olympus-photosync: Wireless Bridge Between Olympus Cameras and Linux

Although modern Olympus cameras are not particularly hacker-friendly, enterprising and determined coders still manage to extend the existing functionality beyond its intended use. Case in point: olympus-photosync, a handy little tool that makes it possible to wirelessly transfer JPEG and raw files from a supported Olympus camera to a Linux machine (or Windows and macOS X for that matter).

The tool makes use of the camera’s Wi-Fi capabilities, and you don’t have to hack or tweak the camera for it to work with olympus-photosync. The list of Olympus cameras that are known to work with the tool is rather short, but if you have a recent Wi-Fi-enabled Olympus camera model, chances are it will work just fine with olympus-photosync.
There is no need to compile anything in order to deploy olympus-photosync on a Linux machine. Just download the latest DEB or RPM package from the project’s repository and install it using your system’s package manager. To install olympus-photosync on openSUSE, grab the latest .noarch.rpm package, then run the sudo zypper in photosync-x.x-x.noarch.rpm command. Alternatively, you can download the .tgz or .zip archive and unpack it in the desired location.

Next, turn your camera on, press the Menu button, and switch to the Setup Menu → Wi-Fi Settings section. Make sure that Wi-Fi Connect Settings is set to Private, and enable Wi-Fi.


On your Linux machine, connect to the camera’s wireless network, open the terminal, and run the olympus-photosync command. This should automatically detect the camera and transfer all JPEG and raw files to the default ~/output directory.

Despite being a one-trick pony, olympus-photosync supports several options that allow you to control its behavior. The --output-directory (-o) parameter can be used to specify an alternative directory for saving the transferred file. The --until option lets you transfer files that are created before the specified date, while the --from option limits the transfer to files created after the given date.

Although olympus-photosync is straightforward in use, transferring files wirelessly is not particularly fast. So you would probably want to use the tool to offload the occasional file or two, and not as a replacement for a dedicated card reader.

This is an excerpt from the Linux Photography book. Get your copy from Google Play Store or Gumroad.


Tech writer covering Linux and open source software

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