Wireless control of Olympus OM-D E-M1 with OI.Share app12/26/2013 03:05:00 PM
The Olympus Image Share or "OI.Share" app for smartphones allows you to do some very neat things with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 camera...
The Olympus Image Share or "OI.Share" app for smartphones allows you to do some very neat things with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 camera, like control focus, shutter and other settings, download photos to your phone, and geo-tag your photos. The only problem with this partnership between camera and phone — at least for me as a micro-four-thirds and Olympus novice — was getting it to work.
The documentation provided in the app and in the user manual for the camera is typically bad. I wrote this blog article from the notes I started making as I was trying to sort this out for myself. I hope I save somebody else an hour and some worry.
Addendum 7 January 2015: This article was first published a little over a year ago, in December 2013. I just went through the process again with the article in front of me. Using iOS 8 on my iPhone, what I see now doesn't exactly match what I describe below, but the differences are minor (mainly, I'm seeing more confirmation screens).
"Easy" Setup, chapter 1
You'll briefly see a screen that says "Wi-Fi Starting," and then you'll see a screen titled "Private Connection." On the left it will say "Connecting to your smartphone" and some other stuff. On the right, you'll see one of those QR code things that are now so popular with the kids.
"Easy" Setup, chapter 2
- At the bottom of the main screen for the app, you'll see a tab with an icon of a camera and the wi-fi icon. At this point you'll also see the word "Off". Click that tab, then click the Easy Setup button.
- Click the Scan button.
- Move the phone so that its camera lens can see the QR code on the back of the camera. Adjust the positioning of the camera and phone so that the code comes close to filling the box shown on the phone and hold everything still. You don't have to click anything here; when the code comes into focus, it will be read by the app automatically.
- Next, you'll see a setup info screen showing you the SSID of the camera and your pairing password, along with buttons labeled Try Again and Install. Click Install.
- Now the iOS takes over. You'll see a confirmation screen (originating inside the iOS Settings) asking you to confirm that you want to install this "profile." Click Install on this screen.
- You'll now get another confirmation dialog, warning you that this is going to change settings on your iPhone. Click Install Now.
- If you have an access passcode defined for your phone (and you should!), you'll need to enter it now.
- You'll now see a Profile Installed screen. Click Done at the top right.
Taking control of the camera from the phone
- Click the iPhone home button to go to the home screen.
- Click on the Settings icon.
- Select Wi-Fi in the Settings list.
- Turn Wi-Fi on, if it's not turned on already.
- If you're doing this within range of a wi-fi network that you've used before (like your home network), that will probably be the active network. But you should see your camera's profile listed where it says "Choose a Network..." The profile is a long, ugly string of letters and numbers that begins "E-M1.."Click on the profile and wait a second or two while the phone connects to your camera.
Using the OI.Share app
Getting back to normal
So let me say it again: Once you've selected the camera's network profile from the iPhone Wi-Fi Settings panel and you see the "1" appear on the back of the camera next to the wi-fi icon, you are no longer "connecting". You are now connected. If I'd written the camera's firmware, I'd have switched the entire display on the back of the camera at this point to show something else, like an icon of a smartphone and some text saying "Control the camera with the OI.Share app on your phone." But I didn't write the firmware, so just be aware that that's how it works.
- Turn wi-fi on in the camera by clicking the Wi-Fi "button" on the back of the touchscreen.
- On the iPhone, go to Settings / Wi-Fi and select the network profile for the camera.
- Open the OI.Share app.