The holidays have passed, but Olympus is still giving. And it seems they’ve really backed the sleigh up to the loading dock this time with a bevy of new gear, highlighted by their new Micro Four Thirds mirrorless camera, the OM-D E-M10, which is available in black or silver, as well as a black kit or silver kit with the M.ZUIKO Digital ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II R lens. In addition to the new mirrorless camera, Olympus has announced a new 14-42mm zoom lens, a fast 25mm wide-angle lens, a body cap lens, an impressive long zoom camera, a new tough camera, a macro converter, and numerous accessories.
OM-D E-M10 Mirrorless Camera
The OM-D E-M10 is part of the Olympus Micro Four Thirds lineup along with the OM-D E-M5, which was released in early 2012, and their flagship, the OM-D E-M1. The E-M10 combines powerful elements from both of those cameras but packages them in a smaller form factor and adds several upgrades that are sure to please present MFT shooters and, quite likely, win over many enthusiasts who are ready to set aside their point-and-shoot camera for a sturdy, user-friendly, and compact interchangeable-lens camera.
With a 16.1MP Live MOS sensor, the image quality of the E-M10 is comparable to the E-M1, enabling sharp, color-accurate imaging and low-light sensitivity, including an extended ISO range of 100-25600. The TruePic VII Image Processor with Fine Detail Processing II Technology, the same processor as on the E-M1, brings with it fast performance speeds for both stills and Full HD video. Maximum continuous shooting speed is 8 fps and the FAST AF System provides just that, fast 81-point contrast detect autofocus. Autofocus points are selectable for exacting control of where focus is placed within your frame; focus peaking and magnified focus assist easily to confirm when and where your image is at its sharpest.
Like the other mirrorless OM-D cameras, the E-M10 has both an electronic viewfinder for stable eye-level composition and an LCD monitor for live view shooting and playback. The EVF is equal to that on the E-M5, with 1.44 million-dot resolution, 1.15x magnification, and 100% field of view. An improved rapid refresh rate makes it ideal for tracking fast-moving subjects and the Auto-Brightness feature enables clear visibility no matter what the lighting conditions. The 3.0” LCD tilts up and down for improved odd angle and discreet shooting. Touch control on the LCD enables fast and intuitive navigation of the camera’s menu system as well as shutter release and focus placement.
Full HD 1080p video is provided at 30 fps with a built-in stereo microphone. Shooting stills simultaneously is possible without interrupting the video recording. Integrated "3-Axis" Image Stabilization with Multi-Motions IS and Auto IS compensates for camera movement to reduce blur when shooting in dim light or at long telephoto lengths. The 3-Axis Stabilization works to control yaw, pitch, and roll movements for impressive clarity in tricky situations. The IS system is also supported during video shooting to eliminate the shaky effects that accompany videos that might otherwise suffer from operator movement.
Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity enables instant transfer of images and video to smartphones and tablets for easy sharing. Also, with a Wi-Fi connection, your smart device can serve as a remote control for operating the camera. In addition to its compact form, the E-M10 provides several user-friendly features, making it a great camera for those switching from point-and-shoots. A built-in flash and hot shoe are available for added illumination when necessary and the 2 x 2 Dial Control System with FN button allows easy access to all camera controls, as well as customization of the buttons, for immediate access to the controls you use most often. In addition, two HDR modes help create balanced images in high-contrast situations, Hand-Held Starlight Mode makes it easy to take clear images at night; features like Time-Lapse Movie, Photo Story, and Art Filters let you get creative without extensive setup or post processing. With its retro form factor and leather grip, the E-M10 is a handsome camera with a premium metal build, ample grip, and ergonomic access to controls.
The OM-D E-M10 is compatible with all Micro Four Thirds mount lenses, including the extensive Olympus M. ZUIKO lineup; however, a kit is available with the lightweight M.ZUIKO Digital ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II R lens which offers a 28-84mm focal length equivalence and features MSC autofocus for fast and quiet AF and three aspherical lens elements to minimize aberrations and provide sharp imaging throughout the zoom range.
New to the Olympus Micro Four Thirds lens lineup is the M.ZUIKO Digital ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ lens, which is a real step up from its predecessor—especially if you plan on shooting video with your Olympus PEN or OM-D cameras. The 35mm focal length equivalent of this lens is 28-84mm, which is a versatile zoom range providing wide-angle to telephoto focal lengths, and its minimum focus distance is a mere 7.87”. With a Movie and Still Compatible (MSC) focusing mechanism, autofocus is fast and quiet, which is important when shooting video; its two-step Electronic Zoom (EZ) enables smooth zoom control directly from the camera body. ED and HR lens elements minimize aberrations and contribute to sharp overall imaging and the compact form of the lens is designed to match the E-M10. The lens weighs just 3.2 oz, is less than 1” long, and offers the Electronic Retraction features—it automatically extends and retracts when the camera is powered on and off. This new 14-42mm is available in both black or silver.
Also new to the Olympus Micro Four Thirds lens lineup is the M.ZUIKO Digital 25mm f/1.8 lens, which is available in black or silver. Its 35mm focal length equivalent is 50mm, making this a very fast standard length lens with effective low-ight capability and shallow depth-of-field focus control. It is also a very compact lens, ideally suited to the OM-D mirrorless system. Two aspherical lens elements minimize aberrations for sharp, accurate color delineation. An inner focusing mechanism assures fast and accurate autofocusing, and because it is an also an MSC design, it offers nearly silent focusing operation—a great feature when shooting HD movies.
The BCL-0980 Fisheye Body Cap Lens is a novel lens and accessory for the Olympus mirrorless camera systems. It is a body cap for protecting the camera’s interior and it also provides optical capability as a simple, f/8 fixed aperture, manual-focus “fisheye” lens. It protects your camera when stored or in transit but is ready to shoot at a moment’s notice, providing a 9mm focal length, which is equivalent to an 18mm lens in the 35mm format, with a minimum focus distance of 7.87”. It is only 0.5” long and weighs 1 oz, so no one will distinguish it from a simple body cap, for discreet shooting. As an Olympus lens with 2 aspherical elements, aberrations are minimized and daylight images are sharp.
Compatible with both the above 14-42mm and 25mm lenses, as well as other select M.ZUIKO lenses, is the MCON-P02 Macro Converter. When attached to the lens front, this macro adapter enables more close-up, detailed imaging than the lens itself can provide. It is ideal for photographing small subjects in all their glory, or details of larger scenes. Its filter thread is 46mm and it comes with a step-up ring adapter to fit on lenses with a 37mm filter thread diameter.
SP-100 Long Zoom Digital Camera
With a 50x optical zoom lens, which is equivalent to a 24-1200mm lens in the 35mm format, the Stylus SP-100 Digital Camera enables versatile image capture from wide-angle through ultra-telephoto perspectives and macro mode with focusing as close as 1 cm. With a lens this powerful, you will be prepared for almost all shooting situations when you carry just this one camera. In addition, the SP-100 provides an innovative yet practical feature that simplifies long focal length capture. An on-camera dot sight panel pops up beneath the camera’s built-in flash to let you see a wide field of view, even if your focal length is zoomed in tight on a distant subject. A red light projected onto the panel enables you to find and follow your subject, despite distance and movement. It is an ideal tool for telephoto capture and it stows out of the way when not needed.
The SP100 has more than just a long lens—it houses a 16MP 1/2.3” Back Side Illuminated CMOS sensor for superior still image and full HD video capture. It also features the TruePic VII image processor, the latest from Olympus, and provides not only high-resolution imaging but fast autofocus and performance speeds. Full HD 1080p video is captured at 60 fps and can utilize the lens’s full focal range; a built-in stereo microphone records audio for your movies. Dual Image Stabilization technology combines lens-shift stabilization with fast shutter speeds and automatically adjusted ISO sensitivity to minimize the blur created by camera shake. This is a particularly important feature, considering the long focal lengths offered by the SP-100.
You'll find both an eye-level electronic viewfinder and a bright LCD monitor on the SP-100. The EVF offers 920k-dot resolution, 100% field of view, and diopter adjustment. You’re able to review important camera settings in the finder so there is no need to remove your eye to make adjustments. The LCD monitor is 3.0” and bright enough for image playback and composition in varied lighting conditions.
With features designed for all levels of photographers, the SP-100 is incredibly versatile. Its sensor and image processor combination provide an enhanced Intelligent Auto feature with scene and subject recognition technologies to self-adjust for the optimal shot. On the other hand, full manual exposure control and manual focus allow the photographer exacting image control. With a large grip and specialized controls such as a left-hand controlled focus button and side zoom lever, form enables faster function. A focus limiter button improves autofocus speeds by establishing and limiting the range of focus when needed. Add to the impressive control modes and incredible lens a panorama feature, art filters, and interval shooting, and it becomes increasingly clear that the SP-100 is one camera solution for countless photo and video applications.
TG-850 “Tough” Digital Camera
Olympus “tough” cameras have consistently proven themselves to be tops in their field, and the new Stylus Tough TG-850 Digital Camera joins the ranks, just behind Olympus's flagship TG-2 as a high-resolution point-and-shoot that can stand up to the worst you can give it. In terms of ruggedness, it is waterproof to 33’ and, therefore, ideal for not only beach and pool, but fully capable of shooting underwater on your next dive. It is dustproof, shockproof up to a fall from 7’, crushproof up to 220 lbf, and freezeproof to 14°F, so take it on your next ski trip and don’t worry about the slippery slope.
With a 16MP Back Side Illuminated 1/2.3” CMOS sensor and the TruePic VII image processor (the same processor in high-end Olympus OM-D cameras), image quality, especially in terms of low-light performance, as well as autofocus and response speeds, are optimal. The 5x optical zoom lens provides the 35mm focal length equivalence of 21-105mm, enabling inclusive wide-angle perspectives and telephoto magnification. A Dual Image Stabilization system compensates for the camera shake that inevitably occurs when shooting in active situations. Continuous shooting speeds that range from 2.5 to 60 fps, depending on image quality, mean that you will catch fast-moving action. Full HD 1080/60p video recording is supported and, in lower resolutions, slow-motion recording lets you capture the details of your best moves (or spills)! Also, HDMI output enables direct connection for screening on an HDTV.
A first for a “tough” camera, the TG-850 provides a 3.0” 460k-dot LCD screen that can flip up 180° for easier composition of low-angle shots, as well as for precise self-portraiture. A maneuverable screen also helps to avoid glare in situations with bright sunlight, such as the beach or ski slopes. Several shooting modes and assistive features make it easy to capture difficult shots. Four underwater modes are perfect for active-lifestyle and travel shooters, a macro mode enables close-up detailing, and Intelligent Auto lets the camera control the settings for you. Also, interval shooting mode, panorama mode, and art filters offer creative imaging options. The TG-850 is available in black, silver, or white.
Accessories for the OM-D Camera and M.ZUIKO Lenses
Olympus has also announced numerous important accessories for both the OM-D E-M10 and the two new M.ZUIKO lenses. The black ECG-1 Grip for E-M10 Digital Camera attaches to the tripod thread of the camera and provides a large, dimpled grip for better and more comfortable camera control, especially when holding the camera in the vertical position. The CSS-44SF Case for E-M10 Digital Camera is a soft camera case with interior pockets that perfectly fits the E-M10, with room for accessories. A multi-layered interior provides extra protection for the camera, and the whole case itself can be attached to the CBG-1- camera bag as part of a comprehensive carry system. The CBG-9 Premium PEN Case for E-M10 Digital Camera provides protection for the camera when in transit or storage.
For the new 14-42mm lens, Olympus offers the black LC-37C Auto Open Lens Cap for 14-42mm EZ Lens, which not only protects the lens when not in use but opens and closes automatically when the camera is turned on and off. This is a very convenient feature and, because it remains fixed to the lens, it helps prevent the inevitable loss of lens cap and extends the life of your lens. For the 25mm f/1.8 wide-angle lens, a new lens hood is available to deflect unwanted light and provide a degree of protection against accidental impact. The LH-49B Hood for M.ZUIKO Digital 25mm f/1.8 Lens is available in black or silver.
The PRF-D37 PRO 37mm Clear Protective Filter and D40.5 PRO 40.5mm Clear Protective Filter screw on to lenses to protect them from scratches and fingerprints while maintaining the clarity needed to get the most out of your lens. They fit on lenses with either a 40.5mm filter thread or a 37mm thread, which fits the new 14-42mm lens. Lastly, the DR-49 Decoration Ring lets you customize and protect the front end of select M.ZUIKO lenses, providing your choice of silver, black, or white to cover the black of the hood mount and match the lens color. It also protects the hood mount and filter thread from damage due to impact.