Mirrorless Interchangeable-lens CameraOM-D E-M1 Mark IIInnovation Born Out of a Tradition of Diverse Technology
In 2016, Olympus marked the 80th anniversary of its camera business. Since 1936, when our predecessor Takachiho Seisakusho developed the Zuiko lens and started selling the Semi-Olympus I, the company's first camera, Olympus has continuously pursued development of its products. The culmination of the company's many decades of technological innovation now culminate in the OM-D E-M1 Mark II, a flagship model of the Olympus mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera OM-D series. Read on to learn how our history of passionate technological innovation lead to the remarkable OM-D E-M1 Mark II, and also the M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm f/4.0 IS PRO, a high-performance lens with unique image-stabilization technology.
The information published here is the information as of January 25, 2017.
Our Philosophy: Half the Size, Twice the Performance
For eight decades, Olympus' camera business has pursued a philosophical emphasis on "smaller and lighter." Since the introduction of the Olympus PEN, a prototypical half-sized camera released in 1959, Olympus has introduced a long line of innovative cameras boasting unprecedented compactness and low weight, all built to uncompromising manufacturing standards. To this day, Olympus continues to emphasize smaller and lighter based on the enduring truth that greater mobility means greater user convenience.
It is also true that nothing is gained by sacrificing performance for the sake of smaller and lighter.
These are the precepts behind the Olympus philosophy of "half the size, twice the performance." Today, this enlightened vision continues to guide Olympus' mission of designing compact and lightweight cameras that are manufactured to deliver exceptional performance.
Broad-based Expertise in both Design and Manufacturing
Cameras are high-precision instruments that intricately fuse optical, mechanical and electronic technologies. It is no simple matter to take an existing camera and attempt to further reduce its size and weight or enhance its performance. When confronting such challenges, the importance of broad-based technological expertise and the relentless pursuit of improvement cannot be overestimated.
Olympus' accumulation of diverse, multi-sector technologies has enabled the company to introduce a wide range of innovative camera functions and capabilities. These include — to name a few — the OM-1, the smallest and lightest 35mm single-lens reflex camera of its day; the XA, a camera with a sliding plastic lens cover popularly known as the "Capsule Camera;" the AF-1, the world's first fully automatic weatherproof compact camera; the μ series' combination of advanced compact design and weatherproof performance including underwater; and the astonishingly durable, highly impact-resistant Tough series for anywhere use. In turn, the downsizing, weight-saving and waterproof technologies that were developed and refined for these cameras are now deployed in Olympus' latest mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras.
No matter how wonderful a technology may be in theory, its development is just the beginning; actually deploying the technology in a high-quality final product is a major challenge in itself. Olympus, with its long history of manufacturing, possesses the superior process and manufacturing technologies that are critical to turning innovative ideas into high-quality cameras and lenses.
Olympus' design and manufacturing departments are equally passionate about the goal of developing compact, lightweight and high-performance cameras. Some 80 years after the first Olympus camera appeared, the company continues to emphasize both the development and the application of diverse technologies to deliver high-quality cameras and lenses.
OM-D E-M1 Mark II
Advanced Mirrorless Interchangeable-lens Camera for Professionals
The philosophy of "half the size, twice the performance" remains a driving force behind Olympus' development of interchangeable lens cameras and lenses. Olympus help lead the introduction of small, lightweight mirrorless digital cameras, including the Olympus PEN E-P1, a pocketsize Micro Four Thirds mirrorless interchangeable-lens digital camera launched in 2009. Olympus, which correctly foresaw mirrorless cameras becoming a mainstream category, steadily introduced a range of compact, lightweight, high-performance models ahead of others.
The company has also focused strategically on technologies unique to digital cameras, such as image-sensing devices that convert light from the lens into electronic signals and image-processing engines that generate image data from electronic signals.
And now, Olympus has developed a camera that offers unprecedented image quality even in the most severe environments. The OM-D E-M1 Mark II, a flagship model of the OM-D series of mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras, is a perfect embodiment of the half-size, double-performance philosophy. Compact, lightweight, dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof, it is built for virtually any environment. Technologically, Olympus' rugged performer combines advanced image sensing and image processing to deliver exceptionally high performance. During development, Olympus carefully analyzed the technological prospects in each department involved to determine the maximum attainable functions and capabilities, and then the highest-possible technical standards were established for these new technologies. Thanks to a tremendous collective effort, the OM-D E-M1 Mark II's specifications far exceeded expectations when it launched.
The compact, lightweight OM-D E-M1 Mark II features maximum 18 fps high-speed sequential shooting in AF/AE tracking, topping the performance of the DSLRs. Even during fast sequential shooting, auto focus (AF) and automatic exposure (AE) both function precisely, and the high-definition electronic viewfinder performs fast and smoothly. Framing and tracking of fast-moving subjects have been significantly upgraded thanks to the new 121-point all-cross-type on-chip phase detection AF system.
This level of high performance in such a small, lightweight camera is only possible from Olympus, a pioneer and continuing innovator of mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras. So it should come as no surprise that the OM-D E-M1 Mark II meets the needs of even the most exacting professionals shooting wildlife or athletics.
M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 300mm f/4.0 IS PRO
Super-telephoto Zoom Lens Combining Excellent Optics and Compact Design
Making a camera smaller and lighter is an all-encompassing effort that inherently must address both the body and the lens. If the body is compact but not the lens, the camera cannot truly be "compact and lightweight." Accordingly, Olympus thoroughly pursued its half-size, double-performance philosophy when developing the M.ZUIKO PRO lens series. Professionals have praised the high-performance series' combination of excellent optics and compact design, as well as its dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof construction.
The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 300mm f/4.0 IS PRO is an exemplary, super-telephoto lens equipped with several advanced lens technologies. It offers a view angle of 600mm-equivalent focal length, an f/4 maximum aperture, the highest resolution in Olympus history, and the top specs in its class.
In the design phase, the aim was to enable hand-held shooting with a 600mm super-telephoto lens by reducing the lens size and reducing camera shake. The solution was 5-axis Sync IS (image stabilization), which combines in-lens IS and in-body 5-axis IS for powerful image stabilization, equivalent to 6 shutter speed steps. The feature facilitates both hand-held shooting during 600mm telephoto photography and high-resolution shooting without having to increase sensitivity, even in low light.
The highest resolution in Olympus history is achieved by including 3 Super ED (extra-low dispersion) lenses, an HR (high-refractive) lens and an E-HR (Extra-High Refractive) lens for correcting color bleeding and aberrations that tend to occur when using telephoto lenses. Although large-sized Super ED lenses are notoriously difficult to produce, Olympus successfully devised a mass-production system that employs proprietary lens-process technologies originally developed for film cameras and objective-lens technologies used in high-precision Olympus microscopes. The AF unit features micro-level precision and a high-speed, high-precision lens drive that employs a new feedback control system to move the lens while verifying location. To ensure accuracy during mass production, carefully planned tolerances maintain a proper balance between performance and productivity.
The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 300mm f/4.0 IS PRO and the OM-D E-M1 Mark II are combined in an astonishingly compact camera system, that is significantly smaller and lighter than DSLR camera systems that produce similar image quality. . Both the lens and the camera body are dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof. Professionals have praised the system's amazing mobility and highly reliability in harsh environments.
Proprietary Systems for Powerful Image Stabilization
Olympus is renowned for its excellent image stabilization (IS) technology, particularly in-body IS compensation featuring precision control of the image-sensing device. Olympus was among the first to adopt an in-body 5-axis IS system to compensate for camera shake. The new 5-axis Sync IS has both in-body and in-lens IS systems to deliver compensation of up to 6.5* shutter speed steps. Olympus, which has its own proprietary compensation unit and control-and-compensation algorithms, uses built-in IS systems to deliver extremely high-precision image stabilization.
* When using M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO at 100mm (35mm equivalent: 200mm), with halfway release image stabilization set to OFF, when yaw and pitch are applied to camera. As of September 2016. CIPA standard compliant.
The Olympus solution for extra-precise compensation involves more than moving the image-sensing device. To shield the gyro sensor from the impact of external shake and in-body shutter movement, a unique system was developed to hold the sensor precisely in position. Olympus also strengthened its IS package by adapting a previously developed pick-up technology for the magneto-optical disk drive.
Olympus, armed with diverse technologies and broad-based expertise that it has developed in a range of business sectors over the years, is uniquely positioned to meet the challenge of devising specialized solutions for high-performance IS systems.
Technological Competence Accumulated in the Interchangeable Lens Cameras Originally Developed for Other Areas
Olympus is increasingly focusing on meeting needs in specialty fields as a "Business to Specialist" Company, a concept introduced in the five-year, medium-term management plan (2016 Corporate Strategic Plan(16CSP)) with the fiscal year starting ending March 2017 as the first year. Olympus strives to thoroughly grasp the specialized needs of professional customers and then speedily propose solutions. In the Imaging Business producing cameras and lenses, this involves offering a wide range of high-quality products to meet specialized professional requirements.
The two-pronged mission of Olympus' Imaging Business is to advance photography with unique products and services and to serve as a technological driver of the company. The business fully leverages Olympus' broad technological expertise for the development of cutting-edge digital technology, low-cost manufacturing and design knowhow, and mobile technology, ultimately to enhance the overall corporate value of the company.