Olympus has announced its latest Micro Four Thirds camera, which will sit alongside its PEN range, and will draw on the forty year pedigree of the OM series of film cameras.
The Olympus OM-D boasts a number of stand out features including the fastest auto-focus (AF) system of any interchangeable lens camera (including DSLRs) and the world’s first five-axis image stabilisation system.
AF and Image Stabilisation
The cameras AF performance is based on the FAST (Frequency Acceleration Sensor Technology) AF system which we’ve already seen in the PEN range, but which has been refined in the OM-D .
The look of the camera, which Olympus refers to as “classic” rather than “retro”, is certainly following in the footsteps of the Fujifilm X100 with its familiar old school design and manual control dials. The camera is made of a durable dust- and splash-proof magnesium-alloy and will come in all black or black and aluminium versions.
The five-axis image stabilisation (IS) mechanism is based on the fact that camera shake is caused by five different kinds of motion, not just yaw and pitch. The new IS mechanism now also corrects for horizontal shift, vertical shift and rotary motion (rolling).
16.1 Megapixel MOS Sensor
The Olympus OM-D features a High-Speed Live MOS Sensor with 16.1 megapixels and promises good noise reduction capability with the ISO range going up to 25,600. The TruePic VI processing engine allows for quicker return to live view after pressing the shutter thanks to new independent image processing cores for recorded images and live view images.
SSWF (Super-Sonic Wave Filter) technology is installed in front of the image sensor and it is activated when the camera is switched on to remove any dust attached to the image sensor by generating supersonic vibrations.
The Olympus OM-D offers a combination of a 1.44 million dot electronic viewfinder with 100 per cent coverage and a 3in tiltable OLED touchscreen display with a 630k-dot resolution.
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Full HD video recording is supported and the new IS system will also be taken advantage of while shooting video. There is also an option to chose to record in MOV format (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264) as well as the traditional AVI format, and you will be able to record up to 29 minutes of footage.
Looking at the lenses available, the OM-D will be compatible with all MFT Olympus lenses and the company has announced two new lenses which will be launched later this year: the M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8 and the M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm 1:2.8 macro.
The 75mm lens features a high-quality metal design and promises fast aperture settings for portraits and indoor sports shooting, while the dust- and splash-proof 60mm lens features 1:1 macro and a closest shooting distance of just 0.19m.
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A number of accessories have also been announced, including a new HLD-6 power battery holder grip for the OM-D has also been announced which can be used in landscape or portrait mode thanks to its two-part construction. The additional battery will let you snap up to 650 images.
The FL-600R electronic flash (GN 50 at ISO200 or GN 36 at ISO100) with a wireless control option and improved recharge time has also been announced and its LED can be used to light movies and as a brighter auxiliary light.
Finally, a Four Thirds adapter, the MMF-3, has been designed for mounting a four thirds lens on a micro four thirds camera body. The MMF-3 features the same dust and splash proof construction as the camera.
Price and Availability
The Olympus OM-D will be available from April 2012 as a kit with the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 for £1149.99 with the pricing for body-only to be confirmed.
Pricing for the two new lenses, the Four Thirds adapter, FL-600R flash and HLD-6 grip has yet to be confirmed.
Does the Olympus OM-D tickle your fancy? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.