Every now and then you run into something really good, that takes you by surprise, that makes you stop and think about possibilities. Enter the remarkable OM-1 II ...

Billed by OM System as the 'Tough Outdoor Nature Camera' designed for bird, wildlife, macro and landscape photography, this I believe to be a marketing mis-step by them as this camera is actually an excellent all rounder and is great not just for the natural world but for cityscapes and structures, people, action, lifestyle, commercial, creative and fine art too.

The list of capabilities of this little beast is very impressive (especially its in-camera computational photography magic):

  • IP53 certified weather sealing
  • Freezeproof to -10°C
  • 8.5 EV Stops of stabilisation
  • Super Sonic Wave Filter -  vibrates the sensor 30,000 times per second to remove dust at power on
  • Highres Shot 50MP hand held and 80MP on a tripod, both giving 14-bit RAW

It goes on:

  • Pro Capture up to 120fps
  • 120fps – S-AF in RAW
  • 50fps – C-AF in RAW
  • 120fps - 213 frame buffer in RAW
  • 50fps -256 frame buffer in RAW
  • Buffer size - 213 photos at 120 fps in RAW format
  • Blackout-free sequential shooting

And again:

  • Aircrafts, Birds, Bullet trains, Animals, Formula cars, Helicopters, Motorcycles, Rally cars, Trains, Humans, Steam locomotives, AI Subject Detection AF
  • LiveND - from ND2 to ND128
  • LiveGND - GND2, GND4 & GND8 (Live ND Grad filter)
  • Live Composite
  • In Camera Focus Stacking
  • Starry Sky AF
  • HDR Composite (in camera)
  • etc. etc.

All of this remarkable capability encourages you to try out all sorts of stuff you might never have ventured to do before, like close ups of insects, and birds in flight (obviously) and bees in flight (trying this out at the moment - small, fast, skittish and random fliers - huge challenge - watch this space) and all sorts of stuff I have ideas for that I have yet to try out but are in the queue!

Oh, BTW, beware the misleading outpourings of the MFT haters' vociferous and venomous detestation of all things MFT, it is completely irrational, malicious and often specious. This camera more than holds its own in comparison with its full-frame competition and in indeed in some cases will perform better than they do. It is indeed remarkable. 

My one wish regarding my OM-1 II is that it could be rightsized into the compact, svelte body shell of my little OM-5 and then it would be ideal for me and my set of f4 Pro zooms. There again if I was a user of big wildlife zooms like the 150-600mm F5.0-6.3 IS then I would be much more appreciative of the bigger size of the OM-1 II as a counter balance to that lens's necessary mass and the vastly improved handling that goes with it. Sigh, there never is such a thing as the perfect camera!