Olympus OM-D E-M5 III confirmed to be in the works

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II.
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II. Image credit: Olympus

Olympus has confirmed that it will be releasing a follow-up to its OM-D E-M5 Mark II mirrorless camera.

In an interview with DPReview, executives from the company stated that the E-M5 was an "important product category for middle users" and that the company was planning to introduce a successor model.

The firm also highlighted that it plans to release several lenses every year for the foreseeable future, and confirmed that it will announce new lenses before the 150-400mm f/4.5 TC 1.25x IS PRO arrives next year. 

The super-telephoto optic, which provides Micro Four Thirds users with an effective focal range of 300-800mm in 35mm terms, has already been shown in prototype form. It also features a built-in teleconverter that boost the focal length to an effective 375-1000mm range.

The new camera, which is likely to be called the OM-D E-M5 III, has been expected for some time, as the model it's set to succeed is now more than four years old. Since then, the company has introduced a raft of bodies across its OM-D and PEN mirrorless lines, notably the OM-D E-M10 III and OM-D E-M1 II, as well as the PEN-F and the most recent OM-D E-M1X flagship model.

While the OM-D E-M5 II went on to be a very respectable mid-range mirrorless option, the camera's 16MP sensor and lack of 4K video capabilities, together with an 81-point contrast-detect AF system, now show its age.

Released in the 2012, the original OM-D E-M5 had the honor of being the first OM-D model to have been unveiled by the company. It's currently positioned above the more junior OM-D E-M10 line and beneath the OM-D E-M1 series and OM-D E-M1X.  

Unlike its Micro Four Thirds partner Panasonic, the company has not introduced a full-frame system alongside its existing Micro Four Thirds selection of products. The executives also used to same interview to highlight how this approach meant that all of its products employed the same lens mount for convenience.