February 23, 2024

OM System (formerly Olympus) has unveiled the OM-1 Mark II with largely the same specs as its predecessor, but several significant upgrades. Those include improved autofocus, particularly on the AI side, along with other quality-of-life improvements to stabilization, handling and more.

The company has completed its OM System branding change, as there’s no trace of the Olympus logo as seen on the OM-1. That said, the cameras are much the same inside. As before, it comes with a 20-megapixel (MP) stacked Micro Four Thirds sensor and TruePix X processor that allows for very fast burst shooting up to 50fps with continuous autofocus.

Those speeds haven’t changed, but OM System boosted the camera’s onboard RAM, allowing for some new features. The autofocus can now has a “Human detection” option that goes beyond just faces and eyes as before. The company says AF is also faster and more accurate (with and without subject detection), making it better for sports, wildlife and more.

OM System

It also features a deeper buffer, meaning you can shoot 256 RAW frames at 50fps before it fills, around double the OM-1 — ideal for action shooting. And while the previous model allowed for blackout-free shooting at the highest frame rates, it now works at slower speeds as well (12.5fps and 16fps) for photographers who prefer to work that way.

The company has also used updated algorithms to boost in-body image stabilization up to 8.5 stops with supported lenses, better than any other camera on the market (Canon’s latest models boast 8 stops of stabilization). And it now supports 14-bit RAW for multishot high-res mode, both in the 80MP tripod and the 50MP handheld modes, to improve dynamic range.

One new function is called Graduated Neutral Density (GND) that builds on the previous model’s Live ND (LND) mode. The latter isn’t a true ND filter, but blends multiple short shots to simulate one. The graduated version lets you shoot a gradient exposure at any angle, while also controlling the mid-point and whether it has a soft, medium or hard edge.

OM System's OM-1 Mark II offers improved autofocus and stabilization

Olympus

The body and control layout is much the same as before, but OM System has rubberized the command dials so they have a more tactile feel and work better when using gloves. That should be helpful, since the OM-1 is popular for bird and wildlife photography in all kinds of weather conditions.

Beyond that, specs and features are largely the same. You still shoot 4K video at up to 60 fps, in either 8-bit or 10-bit modes (1080p at 240 fps). And the OM-1 can output 12-bit Apple ProRes RAW video at up to 60 fps to an Atomos Ninja V or Ninja V+ external recorder without any pixel binning.

It comes with a 5.76-million dot 120Hz OLED viewfinder as before, along with a fully articulating display. There are dual SD UHS II card slots, but no CFexpress option. The battery delivers a solid 500 shots per charge, but that jumps to 1010 in “Quick Sleep” mode. Finally, you still get a small FL LM3 flash, designed mostly for fill or use with external flash units.

The OM-1 Mark II is arriving in late February for $2,400 (body only) and $3,000 in a kit with the OM System M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 zoom lens (24-80mm full-frame equivalent).

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