OM System OM-1 Hands-on Review: OM-1 sets a new standard for Micro Four Thirds tech


posted Tuesday, February 15, 2022 at 1:00 AM EST

Click here to read our OM System OM-1 Hands-on Review


OM Digital Solutions has announced its first camera since acquiring Olympus's imaging business, the OM System OM-1. The new Micro Four Thirds camera continues in the spirit of previous Olympus OM-D cameras. It even harnesses an older Olympus legacy by adopting the OM-1 moniker, which was first used 50 years ago as the name of their Olympus OM-1 35mm SLR. However, the OM-1 is not just more of the same. The camera packs a brand-new stacked image sensor, a more powerful processor and features significant improvements across the board.

We've gone hands-on with the new OM System OM-1 camera, and it's super impressive. But before getting to that, let's take a quick high-level look at the OM-1's key features.

OM System OM-1 Key Features

  • The first 'OM System' Micro Four Thirds camera
  • New stacked backside-illuminated 20.4MP CMOS image sensor
  • New TruePic X processor with 3x the processing power
  • Up to 50 fps with C-AF
  • Up to 120 frames per second full-res shooting with S-AF
  • Dustproof, freezeproof, and splashproof design with IP53 rating
  • IBIS with up to 8 stops of shake correction
  • 1,053 phase-detection cross-type AF points covering 100% of the image sensor
  • USB-C Power Delivery
  • New blackout-free EVF with 5.76M dots
  • Dual UHS-II SD card slots
  • 4K/60p video
  • 1080/240p video
  • Improved computational photography modes, including new ND64 Live ND setting
  • $2,200 body only
OM System OM-1

The OM System OM-1 looks the part of an Olympus camera -- namely the E-M1 Mark III -- which is great for longtime Olympus fans, but there are some key changes to the camera to get excited about. The camera has a new EVF with a much higher resolution than the outgoing EVF, up to 5.76M dots from 2.36M dots in the E-M1 III. The improved EVF works great in real-world situations, offering a large, bright and sharp display. The touchscreen looks the same at first glance, but it also features a higher resolution display. The jump isn't as dramatic as the EVF, though, with resolution going from 1.04M dots to 1.62M dots.

OM System OM-1

Ultimately, the biggest changes from the Olympus E-M1X and E-M1 III cameras to the new OM System OM-1 are on the inside. The new sensor retains the same 20.4-megapixel resolution, but the sensor technology is drastically different. The OM-1 uses a brand-new stacked CMOS image sensor. The move to a stacked sensor has a huge impact on the OM-1's features and performance.

Regarding image quality, the OM-1 promises improved noise performance and an additional stop of dynamic range compared to prior cameras with the old 20.4MP Live MOS image sensor. While we have yet to put the OM-1 through our lab for First Shots, real-world images are impressive.

OM-1 with OM System 12-40mm F2.8 PRO II lens at 19mm (38mm equiv.), F6.3, 1/125s, ISO 200. High Res Shot mode - Tripod. This image has been edited.

The sensor also allows for a new Cross Quad Pixel Design autofocus system. The sensor is covered with 1,053 phase-detect autofocus points, all of which are cross-type. The autofocus area covers the entire sensor, which is very useful when tracking a subject throughout the frame. Speaking of tracking, the OM-1's AI Subject Detection AF offers improved tracking accuracy and speed, plus a new cats/dogs subject option.

OM-1 with OM System 40-150mm F4 PRO lens at 140mm (280mm), F4, 1/4000s, ISO 1250. This image has been edited.

With significantly improved sensor readout speed and the new TruePic X processor, the OM-1 can capture full-resolution images at up to 50 frames per second with full AF/AE tracking. If you don't require autofocus and auto-exposure, you can shoot 20.4MP RAW and JPEG images at 120 fps, which is crazy fast, and much faster than any Olympus camera before it.

These are just some of the key improvements that the OM System OM-1 introduces. For a full breakdown of the camera's new features and performance, plus a look at how the OM-1 compares to the Olympus E-M1X and E-M1 III, head over to our OM System OM-1 Hands-on Review

OM-1 with OM System 40-150mm F4 PRO lens at 106mm (212mm), F4, 1/200s, ISO 200. This image has been edited.

The OM System OM-1 will be available in early March for $2,200 (body only). OM Digital Solutions has also announced a pair of new OM System zoom lenses, the M.Zuiko 12-40mm F2.8 PRO II and the M.Zuiko 40-150mm F4 PRO. We used these two lenses alongside the OM-1.

OM System OM-1 Hands-on ReviewOM-1 GalleryNew OM System lenses