Is There Space for an Underwater Micro Four Thirds Camera?

Something I’ve debated for years in my head has to do with Micro Four Thirds. Of course, there’s been a shift in how things operate with the creation of OM Digital solutions. And hopefully, I think that OM System can do something about this. Considering that they’re targeted so heavily at the outdoors, I’ve always wondered why a Micro Four Thirds underwater camera exists. I mean, if anyone could do it, I’m sure it would be OM System.

Micro Four Thirds I really think is one of the best camera systems to be able to make an underwater camera with a large sensor. Here are just a few great reasons:

  • OM System makes IP-rated cameras and lenses with serious amounts of weather-resistance.
  • They already make a waterproof camera
  • They know how to make small cameras with great ergonomics
  • Their cameras already have a lot of AI built in that recognizes lots of things in scenes. So why not the idea of Marine Life AI? This would detect finned animals, amphibians, cepholapods, etc. I’m sure they’d be the only ones with it available.
  • They’ve majorly increased their high ISO image quality
  • They’ve made a lot of advancements with what’s possible with Four Thirds sensors.
  • It would help further distinguish OM system from the rest of the camera world. Everyone knows how great they are for wildlife. But why not take that even further?

Let’s be honest too, lots of photographers and content creators like heading out underwater and onto the rapids. Just look at Instagram, TikTok, or Reddit. Lots of folks take to the water often when they can to photograph fish, whales, sharks, dolphins, turtles, and more. Something with a large sensor built in and that’s easy to use will be incredibly practical. Heck, it might even make other people want to get outdoors, start exploring, and doing underwater work. Considering how durable OM System’s products are, they could make it very resistant to cold temperatures for cold-weather photography shoots. Imagine all the footage that would come out of the arctic or what sort of new footage would come from Iceland and Norway? All of it would be possible from just this camera. 

And for content creators, consider the fact that Olympus makes their own microphones and that their recorders are well respected amongst journalists.

OM System could make the underwater micro four thirds camera have a wide-angle view like a GoPro. But they could also give it a more normal field of view. This would be far easier than giving it a zoom function because there has to be some sort of airflow for the lens elements to all move around.

This could be a natural evolution of the TG series of cameras. The last one was able to shoot RAW. A large sensor compact for underwater shoots is seriously missing. 

Now here’s the other question: why would someone buy it over using a housing with their phone or with their current camera system? The answer has to do with bulk, capabilities, and ease of use. OM System cameras have improved a whole lot over the years. Their new menu system is a dramatic improvement over what it used to be and if they made it touch-capable, newbies and photographers would adore it. Plus, they could make it in a few different colors to make it visible underwater. 

I may indeed be crazy, but a photographer can dream, can’t they? Still, I don’t think that something like this would be too far off from what photographers, content creators, and journalists want.

The photo in this story was provided to us by Olympus years ago.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.