OM-1 remote control comparison

Hamburg Harbour

Regarding an OM-1 remote control, there are basically two options, each with advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, you can use the free OI.share on your cell phone or get a RM-WR1. I will detail the differences and share my favourite solution with you.

OM-1 remote control with OI.Share

In addition to many functions that the free OI.share app from OM Digitalsolution brings along, there is also a built-in remote control of the camera. You even have two options to control the camera remotely. Very comfortable with live images on your phone or a classic remote shutter release with a simple shutter release button.

Dunnock in my backyard


The live preview variant is very comfortable, as you are able to see from the distance what the camera sees before you press the release button. In addition, you can adjust your all settings. Exposure time, aperture, ISO and a lot more can be adjusted without touching the camera. Of course, this is always an advantage if you have trouble getting to the camera. In addition, the final images will be displayed. However, the live view variant has a decisive disadvantage. You need a WIFI connection. At the latest when you are in an environment with many WIFI networks you will notice that the connection between the camera and cell phone becomes very unreliable. It is not always ensured that a trigger is actually released.

Release button

In case you set up OI.share remote control without a live view but as a remote button only a bluetooth connection is needed. The bluetooth connection is stable even though a lot of networks are available. But the release button remote control is not as comfortable as the remote control with Live View. It is like a virtual cable release. This solution also saves battery life of your mobile as Bluetooth consume less power than WiFi. Neither Live View nor a preview of the taken image is available. In case you would like to change setting you must do it at the camera. As you don’t have the Live View you are not able to judge the image before you release the camera.


OM-1 remote control with the RM-WR1

The RM-WR1 is an easy but genius accessory. It can remote control the camera either wireless via Bluetooth or cable. In case you are using it as a cable release the RM-WR1 even doesn’t need a battery. A perfect fall back solution in case you are running out of battery.
In addition you can set-up the OM-1 that it connects with the RM-WR1 as soon as the RM-WR1 is switched on. This enables you to use the RM-WR1 much faster than with the OI.share. In addition the RM-WR1 is as splash proof as the OM-1. You can use it without any issue in rain. When you are using the RM-WR1 of course you have to make the settings at the camera. A Live View is not available.

Conclusion and my favourite solution

Depending what your would like to achieve each solution has advantages and disadvantages. The biggest advantages of the solution with your mobile phone that you don’t have additional costs. Today everybody has a mobile phone and OI.share is available for free. Live View and total control over the settings helps you in case the camera is only difficult to reach.
The RM-WR1 in opposite is directly ready, as the connection will be established as soon as you switch on the RM-WR1. No complicated connection between camera and mobile phone is necessary. In addition the RM-WR1 is as splash proof as the camera. In case it is raining you don’t have to think about it. The haptic release button can be used without any issues with gloves. This is the reason why I prefer the RM-WR1 in 80% of all use cases. For the rest of the use cases I use OI.Share.

Great tit

What do you think. Happy when you share your thoughts in the comments.

Connect the RM-WR1 with the OM-1

In case you have a RM-WR1 and you need to know how to connect it with the OM-1 my small video on You Tube might be helpful.

Four OM-1 shortcuts I like

In programs, it is normal, that you have shortcuts to use functions with keys. This is very handy as you can work much faster than without shortcuts. Most don’t know that the OM-1 has also shortcuts. However, those are helpful to use the camera. Therefore here are my four favourite shortcuts.

1. OM-1 shortcut to set the eye sensor

The eye sensor is very helpful. It switches the electronic viewfinder on as soon as you hold the camera in front of the eye. In rare cases, this could be annyoing as the display is switched off when you come too close to the sensor with your finger. Often is this the case when you are taking images and going into the menu takes too much time. In this situation, you can use the shortcut. Just press the button, which switches between the viewfinder and display for longer than 1 sec. This brings you directly to the menu to switch the settings for the eye sensor.

2. Program Fn buttons of the OM-1

Even though your program functions key mostly at the beginning, I face now and then the situation to change them for special tasks. Also here you find an OM-1 shortcut, which enables you to work faster than using the menu. The Super Control Panel (SCP) opens when you press the OK button. Here you find the gear wheel, which brings you directly to the menu to set up the function keys. This enables you, in case you need it, to change the settings fas.

OM-1 Kurzbefehle für die Funktionstasteneinstellung

3. SD card / save settings

How OM-1 is saving images and movies can be set up. You can decide, for example, that images are saved on card 1 and movies on card 2. Also,, you can decide that card 1 saves all material and card 2 is used as a backup card. The menu you can also reach the Super Control Panel, which you can open with the OK button. Instead of the gear wheel, you must choose the small card symbol in the lower left corner. This brings you directly to the menu for the card settings.

OM-1 Kurzbefehle zu den Karteneinstellungen

4. Reset settings

The OM-1 offers a lot of possibilities to change settings. This starts with the exposure correction and ends with the adjustment of the gradation curve. Once the setting is done resetting them is more time-consuming. Often you exceed the zero position and it is a little exhausting. Therefore this OM-1 shortcut is very handy. By pressing the OK button for more than 0.75 sec (this is the standard setting, but can be adjusted to your needs) the setting will be rested to default. This shortcut can be used in many cases.

5 functions I love in OM System cameras

Olympus or OM System has been always an innovative company and often introduced first a new function. Olympus was the first company to sell only digital cameras and with the Olympus E-330, they had the first company camera with an electronic viewfinder in their portfolio. In addition OM Digitalsolution was together with Panasonic introduced a mirrorless camera first. In addition, their cameras do have practical functions which are either not or only later for competitor cameras. In the current OM System cameras are five functions the most important. Please find here a small overview.

Live ND Filter in OM System cameras

Bachlauf aufgenommen mit Live ND Filter eine OM System Kamera
Creek made with LiveND filter

Longtime exposures are a creative possibility to show movement in a still image. However, especially in daylight conditions so far only achievable with a physical filter. Those filters need space in your bag and are relatively expensive. The Live ND Filter function in opposite can replicate the effect of longtime exposures by overlaying several images with a shorter exposure time. Therefore it is possible to take longtime exposure in bright light conditions without a grey filter, which eventually has a colour shift.

In addition, I can combine a light ND Filter with the Live ND function. In theory, you can achieve the same afterwards with image manipulation. However the advantage of the solution in OM System camera is, that you are getting the result directly in the camera without any additional effort. In addition, the camera offers an option to preview the effect in the viewfinder. You can judge the effect before you take the image.

Focus Stacking in OM System cameras

Pilz aufgenommen mit Fokus Stacking
mushroom made with focus stacking

Although the Micro Four Thirds lenses are using a larger angle of view and it has therefore a smaller depth of field, there are situations which need more depth of field. Focus stacking can help here. Focus stacking takes several images with the different focus point and stitches them together into one single image with a larger depth of field. This is helpful, especially for maco images but also in landscape photography. How to focus stacking is working I wrote in the article “Focus stacking and focus bracketing“, how this technology supports you in landscape photography you can find in the article “Focus stacking in landscape photography“.

HighRes Shot

Aufnahme aufgenommen mit High Res Shot der OM System Kameras
product image made with High Res Shot

The pixel count in the modern sensors is getting higher and higher. This comes with the cost of the smaller pixels, which only can keep dynamic range and noise level with technology progress. Olympus goes a different way. In case a higher resolution is needed you can use the HighRes shot. The sensor is shifted after every shot and the final images are stitched out of those images.

Image stabilisation

The basis for the HighRes Shot is the possibility to shift the sensor. This was originally introduced to stabilize the image for long periods or when using long focal lengths. This function allows it to work much longer without a tripod and increases mobility when shooting. In the best case, 8 times longer exposure times can be realized without a tripod. As image stabilisation is always on in my camera, this is the function I used most.

Pro Capture

Startende Eisvogel
Starting kingfisher captured with Pro Capture der OM System OM-1

Before this feature existed, it was very difficult to capture unpredictable events. So ProCapture has made photography a little easier again. The camera records images in the buffer when the shutter release button is pressed halfway, which are then saved to the card when the shutter release button is pressed fully. This allows you to capture moments that happened before the shutter was fully released. Especially in bird photography, this is helpful when you want to photograph birds taking off.

Focus Stacking in landscape photography

Waterfall on Island

OM System cameras have focus stacking a unique function, which is useful to increase the depth of field in macro photography. But there is another use case for focus stacking, even though the depth of field normally isn’t an issue.

When is focus stacking helpful for landscape photography?

A popular creative means in landscape photography is to place an object in the foreground as this emphasises depth. Always when you do this depth of field becomes relevant in landscape photography, even though wide-angle lenses have a much bigger depth of field than tele lenses. But in landscape photography the distances are enormous. Therefore closing the aperture doesn’t help. Especially as image quality is getting worse when you use a smaller f-stop than 11.

Original without focus stacking
result after focus stacking

What to consider when using Focus Stacking

In my article “Focus Stacking and Focus Bracketing” I write about the needed settings in detail. In opposite to macro photography you have to consider a bit more. As already said above you should avoid smaller apertures than 11. In case you close it further diffraction will decrease your image quality. In addition, most properly you must experiment a bit with the step size. Which one is fitting depends on the lens, focusing distance and aperture. Therefore a recommendation is hardly possible.

Focus Stacking takes the first image on the focus point you have set. The next image is taken from a closer point and the following will be taken behind the first focus point. Therefore you should not fonearestthe the closest distance which should be sharp, but behind. Also here you must experiment to get the result you would achieve.

Focus Stacking in landscape photography original
Original without focus stacking
Focus Stacking in landscape photography result
result after focus stacking

Additional sources for this topic

In case you would like to get more information about focus stacking in landscape photography you find additional information on the web. Following sources, I can recommend.

  1. OM System Visionäre Peter Baumgartern article “Maximum Depth of field” veröffentlicht.
  2. If you understand German the article of Helmut Kruse “Fokusstacking in der Landschaftsfotografie? Ja Klar!” is worth reading.

How to update firmware on E-M1 Mark III / OM-1

Once in a while cameras are getting new functions or error are resolved. In both cases a new firmware is provided. Cameras of OM Digitalsolutions is this done either with OM Workspace or mobile with OM.Share. I would like to demonstrate you how to make it with OM.Share. For the moment you can only update the E-M1 Mark III or OM-1 firmware. All other cameras has to be updated with OM Workspace.

Update OM-D E-M1 Mark III / OM-1 firmware with OM.Share

OI.share screenshot to show how to update OM-1 / E-M1 Mark III firmware

Precondition to update the firmware with OM.Share is that you already paired your camera with OM.Share and you must activate WiFi in your E-M1 Mark III or OM-1. Have you done this you can press the gear icon to reach the settings.

In the settings you find camera management.

OI.share screenshot to show how to update OM-1 / E-M1 Mark III firmware v
OI.share screenshot to show how to update OM-1 / E-M1 Mark III firmware

Clicking on it the camera management opens. Here you find information about your camera. You can save your camera settings and you can update the firmware.

When you click on it OM.Share shows you the firmware version installed on your camera and the mounted lens. Pressing “check update” the software verify the latest firmware on the server in Japan.

OI.share screenshot to show how to update OM-1 / E-M1 Mark III firmware
OI.share screenshot to show how to update OM-1 / E-M1 Mark III firmware

Is a new firmware available it will be shown. Underneath you find a button to update the firmware for the camera or lens.

Follow the instruction on the screen to update your camera.

Following is important.

  1. Be aware that your batterie is charged to at least 50%. A fully charged batterie however is much better.
  2. Take care that you never loose power while updating the firmware. This is very important. In case you are loosing power it could happen that the camera has no firmware at all. You will not be able to start the camera anymore then.
  3. Keep an eye on all hints of OM.Share. While updating the firmware OM.Share saves your settings. In case you are not following the instruction of OM.Share it will not be able to install those settings back to the camera.

In case you would like to update the firmware of lenses, make it in the same way.

Update firmware with OM Workspace

Updating the firmware with OM.Share is super. You can update your camera on the way without computer. Unfortunately this is only available for E-M1 Mark III and OM-1. At home you are also able to update your firmware with OM Workspace. First connect your camera with the delivered USB cable. As soon as you switch on the camera a dialog is displayed. You can select how the camera communicates with the computer. Select storage to update the firmware and confirm with “OK”.

OM Workspace screenshot

In OM Workspace you find in the “camera” menu “update” which you have to use to update the camera. Have you pressed it the camera updater starts. Now the process is similar to OM.Share.

OM Workspace screenshot

The camera updater shows whether a new firmware version is available or not. To Update camera / lens just press update. Please follow the instruction on the screen exactly. Press only “next” when you see the big “OK” on the camera screen and if you have switch off / on the camera.

OM Workspace screenshot

In case you are using an E-M1 Mark III or an OM-1 OM Workspace saves your camera settings and reload them after the update process. Older cameras don’t have this option.

Tips for Apple user

In case you are using an Apple computer to update the firmware it could be that your are getting several error messages. The reason for those messages are following.

  1. You are using a USB cable which is transferier the data not correctly. Please use the cable which is delivered with the camera, if possible.
  2. You camera is connected with a USB hup. Please connect the camera directly on the computer.
  3. The security settings of the operating system give OM Workspace not enough right. In case you thing OM Workspace has all rights needed and it is not working, please double check the system settings. Sometime also the firewall could be the reason why OM Workspace is not able to communicate with the firmware server.