Last Updated on 02/02/2024 by Chris Gampat
We’ve got great news. The new OM System OM1 Mk II is more or less the same camera that the original was. Ergonomically speaking, a few of the buttons were shifted around. The company also rubberized the dials to make them easier to turn and manipulate when you’re in the cold or rougher conditions. Aside from that, OM System packed a few new updates to the camera on the inside. Quite honestly, though, these updates sound like they could’ve been firmware updates. And that’s why we’re saying that the OM System OM1 Mk II is the world’s most expensive firmware update. Truly, folks, it might be time for some ethical euthanasia.
Table of Contents
The State of Micro Four-Thirds
The current state of Micro Four Thirds feels like a garden with dead roses and weeds from seeds planted by those who left. I’ve realized that hoping for the platform to be the innovative powerhouse that it was is like asking the ocean to calm itself so that I may take a bath in it. Since then, I’ve taken a long break from Micro Four Thirds cameras. At times I’ve entertained the idea of using them for video projects that I wish to do on the side — but I end up going for Canon, Panasonic, or Sony full-frame options instead. Micro Four Thirds cameras are good, but full-frame cameras can do what they do at a small size and weight, too. So can APS-C cameras — which will also deliver better autofocus.
The OM System OM1 Mk II: What’s New?
The new OM System OM1 Mk II feels quite similar. The biggest new changes are:
- Moving the menu button to the right side
- Rubberized dials
- A new graduated ND filter that’s simulated in the computational photography settings: which is probably the most innovative thing here since graduated NDs have big problems with mirrorless cameras and their ease of use.
- Better locking on abilities
- Human AF detection
- Improved autofocus
- 8.5 stops of image stabilization
- Better blackout free sequential shooting
- All this for $2,399.99
There are also new lenses that were announced too. But what is a lens system without great cameras to support them? By all means, this is still a camera from 2022.
That’s mostly about it.
The World’s Most Expensive Firmware Update
Arguably, all of this could’ve been done as a firmware update. I’d like to give OM System more credit though — they aren’t a billion-dollar company. But there’s a lot of the same thing happening. By that, I mean that this has the same vibe as the space that OM System OM5 occupies — it’s a camera that recieved pretty much no updates from the predecessor. It’s quite a shock from a company that wishes to be #1 in the camera industry but only caters to macro, wildlife, and landscape photographers.
Are the street photographers who’ve been begging for better Micro Four Thirds cameras non-existant?
When I looked on Behance, I didn’t see many photographers doing commercial work with these cameras either. How does a company that wants to be #1 continue to deny that other photographers exist and could find joy in their products?
If you’re shooting landscapes, shooting with Micro Four Thirds has a lot of value due to its size and weight. But Sony and Nikon aren’t all that far off. Combined with the weather resistance of Tamron’s lenses, both systems are very capable. So, too, is the Fujifilm X-system. I mean, everything looks stunning in Velvia, Acros, or Classic Chrome.
Let me be more clear here: OM System offered the press and influencers the opportunity to try the camera and new lenses being announced today. But I never followed up. The reason for this isn’t because I’m trying to be the first to find something out before all the other outlets do. Instead, it’s because I know other photographers might not care about this enough. There’s no reason to leave L-mount, Sony, Canon, Nikon, or Fujifilm for this camera.
It’s time that we, as a photo community, mourn the loss, remember it, and move on.