Olympus Announces OM-D E-M10 Mark III

Olympus OM-D EM-10 Mark III with Zuiko 14-42mm EZ.

Olympus has released the OM-D E-M10 Mark III, an update to the popular entry-level camera in the OM-D series. This new iteration brings 4K video recording at 24, 25 and 30fps and minor ergonomic improvements to the handling of the body.

The image processor utilises Olympus’s TruePic VIII, the same one featured in the flagship OM-D E-M1 Mark III. Combined with the in-body, 5-axis image stabilisation, the EM-10 Mark III delivers high quality images even in low-light situations which typically causes camera shakes.

The sensor remains at 16MP, the same as the predecessor, but the number of AF points has been increased from 81 in the Mark II to the 121 AF points in the Mark III. Continuous shooting speeds have been increased ever so slightly to 8.6 fps (from 8.5.)

The OM-D E-M10 Mark III is expected to ship in late September for US$650 for the body alone, or US$800 bundled with a M.Zuiko 14-42mm EZ lens.

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Photokina: Olympus Announces E-PL8, Development of OM-D E-M1 II and Three New Lenses

Olympus E-PL8
Olympus E-PL8

Not to be left behind, Olympus at Photokina announced two new cameras and three new lenses. The first is the E-PL8, an entry-level mirrorless camera with a Four Thirds sensor. This is basically an upgrade to the E-PL7, with a redesign to the body, along with a new grip and top plate. Like its predecessor, it features a 16MP sensor and in-body image stabilisation. The camera will be available at US$549.99 for the body, and US$649.99 for the 14-42 IIR kit.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 II
Olympus OM-D E-M1 II

Like Panasonic, Olympus has also announced the development of a new flagship—the OM-D EM1 II. The new camera has a 20MP sensor and is able to shoot at up to 18fps in RAW with AF, or at up to 60fps in RAW without AF.

Olympus says that they have spent 4 years developing the new flagship camera, and the dynamic range and noise performance have been improved. The EM-1 II has 121 cross-type AF points, spread over a wider area than the predecessor. The AF system is completely new and improved in terms of performance, precision and operation. The camera can shoot 4K DCI video at a bit rate of up to 236Mbps.

Finally, Olympus has announced three new lenses: M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 Pro, M-Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4 IS Pro and M.Zuiko Digital ED 30mm f/3.5 Macro.

M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 Pro

The M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f/1.2 Pro gives an equivalent of 50mm, and is splash and dust proof. This is Olympus’s attempt at making a “perfect” lens, which promises high resolution wide-open, fast AF and well-controlled chromatic aberration. The lens will be available from October from US$1,199.99.

M-Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4 IS Pro

The M-Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f/4 IS Pro is an all-round zoom, with a 35mm equivalent of 24-200mm. Used with the 5-axis IBIS of supported Olympus bodies, it offers up to 6.5 stops of image stabilisation. Minimum focus distance at the 12mm end is a mere 1.5cm and 27cm at the telephoto end. It is splash, dust and freeze proof, and will be available from November at US$1299.99.

M.Zuiko Digital ED 30mm f/3.5 Macro

Last but not least, the M.Zuiko Digital ED 30mm f/3.5 Macro is an affordable macro lens with a magnification of 1.25x. It will cost US$299.99 from October 2016.

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Olympus OM-D E-M10 II Released, Bringing 5-axis Stabilization At a Low Cost

Olympus OM-D E-M10 II
Olympus OM-D E-M10 II

Olympus has released Mark II of the OM-D E-M5 Micro Four Thirds camera with 16 megapixels and an ISO rating of 200–25,600. Improving on the previous generation of the E-M10, the Mark II now offers 5-axis image stabilization to photographers on a budget.

Also new on the E-M10 II are redesigned body, with metal dials, a thumb grip for easier one-handed shooting and a revamped physical interface for easier operation of the camera while shooting through the 100% viewfinder. With a 2.36-million-dot resolution and a magnification of 1.23x, it’s a big improvement over the original E-M10’s 1.44-million-dot one, which should offer a clearer and sharper view of your subject.

Also new is the Simulated Optical Viewfinder which offers a greater dynamic range that looks closer to what the human eyes see. I am not sure how this works though. While shooting through the viewfinder, the rear touch screen allows you to select your focus point simply by tracing your thumb on it, sort of like a laptop’s touchpad, I suppose. Like most modern cameras, the rear of the E-M10 II features a 3-inch tilting touchscreen LCD with 1.04 million dots.

Other new features include a continuous shooting speed of up to 8.5fps, a pop-up flash, 1080p video, 4K time lapse, focus bracketing, 14 art filters and creative shooting modes. Of interest is the Live Bulb and Live Time features for light-painting enthusiasts. I believe that should work well for fireworks as well.

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 II will be available in the USA from Sep 2015 for $650 (body only) or $800 when bundled with a 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens.


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Olympus Unveils Limited Edition EM-5 Mk2 In Titanium and Two New Lenses

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mk2 Special Edition
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mk2 Special Edition

Olympus has announced that they will release a limited run of a special, limited edition of the popular OM-D E-M5 Mk2. As a throwback to the classic OM-3Ti Film SLR from the 90s, the limited edition E-M5 MK2 is finished in titanium, and only 7,000 units will be made available worldwide. The limited edition EM-5 Mk2 also comes with a specially-crafted leather strap, a leather card case and owner’s card numbered from 1 to 7,000.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mk2 Limited Edition +  Leather Strap, Leather Card Case and Authenticity Card
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mk2 Limited Edition + Leather Strap, Leather Card Case and Authenticity Card

There’s price to pay for this finish—US$1,200 vs. US$1,050 for the standard edition, but hey, it’s a limited edition after all, and it’s not as exorbitant a premium to pay for compared to that German jewellery camera maker. It’ll be available in June 2015.

If Titanium-finished cameras or limited editions are not your thing but you love wide angle lenses. Olympus has announced two new lenses—the OlympusM.ZUIKO Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO and M.ZUIKO Digital ED 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye PRO. Both lenses are lightweight and weatherproof.

The 8mm f/1.8 is a fisheye lens covering a 180º field of view and is compatible with Olympus’s underwater camera housing.

Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye PRO
Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye PRO

The 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO is a constant-aperture wide angle zoom covering the 35mm equivalent of 14-28mm. With 11 weather-sealing points, it can be used in the rain, snow or beach without any issues. The lens weighs 19oz (538g), which Olympus claims is 45% lighter than the competition.

Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO
Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO

The lenses will be available in June 2015 for US$1,000 and US$1,300 respectively.

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Olympus Adds the Affordable E-M10 to their OM-D lineup

Olympus OM-D E-M10 with M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6
Olympus OM-D E-M10 with M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6


Hot on Fujifilm’s heels, Olympus has announced the equally rumoured E-M10 to their OM-D lineup of Micro Four Third cameras. Touted as the “OM-D for all”, the E-M10 packs the features of the popular E-M5 and the recently released E-M1 into a more affordable package.

The E-M10 has a stylish and compact metal body featuring a 16 megapixel Micro Four Thirds Live MOS sensor, TruePic VII image processor, 3-axis image stabilisation based on the 5-axis ones on the E-M5 and E-M1, 81-point “FAST AF” system, up to 8fps continuous shooting, ISO up to 25,600 and finally, a pop-up flash.

The EVF has a resolution of 1.44 million dots with a 120fps refresh rate and a 100% field of view, and the 3″ tilting LCD features a 1.037 million dot touch-screen LCD. Like most other modern cameras, the E-M10 has built-in WiFi for image transfer. What’s absent from the E-M10 is the lack of weather sealing, something which will not bother most users.

Along with the new camera, Olympus has also released two new MFT lenses – The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ pancake zoom, and the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 25mm f/1.8 portrait lens. The former measures just 0.9 inches thick and is currently the world’s slimmest standard zoom lens.

Olympus 14-42
f/3.5-5.6 EZ pancake zoom

Oylmpus 25mm f/18 portrait lens
M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 25mm f/1.8 portrait lens

Also announced is a 18mm f/8 fisheye bodycap lens, a quick-release grip, a macro convertor and an auto-opening lens cap.

18mm f/8 fisheye body cap lens

The E-M10 bodies will be available from March for US$700 for the body alone, or US$800 with the M.ZUIKO 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II R lens. No release dates were given for the lenses and accessories, but the new 14-42mm pancake will cost US$350, the 25mm portrait US$400, macro convertor US$70, quick release grip US$60 and the fisheye bodycap US$100.

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Three Guys’ Picks and Pans of 2013


Well, 2013 was a quiet year, mainly with the two giants not releasing much, and everyone struggling to stay relevant in times of weak sales brought about by competent cameras that reduce the need to upgrade and convenient cameras in the form of smartphone cameras that make it easy to share photographs. Still, it was not all bad, and we have a list of last year’s most notable products. Read on and find out what they were! Continue reading Three Guys’ Picks and Pans of 2013

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Olympus Announces OM-D E-M1 and M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO Lens

Olympus E-M1 with 12-40mm f/28 Pro lens.

After all the leaks (including a gaffe by Engadget), the Olympus OM-D E-M1 has finally been announced. The 16 megapixel sensor now has phase detect pixels on it, allowing for 37 AF points. Sadly, PDAF is not available in movie mode, as well as single shot AF with Micro Four Thirds lenses. The big upside however, is that all those Four Thirds lens owners finally get a contemporary camera to use some of that fantastic glass on.

Continue reading Olympus Announces OM-D E-M1 and M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO Lens

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Olympus Releases PEN E-P5, PEN Lite E-PL6

Olympus E-P5 with M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42mm f/3.5-4.5 Lens
Olympus E-P5 with M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42mm f/3.5-4.5 Lens

After weeks of rumours, Olympus finally launches the much anticipated PEN E-P5. Continuing from their highly successful PEN series of Micro Four Thirds cameras, the E-P5 maintains the retro styling that has now become very popular with camera manufacturers.

The E-P5 is modelled after the 50-year old Olympus PEN F SLR, and the E-P5 is launched to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the legendary ancestor. Like the OM-D E-M5 launched last year, the E-P5 has the same high-end technologies including the same 16-megapixel CMOS sensor, AF system, 5-axis image stabilisation and more. It also has a mechanical shutter capable of speeds up to 1/8000th of a second – the world’s first on a digital compact camera – according to Olympus. This allows photographers to achieve shallow depth of field in bright daylight conditions or when the situation calls for super high shutter speeds.

For photographers who would like to use manual lenses, the E-P5 features focus peaking, highlighting the in-focus areas in either white or black pixels. Like many recent cameras, the E-P5 now has WiFi connectivity built-in. Using the Olympus Image Share 2.0 app, you can use your smartphone as an external display, remote or GPS for the camera.

YS: Ugh, focus peaking! This brings to me one point:The E-P5 (and the G6) are both very nice cameras, and unfortunately, they both carry the problem of having features that the higher-end (and only slightly older – the GH3 is not evey half a year old) model should have but doesn’t. This is a real marketing problem when aiming at enthusiasts – no one likes having to decide between two cameras that are supposedly one bracket apart, but the higher-end model is lacking desirable features the lower-end one does. The consumers deciding on buying such a camera normally freeze up and don’t buy. I have seen this happen enough, so Olympus and Panasonic need to be careful of the message they send out to prospective buyers in this rather small market (DSLR shipments still dwarf that of mirrorless system cameras).

CK: In other news, Olympus also launched the PEN Lite E-PL6 in Japan. This is an update to the E-PL5, adding several features that are on the newly released E-P5 including a shorter shutter lag, intervalometer and time-lapse shooting. It’s also compatible with the VF-4 viewfinder and how feature a dual-axis electronic level.

Like the EP-5, the E-PL6 also has the same 16-megapixel CMOS sensor as the flagship OM-D E-M5, bringing the high quality imaging system to a more mass market level. It also features WiFi connectivity so that you can view or control the camera via the Olympus Image Share app on your smartphone.

Photographers (like YS) who like to complain about the relatively large AF area of the E-M5 will be happy to know that both cameras now have smaller AF areas via the Super Spot AF feature. This allows you to more accurately focus on even extremely small subjects.

YS: This better be present on the E-M6.

CK: The PEN E-P5 will be available in May 2013 for US$999.99 (body only) or US$1,499.99 (with M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm f/1.8 lens and VF-4 electronic viewfinder). The E-PL6 will be available from end of June 2013.

(Image Credit: Olympus Press Images)

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