added exposure control in the mode P/A/S/M for video capture

  2. Added AF/MF control for video capture

  3. Added RAW+JPG format for still capture

  4. Added a quick control panel on main shooting screen, which greatly improves access to frequently used settings:

    1. Focus Mode (S-AF, C-AF, MF, MF+Peak Focus)

    2. ISO (Auto, 100-25600)

    3. White Balance

    4. Metering Mode

    5. File Format (JPEG, RAW, RAW+JPEG)

    6. Drive Mode (Single, Continuous, 2s and 10s Self-Timer)

  5. Added a histogram in live view mode for both still and video capture

  6. Added the option to shoot 1-3 images when using the self-timer function with an initial 2 second or 10 second timer setting

  7. Supports remote shooting using the YI M1 App

  8. Added still image option to Time Lapse

  9. Raised Auto ISO maximum limit from 3200 to 25600

Focus Performance:

  1. Improved AF speed by approximately 300%

  2. Improved AF speed and accuracy in low light

  3. Added new focus viewing modes with improved image quality including: 6x, 8x and 10x magnification in MF mode

  4. Supports AF upon selecting a focal point manually

Image Quality:

  1. Greatly improved 4K video quality.

  2. Greatly improved still image quality, especially in high ISO and low light environment in JPEG and RAW

  3. AE algorithm optimization greatly improved

UI/ Display:

  1. Improved Touch Screen Control experience.

  2. Added 2 ways to show the Metering mode in the UI

  3. Added the user guide (Restoring factory settings to view)

  4. Added 2 new options for the display grid

  5. Master Guide template display logic optimized

  6. Change the thumbnails in each screen from 9 to 12 images. 

  7. Improved the display for f-stop (F), shutter speed (S) and exposure compensation (EV) on the Live view interface, especially if that function cannot be selected

  8. Added a prompt message when switching Macro and Normal modes for the f/1.8 42.5mm prime lens


  1. Added multiple selection of images for deletion.

  2. improved the overall stability of the system

  3. Added sleep mode

  4. Supports ISO AUTO in M mode

  5. Added French, Italian and Spanish languages

  6. Greatly improved the compatibility with M 4/3 lenses

  7. Improved SD card compatibility

  8. Improved Auto power off function

  9. Improved the audio quality when recording video

Yi M1 owners will want to download the update from the company's website, as well as updating their lenses to the current v1.1 firmware release if you haven't already done so. And kudos to Yi Technology for getting these improvements through the pipeline, even if they've been a long time coming. Now we're crossing our fingers for exposure bracketing to stick around longer than a single series, a change we understand is under consideration for a future firmware release.

Olympus Tough TG-5

Moving along to Olympus, the new firmware version 1.1 release for the Olympus TG-5 compact camera is rather easier to describe. Here, there are just two changes made: GPS clock accuracy has been improved, and so has the stability of connections to your computer. You can use the company's Olympus Digital Camera Updater application to bring your own TG-5 up to the current firmware version.

Sony FE 70-200 mm F2.8 GM OSS (SEL70200GM)

A couple of weeks ago, we told you about the release of firmware version 03 for the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. Apparently that update introduced an issue of its own, however, and so it has now been superceded by firmware version 04. Sony doesn't go into specifics as to what problems the previous update could cause, noting only that "some products may not operate properly" on that release. You will of course still get the benefit of the prior release, improving continuous autofocus performance during zoom operation when shooting using a Sony A9 camera body. You can download this update here.

Panasonic AU-EVA1

Finally, we come to the just-launched Panasonic EVA1 cinema camera, a Super 35mm-based 5.7K camera with an EF lens mount. To coincide with its release, there's a minor firmware update which resolves an issue with irregularities in its video frame sequence when shooting in Variable Frame Rate mode. You can download the update here if you're an early adopter of an EVA1-series camera.

And that's all for this week. Be sure to check back next time for more of the latest firmware news!

(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.)