OM Systems Comes Alive with OM-1 Mark ll

Posted Feb. 5th, 2024 (2 weeks ago) by Daniel J. Cox

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.

OM Systems Comes alive with OM-1 Mark ll
Olympus 150-400mm zoom

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.

One of my new favorite YouTube photographers Roger Hance testing the new lens and camera.

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.

Part 2 of Roger’s tests of the new 150-600mm and the OM-1 Mark ll

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.

Additional Thoughts

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”.

More Videos on the new OM-1 Mark ll and the 150-600mm Lens

Add Your Voice!
There are 15 comments on this post…
  1. Luis MesaOn Feb. 13th, 2024 (1 week ago)

    Dr Dom, you can with the adaptor. Check B&H. They have been selling that combination for years.
    The bigger sensor both in size and megapixels allows for cropping and you can almost get to the reach of the Olympus.
    Why the extra dollars for a lens that has been selling for years?
    As for me, I will continue using my OM-1 with the Leica lumix 50-200 plus the 2x teleconverter. I know it is 800mm, f 8, but it works, and it is the lightest and smallest for 800 mm reach, or with the 1.4 converter and it is 560 mm at f 5.6.

  2. DrDomOn Feb. 10th, 2024 (2 weeks ago)

    Luis, agree in part, but I don’t think you can put the Sigma (or any third party) on the R5 and if you could you still don’t get the reach – roughly 900mm equivalent with 19-20 MP. Z8 + Nikon 160-600 maybe another option, but actually more expensive… No options straight forward?

  3. Luis MesaOn Feb. 8th, 2024 (2 weeks ago)

    The physical aspects cannot be done by firmware updates, but considering that the main electronics of the camera, like sensor size, megapixels, and most of the menu, with the exception of the ND filter, I think most of the upgrades could have been done by updating the firmware. The marketing approach of OM-Systems is really baffling. The advantages of M 4/3 are the size, weight, price, and the benefits of the sensor size, but when size, weight, and price are no longer an advantage, I think they will not be able to attract non M 4/3 photographers, and not only that, they will start losing their base of photographers. I would have thought that they would want to attract people from other platforms, to increase their market share.
    Last year I bought a Fujifilm GFX 100S for mostly landscapes, architecture and portraits. It is fantastic for that but it WAS not an action camera I bought their 100-200 zoom and the 1.4 teleconverter. Very heavy, not very bright, and very disappointing for action photography. I was just testing this combo, and I was going to sell it, but then Fuji announced an upgrade for the camera, and another one for the lens. After installing the upgrades, this camera, lens, and teleconverter can shoot birds in flight, and with the huge sensor you can crop a great deal and still be able to print poster size with no degradation. I wish I could post some of those images on this blog to show the results. Sorry because this is a very long post, but it is to say that OM could really do a lot more through updates.

  4. LucasOn Feb. 8th, 2024 (2 weeks ago)

    I just discovered some interesting data from the site
    If you compare the dynamic range of the Panny G9-II with the OMD M1 mark I and mark II, then you can see that the G9 II is a bit better than the OMD M1-I, but strangely the OMD M1-II is better than the G9-II and substantially better than the OMD!

    Where does this increase of DR come from? The hardware is the same except of some increased RAM. Will it come a firmware update to the Mark I?

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Feb. 8th, 2024 (2 weeks ago)

      Thanks for the heads up Lucas.

  5. Luis MesaOn Feb. 6th, 2024 (2 weeks ago)

    I am not at all impressed by both the OM System OM-1 ll, and the 10-600 lens. The reasons are multiple, but I’ll try to summarize them.
    About the camera: as a reviewer pointed out, most of these upgrades should have been done as a firmware update. , as they are not any kind of revolutionary change, it is just a software update. Obviously the reason is just money, as it is being circulated on the web, this is the most expensive firmware update in history.
    About the lens: it is a rebadged Sigma 150-600, at a cost of $2699, while the same lens for Cannon costs $1088, for Nikon $1696, and for Sony $1499 (B&H prices as of 2/5/24). I know reach is important, but the sensor size is also important.
    As a camera option I can get a Cannon R5 with. 45 mpx full frame sensor for $3199, a more modern Nikon Z8 for $3796, and a Sony Sony A9iii for $5998.
    The Cannon R5 plus the Sigma lens will cost me $4287, with a combined weight of 2678 grams, while the Oly plus the rebadge Sigma will cost me $5098, with a combined weight of 2571 gms. .
    While I have been partial to the M43, and Oly, this upgrade makes me wonder if I have been right. With the fantastic and proven Cannon combo, I would go for it with a price $600 lower and a weight 107 gms higher.
    You can do your own calculations, but I think OM Systems is not going to attract many new photographers with this marketing approach.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Feb. 7th, 2024 (2 weeks ago)

      I agree with most of what you’ve said here. The only thing I’m not sure about is could these updates have been done via firmware. Possibly some but not others. That said, I do think OM solutions have missed a tremendous opportunity with the new lens pricing. It’s just way out of whack for what’s available on the other systems. Time will tell.

  6. Don SaundersOn Feb. 5th, 2024 (2 weeks ago)

    The new OM-1 Mark II also has the ability to re-program the “Delete” button to “Menu” function. This is a big help to wildlife photographers shooting with the 150-400 f/4.5 PRO lens. They can keep their left hand holding the lens and not having to stop shooting & move the hand to select Menu.

  7. DrDomOn Feb. 5th, 2024 (2 weeks ago)

    Thanks Daniel. The consensus appears to be that the 150-600 is based on the DN Sport mirrorless lens not the older, cheaper Contemporary. Some more real world experience here: (albeit from an Ambassador)

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Feb. 7th, 2024 (2 weeks ago)

      Thanks for that. Add an info.

  8. LucasOn Feb. 5th, 2024 (2 weeks ago)

    I hope we will see positive developments from OM Systems in the near future. The OM1-II is merely the same camera with a some more RAM memory, so not a real new model at all.
    The new telezoom is worrying me.
    It is an absolute no-go. Carrying a huge heavy FF lens where half of the glass will never be used seems ridiculous to me. Adding insult to injury the price-tag is scam too. Sorry to be so rude on OM Systems, but this lens should have never seen the light.
    If they at least had used the FF diameter of the glass to add a 0.6 speedbooster (which would have mede this lens 1.5 stops faster), then this lens might have mede some sense…

  9. Louis BerkOn Feb. 5th, 2024 (2 weeks ago)

    I returned to m43rds after a nearly 5 year hiatus and purchased an OM-1 and 100-400 lens just before the end of 2023. You might think I’d be a little miffed at a new version appearing at this point but in truth I am so amazed at the functionality and performance of the OM-1 for wildlife photography that I find it hard to imagine how the MkII can be even better. My whole reason for moving back to m43rds is my age and camera weight considerations, which is why this new 150-600, or even for that matter the 150-400 will never be part of my system. I am actually pretty amazed at the quality of the 100-400, for such a small, lightweight and (compared to the competition) cheap lens. I do plan to get the 300f4, and the TC2.0x (I already purchased the 1.4x). I might also add the 40-150/2.8 in order to have a full range of focal lengths just for wildlife. During my time away from m43rds I continued to watch your work, Daniel, as well as other Olympus shooters who post to YouTube and you all take credit for convincing me to return to m43rds.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Feb. 7th, 2024 (2 weeks ago)

      Great to hear from you Louis. I feel similar to yo regarding how good the current OM-1 is. The one new feature in the new camera that I’m excited to test is improved AF. The OM-1 is very good but all cameras can use even better AF. I’m also interested in the Graduated ND snd 14 bit High Res feature. The current ND system is truly amazing. Add grads to it snd it will be even better. The eye brow raiser is the higher price tag. It seems there are a lot of unhappy campers on this announcement. I love the OM System so I’m happy to give them a chance. However if I didn’t have the 150-400 I would most likely be starting to look at other brands. But I can’t imagine giving that lens up.

  10. Mircea BlanaruOn Feb. 5th, 2024 (2 weeks ago)

    At last some very good news!!!! I also admired the Art Wolfe pictures and I think that good photographers need all consideration…. Perhaps the OM System cameras are not as good as Sony’s flagships but they are at only a fraction considering the price and the image quality is far from being poor. So, I agree that a little optimism exists even for me. But the prices are very high, hope they will calm down 🙂

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