OM-System OM1 MKII

Announced end January 2024 to great surprise by many was the next generation of the OM1, in the form of the MKII. There has been a lot of positive press about it, and a lot of negativity too, some of it justified, some not. I have refrained from getting involved. For the record I am independent, I am not an ambassador, not paid by the brand for anything, and buy all my gear with my own money. I use the system because it suits me and will continue to do so. Some will feel upgrading from the OM1 hard to justify, others will see a benefit, whilst others using older generation bodies or different systems will see the benefits immediately.

I can see the benefits for myself personally. The new Live-GND is a groundbreaking feature I will use often. It means I can reduce the number of filters I carry. The High Res Mode now being 14 Bit is a huge benefit considering it is a feature I use often, not just for higher resolution but also when I want to do a long exposure; with the longest exposure being limited to 60s (without using Build or Live Time) I can use High Res for say 30s and the resulting image in High Res taking 4 minutes (8×30) is going to look much better in 14 Bit with increased tonal range. The improvements to AF will be a gain, even for someone like me whois not a dedicated wildlife shooter. Big increases in memory make everything faster, who doesn’t like faster? Also the change in in-camera ND from ND64 to ND128 is very welcome, it means I can double the exposure time.

More personally, the control wheels now being rubberised is a big improvement for me, but then I do have a handicap. 10 years ago whilst enjoying some swimming in Cyprus on a hire speedboat I had an accident. We had finished and it was time to head back, but why was the anchor with an 8mm nylon rope snagging. I did the cardinal sin, looking over with my hands on then edge of the boat, the rope wrapped around my thumb. A small wave came and suddenly the slack was not so slack and the end of my right thumb popped off.

Thankfully it was above the knuckle otherwise I would have lost my whole thumb. As it was, my right thumb is now 1cm shorter and I do struggle with the rear control dial. But not now! It may be minor to many but it is a big deal to me.

The picture is the one my son sent to me whilst in hospital. Nice.

OM1-MKII Guide

I am busy working on my guide for the OM1-MKII. Not just an update to the OM1, I have included all the new features and also revised many sections too. Menu Settings, Custom Modes, Custom Buttons, In-Camera Features such as Live GND, Live Time, Focus Stacking and more.

Expected release date early march 2024.

Also available EM1-MKIII, OM5+, EM5MKIII, OM1




New rubberised Control Wheels, a huge improvement especially when out and using gloves. ‘Delete’ can be reassigned to ‘Menu’, extremely useful if like me you like to access as many controls as possible with just your right hand.

Memory & Buffer

Memory or Ram has been doubled on the logic board, with a faster interface, allowing improvements to autofocus, tracking and AI Detection, and new features. Increasing the Buffer allows up to 200 Raw images at 120fps.

Autofocus and AI Detection

Improved autofocus system with a simplified user interface. Improvements mean C-AF+Tracking is not needed and has been removed as an option when AI Detection is active. Human AI detection added to track humans even if facing away, and improved focus on eyes. Different focus priorities can now be assigned to the shutter button and AF-ON, meaning bot can be used for different priorities such as AI Detection or active AF Point. Improvements have been made to detecting and tracking birds in branches and behind grass and a function for tracking outside the AF target has been added. When choosing Bird AI Detection priority can be given to an individual in a flock.

Low light S-AF has also been improved.

Continuous Shooting (Burst)

Blackout free shooting (SH2) in all shooting speeds from 1/160s including high speeds. OM1 was 1/320s. This goes hand in hand with increased buffer for more shots before buffering. Burst Shooting has two additional speeds, 12.5 and 16.7 frames per second.

Pro Capture

Expanded frames captured to buffer expanded from 70 to 99 to give more chance of capturing the shot, including allowing 12.5 and 16.7fps. For example 99 frames divided by 12.5fps =7.92s, meaning you could capture a shot that happened almost 8 seconds before you pressed the shutter. Conversely 70 frames is 5.6s, so it is an improvement of over 2 seconds. It does not sound like a big deal, but it really is.

Live ND

Expanded to 7 stops ND128, previously 6 stops ND64. This is incredibly useful, sure it is only one stop but it means when struggling to get a long enough exposure with ND64 one stop effectively doubles the exposure. The maximum is still limited to 60s.

Live GND

New in camera graduated filter with selectable position, auto switch orientation, 1, 2, and 3 stops Soft, Medium or Hard Graduated selectable. An industry first and very useful for me especially. It cannot be used with any other computational modes such as High Res or Live ND, but it is still very useful

High Res Mode

Increased from 12Bit to 14Bit Raw capture for increased tonal range. Processing speed in camera has not been increased but it has not slowed down and the camera has to do more work processing 14Bit. 14Bit is supposed to provide more tonal range and it really does. 12 and 14Bit are selectable if you prefer.

Image Stabilisation

Increased from 7 to 8.5 Stops. Really great for even more possibilities hand holding especially with long lenses ad slower shutter speeds.


Support for 16:9 vertical video recording. It may be of no interest to you, it is added for those that want to share video online to social media using the vertical format. It is now also compatible with UVC (USB Video Class), great for using as a web cam.


You may decide the upgrade is not for you, but if you do, I think there are some significant improvements. Do I was there had been more? Of course! I do wish there had been some minor tweaks of things that have bugged me, (HDR and BKT being separate for one), and I was hoping the longest shutter would not still be limited to 60s, many cameras now have expanded beyond this. And I do wish there had been additional new features, although in camera GND is a big deal. Not for everyone, but for me it is.

I was not expecting a new sensor, nor was I expecting or wanting more megapixels. Some were hoping for 24mp, in reality the difference in image size is very minor. It may help cropping a little more, but the consequence is smaller pixels on the same size sensor and more noise. Back illuminated buttons would be welcome (yes I know the battery would suffer) and the ability to customise the left hand top buttons would be great. Personally I never ever use them, I have it set up so I can access everything from the right, so for me an LCD screen replacing them would be cool. Useless I know, but it would look cool! I would also love a screen that is fully articulated for tilt without swivel, but it just goes to show that despite everything we are never happy.

If you are interested in the new Guide for the OM1-MKII please check the link above or send me an email with the subject “Interested OM1mkII” to be added to the list to be notified of the release.

Thank’s for looking and I hope you found it useful, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know your thoughts. For information on workshops in general or dedicated Olympus workshops please check the links below, and why not follow me on Social Media…


Black and White Minimal Photography

My new guide for creating and editing Black and White Minimal images has just been released.

In it you will learn how to shoot this genre of images, and learn step-by-step how to edit them in Photoshop using Layer, Masks, Selections and many other techniques, suitable even for beginners.

More Information