Facebook Pixel Olympus Announces the OM-1, the Best Micro Four Thirds Camera to Date

Olympus Announces the OM-1, the Best Micro Four Thirds Camera to Date

Olympus announces the OM-1 Micro Four Thirds camera

Olympus has announced a brand-new Micro Four Thirds mirrorless camera, the OM-1, which promises pro-level shooting in a compact body.

The OM-1 is Olympus at its very best. “Break free from heavy, bulky cameras and tripods,” the company explains. “Pick it up and be amazed at its compact size.” Despite the small body, the OM-1 packs quite a punch. The new camera is filled to the brim with Olympus’s latest and greatest technology, not to mention some very impressive core specifications; this is a camera that can do it all, from landscapes and sports to walkaround photography and everything in between.

The OM-1 is built around a powerful 20 MP sensor, which uses BSI technology to level up its high-ISO noise performance. According to Olympus, you can expect “image quality that surpasses most full-frame cameras.” And while I’d be astonished to see the OM-1 successfully compete on noise and dynamic range with Canon, Nikon, and Sony professional models, don’t be surprised if it easily outperforms cameras like the OM-D E-M1 Mark III

Autofocus, too, has seen a major upgrade. In addition to a whopping 1053-point AF system, the OM-1 boasts a slew of intelligent tracking modes, including bird detection, train detection, airplane detection, car detection, and dog detection. While tracking accuracy remains to be seen, this is certainly a welcome move, especially for fast-action photographers who rely on efficient autofocus to nail each shot. 

And action photographers will love the continuous-shooting specs: The OM-1 shoots 50 frames per second using AF tracking, and an astonishing 120 frames per second with locked autofocus. For most situations, 120 fps (and 50 fps, even) is overkill, but if you’re photographing unmissable moments, it’s a great feature to have.

I’ve always been a fan of Olympus camera designs and ergonomics, and the OM-1 packs more of the same – with a couple of notable improvements. We get an ultra-rugged, weather-sealed body, perfect for sports, wildlife, and landscape photographers who shoot in rain, snow, dust, and more. The 1.62M-dot touchscreen is fully articulating to allow for low-angle compositions as well as vlogging, and the electronic viewfinder has jumped in resolution to 5.76M dots (a major boost over the OM-D E-M1X and the E-M1 Mark III, both of which have low-resolution EVFs). 

Then there’s the fundamentally Olympus features, such as:

  • In-body image stabilization that corrects for up to eight stops of camera shake; Olympus claims that it’s “the most advanced in-body image stabilization system in the world,” and they’re probably right
  • A high-resolution mode that captures 50 MP handheld images or 80 MP images when the camera is mounted on a tripod
  • A Live ND filter feature, so you can slow down your shutter speed or widen your aperture while working in bright light

While the OM-1 is primarily designed for still photography, it’s also a highly capable video camera, offering 4K/60p and OM-Log recording.

The OM-1 will begin shipping at the beginning of March, and you can currently preorder it for $2200 USD (a reasonable price, given the outstanding list of features).

Now over to you:

Are you impressed by the OM-1? Will you consider purchasing it? Might it tempt you away from your current camera? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Jaymes Dempsey
Jaymes Dempsey

is the Managing Editor of Digital Photography School, as well as a macro and nature photographer from Ann Arbor, Michigan. To learn how to take stunning nature photos, check out his free eBook, Mastering Nature Photography: 7 Secrets For Incredible Nature Photos! And to see more of Jaymes’s work check out his website and his blog.

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