Hard on its impending release, the specs and pictures of the OM-1 leaked (via 43rumors.com), revealing the details of OM System’s (formerly Olympus) new “wow” camera. How “wow” is it? Not overly-wowing. The three major upgrades from the E-M1 III appear to be faster video frame rates, the addition of the autofocus tracking now quite popular in full frame camera systems, and probably some image quality improvement due to the new sensor being back-side illuminated.
An interview with OM System’s chief executive last year indicated that they were going to concentrate on benefits that Micro Four Thirds (MFT) cameras could deliver that full frame cameras could not. This was highly suggestive of super-high framerates. But the OM-1 camera’s video frame rates don’t appear to exceed those of the new Canon R, Nikon Z or Sony E mount full frame camera releases.
In 4k shooting, the OM-1 goes up to 60p. It has a 240 FPS full HD mode as well, which is roughly the same amount of throughput.
In shooting stills, the camera will shoot about 4 seconds of 120 FPS files in electronic shutter mode. It is unclear how much rolling shutter might be present with the new “laminated” sensor, which may translate to “stacked.” The limits of that super-fast framerate mode in terms of image quality weren’t specified. In mechanical shutter mode, it will shoot at 10 FPS, which is actually quite a bit less than the 15 FPS that the E-M1 Mark III shot.
Among MFT bodies, the new tracking autofocus could be the element that elevates this camera against the Panasonic competition, provided that the OM System autofocus performs similarly to the more modern full frame equivalents – versus Canon and Nikon’s first generation efforts. And provided that Panasonic’s soon-to-be-introduced GH-6 retains its inferior DFD autofocus system. Panasonic’s tracking technology is already pretty good in sticking on a subject, but its ability to get that subject in focus features focus pulsations that can be visible particularly in video files.
The OM-1 displays have been upgraded, but sit at resolutions similar to the other mounts’ low-end models.
Still unknown is whether there is a 29 minute recording limit, as was present on the E-M1 III.