A First Look at the OM System OM-1 Camera

Olympus has recently become OM System, as many know. It is easy to get caught up in the trap of talking about the implications for Olympus’ products. The new OM-1 camera from OM System is so impressive that it would be a waste to keep its old name. The new Omni System OM-1 camera is a powerful micro-fourths device.

The OM-1 Camera’s key features:

  • Backside Illuminated Quad Stacked, CMOS Sensor
  • 1053 Phase Detect, Cross Quad Pixels AF
  • 100% of the image is covered by AF points
  • A single AF can deliver up to 120 fps
  • Continuous AF up to 50 fps
  • TruePic X Processor 60x More Power
  • 5.76 Million Dote EVF
  • Live ND64 (6 Stop the ND)
  • IP53 Dust, Splash, and Freeze Proof
  • 4K Video Up to 60p
  • Full HD Video up to 240p
  • Internal Recordings Up to 4:2:2 10 bit
  • New user interface
  • Dual UHS-ii Card Slots
  • USB-C PD Power

The OM-1 will be familiar to anyone who has used the E-M1 series before. It looks very similar from the outside. There isn’t much to be done except for a new button called AF-ON that allows you to focus backwards. However, the OM-1 camera is clearly upgraded inside once you take it out of the box and get started using it.

A detailed viewfinder

First, you will notice the electronic viewfinder. The OM-1’s electronic viewfinder is a 5.76million dot OLED display that refreshes at a smooth 120fps. The rear screen has more pixels and is fully articulated. This makes it easier to shoot photos and video. It also makes the menu system more clear.

Amazing AF Sensor

It’s the sensor that matters most. The OM System OM-1 Camera features a 20 million pixel sensor. It’s loaded with new technology and delivers one-stop more dynamic range and less noise. It is a quad-pixel, backside-illuminated, stacked autofocus sensor. It’s simply faster in all aspects.

The quad pixel autofocus can find focus even in low light and low contrast situations thanks to its ability to detect detail. The 1,053 autofocus points, which now cover 100% of your sensor, can be chosen in many ways. You can even create your own focus patterns.

TruePic X Processor

The new TruePic X processor brings features that were previously only available on the E-M1X. This includes subject detect AI, an AI algorithm that can identify and focus on birds and trains, planes and cars.

Olympus cameras are known for their computational photography and TruePic X processor speeds them up. High resolution shots and focus stacking now run twice as fast in camera. The Live ND effect has been increased to ND64. This is equivalent to having a 6-stop ND filter in your stills camera.

Continuous Shooting

The OM System OM-1 camera’s continuous shooting capabilities will appeal to wildlife and sports enthusiasts. It can capture 120 frames per second in JPG and RAW images. This is available only as a fixed-AF option. Continuous AF is possible with the OM-1 at a staggering 50 frames per second. Pro Capture mode allows you to capture moments in real time before the shutter clicks.

Video Capabilities

Video users can also see dramatic changes. There’s also 4K 60p, which can be as high as 4:2:2 10bit. You can also slow down the world with 240fps in full-HD. You can also have customizable zebra stripes and no time limit for recordings. External recording can be done at 4:4:4/12bit RAW. The OM System OM-1 Camera is a highly capable video camera thanks to its improvements in auto focus. This includes face autofocus.

New Lenses

OM System announced two new lenses in their product line, along with the new OM-1 camera. The new M.Zuiko 12–40mm Pro Mark II lens builds on the success of its predecessor. All that was great before is still there. The manual focus clutch is still there as well as the customizable function button. Most of the improvements are on the inside. The updated design reduces flare and ghosting which is useful when shooting in the sunlight. The IP53 rating means that the lens is dust, splash, and freeze-proof. OM System also included a water repellant coating to the front element. This makes it easier to clean.

The M.Zuiko40-150mm F4.0 PRO lens is a completely new addition to the growing number of OM System F4.0 lenses. This lens is half the weight and half as large as its f/2.8 stable mate, making it ideal for photographers who travel light. The “Pro” tag means this lens is IP53-rated, which means it can withstand dust, splash, and freezing temperatures up to 14°F. It is a micro-fourths lens. The 40-150mm focal length is equivalent to an 80-300mm lens on full frame 35mm format cameras, but it’s smaller and lighter.

Last Thoughts

OM System seems to have addressed and improved all aspects of its cameras with OM-1. It’s impossible to discuss dual card slots, which both are fast UHS-ii types. Or the IP53 rating that allows for weather sealing. The OM System OM-1 camera has greatly improved its capabilities, regardless of what type of photography you do.

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