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Thread: Undocumented Camera Features

  1. #1
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    Default Undocumented Camera Features

    Greetings,

    Olympus provides an easy way to check the firmware version of most 4/3rds cameras. If you have an E-300, E-500 or E-330 camera, you simply select "Firmware" in the second Custom Settings menu of your camera (it's the last item in the menu). The E-500 Advanced Manual describes it on page 137. The E-330 Advanced Manual describes it on page 118. (It is omitted from the E-300 manual but the feature is provided.)

    But how do you check the firmware version of an E-1? The only "official" way that Olympus provides is to connect your E-1 to your computer and use software provided with your camera (Olympus Viewer) or optional software (Olympus Studio) to check the firmware version. This same software is used to update the firmware when needed. What do you do if you want to check the firmware version of an E-1 and you don't have a computer and/or Olympus software handy? Fortunately, there is a way to do it and here's how:


    How to check the firmware version of an E-1 without a computer
    1. Open the CF card door. (This can be done with the camera on.)
    2. If the camera is off, turn it on with the On/Off switch. The "Card-Cover Open" message will appear on the camera's LCD monitor.
    3. Simultaneously press the [>] (play) and "OK" buttons.
    4. To return to normal camera operation close the CF card door.
    The firmware version will be listed in the camera's LCD monitor for the camera body, a Zuiko Digital lens and Olympus flash (if attached).
    Best regards, FL

    Pursuing excellence...

  2. #2
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    Default Camera Information Pages

    Greetings,

    This information was originally posted at FourThirds Photo in the "shutter count - useful info..." thread. Credit goes to totetuti and the other participants of this thread for their contributions to this information.

    There is still considerable uncertainty as to what some of the information means. This is a summary of what we know (or think we know) so far. I'll try to update this message as we learn more.

    Update: Some of the procedures in this topic may no longer work with some camera models once the firmware is updated. It appears that Olympus has taken measures to remove some of these undocumented features with firmware updates.


    How to display the info pages of your Olympus 4/3rds camera
    1. Open the CF card door. (This can be done with the camera on.)
    2. If the camera is off, turn it on with the On/Off switch. The "Card-Cover Open" message will appear on the camera's LCD monitor.
    3. Simultaneously press the following two buttons:
      • E-1, E-300, E-500: Press the [>] (play) and "OK" buttons.
      • E-330, E-510: Simultaneously press the "Menu" and "OK" buttons.
      • If you're using an E-1, the firmware version of the camera and attached lens and flash will be displayed on the camera's LCD monitor. If you're using an E-300, E-500, E-330 or E-510, the camera model name will be displayed.
    4. Press each of the following navigation buttons one-at-a-time in order:
      1. Up
      2. Down
      3. Left
      4. Right
    5. Press the shutter button all the way.
    6. Use the navigation buttons to display the desired info page:
      • Up - display Page 1
      • Right - display Page 2
      • Down - display Page 3
      • Left - diagnostic display
    7. To return to normal camera operation shut the CF card door.
    .
    Here is what each info page contains:

    E-1 Page 1 (up)
    • MU - unknown
    • MB - unknown
    • M3 - unknown
    • SL - unknown
    • L - lens code
      • 1000 = ZD 11-22mm and Sigma 18-50mm
      • 1002 = ZD 14-45mm
      • 1003 = ZD 7-14mm
      • 1004 = Sigma 55-200mm
      • 1007 = ZD 150mm
      • 1008 = ZD 50mm and 300mm
      • 1100 = ZD 14-54mm, 50-200mm and EC-14 (by itself)
      • 1101 = ZD 40-150mm
      • 1108 = ZD 35mm
    • F - flash code
      • 1003 = FL-36
      • 1005 = FL-50
    E-500 Page 1 (up)
    • B - unknown
    • U - unknown
    • C - unknown
    • A - unknown
    • L - lens code
    • F - flash code
    Page 2 (right)
    • R - counts the number of shutter activations (when continuous shooting is used, each shot is counted separately) but the total is not correct for some cameras which may indicate that something can reset it.
    • S - counts the number of times a flash was fired.
    • M (C in the E-330) - counts the number of times the mirror has been locked up (cleaning mode).
    • U - number of times the camera has been turned on (and the ultrasonic wave cleaner activated).
    • L (E-500 and E-330) - unknown
    • V (E-330) - counts two operations: [1] number of times the mirror has been locked up in Live View mode B, and [2] number of times the AEL button has been used to auto focus while in Live View mode B (this second count happens only with firmware version 1.2 or later). Thanks to sokol for identifying this function.
    Page 3 (down)
    • CS - camera serial number
    • MCS - see below
    • CAMID (E-1) - unknown
    no title (left)
    • D _: - unsure (may report the last diagnostic error code if there was a problem)


    MCS - (Page 3 above) Is the same as the "Internal Serial Number" recorded in the EXIF data of pictures recorded with the camera. The 16-digit number contains a variety of information. Here is what we understand so far:
    Digits 1-4 represent the camera model. 4001 = E-1, 4007 = E-300, 4011 = E-500 and 4016 = E-330.
    Digit 5 is the year of manufacture. For example, "3" equals year 2003.
    Digits 6-7 represent the month of manufacturer. For example, "06" equals June.
    Digits 8 is unknown.
    Digits 9-13 are believed to represent a sequence number from the month of manufacture.
    Digits 14-16 is believed to represent a hardware revision.
    Thanks to Bill Dennis for providing the MCS information above.
    Best regards, FL

    Pursuing excellence...

  3. #3
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    Default How to stay in Close-up mode while Reviewing Images

    Greetings,

    Have you ever wished that you could zoom in on a picture that you are reviewing on your E-1's LCD monitor and then jump to the next picture without zooming back out? Maybe you need to compare a detail between two or more similar shots and you not only want to zoom in to 2x, 3x or 4x but you also want to scroll to a specific part of the picture while you're zoomed in and stay there as you move from one shot to the next. For E-300 and later camera owners this is simple and documented (page 110 of the E-300 Reference Manual). But until recently, E-1 owners didn't know that this was possible with their cameras. Thanks go to jebir for discovering how to do it with an E-1.


    How to stay in close-up mode while reviewing images
    1. Press the [>] (play) button to review an image.
    2. Use the main dial to magnify the image to 2x, 3x or 4x.
    3. Use the navigation buttons (left, right, up, down) until the desired portion of the picture is in view.
    4. Press the menu button. The menu will appear.
    5. Press the [>] (play) button again. You are now in the special close-up review mode. The last image you reviewed will reappear and it will still be zoomed as before.
    6. Use the navigation buttons to move from one picture to the next. Each picture will be zoomed the same and the same section of each picture will be visible. In other words, if you were previously viewing the bottom left corner of a 4x picture, you will still view the bottom left corner of the rest of the pictures at 4x. Note: The left and right navigation buttons will step you forward and backward one picture at a time. The up and down navigation buttons will jump to the last and first images, respectively.
    7. To exit this mode use the main dial to return to the 1x view.
    Best regards, FL

    Pursuing excellence...

  4. #4
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    Default Shutter Life

    Greetings,

    Olympus doesn't publish the expected shutter life of their 4/3rds cameras. This can be an important thing to know when selecting a camera and it is one of the features that separate the pro cameras from the prosumer and consumer models. Here is what we know so far:


    Expected shutter life (average number of shutter releases before failure)
    • E-1 - 150,000
    • E-300 - probably 50,000
    • E-500 - 50,000 (100,000 according to this source)
    • E-330 - ?
    • DMC-L1 - ?
    • Digilux 3 - ?
    • E-400 - ?
    • E-410 - ?
    • E-510 - ?
    Best regards, FL

    Pursuing excellence...

  5. #5
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    Default ISO settings below 100 with an E-300, E-500 and E-400

    Greetings,

    Jelomy55 at DPReview discovered that you can set the ISO of an E-300 and E-500 below 100. It can be set as low as ISO 50. Caution: This procedure activates a "Test" mode in your camera. Disclaimer: We do not have a full understanding of this mode. If you follow this procedure, you do so at your own risk.

    It has also been reported that this procedure works for the E-400.

    It should also be noted that Olympus claims that it is not possible to set the ISO below 100. When asked about this procedure, they replied as follows to AnnF:
    We value you as an Olympus customer and appreciate the opportunity to assist you. Unfortunately it is not possible to set the ISO setting of the E-1 camera below 100. If you require a slower shutter speed, a neutral density filter may be used with this camera, but it is generally recommended that you keep the shutter open no longer than 15 seconds in order to avoid excessive amounts of noise.
    This seems to contradict the results that some E-300 and E-500 shooters have experienced when using this procedure. It may be that Olympus just doesn't want anyone using the "Test" mode of their camera because it may be possible to mess it up. For example, this procedure uses "Program 10" of the test mode. But we don't know what Program 1-9 do. We welcome further insight into this subject.

    Update: Some of the procedures in this topic may no longer work with some camera models once the firmware is updated. It appears that Olympus has taken measures to remove some of these undocumented features with firmware updates.
    .
    .
    How to set the ISO below 100
    1. Open the CF card door. (This can be done with the camera on.)
      .
    2. If the camera is off, turn it on with the On/Off switch. The "Card-Cover Open" message will appear on the camera's LCD monitor.
      .
    3. Simultaneously press the following two buttons:
      .
      • Press the [>] (play) and "OK" buttons.
      • At this point the camera model (firmware on some models) will be displayed on the camera's LCD monitor.
        .
    4. Press each of the following navigation buttons one-at-a-time in order:
      .
      1. Up (exposure compensation)
      2. Down (ISO)
      3. Left (metering)
      4. Right (AF)
        .
    5. Press the shutter button all the way.
      .
    6. Use one of the navigation buttons to display an information screen.
      .
    7. Press each of the following navigation buttons one-at-a-time in order:
      .
      1. Up (exposure compensation)
      2. Left (metering)
      3. Down (ISO)
        .
    8. Simultaneously press the "OK" and shutter button. The "Test" screen should appear as shown in the picture below.
      .
    9. Use the up (exposure compensation) and down (ISO) navigation buttons to select "Prg" (Program)10.
      .
    10. Press the right (AF) navigation button to change the focus to the "Item" number.
      .
    11. Then use the up (exposure compensation) and down (ISO) navigation buttons to select an Item number as described below (thanks to AnnF for the list):
      .


      • Item 0 = ISO 50
      • Item 1 = ISO 64
      • Item 2 = ISO 80
      • Item 3 = ISO 100
      • Item 4 = ISO 125
      • Item 5 = ISO 160
      • Item 6 = ISO 200
      • Item 7 = ISO 250
      • Item 8 = ISO 320
      • Item 9 = ISO 400
      • Item 10 = ISO 500
      • Item 11 = ISO 640
      • Item 12 = ISO 800
      • Item 13 = Auto ISO
        .
    12. Press "OK" to activate the ISO selection made in steps 9 through 11.
      .
    13. To return to normal camera operation shut the CF card door. The custom ISO will remain active until you use the ISO button to change it.
    The custom low ISO setting will persist until you change it with the ISO button. For example, if you set the ISO to 50 and then shut your camera off, it will still be set to 50 when you turn it back on. Pictures that you take with a custom low ISO setting will accurately list the ISO used in the EXIF data.

    By the way, I've tried to find a way to do this with my E-1 and it appears that only the E-300 and E-500 have this capability.
    Best regards, FL

    Pursuing excellence...

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