OM Digital Solutions has unveiled the second incarnation of its flagship Micro Four Thirds camera—the OM-1 Mark II. First the good news: Beyond the new “OM System" branding and the small “II” in the bottom corner, there are no external differences between the new camera and the original model, so underwater housings for the Mark I will also accommodate the Mark II.
However, anyone hoping for radical changes to the innards of the camera—like a new sensor or processor—will be disappointed. The OM-1 Mark II packs the same 20.4-megapixel stacked backside-illuminated Live MOS chip and TruePic X image processor. Continuous shooting speeds remain unchanged, though the figures are still impressive: 50fps (full AF/AE) and 120fps (locked AF/AE) with the electronic shutter and 10fps with the mechanical shutter. Similarly, on the video side, as before, there’s uncropped 4K/60p UHD/DCI capture on offer, with 8-bit and 10-bit internal recording options and the possibility of outputting RAW 12-bit video to an external recorder via HDMI.
So what has changed? First of all, the Mark II’s memory has been expanded, increasing the buffer depth for continuous shooting. At 120fps, you can now shoot more than 200 RAW frames, up from around 90. Secondly, according to OM Digital Solutions, autofocus accuracy has been improved, particularly for fast-moving subjects, and there’s a new human detection option—though how well that works with divers remains to be seen. The final improvement relevant for underwater shooters is upgraded in-body image stabilization, 8.5 stops of shake correction, up from 7 stops.
If you see yourself using the camera for topside duties, you may also be interested in some other enhancements. The camera now features Live GND, a feature that replicates the effects of a graduated ND filter, where parameters can be changed in real time. You can choose between soft, medium, and hard gradations, and adjust the location and angle of the transition from light to dark. In addition, the Live ND feature found on the original model now offers double the maximum filter strength, ND128, up from ND64. Finally, in the High Res Shot mode, the Mark II can capture 14-bit RAW files, an improvement on the 12-bit RAW files of the Mark I.
Available in late February from retailers such as Backscatter, the OM-1 Mark II will cost $2,400 body only or $3,000 in a kit with the 12–40mm f/2.8 Pro II zoom lens. Those are $200 increases over the launch prices of the OM-1 Mark I.
When purchasing underwater photography equipment like the products mentioned in this article, please support DPG by supporting our retail partner—Backscatter.com.
|Isotta Housing for OM System OM-1 I & II
|SeaLife SportDiver Smartphone Housing
|Nauticam Fisheye Conversion Port (FCP)
|Ikelite RC1 TTL Receiver for AOI and Backscatter Octo Housings
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