After first being announced in January 2019, Olympus has released additional details — as well as release information — of the upcoming M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm f/4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO lens. The lens — which has been one of the company’s most anticipated — will be released in late January 2021.
In addition, the company also announced further details on the upcoming 2.0 firmware for the OM-D E-M1X, as well as the U.S. release of the OM-D E-M10 Mark IIIs.
Equipped with a built-in 1.25x teleconverter, the 150-400mm offers a full-frame equivalent focal length of 300-1000mm. When paired with the MC-20 2x teleconverter, this increases to a full-frame equivalent focal length of up to 2000mm. At a significantly smaller size and weight than its full-frame counterparts, the 150-400mm weighs just 4.1 pounds and is 12.4 inches in length.
Perfect for wildlife, birding and … macro?
It also features 5-Axis Sync IS, offering eight shutter speed steps of compensation when turned to 150mm. This gets reduced to six shutter speed steps when zoomed in at 400mm, but is still plenty powerful for handheld shooting.
The lens features a close focusing distance of 1.3 meters across the entire zoom range, with a maximum image magnification of 0.57x, or 0.71x when using the built-in teleconverter. This surprisingly makes it a capable macro lens. It’s also fully compatible with Olympus’ focus stacking technology.
The lens barrel is designed using magnesium alloy, while the lens hood is made with a lightweight carbon fiber to ensure a perfect balance. It features a heat-resistant coating, which allows the lens to reflect infrared rays of sunlight to avoid temperatures from rising inside the lens. The front element of the lens also features a fluorine coating to provide scratch resistance.
An inner zoom system also maintains the original length of the lens, while its exterior is constructed with rubberized zoom and focusing rings. A preset focus function also allows photographers to set and recall favorite focal positions.
The lens also features strap eyelets to improve transportability and reduce load on the lens mount, and it comes with a rubber lens end cover.
The 150-400mm f/4.5 lens will be available for a retail price of $7499.99, and will be available beginning January 2021. Preorders are available through Olympus.
Bird detection coming to the E-M1X
To assist photographers in capturing birds, Olympus has also announced version 2.0 firmware of the OM-D E-M1X camera. Scheduled for release on December 2, 2020, this new version of firmware adds Bird Detection to the camera’s Intelligent Subject Detection Autofocus.
With this technology, the camera automatically prioritizes detection of a bird’s eye for focusing and tracking.
The firmware also brings 4K 30p/25p/24p and Cinema 4K 24p video that can be output as 12-bit RAW data and recorded in ProResRAW format on the Atomos Ninja V HDR monitor recorder. A firmware update for the Ninja V will also be required for this functionality, which is currently available on the Atomos website.
Also on the video side, the version 2.0 firmware brings improved video image stabilization performance as well as a focus indicator display. This makes it possible to quickly check the focusing direction and approximate focus position during manual focusing.
Finally, the firmware update brings focus stacking support to the upcoming 150-400mm f/4.5 lens.
Firmware updates for the OM-D E-M1 Mark III, OM-D E-M1 Mark II and OM-D E-M5 Mark III will be released simultaneously with the version 2.0 firmware for the E-M1X. Further details on these updates can be found at getolympus.com.
U.S. release of the OM-D E-M10 Mark IIIs
Following the European release earlier this year, the OM-D E-M10 Mark IIIs is now available in U.S. markets. This release introduces the availability of silent mode as well as 16 unique art filters, including Instant Film.
The E-M10 Mark IIIs comes in a kit with the 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II R lens and will be available December 8, 2020, for a retail price of $599.99. Preorders are available through Olympus.