Olympus Camera introduces a Winner

New Olympus OM-1 shocks the world.

I was invited to see Olympus Camera introduce a new Flagship camera, the OM-1 online yesterday, and to those who reviewed the camera with the rest of the world, we did not come out disappointed. A true powerhouse of a camera that says: OLYMPUS IS A CAMERA THAT CAN COMPETE WITH THE BEST!

NEW FEATURES MAKE THIS CAMERA THE LEADER OF THE PACK:

Sony, Nikon, Canon, Pentax, have all come out in the last year with incredible new flagship cameras. Those who want to stay in that race will have to keep introducing cameras that will compete with each other. And this Olympus camera is one camera that fits in with the other “big boys” too.

New Olympus OM-1 shocks the world

NEW FEATURES THAT ARE SO AMAZING:

OM Digital Solutions has announced the Olympus OM-1 – a computational photography focused camera that can shoot bursts at up to 120fps, capture 4K 60p ProRes Raw video, is the world’s first camera to feature Cross Quad Pixel AF and the world’s only system camera to boast IP53 weather sealing.

Now I know Nikon has video that shoots in 8K video and all the other ones shoot 4K, including the Olympus, but, 8K is not something that people are looking for in their home or profession. Besides 8K video will eat up your storage space twice as fast as 4K. My Monitor at home does 4K, and it is amazing. I am sure 8K is even better, but, really, 4K is breathtaking already.

I chose to look at the features that make the Olympus camera and 4 new lenses more amazing than anyone else:

  1. The Computational Photography focused camera that has my interest a lot. At the introduction meeting they were showing how this camera can take pictures of moving objects better than any other camera. That’s thanks to the new stacked sensor combined with the new image processor, which also powers the ferocious autofocus system. Thanks to new AI Detect deep learning AF and the quad pixel sensor, the OM-1 is three times faster and three times better at recognizing and tracking cars, planes, birds, canines and felines.
  2. And to also get an IP53 rating on the weather sealing is beyond amazing, and what’s even more amazing, they introduced, I think at least 3 new lenses that have the same rating. No camera brand has that rating.
Olympus comes up with the highest rating of weatherproof sealing along with at least 3 lenses!

3. The historical disadvantage when it comes to low light performance has also been addressed by the new technology, with OM Digital promising that the new sensor is capable of “35mm equivalent sensor performance”. That’s backed up by an increased ISO range of 200-102,400, along with a claimed 2-stop improvement in noise performance and a 1-stop boost to dynamic range.

4. The Olympus camera now has the fastest motor drive available on any camera. Check this out: The heart of the Olympus OM-1 is a brand new, stacked, backside illuminated, 20.4MP Live MOS sensor. The stacked construction enables ridiculously fast readout speeds, enabling the camera to shoot stills at up to 120fps in single AF, and up to 50fps with continuous AF.

And the camera now has a price point to be a better competition than the other camera manufactures. This comes in at $2199.00 Us Dollars. This camera will be available in early March.

Having owned the original Olympus OM-1, I sense a higher than normal excitement for this camera. I was very impressed with the quality of my original camera, and reading about this camera, it looks like it won’t be a disappointment.

There’s a new “Big 3” in mirrorless cameras!

In Japan, OM Digital has leapfrogged Nikon and Fuji to join Sony and Canon as the “big three” in mirrorless cameras.

Now, I have owned Olympus before, and so I am not upset to see this, but, to overpass the 2 big ones: Nikon and Fuji, comes as a shock to me. I am also very fond of all these camera brands. I may have mentioned in a previous blog, that I have owned every major brand of SLR camera on the market while I was working in a Photo Store. And Olympus was one of my favorites, for sure.

As reported in Digital camera World:

The latest year-end report from Japan has revealed that OM Digital Solutions – new owner of the Olympus brand – has joined Sony and Canon as the “big three” in mirrorless cameras. 

Sony increased its first place share, with 32% of the market (up from 27.44% last year), while Canon likewise grew its second place position to 28.2% (from 23.78%). And making its debut, with the third-biggest share of the mirrorless camera market, was OM Digital Solutions with 12.7%.

There is, of course, more to this story than meets the eye. OM Digital purchase the struggling imaging division from Olympus, which last year held almost double the market share at 23.37%. So in that sense, OM Digital has seen an enormous drop.

However, the fact that the new ownership has maintained a lead over giants like Fujifilm and Nikon – despite a year that saw the turmoil of ownership transferral, negative speculation from the trade and press, and minimal product launches – is nonetheless a remarkable achievement. The question is, will the downward trend continue this year, or will the upcoming new OM System camera mark the dawn of a new era?

Canon is still (mostly) king

The rest of the report, from BCN Retail – which monitors point of sale data from some 40% of Japanese retailers, including the specialist camera chains – paints a mostly unsurprising picture with Canon at the top of the tree. 

When it comes to DSLRs, Canon firmly rules the roost with 59.8% market share (up from 51.91%), Nikon coming in second with 33.9% (down from 44.78%) and Ricoh (manufacturer of Pentax cameras) a very distant third, but with an increased 5.8% (up from 3% last year).

Canon also holds serve in the fixed lens camera category at 34.01% (down from 39.08%), followed by Sony at 23.1% (down from 19.65%) and Fujifilm at 11.6% (down from 11.41%).

Canon also sold more lenses than any other manufacturer, though its share dropped  slightly to 34.01% (from 39.08%), with Sony increasing its slice of the pie to 23.1% (up from 19.65%) and Fujifilm also making a minor gain at 11.6% (from 11.41%).

When it comes to video cameras, though, Canon is nowhere to be seen. The sector is ruled by the iron fist of Panasonic, which grew its already huge share from the previous year (32.17%) to an enormous 43.6%, eating into Sony’s second-place space of 26.3% (down from 37.27%), while DJI claimed its first ever noted share of 11.2%.

Special thanks to Digital Camera World for providing us with this information. I find it very useful and valuable to get this kind of information from a reliable source.

It will be interesting to see how the top cameras in the market react to different types of marketing in the next year or two. All of these manufactures are desperate to capture a big market in the photo world, and we intend to stay on top of it.

I do find it reassuring that whatever brand you pick for your camera is going to be something valuable to you. And I hope many more wonderful years of photo work.

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NEW OLYMPUS CO. INTRODUCES FIRST LENS:

The new Olympus OM System Company introduces a new 20mm 1.4 lens

It’s officially time to stop calling it “Olympus” kit – the first ever product to be launched under the new OM System brand is the M.Zuiko 20mm f/1.4 Pro lens. 

First announced in September, the Olympus OM System M.Zuiko 20mm f/1.4 Pro is the manufacturer’s first ever f/1.4 lens, bridging the gap between its ultra-compact line of f/1.8 Premium primes and the ultra-fast line of f/1.2 Pro glass. 

And just a perfect lens to introduce. A 20mm 1.4 lens is the perfect lens for those who want to shoot in low light. And a wide angle to boot, this is going to be a good one.

TECHNICAL DETAILS:

At 63.4 x 61.7mm and 247g, the OM System M.Zuiko 20mm f/1.4 Pro is considerably smaller and lighter than the 17mm f/1.2 and 25mm f/1.2 Pro lenses – and it’s even smaller than the Olympus M.Zuiko 12-45mm f/4 Pro (which the manufacturer infamously pointed out weighs about as much as a large apple), and shares the same 58mm filter thread.  

A 40mm equivalent lens in full-frame / 35mm terms, the 20mm f/1.4 sits comfortably between existing the 17mm (35mm equivalent) and 25mm (50mm) options in the M.Zuiko lineup. 

With a closest focusing distance of 0.25m, it’s a great all-purpose optic for travel, street photography, landscapes and everyday shooting – especially with its IPX1 weather sealing.

AMAZING LENSES INSTALLED, THIS ONE IS SHARP!

Its optical formula features 11 high-quality elements in 10 groups including 1 Super ED (extra-low dispersion) lens, 3 ED lenses, 2 Super HR (high refractive) lenses and 2 Aspherical lenses). 

And to make it even more exciting to see it in action, they have provided us with a video. CHECK IT OUT:

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OLYMPUS ANNOUNCES A NEW PAIR OF PRO LENSES:

Olympus has new Zuiko lens roadmap, including its first f/1.4 prime and a compact f/4 trinity zoom!

OM Digital Solutions, the erstwhile Olympus Imaging, has announced two new Pro lenses – including its first ever f/1.4 prime for Micro Four Thirds, which also represents a first ever focal length for the format. 

The manufacturer has revealed the M.Zuiko Digital ED 20mm f/1.4 Pro, with an equivalent focal length of 40mm in full frame terms, and the M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/4.0 Pro – a slower and more compact version of the existing Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro, which is an 80-300mm equivalent.

“The M.Zuiko Digital lens roadmap has been updated to include the M.Zuiko Digital ED 20mm f/1.4 Pro compact large-diameter single-focal-length lens, and the M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/4.0 Pro compact telephoto zoom lens,” says OM Digital Solutions, whose new roadmap can be seen below. 

“Both lenses are from the M.Zuiko Pro series, which are compact and lightweight lenses that offer excellent resolution and, make the most of the unrivaled portability and image quality that is the hallmark of the Micro Four Thirds System.”

These have only been announced, but, I could not find any available yet.

Click: Olympus lenses to see their current line of lenses available at Amazon.

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THE “OLYMPUS CAMERA”, IT’S HISTORY AND STORY TODAY:

One of the famous models of cameras from OLYMPUS!

I mentioned in a previous blog, that while working for a camera story for over 20 years, I have sold myself on every brand, and actually owned almost every brand of camera. I think they all have some qualities that make them highly favored by a wide range of photographers.

I have owned one of the Olympus pro cameras (The OM-1), and loved this camera. It was a total manual camera, and I found out that if there was any bad photos, it wasn’t the cameras fault. The camera was built well, and I felt proud to own this camera.

The history of Olympus Cameras also goes back quite a while. From Wikipedia, here is a summary of Olympus, the company and the equipment:

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

In 1936, Olympus introduced its first camera, the Semi-Olympus I, fitted with the first Zuiko-branded lens.[8] The Olympus Chrome Six was a series of folding cameras made by Takachiho, and later Olympus, from 1948 to 1956, for 6×4.5 cm or 6×6 cm exposures on 120 film.

The first innovative camera series from Olympus was the Pen, launched in 1959. It used a half-frame format, taking 72 18×24 mm photographs on a standard 36-exposure 35mm film cassette,[9] which made Pen cameras compact and portable for their time.

The Pen system design team, led by Yoshihisa Maitani, later created the OM system, a full-frame professional 35mm SLR system designed to compete with Nikon and Canon’s bestsellers. The OM system introduced a new trend towards more compact cameras and lenses, being much smaller than its competitors and presenting innovative design features such as off-the-film (OTF) metering and OTF flash automation. Eventually the system included 14 different bodies, approximately 60 Zuiko-branded lenses, and numerous camera accessories.

Olympus Quick Flash camera

In 1983, Olympus, along with Canon, branded a range of video recording equipment manufactured by JVC,[citation needed] and called it “Olympus Video Photography”, even employing renowned photographer Terance Donovan to promote the range.[citation needed] A second version of the system was available the year after, but this was Olympus’ last foray into the world of consumer video equipment until digital cameras became popular.

Photo by Abrahan Echeverria on Unsplash

Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, who was later to become president of Olympus, foresaw the demand for the digital SLR, and is credited with the company’s strategy in digital photography. He fought for commitment by Olympus to enter the market in high-resolution photographic products. As a result of his efforts, Olympus released an 810,000-pixel digital camera for the mass market in 1996, when the resolution of rivals’ offerings was less than half.[10] The next year, Olympus hit the market with a 1.41 million pixel camera. By 2001, the company’s annual turnover from digital photography was in excess of ¥100 billion.[10] Olympus manufactures compact digital cameras and is the designer of the Four Thirds system standard for digital single-lens reflex cameras. Olympus’ Four-Thirds system flagship DSLR camera is the E-5, released in 2010. Olympus is also the largest manufacturer of Four-Thirds lenses, under the Zuiko Digital brand. After the introduction of the Micro Four Thirds system, and the general market growth of the Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Cameras, the regular Four Thirds system became neglected. Then, in 2017, after three years without a new lens, and seven years without a new body, Olympus officially discontinued the Four Thirds system.

Olympus E-5

Olympus and Panasonic started a new development together, called the Micro Four Thirds system. It was an interchangeable lens system, with the Four Thirds sensor size, and no mirrors (Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera). The lack of mirrors allowed the camera body to be a lot smaller than that of a DSLR, while maintaining its image quality and the interchangeability of the lenses. The first product in the Micro Four Thirds system was the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1, released in 2008. The first Olympus-branded MFT camera was the Olympus PEN E-P1. Because it was very expensive, they made a cheaper option, called the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL1. The market growth of the MILC cameras made Olympus introduce a new series in their lineup, which was the modern, digital implementation of the legendary OM series, the OM-D. It maintained the Micro Four Thirds system, but added a built-in electronic viewfinder, a more ergonomic button layout packaged in a retro style chassis. The first model in this family was the E-M5, released in 2012. Since then, Olympus has developed their two lines (PEN and OM-D) and the Micro Four Thirds system, still alongside Panasonic. The latest Olympus camera is the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV as of August 20, 2020.

Olympus recently agreed the sale of its imaging division, but its cameras and lenses will continue to be manufactured, sold and serviced by new company OM Digital Solutions (which Olympus retains an ownership stake in). Still, you might be wondering whether you should still consider buying an Olympus camera – and as far as we’re concerned, you definitely should!

The flagship camera of Olympus was meant to rival the top of the line cameras from Nikon, Canon, Fuji, Pentax, and any others. It’s features are phenomenal and in some cases blow away all the other brands. Features like:

  • Like a motor drive that will shoot at 60 frames per second in continuous mode
  • Tight weatherproof seals, means you can take this anywhere, in any weather condition
  • 7.0 EV stops of image stabilization to lose the shakiness you might have in holding the camera still.
  • 50MP sensor that is crazy good.
  • Lightweight, yet built to take abuse.
  • Zuiko lenses from Olympus are some of the best in the world.
  • 4K Video shooting, also makes this an ideal video camera
  • Built-in WI-FI and blue tooth

If you want to get in to serious photography, then Olympus will be one worth considering.

Now, if you would take a moment and fill out this form, whether you own an Olympus, Nikon, or whatever, we will keep you posted on your email about the news of your camera, lenses, accessories, etc. Something that may help you to enjoy the camera system you have, regardless of the brand: