Olympus Image Share App and OM-D E-M5 II - IT WORKS!!! - HDR, forget it!

It's always the same, you get all this publicity about cameras and then the reviews. Everybody makes a big point about how it's got wi-fi and it does this and that, but then nobody really goes into how it works and whether it's any good or not. So since I actually took the trouble to try it out I can let you know that it works and yes it's actually quite good. Now often that's where some 'reviewers' just leave it, so here goes with a little more in-depth analysis. 

First, you need to get the Olympus Image Share app. onto your device. And you can find that HERE for Mac and Android. 

I installed one version on an iPad and another on my Panasonic CM1 Android smartphone, which is what the rest of the article is about. You then have to set it up with the camera, which is explained on page 119 of the OM-D E-M5 II manual. (See how unbelievably helpful this article is already!!!)

This was fairly simple to do, as explained above. Once this is set up you may or may not have to select the E-M5 II wireless network on your device. I did on my iPad, I didn't on my CM1. Once the two see each other you can select the options on the main screen. 

Importing pictures already taken on the camera to my phone reduced them to 2048px - longest edge. I can't find a way to make them bigger, but then for social media they are fine. You can even do a bit of editing.

UPDATE - I got this from a Google+ contributor and it does allow full-size downloading.

Marcio K

David, to change the image size when importing it, click on the clog on the upper right side of the initial screen of the app, then in the "Import Photos" option, then the "Keep Size" option (or something like that, my app is in Portuguese and the labels may differ) 

You can shoot either stills OR video with the remote control. You select this via the mode button.

As you can see, you have some basic control over ISO, aperture, shutter speed etc. One problem I had was that the camera automatically autofocuses during video and I found shooting a still before starting the video stopped a lot of hunting about and mis-focusing. You'll need to experiment to find what settings you need to alter in the camera to get the control you want, but for auto-everything it works pretty well.

I shot a few pictures, art filtered them, transferred them to my phone and uploaded them to twitter and facebook via Instagram, relatively painlessly. I did this in situ (actually the wilds of my garden) so if you've got a phone signal you can do this.

And that is pretty much the basics of it. I'll be trying it out some more and reporting back on it. It does seem to be much more like the excellent Panasonic Image App. and less like the awful Sony Play Memories, which is good news. It didn't take me long to get going and I had very few of those frustrating error messages that crop up with other apps. If like me you like the idea, but are very wary of how these things work, you can have my assurance that this is a lot better than most. I particularly like the seamless way I can switch between stills and video. 

Eventually this stuff will get even simpler and be easier to set up and operate, but with the current technology this Olympus App. is definitely one of the best and it adds another dimension to an already very impressive camera.

HDR option

So that was the good news. Here's the bad. If you thought the HDR option might be useful, forget it, it isn't. It's such a waste of time I'm not even going to bother to write anything about it other than to say using the highlight, white and shadow sliders in Adobe Camera Raw in Photoshop CS6 is MUCH better. Forget about wasting your battery life using the Olympus nonsense and set your raw conversion parameters as below. It will pull out the shadow detail, stop the highlights burning out, give you a balanced exposure to work on in Photoshop and it generates virtually no noise. 

Finally, after posting this, I'll be editing the video I shot via my phone and as soon as that's ready I'll publish that too.