Olympus' OMD EM1 flagship ILC arrives with new sensor, Four Thirds AF support for $1,399

Olympus has just announced its top-of-the-line OMD E-M1 camera that squeezes the ruggedness of its E-M5 predecessor into a smaller package, while adding some tempting new capabilities. There’s a brand new 16.3-megapixel sensor, for starters, that dispenses with the optical low-pass filter of the previous model and uses the new TruePic VII image engine to kill artifacts, instead. Olympus claims that results in more resolution and sharpness, while also keeping noise and color fading to a minimum at high ISOs. Another big addition is the “Dual Fast” autofocus system that permits faster focusing and 6.5 fps shooting in continuous focus mode (10 fps with single AF). More importantly, you can now autofocus with non-native Four Thirds lenses using phase detection, and there’s better support for Olympus’ Zuiko lenses — like the new M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f2.8 Pro model shown above. Other features include 1080p/30fps video, an updated 2.36 million-dot EVF, a tweaked 5-axis image stabilizer and built-in WiFi.

Though more compact than before, the new body has extra dials and switches, including a dedicated HDR button with two selectable modes (one or two stops above and below normal). On top of remaining dust- and waterproof, the E-M1 is now also freezeproof and guaranteed to function down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit. As before, that’ll let you take it into dusty, wet and now cold environments without fear of damaging sensitive optics or electronics (it’s not waterproof, however). That aspect may have been the OMD E-M5’s killer feature, and with numerous performance improvements and those classic good looks, the E-M1 may actually top its forerunner — no mean feat. %Gallery-slideshow83566%

Filed under: Cameras


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