Olympus rumors 2024 (OM System)
Technically “Olympus rumors” are “OM System rumors”, but old habits die hard!
We’ve had two years to get used to the new name, with the OM System OM-1 (which admittedly still had “Olympus” on the pentaprism) and the OM System OM-5 carrying the flag for the new brand.
While the OM-1 was universally lauded, however, the OM-5 wasn’t as well received by many outlets, who accused it to being a light reskin of the Olympus E-M5 Mark III. So whatever OM’s next move is, the industry is going to be waiting to judge it.
So, what does 2024 hold for one of the most storied legacies in the photographic industry?
OM System OM-1X
Rumors arose late last year that OM Digital is working on a new powerhouse camera for 2024. Given that the flagship OM-1 is already here (and isn’t ready for a replacement), and the OM-5 is the midrange model in the lineup, that would seem to suggest two possibilities: a new PEN-F (which I’ll come to in a minute) or a successor to the Olympus OM-D E-M1X. And, to me, the latter seems much more likely.
The E-M1X was the company’s co-flagship camera for a time (sitting alongside the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II), possessing a pro body with integrated vertical grip as well as twin processors to power new features like Deep Learning AF and software-driven ND filters.
As such, I can see the manufacturer launching an OM-1X to sit next to the OM System OM-1 as an all-guns-blazing option for professionals needing as much horsepower as possible. Hopefully with a new sensor and more megapixels (as Panasonic managed with the G9 II)…
OM System OM-10
The OM System OM-10 is the next camera expected to be announced. Following the transmogrification of the Olympus OM-D EM-1 and E-M5 to the OM System OM-1 and OM-5, now it’s the turn of the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV to be reborn.
There are no rumored specs as yet, but we can use history as our guide here. The flagship OM-1 features a brand new, stacked, back side illuminated 20.4MP sensor, while the OM-5 features the old 20.4MP sensor found in the previous flagship cameras (the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III and Olympus OM-D E-M1X) – both of which featured phase detect autofocus.
The entry-level E-M10 line never featured the same sensor, autofocus system or in-body image stabilization system as its bigger brothers, usually sharing the same technology as the Olympus PEN line. We can thus surmise that the OM System OM-10 will probably possess very similar specs to the brilliant Olympus PEN E-P7 (which was actually the first camera released under the new ownership), albeit with an electronic viewfinder.
OM System PEN-F II
When OM Digital confirmed that the PEN camera line would continue, it reigntied the torches of those questing for the Olympus Holy Grail: the PEN-F II. The original Olympus PEN F was discontinued years ago, but was so beloved and coveted that it has become a cult classic.
A camera created to embody sheer style and cool creativity, it’s a very niche and premium-priced product that may be difficult for OM Digital – which cannot afford to make any losses – to resurrect. However, it has been brought up publicly by company executives a number of times in recent discussions.
That said, the Olympus PEN E-P7 feels in many ways like a pocket-sized PEN-F successor. While it lacks the PEN-F’s vari-angle screen and electronic viewfinder, it’s still a worthy alternative.
OM System PEN E camera(s)
Arguably more likely than the PEN F II is the release of another E or E-PL (PEN-Lite) camera. The resurrection of E-P line in 2021 (in the form of the Olympus PEN E-P7) somewhat threw the future of the E-PL into question – though the E-P7 wasn’t released in the US, where small EVF-free cameras have traditionally been a harder sell for the company.
Which perhaps means that the E-PL series isn’t done yet. The line saw annual (if incremental) updates every year from 2016 to 2019, culminating in the Olympus PEN E-PL10. These were consistently among the best-selling cameras in Japan and Asia, but that gangbusters business wasn’t really replicated in the West.
Either way, OM Digital said that the PEN line is alive. And in fact, the E-P7 was the first camera released under the new ownership. We wouldn’t be at all surprised to see an OM System E-P8 or an OM System E-PL11 – or even to see them receive new names.
The OM System verdict
The OM-1 was a huge hit with reviewers and consumers alike, so the OM System era got off to a good start – but the OM-5 wasn’t quite so warmly welcomed. Whether it’s the OM-10 or PEN-F II, whatever comes next will be crucial in cementing public perception of the brand.
More camera rumors: Canon rumors • Nikon rumors • Sony rumors • Fuji rumors • Panasonic rumors • Sigma rumors • Hasselblad rumors • Leica rumors • Ricoh rumors