Olympus OM-D E-M1 camera, M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO lens announced


The Olympus OM-D E-M1 camera and M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO lens are now officially announced and they are expensive! E-M1 body only costs $1,399, the lens is $999 and the camera+lens combo is listed for $2,199. Here are the other accessories that were introduced:

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Press release:


Micro Four Thirds® Camera Delivers Maximum Four Thirds® Lens Performance, DSLR Image Quality, Rugged Durability and Super-Large EVF; New Lenses Establish M.ZUIKO® PRO Category

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., September 10, 2013 – In response to the demand for a compact system camera as powerful as a professional DSLR, Olympus introduces the OM-D E-M1®, its new premium flagship camera and worthy Micro Four Thirds successor to the Olympus E-5 DSLR. The E-M1 has a revolutionary design for advanced photographers looking for a high-performance tool in a compact system camera package. The powerful E-M1 is packed with incredible speed and image quality that rivals full-frame DSLRs, in a portable yet lightweight body designed to go anywhere.

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 now works seamlessly with all ZUIKO Digital lenses, in addition to working with M.ZUIKO Digital lenses, so photographers can enjoy optimum performance of the entire Olympus lens lineup. This is possible due to advanced DUAL FAST AF system that combines both Contrast AF and On-Chip Phase Detection AF. DSLR users familiar with an optical viewfinder will marvel at its electronic viewfinder (EVF) that is as large as a full-frame DSLR viewfinder and has added creative control. Its ergonomic body provides easy access to all manual controls and is ready for action in the most difficult shooting conditions.

Olympus also announces today the development of two new high-performance lenses, establishing the M.ZUIKO PRO lens category. The ZUIKO Digital ED 12–40mm f2.8 PRO lens (24–80mm, 35mm equivalent) and the ZUIKO Digital ED 40–150mm f2.8 PRO (80–300mm, 35mm equivalent) will expand the imaging options for professionals and serious photo enthusiasts alike.

With the OM-D E-M1, experience the highest image quality of any Olympus camera through the combination of a new 16.3 megapixel Live MOS sensor, a new TruePic VII image processor, and its best-in-class M.ZUIKO lenses. The TruePic VII image processor reduces noise and color fading at high ISOs for improved image reproduction. New Fine Detail Processing II technology configures the appropriate sharpness processing for each individual lens for natural, high-quality resolution, as well as reducing compression artifacts when recording movies.

The newly developed DUAL FAST AF selects the ideal method, depending on lens type and settings: either 37-point On-Chip Phase Detection AF or 81-point Contrast Detection AF to maximize the performance of both ZUIKO and M.ZUIKO lenses. Both systems work together to significantly improve continuous autofocus tracking performance when a Micro Four Thirds lens is attached and C-AF is selected. Users can select Group Target AF for a variety of situations, Small Target AF for pinpoint shooting, or Super Spot AF for capturing even smaller subjects and specifying a small area focus location during macro shooting.

The TruePic VII engine supports 10 frames-per-second shooting with a 41-picture RAW buffer in single autofocus (S-AF) mode and 6.5 frames-per-second shooting with a 50-picture RAW buffer in continuous autofocus (C-AF) mode. The 1/8000th of a second mechanical shutter freezes fast-moving subjects like a hummingbird and works in bright conditions to create pictures with dramatic blur.

The E-M1’s advanced, built-in Interactive Electronic Viewfinder features a 1.48x (35mm equivalent of .74x) magnification factor that rivals full-frame DSLR cameras. The extremely high-resolution 2.36 million-dot LCD panel provides a large, clear image that is on a par with optical viewfinders. Tracking moving subjects is completely natural, with a display time lag of only 0.029 seconds. Users can experiment with aspect ratio, magnification, color, and highlight and shadow, and the effects of camera settings on subjects are viewable prior to capturing the finished image. Adaptive Brightness Control raises the brightness when shooting in bright outdoor conditions and lowers the brightness in dark indoor conditions, reducing visual errors from light and dark adaptation of the eye.

Color Creator is a new easy-to-use tool that fine-tunes hue and color saturation using the intuitive GUI and Live View screen, so users can create original images imbued with their own choice of colors. Creative Color was created with a designer's sensitivity in mind, and hue can be adjusted in 30 steps, and color saturation adjusted in eight steps, including the baseline.

The Olympus E-M1’s built-in 5-Axis Image Stabilization with Multi-Motion IS mechanism reduces the effects of camera motion and image blur from five directions. Whether shooting stills or HD video, even the motion blur caused by walking or running is stabilized. New algorithms make image stabilization more effective at low shutter speeds. When it is employed while panning during still image shooting or movie recording, IS-AUTO mode automatically detects the camera's movements and provides optimal correction regardless of direction or camera orientation – even when panning in a diagonal direction. Users can check the image stabilization effects on the Live View screen as well as the viewfinder to accurately frame and focus, even during telephoto or macro shooting. Multi-Motion IS, used in combination with the 5-Axis Image Stabilization mechanism, produces excellent correction during movie recording.

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 expands the dustproof and splashproof capabilities of the E-M5 even further with freezeproof capabilities — guaranteed operation down to 14 °F — for the best environmental resistance of any Olympus interchangeable lens camera. Its durable magnesium alloy body, and weather-resistant seals and gaskets block moisture and dust for use in any environment, without sacrificing image quality. The camera’s Supersonic Wave Filter (SSWF) dust reduction system vibrates at a super-high speed of more than 30,000 times per second to powerfully remove dust particles so users can shoot in dusty environments.

Advanced photographers will appreciate the intuitive 2x2 Dial Control system to easily adjust four often-used functions with the camera’s lever or two dials: aperture/shutter speed, exposure compensation, ISO speed and white balance. A built-in grip similar to that of the E-M5 makes shooting with Four Thirds lenses more comfortable, and all frequently accessed buttons are logically laid out. Controls are now more functional: the settings reset function is activated by pressing and holding the OK button and there is a toggle option for the My Settings shortcut and a locking mode dial to prevent unintentional movement of the mode dial during shooting or when removing the camera from a case or bag. The dedicated “mic-in” jack supports an external microphone when recording HD movies and a built-in X-Sync socket easily connects to studio strobes.

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 includes built-in Wi-Fi, and the set-up is simple. By quickly scanning the QR code displayed on the camera's LCD with a smart device, it syncs with the Wi-Fi network created by the camera. The free Olympus Image Share 2.0 smartphone app synchronizes a user’s smartphone and E-M1 so the camera’s “Live View” is effectively displayed on the phone, and the camera can be controlled by touching the smartphone display as if it were the camera. This is ideal for taking self-portraits, capturing images of wildlife from a distance and sharing images easily online. The E-M1’s remote shooting function has been improved for use in all main shooting modes (P, A, S, M and iAUTO). Users can now wirelessly adjust various settings, such as the shutter speed, aperture value, ISO and exposure compensation, as well as operate the Live Bulb shooting mode from their Wi-Fi devices. They can also use their smartphone to embed GPS information into their images.

New Diorama II adds to the popular range of Olympus in-camera Art Filters and offers left and right blur effect in addition to the top and bottom blur effect of Diorama I. The Olympus E-M1 is equipped with two variations of HDR Shooting – HDR1 and HDR2. With a single press of the shutter button, four images with differing exposures are captured and automatically merged in the camera into a single HDR high-contrast image or super-high-contrast image. Photo Story mode enables users to capture a scene from multiple viewpoints and then combine the images into a single image to create unique collages inside the camera. Time Lapse Movie converts the series of pictures taken using interval shooting into a movie inside the camera. The Time Lapse Movie length has been increased to a maximum of 100 seconds. The number of possible shots that can be captured with Interval Shooting has been increased to 999. The E-M1 is also equipped with Focus Peaking, which dramatically improves the usability of older manual focus lenses.

The M.ZUIKO Digital ED 12-40mm f2.8 PRO lens (24–80mm, 35mm equivalent) is the first model in the new M.ZUIKO PRO category and is scheduled for release at the same time as the Olympus OM-D E-M1. It features dustproof and waterproof performance, toughness and excellent image quality. Its mount employs the same type of sealing as the camera body and is Movie & Still Compatible (MSC) with high-speed, near-silent autofocus during still shooting and high-definition (HD) video capture. It maintains the brightness of a constant f2.8 aperture for high-grade image creation, one of the requirements of professional photographers for a high-performance lens.

The M.ZUIKO Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8 PRO (80–300mm, 35mm equivalent) also joins the new M.ZUIKO PRO lens category. This lens is currently under development, with a planned release in the latter half of 2014. It will be a telephoto zoom lens with a bright constant f2.8 aperture and will feature a dustproof and splashproof construction rugged enough for professional use.

Several new accessories are designed to complement the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and broaden the creative horizons of all advanced photographers. The HLD-7 Power Battery Holder is a dustproof and splashproof power battery holder that can enable the capture of approximately 680 shots (based on CIPA tests) between charges. It features a shutter button for shooting with the camera held vertically and two control dials and two function buttons for the same easy controls as when shooting from a horizontal position. The GS-5 Grip Strap for the HLD-7 keeps buttons and dials accessible even when the battery holder is attached. The PT-EP11 Underwater Case is made exclusively for the Olympus E-M1 and allows shooting down to 45 meters.

The new CBG-10 Camera Bag is compact, yet designed with Four Thirds lens use in mind, and the highly water-resistant CS-42SF Soft Camera Case, which is part of the Camera Bag CBG-10 system, is made exclusively for use with the E-M1. The CSS-P118 Shoulder Strap is made of washable material with a slender width that matches the versatility of the Micro Four Thirds System.

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 will be available in October 2013 in the following configurations. Estimated Street Price: $1399.99 Body only, available in Black

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  • The problem with frequenting rumor sites is that the release itself feels so anticlimactic. This time, however, I’m actually excited. Still not sure if I’ll buy it, but it’s exciting to know it is here!

  • Chunkey and expensive.

    • longzoom

      But look at the specs! Looks like most advanced system on the market today! I am nikonian as you know, but proud anyway!

      • The specs do look very good, but I still don’t think they justify the price.

        • longzoom

          Sure, but let us wait and see.

      • Specs are awesome, but if its going to be that big, and that expensive, it needs a bigger sensor.

        No doubt its a great camera, like its predecessor. I almost bought one when searching for a smaller travel camera, and one of my favorite street photographers, Thomas Leuthard uses one

        For that matter, u4/3 has that one major advantage: big depth of field. Loved by street ‘togs and macro.

        • longzoom

          Aah, you see, my friend, bigger sensor means big, heavy and even more expensive lenses. It is extremely advanced camera for top prozumers, nothing more, i think. Maybe, some media pro, too.

        • Dpablo unfiltered

          I wonder if any of the existing lenses would even cover an APS sensor…
          The whole system came about before the 6 mega pixel APS camera became available for under 1500. While it is commendable that they continue to support the package, they could divert some resources to another system.

      • bob2

        I’m SO impressed with specs. But I live in the real world, and reasoning tells me that an undersized sensor in an oversized body with an overinflated price tag does not a successful product make. Plus, speaking about specs, when is 16MP going to sell when the Nikon D5200/D7100 and even smaller Sonys have 24 MP (probably going to 32-36MP in the near future), with equal or better high ISO performance and wider DR to boot?

        There’s a reason why I consider my Pen Mini disposable, like a point and shoot–It’s starting to look like Four-Thirds all over again, but this time it’s “Micro”!

        • longzoom

          16 MP 43 sensor means 36 MP APS-C, or about 80 MP for FF, if my math is correct. So let us wait and see.

        • longzoom

          16 MP 43 sensor means 36 MP APS-C, or about 80 MP for FF, if my math is correct. So let us wait and see.

  • no focus peaking without electronic connection? c’mon Olympus, you’re missing the point there…

    • Zos Xavius


    • Patrick

      Mmm… someone in an early review also complained about this with the EP5 and it turned out to be a setting that needed to be enabled or something. I would hold out for more reviews.

  • Olympus is going the way of Sega… if people remember. They’re fighting a good battle against APS-C mirrorless cameras but as soon as full-frame mirrorless bodies come to the market, it’s going to be the old FT vs. full-frame massacre all over again… except now the general public understands equivalence a bit more than they did when only FT DSLRs were around. In the future, no one is going to believe Olympus when they say FT/MFT sensor cameras are just as competitive or even “high end”, compared to full-frame options at that time. It’s just physics.

    Olympus has made exceptionally good lenses for FT and MFT to be competitive against the APS-C options of other manufacturers and it has worked so far. That’s a massive achievement. So why don’t they put this effort and attitude in to making a separate line of lenses for full-frame DSLRs of other manufacturers? It won’t even cannibalise their MFT sales because DSLRs are a different market. With Canon, Nikon, Sony and maybe even Pentax users being able to use their lenses, Olympus can be the Zeiss of Japan. God forbid if doing something like that pulls them out of the rut they got themselves in recently.

    • longzoom

      Big DSLR bodies market is very specific, and getting narrower every year. Even world biggest companies put pros out, preferred damn phones. So Oly shouldn’t spend half of billion of $$$$, with unknown result. They can’t take market from Sigma today – too late. Let them do what they do well, very well.

      • jk

        but many people including me are interested in FF mirrorless. and as former RX-1R suer , I expect the FF NEX to be really good, at least as good as my RX1R was.

        • longzoom

          Why not? But FF market is lost for Oly, forever, too late. They are kings of 43, so do it.

    • Marco –

      I agree. Aps-c is already quite a better standard for dof and iq. Ok, the latest m4/3 sensors are very good for they size and still can compete, but I’d never spend this crazy amount of money on a small sensor when I can get aps-c mirrorless cameras for one third of the cost.

      • jk

        no APS–C is literally dying system, see where is D400?
        where is 7DMK2? where is A79?
        nothing is coming because they all know high end APS-C is dead.
        the D600, the 6D and the A99v literally killed all high end APS-C possibilities.

        • Zos Xavius

          APS-C which has the largest market share over all other cameras is dying? Um…ok sure

      • I agree, those prices are outrages.

    • jk

      I think I kind disagree. APS-C is the one really doomed as FF NEX is out in next month. I shoot FF , APSC and MFT , and I do see a huge IQ difference between FF and APS-C, but I do not see huge IQ difference between APS-C(DX) and MFT.
      APS-C is quite big as a system , even so-called Ziess f4 zoom from Sony is quite huge and theFuji 18-55 is really lousy poor quality lens, and they are not even f2.8.
      MFT is a good compact system ,especially if or when f2.8 zooms are needed.
      there are many many apps that require that deep DOF at decently bright aperture.

      but all that said , it is too huge and I am not getting one.
      I am going Panasonic GX7 because it is the only one small bodied mirroless with in body IS and tiltable EVF.
      and , I prefer Panasonic zooms better than the new Oly 12-40 and 40-150.
      when we need a decent lowlight body and sheer body size is not that important , there are many many cameras to choose , the D800E, the 5D3 , the A99v , the 6D ,and the D600, so I think MFT and APS-C should be small or noone seriously even consider it. .

      • bob2

        Let’s assume that the sensor size, like film, is one of the most important determinants in the image making chain, all things being equal (in film 35mm is better than 110/disk; 120 better than 35mm; 4X5 better than 120; and so on). Let’s also assume I’d want to get the best image quality balanced against a small, but comfortable body with usable controls.

        The Sonys, new Ricoh, Fujis (and Canon SL1) show that APS-C (and FF) sensors can fit inside small bodies, as small or smaller than Olympus/m43 bodies. These APS-C bodies can likely be made even smaller, to the point of being TOO small and not ergonomic. That being the case, why would I want a smaller sensor unless it was equal to APS-C and/or substantially cheaper?

      • Saying that APS-C is dying is like saying kit lenses are dying.

        Most APS-C interchangeable lens systems have room for growth in some way in to FF systems. FF is now more affordable and people ditching APS-C for it means that APS-C is a stepping stone for people who aren’t sure at first.

        With FT and mFT, everyone’s stuck with the same size and the improvements are always going to be in very small increments. It’s just physics. Also, whatever improvements that small sensors gain, the big sensors will gain too. So the gap is going to remain for mFT users and there’s no room for an upgrade in to a larger sensor system.

        mFT users are more likely to get frustrated and jump ship when they want something more. Not sure whether that’s going to kill off mFT… but we did see what happen to FT. Oly and the gang were lucky to have come up with an idea like mFT to save their skin.

        • Well, I know you’ve been around long enough, like me, to remember when 135 was dubbed “the small format”, and the collective eye-roll when APS film came out. 🙂

          We’ll see how history judges FF vs. mFT, but my money is against APS. APS’s widespread adaptation was solely due to the fact that FF sensors were not available and/or too expensive. That will change, and APS does not and will not have a clear intrinsic advantage over FF. People who want premium IQ will move toward FF as the price drops, and others (and I mean serious photographers) will flock toward smaller and smaller sensors, like it happened with 4×5 vs. 6×9, then 120 vs. 135.

          But, then, I’ve been wrong so often, as you also probably noticed all these years. Only time will tell for sure.

          • hehe nah I started fairly recently (~2008) to be honest… and then went very fast from there 🙂 from digital to film.

            I do agree that it’s possible that people will have a small system and a large system… I use APS-C and 8×10 and no DSLRs inbetween 🙂 But there will still be first time buyers who will buy APS-C bodies because there’s an upgrade path for them to go in to full-frame and their lenses will not be wasted. With FT/mFT, the lenses are expensive and have no where to go but down.

            Right now there’s a place for mFT because there are really no mirrorless FF bodies. If you take the RX1, you need a mFT+ 17mm f/1 lens to theoretically match it. In reality the RX1 will have better image quality. A FF interchangeable mirrorless will be a bit bigger than a RX1 but still the difference in size won’t justify the limitations and the compromises of the mFT system.

            But I agree… we’ll have to wait and see. Oly and the gang will need to make more revolutionary products and they might live on that way.

          • Dalmation

            “…others (and I mean serious photographers) will flock toward smaller and smaller sensors…”

            Wow, where to begin with that statement?

            Sorry, but the analogy doesn’t work for a host of reasons, not the least of which is that the “small” 35mm size is equivalent to today’s full-frame size. Micro four thirds is smaller still. A better analogy would be comparing 35mm film to 110 film … and we all know what happened to 110 film, despite the fact that a few manufacturers tried to take it seriously for a few years (Minolta 110SLR anyone?).

            Bottom line: 110 was (comparatively) crap compared to 35mm.

            Your statement above is woefully erroneous. No one is “flocking” towards smaller sensors. Smaller sensors will be the sole provenance of smartphones in the long run … not “serious photographers”.

            Compare the OM-D EM-5 to the Fuji X-Pro 1, for example (there are plenty of examples on the web) and you will see that at ISO1600 and beyond the Olympus’ micro four thirds sensor turns to crap compared to the APS-C X-Trans sensor in the Fuji. At 6400, the Fuji has pulled far ahead in IQ.

          • The problem with 110 was that the film technology at the time could not produce a usable image for ISO above 100 or prints larger than 5×7. If we have to talk about ISO1600 to argue that APS is superior to µ43, it’s a very different game now, isn’t it?

            Again, only time will tell. Already, there are plenty of people using µ43 for pro work, which never happened with 110, so we know something is different.

  • fjfjjj

    I like how this camera looks. But my takeaway from this is also: To make nice SLR-styled digital camera the same size as a traditional film SLR, you have to scale the format down to four-thirds. I hope we’ll eventually have a full-frame digital camera the size of a Nikon FM2.

    • jk

      yeah , I really want Nikon FM digital too, my D800E is a bit too huge and tend to scare many people , sometime even offensive to some.

      • bob2

        At about 1/2 the price of the Olympus, you can shoot a D5200 with more MP, 1 stop better high ISO, extended DR, plus you can use your existing Nikon lenses. It’s small and you’ll blend in with everyone else carrying a small DSLR.

        And, it’s HALF the price compared to the Oly AND its sensor is twice as big!

  • BP2012

    Big camera with tiny sensor. Totally opposite from our hopes.

    • bob2

      Like the big guy with tiny weeniee. Gotta feel sorry for him… hahaha

  • Oleg_M

    Price for kit is crazy. I’ll better get twice cheaper kit with new FUJIFILM X-E1S (with better sensor) + 18-55 F2.8-4.

  • wylun

    geez.. at that price i rather just buy a OMD em5 (again) and then buy myself another tv

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