Modified firmware, looking for users

Joined
Dec 5, 2012
Messages
385
Location
Austin, TX
Real Name
M@
Since Abel hasn't posted since June, this is a long shot, but it would be nice if the E-m5 mark III could be modified to eliminate the 30 minute video limit.
I'd definitely like that, although I don't think my use will ever hit that limit... it's just best not to have it at all noawadays.

I'd also like to have Auto ISO enabled in video when set to M mode.
 

Michael Meissner

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Messages
492
Location
Ayer, Massachusetts, USA
I'd definitely like that, although I don't think my use will ever hit that limit... it's just best not to have it at all noawadays.

I'd also like to have Auto ISO enabled in video when set to M mode.
I record performers and show and I tend to run into the limit more often than people who just record scripted events where you shoot multiple takes and edit them later.

For example, tonight I was recording a show where the first act was 45 minutes and the second act was 35 minutes or so. Sure, when I post the youtube videos, I try to break it up into sub-acts, but for recording the show, it is simpler if I record everything and then split it up later. In previous years, this group had done a 90 minute (1.5 hour) show with no intermission.

Similarly when I recorded my niece's wedding in 2018, the main service went to 35 minutes. If I had to stop at 30 minutes, I would likely have missed one the parts of a wedding people want to see (exchange of rings, first kiss, presentation of the couple, and processional).
 
Joined
Dec 5, 2012
Messages
385
Location
Austin, TX
Real Name
M@
I can see the 30 minute limit being a problem in contexts like that... If you're quick and you're paying attention, you can just hit the record button again, but there'd still be the risk of losing a moment. Worse if you ever have to swap batteries... which is why I kinda wish the E-M5 MkIII had a battery grip option. Maybe the pinout of the connector will be able to support something aftermarket? I dunno, I'm not sure there would be much demand.
 

Michael Meissner

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Messages
492
Location
Ayer, Massachusetts, USA
I can see the 30 minute limit being a problem in contexts like that... If you're quick and you're paying attention, you can just hit the record button again, but there'd still be the risk of losing a moment. Worse if you ever have to swap batteries... which is why I kinda wish the E-M5 MkIII had a battery grip option. Maybe the pinout of the connector will be able to support something aftermarket? I dunno, I'm not sure there would be much demand.
Yes, two of my major gripes with the E-m5 mark III is the 30 minute video limit, and not being able to power the camera with external USB-C power directly.

But the normal solution to powering cameras like the E-m5 mark III is to use a dummy battery with a cable that snakes out to an external power source. Unlike Panasonic, the Olympus battery cover does not have a hole for the external power cable to fit through, but generally you can take off the battery cover.

I don't (yet) have the E-m5 mark III (*), but other Olympus cameras I've used are fine with a dummy battery that feeds them power in the 7.4 to 9 volt range. BLS-1/5/50 batteries use a normal 2 cell lithium-ion battery, which is 8.4 volts when freshly charged, and rated at a nominal 7.4 voltage. BLN-1 batteries use a slightly different chemistry and have a nominal 7.6 volt output. I imagine BLH-1 batteries are probably similar to the BLN-1 batteries.

Olympus doesn't seem to make their cameras work differently with batteries that identify themselves as 'official' batteries, so you can supply any acceptable power to the dummy battery.

Having the cameras accept 9v makes it a lot simpler, since 9v is a common voltage for external power.

If you have a 3D printer and some familiarity with a soldering iron, you can make your own dummy BLS-x battery:
Or you could just order a dummy battery from Alibaba:
Here is a dpreview post I did about powering my Stylus-1:
Now, Panasonic is somewhat different. First of all they actually do make an official external power kit and their cameras typically have a hole or a slot for the external cable to fit through. In the case of the G85, the official kit wasn't available in the USA, but if search out on the inter-tubes, there are various third party suppliers that make the dummy batteries. Panasonic also looks for a battery that identifies itself as 'official'. If you don't have an 'official' battery, the camera will only accept voltages at 8.5 volts or higher on the assumption it is external power (and it disables the battery meter and I believe turning off the camera). The second generation of third party dummy batteries now include the proper resistors so you can feed it 7.5v and the battery gauge will work (using if you are using a larger 2 cell lithium-ion battery).

In terms of the show I recorded last night, I did put grips on both the G85 (video) and E-m1 mark I (stills), but I still had power in the grip battery after the show (1.5 hours total), but the meter was on saying lower power. I do like having the grips, and on both the G85/E-m1 mark I, I set the camera to use the power from the grip first and when the rear display indicates it has switched to the body battery, I can easily change the grip battery. I've done it on the G85 while recording video, and as soon as I inserted the grip battery, the camera switched back to using the grip battery.

* I am planning on buying the E-m5 mark III, but my salesman at my brick and mortar store has been out sick.
 
Last edited:

Giiba

Something to someone somewhere
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
1,441
Location
New Westminster, BC
I'm curious, when you record a video and it stops at the 30min point what is the file size?

I ask because some filesystems have a maximum file size of 4gb, too small for long videos. If the card is formated in FAT32, as is very common, I think that might be the trouble. I think you want exFAT format for a bigger file size limit.

Worth checking at least.
 
Joined
Dec 5, 2012
Messages
385
Location
Austin, TX
Real Name
M@
I'm curious, when you record a video and it stops at the 30min point what is the file size?

I ask because some filesystems have a maximum file size of 4gb, too small for long videos. If the card is formated in FAT32, as is very common, I think that might be the trouble. I think you want exFAT format for a bigger file size limit.

Worth checking at least.
The recording will usually be broken into multiple files. I let my E-M5III record 4k continuously, and I think it was 6 or 8 files for 30 minutes of video. I think they were ~3ish GB in size.

ADDED: I just ran 29 minutes at 4k30 (not the Cine 4k) and got 6 files. 5 are just at 4GB, the last is only 1.6. So it will cut them into about 4GB in size.
 
Last edited:

Michael Meissner

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Messages
492
Location
Ayer, Massachusetts, USA
I'm curious, when you record a video and it stops at the 30min point what is the file size?

I ask because some filesystems have a maximum file size of 4gb, too small for long videos. If the card is formated in FAT32, as is very common, I think that might be the trouble. I think you want exFAT format for a bigger file size limit.

Worth checking at least.
On my G85, when I record 1080p, the camera breaks the video into several files, each at the 4GB limit, which is roughly 28 minutes for the settings I use. This is true whether I use 32GB cards with the FAT32 file system or 64/128GB cards with the exFAT format. As you mention, FAT32 limits each individual file to 4GB. ExFat has a much higher limit. It is fairly simple to combine these images in the limited post processing that I do to make one large mp4 file, and then split it into separate pieces.

According to the G85 manual, if I used a SD-XC card (64GB or larger) and shot 4K instead of 1080p, the camera would make one giant mp4 file. Of course given the size of 4K files, you pretty much have to use SD-XC cards to shoot long video. But the G85 camera only does this for 4K, not 1080p.

Some cameras will not split files, and the limit is either 30 minutes or when the file reaches 4GB in size (i.e. if you wanted to record 30 minutes, you might have to have the camera do more compression or shoot at a smaller resolution).
 

Growltiger

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Mar 26, 2014
Messages
2,009
Location
UK
The 30 minute restriction was originally added into camera firmware to avoid trade restrictions and tariffs on video camera imports between various countries. A camera that can only do less than 30 minutes doesn't count as a video camera and avoids the extra tax. This restriction is nothing to do with file formats etc.
 

Michael Meissner

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Messages
492
Location
Ayer, Massachusetts, USA
The 30 minute restriction was originally added into camera firmware to avoid trade restrictions and tariffs on video camera imports between various countries. A camera that can only do less than 30 minutes doesn't count as a video camera and avoids the extra tax. This restriction is nothing to do with file formats etc.
Yes and no. If a camera doesn't support splitting a video being recorded into multiple files, and you use the FAT32 filesystem, then you are limited to what can be recorded in 4 gigabytes. For my G85 recording 1080p at 30fps, that was 28 minutes and 24 seconds in the video I recorded on New Year's Eve. For my Panasonic HC-V770 camcorder recording was 1080p at 60fps that was 12 minutes and 36 seconds (for the same show).

If a camera doesn't split the file, then the video record time will be less than 30 minutes at 1080p, but you likely could record the full 30 minutes or more at 720p. For instance, I believe my Panasonic FZ300 does not split 1080p files, and would stop when the file gets to 4 gigabytes. The FZ300 does split 4K files at the 4GB barrier, even if you use a SD-XC card.

Even if you use a card with a file system that does not have a 4GB limit for a single file (i.e. exFAT on a SD-XC card), the camera may still impose a limit at 4GB. Presumably this is because the camera company does not wish to spend the effort to remove the limit. Or it may be to work with other software that has a limit on file size. The G85 for instance splits the files at 4GB for 1080p, but does not split them for 4K video.

Of course a camera might have much smaller limits. For example, my LX10 is unlimited for 1080p (splitting the files at the 4GB limit), but it stops 4K recording at about 15 minutes. The older Olympus cameras did very little compression, and tended to have limits of 7 minutes for 1080p video and 14 minutes for 720p video. many years ago, I had one performer whose main story went on for 13 minutes and about 50 seconds back when I used my E-P2 camera with the 14 minute limit at 720p.
 

Growltiger

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Mar 26, 2014
Messages
2,009
Location
UK
Yes and no. If a camera doesn't support splitting a video being recorded into multiple files, and you use the FAT32 filesystem, then you are limited to what can be recorded in 4 gigabytes. For my G85 recording 1080p at 30fps, that was 28 minutes and 24 seconds in the video I recorded on New Year's Eve. For my Panasonic HC-V770 camcorder recording was 1080p at 60fps that was 12 minutes and 36 seconds (for the same show).

If a camera doesn't split the file, then the video record time will be less than 30 minutes at 1080p, but you likely could record the full 30 minutes or more at 720p. For instance, I believe my Panasonic FZ300 does not split 1080p files, and would stop when the file gets to 4 gigabytes. The FZ300 does split 4K files at the 4GB barrier, even if you use a SD-XC card.

Even if you use a card with a file system that does not have a 4GB limit for a single file (i.e. exFAT on a SD-XC card), the camera may still impose a limit at 4GB. Presumably this is because the camera company does not wish to spend the effort to remove the limit. Or it may be to work with other software that has a limit on file size. The G85 for instance splits the files at 4GB for 1080p, but does not split them for 4K video.

Of course a camera might have much smaller limits. For example, my LX10 is unlimited for 1080p (splitting the files at the 4GB limit), but it stops 4K recording at about 15 minutes. The older Olympus cameras did very little compression, and tended to have limits of 7 minutes for 1080p video and 14 minutes for 720p video. many years ago, I had one performer whose main story went on for 13 minutes and about 50 seconds back when I used my E-P2 camera with the 14 minute limit at 720p.
What you say is true enough, but has nothing to do with the 30 minute barrier. In fact it is 29 minutes 59 seconds, to keep just below 30 minutes.

These are two separate issues and you are confusing them. The 30 minute barrier can potentially be removed by a firmware tweak. Failure to split files when needed cannot by fixed by a tweak.
 

shreebles

Mu-43 Rookie
Joined
Jan 5, 2020
Messages
11
Signed up just to say thanks, @ABel.
Works a charm with the E-M1 and Panasonic 12-35mm, the latter isn't exactly known for its close focusing qualities but I don't have a macro lens myself.
This might come in handy for product photography and the like.

Examples attached, all taken at f/2.8, no tripod.

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

Final result
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 

Grayheron

New to Mu-43
Joined
Feb 8, 2020
Messages
2
I appreciate the work that has been going on here and wondered if those who are delving into the code could comment on a use case I have?

For lenses that report focus position, eg those that stack or bracket, would it be possible to get, say, the OM-D M5 II, to report this on screen?

The use being that knowing the focus position, eg relative to the hyperfocal, helps inform if more focus bracketing is required, and when to take an infinity focus shot beyond the hyperfocal put at less than infinity.
 

ADemuth

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Jan 27, 2017
Messages
361
Location
Great Bend, KS
I appreciate the work that has been going on here and wondered if those who are delving into the code could comment on a use case I have?

For lenses that report focus position, eg those that stack or bracket, would it be possible to get, say, the OM-D M5 II, to report this on screen?

The use being that knowing the focus position, eg relative to the hyperfocal, helps inform if more focus bracketing is required, and when to take an infinity focus shot beyond the hyperfocal put at less than infinity.
I believe that brand new, never seen before features are out of the question here - I think that we're stuck having the limitations removed from features that are already implemented but restricted intentionally by Olympus. If I had to venture a guess, @ABel (maybe other people too???) is scouring through config files looking for values for features that can be changed from "no" to "yes" or crossreferencing bits from a more capable camera's firmware to see what is different and trying to apply it to a lesser camera's firmware. I'm pretty sure I'm super-oversimplifying, and I'm not poo-pooing the work done - I'd never have thought of it in the first place, I wouldn't have the patience for it, nor would I have the guts to upload it to my camera or dedication to make updates available for other people.

Unless Olympus decides to make its firmware OSS, I think that if we want new features added, we'd have to start from the ground up with new firmware, something that is extremely unlikely to happen.

P.S. Canon, Nikon, Fuji, 'blad, Leica - if you're reading this, I'd dump all of my m43 gear into a river and buy into your system if you would make your ecosystem open source. Think about it - the community does your work for you!
 
Last edited:

ADemuth

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Jan 27, 2017
Messages
361
Location
Great Bend, KS
Yes, two of my major gripes with the E-m5 mark III is the 30 minute video limit, and not being able to power the camera with external USB-C power directly.
Wait....what? Damnit, how do camera manufacturers manage to miss the mark with power so badly? Just when Oly seems to adopt a capable, standardized, modern source of juice (and data transfer) they still manage to screw it up. This isn't even a "pro-level" feature - tons of amateur Joes and Janes want or need to keep their camera on longer than a battery will last or don't to use up battery while they are messing around with their camera settings when they are getting ready to head out for the day, and this usage is well within USB-C spec.
 
Last edited:

ADemuth

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Jan 27, 2017
Messages
361
Location
Great Bend, KS
Because it is more profitable to sell you extremely marked up oem batteries... tis just another item on the list "why the camera market is shrinking"
*Sigh* Sadly, yes. While nobody would point to this particular problem and say "that's why I use my cell phone instead of an ILC" - little things like this add up. Though, I can say I refuse to buy just about any device that doesn't use an industry standard charging connection, so maybe this is a bigger deal than I think. Heck, it's made the thought of a camera upgrade for me just a little less appealing, not that I was considering that very seriously right now.
 
Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Mu-43 is a fan site and not associated with Olympus, Panasonic, or other manufacturers mentioned on this site.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2009-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom