This is a strange one. Apparently, the Olympus OM-D Webcam Beta software that Olympus released to allow you to use your Olympus OM-D mirrorless camera as a USB webcam has ceased to function. As of January 1st, 2021, it just quit working without warning. And, sure, you can change your computer’s clock to trick it, but then that can potentially cause other issues if you want to actually use it.
Olympus has acknowledged the issue and says that their R&D team have identified the problem, with a new and fixed version of the software on the way “as soon as possible”. With the transition of “OM-D” from Olympus to Japan Industrial Partners (JIP), though, who knows how long this may take. And who even owns the rights to the software anymore?
The issue was first spotted by a user called “Marc” on 43rumors, who wrote…
I have used this software so that my webcam is actually my qualitative E-M1X (or E-M1 ii) with good optics and zooming facility. The workaround is to change the date of the computer manually to the end of 2020, BUT this causes rejects by the ZOOM teleconferencing software (the meeting date is too far from the clock date), also from the web browser (Firefox) that blocks (fear of virus), and finally Lightroom that I was supposed to demonstrate remotely tells me that more than 24 hours time-difference with the actual world clock is not acceptable.
The more cynical amongst us will think it awfully convenient/coincidental that the software just happened to die just as Olympus handed over the reins to JIP. Was it planned to kill off the software and then JIP would release their own version? Without them telling any of their actual customers and users? Or was it just an innocent screwup on the part of one of their developers? The notice on the Olympus website reads…
OM-D Webcam Beta has not been fully functional since January 1st, 2021.
Our R&D team has identified this problem. We will release OM-D Webcam Beta with the applicable fixes as soon as possible.
And who even owns the rights to the software? Olympus (yup, actual Olympus, not the new “OM Digital Solutions” brand) has said on their website that they acknowledge the issue and that they “will release OM-D Webcam Beta with the applicable fixes as soon as possible”. So, does Olympus still own the rights to the software? Surely it’d be the new OM Digital Solutions company and website that’d be dealing with it if it had been handed over along with the rest of the camera-related Olympus tech?
Wherever it’ll show up, and whenever, I’d probably keep an eye on the Olympus website for now. Worst case, they’ll hopefully at least point you to where the update can be found in the new website, even if they’re not publishing it themselves.