Olympus Introduces OM-D E-M1 III, Plus 12-45mm Zoom

Olympus today announced imminent availability of an update to its E-M1 camera, the OM-D E-M1 Mark III. Olympus is positioning the camera as a co-flagship model alongside the OM-D E-M1X released last year, as the two cameras both offer pro-level performance characteristics but in different body styles, the E-M1 Mark III being more compact.

The camera features a new image processor, TruePic IX, which Olympus states enables features such as a 50MP Handheld High-Res Shot mode that captures 16 individual frames at the camera’s native 20.4-megapixel resolution, moving the sensor slightly between each frame, and then composites these into a final 50-megapixel image.

Olympus calls the in-body stabilization system “the world’s most effective,” providing up to 7.5 stops of correction when used with select lenses, or up to 7 stops with any lens. This technology, dubbed 5-axis sync IS, is compatible with the M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm F4.0 IS PRO (600mm equivalent), a key lens in the Olympus system for wildlife photography. Combined with the camera’s continuous shooting rate of 18 fps with AF/AE tracking, this camera and lens pairing is a compelling option for sports and wildlife photographers, providing super-tele perspectives and impressive speed, all in a package that’s considerably lighter and smaller than what’s possible with full-frame or APS-sensor systems.

The OM-D E-M1 III also debuts a new AF mode for astrophotography, Starry Sky AF, that promises accurate AF when shooting the stars. In concert with the camera’s image stabilization system, Olympus states that this technology will make handheld astrophotography possible with wide angle lenses.

The camera will be available beginning February 24, 2020 with a list price of $1,799 for the body only. It will also be available in a kit that includes the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm F2.8 PRO lens for $2,499.

Learn more about the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III at B&H.

New Ultra-Compact Zoom

In addition to the OM-D E-M1 Mark III, Olympus also introduced a new zoom lens, the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45mm F4.0 PRO. The 24-90mm equivalent lens is very compact at just 2.76 inches in length and 2.5 inches in diameter.

Though it’s not a true macro lens, it is capable of 0.5x magnification with a minimum focusing distance of 4.7 inches at the wide end of the zoom range, extending to just over 9 inches at the tele end, making the lens a versatile option for close-up work. The M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45mm F4.0 PRO will be available in April 2020 with a list price of $649.

Learn more about the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45mm F4.0 PRO at B&H.

For more information on the OM-D E-M1 Mark III and the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45mm F4.0 PRO, see the press releases below.

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OLYMPUS OM-D® E-M1 MARK III INTERCHANGEABLE LENS CAMERA

Delivering Stunning Image Quality, Superior Mobility And Absolute Reliability For Professional Photographers Everywhere

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., February 12, 2020 — Today Olympus debuts the OM-D E-M1 Mark III, scheduled to go on sale February 24, 2020. The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III is a professional model built for superior mobility. This professional interchangeable lens camera conforms to the Micro Four Thirds® System standard. It comes equipped with a new image processing engine, TruePic™ IX, enabling features such as 50MP Handheld High-Res Shot[1]. Combined with the high image quality of M.Zuiko® Digital lenses, this system fulfills the needs of professional photographers in any field, all in a compact, lightweight dustproof, splashproof, freezeproof magnesium alloy body for peace of mind when shooting in harsh environments.

This reliable, compact and lightweight body offers the world’s most effective 7.5 shutter speed steps[2] of compensation. The OM-D E-M1 Mark III is also equipped with a 121-point all cross-type On-chip Phase Detection AF sensor for high-precision focusing. Starry Sky AF delivers revolutionary autofocus performance for astrophotography, and the Advanced Face / Eye Priority AF tracks and ensures the subject’s eye is continuously in focus, resulting in a crisp, clear portrait. This model is also equipped with versatile features that were popular on the Olympus OM-D E-M1X, such as 50MP Handheld High Res Shot, Live ND, Pro Capture mode, and handheld 4K video, thanks to its 5-axis In-Body Image Stabilization, designed to meet the demands of the professional photographer.

Compact and Lightweight with High Image Quality

By synchronizing the in-lens image stabilization of supported lenses[3] with the in-body 5-axis image stabilization, this model achieves the world’s best 7.5 shutter speed steps of compensation with 5-axis sync IS. Powerful image stabilization enables shooting handheld in dark locations and during super-telephoto photography for outstanding freedom in various scenarios without the need for a tripod. In-body image stabilization ensures image stabilization with all attached lenses, up to 7.0 shutter speed steps[4] of compensation performance.

With the new image processing engine, TruePic IX, combined with its 20.4 Megapixel Live MOS sensor, the world’s most effective 7.5 shutter speed steps of compensation, and high-resolution M.Zuiko Digital lenses deliver minimal noise even at high-sensitivity settings. This model boasts top-class image quality in the interchangeable lens camera class with minimal distortion to the edges of the shot. Improved AF algorithms and high resolution, high speed performance allow for features such as Handheld High Res Shot, Live ND, Starry Sky AF and improved face/eye priority AF.

50MP Handheld High Res Shot makes it possible to capture high-resolution images without the need for a tripod. This feature makes use of the minimal movement occurring between each of the 16 shots to generate a single 50 Megapixel high-resolution photo. This feature is particularly useful for capturing high-resolution shots in locations where it is impossible to use a tripod. Tripod High Res Shot is also available for recording ultra-high-resolution approximately 80 Megapixel equivalent JPEG images, great for suppressing movement in the merged shot, such as a rippling surface of water or leaves shaking in the wind.

Live ND, which is highly regarded on the OM-D E-M1X, is also included on this model, creating a slow shutter effect without the need for a physical ND filter. This feature virtually extends the exposure time and allows the capture of images with the appearance of a slow shutter speed by merging multiple exposures together. Users can select the effect level from ND2 (one step) to ND32 (5 steps), and view the slow shutter effects in the viewfinder before capturing, eliminating the need to change lenses or optical ND filters.

Absolute Reliability

The OM-D E-M1 Mark III body is the foundation to meet photographers’ need for portability and reliability. Add Olympus M.Zuiko Digital PRO lenses for the an unrivaled compact and lightweight system, maintaining the best balance of portability and image quality resulting in performance required and expected by professionals.

The magnesium alloy body of the OM-D E-M1 Mark III features advanced weatherproof construction, resulting in dustproof, splashproof, and freezeproof performance. When paired with a dustproof and splashproof M.Zuiko Digital lens, users can enjoy shooting in the harshest condition without ever worrying about weather or location.

Avoid extra retouching due to dirt and dust on the sensor. The OM-D E-M1 Mark III is equipped with an industry-leading dust reduction system. The SSWF (Super Sonic Wave Filter) vibrates the image sensor at a frequency of 30,000 times per second to shake off dust and dirt. The new dust resistant coating recently introduced on the OM-D E-M1X is also used on this model, making it less likely for dust and dirt to stick to the image sensor, reducing spots in images by 90%.

The Lithium-ion Battery BLH-1 can be fully charged in as little as two hours when charged in the camera via a USB-C PD (Power Delivery) compatible charger of up to 100W.It is also possible to power the camera via a portable USB-C PD power bank or battery pack   allowing the photographer to shoot for long durations, especially convenient for astrophotography or photographing in cold locations.

High Speed Sequential Shooting

This camera is equipped with 121-point all cross-type On-chip Phase Detection AF sensor for tracking subjects across a wide range quickly and accurately. AF information from recorded images is also used even during sequential shooting, more easily tracking subjects that move unpredictably. It offers 75% vertical coverage and 80% horizontal coverage of the screen for a wide focusing area. Paired with the advanced AF algorithm, this feature can continually focus on fast-moving subjects with a high degree of precision. Unlike DSLR cameras, there is no degradation in AF precision when using a fast lens. The OM-D E-M1 Mark III offers high-precision focusing that can sufficiently bring out the capabilities even of large-diameter lenses such as those with a maximum aperture of F1.2. AF/AE tracking is possible at maximum 18 fps high-speed sequential shooting while maintaining the full pixel count of 20.4Megapixels. The subject can also be checked in the viewfinder during high-speed sequential shooting for accurate tracking. Stunning 60 fps shooting performance captures split-second moments in high resolution that the human eye cannot detect utilizing AF/AE lock sequential shooting.

Pro Capture mode makes it possible to record scenes that are difficult to capture due to time lag in the subjects’ reactions or camera operation time lag. Recording begins upon the half shutter release, capturing up to 35 frames retroactively from the point of the full shutter release. Because there is no blackout during shooting, it is possible to keep an eye on subject movement while pressing the shutter button. RAW shooting is also supported. Pro Capture makes it possible to record once-in-a-lifetime shots that you might otherwise miss due to the time lag between people’s reaction and camera operating time lag.

Accuracy Autofocus System

Starry Sky AF, which is new for the OM-D E-M1 Mark III, is a feature that will revolutionize the world of astrophotography. In the past, photographers have traditionally relied on manual focusing. A new algorithm was developed to offer accurate focusing even on the tiniest stars shining in the night sky, enabling ultra-high-precision autofocusing that has been admired even among professional astrophotographers. There are two modes in Starry Sky AF. Speed Priority mode (default setting), which prioritizes focusing speed and complete AF operations in a short period of time. Thanks to the powerful image stabilization, this feature makes handheld astrophotography possible using a wide angle lens. Accuracy Priority uses a fine-tuned focus scan and is effective for shooting specific stars with telephoto lenses.

Thanks in part to the new TruePic IX image processing engine, Face / Eye Priority AF, which automatically detects and focuses on people’s faces and eyes, is now more advanced, dramatically improving both detection accuracy and tracking performance by offering higher processing capabilities and improved AF algorithms, keeping stable focusing on a subject even in the scenes where face detection was difficult in the past, such as sides of faces. It is also now possible to use either the buttons or touch operations to select faces when shooting still images or videos, and detection on or off can be changed with the touch of a single button.

The OM-D E-M1 Mark III offers a variety of AF target offerings. AF Target Modes allows the user to select the best-suited AF target, based on the subject or its movement. The OM-D E-M1 Mark III includes 6 types of AF target modes; Single, Group 5-point, Group 9-point, Group 25-point, 121-point and small AF. Custom AF Target Modes allows the user to customize the AF target area from 121 points to suit the behavior of the subject. You can select from 11 vertical or horizontal points or an odd number of individual points to create your custom AF area. The Orientation Linked AF Targets customization allows the user to individually set the AF target and AF area position for vertical and horizontal shooting.

Various Creative Features

Live Composite is included with the OM-D E-M1 Mark III. This feature makes it possible to check exposure status in Live View in real time. Live Composite also supports up to six hours of shooting. With B mode added to the shooting mode dial, Live Composite, Live Bulb, and Live Time are now easier to access and configure. Record photos in focus all the way from the foreground to background.  Focus Stacking automatically creates a composite in-body from up to 15 frames.  Focus Bracketing allows the photographer to shoot up to 999 images at different focus points to composite later using the software of their choice. Silent Mode turns off the mechanical shutter and all electronic sounds.  Perfect for shooting in areas where shutter sounds are inappropriate, such as concert halls. The OM-D E-M1 Mark III is equipped with dual card slots, allowing the user to record JEPG and RAW separately, backup, automatically switching, etc. Slot # 1 is UHS-II/ UHS-I compatible and Slot # 2 is UHS-I compatible. In-body Fisheye Compensation allows the user to remove the distortion created by a fisheye lens providing more wide-angle creative options. Keystone Compensation applies trapezoidal compensation and perspective enhancement simultaneously, providing the functionality of a tilt/shift lens. Anti-Flicker Shooting (mechanical shutter only) detects the flicker of alternating light sources and reduces the effect by only shooting at peak brightness, reducing exposure variation. Flicker Scan (electronic shutter only) minimizes the effects of flickering occur under LED lighting

OM-D Movie

Electronic stabilization combined with in-body 5-axis stabilization delivers powerful image stabilization during video recording. OM-D Movie makes handheld 4K/C4K shooting possible due to a powerful image stabilization mode specifically designed for video recording (M-IS1). This offers three levels of performance to allow handheld 4K and Cinema 4K (C4K) high resolution shooting.

The OM-D E-M1 Mark III supports OM-Log400, which provides a high degree of freedom during shooting without worrying about overexposure or loss of details in dark shadows and bright highlights, along with color grading for a high degree of freedom over images. In order to make Live View images more visible, a View Assist function is available, which converts the color gamut to Full HD standard BT.709 equivalent for display.

Customization of video C-AF allows videographers to choose the best settings for their subject. Active use of on-chip phase detection AF and new AF algorithms have resulted in precision focusing during video shooting. A total of four AF target modes, including Group 9-point and Group 25-point are available. The OM-D E-M1 Mark III records 120 fps high-speed movie in Full HD for slow motion playback.

Pairing the high-res audio Linear PCM Recorder LS-P4 with an external mic/recorder enables more versatile recording of high-resolution audio for videos. This setup supports high-quality audio recording for video production, such as placing the LS-P4 near the subject, or switching the mic direction and zooming in on the sound source. With the new firmware Version 1.10 for the LS-P4, being released at the same time as the OM-D E-M1 Mark III, Slate Tone function, which is useful for editing sound files and Test Tone will also support adjusting the recording level, have been added, as well as supporting accessories, Shock Mount Adapter SM2 and Audio Cable KA335

Software and Smartphone Applications

The OI.Share® dedicated iOS and Android app can be used to connect to the camera via Wi-Fi®, import shooting data to a smartphone, and to use the smartphone for remote camera operation and more convenient shooting and image organization. OI.Share can be used to update the camera firmware and backup and restore camera settings for the OM-D E-M1 Mark III.

Olympus Capture camera control software for computers meets the demands of studio photographers. Recorded images can be imported via Wi-Fi without using a USB connection, providing powerful support the workflow of studio shooting. It supports high-speed 5 GHz band communication.

Olympus Workspace image editing software can handle professional tasks such as RAW processing and image editing, along with offering freedom over screen layout, etc. Connect a computer to the OM-D E-M1 Mark III via USB to enable high-speed RAW processing on Olympus Workspace using the new image processing engine TruePic IX. Clarity and Dehaze editing filters are also included for a greater range of expression in astrophotography, etc. By using Olympus Workspace Version 1.3, being released at the same time as the OM-D E-M1 Mark III, easily replace the audio files of the recorded video to High res sound recorded by using Slate Tone on the LS-P4 / LS-100 while recording video. 

Separately Available Accessories

The Power Battery Holder HLD-9 features a dustproof, splashproof, freezeproof design that delivers the same controls whether held vertically or horizontally. Attach the HLD-9 when shooting scenes with frequent changes between vertical and horizontal positions, or when you need to capture a lot of shots, or remove it for greater mobility. When using one Lithium-ion Battery BLH-1 in the camera and one in the HLD-9, together, up to 840 shots can be recorded.

Shock Mount Adapter SM2 is an adapter designed for absorbing camera noise while the LS-P4 is attached to the camera hot shoe. It prevents vibration and operational noise from the camera, making video shooting with higher quality audio possible.

Audio Cable KA335 is a high quality cable designed for connecting the camera and recorder. An L-shaped plug and curled cord provides easy handling when connected to the OM-D E-M1 Mark III.

Pricing and Availability

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III (black) will be available beginning February 24, 2020. The camera body only will have a suggested retail price of $1,799.99 USD and $2,399.99 CAD. The camera body bundled with the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm F2.8 PRO Lens will have a suggested retail price of $2,499.99 USD and $3,299.99 CAD, and the camera body bundled with the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100 F4.0 IS PRO Lens will have a suggested retail price of $2,899.99 USD and $3,799.99 CAD. The shock mount adapter SM2 will have a suggested retail price of $39.99 USD and $51.99 CAD, and the audio cable KA335 will have a suggested retail price of $14.99 USD and $19.99 CAD. These accessories will be available beginning April, 2020.

[1] Image size is 8160×6120 pixels.

[2] When 5-axis sync IS used. Lens used: M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO. At a focal distance of f=100mm (35mm equivalent: f=200mm), halfway release image stabilization: Off, frame rate: high speed. Conforms to CIPA standards, when corrected on 2 axes (Yaw and Pitch). Current as of February 18, 2020.

[3] M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO, M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm F4.0 IS PRO (As of February 18, 2020)

[4] Lens used: M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm F2.8 PRO. At a focal distance of f=40mm (35mm equivalent: f=80mm), conforms to CIPA standards, when corrected on 2 axes (Yaw and Pitch)

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THE ULTIMATE COMPACT, LIGHTWEIGHT, HIGH-RESOLUTION M.ZUIKO® PRO LENS

M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45mm F4.0 PRO (35mm equivalent: 24-90)

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., February 12, 2020 —Olympus is pleased to announce the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45mm F4.0 PRO[1] lens, scheduled for availability April 7, 2020. This high-performance medium range zoom PRO lens conforms to the Micro Four Thirds®System standard and features superb optical performance at all focal lengths, while being the world’s most compact, lightweight model[2]. The M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45mm F4.0 joins the M.Zuiko PRO category of lenses, possessing dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof (-10°C) performance that delivers excellent image quality and peace of mind even when shooting in the most severe environments. This lens delivers superb resolution to the edge of the frame across the entire zoom range, making the most of the appealing aspects of the Micro Four Thirds System standard. It features supreme macro capabilities with a maximum magnification of 0.5x (35mm equivalent) across the entire zoom range, making it an anytime, anywhere, all-around lens. When paired with the Olympus OM-D® E-M5 Mark III, this lens delivers high resolution and amazing portability to conveniently carry in a small bag.

The M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45mm F4.0 PRO lens is the world’s most compact, lightweight medium range zoom PRO lens with a fixed aperture value covering a focal length from wide angle 24mm to telephoto 90mm (35mm equivalent). It consists of nearly 190 precision machined components all mounted in a dense configuration, resulting in a size of 63.4 mm./2.5 in. (max. diameter) x 70 mm/2.76 in. (overall length), and a weight of approximately 254 g/8.96 oz. This small and lightweight lens delivers high-speed, precise autofocus for capturing any subject. Its dustproof and splashproof construction contains sealing in nine places to keep out dust and rain, providing peace of mind when shooting in active situations[3].

Effective placement of aspherical lenses and ZERO (Zuiko Extra-low Reflection Optical) Coating provide clear depictive performance, drastically reduce aberrations, ghosts, and flare for sharp, high-definition image quality. Suppressing loss of light at the edges of images makes it possible to obtain bright, clear depictive performance up to the very edges. Because the aperture value is fixed across the entire focal length, it is easy to control the exposure when zooming and when recording video.

Enjoy macro shooting with a maximum magnification of 0.5x (35mm equivalent) across the entire zoom range. The closest focusing distance is 12 cm at the wide-angle end, and 23 cm at the telephoto end, delivering a wide range of macro shooting effects, including wide-angle macro shots that emphasize a sense of perspective by capturing vast backgrounds, and telephoto macro shots for more significant background defocusing effects. Diverse macro effects are possible, such as Focus Stacking[4], which generates a single image on the camera with a large depth-of-field in focus from the foreground to the background.

Pair the new M.Zuiko 12-45mm F4.0 PRO lens with the recently announced Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III to create the ultimate travel combination. As Olympus’ smallest weathersealed combination to date[5], at just 670 g/23.6 oz., you are able to travel with ease and shoot on-the-go, no matter the environment. Enjoy a bright constant aperture of F4.0, along with a myriad of pro features brought to you in the OM-D E-M5 Mark III. Lighten up with this ultimate travel combo and change both your photography and lifestyle forever.

Pricing and Availability

The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12-45mm F4.0 PRO lens (black) comes bundled with the LH-61G lens hood, specifically designed to protect the lens and reduce unwanted light entering the lens in backlit situations. The lens will be available April 7, 2020. The lens will have a suggested retail price of $649.99 USD and $849.99 CAD.

[1] 35mm equivalent: 24-90mm

[2] As of February 12, 2020. World’s most compact, lightweight medium range zoom PRO lens with a fixed aperture value.

[3] When combined with a dustproof and splashproof OM-D series body.

[4] Supported cameras: OM-D E-M1 Mark III. A firmware update is required for the following camera models: OM-D E-M1X, OM-D E-M1 Mark II, OM-D E-M5 Mark III

[5] As of February 12, 2020. Camera body sold separately

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