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Andrew Reid

Olympus E-M1 firmware update to address video mode - but will we get 24p and higher bitrates?

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The Olympus E-M1 is sitting on a goldmine. The 5 axis stabilisation system is heaven for video, but very little attention was given to video specs. The codec is only capable of recording in one frame rate, 30p, a rate completely unsuited to 70% of the world's population living in Europe, the UK, China, Brazil and Australia. Consumers need 25p or 50p... and filmmakers are desperate for the 24p look!

Now Olympus are said to be working on a firmware update (source: 43rumors) that gives 21 steps of manual audio gain control (1 step more than the GH3).

Here is a summary of what else video users need.

Read the full article here

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I would put in the list some improvements in focus peaking for video, too. In my GX7, peaking is HUGELY useful, especially with older lenses.

And to Olympus: I've bought the GX7 instead of the E-M1 only because of the lacking video mode in the E-M1. Improve it, and I will buy one ASAP. And a guess that a lot of people too.

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I'd humbly suggest that 24p, 48p and 72p would be ideal. 96 fps? Can a man dream? Is this somehow impossible, I wonder? My GX7 is amazing but only one over-crank option (60fps) is a wee bit frustrating. At least give us 48fps. Surely there isn't any technical limitation.

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Hi, Andrew.

I'd like to comment here as a Japanese fan of Olympus.

 

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

The future is in technology. Many of my old minded filmmaker friends (I am 61) refuse to believe it but I do. The future of filmmaking will rely on software stabilization and autofoucs technologies. The stabilization will get to a point of replacing rigs, and autofocus will get to the point of perfectly tracking an eye ball at T/1.3. It will happen.

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The future is in technology. Many of my old minded filmmaker friends (I am 61) refuse to believe it but I do. The future of filmmaking will rely on software stabilization and autofoucs technologies. The stabilization will get to a point of replacing rigs, and autofocus will get to the point of perfectly tracking an eye ball at T/1.3. It will happen.

 

Future will be 24-200mm lenses at F/1.0.

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I would put in the list some improvements in focus peaking for video, too. In my GX7, peaking is HUGELY useful, especially with older lenses.

And to Olympus: I've bought the GX7 instead of the E-M1 only because of the lacking video mode in the E-M1. Improve it, and I will buy one ASAP. And a guess that a lot of people too.

 

I can't believe the em-1 doesn't have peaking in video mode. Come on, Olympus. I also have the GX7 as a camera 'B' because of the many drawbacks of the em-1. The GX7 packs a great number of the feature we come to expect in a small body, at a great price point. 

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Future will be 24-200mm lenses at F/1.0.


I wouldn't rely on that really, technology can't change physics. In order to make a 24-200mm f/1 lens covering a fullframe sensor, it will have to be the size of a small car.

I am getting off topic anyway. I just meant that IBIS is a truly huge feature to have now, and it's the future of filmmaking, coupled with autofocus. No need to get caught in the past.

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What IBIS needs though is CONTROL. Sometimes you want that shaky handheld look, and only want to have quick bumps that lead to horrible jello removed. Sometimes you need perfect stability. Etc. (For example having good automatic AF isn't that useful if you can't tell the camera what to do and how to do it). So ideally you can adjust the amount of correction, and the type of correction. A button that works like AE-L (exposure lock), but for the IBIS would be great. Basically when you press it you'll lock the position, and the camera will do all it can to hold that position, rather than just smoothing out. The camera also needs to be able to detect panning motion, so that when you come to a full stop from a pan it won't have to move back (again, a button to tell the camera you are panning would be nice). While we are at it, an overlay that shows the position of the sensor/the maximum range of motion could proof useful. That way we are able to balance out if the sensor is at the edge. Or we know if we are moving too much and have to cut back. In what direction we have to move. Etc. Something like a histogram, basically, but for the IBIS system.

 

For run and gun shooting, which IBIS makes it predestined for, I think having white balance lock would be great too.

 

To be honest I hope Pentax reads this thread too, as their cameras have IBIS, but don't use it for video (and they have other video problems, too, though they do have different frame rates).

 

Btw., I'm not sure if Olympus is doing it, but Pentax lets you move the sensor manually when shooting stills. What is missing is position bracketing. Say you need a wider angle/higher resolution, you can - when using a tripod - manually move the sensor to the corners and later join the photos in Photoshop, PTGui, ... if the camera could automatically acquire the needed photos that would be great.

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I would just like to add that if these additions were implemented in an upcoming firmware update I too would probably buy the EM-1, perhaps even switch system.

 

Currently I have been using a Pentax K-5 and its rather restrictive video mode to do my work, purely because of its mechanical on-sensor Shake Reduction (stabilisation) which have enabled my to shoot handheld video and switch between shooting pictures and video quickly, without having to use rigs or stabilisers. I could also use any legacy K-mout lens, very useful. However it's far from ideal, and a lot of advances have been made in other DSLR cameras since it came out, so last year I was using a Canon 5D Mk III, which shoots beautifully, but was limited to using IS or VC lenses.

 

So this year I'm looking for that one camera that can help me do the things I do while remaining compact and versatile. Currently I have narrowed it down to:

 

- Stick with Pentax and purchase the K-3, which unfortunately has ditched its mechanical SR for digital stabilisation and has o articulating screen

- Buy a Sony A99 or its follow-up with a few good lenses. The Full Frame sensor, very versatile articulating screen and especially the silent control dial are big selling points on this one, including of course shooting at 24 and 60 fps in 1080p and in-body stabilisation

- Go with Canon, but here I'd have to sacrifice FF because really would need an articulating screen, so a 70D with the new Canon IS prime lenses (24, 35, 100)

-Olympus EM-1 with a Lumix 20mm f1.7, a 50mm 1.4, an 85mm and maybe a longer prime

 

Oh, and thanks to Andrew and

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I'm not overly ambitious. A couple of PAL appropriate frame rates will suffice. 5 years has passed since the E-P1 was released ... with just a 30P frame rate. And it's been that way ever since.

 

I wonder if Panasonic and Olympus came to an agreement when m43 was created. In order to not step on each others toes, Panasonic went for more video-focused cameras, whilst Olympus aimed at the pure photography market.

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