Gear

Micro Four-Thirds gets interesting as Olympus launches the E-M1 Mark III

Latest flagship camera is a serious tool for professionals…

Olympus has just pulled the covers off its latest flagship camera and in doing so has posed a question for professional photographers using full-frame. As its name suggests the OM-D E-M1 Mark III is the third incarnation of the popular Micro Four-Thirds camera and arrives four years after the release of the Mark II.

Packed with cutting edge technology but benefitting from a compact and lightweight design, the E-M1 Mark III may have enough to tempt photographers looking to lighten the load away from full-frame, but what exactly does it offer?

Olympus introduces the E-M1 Mark III

Well, first up, the E-M1 Mark III is built around a 20.4 Megapixel Live MOS sensor, which is paired with Olympus’ latest TruePic IX image processing engine. Amazingly, the camera offers an insane amount of IBIS (In Body Image Stabilisation) – in fact, it offers 7.5 shutter speed steps of compensation thanks to the 5-axis system.

Need IBIS? The E-M1 Mark III has you covered.

As you’d expect, the E-M1 Mark III is compatible with the full range of Micro Four-Thirds lenses from both Olympus, Panasonic and third-party manufacturers, ensuring photographers have a huge choice of optics to select from. For those needing more resolution, the camera includes a 50MP Handheld High Res Shot mode, which can merge 16 photos together to create the super high-res file without the need of a tripod.

Landscape photographers will be interested in the E-M1 Mark III’s Live ND mode, which enables photographers to create a slow shutter effect without the need for a physical ND filter. Photographers can adjust the effect level from ND2 (one step) to ND32 (5 steps), and view the slow shutter effects in the Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) before hitting the shutter.

Thanks to the dual SD card slots, magnesium alloy body construction and the weather sealing that protects against moisture, dust and freezing, the E-M1 Mark III is certainly suitable for professional photography. In fact, the shutter mechanism inside the E-M1 Mark III is rated for 400,000 actuations and Olympus explains that; ‘The OM-D E-M1 Mark IIIis equipped with an industry-leading dust reduction system. The SSWF (Super Sonic Wave Filter) vibrates the image sensor at a frequency of 30,000 times per second to shake off dust and dirt. The new dust resistant coating recently introduced on the OM-D E-M1X is also used on this model, making it less likely for dust and dirt to stick to the image sensor, reducing spots in images by 90%.’

Packing a 121-point all cross-type On-chip Phase Detection AF system, the E-M1 Mark IIIcan shoot AF/AE tracking at 18 fps but, AF/AE is locked, this figure increases to an epic 60fps! What’s more, the E-M1 Mark IIIoffers Olympus’ mind-blowing Pro Capture mode that capturing up to 35 frames retroactively from the point of the full shutter release. That’s right, you can use photos that were taken before you even pressed the shutter!

Along with the stills features, the E-M1 Mark III can shoot 4K and Cinema 4K footage and makes use of Olympus’ OM-Log400 profile. Slow motion footage can be created via the Full HD 120p mode and there’s ports for headphones and an external mic. Available from late February, the Olympus E-M1 Mark III is priced at $1,800/£1,600 body only.