Olympus has debuted the OM-D E-M1 Mark III camera, the successor to the popular E-M1 Mark II micro four-thirds camera body. Built with professional features for superior mobility, this 20.4-megapixel camera comes with a new TruePic IX processor, enabling features that were not possible in its predecessor.

Included are features that originally debuted on the E-M1X, like Handheld High-Res Shot, Live ND and more. Olympus also announced a brand-new feature — Starry Sky AF — and several improvements to the Face / Eye Precision AF system.

For more on the E-M1 Mark III, check out my in-depth review.

Tech specs

Here’s a few notable specs about the camera:

  • Weight: 580 grams, with one battery and one memory card. 504 grams body only.
  • Dimensions: 134.1mm x 90.9mm x 68.9mm
  • 20.4 MP 4/3” Live MOS sensor
  • Dual TrucPic IX processor
  • Dust, splash (IPX1) and freezeproof
  • 121-point cross-type phase detection AF and 121-point contrast AF
  • 5-axis image stabilization with up to 7.5 stops of compensation
  • 2.36 million dot electronic viewfinder
  • 3-inch 3:2 vari-angle touch panel monitor
  • ISO range of 200-25,600 (expandable to 64 and 100)
  • Up to 60fps shooting with Silent Sequential Shooting High or Pro Capture High modes
  • Anti-flicker shooting and flicker scan
  • Handheld 4K (30p) and Cinema 4K (24p)
  • OM-Log400 shooting
  • High-speed movie (120fps)
  • SD UHS-II and UHS-I card slots
  • Wireless transfer and firmware upgrade with the Olympus OI.Share app
  • My Menu, allowing for up to 35 custom menu items in five tabs
  • USB-C, Micro HDMI, 3.5 stereo mini jack connections
  • One BLH-1 Li-ion battery (included; same as E-M1 Mark II)


Notable features

New to the E-M1 Mark III are several features that were first in the E-M1X, in addition to a new star autofocus system and improvements to Face / Eye Precision AF.

Handheld High-Res Shot

Handheld High-Res Shot, first introduced with the E-M1X, is now available on the E-M1 Mark III. This makes it possible to capture high-resolution, 50MP images without the need for a tripod. A total of 16 shots are captured to generate a single high resolution photograph, available in both JPEG and RAW formats.

With the previously available Tripod High-Res Shot, photographers can continue to record 80MP images.

Live ND

First introduced in the E-M1X, Live ND creates a slow shutter effect without the need for a physical Neutral Density filter. This extends the exposure time and allows the capture of images with the appearance of a slow shutter speed by merging multiple exposures together. Photographers can select the effect level from one to five stops (ND2 to ND32), and view the slow shutter effects in the viewfinder before capturing.

Starry Sky AF

In the past, photographers have traditionally relied on manual focusing. A new algorithm was developed to offer accurate focusing even on the tiniest of stars shining in the night sky, enabling ultra high precision autofocusing.

Starry Sky AF has two modes — Speed Priority (default) and Accuracy Priority. Speed Priority prioritizes focusing speed and complete autofocus operations in a short period of time. This makes handheld astrophotography possible using a wide angle lens. Accuracy Priority uses a fine-tuned focus scan and is effective for shooting specific stars with telephoto lenses.

Face / Eye Precision AF improvements

Thanks to the new TruePic IX image processing engine, Face / Eye Priority AF is now more advanced, dramatically improving both detection accuracy and tracking performance by offering higher processing capabilities and improved autofocus algorithms. This enables photographers to keep stable focusing on a subject even in the scenes where face detection was difficult in the past, such as sides of faces.

It is also now possible to use either the buttons or touch operations to select faces when shooting still images or video. Detection on or off can be changed witht he touch of a single button.

Autofocus targets and multi selector joystick

The E-M1 Mark III offers a variety of autofocus target options. These allow the user to select the best suited AF target, based on the subject or its movement. The camera includes six types of AF target modes — Single, Group 5-point, Group 9-point, Group 25-point, 121-point and small AF.

Custom AF target modes allow users to customize the target area from 121 points to suit the behavior of the subject. You can select from 11 vertical or horizontal points or an odd number of individual points to create your custom AF area. The Orientation Linked AF Targets customization allows users to individually set the AF target and area position for vertical and horizontal shooting.

A multi selector joystick makes it possible to quickly shift AF areas with your thumb while looking through the viewfinder. Since users can move the AF areas with the multi selector even during sequential shooting, it is possible to accurately focus even on subjects that move erratically. The AF target loop setting is also added, which users can select either stops the AF target at the edge of the screen or moves it to the opposite edge.

Various creative features

Also included in the E-M1 Mark III are several creative features, including Live Composite, which now supports up to six hours of shooting. With B mode added to the shooting mode dial, Live Composite, Live Bulb and Live Time are now easier to access and configure.

Focus Stacking is also available, creating a composite in-body from up to 15 frames. Likewise, Focus Bracketing allows photographers to capture up to 999 images at different focus points to composite later using the software of their choice.

Other features include Pro Capture, Silent Shooting, Fisheye Compensation, Keystone Compensation, Anti-Flicker Shooting and Flicker Scan.


Electronic stabilization combined with in-body 5-axis stabilization delivers power image stabilization during video recording. OM-D Movie makes handheld 4K/C4K possible due to a powerful image stabilization mode specifically designed for video recording (M-IS1). This offers three levels of performance to allow handheld 4K and Cinema 4K high resolution shooting.

The E-M1 Mark III supports OM-Log400, providing a high degree of freedom during shooting without worrying about overexposure or loss of details in dark shadows and bright highlights, along with color grading. In order to make Live View images more visible, a View Assist function is available, which converts the color gamut to Full HD standard BT.709 equivalent for display.

Customization of video C-AF allows videographers to choose the best settings for their subject. Active use of on-chip phase detection AF and new AF algorithms have resulted in precision focusing during video shooting. A total of four AF target modes, including Group 9-point and Group 25-point are available. The E-M1 Mark III records 120 fps high-speed movie in Full HD for slow motion playback.

Pairing the high-res audio Linear PCM Recorder LS-P4 with an external mic/recorder enables more versatile recording of high-resolution audio for videos. This setup supports high-quality audio recording for video production, such as placing the LS-P4 near the subject, or switching the mic direction and zooming in on the sound source.

With the new firmware Version 1.10 for the LS-P4, Slate Tone function, which is useful for editing sound files and Test Tone will also support adjusting the recording level, have been added, as well as supporting accessories, Shock Mount Adapter SM2 and Audio Cable KA335. The firmware update will be available upon the camera’s launch.

Availability and pricing

The OM-D E-M1 Mark III retails for $1799.99, and will begin shipping on February 24, 2020. Lens bundles with the 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO ($2499.99) and 12-100mm f/4.0 PRO ($2899.99) are also available. Click here to pre-order yours!

Other announcements

In addition to the E-M1 Mark III camera, Olympus announced two additional products and updates to its Olympus Workspace software.

12-45mm f/4 PRO lens

The 12-45mm f/4 PRO lens will bring a high-performance, compact, medium range zoom PRO lens to the micro four-thirds system. The dustproof, splashpoof and freezeproof lens features supreme macro capabilities, with a maximum magnification of 0.5x (35mm equivalent) across the entire zoom range.

Coming in at a size of 2.5 diameter and 2.76 inches of overall length, and a weight of 254 grams, this small, lightweight lens is the perfect option for those looking for a smaller option, but with the power and capabilities of a PRO lens. Placement of aspherical lenses and Zuiko Extra-low Reflection Optical (ZERO) coating provide clear performance and help reduce aberrations, ghosts and flare.

The lens features a focusing distance as close as 12 centimeters at the wide-angle end, and 23 centimeters at the telephoto end.

The 12-45mm f/4 PRO lens will be released April 7, 2020 for a retail price of $649. Visit B&H Photo to pre-order yours!

PEN E-PL10 camera

Following an overseas release last fall, the PEN E-PL10 is now available in North America. Drawing from the classic style of the 1963 PEN-F camera, the E-PL10 features an attractive, clean aesthetic packed with a TruePic VIII image processor, pop-up flash and a wide array of expressive photography functions.

The compact, lightweight body is equipped with in-body image stabilization and a 180-degree flip-down LCD screen with a step-by-step touch menu interface.

The E-PL10 is available in three colors — Shiro (white), Kuro (black) and Mocha (brown). Each are designed with premium materials and offer finishes like leather grain, brushed aluminum and a grip to make it easy to hold. When paired with the M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ lens, it is lighter than a 16-ounce bottle of water.

The camera features a 16-megapixel sensor and comes with several creative art filters. It offers up to 8.6fps in Single AF mode, and up to 4.8fps in Continuous AF mode. It is available in all three colors for a price of $599, or bundled with the 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ lens and accessory kit for $699.99

Update to OI.Share

The OI.Share dedicated iOS and Android app allows the camera to connect via WiFi, import shooting data to a smartphone and use the phone as a remote trigger for camera operation. With the OM-D E-M1 Mark III, OI.Share will also be able to update the camera firmware as well as backup and restore camera settings.

Update to Olympus Workspace

New to Olympus Workspace are Clarity and Dehaze editing filters, allowing for a greater range of expression in astrophotography and other photography genres. Olympus Workspace Version 1.3 will be available upon the release of the OM-D E-M1 Mark III.

Lead photo background by Fonsi Fernández on Unsplash