OM Systems Comes Alive with OM-1 Mark ll
I’m excited to announce there’s life in the labs of OM Systems. This last week, OM Systems introduced three new products – the OM-1 Mark ll, a 150-600mm f5-6.3 super zoom, and a revised super wide 9-18 F/4-5.6. My two cents here in this blog post are nothing more than what I’ve been reading in other venues. So, no, I’ve not tried any of these products. But I wanted to bring the news to those who frequent this website.
Super Zoom to 1200mm
So, apparently, this fun new lens is built by Sigma. Rumor says it’s the Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary. Based on everything I can find, it seems the new lens is indeed simply a rebranded version of the Sigma 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Contemporary lens. The Nikon version of this lens weighs 4.03 lbs. The OM Systems 150-600mm F/5-6.3 weighs 4.33 lbs. So, it’s not exactly the same weight, but it’s pretty close.
Compare that to my favorite Olympus lens the 150-400mm F/4.5 which weighs only 4.1 pounds. Obviously, the new 150-600mm is heavier but it’s much, much less expensive than the Olympus 150-400mm.
They both have a 95mm front element, but overall, the bodies look much different. Same front glass, and almost the same weight, it’s hard not to think this new lens is simply a re-branded replica of the Sigma. That being the case one can’t help but wonder if this full-frame lens is much larger than what a lens designed specifically for Micro Four Thirds cameras would be. I guess it’s good news that OM Systems didn’t have to design this lens from scratch. But why is the new OM version almost triple the price of a lens they didn’t have to dump a ton of R&D into along with the infrastructure to manufacture it? That seems like a missed opportunity.
The new lens has a splashproof and dustproof rating of IPX1, along with fluorine coating on the front element. Handholding a lens with such magnification is difficult, but the new optic has up to 6 stops of IS on the long end when used with the OM-1 to correct for movement.
From the photos I’ve seen this is a very attractive lens. It just looks good. Much more interesting looking than the Sigma version. Let’s hope the optics hold up and produce the quality Olympus lenses have been known for.
1.4X and 2X Teleconverter Compatible
OM Systems confirms that the new lens will work with their teleconverters as well. 1200mm with a two XT converter will give you 2400 mm. That’s serious long-range telephoto capabilities.
I’m excited OM Systems has released this lens. It’s not as expensive–at $2,699.00–as the 150-400mm. It’s also inspiring that OM Systems is pushing the long lens segment. Longer lenses are a big plus for working safely with wild animals. Anything to keep photographers from getting too close is a big win for nature.
OM1 Mark ll Camera Body
So as I stated at the start of this article, OM Systems comes alive with OM-1 Mark ll, this new update is being called a refinement rather than a totally new camera. There are several things I’m most interested in that are said to be improved. They include better autofocus, in-camera Graduated ND filters, and rubber added to the front and rear dials for a better tactile feel when working with gloves on. There’s also a larger buffer for overall shooting. I’ve not had any issues with the current buffer except for Pro Capture. So that will be an appreciated update. Here’s a detailed list of the new updates.
- Re-branded as OM SYSTEMS. As most know the original OM-1 still has the Olympus name on it.
- Double the internal buffer memory
- 8.5 stops IBIS
- 14bit raw for High resolution mode
- human AI recognition
- New added computational nd filters
- better focusing system
- Improved ergonomics
- Price: $2,399.00
Photographers Are Wondering
There’s been talk across the internet about OM Systems having to release this new camera due to the licensing deal with Olympus coming to an end. The speculations suggest this may be why the update is not as “amazing” as many thought it should be.
Admittedly, these new updates are very much appreciated but they’re certainly not jaw-dropping. That said, I’ve been so happy with the current OM-1 that these new features are pretty much icing on the cake. The one update I’m most hopeful for is better autofocus. Although the current OM-1 is very good, it still can’t equal what I’ve seen from my Sony A9 (First Edition) and the Sony 100-400mm lens. I’ve not tried the Sony A9 Mark lll but I can only imagine it’s a major step up from the original. So I’m hopeful OM Systems’ new OM-1 Mark ll can at least equal what I’ve experienced with the original A9.
Let’s hope this is just the beginning for the new OM Systems. The folks over at Petapixel said it best and confirmed what I’m hopeful for, “The Best is Yet to Come For OM Systems”.