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OM System OM-1 II launches as compact M43 outdoor hybrid camera, impresses in early reviews despite minimal hardware improvements

OM System OM-1 II launches as compact M43 outdoor hybrid camera, impresses in early reviews despite minimal hardware improvements

The OM System OM-1 II largely keeps the same compact M43 form factor as its predecessor. (Image source: OM System)
The OM System OM-1 II largely keeps the same compact M43 form factor as its predecessor. (Image source: OM System)

OM System has announced the OM-1 Mark II, confirming previous rumours of an identical sensor with nifty AI-powered autofocus enhancements. The OM System OM-1 II will be available starting February 26 for $2,399.

Earlier this week, Notebookcheck reported on rumours of the upcoming OM System OM-1 Mark II that was slated to launch on January 30. That launch day is upon us, and OM System has delivered the second iteration of its flagship Micro Four Thirds camera, delivering on many of the leaked features and specifications.

The OM System OM-1 II features the same 20 MP Micro Four Thirds stacked BSI Live MOS sensor and TruePic X image processor as its predecessor, although there are a few refinements to the internals and the shooting experience.

While the hardware is largely the same as the original OM-1 (curr. available on Amazon for $1,919.99), the OM-1 II has impressed early reviewers with a more refined AI-powered autofocus system, an enlarged buffer memory for longer burst shooting, and positive handling characteristics. Instead of the OM-1’s 90-shot limit when shooting RAW images at 120 fps, the OM-1 II was found by DPReview to be capable of capturing 256 images at 50 fps and 213 images at 120 fps before slowing down.

At 120 fps, this is still just under two seconds of shooting, but it’s sure to be helpful for sports or wildlife photographers. There are also changes to the software suite in other areas — specifically, the OM-1 II allows blackout-free burst shooting at lower frame rates and the computational Live ND feature now has added graduated modes for more flexibility.

The OM-1 II is now capable of focus tracking a number of different subjects, supposedly with better accuracy. The focus tracking options are now also consolidated into one screen, making things a little more intuitive.

The IBIS of the OM-1 II has also received a bit of an upgrade, stepping things up to 8.5 stops of compensation from the OM-1’s seven stops.

In terms of the body, not all that much has changed, but OM System upgraded the dials with a rubberised coating for easier use in poor weather conditions or when also using gloves.

Overall, the OM System OM-1 II seems like a nifty, if incremental, upgrade to the original OM-1. The OM System OM-1 II will be available for $2,399 from February 26, 2024. For reference, the similarly capable Sony A7 IV is available from Amazon for $2,498, while the Fujifilm X-H2 comes in at $1,849.

Unless you are already heavily invested in the Micro Four Thirds ecosystem or really need features like the 120 fps burst shooting or compact form factor, either of the larger sensors in the aforementioned cameras may serve you just as well or better than the OM-1 II.

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