OM-1 + 12-50mm f2.8 II Weatherproof

The NEW OM-D 1 Camera Body by Lee Hoy!

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Feb 16, 2022 | by Lee Hoy

By now, the hullabaloo of yesterday’s very exciting announcement from OM-System related to the new OM-D 1 camera body has subsided a bit, why don’t I post anything yesterday? Especially since I am an OM-D Pro Ambassador! Well, because the entire world was and anything I had to say would only have been lost in the noise. Besides, OM-D put on a worldwide release video and I was more interested in watching and assisting by answering questions than doing my own post. And in this post, rather than simply regurgitate the specs, promotional material, and videos that have already been posted in many locations, I want to share why I am so excited about this new camera body and my plans regarding their use.

OM-D1 with M.Zuiko 150-400

So, getting to the point here is what I think it relevant!

  1. Shooting at High ISO – the new stacked BSI Live MOS Sensor is going to improve the is performance. Now, if  you listen to the “facebook warriors” you can’t shoot OM-D cameras above ISO 1600. Huh? I just had an ISO 3200 image on the cover of Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine for January/February 2022. I regularly shoot up to ISO 6400 with no concerns, BUT I don’t underexpose images, I properly expose to the right like we should (ETTR). On the video link below, you will see an ISO 25,600 that looked great! TIP: Learn how to properly process high ISO OM-D raw images, ETTR, and you will be just fine!
  2. An AI Detection AF like no other – Imagine 1053 Cross-type phase detection AF points with 100% coverage that work in ALL FOUR DIRECTIONS! The new term is Cross Quad Pixel AF because the autofocus works in all four direction and combine this with the crazy fast processing power of the TruPic X which is up to 3x faster than the E-M1x and we are talking about the most advanced AF on any camera body. While I had great luck with mammals, reptiles/amphibians and even insects with the E-M1x using CAF + Tracking (Birds) the new body has specific modes for cats/dogs and tests show it works great with mammals of many types and I would expect it too!
  3. This body now has starry sky AF and Bird/mammal tracking AF meaning the Mark III will be moved to my camera trap system, the Mark II will be for underwater photography and the (3) E-M1x’s will have one setup for TimeLapse shooting, one will be for video and the other will be a backup body.
  4. The industry’s best Image Stabilization has gotten better AND lighter meaning the camera is lighter too! Depending upon lens combinations, you can get up to 8 stops (EV) of stabilization, which is HUGE!
  5. We now have up to 50 fps sequential shooting with CAF!! That is massive and up to 120 fps with Pro Capture Mode!
  6. The electronic viewfinder (EVF) has been given a major upgrade which is great because I had NO qualms with the viewfinder on the E-M1x other than when wearing polarized sunglasses. I was told the new EVF will work with polarized sunglasses, we will see!
  7. The body, when combined with certain lenses, is even MORE weatherproof which is nuts given how amazing my other bodies have been!
  8. The Computational Photography Elements, NONE of which can be found on ANY other camera system, such as Hi-Res Mode, Live Neutral Density Filter, and Live Composite to name a few have all been given upgrades as follows, Hi-Res Mode can now be activated by using the red record button when in photography mode! That is HUGE! The Live Neutral Density Filter now offers up to 6 stops of exposure reduction! And Live Composite can now be done handheld among other improvements!
  9. A new night view mode will help when focusing and photographing in very low light conditions!

OM-1 + 12-50mm f2.8 II Weatherproof

These are some of the major reasons I was so excited about this camera.

Now, I saw a lot of folks complain about not having more megapixels and I find that this is more often than not, related to the fact that people desire to be able to crop the crap out of images. Personally, I prefer composing and shooting my images as I want them (yes, with bird tracking AF I even try to do this in camera) as much as possible. I probably crop less than 15% of my images and even then, very little. I find that many photographers (certainly not all) are just lazy and instead of developing stalking skills or learning how to approach subjects, they would rather shoot from further away and then just crop that crap out of their images. That is just not my style and so while I would enjoy more megapixels, it isn’t the most important element in a camera for me. And I have had many images from my OM-D cameras published and I guarantee many phot0graphers would be thrilled to have my portfolio of images from my OM-D sensors!

I will admit that when I first saw the camera body during an OM-D System Pro Ambassadors meeting, when I noticed there was no built-in vertical grip to initially being a bit disappointed. However, I can easily add a new grip to one of the two OM-D 1 bodies and that will be my wildlife body while the second OM-1 will remain ungripped and be my landscape and macro body. It will have an L-bracket so that shooting vertical on tripod is fine and it will light enough to handhold vertical without a grip! So in reality, it kind of helps not having the built-in grip.

The OM-D 1 with Grip

Finally, some were disappointed that there was a new batter and only a charging coupler and cord. Umm, Sony has only given one batter and cord for YEARS and Canon changes batteries every time the wind changes direction! OM-D has had the same battery for many models so not a big deal for me!

I personally have not yet shot with this camera and I won’t do a full review for a while because I truly believe a review on something you have only had for a couple of weeks, isn’t a review but a first impression.

What I do know is I have ordered two OM-D 1’s and hoping at least one can arrive before I leave on the Wildside Amazon Riverboat Photography & Birding Adventure on March 4th!

You can watch the entire video on the US announcement of the OM-D 1 here: Youtube Video.

Finally, I would highly encourage you to purchase your OM-1 through someone with affiliate links or a local camera store. Do you really need to help Amazon get bigger or B&H sell another camera? There are some phenomenal local camera stores and photographers you bring you WAY more personal information than either of those two sites!

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