March 23, 2023

Olympus OM System OM-1 Micro 4 Thirds Digicam Assessment

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I began my wedding ceremony pictures profession with Olympus cameras.

After a number of years, I moved to their extremely succesful micro four-thirds mirrorless digicam system.

Nonetheless, after Olympus offered off the digicam division and was rechristened OM Digital Options, it actually gave pause to customers of the system.

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It additionally took some time to see any new merchandise emerge….

Would this recent flagship digicam physique, the newly named OM SYSTEM OM1, be a minor replace or a significant step ahead?

I’m completely satisfied to report that this micro 4 thirds flagship is a modernization of the Olympus OMD-EM1 III and Olympus OMD EM1 X cameras.

OM Digital Options is advertising and marketing closely to the wildlife / out of doors journey crowd, as they effectively ought to since their cameras are designed for portability above all else.

Nonetheless, in case you are a micro 4 thirds consumer who pictures portraits, weddings, avenue pictures, landscapes, and extra, this digicam system continues to be for you.

My evaluation of the OM-1 will come from the angle of an occasion photographer, and the picture samples right here will likely be portraits.

OM SYSTEM OM-1 Micro 4 Thirds Digicam Specs



  • Small and light-weight, but ergonomically sound physique.
  • Very quick and correct autofocus.
  • Finest at school in physique stabilization.
  • Finest at school climate sealing.
  • Glorious high quality EVF.
  • A lot improved again facet illuminated sensor.
  • Skilled grade buttons in a effectively thought out placement.
  • Loaded with distinctive and helpful options.

  • Not greatest at school for prime ISO picture high quality.
  • Implementation for face / eye detect not intuitive.
  • Video options nonetheless considerably lagging behind rivals.
  • Lens Mount – Micro 4 Thirds
  • Sensor Decision – Precise: 22.9 Megapixel / Efficient: 20.4 Megapixel
  • Shutter Velocity – Mechanical Shutter 1/8000 to 60 Seconds / Digital Shutter 1/32000 to 60 Seconds
  • ISO Sensitivity – Photograph/Video 200 to 102,400 in Guide, Auto Mode (Prolonged: 80 to 102,400)
  • Steady Capturing Mechanical Shutter
    As much as 10 fps at 20.4 MP for as much as 139 Frames (Uncooked) / 169 Frames (JPEG)
    Digital Shutter
    As much as 20 fps at 20.4 MP for as much as 108 Frames (Uncooked) / 116 Frames (JPEG)
    As much as 120 fps at 20.4 MP for as much as 92 Frames (Uncooked) / 92 Frames (JPEG)
    As much as 50 fps at 20.4 MP for as much as 96 Frames (Uncooked) / 97 Frames (JPEG)
  • Inner Recording Modes H.265 Lengthy GOP/MOV 4:2:0 10-Bit
    DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) at 23.98/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps [77 to 152 Mb/s] UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 23.98/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps [77 to 152 Mb/s] 1920 x 1080p at 23.98/24.00/29.97/50/59.94 fps [22 to 42 Mb/s] H.265/MOV 4:2:0 10-Bit
    1920 x 1080p at 23.98/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps [82 to 162 Mb/s] 1920 x 1080p at 100//200 fps
    H.264 Lengthy GOP/MOV 4:2:0 8-Bit
    DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) at 23.98/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps [102 to 202 Mb/s] UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 23.98/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps [102 to 202 Mb/s] 1920 x 1080p at 23.98/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps [27 to 52 Mb/s] H.264/MOV 4:2:0 8-Bit
    1920 x 1080p at 23.98/25/29.97 fps [202 Mb/s] 1920 x 1080p at 100//200/240 fps
  • EVF – 5,760,000 Dot 100% Protection
  • Autofocus Factors Photograph, Video Part Detection: 1053
  • Autofocus Sensitivity -6 to +19 EV
  • Battery Sort 1 x BLX-1 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion (Approx. 520 Pictures)
  • Dimensions (W x H x D) 5.3 x 3.6 x 2.9″ / 134.8 x 91.6 x 72.7 mm
  • Weight 1.3 lb / 599 g (With Battery, Recording Media)
    1.1 lb / 511 g (Physique Solely)

Construct & Look

The OM System OM1 Digicam with the 17mm f/1.2 lens hooked up.

That is one rugged little digicam with a retro SLR design. Curiously, the digicam nonetheless bears the Olympus emblem in homage to the 100-year imaging firm and has been introduced because the final one to take action.

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OM System cameras are the one ones with an IP53 climate sealing ranking. So be assured you’ll be able to take it out into the good open air.

There are a plethora of buttons, together with a devoted AF on button and ISO button which I personally love.

Mix the terrific feeling grip together with a logical management structure, lengthy battery life and two reminiscence card SD slots (UHS II), a drastically improved high-resolution viewfinder, and we’ve got the makings of a brand new digicam that basically deserves its professional moniker. 

The earlier model, the E M1 III could be very related in really feel, however the OM 1 takes every little thing up a notch rivaling many full body skilled cameras in really feel and structure.

If a photographer can get previous sensor dimension, this digicam could be very compelling.

OM System OM1 Digicam with articulating display screen.

Ergonomics & Dealing with

OM System OM1 Digicam with Olympus emblem.

I’ve all the time preferred the texture and dealing with of Olympus cameras, and this heritage has carried over.

The shutter launch on this new digicam isn’t fairly as trigger-happy as previously, and the AF system joystick seems to be extra finely tuned as effectively.

One other consumer of full body cameras commented that she discovered the digicam extremely mild weight (the lenses make the distinction) but strong on the similar time.

I had the pro-level lenses just like the Olympus 17mm f/1.2 lens hooked up and one can go even lighter when mounting the premium collection lenses such because the Olympus 17mm f/1.8 lens.

As a longtime consumer of Olympus cameras, the brand new menu system threw me for a minute. Objectively, it’s extra logical and, subsequently higher than earlier than.

Nonetheless, I don’t really feel any digicam system has solved this drawback, though Panasonic is the most effective menu system I’ve used.

An optionally available OM SYSTEM HLD-10 Energy Battery Holder is offered if you happen to want it for lengthy shoots or worth bigger feeling cameras.

The identical controls from earlier iterations, just like the 1-2 lever (arrange two totally different cameras to simply and shortly change), mode locking dial, and shortcut buttons, all make a return.

Nearly each button or change you see might be personalized to do one thing else, therefore the publicity compensation button grew to become a white steadiness shortcut, and the AEL button toggled eye AF on and off for portraits. 

Focus Efficiency

OM System OM1 + Olympus 17mm f/1.2 | 1/1600 f/1.2 ISO200

The OM1 AF efficiency is as wonderful as previous iterations of this line of cameras and has taken a step up in some areas and remained static in others.

For options corresponding to topic detection and topic monitoring, the OM SYSTEM OM-1 Mirrorless Digicam is now proper on par with different trendy digicam techniques.

Whereas the system has all the time had correct focus, the improved steady autofocus might be as a result of new cross quad-pixel AF system, which makes all 1,053 AF factors cross-type phase-detection focus factors. This permits the digicam to catch focus practically anyplace on the sensor.

I might advise utilizing topic detection or common C-AF over the system’s steady AF+Monitoring mode as that does significantly better with shifting topics. The digicam focuses all the way down to -6 EV, making it wonderful for low-light autofocusing.

Whereas I’m a little bit of a management freak and like to inform that digicam what to do in all points, together with autofocus, I did let topic detection (eye and face) take over, and it did very effectively even when there have been foreground obstructions.

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For the reason that Olympus 17mm f/1.2 Professional Lens has very shut autofocusing capabilities, taking management and reverting to single level on the glove within the picture above was the proper selection.

The brand new TruePic X picture processor offers the digicam an prompt on and, I’m certain, can be serving to with the enhancements to AF in addition to the unbelievable steady taking pictures pace of fifty fps taking pictures in steady autofocus. 

Low Gentle Efficiency

OM System OM1 + Olympus 17mm f/1.2 | 1/1250 f/5.6 ISO6400

Excessive ISO efficiency has all the time been the Achilles heel of any micro 4 thirds digicam.

On the left is the picture processed in Adobe Digicam RAW with no noise discount alongside the identical picture with noise discount utilized. 

The declare is that this new stacked sensor offers higher picture high quality than the older cameras within the micro 4 thirds system, with a two cease higher excessive ISO efficiency. I’d say this new sensor lives as much as that declare.

Some photographers have totally different thresholds of tolerance in the case of noise of their photographs and whereas this method is not going to produce as clear a picture as a full body sensor, it’s to the purpose the place the hole has narrowed fairly a bit.

Olympus OM-1 Picture High quality

Listed here are some pattern photographs shot with my Olympus OM-1 micro 4 thirds digicam.

OM System OM1 + Olympus 75mm f/1.8 | 1/800 f/1.8 ISO200

OM System OM1 + Olympus 17mm f/1.2 | 1/1000 f/1.2 ISO200

OM System OM1 + Olympus 17mm f/1.2 | 1/320 f/1.2 ISO200

OM System OM1 + Olympus 17mm f/1.2 | 1/1000 f/1.2 ISO200

OM System OM1 + Olympus 17mm f/1.2 | 1/1600 f/1.2 ISO400

Improved picture high quality is often the primary motive for a digicam improve and with sensor expertise leaping forward the previous few years, it’s no shock that the OM 1 has made the leap with it. 

Personally, I’m a fan of the 20-megapixel sensor as this makes for higher excessive iso noise efficiency and helps this digicam retain its greatest at school picture stabilization.

Nonetheless, the hi-res mode can internet you 50 megapixel photographs handheld and 80 megapixel photographs on a tripod and could be excellent for product photographers, actual property photographers and panorama photographers. 

Marriage ceremony and occasion photographers could be greatest to shoot with the category of professional degree f/1.2 prime lenses and even the Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 25-50mm f/1.7 or the Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 25-50mm f/1.7 zoom lenses to greatest compete with the look and low mild efficiency of full body cameras. 

OM Digital Options claims a greater dynamic vary than any earlier Olympus cameras, and I consider them, though situations didn’t name for me to place this to a stress take a look at within the scenes I used to be taking pictures.

General Efficiency

The OM SYSTEM OM-1 Mirrorless Digicam is a pace demon.

It has an prompt on and the brand new picture processor seems to do wonders throughout steady taking pictures and can solely make the computational pictures options corresponding to professional seize, reside composite, hi-res image mode, topic detection, focus stacking, and so on. even higher.

That is probably the most responsive micro 4 thirds system digicam to this point.

Sports activities and wildlife shooters can now have a good time extra than simply the abundance of light-weight lenses within the system as this digicam physique will little doubt sustain.

For photographers who wish to strive trendy AI options, the OM-1 can acknowledge method vehicles, bikes, airplanes, helicopters, trains, and birds, in addition to canine and cats.

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Portrait photographers haven’t been disregarded with face precedence and eye precedence autofocus.

Different Helpful Options

OM System OM1 + Olympus 17mm f/1.2 | 1/4 f/2.8 ISO200

Even earlier than the prevalence of smartphones, Olympus cameras featured a whole lot of computational pictures wizardry. OM Digital Options continues this custom with the next:

  • Excessive Decision Mode (50mp and 80mp)
  • Stay Composite Mode (construct your lengthy publicity in actual time)
  • Stay ND Mode (choose from certainly one of 5 totally different impartial density steps and use composite expertise to simulate a protracted publicity)
  • Focus stacking and focus bracketing

I’d additionally like to notice the unbelievable mud discount system. Whereas there isn’t a sensor protect to maintain mud out whereas altering lenses, this mud elimination system is enacted at begin up and is greatest in the marketplace for retaining your sensor clear.

It is going to be a uncommon incidence that you will want a sensor cleansing with this digicam.

Options to the Olympus OM 1

Panasonic and Olympus share the mount, so it’s a secure wager to check their digicam our bodies to one another. For stills pictures (in addition to video autofocus), the OM 1 beats out a competing merchandise just like the Panasonic G9 or Panasonic GH-6.

Nonetheless, the video specs and codecs on the Panasonic cameras are far above that of the OM1. Though, these our bodies nonetheless use contrast-based AF, making them inferior in steady autofocus situations.

Therefore the previous adage that you just purchase Panasonic extra for video and OM extra for stills stays true. Each are able to every process, however these are their strengths and weaknesses at the moment.

Worth for Cash

For a digicam system full of this many options, the roughly $2000 price ticket is an excellent worth.

Now that OM Digital Options has confirmed that they’re dedicated to updating these cameras and lenses, there isn’t a want to fret that one is investing in a digicam system that will likely be going away.

Whereas a digicam just like the Nikon Z6 II is comparable in worth and dimension and weight, the total body lenses you have to to to mount to it’ll negate any beneficial properties in portability and can value extra.

The micro 4 thirds system continues to be probably the most nimble. Nonetheless, I despise the time period “micro” and really feel it does a disservice to advertising and marketing a digicam just like the OM 1 to skilled photographers merely needing a small however succesful arrange.

The lens system is huge and really mature with choices from OM Methods, Panasonic, Sigma, Voightlander, and extra.

You’d be hard-pressed to not discover a focal size or aperture worth you might want both new or on the used market.


Can Panasonic m4/3 lenses be used on the OM 1?

Sure, micro 4 thirds is an open mount with many choices obtainable.

Can this digicam be used for sport?

Completely, it’s a pace demon.

Is that this digicam a very good resolution for video?

It’s able to wonderful video (nice for hybrid protection) however doesn’t have the codecs and video options that many professional videographers want. 

OM SYSTEM OM-1 Digicam Assessment | Conclusion

I left this method after Olympus offered off their digicam division as a result of I used to be involved that, as a working professional, I’d be left within the mud from a expertise viewpoint in addition to for repairs and extra. Now that I’ve tried the OM SYSTEM OM-1, I’m significantly contemplating shopping for again into it so I can have a small, but succesful digicam system for weddings and occasions.

OM Digital Options has modernized their flagship digicam and made a leap ahead to remain on par with the remainder of the business. That is nice information for customers of all manufacturers.

Earlier than its launch, executives from the corporate referred to their upcoming wow digicam and whereas hyperbole is a part of product advertising and marketing the OM1 does take a leap ahead and pays nice homage to the beloved 1970’s period movie digicam of the identical identify.

In case you are already within the system, the OM1 is solely the most effective micro 4 thirds digicam to this point.

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