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What are the chances the OM-D will get third-party firmware?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Eltocliousus, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. Eltocliousus

    Eltocliousus Mu-43 Rookie

    Jul 15, 2012
    After what we saw was capable with the GH2 once a third party firmware was released to increase the bitrate to a remarkable level, what do you think the chances of someone releasing a third-party firmware for the OM-D? Increased bitrate, IBIS video for legacy among other things would be a godsend, and regardless of how locked down a manufacturer makes their cameras, there's always a way around it, it's just the matter of having a community with the know how and dedication to do such a thing, such as the GH2.
  2. Mikefellh

    Mikefellh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 7, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    ZERO, nada...it will NEVER happen!

    Because Olympus smartly designed the firmware procedure as requiring their own software to install the firmware into the camera, we'll never have to worry about counterfeit firmware. Even if someone came up with way to get the Oly firmware file and crack it, there's no way to install it into the camera as it requires the Oly update software, which downloads the firmware from Oly's site automatically.

    The way Panasonic designed their system allows anyone to download the firmware binary and crack it, and then dowload the counterfeit firmware into the camera just by putting it on a card.

    The only way for this to happen is if Olympus leaks the firmware file, and they also leak the method for installing the firmware when someone has bricked their camera...but it hasn't happened yet with any "E" camera.
  3. Eltocliousus

    Eltocliousus Mu-43 Rookie

    Jul 15, 2012
    I'm 100% certain that the more talented crackers could definitely install a custom firmware of their own into the camera, I just don't think the photography community has the know how on how to do this, and it wouldn't be profitable even in the slightest (which to be fair, isn't a major issue as most of these 'crack artists' do it for the challenge and 'justice' of it).
    • Like Like x 1
  4. efoo

    efoo Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 5, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Your guess is as good as mine. Let's flip a coin.
  5. hanzo

    hanzo Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 22, 2010
    As a programmer I'm certain that its relatively easy for a hacker to create and install custom firmware.. its just a matter of time and the right incentive to crack it.. which I don't see any right now.
  6. st3v4nt

    st3v4nt Mu-43 Veteran

    May 26, 2011
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    While it's not easy to crack and customize the firmware there's always possibility to create Olympus custom firmware and install it. One of way to install it is by cracking the updater it self so it will change the routine to download the firmware from official address site to other address site or even by mimicking the routine while the fact it's just copying the firmware from local address. Usually the security of consumer electronic gadget is not that high.

    The question is who among Olympus user have enough knowledge, time and money willing to do it for benefit of all Olympus user. Usually people do it for fame, money, personal needs or perhaps job opportunity.
  7. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Very little is truly 'unhackable', but the difficulty, and above all the limited number of people interested in this makes it awfully unlikely.

  8. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    This shows a pretty un-knowledgeable view of software. Creating the installation routine is the easy part. Just because Oly's updates require that the software come from Oly's site doesn't mean there isn't another way to do it. The camera doesn't know where the software comes from. Heck, my programming skills are rusty, but give me a while and I could probably write the install program.

    And capturing the firmware from the Oly is no harder than from any other piece of equipment. You can read it from the camera itself and reverse engineer it, or you can read the update file, byte-by-byte, as it passes through your computer.

    Doing something with that data may be difficult, but getting the data itself is easy.

    But I agree that it's unlikely. The GH series was cracked for video because those cameras were good enough at video to appeal to professionals. The OM-D video isn't in the same league, and the critical mass of potential users isn't there. Pros who want to use m43 for video will stick with Panasonic.

  9. RichA

    RichA Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 28, 2012
    Which means Panasonic video will remain the benchmark, especially with 3rd party enhancements.
  10. Liamness

    Liamness Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 20, 2011
    There has to be someone with both the motivation and ability to get the ball rolling. That's how these things get started. Someone (or a group of people) will have to own an OM-D, be unsatisfied with the video output, and have the technical knowledge to implement the changes they want to make. I don't really know why camera makers aren't more receptive to the open source community, as for me the third party firmware for the 5DmkII (and other Canon cameras) adds massive value to the system. Then again, it would take a big effort and a considerable amount of time to build up a knowledge base similar to CHDK.

    As it stands, the OMD has full manual control and an acceptable bitrate for non-commercial use. I just don't see anyone wishing to spend the time and effort to improve upon that.
  11. Mikefellh

    Mikefellh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 7, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    Sure it CAN be done, in three steps:

    -remove the camera update portion of the updater software and make it save the firmware file to the hard drive
    -modify the firmware file
    -again modify the updater software so it uses the file from the hard drive to update the camera.

    The reason it won't be done is no one wants to brick a $1000 camera without the promise of future monetary gain, and charging for illegal software puts up more red flags for the OEM. Olympus has shut people down for less!

    Until Oly releases the secret of how to unbrick a camera, no one would try it.
  12. pheaukus

    pheaukus Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 22, 2012
    CHDK is a really great initiative made possible because of the sheer amount of people owning any of the Canon cameras. The availability of CHDK features like super fast shutter, full manual control of all parameters and menu, added histogram types, motion detection, continuous bracketing for any parameter your heart desires, etc. etc. add a heap of value to the entire Canon product line.

    It would be nice if camera companies would by default allow users to write and upload little scripts to tweak camera functions to their liking. Customization rules.
  13. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    Support costs. You see this all the time in the smart phone arena, where hacking and jail-breaking smart phones is a closet industry. People who don't quite understand what they're doing, or what they're getting in to, hack their phones, and either brick them or discover the 3rd party ROMs have bugs. Then they take their phones back to Sprint or Verizon or whoever and expect someone else to fix their mistakes.

    That costs money. And while the vendors could say "tough, you broke it," that creates bad feelings, and said people are likely to go on faceplant and tweeter and complain about what lousy products company X makes, and how bad their customer support is, etc.
  14. sprocket87

    sprocket87 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 29, 2011
    If you're really excited about this, set up a web site offering a reward to the first person/group to make it happen. Allow people to sign up to pledge donations to the effort, kind of like Kick Starter.

    Without an incentive it seems unlikely to occur, unless there's an hacker OM-D fan with way too much time on his hands.
  15. pheaukus

    pheaukus Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 22, 2012
    The camera company that first allows third-party app installation wins.
  16. st3v4nt

    st3v4nt Mu-43 Veteran

    May 26, 2011
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    The secret of unbrick Oly camera....go to the Olympus Repair Service ....there must be a way to reflash the camera through the olympus "usb" connector unfortunately the repair service software can only be access by authorized olympus repair service....crew.
  17. Mikefellh

    Mikefellh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 7, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    And other than that, they aren't talking. Maybe their method is to apply a voltage to an "unused" line of the 12 conductor USB connector. Who knows.

    Wonder if some Olympus insider who is a camera fanatic hasn't cracked their camera already.

    Wonder how many Apple employees have jailbroken their own Apple devices.
  18. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    It could also involve going back to the service center to take it apart to flip a DIP switch on the circuit board and put it in reprogram mode, then setting it back once the system software is installed again like they do on some computer motherboards for the BIOS.
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