Olympus brio ZOOM D-150 (C-1) and Linux

Image courtesy of Olympus   Tux, Not

Status: kernel 2.6

UPDATE: Feb 2004: David Tiselius <david at tiscali dot se> informs me that kernel 2.6 recognizes the Olympus cameras. You will not need the patch below if you're running 2.6.2 or up. (I would guess that the same goes for 2.6.1 and 2.6.0, but don't know)

Status: kernel 2.4.22

UPDATE: Feb 2004: I am informed, by a kind someone whose name I have lost, that kernel 2.4.22 (and above, presumably) also recognizes the Olympus cameras.

Nonetheless, I still recommend against buying Olympus. If they can't follow a simple spec, or do proper testing, what else are they screwing up?

This page is intended to serve as a warning:

Do not buy the Olympus brio ZOOM D-150 (C-1) or D-520 (C-220) digital cameras if you plan to use them on Linux.

As of kernels 2.4.16 through 2.4.19 (I haven't tried 2.4.20 yet), the device will not be recognized:

  $ mount -t vfat /dev/sda1 /mnt/camera
  mount: /dev/sda1 is not a valid block device

You can get it to work, but it requires some butchering of your kernel:

  $ cd /usr/src/linux
  $ patch -p0 < /tmp/transport.c.diff
  ; then, assuming you have usb-storage configured as a module:
  $ make modules
  ; this better succeed!  Now make sure the SCSI driver is loaded:
  $ modprobe sd_mod
  ; ...and so is the USB one (note: there are other USB drivers!)
  $ modprobe usb-uhci
  ; Now load your just-built module:
  $ insmod ./drivers/usb/storage/usb-storage.o
  ; ...and test it: plug in the camera, and try:
  $ mkdir -p /mnt/camera
  $ mount -t vfat /dev/sda1 /mnt/camera

If you're lucky, the mount command will work. If you have other SCSI disks on your system, you'll need to use the next available SCSI disk device, e.g., /dev/sdb1. Try cat /proc/scsi/scsi to see all SCSI devices on your system; the camera should be the last.

If you don't have kernel sources, here are instructions for patching a binary kernel module. (NOTE: if you do this binary patch, no other devices which use the USB Bulk storage driver will work).

That out of the way, it's a very nice camera. I'm happy with it, even if it took me a day of hacking to try to get it to work. The camera is well designed, easy to use, and produces high quality results.

But I've been a steady Olympus customer for over 20 years and am really, really disappointed in them. I wrote them to express my displeasure, back in November of 2001, and as of October 2002 (11 months later) have not heard back.



Ed Santiago / esm@pobox.com
Last modified: Thu Feb 5 12:16:09 MST 2004