Panasonic and Olympus new firmware updates!

Panasonic today announces the new firmware updates for the interchangeable lens Lumix G Vario HD 14-140mm / F4.0-5.8 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S. and the camera DMC-G2 of LUMIX G Micro System. The included software PHOTOfunSTUDIO 5.0 HD Edition is also going to be updated.
Firmware Ver.1.3 for LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140mm / F4.0-5.8 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S.
  • Improved AF performance in speed is available
  • Reduced start-up time (lens)
Firmware Ver.1.1 for DMC-G2
  • Compatibility with the new interchangeable 3D lens LUMIX G 12.5mm / F12 (H-FT012)
PHOTOfunSTUDIO 5.0 HD Edition (Ver.1.1)
  • Compatibility with the image shot with DMC-G2 and the new interchangeable 3D lens LUMIX G 12.5mm / F12 (H-FT012) for loading and sorting the 3D image or converting it to 2D image or writing it back to the SD Memory Card.
The Firmware Ver.1.3 for Lumix G Vario HD 14-140mm / F4.0-5.8 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S. will be released at the beginning of October, 2010 and the Firmware Ver.1.1 for DMC-G2 and PHOTOfunSTUDIO 5.0 HD Edition update program will be available in November 2010.

Our friends from ForumOlympusFrance found the Olympus has firmware update! The update on following lenses “Improves sequential shooting speed on E-5 cameras.

  • Any chance of the new firmware improving C-AF on the E-3? Probably not as that would only cut into E-5 sales eh?

    • jeff

      why would you want to use CAF in the first place on an e3

      • scott

        I use CAF all the time on the e3

  • What is meant by “3D image”? Is it red/green anaglyph or something different?

  • Joseph

    I’ve just updated both my 50-200 SWD and 14-35 SWD, feelings of playing them with my E-30 as follows:

    – No Phase-AF speed difference
    – Less hunting, or better say, the range of AF hunting is more narrow compare to v1.0
    – Tried to turn off my custom AF fine-tuning, which is terrible, which means no accuracy improvement on my E-30
    – Cannot feel big differences on Continuous-Phase-AF
    – Responses on Contrast-AF is more rapid, AF lock faster

  • Hope 14-140 would improve on GH1 as well

    • Joseph

      According to Panasonic Japan about GH2, the fast contrast-AF is contributed by the increases on the refresh rate of the Live-MOS sensor, improved from 60frame/sec on GH1 to 120frame/sec on GH2, which means getting the same amount of data for AF locking is reduced by half.

      So, consider the refresh rate of GH1 is still 60frame/sec, contribution to the AF on GH1 seems minimal

      • Joseph, i know the information you wrote, it means that the camera itself is faster at acquiring focus, not the lens, so we don’t know what this update really does, your suggest that this update should be called “compatibility AF patch for new GH2 drive”, perhaps that is the case, someone can elaborate?

        • Joseph

          Well, contrast-AF requires the continuous trial-and-error, which means the body will try first, if it is not sharp enough then the body will ask the lens to adjust a little bit and try again, until at a point that the body think more trying will not further improve the sharpness. The difference between the AF of GH1 vs. E-P1 is that it can handle the checking on the fly with a fast refresh rate. Which means, the lens don’t need to pause AF movement in order to give time the body to get a check frame to confirm focus, in GH1 the body and the lens simply works together.

          So I suspect the update involve improving speed of motor (or relaxing the speed limit if you like) as GH2 can handle on the fly trial-by-error in a faster refresh rate. That why, due to the 60frame/sec limit of GH1, a AF movement too fast may make the body missed the “sharpest” AF point on the fly, and cause hunting. If Panasonic did some gearing logic to the lens, like the body is able judge “it is going sharper and is expected to reach the sharpest point soon” and signal the lens to change gear into a slower AF, then the patch may benefit the GH1 as well. Or else, it seems only GH2 with 120frame/sec can fully utilize the faster AF motor update.

          • Interesting to see that Panasonic is taking a full approach to the Contrast AF problem.

            I think you can use the analogy of measuring the contrast versus the lens group travel with a parabolas open down function.

            Remembering you have no phase information, so your algorithm starts with a random direction. If you see that the contrast decreases, you know it was the wrong direction to start with. Therefore you need to move the AF lens group the opposite drection, while measuring the contrast.

            You will then see the contrast increases, observing the derivative goes down to zero when reaching the max contrast, following a decrease in contrast again when you’ve passed the max.

            If you’ve missed the max, you’ve got to go back, which if the steps are too big, can be an iterative process.

            Certainly, with a faster AF sensor framerate, we’re measuring more often, but we also need the AF motor to be able to both run fast with big steps and to be able to take very short steps.

            Mass & acceleration are two important factors, in how fast a lens can focus. Again, AF speed is an area where the µ43 has an advantage over APS-C and larger systems, since the lenses can be smaller and lighter for equivalent angle of view.

  • Just updated the 14-35…
    It still hunts…. :(

    I hope the 14-35 will work with the e5, else it’s on e-bay…

    • scott

      Are you using the e3?

      • Joseph

        I’ve updated my 14-35 and tried with a E-30, the hunt still exist but I’ve found that the range of hunting narrowed. And no improvement on AF accruacy unless you micro tune it yourself, which I think it is a good habit for those who take responsibility to routinely fine tune their gears instead of keep blaming the manufacturer.

      • Amanda

        Yes thats with the E3….

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