The Best Holiday Gift Guide for OM SYSTEM Photographers


It’s that season! If you’re thinking about heading outside to photograph in the snow, OM SYSTEM has a bunch of cameras and lenses that are perfect for you. And if you are looking to take your photography even further, they’ve got features that pretty much no other camera system has. Whether you’re photographing candid moments with the family or going out on your own adventures, the camera system has something for every level of photographer. We’ve reviewed pretty much everything OM SYSTEM makes. And today, we’re helping you pick the best products for you.

Cameras

OM SYSTEM has cameras for different budgets and different needs. At the higher end, some cameras offer features like AI scene detection of things like trains, birds, animals, cars, and more. While at the more affordable end, you’re getting a product that’s much more lightweight. And who doesn’t want a camera they can carry around anywhere with them? The wonderful thing about Micro Four Thirds is that the cameras are lightweight compared to those with larger sensors. And with the right training, you’re pretty much guaranteed to never miss a shot.

OM-D E-M1X: Save $1,200

  • Very fast autofocus
  • Autofocus is fast for tracking but not quite what Sony does in the Sony a9
  • Very well weather sealed
  • Lightweight
  • A joy to carry and hold
  • I love that there is no automatic mode of any sort
  • Viewfinder is very nice
  • C-lock switch is awesome
  • One of the best weather sealed mirrorless cameras I’ve ever tested
  • Damned good image stabilization

In our review, we state:

The OM-D E-M1X has fantastic image stabilization, class-leading durability, some of the best ergonomics I’ve ever held for a mirrorless camera, and a bevy of lenses for photojournalists. In terms of how those photojournalists would typically work, the autofocus is reliable enough in most cases. Additionally, the shutter is super quiet.

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OM-D E-M1 Mark III: Save $300

  • Feels nice when shooting for a long time
  • We like the shutter sound
  • Good continuous autofocus which does tracking
  • The processor is fantastic
  • The art filters continue to make Olympus unique amongst other camera brands. Shooting surfers with the cross-process and the vintage filter was so fun. Same with grainy black and white.
  • Live composite is incredibly pleasant, along with Starry AF
  • It survived sand and saltwater
  • Continuous AF+Tracking works well with wide angles
  • The custom shooting mode switch on the back is something every adventure brand should have
  • This is the foundation for an Olympus camera we’d want to bring with us everywhere
  • Handheld high res shot continues to be one of the best things ever
  • Face detection works on monkeys
  • Great for candid photography, but not so much for street photography

In our review, we state:

One of the newest updates to the OM-D EM1 Mk II brought an improvement to autofocusing with single-focal length lenses. Basically, it’s supposed to improve the precision of the focusing. So to really see what this can do, we used the EM1 Mk III with the 17mm f1.2 PRO, one of my favorite lenses for the system.

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OM-D E-M5 Mark III: Save $300

  • Beautiful retro style
  • Excellent picture quality
  • Robust weather sealing
  • Reliable image stabilization
  • Accurate autofocus
  • Compact form factor
  • Built-in Live Composite and 50 MP High Resolution shooting modes are highly effective

In our review, we state:

The EM5 Mark III’s autofocus is quick and accurate, the weather resistance is top-notch, and the image stabilization is arguably one of the best in the industry (having a smaller sensor helps). For photographers happy to just shoot JPEGs, the wealth of built-in Art Filters will likely be all the editing they’ll ever need.

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Lenses

This year, you can save up to $200 on M. Zuiko lenses. Our recommendation: get them with the OM-1. This camera is truly one of the best and most innovative we’ve seen this year. And more importantly, it’s just a lot of fun. The OM SYSTEM OM-1 is insanely capable and takes a major leap forward from many other cameras on the market with its computational photography features. Combine this with the improved autofocus system and you’ll be really happy! If you’re looking for something more budget friendly, then consider the new OM SYSTEM OM-5 and some of these lenses.

M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8 PRO

  • Fairly compact
  • Feels nice in the hand
  • Switch for manual focus
  • Image stabilization that works with the sensor
  • It’s almost impossible to get a blurry shot from camera shake
  • Sharp
  • nice colors
  • Fast autofocus capabilities

In our review, we state:

“The M.Zuiko 40-150mm f2.8 PRO exhibits exceptional image quality that is sharp, contrasty, and detailed: enough to give any Micro Four Thirds user exactly what they want. In some events, like shooting portraits, it’s easy to say it can be too sharp. Of any Olympus lens we’ve, this one has given the best tested results, understandably too for the price point!

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M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm f4 IS PRO

  • Great colours
  • Sharp image quality
  • Nice bokeh
  • Incredible build quality overall

In our review, we state:

This is the equivalent of a 600mm f8 lens when you translate it into full frame 35mm terms. Because it’s such a long lens your bokeh is always going to be creamy, dreamy, and gorgeous. As always with Olympus lenses, you can’t go wrong with the bokeh here.”

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M.Zuiko Digital ED 100-400mm f5-6.3 IS

  • Superb image quality
  • Image stabilization makes this lens easy to handhold
  • IPX1 weather sealing means this lens will face Mother Nature head-on
  • Excellent overall build quality
  • It can be used with the MC-14 and MC-20 teleconverters to give a maximum focal length of 1120mm and 1600mm.
  • Excellent color rendition
  • In great light, this lens focuses at a rapid speed, and it’s quiet
  • Compatible with focus stacking modes in certain Olympus cameras
  • It’s fairly priced at $1,499

In our review, we state:

“The M.Zuiko 100-400mm f5-6.3 IS is a snappy performer when it comes to autofocus. I have used the lens in AF-S, continuous, and continuous with tracking, and it performed great! While at a local motocross track, I was able to string together bursts of bikes flying through the air with ease, and my keeper rate was excellent. In great lighting conditions, the M.ZUIKO 100-400mm f5-6.3 IS will delight you with its autofocus performance. Just point, half-press, and you will acquire focus in a heartbeat. Remember to set the focus limiter switch or you will wonder why you’re not getting the performance I’ve described. If you have it set to 1.3m to infinity, the lens will have to shift all that glass along the entire focal range, so set it according to what distance you are shooting at.”

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M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f4 IS PRO

  • Fairly compact
  • Feels nice in the hand
  • Clutch for manual focus
  • Sharp
  • nice colors
  • Fast autofocus capabilities
  • Image stabilization that works with the sensor
  • With the OMD EM1 Mk II, it’s almost impossible to get a blurry shot from camera shake.

In our review, we said:

“Now that we’re talking about autofocus just a bit, what I really like about the M.Zuiko 12-100mm f4 IS PRO is how closely it can focus when zoomed in. It guarantees a lot of great bokeh and you never have to stop down. Additionally, the lens is really fast.”

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M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45mm f4 PRO

  • Very small
  • Well built
  • Lightweight
  • You pretty much never need to stop it down

In our review, we state:

“The M. Zuiko 12-45mm f4 PRO has autofocus that is very quick. That is thanks to the lightweight lens elements on the inside. Tack onto that speed the EM1 Mk III delivers and you’re pretty solid for having a walkaround lens. Again, due to the depth of field basically being f8, you don’t have a lot to complain about. Missing the shot will be tough unless you’re trying to track a moving subject.”

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M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25mm f4 PRO

  • Accept filters
  • Weather-sealed and well-built
  • Compact, retracting lens
  • Excellent close focusing capabilities
  • Great color and flare that’s full of character

In our review, we state:

“One of my favorite perks of the OM SYSTEM is that it’s easier to get up close. The M. Zuiko 8-25mm f4 PRO can focus as close as nine inches from the front of the lens for all focal lengths. That’s stellar for a wide-angle lens and, at the 25mm end, offers some great versatility for close-ups. The Starry Sky AF feature on the OM-D E-M1 Mark III also works with this lens.”

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M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f4 PRO

  • Very light and compact
  • Mostly metal build
  • IP53 rated dust and water protection
  • Simple to use
  • Sharp images with little barrel distortion
  • Flare is full of character

In our review, we state:

Size isn’t the only innovation here. While weather-sealing is common, few lenses go through the tests to gain an IP rating that specifies just how much abuse it can withstand. The M.Zuiko 40-150mm f4 PRO has an IP53 rating. That means it’s tested for dust without harmful deposits and tested against water sprays up to 60 degrees from a vertical spray. OM SYSTEM also says it’s freeze-proof as well.

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M.Zuiko Digital ED 20mm f1.4 PRO

  • Excellent build quality
  • super small
  • Finally, OM SYSTEM has a great 40mm lens!
  • fast
  • Lightweight
  • Great image quality
  • Shooting with this lens gives me all the initial joys I had with the Pen-F
  • $799.99 price point will make a lot more sense if/when a new weather sealed OM SYSTEM Pen F comes out.

In our review, we state:

“Oh man! The image quality from this lens is a two-component thing. Purely by itself, you’ll never want to stop it down. OM Digital Solutions (OMDS) says the bokeh is “feathered.” And that sort of makes sense. I think it’s just creamy and gorgeous…It’s also very sharp. And while there’s a minor issue with purple fringing, I believe this can be fixed in post-production or wholly negated.

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M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f2.8 Macro

  • Excellent optics/image quality
  • Lightweight
  • 1:1 Maximum Reproduction Ratio
  • Focus Distance Dial
  • Splash/dust proof
  • 46mm filter thread (more common than the Olympus 45mm’s 37mm thread)

In our review, we state:

I’ve owned or used almost all of the MFT primes and I have to say that the 60mm macro is definitely near the top of the list in terms of image quality.

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The Photographer’s various product round-up features are done in-house. Our philosophy is simple: you wouldn’t get a Wagyu beef steak review from a lifelong vegetarian. And you wouldn’t get photography advice from someone who doesn’t touch the product. We only recommend gear we’ve fully reviewed in these roundups. If you’re wondering why your favorite product didn’t make the cut, there’s a chance it’s on another list. If we haven’t reviewed it, we won’t recommend it. This method keeps our lists packed with industry-leading knowledge. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

This piece is presented in partnership with OM SYSTEM. We’ve independently and ethically reviewed all the products in this post already without sponsorship. And we worked with them to recommend a few key gems to you.





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