OM SYSTEM is entering 2024 with a series of significant announcements for its Micro Four Thirds mirrorless system. The highlights include the launch of the flagship OM-1 Mark II camera, an updated M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm f/4-5.6 II wide-angle zoom lens, and a versatile super-telephoto zoom M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-600mm f/5-6.3 IS lens.
The OM-1 Mark II’s noteworthy enhancements primarily revolve around computational photography, introducing the pioneering Live Graduated ND function. The camera also boasts a rugged build, catering to the demands of outdoor photography enthusiasts. In parallel, the two lenses underscore OM SYSTEM’s dedication to outdoor and nature photography, serving as reliable optical choices for capturing landscapes and wildlife subjects.
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OM SYSTEM OM-1 Mark II
The OM SYSTEM OM-1 Mark II stands out as the latest flagship model released under the OM SYSTEM name, embodying the brand’s identity through a harmonious blend of cutting-edge computational imaging features and an unmistakably outdoorsy aesthetic. As the first wholly original camera in the OM SYSTEM lineup, it delivers a remarkable representation of the brand’s commitment to innovation and functionality.
Retaining some of the core specifications from its predecessor, the OM-1 Mark II features a 20MP stacked BSI Live MOS sensor and the powerful TruePic X processor, ensuring the highest image quality in any OM SYSTEM body to date. Noteworthy improvements include a 5-axis in-body image stabilization system, now capable of compensating for up to 8.5 stops of shake in-camera and supporting sync IS in collaboration with IS-enabled lenses.
One of the standout features is the introduction of Live Graduated ND (GND) shooting, allowing seamless adjustment between GND 2, 4, and 8 density values with Soft, Medium, and Hard edge effects. This innovative feature is a game-changer for landscape photographers, enabling them to simplify their gear by eliminating the need for large graduated ND filters while still achieving balanced exposures in challenging lighting conditions.
The OM-1 Mark II continues to impress with its computational modes, including the 80MP Tripod High Res Shot and 50MP Handheld High Res Shot modes, Live Composite, Focus Stacking, and the retained Pro Capture mode. The camera maintains its exceptional continuous shooting speeds, reaching up to 120 fps with fixed AF/AE or 50 fps with AF/AE tracking.
Notable enhancements also include the advanced AI Detection AF, significantly improving subject recognition across various types, from humans and vehicles to animals like birds and pets. The camera’s robust physical construction further sets it apart, boasting an IP53 rating for durability against dust, splashes, and freezing temperatures down to 14°F. Ergonomic improvements enhance the user experience, offering a better finger grip on dial surfaces.
In summary, the OM-1 Mark II is a substantial upgrade to an already unique camera system. Tailored for wildlife and outdoor photography enthusiasts, it leverages the advantages of the Micro Four Thirds format for wildlife and birding, while its computational imaging features cater to the creative needs of landscape photographers. The rugged and durable construction makes it an ideal companion for those who often venture into challenging outdoor conditions.
M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm f/4-5.6 II
Among the two newly introduced lenses, the M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm f/4-5.6 II zoom stands out as the wider option, offering an ultra-wide 18-36mm-equivalent focal range. Designed with a focus on creating a compact and lightweight package, this lens caters specifically to landscape and nature photographers. Its retractable barrel, reducing its length to just under 2″, and a weight of 5.4 oz make it an ideal companion for backpacking or hiking, particularly when capturing expansive views. The lens has undergone a redesign from its previous Olympus-branded version, featuring a new color scheme, updated knurling, and a newly included petal-shaped lens hood.
Performance-wise, the lens incorporates two DSA (Dual Super Aspherical) elements and extra-low dispersion glass to maintain low distortion, high sharpness, and accurate colors. Beyond its ultra-wide capabilities, the lens exhibits versatility with a constant minimum focusing distance of 9.8″ and a maximum magnification of 0.2x at the long end. This makes it a suitable choice for wide-angle close-up shooting, enabling photographers to exaggerate foreground subjects and infuse scenes with visual depth and drama.
M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-600mm f/5-6.3 IS
OM Digital Solutions Corporation is thrilled to introduce the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 150-600mm F5.0-6.3 IS (35mm equivalent: 300-1200mm) lens, representing the pinnacle of super telephoto zoom technology within the Micro Four Thirds System standard. This lens is a testament to innovation, offering an expansive focal length of up to 1200mm equivalent on its own and an impressive 2400mm equivalent when combined with the optional M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 2x Teleconverter MC-20. This combination redefines versatility and delivers unparalleled imaging excellence. Scheduled for release in late February 2024, the lens is designed to be compatible with the 5-axis sync IS of the new OM-1 Mark II, providing up to 7 shutter speed steps of image stabilization. When used independently, it still offers up to 6 shutter speed steps of image stabilization, ensuring razor-sharp clarity even at extreme distances. This feature eliminates the need for a tripod, allowing photographers to capture decisive moments on the fly.
Crafted with resilience in mind, the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 150-600mm F5.0-6.3 IS lens boasts IPX1 splash & dust-proof performance, complemented by a fluorine coating. This makes it a reliable companion in the harshest environments. Its compact and lightweight design enhances photographers’ mobility, enabling fast and nimble maneuverability while pursuing elusive subjects. The OM SYSTEM M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 150-600mm F5.0-6.3 IS lens marks a new chapter in photographic excellence by empowering photographers with unparalleled reach, resilience, and performance, thereby redefining boundaries and capturing the extraordinary.
Specifically tailored for wildlife and sports photography, the 150-600mm lens provides an ideal solution with its long reach and high zoom capabilities. This allows photographers to capture subjects from a considerable distance without compromising image quality.