Owners of Olympus’s OM-D E-M1 Mark II M43 mirrorless camera have no doubt been a bit envious of the E-M1X’s turbocharged autofocusing capabilities, but a firmware upgrade for the earlier model helps close the gap.

Firmware Version 3.0 upgrades the E-M1 II to the same advanced autofocusing algorithm which drives the E-M1X’s system, including for Movie AF. It also adds the latest features such as C-AF Centre Priority, 25-points ‘Group’ area mode and C-AF+MF. Additionally, low-light sensitivity is extended down to -6.0 EV (at ISO 100). In other areas of performance Olympus says that noise levels at the higher ISO settings is reduced by around a third of a stop, and Low ISO Processing (Detail Priority) is added to enhance resolution. The low-end of the sensitivity range can be extended down to ISO 100. Added features include anti-flicker detection and correction, OM-Log400 gamma profile (for an extended dynamic range with video recording), between three and 15 frames selectable with Focus Stacking, a new ‘Art Filter’ called Instant Film, and accessibility to the menus or playback when the camera is writing to the memory. The E-M1 II firmware upgrade is available as a free download from https://cs.olympus-imaging.jp/jp/support/cs/dslr/fw/index.html#omd

Photo: Olympus
Combine the new MC-20 2.0x teleconverter with Olympus's M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mmf4.0 IS PRO telephoto and you have an effective focal length of 1200mm. Photo: Olympus

The upgrade also provides support for the new M.Zuiko Digital 2x Teleconverter MC-20. This is a 2.0x teleconverter that’s compatible with three current M.Zuiko PRO series lenses – the ED 45-150mm f2.8 zoom, the ED 300mm f4.0 IS prime telephoto and the ED 150-400mm f4.5 TC1.25x IS supertelephoto zoom which will be launched in 2020.

Like these lenses and the higher-end OM-D camera bodies, the MC-20 has a fully weather sealed design and can also operate in subzero temperatures down to -10 degrees Celsius. It has a nine-element optical construction which includes one element made from glass with a high refractive index. It weighs 150 grams and is compatible with the five-axis in-body image stabilisation in the likes of the E-M1X, E-M1 Mark II and E-M5 Mark II. It’s priced at $699. For more information visit http://www.olympus.com.au