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Olympus could announce the OM-D E-M5 III in October

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Back in August, Olympus executives confirmed that a follow-up to the now four-year-old OM-D E-M5 Mark II mirrorless camera was in the pipeline, although no mention was made of a possible release date.

Now, camera rumors site 4/3 Rumors says it is 99% certain that Olympus will announce the forthcoming camera on October 17. While that could be a strong possibility, the date is still speculation and no official word has come from the camera maker.

4/3 Rumors also suggests that the OM-D E-M5 Mark III could boast a 20MP micro four thirds (MFT) sensor – a step up from the 16MP micro four thirds sensor in E-M5 II. Also making its way to the third-generation M5 snapper, according to the report, is a new processor. That means the forthcoming camera could match the performance of the latest E-M1X flagship, which (like the three-year-old E-M1 Mark II) also features a 20MP sensor.

The report also suggests that E-M5 III will bring across the excellent 121 cross-type phase-detect autofocus (AF) system from the 2016 E-M1 flagship. If this is true, the new camera will be a step up from the E-M5 Mark II's 81-point FAST AF system, but won't quite match the E-M1X's 121-point hybrid (contrast and phase detect) Dual FAST autofocus.

While no other information has been divulged with much certainty, 4/3 Rumors is about 60% sure the new camera will be "lighter" and "more plasticky" but will still feature a "weather sealed body" that uses the same BLS-50 battery that's included in the Olympus PEN and E-M10 ranges.

When the OM-D E-M5 II launched in 2015, it was a very respectable mid-range mirrorless option. However, the camera's 16MP sensor, lack of 4K video and an 81-point AF system now seems dated. So a refresh in the form of the E-M5 Mark III is more than welcome, especially if any of the aforementioned features are true.

Sharmishta Sarkar

Sharmishta is the Managing Editor (APAC) for TechRadar and keeps herself busy with all things photography. She's also addicted to word games, is obsessed with Calvin and Hobbes and is a tad crazy about wildlife. When she's not writing, she's usually discovering the joys and foibles of smart home gizmos and enjoying a good read on her e-reader.