OLYMPUS OM-D - A New Generation System Camera

Opens the way for a new style of interchangeable-lens digital camera with high-performance electronic viewfinder

Press Release


February 8, 2012

Olympus Imaging Corporation is pleased to announce the introduction of the OLYMPUS OM-D, a new generation system camera compliant with the Micro Four Thirds System standard, scheduled for release in late March 2012.

Forty years ago, in 1972, Olympus introduced the world to one of the most revolutionary cameras ever devised - the OLYMPUS M-1. Smaller and lighter by far than any other contemporary 35mm SLR camera, this camera was the first in a series that would become one of the most beloved lines of cameras in the world. Renamed the OLYMPUS OM-1 in 1973, this unique and innovative camera gave its name to the OM Series of system SLR cameras, evolving and maturing over the years through the OM-2 and OM-10, culminating with the OM-3Ti in 1994. Throughout this period, the OM Series maintained the compact size, light weight and originality that had made it a legend among camera buffs the world over.

The just-announced new generation system camera, the OLYMPUS OM-D, picks up where the original OM series left off. Like the popular PEN Series models, the OLYMPUS OM-D features a compact, lightweight design that's fully compliant with the Micro Four Thirds System standard. But whereas the PEN Series inherited the convenience, simplicity, and high image quality offered by the PEN Series in the film age, the OLYMPUS OM-D has inherited the tradition of a true system SLR from the OM Series. The OLYMPUS OM-D is designed for serious camera buffs who want to make full use of interchangeable lenses and shoot photographic masterpieces by looking into the viewfinder, without having to worry about the weather or environmental conditions. Sand, sun, sleet, or snow, the OLYMPUS OM-D is a camera that's ready to go.

From the outside, this camera looks very much like you would expect an SLR to look, yet like the original OM series, its compact body exudes a feeling of compressed power, while its magnesium-alloy cabinet provides a solid, reliable casing with maximum rigidity. The top of the camera is also made of magnesium alloy, while the bottom is made of aluminum, reinforcing the sense of quality and durability. In addition to its rugged design and high reliability, this camera emphasizes the feeling of traditional quality and classic good looks that will make camera buffs eager to own and possess it.

The body employs shields extensively and has a dust-/splash-proof construction capable of standing up to the rigors of the toughest environments including heavy rain and blowing sand. When the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-50mm f3.5-6.3 EZ lens is used, the body and lens form an integrated dust- and splash-proof unit that is extremely reliable. In addition, a dust-/splash-proof mount adapter will be made available at the same time as the camera to allow utilization of all twelve dust-/splash-proof lenses made for the Four Thirds System standard.

The refined image quality of the OLYMPUS OM-D is made possible by the new Live MOS Sensor with 16.05 megapixels and the TruePic VI image processing engine. The excellent noise reduction capability enables still image shooting sensitivity as high as ISO25600. The dynamic range has been expanded for more faithful reproduction of a wide brightness range. With its high resolution and excellent color reproduction, the OLYMPUS OM-D offers the highest image quality currently available among Olympus digital cameras.

A well-designed electronic viewfinder with high 1.44M-dot definition and advanced optics is built into the camera body to ensure a stable view under any conditions. The ability to adjust brightness and color tones via on-screen simulations is one of the big advantages of electronic viewfinders. In addition, the OLYMPUS OM-D also features ingenious tweaks to the camera's operability that make it extraordinarily intuitive and easy to use, enabling the user to concentrate on the composition without having to take their eye away from the viewfinder.

Olympus's built-in image stabilization has also been further refined. The previous system used a 2-axis compensation mechanism to deal with the two kinds of rotary movement: yaw and pitch. The OLYMPUS OM-D incorporates the world's first 5-axis image stabilization mechanism that can deal with five kinds of motion including horizontal shift, vertical shift and rotary motion, in addition to yaw and pitch.

As a result, this new system can correct the kinds of blur that were difficult to correct with the previous built-in image stabilization, such as blurring of the viewfinder image or blurring during movie shooting. This technology has been made possible only by Olympus's ongoing efforts to further refine and improve the built-in image stabilization.

The FAST AF system that made the OLYMPUS PEN E-P3 the world's fastest autofocusing camera has been further refined, setting a new benchmark for the industry once again. Olympus has also solved the problem of moving object tracking capability with a newly developed 3D Tracking AF system. Now, quick and accurate focusing is possible with any subject, whether it's standing still or burning down the track.

World's first 5-axis image stabilization to compensate for camera shake of any kind during both still photo and movie shooting

New 5-axis image stabilization

5-axis image stabilization
The already-proven built-in image stabilization (IS) has made great technical progress. The previous mechanism compensated for camera shake by dealing with two kinds of rotary movement: the yaw and the pitch. However, camera shake is actually caused by five different kinds of motion: horizontal shift, vertical shift and rotary motion (rolling), as well as the yaw and pitch. The OLYMPUS OM-D incorporates the world's first IS mechanism that is able to correct for all five types of motion that cause image blurs. Horizontal and vertical shifts become more problematic when the shooting magnification is larger. Correction of blurs caused by these two factors exerts important effects on macro shooting. In principle, the rotary motion (rolling) blur cannot be corrected if the IS mechanism is built into the lens. The world' first 5-axis IS mechanism of the OLYMPUS OM-D demonstrates that incorporation of the IS mechanism in the camera body is most appropriate for interchangeable-lens cameras in the digital era.

FL-LM2 Electronic Flash

Dust-/splash-proof compact external flash provided as standard
The FL-LM2 Electronic Flash featuring a compact design and the same dust-/splash-proof construction as the camera body is provided as a standard accessory in the package.
The FL-LM2 has a guide number of 10 (ISO200-m) and is compatible with wireless flash control.

Electronic Flash FL-600R
This flash features a high light intensity with a maximum guide number of 50 (ISO200-m) or 36 (ISO100-m). Compared to the previous FL-36R and FL-50R flashes, the recharge time has been reduced, and the flexibility and operability have also been improved to advance compatibility with movie recording. The irradiation angle is zoomed automatically according to the angle of view of the interchangeable lens in use. The flash is compatible with wireless flashing using the built-in commander function, and can also function as a slave.

Electronic Flash FL-600R

The flash has cross-cursor key and a control dial on the rear panel, which enable setup in a high operability feeling similar to the camera body. Furthermore, the flash is equipped with an LED movie light for use during movie recording. The built-in catch-light plate and wide panel give auxiliary irradiation on the subject during bounce shooting. They are compatible with a wide angle up to 8mm focal length (equivalent to 16mm of 35mm camera). The flash is powered by four "AA-size" batteries.

Power Battery Holder HLD-6

Power Battery Holder HLD-6
This power battery holder is designed exclusively for the OLYMPUS OM-D and accommodates one BLN-1 Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery*. When a total of two BLN-1 batteries, one inside the OLYMPUS OM-D and the other inside the HLD-6, are used, the camera can record about 640 images (according to the CIPA test standard). Which battery is consumed in priority can be selected in a menu. Continual shooting for long-hours is also possible by connecting the optional AC-3 AC Adapter to the DC IN terminal on the battery holder. The power battery holder can be held stably in any style, whether the camera is held horizontally or vertically. The two dials and two Fn buttons can be used even when it is held vertically. In addition, the functions allocated to the two Fn buttons on the vertical-position grip can be different from the functions allocated to the two Fn buttons on the camera body.
The HLD-6 is given the same dust-/splash-proof construction as the OLYMPUS OM-D body.

* The BLN-1 Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery is not provided with the HLD-6.

Grip Strap GS-4
This is the grip strap for exclusive use with the HLD-6 Power Battery Holder. The grip strap is used to improve the holding capability.

Underwater Case PT-E08
This is the genuine underwater case for exclusive use with the OLYMPUS OM-D. It makes it possible to create a professional-grade underwater photography system usable at depths up to 45 meters. The compact size and lightweight advantages of the camera body ensure comfortable underwater operation. The PT-E08 employs a waterproof lens port that is bayonet-mounted and replaceable. The standard underwater lens port accepts the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 II, M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 IIR and M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 9-18mm f4.0-5.6 lenses. When an optional port adapter is used, an underwater lens port compliant with the Four Thirds System standard can be attached on it. This design is expected to make the two lenses, the ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 8mm f3.5 Fisheye and ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 50mm f2.0 Macro, usable with the underwater case.

Underwater Case PT-E08

As the FL-LM2 flash provided as standard with the OLYMPUS OM-D incorporates the wireless flash control function, it can also control the UFL-2 Underwater Flash during underwater shooting. The OLYMPUS OM-D is designed to be capable of shooting vivid underwater pictures easily thanks to the built-in "underwater white balance" function, which detects and correct the underwater color tones variable due to various factors including the underwater depth, weather and seawater condition. Underwater images with less blue tinting are possible even with movies as well as with still pictures. The underwater white balance function can be used also on the ground as well as underwater so the troublesome white balance setting can be avoided from before the start of diving until the end of diving.

The OLYMPUS OM-D is a new type of digital interchangeable-lens system camera that meets the requirements of long-time SLR users, while utilizing many of the same systems as the PEN Series.

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