Friday, February 10, 2012

Olympus mirrorless "dSLR"

Olympus just announced a new digital camera that combines traditional SLR styling with the modern mirrorless micro4/3 mount and lenses. They’ve revived the OM line with the new OM-D E-M5 camera. In our opinion it is sheer genius. There are tens of thousands of SLR users out there who have drawers full of excellent older lenses that they don’t use any longer because they’ve switched to digital cameras.

We’ve used Olympus PEN digital cameras with third party adapters to use Minolta and Leica lenses for some time now and have found them to be a magnificent combination. I’ll be shooting a rugby match this Saturday with an E-P3 and a 1960’s Minolta Rokkor 200mm f.5 lens. How perfect!

Here’s what we’ve read so far on the internet::

With the E-M5, Olympus says it “builds upon the 40-year legacy of the OM SLR film camera series” with the Micro Four Thirds mirrorless compact interchangeable lens camera, for “blazing fast speed and total creative control in a classic, rugged body ready for sand, sun, sleet or snow.”

The new model is compact and ready-for-action, the company says, with a lightweight magnesium alloy body “evoking the classic design of the original OM Series” to “meet the requirements of discerning photographers who demand more performance and portability from their interchangeable-lens cameras.

The E-M5’s 16-megapixel sensor allows for a maximum ISO of 25,600, and the dynamic range has been expanded for more faithful color reproduction.

The camera’s “unprecedented” 5-axis image stabilization compensates for multi-directional camera shake during both still photography and HD moviemaking — the world’s first such system, Olympus asserts. It is capable of reducing the effects of camera motion and image blur from five directions on stills and video, even including motion blur caused by the photographer walking or running: horizontal shift, vertical shift, rotary motion, as well as the yaw and pitch. All lenses mounted on the body can take advantage of the technology.

The E-M5 also has the fastest autofocusing system, Olympus says, reading image data off the sensor at 240 frames per second. The new 3D AF tracking improves performance following moving subjects at up to 9 frames per second.

The camera has a tilting 3-inch OLED touchscreen, and measures 4.8 by 3.5 by 1.7 inches. The E-M5 will ship in April for $1,000 body only, and $1,300 with a 12-50mm f3.5-6.3 lens.

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