Best Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2020:
At Olympus, the OM-D range is divided into three: the E-M10s occupy the entry level and the E-M5s are geared towards experts. As for OM-D EM, they target a professional or more demanding public. In addition to improved performance, these boxes stand out in particular by a more pleasant grip thanks to a prominent handle.
We note that like some brands Olympus keeps some old models in the catalog in order to create a range effect and reduce prices.
Readers who are familiar with the Olympus range will not fail to note the absence of the OM-D E-M1X in our inventory. We don’t forget this extravagant device, on the contrary. Moreover, the OM-D E-M1 Mark III inherits many of its technical characteristics while embedding a new processor, the TruePic IX. In most uses, the latter is equivalent to the two processors of the OM-D E-M1X.
On paper, and in addition to the double handle design, it should be noted that AI recognition (car, train, plane, helicopter …), GPS or UHS-II double slots remain the exclusivity of the X model. The new OM-D E-M1 Mark III wins the electronic ND filter, high resolution freehand mode, improved autofocus for eye detection and a new mode for astrophotography, as well as video LOGO or even IPX1 certification.
Officially available since the end of February 2020, the OM-D EM-1 Mark III is sold for € 1,799 in naked version and € 2,499 in kit with the 12-40 mm f / 2.8 M. Zuiko ED . The previous version becomes more affordable.
Best Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2020
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Suffice to say right away, there is almost no change in ergonomics between an OM-D E-M1 Mark II and a Mark III. To illustrate this, let us take for example the weight, practically identical (only 6 grams separate the two cases). Of the whole range of Olympus, the EM-1 is surely the most pleasant case to take in hand thanks to its well marked handle. If this is necessarily done at the expense of compactness, the overall template remains very contained despite everything.
The biggest change is the arrival of a more than welcome joystick. If the 4-button clover is still in the game, the joystick is nevertheless more practical in the blind, especially in moving the collimators to achieve the focus. In addition, the OM-D E-M1 Mark III is still intended for an expert audience thanks to its numerous configurable controls. We can cite the two buttons in the hollow of the handle that can be assigned, for example, to the electronic shutter or to the choice of exposure measurement for quick change.
However, note the simplification of the “super control panel” accessible using the OK key. It therefore loses functionality. We find this a bit of a shame even if, indeed, the newcomers to Olympus may be less lost. As for the menus, it is always difficult to navigate there, especially in the absence of colored markers that were found on the older models.
One of the great strengths of Olympus is the many features offered in a relatively compact package. We think of course of the brand’s historic creative filters, but not only. Many bracketing options – multiple shots with different settings – for example to do HDR or better manage focus are available.
We can also note in bulk the Live Composite, Pro Capture , or the recent AF Starry Sky modes to make astrophotography more easily. We will try to come back to this specific option during the summer, if conditions allow it. In addition, we can also talk about the presence of an electronic ND filter or high resolution freehand mode. In short, the OM-D E-M1 Mark III is ultra versatile.
A dated electronic sight
On the rear screen side, there is no change point. Still on a ball joint, it is very practical when used with a tripod, on video, but also in less conventional shooting conditions, in low-angle for example. Its definition could have been a little more important for more comfort. The touchscreen is once again not available everywhere.
In the same vein, the electronic viewfinder is not renewed compared to the Mark II which took it back from the first version released in … 2013. Either forever. It is unfortunately a small Olympus habit with certain characteristics, surely to reduce production costs. If we found this aim excellent at the time, it is no longer in line with the 2020 market today. Some competitors offer an almost doubled definition – as with Panasonic with the Lumix S1 – while the Oled is more and more used. Highlights may appear burned while blacks appear washed out. It is a shame and surely one of the biggest faults of this case.
IPX1 certified and excellent stabilization
To conclude on getting started, it’s hard not to talk about tropicalization and stabilization. Resistance to humidity and dust varies from one manufacturer to another, but also from one range to another. With the OM-D E-M1 Mark III, Olympus has had its case certified to the IPX1 standard, which confirms the excellent reputation that the manufacturer already had.
The brand also announces further progress on stabilization. Difficult to measure the claims of the Japanese on this point. We can simply say that the OM-D E-M1 Mark III has one of the best stabilizations to date. Whether in video or in low light, comfort is more than appreciable.
During the presentation of the case, Olympus assured that the new TruePic IX processor would offer performance equivalent to that of the OM-D E-M1X . And this is indeed the case in practice. Apart from a speed in low light slightly behind – but which remains very fast -, the OM-D E-M1 Mark III reacts to the quarter turn. The start approaches half a second and poses no problem. The hybrid autofocus (with phase correlation and contrast detection) grips well and will rarely let the photographer down.
A superlative burst
Burst mode is also very effective. With the mechanical shutter, 15 fps are reached without problem. On the side of the electronic shutter, the speed even goes up to 60 fps, or more exactly 64 fps according to our measurements. Very impressive results in JPG + RAW. Please note that sorting images can quickly become tedious.
Speed steps can be set while Pro Capture mode takes advantage of this speed to facilitate recording of the fateful moment. Finally, certain automatisms such as eye detection and tracking are not available in the fastest modes; it’s a shame with regard to what the competition offers. This behavior is identical to what we noted during our test of the OM-D E-M5 Mark III .
Efficient face detection
In addition, Olympus has announced that it has developed new algorithms for detecting faces and eyes. Like the improvements made to stabilization, it was difficult for us to judge the progress. Anyway, it did seem to us to be effective during our tests.
On the other hand, we can consider it as a little too sensitive. Indeed, the device regularly detects faces where there are none and can hinder a more conventional focus. We had to deactivate the function instead of leaving it “dormant” continuously as we like to do usually.
A good basic video mode
Video has never really been Olympus’ strong point. Well aware of this gap, the manufacturer is making efforts and offers a good video mode, without frills. In main axis, the 4K DCI is well present in addition to the UHD definition. It is a real plus. Unfortunately, 4K cinema is limited to 24 fps when the UHD is content with 30 fps.
For example, Fujifilm’s latest top of the range, the X-T4 hybrid, also released in 2020, can reach 60 fps in both definitions. It also benefits from a mode whose speed can reach 400 Mbit / s if we are content with 30 i / s. This illustrates the limitation of the OM-D E-M1 Mark III whose video mode is similar to that of the OM-D E-M5 Mark III .
The number of options and parameters is also limited. It will not be difficult to find more supplies, always at Fujifilm. We will not mention Sony or Panasonic, whose reputation is well established in this area. If the image quality is not bad, here too, we find better among the competition. However, note the welcome presence of a headphone and microphone jack as well as the Log recording inherited from the OM-D E-M1X.
- Careful design and ergonomics.
- Tropicalization with IPX1 certification.
- Customization possibilities.
- Screen on ball joint.
- Reactivity and burst at 60 fps.
- Several advanced photo modes (high resolution, pre-recording, etc.).
- 4K DCI.
- Effective stabilization.
- Electronic shutter up to 1/32 000 s.
- Headphone and microphone jack
- Electronic viewfinder that can improve.
- Slightly reduced exposure latitude.
- No autofocus tracking in fast burst mode.
- Indented 4K / UHD video mode.
- Menus still too convoluted.
If we exclude the OM-D E-M1X whose ergonomics is special, the OM-D E-M1 Mark III is indeed the most powerful hybrid of Olympus. The mature design evolves only by small touches while certain aging characteristics are preserved, like the slightly dated electronic viewfinder. That being said, the high-end of the brand has an incredible number of assets to assert. Between advanced photo modes, exemplary IPX1 certified construction and exemplary stabilization, the OM-D E-M1 Mark III is a camera ready to face anything. The icing on the cake, its pleasant compactness ends up convincing with, as a result, undeniable pleasure in use.
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