OMDS announced its first camera, the “Olympus” OM-1 with Quad Pixel Autofocus

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Well, launching the OM system with a camera named Olympus OM-1 on the 50th anniversary of the original Olympus OM-1 doesn’t seem like such a bad marketing idea. And that’s exactly what OM Digital Solutions did today with the announcement of the OM System “Olympus” OM-1 Micro Four Thirds Mirrorless Camera. This is the first camera release since Olympus took over as new owner of OM Digital Solutions, but it looks a bit disappointing.

Sure, we knew what was coming because the whole spec sheet leaked last week, but now we know the price – which is $2,199 for the body only or $2,799 with the 12-40 lens. mm f/2.8. And while its specs are pretty respectable overall, I don’t think they’re as good as they could be for a flagship model camera. It’s not all bad, however, and it has a handful of pretty neat features.

So first thing is first. It’s the new “Olympus” flagship camera, but it only has a 20-megapixel resolution sensor, which isn’t particularly high by today’s standards – even for Micro Four Thirds. Even the 2019 Olympus OM-D E-M1X was only 20MP, as was the OM-D E-M5 Mark III, OM-D E-M1 Mark III, OM-D E- M10 Mark IV and even the small PEN E-P7 released in 2019, 2019, 2020 and 2021 respectively.

But while the resolution remains about the same as it has for some time now, it offers some new functionality. Features like the ability to shoot flawlessly at up to 120fps with the electronic shutter – albeit only around 92 frames, so you’ll still need to get your sync point to make sure the buffer doesn’t not fill until what you want to capture has happened. Even dropping down to 50fps only extends that buffer to around 96 frames, although here you’ll still only get close to 2 seconds of continuous shooting before it fills up.

There’s no 4K 120fps video, which is a little disappointing, although we did get 4K60fps and 1080p at up to 240fps. A pair of UHS-II SD card slots allow for in-camera backups, split file types (raw to one and jpg to the other), or act as an overflow from so that when one is full, it automatically switches to the other. The EVF is a rather impressive 5.76 million dot OLED, for a bright view of your scene with a refresh rate of 120 fps. The 3.0″ 1.62 million dot LCD touchscreen is of the flippy out variety with 270° of swivel allowing you to shoot from up, down or with the camera facing you for those times when you want to capture a quick selfie in the environment or shoot a vlog.

And for you vloggers, you might actually get a decent autofocus system. The Olympus OM-1 features new Cross Quad Pixel AF – something they seem to have beaten Canon – with AI detection and 1,053 individual AF points that fully cover the sensor. How well it might work in video remains to be seen, although they say it’s twice as accurate and three times faster than previous Olympus AF systems.

The four-pixel autofocus, along with the fast shooting speeds (with the electronic shutter) are very nice and will suit wildlife and sports photographers especially, but I kind of expected more of a OM System camera. Something that says “Yo, we’re here and we’re serious!”, especially since it’s the 50th anniversary of the camera it’s named after, and I’m not entirely sure that do so for now given its $2,200 price tag.

Sensor 20MP Stacked BSI Live MOS
Lens frame Micro Four Thirds
Maximum resolution 20 megapixels (5184 x 3888 pixels)
File format RAW, JPG
Stabilization Sensor offset, 5 axis
Continuous shooting Up to 10fps mechanical / 120fps electronic
4K video 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) up to 60 fps
HD video Full HD (1920×1080) up to 240fps
Focus Type Auto and manual focus
AF points 1053-point phase detection
Viewfinder 5.76m-dot OLED
LCD 3-inch 1.62 million dot articulating touchscreen LCD
Connectivity 2.5/5Ghz Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Dimensions 134.8 x 91.6 x 72.7mm
Weight 599g (including battery and memory)

I’m sure as the reviews come out we’ll learn more about how the specs and features offer distinct advantages over its predecessors and Panasonic competitors – and remember that the GH6 will be announced next week – but on paper it’s kind of average and ordinary for the most part when you look at what’s available today.

The Olympus OM-1 is available for pre-order now for $2,199 for the body only or you can pre-order now for $2,799 for the kit including the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO lens II.

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