Olympus E-M1 Announced – 4/3 Compatible Phase Detect AF

Olympus EM1 cameraToday, Olympus announces the new E-M1 professional-level Micro Four Thirds camera. This camera represents a combination of features and is fully capable of using legacy Four Thirds with phase detect auto focus. The body is slightly larger than the E-M5, with a deeper grip and improved button and dial layout for one-handed operation. The E-M1 marks the end of the Four Thirds camera line, there will be no E-7 or any further camera past the the E-5.

The E-M1 has a new 16MP Live MOS Image Sensor with Dual Fast AF both phase and contrast detect.  The sensor has 37 focus areas which use phase detect and 81 areas that use contrast detect. The sensor has no anti-aliasing filter to provide the ultimate contrast and sharpness. The shutter speed is 60 seconds to 1/8,000 second and can shoot a continuous 10 frames per second.

Olympus EM1 camera backThe electronic view finder (EVF) is all-new with 2.36 million dots and 1.48X magnification. The refresh rate is quick, with only 29 millisecond display lag. The built-in eye sensor switches between EVF and LCD rear tilting display.

The body of the E-M1 is made of magnesium and features full weather and dust sealing. It is built to withstand freezing temperatures experienced by professional photographers. There is an optional grip to improve handling and shooting in portrait orientation.Olympus E-M1 Grip

The E-M1 shares some features and functions with the E-M5 including 5-axis stabilization, but improves with automatic detection of horizontal and vertical panning. It also adds WiFi connectivity including an OI.Share app that shows a live view on a wireless device and allows control of AF point and shutter.

The E-M1 is truly a pro-level camera, including a PC-sync (X-Sync) socket on the front of the camera. It also has an external microphone input, HDMI output.

It is priced at $1399 US Dollars for the EM-1 Body Only and $2199 with the 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO Lens. The E-M1 will ship in early October 2013.

Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 PRO LensAlong with the E-M1, Olympus announces the Micro Four Thirds PRO lens line. The first lens is the Olympus M Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO Lens which will retail at $995 US Dollars. The lens features a 3.3X zoom range which is equivalent to 24-80mm in 35mm terms. The lens features an all-metal construction with 14 elements in nine groups. The lenses include two aspherical elements (one one-sided and one dual-sided), 2 ED glass elements, 2 HR glass elements, 1 EDA glass element and 1 HD glass element. The lens has a function button and uses a 62mm filter thread. The fast aperture of f2.8 is constant throughout the zoom range. The lens is fully weather sealed for splash and dust protection in addition to freeze-proof like the E-M1 body. The lens is movie and still (MSC) compatible with quiet auto focus for HD movies. The seven curved aperture blades produce pleasing out of focus backgrounds. Unlike lower-end Olympus lenses, the PRO line includes accessories. The 12-40mm includes  a petal lens hood (LH-66) and aluminum lens cap (LC-62D), rear cap (R-2) and lens pouch (LSC 0918).  A one-year warranty is included.