All the camera excitement of 2018 mostly bypassed Olympus, but the venerated camera maker is looking to start 2019 with a bang. It will unveil what looks to be a very fast, rugged sports-oriented camera — possibly a successor to the OM-D EM-1 Mark II — on January 24th, 2019.
The teaser video shows a pro sports shooter (possibly Olympus ambassador Kelley L. Cox ) handling the new model equipped with a 40-150mm f/2.8 zoom and battery grip. While she shoots some water polo and beach volleyball, we see a lot of splashing and sand flying, which points to a pro-oriented, weatherproof camera. It certainly doesn’t look small.
The last Olympus O-MD E-M1 Mark II was all about speed, allowing up to 18 fps shooting in continuous autofocus and exposure mode. Olympus was one of the first camera companies to fully embrace UHS-II card slots and USB 3.0 Type C ports, so you can capture at those speeds for long bursts (5 to 10 seconds), then quickly transfer the images to your computer.
If the next camera is faster, it’ll be the fastest thing out there for sports. The drawback would be the Micro Four Thirds format, which tends to be less light-sensitive than APS-C and full-frame, especially in the dimly-lit venues where sports shooters often work. Still, Olympus has had over two years to work on the model, so I can’t wait to see what they come up with.