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Olympus hacks
  • Hello, I've done some hacking on the olympus usb firmware update protocol:

    I've made my own fake update server in python ( and captured the usb communication from update tool in virtualbox windows with wireshark (update.usb.dump, use filter: (scsi.sbc.opcode >= 0xc0 || scsi.spc.opcode >= 0xc0) && !(scsi.status == 0x00)). Protocol dissection is in proto.odt. Custom scsi commands are used, sg3_utils package can be used to send those. handles initial reads (serial no. and other info) and works ok. I didn't attempt yet to do the writes, since there are still some open questions.

    Let me know if there is interest in more info.


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  • You can post in this topic any info that you like. As long as it is not copyrighted (by Olympus) code fragments.

  • grate news. i wonder how shoul a hacked EM5 be like. The sensor seems well yielded, but no to much talking about its video mode. Any way, congratulations and good luck with your proyect.

  • @Jove

    Great work!

  • Quite interesting also to me... give us updates if you find out more.

  • interesting, EM-5 with some details hack is camera perfect.

  • The video codec settings sure could use some hacking! :)

    Other things like IBIS with video when using an adapted lens might be interesting to hack in as well. The IBIS works with adapted lenses for stills - but not video as I understand it. Big bummer! I guess there are other areas which need improvements as well. And the OM-D is certainly a camera worth hacking IMHO.

    I'm really looking forward to a working hack for this camera!

    DPR recently gave it their Gold Award: and the camera gets lots of "exceptional" reviews from pro and semi-pro still photographers. Here's a few threads to skim which might reveal some hack ideas at the same time.

    And so on... Other (open minded) photography boards show similar threads and opinions.

    Anyway, I didn't think the GH2 was enough of an upgrade from my GH1 but I think the OM-D EM-5 is... If that's saying anything!?! :)

    EDIT: Removed about 8 other links from the same two sites. If interested in other user opinions and OM-D usages/experiences/hopes just search those sites with "OM-D". :)

  • @Tesselator

    I really suggest not to provide bunch of links, but provide content that you got.

  • Here's a couple more:

    EDIT: Oh, just saw your comment VK. OK, will do. Sorry.

  • What are the possibility to hack the OM-D?

    This camera seems to have incredible stabilisation and great colour but the bit rate and frame rates are limited?

    VK, is this a huge task, there are f/w updates but I guess such a hack will be an enormous task?

  • I am also very curious, I am looking to buy a camera to shoot something over the summer and will have a hard time waiting for Photokina--GH3. The features/body of the E-M5 look very intriguing, but the codec seems very poor. I am okay with purchasing the OM-D E-M5 if there is hope for a hack though. Is anyone looking to hack this? :)

  • I will donate for the omd hack :)

  • Sure! if Vitaly or anyone else hacks the bitrate of the OMD to solve the moire/motion problems with it's video in 1080p I'll donate, GH2 (and GH3) are nice but I prefer the color saturation and vivid image of Oly -I've always used Oly gear and now I'm starting to play with serious videography. C'mon Mr. Vitaly, go for it! :)

    My respects for your work, Domingo

  • I also would like Vitaly worked on this camera, but if he does not want, let's respect. I just wish more people knew how to do it. There is already a topic which teaches how to start? This camera is terrific too much for that codec. Please advice us, Vitaly.

  • I didn't donate $$ for the GH1 or 2 cameras but I most probably will if he takes on the OM-D I think. $25 to $50 is pizza money and I could definitely go without one or two pizzas in order to see this happen. Especially if he planned on tricking out more than just the codec parameter defaults!

    BTW, I don't think it's the case that not many people /can/ do this sorta thing. I think it's more to do with free time and caring enough.

  • I would happily donate € 100,- for a OM-D hack that allows a reasonable bitrate. otherwise, the camera seems pretty pretty pretty good ... just keep me updated on any projects and tell me how to contribute,


  • Where are you with this project?

  • I wrote to Olympus (I'm on their professional users mailing list) and suggested for OMD to have 24 and 25fps with 50Mbs 422 H264 codec, or failing that 35Mbs (the Sony EX series rate) I suggested It would be a c300 and 5D killer and if they did that and I would immediately buy 3 of 'em. No response... yet fingers crossed

  • No response... yet fingers crossed

    Welcome to reality. :-)

  • I hear ya Vitaly but I have had a few wins recently... chatting to Apple head software guy (I produced their first live HD broadcast for iPad for ARIA LIVE and got them to write code for 720p50 to 720p25 converter which they said produced the best pictures they have ever seen) they took on a suggestion of mine for new operating system to flick files to other Apple devices in the room directly. And with the pre release of the Sound Devices Pix240 video recorder I suggested the monitor on it have a pixel for pixel zoom-in feature (to eliminate yet another monitor hanging off your camera)... and they did it! Now I want one... But now I really want OMD to be OMG! really want... :-)

  • Too bad the op (Jove) has dissapeared from the site. I'd be most interested on helping him on his work. We should go forth and make a proper olympus hack scene (btw, I promised a mod on the sema1 mic adapter but it's been delayed looong time because of recent paternity!)

    By the way, I suffered the e-m5 video issues the other day: panning on high detail scene, it gets crazy with artifacts... such a pity!!

  • Highly interesting about EM-5 hack, will donate for sure !

  • Olly has heard it a zillion times that we want better vid, 24p, 25p, etc. Not only are they stupid, but they simply have a bubble-like corporate mindset that is permanently rooted in the pure camera culture. They make great cameras, they just don't "see" video. Eventually, they will have to catch up or lose market share. The new Canon mirrorless hopefully will push them in that direction.

  • @DrDave

    Thing that always amaze me is how people think that video greatly affect sales. :-)

    They don't give a fuck about this.

  • I saw this interview with one of the head guys from Olympus, and basically, he had just an elitist, "we know best" attitude. And it's true it is a small minority of people who understand video frame rates anyway. I don't think they care what we think, but they do care if Canon or Sony has better features. Fact is, a lot of photogs I know would buy the latest OM camera because they have instant and effective IS for all of the lenses they own, plus great IQ, even if they use a Canon DSLR on a tripod in the studio. I'm stoked about the GH3, but I know it won't have the photo capabilities of the Olympus. But hey, I bought one of those $149 E-PL1, so I'm covered for a "photo" camera.

  • @Vitaliy_Kiselev

    Yup, I have to agree. I doubt very seriously that video affects sales at all at this point. I think it did on the GH1 and also but to a much lesser degree, the GH2. But I think that's because video was new and many people were (mistakenly) thinking that they could get RED One quality for a fraction of the price. At about the same time the famous Shoot-Out test videos released to feed the fire a bit more.

    Now however, with everything settled down, many people's expectations normalized somewhat, and pretty much everyone already committed to a particular system, I guess video QUALITY has just about no affect on sales. With a camera like the EM-5 it's probably enough just to say: "It does full HD".

    We're only a tiny minority - us who want to get the maximum (video) yield out of our equipment. I'm not sure if I'm actually correct but that's what I think at this time anyway. :)