The OM SYSTEM is Basically Olympus with a New Name

If a company remains the same but has a brand new name, is it really a new company? That’s the question I’m pondering as OM SYSTEM is announced today. As we’re all aware, the photo industry as a whole has been suffering in the past decade. With that, Olympus sold off the imaging division — which included audio products and binoculars along with cameras. The new company’s name will still be OM Digital Solutions. And today, they’re announcing a new brand called the OM SYSTEM. Hopefully, things are going to change.

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Tracie Maglosky’s Underwater Engagement Shoot Will Mesmerize You

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All images by Tracie Maglosky. Used with permission.

Wedding and Portrait photographer Tracie Maglosky isn’t only one heck of a creative, but she’s also the first female Olympus Trailblazer. We’ve featured her work before on the site, but this time around she’s outdone herself. Via her Facebook page, she shared a photo from an underwater engagement shoot that she recently finished. The idea had been cooking up in her mind for a while, but the execution and creating the images in her unique vision were quite a challenge.

We talked to Tracie about how she did it.

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Review: Olympus OMD EM5 Mk II

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The Olympus OMD EM5 Mk II is the successor to what I believe in many ways was the closest thing to the perfect digital mirrorless camera ever made. When the Olympus OMD EM5 was announced, it was pitched as a weather sealed camera with fast autofocusing, a new sensor, great retro DSLR ergonomics, and a viewfinder that kicked some serious butt. Indeed, after Olympus was messing around a bit too much with their older Pen line, that was the camera that finally got it right.

It’s been years since that camera was announced and released; and we’ve now got its successor. With it comes the addition of WiFi integration, time lapse shooting, a 40MP high res shot mode, better weather sealing, improved (but more complicated ergonomics) faster shooting performance, the ability to make your AF points truly tiny, a different type of LCD screen, and a couple of other ergonomic changes. More than anything though, it moves away from the extra simplicity that the EM5 Mk I offered via controls. The Mk II has more buttons and in many ways looks like a more serious camera that is trying to have a retro look.

Overall, the Mk II is an excellent camera; but for an OMD EM5 user like me, I don’t believe that it’s at home is in my hands.

Update: April 22nd 2015, we’ve updated our review to include RAW image coverage

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The Olympus EM1 Comes in Silver Now; With a Massive Firmware Boost

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Olympus EM1 in silver (12 of 17)

It was only a matter of time before Olympus brought out a silver version of their award winning EM1 camera. But with today’s announcement of this camera comes a fairly significant firmware update that they’re branding as 2.0. One of the biggest things that they’re boasting is enabling tethering with the camera and live tethering with a new piece of software that is also being released today called Olympus Capture. You’ll be able to tether with Lightroom and Capture One as well, but those pieces of software won’t give you the live view abilities on your computer like Olympus Capture will.

Besides the studio folks though, they’re also pushing a new keystone compensation feature that corrects vertical lines–like those when shooting buildings. Otherwise they’re adding two new art filters, a live composite mode that offers a preview of a long exposure, and EVF lag improvement.

Body only on the silver EM1 will be $1,399. But otherwise, current EM1 owners will be able to download the firmware update off of Olympus’s website.

More images of the new(ish) camera are after the jump.

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We’ve Updated Our Olympus EM10 Review With Raw File Analysis

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Olympus OMD EM10 product photos (7 of 7)ISO 4001-100 sec at f - 3.5

Head on over to our review of the Olympus OMD EM10 and take a look at just how amazing these RAW files hold up. Anyone who bashes Micro Four Thirds for the image quality should really consider giving it another look and also consider how much overall RAW versatility they really need. The colors are spectacular, and the RAW files can do amazing things and also nerf noise very well in post-production.

Take a look at our results in the full review.

First Sample Images with the Olympus 25mm f1.8

Olympus EM5 and 25mm f1.8 the phoblographer chris gampat

When Olympus first let us see their prototype of the 25mm f1.8, we weren’t allowed to take photos with the lens attached to a camera. But now we’ve got a review unit. And for the past couple of days we’ve been playing with the more affordable offering to Panasonic’s 25mm f1.4 lens. Olympus stated that this lens is just like their 45mm f1.8 in terms of sharpness and performance.

It’s been snowing here in NYC, and despite the fact that this lens isn’t weather sealed it is still performing quite well on the OMD EM5 in the inclement conditions that we’re currently experiencing.

Here are a couple of first sample images from the lens. Full review is still being worked on.

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First Impressions: Olympus OMD EM10 (with 25mm f1.8)

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Ever had the feeling that a company had too many cameras?

For the first time in a very long time, I began to really feel that with Olympus. Earlier this month, we sat in a meeting with them while they briefed us on their new Olympus OMD EM10, their 25mm f1.8, and a couple of other products. The EM10 is what the company describes to be their low end OMD camera: placing the EM5 in the mid tier and the EM1 at the top of the food chain. And to do this, the company essentially created a severely crippled OMD camera. The camera borrows from the OMD EM5, PEN EP5, and the OMD EM1.

And in all truthfulness, we’re scratching our heads just a bit.

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Reports State That the Olympus OMD EM5 Successor May be Coming in January

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Olympus OMD EM5 product images (2 of 6)

It’s been a while since the original OMD camera has been released. But reports are now stating that the camera’s successor may be coming next month in January. According to 43Rumors, the camera’s successor will be known as the low end OMD within the series–which only really makes sense when you think about it. Olympus released the OMD EM1–with a gap in between the one and five.

Olympus is also said to be putting the same sensor as the OMD EM5 and the processor of the OMD EM1 in the camera. Once again, this also sounds viable as they used the same 12MP LiveMOS sensor for years in many of their Pen model cameras and the entire line of Pen cameras now have the same sensor as the OMD EM5. We just really, really hope that Olympus decides to use their partnership with Sony in a smarter way and develop new sensors. Their lenses are already wonderful and a strong argument can be made that they’re the best in the mirrorless camera industry.

Of course, nothing is set in stone at the moment despite the reports being very strong. The OMD EM5 was already a hit with lots of enthusiasts, but we’re also wondering how this camera will be placed amongst the entire mirrorless camera industry. Sony and Fujifilm are giving Olympus quite the run for their money at the moment with better sensors, a lineup of lenses that keep growing, and affordable prices. That isn’t to say that Olympus’s cameras are bad–they’re actually incredible. But with the way that modern day marketing works in the consumer tech world, it seems that only the most savvy amongst us may understand.

Olympus Releases New Firmware for the OMD EM1

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Olympus OMD EM1 Product Photos (5 of 8)ISO 2001-40 sec at f - 2.8

The camera that won our Editor’s Choice rating this year now has a brand new firmware update. However, they seem to be very minor improvements, such as better stabilization in children’s mode. One of the bigger features though is improved AF operation as well as improve bulb image quality.

In many ways, this camera is perfect–but we wonder how it will compete with competition from Sony with the A7 not being much more expensive than the EM1.

Full firmware details are after the jump. Be sure to also check out our EM1 review.

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Reports State That Olympus May be Putting a Super Small Sensor in an OMD-like Body

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Olympus is trying something new in the compact camera category: they’ll be taking an OMD styled camera body and shoving a tiny imaging sensor in there while giving it a 24-300mm zoom lens. At least that’s what Digicameinfo is saying according to 43Rumors. How tiny? Apparently it will be a 1/1.7 inch sensor.

What we’re wondering though is why they’re doing this. The company eliminated quite a bit of their compact camera line in addition to stating that the sales weren’t there due to the smartphone market eating away at them.

We really hope that this report isn’t true at all; but 43Rumors says that it is 100% not fake. When will camera companies work on just putting larger sensors into compact cameras?

Reports Say Olympus Might Be Announcing a High End OMD-esque Compact Camera in October

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The above image isn’t it, but the folks at 43rumors cite “two trusted sources” about a likely high end compact camera from Olympus in the OMD tradition. In 43rumors’s hierarchy of rumors, this one comes in at FT5 which has an 81-99% chance of being correct The small shooter will have a built-in EVF, but its sensor will be far smaller than what the OMD has, which will allow it to have a compact 28-300mm zoom lens. Who knows if it’ll be pocketable, but it’s expected to be announced at the end of October. If true, the mini-OMD will join an elite group of gorgeous Olympus point-and-shoots: the Trip 35, 35 SP, and XA. I can attest to the Trip 35, and I will soon own a 35 SP.

We’ll keep our ear to the ground for more information.

Via 43rumors

Watch Us Run the Olympus OMD EM1 Under a Faucet

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Olympus OMD EM1 Product Photos (2 of 8)ISO 2001-40 sec at f - 2.8

We’re just about wrapped up on our Olympus OMD EM1 review, and to fully test what the camera is capable of, we decided to run it under water. I mean, let’s think about it: why would a company make marketing claims and not hold themselves to it? With all the weather-sealing that Olympus touts is in the camera, we mounted the 12-40mm f2.8 (reviewed here) to the camera and gave it a little bath. Just as an FYI, the lens is also weather sealed. But we’re not sure the camera would survive unless there was a weather sealed lens on it.

Did it survive? Check out the video after the jump. Stay tuned for our full review coming in a couple of days.


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Review: Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 (Micro Four Thirds)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sigma 30mm f1.4 Review images (18 of 33)ISO 2001-200 sec at f - 2.8

When we first heard about Olympus’s 12-40mm f2.8, we had some high hopes as the reps told us that the lens is really made of metal and has a very solid build quality. Then we saw it, and were quite impressed. We expressed a lot of interest in the lens and so we asked Olympus for an evaluation copy.

As a Micro Four Thirds user for years, I’ve always been very privy to the standard’s small primes. These lenses truly embrace the smaller form factor that mirrorless cameras were supposed to establish to begin with. But this is the first zoom lens that I ended up really, really liking. The Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 has lived up to and in some ways exceeded my expectations. And if you can justify the price tag to yourself, we recommend that you spring for it immediately.

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High ISO Comparison: Olympus OMD EM1 vs OMD EM5 (JPEGs)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Olympus OMD cameras (1 of 1)ISO 4001-80 sec at f - 1.4

At the moment of publishing this article, Adobe Lightroom doesn’t support the OMD EM1’s raw files. So when we decided to do a high ISO comparison, we made sure that the noise reduction settings for the OMD EM1 and its little brother the EM5 were on the exact same playing field. So we attached Sigma’s 30mm f2.8 lens to the cameras, shot them at the same exposure after using a handheld light meter, and then imported them into Adobe Lightroom for a quick view.

The images shot are JPEGs and resized for the web. They were shot at ISO 5,000 because both the OMD EM5 and EM1 both say that 6400 is an extension despite marketing that it is their native high ISO output.

Take a look at the images below and make judgements for yourself in our very informal comparison.


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This is What the Olympus OMD EM1 Looks Like With Its Guts Spilled

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While we already firmly believe that the Olympus OMD EM1 is quite tough as nails, the folks at ePhotoZine are currently featuring some teardown images of what the camera looks like before it is assembled. And we can already see lots of gaskets to keep the camera weather sealed. And for the most part, the camera also looks as if it really isn’t comprised of lots of parts–but then again that motherboard units probably has loads to it by itself.

Two more photos are after the jump–and they show off the magnesium alloy body. We’re currently in the middle of reviewing the camera ourselves, and we’re so far very impressed.

Via Gizmodo. Images via ePhotoZine.

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Does Olympus Need to Go Full Frame?

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We’ve seen loads and loads of rumors on the web along with many clear signs of evidence pointing to something really big coming. And by really big, we mean full frame. At the time of the publishing of this piece, Olympus has just announced their OMD EM1 camera with a Four Thirds sized sensor. Besides the obvious marketing push that a full frame sensor can give a company or camera system, it only seems like a matter of time until Sony wipes the floor with the rest of the industry and releases a full frame mirrorless camera. And with that said, the mirrorless interchangeable lens camera world will experience the same shift that the DSLR world took where everyone always complained about the smaller sensors in Olympus cameras.

But in many other aspects, the company could find a home with others.

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First Impressions: Olympus 12-40mm f2.8

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Olympus’s brand new 12-40mm f2.8 is totally real. Earlier tonight, we had the chance to play with the new lens. When we were first in our meetings with Olympus talking to them about it, the company stated that the build quality of it is one that contains solid metal, full weather sealing, and a great overall feel. And on a personal note and as a Micro Four Thirds camera owner, I need to explicitly state that I’m more excited about this lens than the OMD EM1 announcement that was also made tonight. Offering a 24-80mm equivalent field of view, we’re sure that this is the lens that many photographers will go for.

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First Impressions: Olympus OMD EM1

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Yes folks, it’s real. With previous leaks, it was only a matter of time before it really surfaced. And today, it’s official: we can’t call it the OMD anymore. Olympus is today announcing their flagship OMD camera: the EM1. This is the camera that the company is also saying will replaced the E5 DSLR that is years old now.

The Olympus OMD EM1 sports a 16.3MP Four Thirds sensor, TruePic VII processor, ISO ranging up to 25,600, new autofocusing enhancements, 6.5fps or 10fps, 5 axis stabilization, 1/8,000 min shutter speed, 1/320th flash sync speed, the VF4 as a viewfinder with some enhancements, and lots more such as WiFi connectivity built in.

We spent some quality handling time with it a while back. And this is for sure the best OMD yet for many folks–but we’re not quite sure it will warrant an upgrade amongst others and the OMD EM5 was just (and still is) so damned good.

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Olympus’s EM-1 Micro Four Thirds Camera Leaks Out

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Screenshot taken from the video and posted on 43Rumors

Edit: The video has been removed

Remember that high end Olympus OMD camera that rumors were talking about? Well apparently it is real. 43Rumors has the full scoop: and all it took was a little Googling for one user to find the a hidden video on Engadget’s website.

The camera visually seems to solve lots of the problems that many users of the OMD had: such as the need for a better grip and modification of the dials. The camera is being targeted to professionals and is being targeted at folks that are still Four Thirds users and didn’t move on to Micro Four Thirds.

More of the video can be seen here.

Rumors State That the New High End Olympus OMD Will Cost A Bunch

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There are load of rumors floating around right now that both a High End OMD camera may be coming and that it may cost you quite the pretty penny. According to M43Blog, whatever this camera may be will cost around $1,500 and it will be announced in September. The camera is bound to incorporate lots of the improvements made in the Olympus EP5, which we recently reviewed and loved dearly. For starters, we saw that is had better high ISO results, but it also underexposes.

This body is very likely to incorporate the OMD EM5’s weather sealing, a built in EVF, and perhaps some other changes. What I really wanted was for the system to be able to do second curtain flash sync with Pocket Wizards, and we’re not sure why it can’t. It most likely will also have a fast shutter speed flash sync since the EP5 has 1/320th. Strobists will know that this makes a big difference when shooting.

We’ll just have to wait and see what comes.