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Moving the blog & reworking the online tool

Since this blog is a bit dusty, I moved it to my own homepage: https://lightsnowdev.com/blog/
From now on, every blog post will be on my main homepage and not on blogger. Every old post, every comment has been moved, so no worries.

And now onto some development:

The old 'Olympus Update Tool' was outdated most of the time I reworked the tool. It is now updating itself every week on it's own. I am sure it leads to a more up to date database (...)

Visit my new blog homepage to check out what is happening!

Olympus Camera Documentation

//Update 26.05.15 - flashair added
//original post date: 11.12.14

Well I don't speak Japanese, but this might be some source files for the mn103S cpu using an lTron system. Link: http://sourceforge.jp/. You can download the source files here, including a mn103 sample project.

Just a little post to document some of the software/hardware related stuff of the Olympus OM-D E-M1, E-M5 & E-M10. (I will add more information later)

A repair oddysee - A little calm story

You know what really grinds my gears?
My camera. Not very often, but sometimes our relationship is complicated.

Let's tell the story from the beginning: As you may know I own an Olympus OM-D E-M10 as of May 2014. I really like the camera. It was the best choice for an entry level camera.
It's got a great design, it's made of metal and it's lightweight (for those of us who do not want to carry a brink all day). But I experienced a little repair story with my Olympus I want so share with you.

As I bought my Olympus I was happy. I got as a birthday present and opened it right away at home. The build quality was fine. Olympus standards are not bad, but as I looked trough the viewfinder I was a bit surprised to see a lot of of black fuzzy things. The viewfinder was simply dirty and had grain in it. 
I went back to the store the next day and the seller wondered how this could happen. I thought 'Ok, bad luck. Let's wait for a quick repair. It is nothing to be mad about.'.

Let's wait for a quick repair. It is nothing to be mad about.

Well... It got worse.

Next, a few weeks later, the wifi signal disappeared out of nowhere. Again: Back to the store. Send it back to Olympus again. This procedure takes about 2 weeks each time. So keep calm. They will fix it. Eventually.

Got the camera back and a few weeks after that it suddenly stopped operating at all. I went to the store again to give it back. With the European low you can do that usually quite easy - as I thought. But apparently a store is not Amazon. To be precise the 'ring foto' store did not even adjudicated my  legal warranty. What is the point of supporting your local industry, if Amazon has way more benefits?

So I waited another 2 weeks. Now I was being informed that Olympus is short of cameras. How? I do not know. Maybe I bought it at a time where is was new. I waited another 2 weeks for a repaired camera.

This time I got my first replacement. But the camera was black and not silver.
Even the document said it was changed into a black version. Was it done on purpose? I hope not.
So I requested, because it is my right (and also the silver one is a lot cooler), another replacement. From now on I only spoke to the head of the store. He phoned the Olympus Europe headquarter in Czechia and made sure I'll get a new one.
I for one was allowed to carry on with the black camera for limited period of time. But was I able to shoot? No.

So keep calm. They will fix it. Eventually.

The new black camera was not able to shoot. Well, it was, but only without the In-Body-Image-Stabilization (IBIS), which is kind of the point of an Olympus camera. All pictures where blurry and the camera made some noise you can briefly see/hear here. So I phoned the store again.

They gave me an E-M5 as an exchange. Unexpected but nice to have a camera and having to wait for another replacement. Olympus was still short on the new product but a new E-M10 did arrive soon.

This all happened to me last year between May and October 2014. It was quiet since then.
In march I turned on the integrated flash. I do not use this flash often, in fact I do not use it at all. It is just a flash for emergency situations. So I took a picture at night at full power, not thinking that this might be dangerous for the flash. Does such a thing have to heat up? I'm not a flash guy.

This time I did want a quick repair. I emailed my store and Olympus send a postman to pick up my device. The week after I had something in my mail. A new device. Again. I was lucky. Again. And it was broken. Again.
The rear display had some not working pixels. It is not the case that I can not take pictures with that camera, but.. you know... I have a decent repair history.

I send it back to Olympus. They told me they'll repair it. but they did not. The camera was send back again with a short note, that I should enable the hot pixel fix in the menu. No comment on that.

Since the camera was operation normally and I was about to drive to Paris it was OK for the moment. Not thinking about the quality of this camera I left it this way. It's a mistake to think this was with an E-M10.

I shot a interval video with the camera a week before my trip to Paris and it broke again. Apparently the shutter does not like to be used rapidly in the sun. It got stuck and the camera never went on again.

I just got my 6. replacement of the E-M10 in the mail.

So, is there a conclusion to make? I do not know. Maybe I am the misfortune guy.
Olympus has to improve their control mechanisms and the communication! At this point I only speak to some kind of chief of the repair division, and he can not ensure me a camera free of errors.

The main conclusion is about us. The customer. Say what you want! All the while I claiming what I wanted. Say to the service that you can not wait to get the camera back. Ask them what they can do about you.

A second and not so positive lesson from this is to by your gear at Amazon. They respect the law and pay your money back, if you have 3 or more repair cases (Europe, Germany). The local store business has to rethink their strategy about young people. They are used to the fact that you can return things if you want.
And a good support, either Olympus' - which is OK - or my local store Ring Foto's - which lacks at this - never made a customer run away. The whole camera business is about company loyalty and they must have an interest to make you stay in the system. Thanks to some good support I am still here and own this camera. Happily.

Have self confidence in you and a nice day!

If you have a similar story please share it!

Update News 17 //16.05.15

1. - 16.05.14 - E-M10 Raw files in Windows

  • I got my 6. E-M10 replacement and worked a little on the WiFi. There is a little ftp code in the firmware and I'm trying to get some coding running on the camera itself.
  • A few months ago I go my hands on a Sony a6000. I think that camera is definitely more hackable, since it runs Android 4.x. The only problem is to set up a fake app store and install an app, since the connection is SSL encrypted. But nothing unhackable here. Also a lot of people have a lot of knowledge on this topic.
  • I will be at "Gulaschprogrammiernacht 15" (gulas.ch), a German hacker convention located in Karlsruhe, Germany. If you want to have a talk or explore (and have) the Sony a6000 contact me!

Any questions?

Comment under the right post or write me an e-mail.
Look at my profile description on the right to find the contact information.


Olympus Online Firmware Update Tool

I created a simple online tool too help you update your camera.
It keeps you in control of what firmware your cameras has. May is be a down and upgrade - with a downloaded firmware file it is easier and more secure to install than with the official updater!

It supports all the current OM-D models, most of the PEN series and the last Stylus. Basically every camera I could think of which a update was provided for. If your model is missing write me a short mail here. It also provides a number of questions regarding this process. Don't tend to ask if yours is not answered.

A screenshot of the update tool

I will try to expend this as I can. All the possible coming hacked firmwares will be available.
This also replaces the old firmware update tool for Windows.

Hacking Update

A log time has passed since I updated this blog about hacking my Olympus OM-D E-M10.
Since it's exam time till end of March I have only very limited time, but nevertheless I found a new way of launching code inside the firmware files.

If you look closely at the code of the debugging menu, you recognize each command is fairly simmilar. I replaced some code of the debug menu and it worked right away.
I tried to replace the text of this debug command.

Here is a video of the result:

I will have another look at this in a few days. In April I have plenty of time to work on this.
Also I will release on online tool how to update/downgrade your camera with the SD card.

See you soon.

Olympus WiFi Control

The little idea is now a working application.

This application is written in C# (WPF) and is open source.
I will also upload my other applications in the feature.
There is nothing to hide, but a HDD crash made a few problems.

version 1.0

Application tutorial:
  1. connect the camera to your WiFi computer
  2. start the application
  3. hit the button

I will develop some additional features mentioned int "the little idea" like

  • motion detection 
  • sound recognition
  • scripting
  • focus peaking
  • show aperture/ISO/shutter speed etc...
  • and more

I added a GitHub for you, so you can develop your own application based on the LiveView protocol.
You can also push commits if you want! If you want to know how the LiveView works look here.


more information later...