NEW OLYMPUS OM D FLAGSHIP ARRIVING SOON
OLYMPUS’S ACTIVITIES AT Photokina were headed by the much-awaited revealing of its new OM-D mirrorless flagship, the E-M1 Mark II. While Olympus announced the “development” of this camera, it is essentially ready to go and is slated to be launched in Japan by year’s end after four years of work. It retains a very compact weatherproofed magnesium alloy bodyshell, but just about everything on the inside has been upgraded. The headline spec is continuous shooting at a rapid-fire 18 fps with AF/ AE adjustment and when using the camera’s silent sensor-based shutter. If you’re happy with the focusing being locked to the first frame, you can shoot at up to 60 fps. Even with the camera’s ‘traditional’ focal plane shutter, the maximum continuous shooting speed is still a snappy 15 fps.
The 20.4 megapixels (effective) ‘Live MOS’ sensor incorporates 121 phase-detection focusing points – all cross-type arrays – AF speed is now nearly three times faster than the previous model. Five-axis incamera image stabilisation gives up to 5.5 stops of correction (up to 6.5 stops with the new 12-100mm PRO zoom), and combines with electronic stabilisation to enable supersmooth hand-held shooting even with 4K video. Yes, Olympus joins the 4K video club and the E-M1 II records in the Cinema 4K resolution of 4096x2060 pixels at 25 or 24 fps, the latter giving a massive bit rate of 237 Mbps. A new ‘Picture Mode’ preset called Flat is provided for extending the dynamic range when shooting video and allowing for easier grading in post-production. A 4:2:2 colour output for recording to an external recorder is available from the camera’s HDMI connection. Olympus is now very serious about the videography/cinematography market as the new camera also gets time-lapse, time coding, a focus peaking display and a ‘Slate Tone’ facility for syncing sound recorded separately with the vision. Olympus uses its sensor-shift image stabilisation to deliver a pixelshift mode called High Res Shot which makes an eight-shot capture to create 80 megapixel RAW files and 50 megapixel JPEGs. The camera’s latest-generation ‘TruePic VIII’ quad-core processor can now process these eight frames to reduce any blurring due to movement between each capture, enabling High Res Shot to be used in a wider variety of situations. Also notable are new focus stacking and focus bracketing modes similar to what Panasonic is offering on the G85. There’s a new vertical battery grip – the HLD-9 – and a powerful on-camera flash – the FL-900R – with a metric guide number of 58 (at ISO 100). Olympus has added three new lenses to its M.Zuiko Digital system. In addition to the 12-100mm PRO series zoom mentioned earlier, there’s a 25mm f1.2 PRO fast prime (equivalent to 50mm) and a 30mm f3.5 Macro (equivalent to 60mm). The M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f4.0 IS PRO is particularly interesting as it’s equivalent to a 24-200mm zoom, but is still comparatively compact and has a fully weather-proofed construction. Its optical image stabilisation gives up to 6.5 stops of correction for camera shake when combined with the five-axis correction in the latest OM-D bodies. The minimum focusing distance at 12mm is just 1.5 centimetres, giving a reproduction ratio of 1:6. For more Olympus news from Photokina, visit www.avhub.com.au/olympuspk or head to www.olympus.com.au