In the latest trend of companies announcing the “development” of a camera without a formal announcement, Olympus has unveiled the “development” of the OM-D E-M1 Mark II—their soon-to-be flagship mirrorless.
Speed and performance are definitely the highlights of the upcoming camera. It’s built around a 20.4-megapixel Live MOS sensor that can shoot an impressive 18 frames per second in RAW.
Olympus is also lauding the camera’s autofocus as one of the best to date with 121 cross-type AF points over a wider area of coverage—along with a new algorithm to assist with tracking. One of the camera’s twin core processors is entirely dedicated to autofocus.
In the video department, we get 4K video with pretty impressive specs: A wider aspect ratio “DCI” Cinema 4K (4096 x 2060 pixels) captures a 24p frame rate at 237 Mbps. Other highlights include an improved electronic viewfinder (120fps), a higher capacity battery, and dual UHS-II SD slots.
Finally, snuck into the bottom of the announcement, we are reassured that Olympus will be producing a housing—the PT-EP14. Similar to existing Olympus underwater “cases,” the housing will be depth-rated to 180-plus feet.
No word yet on pricing and availability, but the current consensus is that we will see a formal announcement by year’s end. Read more in the press release, below.
CENTER VALLEY, Pa., September 19, 2016 — Olympus announces the development of its newest flagship camera and the latest addition to the award-winning OM-D series, the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, a compact system camera with performance capabilities that surpass pro-level DSLRs. The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II will be designed to deliver incredible speed, superior image resolution and a host of new shooting features to expand the boundaries of photographic expression.
The OM-D E-M1 Mark II will be equipped with the newly-developed high-speed TruePic VIII Image Processor which is 3.5 times faster than previous TruePic processors and a new 20.4 megapixel Live MOS sensor equipped with 121 points of cross-type on-chip phase detection and contrast detection AF. These technologies will work with the camera’s electronic shutter to provide full resolution images at up to an unprecedented 60 frames per second in AF and AE lock, and up to 18 frames per second with continuous AF and AE tracking.
The advanced Dual FAST AF system will automatically select between contrast and phase detection AF depending on lens type, camera settings and lighting conditions to ensure accurate focus and sharp image quality. In addition, the continuous AF tracking performance will be dramatically improved with a new moving subject tracking algorithm.
The OM-D E-M1 Mark II will boast a wide array of shooting features including a new Pro Capture Mode for lag-free shooting that enables the capture of split-second moments, a 50 Megapixel High Res Shot Mode for images with incredible detail that rivals that of full-frame DSLRs, in-body 5-Axis Image Stabilization with a maximum of 5.5 shutter speed steps of compensation performance, and 5-Axis Sync IS for a maximum of 6.5 shutter speed steps of compensation when combined with the new M.ZUIKO Digital ED 12-100mm f4.0 IS PRO.
The OM-D E-M1 Mark II will be weathersealed to be dustproof, splashproof, and freezeproof (down to 14°F / -10°C) in a compact lightweight design, ideal for shooting in all types of outdoor conditions. The camera will exceed professional photographers’ performance requirements by employing a high-performance durable shutter designed to clear 200,000 actuations, dual memory card slots, and an improved battery capacity of 37 percent from its predecessor model.
- High-Speed Sequential Shooting and Superior AF Performance
Live MOS sensor and TruePic VIII Image Processor
The newly-developed high-speed TruePic VIII Image Processor and a new 20.4 megapixel live MOS sensor will work in concert with the camera’s electronic shutter to provide full resolution images at a maximum 60 frames per second in AF and AE lock, and up to 18 frames per second with continuous AF and AE tracking.
The TruePic VIII Image Processor will boast a dual quad core system with four CPU cores and four image processing cores that achieve image processing speeds approximately 3.5 times faster than the TruePic VII Processor. Because camera operation and image processing functions will be carried out in parallel, transfer speeds and menu operations will be vastly improved over previous models. A new Pro Capture Mode will provide lag-free shooting so users can capture high-quality full resolution images at precise moments with no compromises.
Advanced Dual FAST AF
The advanced Dual FAST AF will automatically choose between on-chip phase detection AF, contrast detection AF, or will utilize both phase and contrast detection simultaneously. This system will boast 121 cross-type on-chip phase detection focus points in order to dramatically improve accuracy. The simultaneous use of contrast detection and on-chip phase detection AF will enable accurate focus in difficult lighting conditions, while a new moving subject tracking algorithm will rapidly and continuously measure the subject-to-camera distance to precisely maintain focus. Finally, an in-camera AF limiter will be included to achieve faster focusing by limiting the focus range of the lens, thus preventing time-consuming focus hunting.
Autofocus functions such as AF Target Mode, AF target position, and face/eye priority AF will be easily set with a single action. AF operations will be enhanced with a new cluster display, which illuminates active sensors to assure the user of focus subject accuracy. The AF Targeting Pad feature will allow users to select the AF point by sliding their finger on the rear touch LCD while looking through the viewfinder.
High-magnification, high-speed electronic viewfinder
The performance of the 1.48x (35mm equivalent) high-magnification, high-resolution electronic viewfinder will rival those of professional full-frame interchangeable lens cameras. With high-speed operation that includes a maximum frame rate of 120 fps and a minimum six-millisecond display time lag during shooting, users will never lose track of fast-moving subjects.
Superior response will be facilitated by a significant improvement in shutter release lag time; this time will be reduced by approximately 30% from that of the predecessor model so users will never miss a photo opportunity. In addition, frame advance speed during playback will be approximately three times faster for faster scrolling and review of images.
- Outstanding Portability and Reliability
A compact, lightweight system with excellent portability
The OM-D E-M1 Mark II will feature weatherproof construction in a compact and lightweight design. Coupled with an Olympus M.ZUIKO lens, the OM-D system remains extremely compact, providing the ultimate in portability for shooting and transportation. Hand-held super-telephoto shooting will be possible with the M.ZUIKO Digital ED 300mm f4.0 IS PRO lens (600mm focal length in 35mm equivalent), and this camera and lens combination will even be compact enough to store in carry-on luggage when flying.
Weatherproof construction and Super-Sonic Wave Filter dust reduction system
The OM-D E-M1 Mark II will feature high-performance weathersealing for excellent dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof (down to 14°F / -10°C) performance so that users can shoot in the harshest of conditions. This weatherproofing will not be limited to the camera body alone: it is extended across the entire OM-D system, including the dustproof, splashproof, and freezeproof M.ZUIKO PRO lens lineup. In addition, a Supersonic Wave Filter (SSWF) dust reduction system will vibrate the image sensor more than 30,000 times a second to virtually eliminate any dust that may land on the sensor while changing lenses.
High-performance shutter rated for 200,000 actuations
A newly-developed shutter will be rated for 200,000 shots3 to withstand consistent daily use in professional environments.
Dual memory card slots
The OM-D E-M1 Mark II will feature dual memory card slots to allow simultaneous use of two SD cards for more versatile shooting. The slots will be positioned in a staggered layout, making cards easier to insert and remove. Users will be able to select from four types of settings: “Standard” will record to the specified card; “Automatic Switching” will automatically switch to the second card when the first card becomes full; “Dual Independent” will record to both cards according to the specified image quality setting assigned to each; and “Dual Same” will record identical files to both cards simultaneously. Slot 1 will support UHS-II and UHS-I cards, while Slot 2 will support UHS-I cards.
High-capacity battery and rapid charger
With an improved 1720mAh rating, the new BLH-1 lithium-ion rechargeable battery will have a capacity that’s approximately 37% higher than that of the BLN-1 used in the predecessor model. The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II will display the remaining battery life percentage on the rear monitor so that users will never be surprised by a depleted battery. Also, the new BCH-1 charger will be 50% faster than the previous version.
- Exceptional Image Quality
Higher resolution and improved dynamic range
The new 20.4 megapixel Live MOS sensor will offer 25% higher resolution than the predecessor model, and the absence of a low-pass filter further enhances image quality. A higher dynamic range6 will improve the reproduction of highlight and shadow detail, and an anti-reflective coating on both sides of the sealing glass over the sensor will further enhance contrast performance.
Improved image quality at high ISO settings
The newly-developed TruePic VIII Image Processor will dramatically improve image quality when shooting at high ISO settings, making it possible to capture images with minimal noise. The normal sensitivity ISO (ISO AUTO) range will be expanded to ISO 6400 for greater flexibility in a variety of shooting scenarios and Fine Detail Processing II will ensure that no detail will be lost due to over-sharpening.
ISO 64 equivalent ISO LOW setting
The ISO LOW setting will be equivalent to ISO 64, providing greater flexibility to shoot at wider apertures even in brightly-lit situations, making it possible to achieve beautiful shallow depths-of-field.
50 Megapixel High Res Shot Mode
A High Res Shot Mode will utilize the Voice Coil Motor (VCM) system of the 5-Axis Image Stabilization System to precisely shift the sensor in half pixel increments while capturing a total of eight shots. The camera will then automatically composite the shots into a single 50-megapixel equivalent ultra-high resolution image. This unique Olympus technology is a necessity for any still life photographer or anyone that requires ultra-fine detail reproduction. The new TruePic VIII Image Processor will effectively suppress blur due to subject movement, making it possible to utilize High Res Shot Mode in a wide variety of shooting conditions, such as gently-blowing grass, tree leaves, or ocean waves. In addition to 80 megapixel RAW and 50-megapixel equivalent JPEG images, it will be possible to select a smaller 25 megapixel equivalent file size.
In-body 5-Axis Image Stabilization
The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II will be equipped with the latest in-body 5-Axis Image Stabilization that compensates for all types of camera shake. An optimized correction algorithm will boast outstanding compensation performance with approximately 5.5 shutter speed steps of compensation*1. Also, when combined with Olympus lenses equipped with in-lens image stabilization, 5-Axis Sync IS will provide the world's most powerful 6.5 shutter speed steps of compensation for blur-free handheld shooting of stills and video.
- Stunning UHD Video Capture
Digital Cinema Standard 4K videos
The OM-D E-M1 Mark II will support Digital Cinema Standard 4K (4096 x 2060 pixels) video capture at a 24P frame rate and a bit rate of up to 237 Mbps for authentic movie production. The 20.4 megapixel Live MOS sensor will provide a read speed three times faster than that of the predecessor model for effective suppression of movement distortion, resulting in sharp, clear image quality. The video-specific picture mode "Flat" will be ideal for color grading and finishing the footage exactly as envisioned by the videographer.
5-Axis Image Stabilization combined with electronic stabilization for video
With four times the resolution of Full HD, 4K videos are easily affected by camera movement and typically require a tripod, mini jib, crane, and other specialized accessories for movie recording. The OM-D E-M1 Mark II will pair its advanced 5-Axis Image Stabilization with electronic stabilization specialized for movies (M-IS) to effectively reduce camera shake, making handheld 4K video capture possible. This outstanding image stabilization system will allow videographers to easily shoot movies with virtually no visible camera shake. The camera’s rear vari-angle LCD monitor will be adjustable to the user’s preferred angle for shooting convenience.
HDMI monitor connection and recording synchronization
The HDMI monitor connection will provide the ability to view live video output live on a larger display while shooting. Users will be able to select from Monitor Mode for an external monitor and Recording Mode to capture uncompressed video directly from the HDMI port. The OM-D E-M1 Mark II will be equipped with a synchronization signal so that video recording to an external device may be started or stopped from the camera. A 4:2:2 external output will be provided to meet a wider color correction range. An audio synchronization function will make it easy to synchronize audio recording when using Olympus’ Linear PCM Recorder LS-100 while recording video, and a Slate Tone function will facilitate the syncing of recorded audio and video.
- Advanced Shooting Functions
Silent Mode will utilize a silent electronic shutter to eliminate all mechanical noises while shooting. Silent Mode will be especially useful for shooting in situations where noise of any kind is not appropriate, including stage performances, concerts, and even sleeping children. Also, it will be possible to deactivate the AF Illuminator, autofocus confirmation beep, and flash for practically silent operation.
Focus Stacking / Focus Bracketing Modes
Depth-of-field is especially shallow when taking macro photos, making it difficult to capture an image that is completely in focus from the foreground to background, even at smaller apertures. Focus Stacking Mode will capture eight shots at different focal positions and composite them to form a single shot that is entirely in focus. The depth-of-field provided by Focus Stacking will be far deeper than even the smallest aperture at close distances. Focus Stacking Mode will be compatible with seven Olympus M.ZUIKO lenses for a variety of shooting scenes.
Focus Bracketing Mode will capture up to 999 shots at different focal distances with a single shutter button press, allowing users to choose shots with the optimal focus point or use commercially-available software to composite all images into one picture with stunning depth-of-field.
Live Composite / Live Bulb Modes
Live Composite Mode will be available for shooting fireworks and cityscapes against starry backgrounds. While using Live Composite, the exposure of dark areas remains constant, while areas of light that change during the exposure are updated, creating trails of light from stars or fireworks. Live Bulb and Live Composite Modes will allow users to easily check the image on the LCD monitor in real time, instead of relying on intuition.
The camera will be equipped with Keystone Compensation for photographing architecture. Keystone Compensation digitally provides tilt and shift functions with all M.ZUIKO lenses, and because trapezoidal compensation may be applied simultaneously to both vertical and horizontal directions, it is possible to shoot various subjects in a wide range of situations.
Tethered shooting with Olympus Capture
Olympus Capture is now available in Version 1.2 and will support tethered shooting with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II. High-speed data processing and transfer via the USB 3.0 Type C port will be four times faster than with Olympus Capture Version 1.1. A cable clip will be bundled for securing and stabilizing the cable to a strap when the camera and computer are connected.
- Customizable C-AF tracking sensitivity will allow users to choose the best setting for their subject to optimize C-AF tracking performance.
- AF Scan will allow users to adjust the lens scan operation settings in low-contrast environments to prevent unnecessary hunting.
- Preset MF will let users quickly set a preferred focus distance when using manual focus.
- AF Home Settings will be assignable to a customizable function button. Users will be able to program their most frequently used AF target position, AF Target Mode, and AF Mode as an AF Home setting.
- Lowest Shutter Speed Setting on the camera will allow users to predefine a minimum shutter speed so that the ISO sensitivity will increase in low-light situations rather than slowing down the shutter speed. This is convenient for handheld shooting in low-light environments.
- Users will be able to back up customized camera settings on a computer so that they can be re-applied to the camera whenever necessary, especially useful for using the same settings on multiple cameras or maintaining settings after a firmware update.
- Specify Folder function will let users select a folder as a recording destination and create new folders to make image editing and management easier.
- Grid settings will allow users to set a highly visible grid color for display as a guide when shooting in dark locations such as theaters.
- The “Date/Time/Second” display will let users organize images by a second unit. This is an effective feature for high-speed sequential shooting.
HLD-9 Power Battery Holder
This dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof power battery holder will be specifically designed for the OM-D E-M1 Mark II. With the HLD-9, users will have the power of one BLH-1 lithium-ion rechargeable battery in the camera body and a second one in the HLD-9. The rear of the HLD-9 power battery holder will be equipped with the same directional pad, two control dials, two function buttons, and shutter release as on the camera body for identical controls whether the camera is held in a vertical or horizontal position. An optional AC-5 AC adapter may be used for studio photography or other situations when using the camera for long periods of time.
FL-900R Weatherproof High-Intensity Flash
This is a high-intensity flash boasting a maximum guide number of GN.58m. This accessory on-camera flash has the highest sequential shooting tracking performance in its class at 10 fps. It features a lightweight weatherproof design with a wireless RC mode for simultaneous control of multiple flash units, and supports Multi Flash, High Res Shot, Focus Stacking and Focus Bracketing Modes. The FL-900R is also equipped with a built-in LED light for recording videos. For additional details, please see the FL-900R press release.
STF-8 Weatherproof Macro Flash
The STF-8 will be the world's first macro flash built with dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof construction. The flash heads and controller will feature a lightweight compact design. When combined with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, Focus Stacking and Focus Bracketing modes will be supported for flash photography, useful for capturing flowers, insects, and commercial photos in the studio. The bundled adapter ring will be compatible with the M.ZUIKO Digital ED 30mm f3.5 Macro, M.ZUIKO Digital ED 60mm f2.8 Macro and M.ZUIKO Digital ED 12-40mm f2.8 PRO. When using both flash heads the GN will be 8.5m. In addition to a TTL Auto Sync Mode for precision control, users will be able to set the flash in 1/3 step increments on the camera when in Manual Mode and in one step increments with the flash dial. The main flash will also be able to be used as a commander to control multiple flash units. The flash head angle will be adjustable within a range of -60 to 40 degrees.
RM-CB2 Release Cable
This release cable with a pin jack terminal (2.5mm diameter) will feature a bulb lock function convenient for long exposures. The connector terminal will feature an L-shaped design ensuring a compact form when connected to the camera.
PT-EP14 Underwater Case
This compact underwater housing will provide water depth resistance up to 60 meters. It will provide a clear field of view to each corner of the screen, designed to be easy to hold to frame and zoom your shot easily. In addition, the PPO-EP03 Macro Lens Port will provide compatibility with the M.ZUIKO Digital ED 60mm f2.8 Macro and M.ZUIKO Digital ED 30mm f3.5 Macro.
CBG-12 Large-Capacity Backpack
This large-capacity backpack will easily fit multiple Olympus cameras and several interchangeable lenses, including the M.ZUIKO Digital ED 300mm f4.0 IS PRO. This backpack will feature a padded back and straps that reduce strain, side openings for quickly removing necessary items and water-repellent materials for superb functionality. The CBG-12 will feature a genuine Micro Four Thirds mount emblem in the center of the backpack.
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