The long-awaited return of affordable mirrorless cameras is likely to continue this year, with the rumored OM System OM-5 getting a possible release date for its potential battle with the Canon EOS R7.
The OM-5 is expected to be the cheaper sibling of the OM System OM-1, which is one of the best mirrorless cameras we’ve seen in 2022. And the generally reliable 43 Rumors (opens in new tab) states that the new camera “will be announced at the end of September and will begin shipping in October”.
The site backed up their claims by saying that it “is now 99.9% sure that OM Digital will announce the new OM-5 at the end of September”, so this is not a wild rumor. The launch would also make sense as the company’s second new camera since it officially bought the Olympus camera division in January 2021.
While the OM-5 is not expected to be a direct successor to the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III, it will likely play a similar role to that camera in the OM System lineup – being a mid-range option for those who can’t afford to. extend to the main model. If so, that would put it on a collision course with the Canon EOS R7, which is the new mid-range model in Canon’s EOS R lineup.
At the moment, we don’t have any rumors about the OM System OM-5 specs, but we can make some assumptions about what we can expect from it in September. It seems likely that the camera will inherit the OM-1’s new 20MP Micro Four Thirds stacked sensor, which we’ve found to have vastly improved AF performance compared to previous Olympus cameras.
This sensor also powers fast burst-mode shooting speeds of up to 50 fps in its silent electronic mode or 120 fps with fixed focus. Where exactly the OM-5 will cut costs to get that lower price is unclear, but in the past the E-M5 series has done so in areas such as EVF (electronic viewfinder), video performance, and the inclusion of just a single video slot. card.
Still, if OM Digital manages to pack photography computational intelligence and OM-1-like autofocus powers into a smaller, more affordable package, it could have another Micro Four Thirds winner on its hands.
Analysis: The fight for the middle ground
In early 2022, we feared there was a permanent hole in the middle of the mirrorless camera market, with manufacturers focusing on full-frame flagships and smartphones continuing to evolve into hobbyist cameras. But this year we were pleasantly surprised by the arrival of new mid-range models – and the OM System OM-5 may be one of the strongest.
During our review of the OM System OM-1, we were convinced that the camera’s phone-like computational tricks – such as Live ND, Focus Stacking and High Res Shot – are the future of mirrorless cameras. The OM-1 still has its flaws, like average subject tracking autofocus, but if the OM-5 can inherit its many good sides, it could be a good new choice for travel or wildlife photographers.
That said, the cheaper Canon EOS R7 and the cheaper EOS R10 are also becoming new options in this space. We haven’t been able to fully test either of these cameras yet, but during our hands-on review of the Canon EOS R7 we were very impressed with its autofocus performance, not to mention the potential value offered by its $1,499 / £1,349 / AU$2,349 body-only price. .
With other rivals like the Fujifilm X-H2 likely to launch in September, it looks like this price point will be the main battleground for mirrorless cameras this year. And if that’s still too expensive in these tough financial times, buying a second-hand DSLR or mirrorless camera is still a good option to consider.