Though Olympus Air has already been announced in Japan, the little camera that might is finally coming to the US. Very similar to Sony’s QX series of cameras, the Olympus Air product line is an open source camera that takes Micro Four Thirds lenses and is essentially just the sensor, lens mount, WiFi electronics, and a button crammed into ergonomics that will remind you of a can of Burt’s Bees skin moisturizer. The open source designation means that app developers can actually develop apps for the system to make it better.
The Olympus Air A01 is the company’s first offering and has the same 16MP four thirds sensor that many of the company’s other cameras have. However, it doesn’t have Image stabilization in order to keep the unit small. If you mount Panasonic’s lenses that have IS built in though, you’ll get the image stabilization that your shaky hands crave so badly. When it links up with your phone, tablet or phablet you’ll be able to see what the camera sees on a giant screen.
The camera also has focus peaking, which means that all your manual glass will work fine. Additionally, with the electronic shutter the camera can shoot at 1/16,000 of a second and therefore give the user almost no trouble shooting with a lens wide open in sunlight at a lower ISO setting. The Air A01 can shoot 10 fps, has RAW capture, and uses a Micro SD card.
Pretty much everything that you’d expect with an Olympus Micro Four Thirds camera is transferred to the phone when they let their powers combine.
The Olympus Air A01 will be available in the United States in July 2015 in Black or White for $299.99 (body only) or $499.99 paired with a 14-42mm EZ lens, and in Canada in August 2015 in Black or White for $399.99 (body only) or $599.99 paired with a 14-42mm EZ lens. More photos are after the jump.