Olympus Announces E-M1ll at Photokina
The gloves come off in the world of Micro Four Thirds as Olympus announces E-M1ll at Photokina. One of my predications for the world of mirrorless was that at some point, mirrorless cameras were going to outpace traditional DSLR’s in speed of AF, frames per second, and just about everything else. Why? Because a camera without a mirror has lots less moving parts, less things to get in the way, and therefore should in theory be able to crank the pictures out much faster. Well that day has arrived if we’re to believe the impressive promotional pieces and presentation that was given by Olympus at Photokina yesterday.
Olympus Announces E-M1ll
I have to say that I’ve been critical of the original Olympus EM-1 since it was first released. I liked its looks but was seriously put off by its horrible menu system, the fact none of its buttons were dedicated such as WB, ISO, and +/-EV Compensation. Additionally, I found it just a bit too small for my hands and its lack of touchscreen when compared to the Lumix cameras left a lot to be desired. My goodness how things can change. Below is a video of the live event recorded yesterday in its entirety.
Yesterday’s announcement of the new E-M1ll takes care of many of those concerns and adds a massive amount of new technology that almost seems too good to be true. Here’s the official Press Release posted by our good friends at 43Rumors. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if all the specs meet the hype, but if they do, the days of Nikon and Canon domination are most likely over. Ever since I started shooting mirrorless Micro Four Thirds cameras I’ve talked about the main reason being that I was convinced these cameras are the future. I’ve had many suggest there was no way these tiny little picture machines could outpace Nikon and Canon but I’m betting the day has come.
E-M1ll Technical specs
Here’s the details, some of them hard to believe, but listed by Olympus as specs the new camera will have
- 18 frames per second Continue AF full resolution RAW images
- 60 frames per second Single AF full resolution RAW images
- New image processor with speeds approximately 3.5 times faster than the TruePic VII Processor of original E-M1
- AF target position and face/eye priority AF
- Touch screen AF movement, just like Lumix cameras. One of my favorite features on Lumix cameras
- Dual SD card slots, one supporting UHS-II cards
- 50 Megapixel High Resolution Shot Mode
- 5-Axis Sync IS with 6.5 shutter speed steps of compensation
- Digital Cinema Standard 4K videos with 5-Axis in camera image stabilization
- Live Composite and Live Bulb Modes. Live Composite is a must see to believe feature first shown in the Em-1
- Keystone Compensation in camera
- Lowest Shutter Speed Setting
Finally, a bonus option the new camera will introduce that truly signals the Olympus commitment to serious photographers is their new Pro Service. Not sure this is coming to the US since the presenter mentioned it was rolling out in “selected European countries,” but it was described as having three levels: Standard, Advanced, and Elite—the last two requiring an annual payment. One of the tiers gives you next day replacement of an OM body if you have to send yours in for repair. Olympus is really stepping up to the plate for the next generation of pro and enthusiast photographers with a repair and service program of this caliber. Kudos to Olympus for making such a tremendous commitment.
So there you have it. First we had Panasonic’s press conference and Lumix GH5 announcement earlier in the day and then came the Olympus press conference later that evening. Both announced some major new products. I have to say that Olympus seems to be much further along as far as having the new camera nearly ready to go, although I’ve not seen an actual release date. However, at the end of the live event, the presenter invited people to stay for the opportunity to handle the new cameras, so I’m guessing they’re close to being ready for release.
The Olympus Press Event was much more specific on details compared to Panasonic’s announcement of the GH5. We’ll have to wait and see if the GH5 can match some of the almost other worldly specs of the new Olympus. I’m hopeful that will be the case but I have to say, Olympus has set a mighty high bar if what they’re beating their chest about is as good as they claim. Time will tell, but either way, Micro Four Thirds is alive and well and with Lumix and Olympus duking it out, we as photographers win.