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Olympus Unveils E-M1

Center Valley, Pa. — Olympus has unveiled the OM-D E-M1 compact system camera (CSC), said to be as powerful as a professional DSLR.

Shipping in October, the OM-D E-M1 will carry a $1,400 suggested retail for the body alone and will stand as the company’s new premium flagship camera. It incorporates the mirrorless Micro Four Thirds image sensor technology found in Olympus’ CSC models while producing the speed and imaging characteristics of an SLR, the company said.

Olympus said the E-M1 will be the successor to the Olympus E-5 DSLR Micro Four Thirds CSC.

The new camera was also designed to be weather and dust resistant, for use in difficult outdoor conditions.

The E-M1 will “work seamlessly” with all Zuiko and M.Zuiko digital lenses, opening up the entire Olympus arsenal to advanced photo enthusiasts, the company assured.

The camera uses an “advanced Dual Fast autofocus system” that combines both contrast AF and On-Chip phase detection AF and selects the ideal method, depending on lens type and settings — either 37-point On-Chip Phase Detection AF or 81-point Contrast Detection AF.

The camera also packs a 16.3-megapixel Live MOS sensor, and a new TruePic VII image processor that reduces noise and color fading at high ISOs.

New Fine Detail Processing II technology configures the appropriate sharpness processing for each individual lens, while reducing compression artifacts when recording movies.

Unlike most DSLRs, the EM-1 uses an electronic viewfinder (EVF) that at 1.48x (35mm equivalent of 0.74x) magnification factor is as large as a full-frame optical DSLR viewfinder and has added creative control.

The control layout is said to be easy to access for all manual operations.

A new Color Creator tool fine-tunes hue and color saturation using the camera’s GUI and Live View screen, so original images can be imbued with a selection of colors.

Built-in five-axis image stabilization with multi-motion IS mechanism reduces the effects of camera motion and image blur from five directions for shooting both stills and HD video.

The E-M1 includes built-in Wi-Fi that can be set up by scanning the QR code displayed on the camera’s LCD with a smart device. A free Olympus Image Share 2.0 smartphone app synchronizes a user’s smartphone and E-M1 so the camera’s Live View is effectively displayed on the phone, and the camera can be controlled by touching the smartphone display as if it were the camera.

Olympus will offer several accessories for the E-M1, including the HLD-7 power battery holder that is dustproof and splash-proof and enables capture of approximately 680 shots (based on CIPA tests) between charges.

A GS-5 grip strap for the HLD-7 keeps buttons and dials accessible even when the battery holder is attached. The PT-EP11 Underwater Case allows shooting down to 45 meters.

The CBG-10 camera bag is optimized for Four Thirds lens users and is joined by a water-resistant CS-42SF soft camera case, which is part of the CBG-10 bag system for the E-M1.

The CSS-P118 shoulder strap is made of washable material.

In conjunction with the E-M1, Olympus introduced a pair of lenses in the M.Zuiko Pro lens category: the $999 suggested retail Zuiko Digital ED 12–40mm f2.8 Pro lens (24-80mm, 35mm equivalent) and the Zuiko Digital ED 40–150mm f2.8 Pro (80-300mm, 35mm equivalent).