A Star By A New Name

on November 10, 2022
I asked a delicate question of the OM System representative at the start of a recent camera night; Should I mention the name Olympus in this post? He said " yes ". The new products from the factories will bear the name OM System, the lenses will still carry the name " Zuiko " and the history of the Olympus brand is a very proud one. The graphic palette for marketing will not change, the menus and buttons will not change, and the ergonomic learning that Olympus users have built up over time will not be lost. The micro 4/3 lenses will all work just as well as ever they did - and that means they work very well, indeed. And the buyers of the OM-1 and now the new OM-5 will have more than ever in new processor power and features within the camera bodies. If you were hesitating about entering the system, or about upgrading your camera behind your lenses, now is a very good time to reconsider. The visitors on the night were Olympus users from way back - the chap who cheerfully agreed to be a hand model for the heading image was carrying a previous model from 2012. He's done any number of things in photography with quite a few different brands ...yet stayed with that Olympus micro 4/3 camera all this time. I asked why - he said it was satisfaction with the brand and sentiment. I can understand him - I feel the same with my choices. What sets us apart from other shoppers is the length of time over which we are prepared to acknowledge that satisfaction. The new OM-5 is somewhat similar to an Olympus camera with a " 5" designation as well - a slightly smaller version of the flagship model, but with most of the premium features inside. There is the stabilisation - well ahead of some competitors. There is computational handling of light, with the ability to exposed repeatedly without destroying the original exposure balance. There is automated astrophotography and internal focus bracketing and stacking to a very high standard indeed. This last is an attractively sore point for me as I do tabletop and product shooting. My camera system will do it, but the post processing that makes it finally come together is halting, to say the least. I could speed it up by throwing money at it and updating computer capabilities but the work involved in raising the whole edifice up on a new set of rocks is daunting. The OM-5 user just sets the camera to take focus stacking, selects how many shots and how far apart they need to be and reaches for a cup of tea. The whole thing happens in the camera and presents both RAW images to fight over later or a completely finished, stacked, focussed jpeg in a matter of seconds. I am in that frustrating position of saying " If I knew then what I know now..." Still, there is always Lotto. I wouldn't need too much of a win to add this sort of camera to my camera cupboard - the body seems to hover about $ 1899 and my choice of lens would be very economical.