So you want to update your Olympus but are nervous? Try this...

John King

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My Pen and all my other cameras have updated fine using Olympus Workspace, but my EM-1.2 won't connect for some reason, even though the computer can see the USB connection. I used the SD card method to update the EM-1.2.
Does your OWS need to be updated? If so, do it first.

My E-M1 MkII updates fine with OWS. Running it under Win7 Pro 64.
 
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Does your OWS need to be updated? If so, do it first.

My E-M1 MkII updates fine with OWS. Running it under Win7 Pro 64.
No, I checked it for updates. I'm afraid it's the cable. I bought my EM-1.2 used and didn't get the OEM USB C cable. I was using a Samsung USB C cable without the barrels on the cable. I guess I could spring for the cable for $30 (when a normal cable costs $5). Grrr.
 

John King

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No, I checked it for updates. I'm afraid it's the cable. I bought my EM-1.2 used and didn't get the OEM USB C cable. I was using a Samsung USB C cable without the barrels on the cable. I guess I could spring for the cable for $30 (when a normal cable costs $5). Grrr.
Don't you just love 'standards' that aren't 'standard'?

SD cards and readers spring to mind, but USB "standards" also need a good rodding ... :( .
 

RichardC

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My Pen and all my other cameras have updated fine using Olympus Workspace, but my EM-1.2 won't connect for some reason, even though the computer can see the USB connection. I used the SD card method to update the EM-1.2.

Make sure you haven't mixed up your cables. It has to be the original type supplied with the camera which is fully wired internally. There are several versions of USB-C dependent on intended use.

EDIT: I wrote this before I saw you already know this!
 

Arbus33

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Does your OWS need to be updated? If so, do it first.

My E-M1 MkII updates fine with OWS. Running it under Win7 Pro 64.
In the release notes of Olympus Workspace it is clearly stated that Windows 7 and 8 are no longer supported. Beware !
 

Erich_H

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I'd still prefer the method of update from the SD card with the xxx.BIN file on it.

A lot fewer components involved. A lot less that could go wrong. I've never got why you had to install a lot of proprietary Olympus software to fully use the camera.

But I'm guessing that I got spoiled by Pentax.
 

Growltiger

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There is no problem updating using USB-C cables that are connected to USB 2 sockets on the computer. But they MUST be proper data cables. There are USB-C cables that are only designed to charge, for example I have one that came with my mouse. So you don't need the original USB-C cable that Olympus gave you, but you do need a proper cable which has all the wires in it. Always label your cables.
 

Michael Meissner

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Don't you just love 'standards' that aren't 'standard'?

SD cards and readers spring to mind, but USB "standards" also need a good rodding ... :( .
Well there the problem is things change and improve. As you add speed or capacity, you typically need to add pins, or refine things so they can run faster. And at some point, you run into physical obstacles where the form factor just has to change.

You should be able to still use your original SD-SC card with its maximum capacity of 1-2GB, but with modern cameras you wouldn't be able to store many pictures, and no practical video. In addition to the physical factors, you need to use different file systems (FAT16 for the original SD cards, FAT32 for the SD-HC cards up to 32GB, and exFat for SD-XC/SD-UC cards above 32GB).

In terms of USB, yes there are a bunch of different form factors, but in general the marketplace has settled on a few. Again the main motivation is to provide more speed and more capabilities. It is similar to the audio standards, where people of my generation probably bought the same Beatles album in different form factors (8-track tape, 45rpm single vinyl, 33rpm vinyl album, cassette tape, CD, and flash memory).
 

jk4u59

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Hello @rfortson,

I was just wondering if trust or not in upgrading my E-M5 Mk.II camera with the special patch that enables the Focus Stacking feature to plenty of lenses, not only the short list officially supported by this model (of course, my brand new 12-45 F4 PRO does not belong to that list, see my recent post and the suggestion that @ColorBlind gave me).

The rollback to the previous (stable) FW version is also described, but... the only way to verify the FW upgrade procedure is to see the front orange led on the camera: until it's turned on steady, the procedure is running (and the camera must not be turned off); then, when it starts blinking, it's safely over. If one is not satisfied with the upgraded release, he/she can replace the file in the SD card with the previous software, then repeat the procedure and the camera will roll back to the initial state. This seems good, but from the bold warning above I assume that until the led is ON, the software is in a very delicate state: what to do if, instead of "about a minute", after much more time the led is still ON?
My iPhone (as well other "modern" devices) perform a check of the upgrade file content before actually running it, so I trust its frequent upgrading. But if the camera immediately jumps at the first loading instruction... may I be so confident?

Of course, the reason to have some doubts stays in the "modified" (i.e. hacked) file, rather than in the upgrade procedure itself... several users said that "it works fine", but I'd like to avoid being the first unlucky one crashing its camera! Especially because it's still covered by warranty.

Reading your recommendation i feel more confident... let's hope in well!
 
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b_rubenstein

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The fundamental problem with Olympus' method for updating firmware is that it's being done in an uncontrolled computer environment. I'm running Windows 10 Home. Task Manager reports that there are 7 Apps running, 87 Background Processes running and 306 Services running. If any one of those 400 things steps on any of the memory address' being used by Olympus Update, there's a good possibility that the update will fail and possibly brick the camera. I know of no other camera company that uses Olympus' method. There method is to have the user download the binary file, copy it to the root of a memory card, put the card in the camera (and a lens on the camera if its firmware is to be updated) and then turn the camera on. The operating system of the camera (running in a tightly controlled environment) probably does a Check Sum on the binary file to make sure it isn't corrupted and then loads it into either the camera, or lens.
 

Growltiger

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The fundamental problem with Olympus' method for updating firmware is that it's being done in an uncontrolled computer environment. I'm running Windows 10 Home. Task Manager reports that there are 7 Apps running, 87 Background Processes running and 306 Services running. If any one of those 400 things steps on any of the memory address' being used by Olympus Update, there's a good possibility that the update will fail and possibly brick the camera. I know of no other camera company that uses Olympus' method. There method is to have the user download the binary file, copy it to the root of a memory card, put the card in the camera (and a lens on the camera if its firmware is to be updated) and then turn the camera on. The operating system of the camera (running in a tightly controlled environment) probably does a Check Sum on the binary file to make sure it isn't corrupted and then loads it into either the camera, or lens.
I completely disagree. The Olympus method update is done in two stages. The first stage is to download and send the data to the camera. That is subject to computer problems, but that doesn't matter at all. If it fails just do it again. The second stage in entirely done by the camera and the computer doesn't matter. The software even checks the battery is good before taking a risk.
The problem is the user who doesn't follow the instructions. They don't read the instructions, or get impatient, switch off the camera during the second stage and brick it.

The Olympus method is the best. It tells you want to do, saves your settings and does it all without the need for any messing around.

The SD card method loses all the settings, and is risky. If the SD card if faulty, or a fake one that misreports the size, or has any problems, the camera is bricked. If the battery doesn't have enough power the camera is bricked.
 
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They don't read the instructions, or get impatient, switch off the camera during the second stage and brick it.

Even if you switch it off, the power switch is a soft switch and shouldn't switch off mid update (in my one and only bricked update). Have you ever switched your camera off and had a delay of 5-10 seconds before it switches off completely?
 

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....
The problem is the user who doesn't follow the instructions. They don't read the instructions, or get impatient, switch off the camera during the second stage and brick it.

The Olympus method is the best. It tells you want to do, saves your settings and does it all without the need for any messing around.
....
So, as I understand it, the camera is OK, but the users aren't? Then Olympus got to get better users, and problem is solved? I get that now.
 

Growltiger

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So, as I understand it, the camera is OK, but the users aren't? Then Olympus got to get better users, and problem is solved? I get that now.
It would be lovely if all electronics devices were unbrickable. You have to have a backup system ROM with the whole system in it, which can be activated in some way if there is an update failure. Some modern computer motherboards have exactly that feature.

But is it really worth adding to every camera body, every lens, every smartphone, every smart TV, every router, etc., adding up to billions of devices. They don't have it and are brickable, if you are unlucky enough or stupid enough. If it was worth it for all those manufacturers, it would indeed be built in to all those devices. It adds cost and complexity.

Of course it would be good if the instructions to the Olympus users were written more clearly, they lack clarity. But if you read them slowly and carefully and follow them, they work.
 

Erich_H

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It would be lovely if all electronics devices were unbrickable. You have to have a backup system ROM with the whole system in it, which can be activated in some way if there is an update failure. Some modern computer motherboards have exactly that feature.

But is it really worth adding to every camera body, every lens, every smartphone, every smart TV, every router, etc., adding up to billions of devices. They don't have it and are brickable, if you are unlucky enough or stupid enough. If it was worth it for all those manufacturers, it would indeed be built in to all those devices. It adds cost and complexity.

Of course it would be good if the instructions to the Olympus users were written more clearly, they lack clarity. But if you read them slowly and carefully and follow them, they work.
I prefer to make sure that the battery is charged, and that my memory card is tested OK, myself.

Also, the camera is easy to replace if bricked, as I like to have a fresh/newer backup body in the inventory. If, or when, I brick an Olympus body, at least I will have some fun trying to restore it to a working state.

I've restored enough bricked phones/tablets to believe that there also must be some way to restore a bricked camera. But I won't brick it just for the hell of it, like I've done to phones now and again.

EDIT: besides, I got a brother (@AJ68) that's really smart. If I bribe him sufficiently, he'll help me out. And if not, I'll just disinherit him!

EDIT 2: Regarding the manufacturers: You totally neglect the concept of "planned obsolescence"!
You might view bricking as just another aspect of this. No matter how loud they cry about "sustainability", they are in the game of pushing more product on the market. It's been a long time since products were built to last.
 
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whumber

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I completely disagree. The Olympus method update is done in two stages. The first stage is to download and send the data to the camera. That is subject to computer problems, but that doesn't matter at all. If it fails just do it again. The second stage in entirely done by the camera and the computer doesn't matter.

This does not appear to be true though, if you disconnect the USB cable during the update process it seems to brick the camera. I saw at least one report over on DPReview of someone knocking the USB cable loose during the update process and bricking their camera. I'm not brave enough to test it myself, I'm even wary of running a packet sniffer during the update process to see what's going on.

The problem is the user who doesn't follow the instructions. They don't read the instructions, or get impatient, switch off the camera during the second stage and brick it.

The Olympus method is the best. It tells you want to do, saves your settings and does it all without the need for any messing around.

I see people trying to blame users, but the vast majority of people complaining about bricked cameras got the "OK" message from the camera. You can create strawman users who are too stupid to wait for the OK message but that doesn't represent the actual problem.

The SD card method loses all the settings, and is risky. If the SD card if faulty, or a fake one that misreports the size, or has any problems, the camera is bricked. If the battery doesn't have enough power the camera is bricked.

That's much less of a problem than having to maintain a live USB connection, even if the SD card was faulty there's no reason that the camera shouldn't be able to do match the checksum of the firmware image transferred to the camera memory against what the SD card says it should be. Further, for the SD card method, there's absolutely no reason that Olympus couldn't simply write the camera settings to the SD card, or some internal memory location, and then reload that after the firmware update like every other camera manufacturer. The whole update system with Olympus cameras is just an absolute mess, you don't see anywhere close to as many firmware update problems from any other manufacturer.
 
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whumber

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Even if you switch it off, the power switch is a soft switch and shouldn't switch off mid update (in my one and only bricked update). Have you ever switched your camera off and had a delay of 5-10 seconds before it switches off completely?

Exactly, if you switch the camera off while it's writing to the SD card it will wait until it finishes writing. There's no reason they couldn't just disable the switch during the update process if that was the issue.
 

Growltiger

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The instructions make it clear that during the second stage you must not touch anything. Yet as you say people admit doing things with the camera, fiddle with the cable and so on. After it says OK you must, before doing anything else, turn the camera off and on again. Perhaps some of those people didn't do that. You are saying that the camera should be clever enough to protect itself against the user. Unless you wrote the firmware and know every internal step you really can't know how feasible it would be to improve it.

The fact is that vast numbers of people around the world update their Olympus lenses and cameras without difficulty. The tiny minority who don't are vocal and blame Olympus not themselves. They can still send it in to be unbricked.
 

Erich_H

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The instructions make it clear that during the second stage you must not touch anything. Yet as you say people admit doing things with the camera, fiddle with the cable and so on. After it says OK you must, before doing anything else, turn the camera off and on again. Perhaps some of those people didn't do that. You are saying that the camera should be clever enough to protect itself against the user. Unless you wrote the firmware and know every internal step you really can't know how feasible it would be to improve it.

The fact is that vast numbers of people around the world update their Olympus lenses and cameras without difficulty. The tiny minority who don't are vocal and blame Olympus not themselves. They can still send it in to be unbricked.
And how is that a defense of doing something in the worst of two different ways (of doing updates)?
 

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