February 5th, 2015

Olympus Unveils OM-D E-M5 Mark II

E-M5MarkII_BLK_right_M14-42EZ_BLK Olympus got an early jump on the CP+ Show camera news with the announcement of the new OM-D E-M5 Mark II.

The new mirrorless camera delivers what Olympus is calling the most powerful optical image stabilization system on the market according to CIPA standards. The E-M5 Mark II offers a five-axis stabilization system that delivers up to five EV steps of stabilization. Olympus claims you can shoot handheld at 1/4 sec. shutter speeds and still enjoy crisp images.

The camera features a 16-megapixel LiveMOS sensor, a 3-inch, vari-angle touch screen display and a TruPic VII processor capable of a brisk 10 frames per second in continuous shooting mode. The camera is also capable of 5 fps continuous shooting with continuous AF engaged. You’ll also find built-in Wi-Fi, mechanical shutter speeds up to 1/8000 sec. and a silent electronic shutter with speeds up to 1/16,000 sec.

While the E-M5 Mark II has a 16-megapixel sensor, it can create a 40-megapixel image using a new High-Resolution Shot mode. In this mode, the camera captures eight images in a row over the course of a single second, moving the sensor by .5-pixel steps between each shot. The M5 Mark II then takes two additional seconds to process the photos into a single, 40-megapixel image. Images can be captured at up to f/8 with a shutter speed of up to eight seconds and a sensitivity of up to ISO 1600. A tripod is recommended.

E-M5MarkII_BLK_back_dialUnlike its other mirrorless rivals, Olympus choose not to add 4K video recording to the M5 Mark II, arguing instead that its ability to record 1080p video at 60 fps with excellent hand-held stabilization delivers a more relevant value for videographers using interchangeable lens cameras. Your mileage may vary.

When shooting 1080p videos at 30 fps, the M5 Mark II is capable of a maximum bit rate of 77Mbps. You’ll enjoy focus peaking,  the ability to add art filters, select AF points, electronic zoom and exposure controls while shooting video. Time code and recording to external devices via HDMI are also supported.

The body of the E-M5 Mark II is dust, splash and freeze proof. The viewfinder has been upgraded to be identical to the 2.36-million dot EVF found in Olympus’ current flagship, the E-M1.

The E-M5 Mark II goes on sale this month for $1,100 for a body-only kit.

Speaking of which, Olympus also announced that new firmware for the E-M1 camera will push its continuous shooting from the current 6.5 fps to 9 fps.

Olympus is also updating its M. Zuiko Digital ED 14-150mm f.4-5.6 zoom lens.

Equivalent to a 28-300mm full frame focal length, the lens is able to focus on objects as close as 13-inches away from the front of the lens and features a quiet, internal zoom motor. It will retail for $600 when it ships in March.

Finally, Olympus will bring a new Stylus Tough camera to market in April.

The TG-860 sports a 16-megapixel backlit CMOS image sensor, a 21-105mm (35mm equivalent) f/3.5-5.7 lens, Wi-Fi and a 3-inch display that flips up for selfie taking. The camera is waterproof to a depth of 50 feet, drop proof for up to seven feet and can withstand up to 220 pounds of pressure.

The TG-860 delivers 1080p video recording at 60 fps or 854×480 videos at up to 120 fps. The camera will be sold in a choice of black, orange and white for $280.





June 24th, 2013

Fujifilm Announces New X-series Compact System Camera And Lens

Fujifilm-X-M1_Lineup3Fujifilm today announced the 16 megapixel X-M1, the third model in its compact system camera line. Although the least expensive of the trio, the X-M1 is built around the same 16 megapixel, APS-C sized X-Trans CMOS sensor as the X-Pro 1 and the X-E1. Because it uses the same sensor, the X-M1 (like its siblings) does not have an optical low pass filter but, Fujifilm notes, the camera is equipped “with a unique color filter array that minimizes moiré and false color.” The removal or omission of the OLPF may be a growing trend with interchangeable lens cameras. Whether or not this is a benefit or a drawback certainly depends on how well each manufacturer’s implementation handles potential issues such as moiré.

At 11.6 ounces and measuring 4.5 x 2.6 x 1.5 inches, the X-M1 is smaller and lighter than its predecessor, in part due to its build. Fuji notes that in order to deliver a compact design with a large sensor, there was no room for a viewfinder. But the camera offers a 3-inch, high resolution (920,000 dot) tilting LCD, a built-in flash and a hotshoe.

Other features of note include WiFi, which can be used in conjunction with the free Fujfilm Camera Application app, which is iOS and Android compatible. The X-M1 also features an ISO range from 100-25,600 and RAW shooting (with in-camera RAW processing).

While the X-M1 may not offer the same build quality or speed as the X-E1, it sounds like it might be a good option for pro’s who want an affordable, full-function compact interchangeable lens camera to toss in their bag.

The X-M1 is will be available in a duo-tone black and silver, black only or a retro-like brown leatherette. Available as body only or, when purchased as a kit, with the new XC 16-50mm, f/3.5-5.6 OIS lens. The XC lens is X-mount compatible but lacks the aperture ring of the XF lenses and, due to their construction (more plastic than metal), are lighter. Right now, the XC 16-50mm is only available in the kit.

The camera and XC lens will be available in July, with the brown leatherette version following in August.

At the same time, Fujifilm also announced a new prime X-mount lens, the 27mm, f/2.8. The lens is compact and lightweight, measuring 23mm in length and weighing a mere 2.75 ounces. It features a 7-blade round diaphragm, a high-torque DC motor for AF, a metal focus ring and 7 lens elements in 5 groups. The lens will be available in July. With the XC lens, Fuji now offers a total of 8 X-mount lenses, with five primes ranging from 14mm to 60mm, and three zooms including the 16-50mm, 18-55mm and 55-200mm.

–Theano Nikitas

Price: X-M1 body only: $700; with 16-50mm kit lens: $800;
XF 27mm lens: $450

Related articles:
Camera Review: Fujifilm X-E1

Zeiss Shows Off New 12mm and 35mm Touit Lenses for Sony NEX and Fujifilm X