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Canon EOS R7 could soon be challenged by the rumoured OM System OM-5 camera

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Another mirrorless sweet spot may be the incoming Canon competition.

image credits: techmarmort

With the reported OM System OM-5 gaining a tentative debut date for its potential conflict with the Canon EOS R7, the long-awaited return of cheap mirrorless cameras appears certain to continue this year.

The OM System OM-1, one of the best mirrorless cameras we’ve seen in 2022, is slated to have a less expensive sister called the OM-5. The new camera “will be launched in late September and start to ship in October,” according to the typically trustworthy 43Rumors(opens in new tab).

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This isn’t just a rumour; the website has backed up its claims by stating that it is “now 99.9 percent sure OM Digital will announce the new OM-5 in late September.” As the company’s second new camera since formally purchasing the Olympus camera division in January 2021, the launch would also make sense.

The Olympus OM-5 isn’t anticipated to be a straight replacement for the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III, but it is anticipated to serve a comparable function in the OM System portfolio as a mid-range alternative for individuals who cannot afford the flagship model. If so, the Canon EOS R7, the newest mid-range model in Canon’s EOS R lineup, would be in direct conflict with it.

Although there are currently no known details about the OM System OM-5 specifications, we may make some educated assumptions about what we might be able to anticipate from it when it is released in September. The camera is likely to receive the OM-1’s brand-new 20MP Micro Four Thirds stacking sensor, which we found to give significantly better AF performance than previous Olympus cameras.

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Fast burst mode shooting speeds of up to 50 fps in quiet electronic mode or 120 fps with fixed focus are also enabled with this sensor. It’s unclear exactly where the OM-5 will economise in order to maintain its lower price, but the E-M5 series has done this in the past in areas like the EVF (electronic viewfinder), video performance, and the inclusion of certain features.

However, OM Digital may have another Micro Four Thirds winner on its hands if it can fit computational photography expertise and AF strength comparable to the OM-1 into a smaller, more inexpensive chassis.

Analysis: The struggle for common ground

With manufacturers concentrating on full-frame flagships and smartphones continuing to develop into hobbyist cameras, we worried at the beginning of 2022 that there would be a permanent hole left in the middle of the mirrorless camera market. However, the introduction of new mid-range models has pleasantly pleased us this year, and the OM System OM-5 may be among the best.

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Our analysis of the OM System OM-1 led us to the conclusion that mirrorless cameras will soon adopt computational techniques similar to those used in smartphones, such as Live ND, Focus Stacking, and High Res Shot. Although the OM-1 still has certain drawbacks, such as average subject-tracking focusing, if the anticipated OM-5 can inherit its many positive qualities, it might be a great new option for travel or other casual photography.

The Canon EOS R7 and the less expensive EOS R10, meanwhile, are also turning out to be great new options in this area. Although we haven’t had a chance to thoroughly test either of those cameras, we were quite happy with the autofocus performance of the Canon EOS R7 during our hands-on review. We were also struck by the potential value that the camera’s $1,499/£1,349/AU$2,349 body-only price tag offers.

The price point appears to be the main arena of conflict for mirrorless cameras this year, with other competitors like the Fujifilm X-H2 slated to debut in September. Additionally, purchasing a used DSLR or mirrorless camera is still a smart choice to think about if that is obviously still too pricey in these difficult economic circumstances.

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