In this installment of our series entitled “Last Week Today,” we continue a recap of our adventures at this year’s PhotoPlus Expo in New York City with a visit to the Olympus booth. The Olympus Air A01 [B&H | Amazon], like the DxO One [B&H | Amazon] and Sony’s Q-series [B&H | Amazon], is a companion lens/sensor combo to smartphones which relies on the phone as the primary user interface; the OM-D EM-5 Mk II [B&H | Amazon] is their newest hybrid DSLR-style mirrorless.
The Olympus brand has a long and innovative history in the photo industry (they pioneered the kind of 5-axis in-body image stabilization now widely admired in the Sony a7s II [B&H | Amazon] and a7r II [B&H | Amazon]), yet you don’t see much about it here on planet5D.
But we thought we’d fix that – at least a little bit – with a visit to their booth at PPE.
Still, the relatively small Olympus [B&H | Amazon] footprint here is understandable: planet5D was born with the genre-defining eponymous Canon and continues to be video-centric, while Olympus [B&H | Amazon] has stayed closer to its photography roots and doesn't yet offer a 4K alternative to the usual suspects.
Olympus has many fans – especially of its glass – and we were curious to learn where Olympus is headed.
We started with the $299 the Air 01 [B&H | Amazon] is a fascinating alternative to the $599 DxO One [B&H | Amazon], while at $1,099 the OM-D EM-5 Mk II [B&H | Amazon] offers something different for the more traditional Canon or Nikon shooter — as long as you're not looking for 4K.
If you’ve used either camera, please let us know in the comments below how you like them and use them.
Olympus Air A01 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Lens-Style Digital Camera Body (Black)
Take your smartphone photography to the next level with Olympus' black Air A01 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Lens-Style Digital Camera Body, a compact, smartphone-mountable unit that features a Micro Four Thirds lens mount and the ability to connect to your mobile device over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Users can capture high quality images with the power of a 16.05-megapixel Digital Live MOS sensor and the TruePic VII image processor while harnessing the connected nature of their smartphones. Also, as a part of the Micro Four Thirds system, it is completely compatible with all lenses designed for MFT and can accept adapters to expand your options.
This camera offers excellent imaging capabilities with an electronic shutter capable of speeds up to 1/16000 second and a FAST AF (Frequency Acceleration Sensor Technology) system with 81 areas for accurate focusing in all conditions. Also, it can record full size images at a continuous rate of 10 fps for up to 23 frames. Video is featured as well in Full HD 1080p at up to 30 fps. Additionally it saves images and video to microSD cards and has a built-in rechargeable Li-ion battery.
Maximizing the camera's potential is the OA Central app for iOS and Android devices which also walks users through the connection process. Once connected, users will be able to access live view for composing images and changing settings as well as save their images and upload them directly to a cloud service such as Amazon. This app also has multiple shooting functions including iAuto, Art Filter, ColorCreator, Photostory, Clips, and Genius.
- Clips to Smartphone and Shoots Uncoupled
- 16.05 MP Digital Live MOS Sensor
- TruePic VII Image Processor
- Micro Four Thirds System
- Electronic Shutter up to 1/16000 sec
- Full HD 1080p Video Recording at 30 fps
- OA Central App for iOS & Android
- Built-In Wi-Fi & Bluetooth Connectivity
- FAST AF System and 10 fps Shooting
- Accepts microSD Cards; Built-In Battery
Learn more about Olympus Air A01
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Body, Black)
- 16MP Live MOS Sensor
- TruePic VII Image Processor
- 2360k-Dot Electronic Viewfinder
- 3.0″ Vari-Angle OLED Monitor
- Full HD 1080p Video at up to 60 fps
- 40MP High Res Shot
- Built-In Wi-Fi; 10 fps Shooting Rate
- 5-Axis VCM Image Stabilization
- Dust and Splashproof Construction
The black Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera combines a 16MP Live MOS sensor with a TruePic VII Image Processor for increased performance speed and reduced noise throughout the ISO range as compared to TruePic VI. The Mark II also improves upon its predecessor by utilizing a 5-axis VCM Image Stabilization that provides up to 5 stops of compensation. Full HD 1080p video recording is now available on the Mark II with a higher bitrate of up to 77 Mb/s and various codecs. Built into the E-M5 Mark II is a unique feature that utilizes sensor shift to produce a 40MP image by combining 8 images in-camera.
The camera's fully articulated 3″ touchscreen LCD monitor makes taking self portraits easy, and the built-in WiFi lets you quickly share your images. When not using the LDC monitor for live view, the 2,360k-dot EVF provides a virtually lag-free view with a 1.48x magnification.
Learn more about Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II.
(cover photo credit: snap from B&H)