We’ve just published our review of the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm F1.2 PRO lens, one of Olympus’ PRO prime lenses, it features a fast aperture of F1.2, weather-sealing, and is designed to give beautiful bokeh. The lens uses the Micro Four Thirds lens mount, so can be used on Olympus and Panasonic cameras, as well as any other cameras that use the Micro Four Thirds lens mount.
“It doesn’t take much examination of the 25mm F1.2’s specification to understand Olympus’s pricing. Its 19-element, 14-group design is startlingly complex for a 50mm equivalent lens, and includes a whole slew of special glass to combat optical aberrations. Two elements are made from extra-low dispersion (ED) glass, one from Super ED glass, three from high refractive-index (HR) glass, and one from Extra HR glass, while yet another is aspherical in profile. Finally, Z Coating Nano is applied to minimise flare and ghosting. Olympus has always been a highly accomplished lens maker, and here it’s pulling out all the stops.”
Read our Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm F1.2 PRO lens review.
The lens scores an impressive 5-stars, and the Amateur Photographers GOLD award, but the lens comes at a relatively high price, at £1199. If you’re looking for other Micro Four Thirds lenses, then have a look at our round-up of the best Micro Four Thirds lenses we’ve reviewed. No doubt, this lens will be making it onto the list very soon.
If you’re looking for more reviews, be sure to have a look at our latest lens reviews, as well as all our other reviews, where you’ll find the latest cameras, lenses, accessories and more, including our reviews of the L-Mount Panasonic Lumix S 24mm f1.8, and the RF Mount Canon RF 100mm F2.8 L Macro IS USM.
OMD Digital Solutions has updated the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital lens roadmap to include the M.Zuiko Digital ED 20mm f/1.4 Pro compact large-diameter single-focal-length lens, and the M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/4.0 Pro compact telephoto zoom lens.
Currently, we don’t know anything else about the two new lenses but we will update you as soon as we do.
OM Digital Solutions has said they will ‘continue to leverage the characteristics of the Micro Four Thirds System to enhance its lineup of lenses and broaden the scope for photographic expression’.
Olympus has updated its lens roadmap for 2021, with two new lenses detailed, including a wide 20mm f/1.4 PRO lens (40mm equivalent), and a 40-150mm F4.0 PRO zoom lens, with 80-300mm equivalent zoom range.
As PRO lenses, they both offer weather-sealing, and should deliver excellent image quality. They are being shown with the Olympus OM-D E-M5 III, and we expect them to be lightweight, mid-range lenses, designed for those who want a more compact option. No details on pricing have been released yet, but with the PRO label we know that they will command a more premium price than other budget lenses.
The M.Zuko Digital ED 20mm f1.4 PRO lens looks like a more compact choice if you’re looking for a bright lens, but want something smaller than the f1.2 PRO lenses, and it looks to have a large focus ring.
The M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4.0 PRO zoom lens looks to have been designed to be a compact zoom lens, with a zoom range that would make a nice match for the recent ED 12-45mm F4.0 PRO lens, whilst also giving an improved aperture range compared to the 40-150mm f/4-5.6 lens, as well as being smaller than the 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO lens.
The new lenses are listed as:
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 20mm F1.4 PRO
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4.0 PRO
Olympus Lens Roadmap – September 2021:
Olympus OM-D Lens Roadmap Sept 2021
You’ll also find there are additional lenses planned, but without full details, and these are listed as:
Macro lens (around 100mm, 200mm equivalent)
We don’t have any pricing information or any details of when they will be released, so if you can’t wait for the new lenses to be released, then why not have a look at our roundup of the best Micro Four Thirds lenses.
From Olympus: Expansion of the compact and lightweight Micro Four Thirds system to include two additional M.Zuiko PRO lenses
Hamburg, September 9, 2021 – OM Digital Solutions GmbH is pleased to announce the development of two new lenses that conform to the Micro Four Thirds System standard.
The M.Zuiko Digital lens roadmap has been updated to include the M.Zuiko Digital ED 20mm F1.4 PRO compact large-diameter single-focal-length lens, and the M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4.0 PRO compact telephoto zoom lens.
M.Zuiko Digital ED 20mm F1.4 PRO
M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4.0 PRO
Both lenses are from the M.Zuiko PRO series, which are compact and lightweight lenses that offer excellent resolution and, make the most of the unrivaled portability and image quality that is the hallmark of the Micro Four Thirds System.
OM Digital Solutions will continue to leverage the characteristics of the Micro Four Thirds System to enhance its lineup of lenses and broaden the scope for photographic expression.
There is now a wide range of lenses available for Olympus Micro Four Thirds (MFT) mirrorless cameras, such as the OM-D E-M1 Mark III, so to help Olympus camera owners choose a new lens, we’ve put together a top list that features Olympus MFT lenses ePHOTOzine’s reviewed. You’ll also find details on their features and what they’re good for so you can pick a lens that’s perfect for the subject you’re going to be photographing.
Olympus M. Zuiko 8-25mm F/4.0 Pro
This is a versatile lens indeed, performing well, nice and compact and at a reasonable price, making it a strong contender as a go-to travel companion. The close focusing is a bonus. The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 8-25mm f/4 PRO comes ‘Highly Recommended’.
First off, there is no doubt that Olympus has produced a superb lens, both for ease of use and for the features provided. Performance is also excellent, better than the bald figures suggest. The IS system works well, extending the usefulness of the lens as the light levels fall. The price is also excellent, just over £1000 being a very fair price point for such a long lens.
For those who are already using the Olympus system, this could just be the wildlife lens you have been waiting for – I personally would not hesitate. Those who are looking to lighten their load may well be tempted also as similar lenses for DSLR are generally much heavier and bulkier.
The 12-200mm f/3.5-6.3 all-in-one travel zoom lens has a long reach and really close focus all built-in. Versatile and easy to use, it offers very good central sharpness, low central CA as well as being dust and moisture resistant and light and compact.
There is no doubt that the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f/1.2 is a superb lens and one that would be a pleasure to own. A 90mm-equivalent lens is a very useful optic for portraits, landscapes, short-range sports and architectural details. With perfect drawing, the architectural uses are probably as relevant as the potential for portraits. It will be an easy decision for those with the cash ready or those who have commercial use. The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f/1.2 is a beautiful, bright, short telephoto lens with outstanding performance.
The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 25mm f/1.2 PRO lens is more than just a bright maximum aperture. It is a very fine lens in its own right with excellent sharpness that borders on outstanding, low CA, no flare and a very pleasing bokeh. Add to that the low light potential and we have a very attractive proposition indeed.
Overall, the Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.2 PRO is a lovely lens with beautiful bokeh and ultra-bright f/1.2 aperture.
The Olympus 300mm f/4 offers superb shooting quality in a body that’s lightweight, compact and offers excellent ergonomics. Plus, the cost of the lens does seem to be very reasonable, too.
All in all, a lot of thought and skill has gone into this lens and it is certain to find favour amongst Olympus MFT sports and wildlife photographers. The fact that close focusing brings other subjects into range is an added bonus.
Given the ‘Pro’ moniker assigned to this lens, expectations of its build and performance should be high. During testing, the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO proved itself worthy, by delivering images with outstanding sharpness, whilst handling well and sporting a robust dust and moisture resistant construction. The lens may be a little prone to flare, but given the extreme angle of view on offer and the compact size of the lens, this flaw may be something many will be able to forgive or even forget.
The standard zoom has many merits, saving us from changing lenses constantly and offering a versatile set of focal lengths. The focal length is a vital aspect and here the usefulness of having that ultra-wide 12mm (24mm-equivalent) cannot be underestimated. The 45mm long end (90mm equivalent) is an ideal portrait length, although of course, being MFT format, we might wish for a much wider aperture to obtain the best out of focus background effects. The very close focusing is an added bonus.
However, the sacrifice for compactness and a lower price is that maximum aperture, and f/4 is really quite modest. There are plenty of f/4 lenses on the market and size, weight and price are the usual benefits.
Depth of field is an issue, but as well as a disadvantage for perhaps portraiture, equally well this could be an advantage for other types of photography. Perhaps close sports, groups of people, landscape and travel, in general, will benefit from more extended zones of focus.
The quality is there if we choose our apertures, and is definitely there in terms of distortion, flare and CA. The 12-45mm lens is very suitable for architectural shots, again perhaps coming under the umbrella of being a travel lens.
By producing a diagonal fisheye lens with a fast f/1.8 maximum aperture, Olympus has created something special. Not only will the fast aperture allow for shooting in low light conditions with the expansive field of view you’d expect of a fisheye, but it also delivers outstanding sharpness and robust build in a compact package. It’s lightweight, focuses fast and the added bonus of a dust-, splash- and freezeproof body make it even better.
The combination of great build quality and performance alone is enough to recommend this lens. The fact that it offers a unique zoom range, whilst maintaining a fast f/2.8 throughout is even better. It’s capable of delivering excellent image quality and is even fairly reasonably priced. For the most part, it handles well, too, thanks to its robust build and relatively lightweight and compact size, although it’s worth noting that it still may be a little large for use with the smallest Micro Four-Thirds bodies. On the whole, the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO lens is an excellent addition to the Micro Four Thirds lineup, that will win over many fans.
Those looking for a professional specified standard lens for their Micro Four Thirds camera are now spoilt for choice with offerings from Panasonic, and this lens from Olympus. The Olympus M.Zuiko ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO lens delivers outstanding sharpness through much of the zoom range at maximum aperture and sports a robust, dust and splash-proof build, all while remaining compact and lightweight. The excellent performance of this lens will certainly win it many fans, that’s for sure.
The Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8 ED Premium lens is certainly capable of producing excellent quality images, with sharpness being excellent in the centre of the frame from maximum aperture. It’s well built, lightweight and reasonably compact. However, the price of this lens may limit its appeal a little, even though it’s not really an expensive lens, £300 just seems like a fair chunk of money for a lens equivalent to a 50mm f/1.8. Having said that, it is a compact, lightweight and well-built lens that delivers excellent images so it is well worth considering.
Superzoom lenses are not usually known for delivering excellent quality images, and are instead, normally considered a bit of a compromise. However, this 14-150mm lens from Olympus bucks that trend, delivering excellent sharpness in the centre of the frame throughout the zoom range. This is achieved in a lightweight, compact design that doesn’t compromise on convenience either.
This lens provides a great combination of excellent optical performance, lightweight, compact design and value for money. Micro Four Thirds camera owners interested in macro photography should add this lens to their wish list. In fact, even if you have no interest in macro photography, the quality this lens delivers, at such a low price point will make a good option for portraiture on a relative budget also.
Those looking for a compact ultra-wide-angle lens for a Micro Four Thirds system camera can’t go far wrong with this lens. It does have some weaknesses, but so long as you are aware of these this lens is more than capable of delivering very good quality results.
Even though this lens may carry a premium price and a premium place in Olympus’ lens line-up, this optic certainly deserves it. For a lens that delivers sharpness like this, the asking price makes it excellent value and it should find a home in many a Micro Four Thirds camera owner’s kit bag as a result.
Micro Four Thirds system camera owners who are already looking at this lens probably don’t need any more convincing of its worth, but those who hadn’t yet considered it may be impressed by just how well this optic performs. It’s very sharp, well built and a pleasure to use.
The price is actually quite good value, especially when such high optical performance is delivered. The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 75mm f/1.8 can certainly give the Zeiss’ and Leica’s a run for their money.
The low price of the Olympus 45mm f/1.8 Zuiko Digital Lens may be a little misleading at first glance, as this lens is a very capable optic. It focuses quickly and is capable of producing outstanding levels of sharpness. The lightweight and good build quality are also assets.
Those looking for a fast aperture prime lens for portraits, photography in low light, or for greater control over depth of field will not be disappointed.
Although this lens comes at a premium price point, you do get premium build and premium optical quality. The wide aperture is very useful for taking images in low light conditions and this dinky metal lens makes a perfect companion for street photography due to its compact size and excellent performance at fast apertures.
The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/4.0-5.6 lens represents excellent value for money. The levels of sharpness it can deliver throughout the zoom range are excellent, especially in the centre of the image area, and this, coupled with the low levels of CA and distortion, making it an excellent choice for anyone looking to expand the zoom range of their Micro Four Thirds camera into telephoto.
Designed for MFT format cameras, Olympus introduces a new 8-25mm f/4 zoom lens that, in terms of field of view, equates to a 35mm-format 16-50mm. This is of course an extremely useful, general-purpose range and although an f/2.8 lens might be the norm, trimming the maximum aperture to f/4 holds the promise of a more compact optic. Armed with the 20MP Panasonic Lumix G9 camera body, let’s see how the new lens performs and handles, and whether or not it could be an ideal travel companion.
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 8-25mm f/4 PRO Handling and Features
The lens is reassuringly solidly built, weighing in at a reasonable 411g. It is splash and dust resistant and specifically claims to resist water to the IPX1 standard. This basically means that it will be resistant to condensation and to drops of water “falling vertically” on the lens. Maybe heavy rain should be avoided, but full marks for being specific about what splash resistance might actually mean.
Taking our tour of the lens from the front, there is a supplied petal lens hood that is necessarily quite slim to avoid vignetting at 8mm. It clips smoothly into place and is retained by a small catch. Within the bayonet, fit is a standard 72mm filter thread. Immediately behind this is a slim focusing ring. When pushed forward AF mode is engaged and when pulled backwards a distance scale is revealed and MF is engaged. It can be quite easy to accidentally engage MF, in which case it takes a moment to realise that AF is no longer operational. Focusing is down to 0.23m, or 9.1 inches, giving a maximum magnification of 0.21x. Although not macro, this is usefully close and adds to the versatility of the lens.
A wider zoom ring instantly reveals that this is a compact lens that is stored retracted and needs to be extended to the 8mm position for use. The mechanism for this is very smooth and stable and there is no stickiness or wobble in the construction.
There is one small button marked L-Fn which, when pressed, will deactivate AF. It may be programmable for other functions, depending on the camera body used. AF uses a linear motor and is silent and fast. The AF locks on reliably.
Optical construction is 16 elements in 10 groups, including 1 Double-Sided Aspherical, 2 Aspherical ED, 1 Super ED, 1 Super HR and 1 HD. The diaphragm consists of 7 blades.
The lens is versatile and handles well, perhaps with the exception of the push/pull AF/MF operation, which could do with being slightly firmer to prevent accidental movement. Otherwise, operation is smooth and hazard-free.
Known for combining functionality with aesthetics, Olympus is also synonymous with innovation. Their unique features, great design, and ergonomics result in an increasing flow of photographers, both young and old, from other brands to their stable.
There are lots of articles on Fstoppers extolling the virtues of different cameras and brands. I’ve noticed comments from Olympus users that their cameras’ unique features are often forgotten. I’ve tried to redress that by featuring articles about superb Olympus photographers like Rob Cottle and Ethan Beckler.
Putting the Arguments into Context
Olympus’ Digital History
Along with Panasonic, Olympus recognized the future was with interchangeable lens cameras sporting electronic viewfinders, and so they became pioneers of mirrorless systems, switching entirely to Micro Four Thirds (MFT).
That early adoption places them well ahead of the competition with the development of high-performance mirrorless cameras. As the iceberg of doom tears away below the DSLR waterline, other brands are now jumping that sinking ship. Running for the mirrorless lifeboats, they are a long way behind Olympus’s head start.
What About Noise?
As sensors have improved, the noise disadvantage that was brought by those smaller sensors has diminished to an irrelevance when photographing within normal parameters. With the arrival of outstanding noise reduction software such as On1’s NoNoise AI and Topaz Denoise, even working at those rarely needed, extremely high ISOs becomes achievable. As you will see later, Olympus has also found a cunning way of getting around long-exposure noise too.
The Depth of Field Argument
One of the criticisms Micro-Four Thirds faces is the greater depth of field. Detractors always ignore the benefits of that; there are two sides to everything in photography, a benefit for every disadvantage.
Landscape photographers often want more depth of field, and so, they reduce the aperture size. Olympus (and Panasonic Lumix) can achieve the same DOF with wider apertures, removing the image softness issue of diffraction that one would see with full frame at their necessarily small apertures.
Additionally, in areas like portraiture, wildlife photography and macro, there can be too little depth of field. Full frame photographers have to stop down to get more than just the eyes in focus; having eyes sharp but a fuzzy nose tip and ears isn’t that great a look. With MFT, that greater depth doesn’t require a smaller aperture.
Nevertheless, shallow DOF is perfectly possible with an MFT camera. The shooting parameters are different, but it is still achievable, and Olympus Zuiko lenses produce lovely bokeh.
Why Photographers Are Buying These Cameras
The photographers I’ve met that use Olympus have been a mixed bag. Firstly, there are the exciting young art photographers. They want the convenience the smaller Micro Four Thirds system bring, better image quality than their phones deliver, plus the style that isn’t apparent in chunky-clunky DSLRs. Then, there are those of us who travel and do outdoor activities, where small size, low weight, and weather-sealing is all important. Additionally, there is the older photographer who no longer wants to lug around heavy gear because it hurts. There are also the technology enthusiasts, who like to push their photographic boundaries using advanced features. At the other end of the scale, there are those who just want a small, convenient, and easy-to-use system to take snaps.
Olympus’s Unique Selling Points
Here are some major features that you might not know about that give Olympus cameras the edge over others.
1. Live Composite
An easy way of understanding Live Composite mode is to imagine shooting the same image repeatedly and combining the shots as layers into one image. Any subject with the same lighting remains unchanged in the final image. However, new brighter light is added. For example, if you start shooting a subject in the dark and then gradually light paint it, that light painting will appear in the final image. Another application is shooting lightning. The camera will continuously update the first shot you took but only add the lightning to it.
Although not what this is designed for (see Live ND below), I’ve used this technique for simulating the effect of long exposures of moving water. Because moving water is white, it adds that extra light to the original shot, thus smoothing it out. With Live Composite, you can watch the image develop on the rear screen, your phone, or tablet using the free Olympus Image Share app. That app gives you Live View, focus and exposure adjustments, and remote shooting on the bigger screen of your smart phone or tablet.
A big advantage of shooting long exposures this way is that it negates the noise you would usually get. Instead of one long image, you are shooting multiple fast images where noise is not an issue.
Great for: product photography, real estate, interiors, lightning, landscapes, long exposures
2 and 3. Live Bulb and Live Time
I’m putting these two together as they do similar things. Most cameras have Bulb Mode. However, with Olympus cameras, Live Bulb allows you watch a long exposure image gradually develop on the back screen, and the histogram moves to the right too. This happens while the shutter is held down or is activated through the Olympus Image Share app.
Olympus took this one stage further with Live Time. Instead of holding the shutter down, you press to start the exposure and once more to end it. Of course, these can be activated wirelessly using the Olympus Image Share App too, thus avoiding camera movement.
Output: raw or JPEG
Great for: long exposures, astrophotography and star trails
If, like me, you like to carry minimal kit, shooting with just a camera, a tripod and maybe have a spare battery in your pocket, having up to five stops (ND32) of ND filter built into the camera brings huge benefits.
This setting gives you a preview of how the image will look before pressing the shutter. How it works is a closely guarded secret, but it is similar in operation to Live Composite mode. Consequently, long-exposure noise is still not an issue as it would be with a long exposure using a physical ND filter. When you set the shot up, a preview of the final image is displayed.
Output: raw or JPEG
Great for: long exposures, shooting bright scenes, removing moving objects (e.g. people) from a scene
How good are your reactions? Have you ever just missed that decisive moment? Pro Capture overrides your reaction time by recording and buffering shots to the camera’s memory with the shutter button half pressed. When you fully press the shutter, up to 35 of those buffered frames are recorded to the memory card. If you don’t press the shutter, the memory is cleared.
Output: raw or JPEG
Great for: wildlife, sports, pets, children, theater, action
Olympus cameras use their sensor shift technology to create images up to 80 megapixels in resolution, equal to many medium format cameras. The latest version of this even allows it to work handheld up to 50 megapixels. The camera shifts the sensor by one micron and fires off images in quick succession, combining them into a single image.
Great for: macro, still landscapes, interiors, architecture, product, astrophotography, and still life
The crop sensor means you can get closer to the action with the same focal length. A 300mm lens has the same field of view (effectively, the same magnification) as a 600mm lens.The Canon RF 600mm f/4 prime lens weighs 6.8 lbs / 3,100 g, meanwhile the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm F4 IS PRO weighs 2.4x less at 1,270g. Both contain 17 elements, have 9 rounded aperture blades, and have built-in image stabilization, which on Olympus cameras works in conjunction with the In-Body Image Stabilization. That Canon lens costs just shy of $13,000, whereas the Olympus is under $2,900.
Great for: wildlife, sports, photojournalism, street photography, weddings, travel, outdoor adventure, remote landscapes
Available in all Olympus cameras
9. Close Focusing
Micro Four Thirds allow for much closer minimum focussing distance than larger formats. The lenses can often be pushed beyond their recommended minimum focusing distances too
Great for: macro, product photography, abstracts
10. Telecentric Optical Path
Often overlooked, the design of Micro Four Thirds means that the photons traveling from the lens do so at 90 degrees to the sensor right across the frame. This means that there is no darkening (vignetting) at the edge of the frame as there is with the other systems where the photons hit the edge of the sensor obliquely.
Great for: all photography
11. Shorter Flange Distance
The distance between the back of the lens and the sensor is greatly reduced. For those of us who shoot with vintage lenses, the addition of a simple extension tube without any glass elements will allow that lens to focus to infinity. Adapting vintage lenses with different mounts to fit most cameras means losing the ability to bring infinity into focus, unless the adaptor has extra glass elements.
Great for: all photography
12. In-Body Image Stabilization
Standard in all Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds cameras, Olympus offers up to 7.5 stops of image stabilization, having found a way to overcome the IS limitations caused by the Earth’s rotation. I have managed to handhold a 45mm lens mounted on an old E-M5 Mark II for 1.5 seconds, and the newer cameras perform much better than that.
Great for: all photography
Available in all Olympus cameras
13. Extreme Conditions
Going back to 2010, when Olympus launched the E-5 DSLR, the internet was strewn with images of it being used covered in ice and snow. Since then, the environmental seals of the OM-D E-M1 series of cameras have come even further. The flagship E-M1X has inherited the sealing from the Olympus Tough compacts and is guaranteed to the formal rating of the IPX1 operating environment. The range of operating temperatures is from -10 degrees Celsius (14 Fahrenheit) up to 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) and up to 90% humidity.
Here in the UK, the Olympus team is running interactive live tutorials and interviews twice a week almost every week of the year. You don’t have to be in the UK to join in with these. Furthermore, if you are befuddled by anything your camera is doing, you can book a one-to-one session online with any of their technical experts who will help you get to know your camera.
15. Weight and Size
Have you ever ended up with neck ache from lugging a heavy DSLR all day? With aging populations, older photographers no longer want to suffer sore necks and backs from carrying excessively heavy kit around.
Because Micro Four Thirds have smaller sensors, the camera bodies and lenses are smaller and lighter too. This is great news for those who want to travel with their camera gear. An OM-D E-M1 Mark III weighs just 580 g including the battery and memory card. Add to that the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-200mm F3.5 6.3 (455 g) lens, which covers a huge focal length range, and you have a versatile kit weighing just over a kilo, or 2.28 lbs.
16. Intelligent Subject Detection Autofocus
AI technology in the E-M1 X allows the camera to recognize and focus on and track the eyes of birds as well as a range of vehicles. Further subjects are promised to be added to this function in future updates.
Are there essential, unique features your camera has that sets it apart from other brands? Okay, I know that you will be as dedicated to your brand and format as Olympus users are to theirs. All of the major manufacturers make great cameras, and so, please keep your replies positive and on topic about unique features that you cherish or wish you had.
Images used with permission of OM Digital Solutions.
Samsung made waves with its Galaxy S21 smartphone launched last year thanks to notable improvements to its camera system. Multiple rumors have speculated the smartphone manufacturer would partner with Olympus in the S22 Ultra, and a new render of what that might look like has renewed that speculation.
In early April, rumors that Samsung would be partnering with Olympus — or more accurately, OM Digital Solutions — sprung up. And while Olympus said that it would collaborate with other companies that aren’t in the camera or lens industry at CP+ earlier this year, there were reasons to doubt the veracity of these reports. As also reported by Sammobile, Samsung is reportedly working on a new Exynos processor that is codenamed “Olympus,” so seeing the names appear together in rumors may simply the result of a bad translation or misunderstanding.
Still, an early rendering published by LetsGoDigital showed what that partnership might look like.
LetsGoDigital says that because of the silicon shortage, fans should not expect a Note 21 this year, which is why the manufacturer is expected to package the popular S Pen with the Galaxy S22. More than that, Samsung will have its efforts focused on making the S22 Ultra even more impressive due to the lack of a Note smartphone.
“Samsung seems to have big plans for the camera this time,” the publication says. “Stories have been circulating for some time that the South Korean manufacturer has started a collaboration with the Japanese company Olympus.”
LetsGoDigital says to expect the partnership with Olympus to feel similar to how OnePlus works with Hasselblad, Huawei with Leica, and Sony with Zeiss. The result is rumored to be a massive rear camera array that features one giant main camera and three additional cameras. While the publication admits taht very little is known about the camera configuration of the S22 Ultra at the time of publication, the company predicts Samsung will use the Exynos 2100 chip that can support 200-megapixel sensors. As such, the giant main camera is presumed to be a 200-megapixel and will be combined with an ultra-wide and two telephotos.
The full report on LetsGoDigital discusses other features that it thinks might make its way into the new Galaxy S22 Ultra, but this is the second render that points to a giant main camera among a group in the large camera notch. It remains to be seen if this comes to pass.
Image credits: Renders by TechnizoConcept and shared with permission from LetsGoDigital.
As part of our second-hand classic series, we pay homage to Olympus’s entry-level mirrorless model from 2015
Shutter speeds are 60-1/4000sec using the mechanical shutter and can be pushed as high as 1/16,000sec using the electronic shutter
The E-M10 Mark II, which was launched in August 2015, benefited from a good number of changes to make it significantly different to the original OM-D E-M10. It gained a similar 5-axis image stabilisation system to the version seen in Olympus’s more advanced OM-D E-M1 and E-M5 Mark II models and received improvements to its electronic viewfinder and video functionality.
The E-M10 Mark II shoots 22 raw files, or an unlimited number of JPEGs at its maximum 8.5fps continuous shooting speed
It combines a 16.1MP Four Thirds sensor with a TruePic VII image processor, culminating in an ISO range of 100-25,600 and burst shooting at up to 8.5fps. Its electronic shutter permits silent shooting and the battery lasts for up 320 shots.
What we said ● ‘Despite being a junior model in the OM-D lineup, it defies its billing by offering many of the key features found in its more advanced siblings’ ● ‘Detail is well preserved up to ISO 1600, beyond which it slowly starts to tail off’ ● ‘It’s undeniably a handsome, well-built and highly specified camera that’s capable of taking fine images’
How it fares today Despite many of today’s APS-C and full-frame cameras being capable of resolving finer detail and outperforming the E-M10 Mark II at high ISO, the image quality output from the Micro Four Thirds sensor is good enough for amateurs and casual users. If it’s dual card slots, weather-resistance and a faster burst you’re after, you’ll want to look at more expensive models in the OM-D lineup.
What to pay The camera cost £550 (body only) new when we reviewed it. Since then the price of used examples has dropped gradually to the point where excellent condition cameras with their original packaging, battery and caps can be picked up for £189.
Like-new used examples cost £200-220, with those deemed to be in good condition with a few scuffs to the body being sold for £170.
New alternatives The E-M10 III arrived two years after the E-M10 Mark II, and was superseded by the E-M10 Mark IV in 2020. Updates to the latter include a new 20MP sensor, improved handgrip, 15fps burst shooting and built-in Bluetooth.
It forgoes on-chip phase detection and relies on a 121-point contrast detection system for autofocus. A simplified menu also makes it more approachable to novices.
At-a-glance £189 (excellent used condition) 16.1MP Four Thirds sensor ISO 100-25,600 (extended) 2.36-million-dot EVF 3in, 1.04m-dot fully articulated touchscreen 390g (body only)
For and against + Robust body and attractive design + 5-axis in-body image stabilisation + Huge selection of MFT lenses + Available in all-black or silver and black finishes
– Lacks input for a microphone – No weather-sealing – No 40MP High Res Shot mode – Lacks 4K video (Full HD at 60fps)
What the owners think
Three Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II users give their verdict…
As Maria has discovered, the highly effective in-body image stabilisation (IBIS) can save you having to carry a tripod. Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/4-5.6 R, 1/125sec at f/9, ISO 500
Maria Nikolouzou In 2016, I decided I’d try and improve my Facebook page with higher-quality photos. The camera I upgraded to was the OM-D E-M10 II. I purchased the silver edition at an affordable price and instantly fell in love with its beautiful retro design.
Compact and very well constructed, but unfortunately not weather- sealed, it fits nicely in my hands without being too cumbersome. Buttons and controls are well positioned across the body, it offers good customisation, but is let down slightly by its menu, which isn’t particularly intuitive. Being lightweight was an advantage for my off-road hiking trips and the most valuable feature has been its in-body image stabilisation. I rarely find myself using a tripod any more.
The focus bracketing has helped with my macro photography and I’ve been impressed with its electronic viewfinder and the touch-enabled screen that lets me tilt it and shoot easily from low angles. The camera has a wide range of available lenses, creating pictures with recognisable Olympus colours. The battery life isn’t the best, however that is easily solved by packing a few spares.
My overall experience with the camera has resulted in a deeper passion for photography. More of my images can be viewed on Instagram @mnikolouzou.
An example showing how the OM-D E-M10 II handles noise at ISO 1600. Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 II, 1/6sec at f/4.8, ISO 1600
For and against + 5-axis in-body image stabilisation – No weather-sealing
Nick likes how compact and portable the OM-D E-M10 Mark II is for gig photography. Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f/1.8, 1/100sec at f/1.8, ISO 400
Nick Barber A combination of GAS (gear acquisition syndrome), favourable exchange rate with the Canadian dollar and discounting of the Mark II after the release of the OM-D E-M10 Mark III saw me hand over my cash. I love its raised and tactile controls which compensate for its small form factor.
On its first challenging run out, it performed solidly paired with the 12-40mm F2.8 Pro lens and various fast primes. While it’s not the best in low light in the Olympus, or indeed Micro Four Thirds, range, its raw files hold up enough detail to rely on it to get acceptable shots in the kind of poorly lit music venues I often visit. More of my images can be found by visiting www.nickbarberphotography.co.uk. I am also on Instagram @efsb.
For and against + Small form factor – Battery life
Menegatos finds the size of the OM-D E-M10 Mark II complements his love of street photography. Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/4-5.6 R, 1/800sec at f/4.5, ISO 200
Menegatos Christos I bought the OM-D E-M10 Mark II in 2018. It is a beautiful silver retro-like, small and lightweight camera that’s supported by a vast number of Micro Four Thirds lenses from Olympus, Panasonic and other manufacturers. It has a 16MP sensor, IBIS, an excellent viewfinder, Wi-Fi, Full HD video at 60p, a 4K time-lapse mode and a flexible touchscreen.
It can shoot as high as ISO 25,600, but I’ve learnt its low-light performance isn’t its strong point. I love street photography and use it with my 40-150mm zoom lens most of the time. Autofocus is fast and accurate and it returns nice and crisp images.
I like the fact the camera feels light yet stable in my hands, which makes me want to pick it up and use it. I get around 280 shots on a single charge. To sum up, the E-M10 II is a camera that I thoroughly enjoy using outdoors and would highly recommend it to others.
For and against + No shortage of MFT lenses – Lacks 4K video and microphone input
Further reading What are the best mirrorless cameras you can buy?
Olympus has announced the new Olympus PEN E-P7, the first camera to be released since Olympus sold its camera division to OM Digital Solutions. The E-P7 features a 20mp Four Thirds sensor, 5-axis image stabilisation, a tilting touch-screen, 4K video, and built-in flash. The camera is available to pre-order from £819 with 14-42mm pancake zoom lens.
The camera is a more premium option, compared to the E-PL10, which has a 16mp sensor, and has specifications and features that match the E-M10 Mark IV, with a 20mp sensor, 4K video, and up to 15fps continuous shooting (using an electronic shutter).
20.3mp M43 CMOS sensor
5-axis image stabilisation, using sensor-shift, up to 4.5 EV steps
118.3×68.5×38.1mm, 337g with battery and memory card
From OM Digital Solutions: OM Digital Solutions GmbH is pleased to announce the Olympus PEN E-P7 Micro Four Thirds System camera. Conquering creative hearts with its photographic prowess and classic design from the Olympus PEN series of Yoshihisa Maitani. Equipped with an array of powerful photographic features such as Colour Profile Control, a 20 megapixel Live MOS sensor and in-body 5-axis image stabilisation. The PEN E-P7 allows photographers to capture memorable moments in their own style, creating high-quality pictures and video that make the most of the performance of the M.Zuiko lenses.
Sophisticated design with great attention to detail
The E-P7 is built faithfully in the distinctive and sophisticated design of the Olympus PEN series. Details such as the aluminium front and rear dials are carefully crafted to achieve an exquisite, refined look. On its own, the body weighs 337g, and when combined with the M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ standard zoom lens, it only weighs 430 g. Making it lighter and easier than ever to bring a camera with you to capture the treasured life moments.
20 MP Live MOS sensor and in-body 5-axis image stabilisation
The combination of the 20 Megapixel Live MOS sensor, the high-speed TruePic VIII image processor and the M.Zuiko lens ensure quality beyond a smartphone. The PEN E-P7 is equipped with in-body 5-axis image stabilisation that delivers up to 4.5 steps of compensation for blur-free, high-quality images every day. Advanced continuous Auto-focus and Face Priority/Eye Priority AF algorithm from the professional OM-D series models is also included for automatic detection and continuous focus on eyes and faces. Ensuring portraits are captured exactly as desired even when the subject is obstructed or in profile.
Profile Control at the tip of your finger
The dedicated Profile Control dial on the front of the E-P7 allows for instant switching between standard photo modes to Colour, Monochrome or filter effect profiles. Ideal for unique and creative image creation with 12 colour 10 step saturation control, Highlight & Shadow adjustment with Colour Profile Control, presets simulating analogue film-looks, colour filter effects and film grain effects in Monochrome Profile Control for stunning black & white images. Olympus Art Filters are also available, allowing your images to become small artworks virtually at the touch of a button. Simply move the slider on the monitor up or down to adjust the level of filter effects with the Fine Tune option.
In-built WiFi & Bluetooth connectivity – Connect and share easily with in-built WiFi & Bluetooth and the OI.Share smartphone app for automatic photo transfer to iOS and Android phones and tablets. Additionally, the app allows the smart device to become a remote control for the E-P7 allowing even greater creative possibilities.
Versatile tilting LCD screen – Greater creativity is possible with the E-P7’s tilting LCD allowing for shooting at various angles and selfies with the flip down screen.
Advanced Photo mode – Capture traditionally challenging photographic techniques like Multi Exposure and long exposure modes like Live Composite with ease with the well renown Olympus Advanced Photo.
Stabilised 4K Video – Beautifully smooth Hand-held high-definition 4K video recording has never been easier thanks to the in-body 5-axis image stabilisation ensuring stunning results in every occasion.
USB Charging – Enjoy the freedom of charging on the go with in-camera USB charging allowing you to explore more and capture more of your adventures.
Perfectly styled with the optional CS-54B genuine leather body jacket – This genuine leather body jacket in black or white fits perfectly on the PEN E-P7. The rear monitor can be opened for selfies without removing the jacket. Pair this accessory with the optional lens jacket and shoulder strap to enjoy a modern leather look.
PEN Fashion Accessories –Match the style and design of the PEN E-P7 with a fashionable camera strap or case from the range of Olympus PEN fashion accessories.
Availability & Pricing
The PEN E-P7 will be available from mid-June 2021 in two colour combinations, white & silver or black & silver, as body-only from £749 or as a kit with the M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ lens for £849. When customers register their purchase of the PEN E-P7 via my.olympus-consumer.com and subscribe to our newsletter, a free six-month warranty extension is available.
Olympus has announced the new Olympus M.Zuiko 8-25mm f/4.0 PRO wide-angle zoom lens for Micro Four Thirds cameras. The first lens to be announced by OM Digital Solutions, since the transfer from Olympus. The lens gives a 16-50mm equivalent (in 35mm terms), and has a 72mm filter thread, L-Fn button, manual clutch focus ring, and will be available from the beginning of July for £899.
From OM Digital Solutions: UK, June 9, 2021 – OM Digital Solutions GmbH is pleased to announce a new addition to the successful Olympus PRO range of lenses, the M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25mm F4.0 PRO. Conforming to the Micro Four Thirds System standard, this new lens covers focal lengths from the ultra wide 16mm* to the standard 50 mm* at F4.0 and delivers superb imaging performance across the entire zoom range. Compact and lightweight with 3.1x zoom magnification the 8-25mm F4.0 PRO delivers excellent image quality the renown M.Zuiko PRO series and offers photographers the versatility to capture images from dynamic ultra wide-angle dramatic landscapes, to images and video with a field of view that feels natural to the human eye. Featuring Olympus’ acclaimed weather sealing, making the lens perfect for nearly every shooting situation.
Compact, lightweight, ultra-wide-angle zoom lens
This single lens covers a wide range of shooting scenarios, from the ultra-wide-angle 16 mm* to 50mm* with a 3.1x zoom magnification for capturing standard focal length shots. This is the first lens in the M.Zuiko PRO series to feature a retracting mechanism to ensure a compact size on the go and is highly portable at just 411g. The M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25 mm F4.0 PRO is the solution for all those who want travel with as little luggage as possible without having to sacrifice professional quality.
Excellent optical performance across the entire zoom range
Our dedication to optical performance resulted in adopting a 16-element, 10-group lens configuration that includes special lenses such as Super ED, ED, and EDA lenses. The optical design of this lens allows for thorough suppression of various aberrations including chromatic aberration across the entire zoom range, resulting in sharp high-resolution images unique to M.Zuiko PRO lenses. A large DSA lens was specifically included to significantly reduce sagittal comatic aberration.
This design delivers high-quality image reproduction from the center to the edges of the image even at the widest aperture setting. To suppress ghosting and flares during blacklit shooting, this lens also features optimised ZERO Coating to deliver sharp, high-definition depiction. The constant aperture of the lens at all focal lengths allows for easy control of exposure while shooting with variable zoom settings and for recording video.
Close-up shooting performance with a maximum magnification of 0.42x*
Enjoy macro shooting with a maximum shooting magnification of 0.42x* for performance that rivals that of a half-macro lens. The closest focusing distance is 0.23 meters across the entire zoom range making it possible to adjust the field of view with the zoom ring on the M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25 mm F4.0 PRO. This lens also supports Focus Stacking***, which merges multiple images into a single photo to create an image with focus from the foreground to background in the camera, enabling stunning macro photos that are sharp from front to back.
Reliable dustproof, splashproof, and freezeproof performance and superb controls
The M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25mm F4.0 PRO features the superb splashproof and dustproof performance of IPX1 equivalent and freezeproof performance to -10°C for a high level of reliability unique to the M.Zuiko PRO series. When paired with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and E-M5 series, this lens can be used with peace of mind in demanding environments such as rain and snow. Fluorine coating used on the front lens allows for cleaning with ease. The front element optical design of the M.ZUIKO Digital ED 8-25mm F4.0 PRO allows filters can be attached despite featuring ultra-wide-angle 16 mm equivalent performance. Attaching Polarizing (PL) or Neutral Density (ND) filters with a diameter of 72 mm allows for a versatile range of photographic expressions. The Manual Focus Clutch provides instant switching between auto and manual focusing and an L-Fn (lens function) button is available on the side of the lens so users can change settings with a single operation using their thumb while holding the camera.
Availability & pricing
The new M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25 mm F4.0 PRO lens including the LH-76E lens hood will be available from the beginning of July at an RRP of £899. When customers register their purchase of the new lens via my.olympus-consumer.com and subscribe to our newsletter, a free six-month warranty extension**** is available.
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