Olympus Announces New Super Tele, Updated Roadmap, and Webcam Software

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Olympus is full of news today, unveiling a super telephoto lens for their PRO lineup, new additions to its lens roadmap, a firmware update for the OM-D E M1X mirrorless camera, and software designed to add webcam functionality to select OM-D cameras.

In winter 2020, Olympus is set to release the M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm f/4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO Lens. This super telephoto zoom for Micro Four Thirds cameras has a built-in 1.25x teleconverter capable of providing a 35mm equivalent range of 300-1000mm. Combine it with the Olympus MC-20 M.Zuiko Digital  2x Teleconverter and you are looking at up to a 2000mm reach, perfect for sports, wildlife, or extreme socially distanced portraits.

Olympus MC-20 M.Zuiko Digital 2x Teleconverter
Olympus MC-20 M.Zuiko Digital 2x Teleconverter

The new lens will feature in-lens image stabilization, as well as compatibility with in-body stabilization to maintain sharpness when shooting on its long end. For further stabilization, it comes with a tripod collar and the ability to turn stabilization on or off via a switch on the side of the lens. The lens is dust-, splash-, and freezeproof, so you can use it with confidence when faced with challenging environmental conditions.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm PRO Lens with Olympus EM1X
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm PRO Lens with Olympus EM1X

Accompanying the 150-400mm, Olympus has updated its lens roadmap to give a taste of what is in the works for the future. The M.Zuiko line will gain an unspecified macro lens, as well as the M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25mm f/4 lens, balancing out the latest super telephoto.

Bird photographers who own the OM-D E-M1X mirrorless digital camera will have something to look forward to this winter with a bird subject-detection firmware update. This will serve as the latest addition to Olympus’s Intelligent Subject Detection AF, making it easier to capture small, unpredictable wildlife when using telephoto lenses.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X Mirrorless Digital Camera
Olympus OM-D E-M1X Mirrorless Digital Camera

Finally, Olympus has released its OM-D Webcam Beta for Windows 10. The new software transforms compatible OM-D cameras into a webcam to use for streaming, video conferencing, and other applications. Compatible cameras include: E-M1X, E-M1, E-M1 Mark II, E-M1 Mark III, and E-M5 Mark II. You can download the complimentary software here.

What do you think of Olympus’s latest news? Share your thoughts in the Comments section, below!

4 Comments

Hi Shawn Steiner (B&H),

Thanks to you and Jussi R. for the clarification and link to the interview with Mr. Murata. The best thing Olympus has always had going for it is the optics. If the lens quality assurance and manufacturing processes continue it will be good for Olympus. As for me, I moved on to "full frame" when Olympus discontinued the DSLR line after the E-5. I had a lot of fine pro lenses and hated to see them go. Thanks again.

Olympus has also announced that they are exiting the camera market, meaning they will no longer be developing new cameras. Why have a lens roadmap for a system that is ending? Will any of them really be developed?

Olympus DSLR lenses were always superb on my E-5. But when they announced they were not going to develop any more DSLR cameras to focus on the micro 4/3 mirrorless cameras I sold all of my pro lenses and switched brands.

Olympus is selling the imaging business to Japan Industrial Partners, and the brand will continue under new ownership. It is reasonable to expect new models, updates and maybe even stronger investments to the product line. Of course everthing can go to wrong direction as well, but I do not sell my excellent Olympus gear yet. :)

Hello,

We actually got a chance to speak with Mr. Aki Murata, president of Olympus America’s Consumer Products Group, for some details on the sale and what it means for Olympus. In general, they want to reiterate that the Olympus camera system is not going away and that new products will continue to be developed as well as continued support.

Highly recommend reading here: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/photography/news/qa-with-mr-aki-murata-president-consumer-products-group-olympus-americas

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